For a short time when I worked for Baptist General Convention of Texas, I worked with a Hispanic pastor who was doing consulting work for the Association. He was born in Texas of non-Christian parents. He became a preacher and a pastor, and was very highly thought of.
This was just before I was beginning my own soul-searching and coming to the realization that Baptists were wrong about women in leadership. However, I was still living in a very narrow world.
This young Hispanic man told us that he took his family to Mississippi on vacation one year and they went into a store, and the proprietor would not wait on them. He expressed his anger and said the man had discriminated against them because they were Hispanic.
We women talked among ourselves and couldn’t understand that. We were sure that he was seeing discrimination where none was intended.
Now I don’t think so. I think he was attuned to the people’s actions and knew that he and his family were unwelcome in that store.
Now I see discrimination against women when I walk into churches. The people sitting in the pew do not see anything wrong. It is just business as usual. But I am looking with different eyes now. I see women missing in the order of worship.
I read the church websites and find out which churches have the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 posted or have a link to that document. This is not just an innocent document they have linked to. They really don’t care if their members know how their church stands on Church and State issues. What they are telling their members is that they do not allow a woman to preach, or to be a deacon. The rest is just fluff.
There is discrimination there, but the church members are not looking with eyes that see. They think that women are being overly sensitive, or have gotten infected with the evil feminist movement, and have become liberal.
Will you look out for attitudes that discrimate against the women in your church simply because they are women? Will you speak out against such attitudes. It might be that until attention is brought to bear, many will not see it for what it is.