Stories of churches denying your call to ministry because you fall outside the parameters of which gender is allowed to be ordained and stories of churches denying you the Eucharist because you fall outside the parameters of what kind of sexual orientation is allowed to receive the means of grace, and stories of churches denying you a place in community because you just weren’t sure if you believed in God and that falls outside the parameters of doctrinal purity – well, these kind of stories are sadly bordering on cliché around here. We hear them all the time.
So I’m really grateful that Jesus has always tended to disregard people’s preferred parameters for how he should do things, and that he always just seems to keep seeing people, touching them, healing them and then thumbing his nose at anyone who says he really should be more discerning about his cliental and his tactics.
Tag Archives: Evangelism
Yet another woman’s story of call and consequent marginalisation by the Lutheran Church.
When I was young – maybe about 5 or 6 years old, my grandfather, a Lutheran Pastor, liked to sit me on his knee, and tell me about Jesus. I loved this time with him – he made Jesus sound and become so special and loving, that I decided that I would become a Pastor one day, so I could share this wonderful Jesus with others, as my grandfather did. I was very disappointed when I found out that women weren’t eligible for such a high calling. Eventually because of the limitations placed on women in the Lutheran Church, and God’s revelations to me, drawing me closer to Him,( which when I shared with my Pastor, the Pastor told me that my revelation experience was of the devil), I knew God was redirecting me. Why would the devil draw me closer to Jesus? As a frustrated and limited evangelist, I was heart-broken, and my husband and I felt it was time to leave the Lutheran Church.
In a new Church, God used me and my team to bring both men and women to faith through preaching and teaching, loving and friendship. It was with tremendous joy that God had used me to bring these unsaved people to faith, and to baptize them. (My husband baptized men, and I baptized women). Some of these folk later became Church leaders who now reach out to others. Was there anyone else who could have / would have taken my place? Not anyone that I could find. Do the Church elite who are against women’s ordination prefer to believe that God would have found someone else – to cover for their ‘lordly’ stance against ordained women? Do those opposed to women’s ordination believe I should have been banned from teaching, and preaching to men as well as women? Or would God prefer that men, and as a result, women also, would be better off going to hell, than being redeemed by Jesus’ precious blood as a result of not being ministered to, or being ministered to by a woman? God forbid such evil!
I have been working with Middle Eastern people, predominantly refugees, in recent years. It’s mainly men, married or single, who attend Church and Bible Studies. In Middle Eastern culture, even here in Australia, how are supposedly “second class” Middle Eastern women cared for spiritually, who could not worship and pray together with men (in a mosque?). This culture continues on in Australia – even in Churches. How do we reach them? Muslims have been taught that Jesus is only a prophet – not their Lord and Saviour. A Middle Eastern woman evangelist said to me very recently, the devaluation of women is nothing but demonic – building walls to stop people from coming to faith in the real Jesus. She likened this to some Churches who forbid women’s ordination, yet don’t have sufficient ordained male Pastors to adequately care for their people, or teach men how to reach out, let alone reach out to unsaved men and women themselves.
When will the men who are so against women’s ordination (ordination is not mentioned in Scripture anyway), humble themselves before God, and submit to His will, and admit that what Jesus said is still a fact: “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest therefore, to send out workers into His harvest field.” (Luke 10:2 NIV) Why pray for workers, then disobey God when He sends His chosen women workers?!
Why has God chosen and used me to teach men as well as women, and bring both men and women to faith? It is His Holy Spirit that brings people to faith after hearing the Word! (Romans 10:14-15,17) Why does God grow what women have planted and watered? “Neither he (she) who plants, nor he (she) who waters is anything, but only God who makes things grow.” (1 Corinthians 3:7) God has given life to my planting and watering. And I am a woman! God does not contradict Himself.”
This woman wishes to remain anonymous. Along with any woman’s call to ordained ministry in the LCA comes great vulnerability. Consequently, any comments questioning this woman’s call or giftedness will be deleted. Beyond that, your comments are most welcome.
Mimi Haddad from Sojourners,
suggests that the answer is often, ‘No’, with the primary issues being understood as “those that focus on the gospel, evangelism, and the leading of the lost to Christ”.
Haddad tells the story of Emily, who is alienated by the church’s attitude to women and consequently loses her faith. She asserts that, “One’s biblical position on gender clearly advances or diminishes the good news of the gospel”.
When people find the presentation of faith as illogical and unjust they re-examine Scripture and find that, “The differences between egalitarians and complementarians (those who support a male model of authority) run deeper than a difference in interpretation or personal preference. Egalitarians and complementarians present differing worldviews, and this is why so many of us challenge gender-hierarchy as God’s ideal”.
Christians for Biblical Equality (CBE) of which Mimi Haddad is president,” is devoted to showing individuals like Emily — who have left the church, or who refuse to marry, or who have joined other religions — that scripture does not extend authority to men just because they are male. Rather, leadership and service is the product of God’s gifting, one’s intimacy with God, and one’s moral choices”.
Feedback and suggestions are welcome. We’d love to get your comment.
If you found this post useful, consider sharing and subscribing to this blog for free.