Why should pastors care when women themselves don’t care

One night at the dinner table, one of my Baptist relatives said that his pastor said that strife in a church was the worse thing, and that God did not like strife in a church.  He said that bringing up women’s equality would cause strife in the church.  He also said that women are not unhappy – maybe my little group is.  But most of the women in the church are just fine with it. Why don’t I just leave and find a church that believes like I do.  It brought to mind this post, and I am re-posting it.

Sometimes I wonder if women sitting in our pews at church really care if they are thought of as second class Christians by their pastor, by their church, and by the other men and women sitting beside them.

  • Why should our pastors speak out for equality for the women in their church if the women themselves don’t seem to care?
  • Why should our pastors speak out if women in their congregation earnestly believe that they are to let their husbands and other males have authority over them in church and in the home? 
  • Why should pastors and denominational leaders speak out for equality when most of their peers do not believe that women are equal because the Bible can be read to say they aren’t? 

You know why? 

Because it is a sin to decide that women are not equal.  It is a decision. In the face of the teachings of Christ, and all of the New Testament, it is a sin against God to teach that the female of His creation is of lesser quality than the male.  Churches teach that women are not of complete quality – spiritual or physical – and that is why they will not allow a woman to be a pastor or a deacon.

Churches are in sin when they put a male human being as superior to a female human being.  God did not do that.  Humans have done that.  Men and women have decided that this is God’s will.  They have blotted out the real story of God’s relationship with  people.

One Baptist associational secretary told me that the Bible doesn’t say that women are inferior, and that churches don’t teach that they are.  She didn’t think about her church By-laws that deny women are equal, or the Baptist Faith and Message 2000, and the Danvers Statement on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood that tells her she can’t be a pastor or a deacon and that she must submit graciously to her husband.

Churches do teach that women are inferior.  Every time you take your son and daughter inside a SBC church, you are telling your son that he is superior to your daughter.  You are telling your daughter that she is inferior to her brother. You are telling all girls that males have a relationship with God that she can never have.  If you don’t think that makes a woman inferior, then you need to rethink your definition of inferior.

SBC churches will not allow a woman to preach or be a deacon all because women are to be lead by a male.  We read the scriptures with one thought in mind and that is that God would never call a woman to pastoral ministry. When denominations deny women the privilege of preaching or serving as a deacon, it is because they believe that women cannot hold that position because they are female.  Not because of their beliefs, not because of their spiritual gifts, and not because of their qualifications. They do it because of the physical shape of women’s bodies, and the hormonal makeup of women’s emotions.

What about the so-called difficult scriptures?  You know what is difficult about those scriptures?  The real difficulty in those scriptures is this:  that we find it easier to believe that God made women inferior, than it is for us to believe that we have misinterpreted those scriptures.

The fact that women do not care enough to fight for full equality to serve God as He calls, does not make it right.  It is still a sin, whether we fight for it or not.

Will you join me and other men and women who want to put an end to this sin against God? Join us at the CBE Houston conference where you can hear Dr Todd Still of Truett Seminary, along with Philip Payne, Daniel Kirk, and Katie Hays speak from the scriptures on A New Creation. A New Tradition. .

About bwebaptistwomenforequality

Shirley Taylor writes with humor and common sense, challenging the church body to reclaim equality for Christian women.
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11 Responses to Why should pastors care when women themselves don’t care

  1. Katia says:

    The repression of women in the church is also a sin because it makes the older women incapable of ministering to younger women who are hurting, have had an imperfect life, are the exception to the norm etc.
    I was one of the those younger women.
    The older women in three legalistic churches I went to cared for me, but had no idea how to minister to this younger woman who was single, socially imperfect, struggling, and had a heart full of bitterness, anger, and pain. They didn’t know how to minister to this younger woman who could be both quiet and shy, loud and feisty, stubborn and compliant. They didn’t know how to minister to this younger woman who LOVES to learn, who often thinks for herself, doesn’t hesitate to swim against the tide, or question church leadership.
    Is it any wonder that the woman God used to help me get over my anger, bitterness, and pain did not come from one of those legalistic, repressive churches? Is it any wonder that this woman is a naturally assertive leader who has had an imperfect life and whose life continues to be difficult? Is it any wonder that this woman believes that women should teach and lead in the church? No. God uses the imperfect, those who have had hardest lives, those who do all they can do use the gifts He has given them and to follow Him regardless of what man says.
    ….And my life has NOT been anywhere as imperfect, as difficult as many other women. If the women in legalistic churches that repress women could not help me of all people because of the repression, what about those women in MUCH more need of help than I was?? For the sake of all women, I will continue to do all I can in my tiny world to end the repression of women in the body of Christ.


    • Will you join us March 28, 2012 as we pray for women everywhere? For hearts and minds to be touched, for women to break free from the oppression of the church which professes to love her, but the church that cannot accept her? God bless you and thank you for writing.


    • Michelle says:

      You know, that is such a good point–that the ability of anyone, really, in a soft patriarchal church to minister to those who are not like them, who do not believe in the way that they do, is limited. This is why, when I wanted to go to marriage counseling, I purposely chose 1) a man (to show that I am not an egalitarian because I dislike men, or have a problem specifically with the idea of a man holding what is essentially a position of authority) 2) who was not patriarchal, soft or not. Someone completely outside of the church we were attending at the time, as I knew they would just cause more frustration and more pain.

      As I begin, or continue, to “come out” to my in-laws and others around me as a Christian gender egalitarian, and to introduce them to the idea that it is scriptural, how in the world can I minister to them? Particularly the women? They’ve lived so much of their life under the thumb of the belief that God created them to be ruled over (yes, yes, “led”, but seriously, here). The idea that they could have lived completely differently, in a sense, in freedom, would be painful and could be repugnant in some way…


      • I am reading a book that takes place in Brenham Texas in 1903. A woman is the switchboard operator and the company has given her a house to live in and set up the equipment in. For a year she handles the bills and the switchboard, but then they send a man in. Well, guess who does the bills now. He asked her for the key to the desk where she kept the records in. Now this was her house that she lived in, and she had to give him the key to the desk. “I knew I had to give him the key, because he was a man and I was a woman.” That was the prevailing attitude in 1903. We may not have that attitude at home or in the workplace, but we still have that attitude in the church.


  2. mabel says:

    Katia, you brought up an excellent point. I have never thought of this issue from that angle: that women of legalistic churches are of very limited use to women who do not fit into their legalistic mold, or tow the party line. Glad you got the help you needed. I am reading Unladylike. I think you will like that book. Look into it.


  3. Katia says:

    Mabel-Thanks for the book suggestion! looked up “Unladylike” at our local library. Alas, they don’t have it. But I’ll try to see if I can get it via inter-library loan.

    Shirley-I’ll do my best to remember to be in prayer for women everywhere on March 28.


  4. mabel says:

    Katia, Unladylike just got published literally days ago. She is a first time author, this being her first book, so unfortunately you probably won’t find her in the usual places. Amazon and CBE Bookstore carry the book. I have it in my Kindle.


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