Your pastor stands before the congregation on Sunday morning. All across America, pastors are taking their place before their congregation. They have already made a decision in their minds. They have made their choice.
Again, this Sunday as they stand before God, they will not speak out for the women in their church.
Compare this to ‘we could not sit on the park benches, go to the swimming pools, eat in the cafes, and were confined to our homes’ which was said of the Jews in Austria in 1938.
Who spoke up for the Jews? Did the Christian pastors speak up for them?
Silence. Leave well enough alone.
Rosa Parks gets on a bus in 1964 after a crowded day and is arrested and fined, when her action was no more than was allowed for white citizens.
Who spoke up for Rosa Parks? Was it the southern white pastors?
Silence. That is the way it always has been, no need to change now.
“Wives should forsake resistance to their husbands’ authority and grow in willing, joyful submission to their husband’s leadership” says the Danvers Statement in 1987.
Silence. Heads nodded in agreement because they believe that of course women are to submit to their husbands.
Who spoke up for women? Did pastors admit that in their counseling of women and couples they found it was often the man who abused the wife?
A Week ago in Bellefontaine Ohio, there was a Man of God 2012 Conference. Calvary Baptist Church, in Bellefontaine, Ohio, was the host. Their mission statements claims: “Calvary exists to love and glorify God by encouraging believers to be like Jesus Christ and by faithfully proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ to our neighbors and around the world.” The keynote speaker pastors a church less than 20 miles from where our conference will be held.
It is reported by Jocelyn Andersen that the men urinated all over the women’s restroom in a symbolic gesture against women. Now whether or not that is true, I do not know. You can read her story after an email interview with Paul Dohse who was there.
This is what Paul Dohse says on his blog “At the conference, the women’s restrooms were opened up for the men because the building was too small for the turnout. That was the brunt of a few jokes by the Pastor of Calvary who apparently is a part time stand-up comedian. I guess it’s an age thing, but I needed several trips to the bathroom during the conference and noticed something that was indicative of all of the stalls in the women’s restroom. When I encountered it the first time, I cleaned it up myself, but soon realized that would be futile to continue if I didn’t want to miss the whole conference. I am talkin’ urine all over the toilets and the floor. In regard to the toilets, the first time I left a stall that I did not clean up myself, I was not careful to not touch the toilet as I turned to open the stall door and got urine all over the back of my pant legs. As far as the floor, we are talkin’ large puddles. We are talkin’….”I’m glad these shoes I’m wearing have a high tread.”
Kathy Escobar in her blog says: “When we are silent, we stand on the side of the oppressor. It’s easier to play nice. It’s easier to follow the status quo. It’s easier to stick with the crowd and keep supporting churches and the media and systems that strip dignity and freedom. But when we do, we condone inequality and align with oppression.”
When your pastor will not speak up for you, and for all women who are oppressed by their church by-laws that tell women they cannot hold certain positions within the congregation, they are siding with the oppressors.
How long will we take it? Are you ready to swim in the pool? Are you ready to sit on the bus? Are you tired of churches that claim to want to be like Jesus and who deny the love to women that Jesus gave women?
If you have had enough, join us as we plan for our liberation from oppression. Pray for us who are planning the CBE Houston Conference and for those who will attend. Tell others that help is on the way! But that help has to come from you, because the pastors will not do it.