In the past 30 years, churches that traditionally had women pastors, Assemblies of God and United Pentecostal, are now dominated by male pastors. They, too, have resorted to teaching that the husband has authority over his wife. As one Pentecostal wife told me “my husband is the ruler in our home.” I see this as a direct influence of the Southern Baptist Convention fundamentalist takeover.
The non-denominational churches that have a husband/wife pastor team say that they allow women to preach (and we see they do because the wife preaches), but those churches do not have a woman as a senior pastor. In many of those husband/wife churches they teach that wives are to submit to their husbands. Equality just flew out the window.
A Methodist minister in England emailed me that the complementarian view is prevalent in their churches. He said that they watch what we do over here, and are influenced by it. In our own country, even though Methodists embrace women as pastors, not all are on board with women’s equality in the home. In March I attended a wedding where the Methodist minister of a very large church near here told the husband, “James, remember that you have the greater responsibility in the marriage. If she wants to go shopping, even though you would rather go to a ballgame, you must go with her.” In those words, he gave the couple’s marriage to the husband.
There are a handful of religious denominations that accept women as equals, but ultimately they have become the stumbling block against women pastors instead of being the standard. These churches that have accepted women as pastors have also recognized that within their congregations there might be homosexuals.
Fundamentalists tell us that churches will be full of homosexuals if they allow women as pastors. They lead us to believe that any woman who feels called to preach is a homosexual. So with that reasoning, both the pulpits and the pews will be filled up with homosexuals. Fundamentalists have bound themselves to homosexuality and many have bought into it.
Personally I have never heard of, nor encountered, a homosexual woman pastor. But I have heard of, met, and encountered male pastors who are adulterers, homosexuals, pedophiles, child molesters, wife beaters, murderers, abusers, and sexual deviants. Nobody says that because some men are these things that we should deny all men from service in the church.
These churches that have allowed women equality in the pulpit and church offices cannot carry enough weight to pull women into equality. As I said, they have become a de facto deterrent.
We will continue this discussion. Check back for “Let Freedom Ring – Part 4.”