I heard it again today.
“I don’t think women should be preachers,” said the wife of a retired minister in a church that has many women pastors.
With that sentence she denied all women. With absolutely no regard to their giftedness, or their calling. What she did not realize is that she also ordained all men with the possibility of being a pastor or preacher without regard to their giftedness or calling. Look at Ted Haggard, qualified because he is male, and now on Wife Swap TV.
This 80 year old woman and her husband left the church of their denomination and now attends BBC (Big Baptist Church). She tolerates the pastor who is a “ain’t no woman gonna preach” Baptist pastor.
She puts up with him because she loves her Sunday School class. Women teach women and men teach men. She and her husband do not attend the same class.
I asked her what would her Sunday school teacher would say about women’s equality, and she said that she would probably be for it. So I pushed a little more and invited her to tell them about the conference that I am involved in with Christians for Biblical Equality and Fuller Institute on April 27-28, 2012.
“But,” she said, “I don’t think women should be preachers.”
That is what I hear over and over. They seem afraid that if you allow a woman to preach, that we will all want to get up and preach! They fear that the churches will be taken over by women pastors, and all the deacons will be women. That is not the case, and won’t be. Not all women are called to preach. I certainly haven’t felt a call to preach or pastor a church, and I don’t want to be a deacon.
When you put limits on what a woman can do, and you limit her spiritual calling, you have limited every girl, and every woman from serving the Lord fully in your mind, and particularly in your church. They had rather sacrifice all women than to allow one woman to preach.
She went on to say that women are equal, but she doesn’t think women should be preachers. I had to face that in my own journey. When I first decided to send the “Open Letter to Baptists” all I was pushing for was to have women deacons. After I chose the name bWe Baptist Women for Equality, it hit me. Equal means equal. I could not push for equality and say that women are equal to be a deacon, but they can’t preach.
Time for jokes is over. The old “women run the church anyway” and “women are equal – but I don’t want to hear a woman preach” won’t cut it any more. It is time to get serious about this. Tell your Sunday school teacher that if she is qualified to teach, she is qualified to be a deacon. Push your pastor to allow women deacons. Accept in your own mind that women can preach, and serve anywhere she is gifted and called to do so.