“I don’t have the energy to fight the Baptists,” an elderly Baptist friend told me this week. What a shame that a denomination that had such promise 40 years ago is drying up and has lost its vision. What a shame that a woman even uses the words fight the Baptists. This woman agrees that women should be equal in the church, but she is discouraged when the denomination that she has been in her whole life, refuses to listen to those voices that are calling for equality for Baptist women.
I suppose many Baptists would claim it a victory when people don’t want to fight back. But it is no victory when women know we are engaged in battle, but know the people on the other side have such a thick shell around them, that the battle is too hard for them to fight.
I would tell every Baptist leader, pastor, and those sitting in the pew, that just because church members are not picketing, or making a fuss, it does not mean the attitude of those in the pew has not changed.
It has. Listen to what a reader told me a few weeks ago: “This morning in my Arkansas SBC church, our pastor called the deacons up to serve communion, and for the first time in 42 years, the thought occurred to me, “Why is it always just men?” I’m glad I found your blog this afternoon so I know it wasn’t just a crazy thought!”
That same thought is coming to women all across the land as they sit in church on Sunday. It can’t be stopped. Victory is not evidenced by silence, because one day that silence will turn to a loud roar.
In 1990, the Trinity River flooded. As much as 18 inches of rain fell on the headwaters of the Trinity, near Dallas. The flood came after farmers had plowed their fields and the waters met no resistance as it washed over the fields and took the dirt with it. A Trinity River Authority official said “This large section of the watershed is overflowing…it’s like a huge funnel pointing directly at Lake Livingston and the lower Trinity.”
It is coming, pastors! Prepare yourselves! The rain has started. It is falling on plowed fields.
People mapped the flow of the Trinity River and knew exactly when it would reach homes and swallow them up and when it would get all the way to Lake Livingston. They filled bags of sand to dam the flow, but the water would not be stopped. Dry land would soon be flooded and there was not a thing they could do to stop it.
Make your sandbags and cushion yourselves. Move your things up out of reach. But we are coming, and you cannot stop us. Women will be equal in the church. Maybe not in your church. But your church will not be able to stop the tide.
The tears of the Trinity is overflowing!
Join us as we spread far and wide and wash over injustice, sexism, and spread the good news of Christ. Not because we are women, but because we are the New Creation and we are the beginning of a New Tradition. We are Baptists, Church of Christ, non-denominational, Presbyterians, and all others who believe in Jesus Christ as our Lord. Meet us at CBE Houston Conference April 27-28, 2012.