“Sit Down and Shut Up” The Controversy over Women Ministers

In the millennium, we’ve seen so many things change. You can walk around using the Internet instead of being bound by a cord. It’s ok if you didn’t map out the directions to a trip because a British lady will tell you how to get there. And of course you don’t need a joystick to play a video game- you ARE the joystick. I still have a hard time wrapping my mind around half of the technological  advances, but I use them to my advantage as much as I can. Why? I believe in progressive thought. Not everything that is new proves to be better (I still handwrite rough drafts for a paper), but I must be open-minded enough to see where the road of progress leads.

I wish people would have this same mindframe concerning women being ministers. Recently there was a revival hosted by my church. My pastors invited a sister church to be a part of the 2-night event. The sister church doesn’t even allow women to stand in the pulpit. During the event, the 2nd row was reserved for the ministers from the sister church and the 1st row for our ministers. Of course their row was full of men. However, our row consisted of 3 men and 3 women, not including the couple who serves as pastors (both are ordained). Any time I’d turn to see if the elderly gentlemen needed anything they’d shun me. As annointed as the event was, the dark spot of disdain discolored my opinion of it.

Why do people have a hard time with women serving God in such a capacity? When Jesus let women like Mary Magdeline be disciples, he didn’t say that they weren’t allowed to make disciples of others. The Great Commission was assigned to all Christians, not just men. If Jesus allowed it, why can’t we if a servant is not greater than his master?

I think all of this stems from faulty research. We’ve formed a hypothesis that all women are disorderly like the ones Paul rebuked and only gather information to support our original claim. We don’t think women should minister so we find instances where they mess up to prove the point. This is uneducated and misleading. If we judged a woman’s ability to minister based on her human fallacy, well, nobody at all would be ministers. Most of the catastrophic events blamed on The Church were the invention of men. The Vatican had thousands killed for disagreeing with The Church. All men. Scandals with children being molested and abused in the church? Men. A majority of the high-profile adultery cases or sexual misconduct in the church? Men. Men have caused more shame to the family throughout the ages than we can count.

So, should this lead me to say that MEN should be banished from sharing the Good News? Not at all! This would render men like C.S. Lewis, Bishop T.D. Jakes, and Max Lucado null and void. These men have had a powerful impact on my life and ministry. But so have Prophetess Juanita Bynum, Michelle McKinney Hammond, Pastor Paula White, and the female pastors of my family’s Methodist church. I need them all, despite their shortcomings. Jesus uses less-than-perfect people to reach a dying world (just ask the Apostle Peter.)

It is discouraging as a young minister for someone to tell me that God did not call me because I don’t have a penis. Not because I’m dealing in divination, not because I’m not devoted, but because my anatomy is “incorrect”. I know there are women who abuse the call. It disgusts me. The reason why though is I don’t like to see ANYONE, not just women, take the Lord’s name in vain. That’s where I think we should be as a Body. We should be disgusted by sin, by how the devil is stealing from us, lying to us, destroying our families and futures. We should be livid at the complacency we’ve adopted as a people, letting the enemy rule and reign freely in what God’s given us dominion over. We should be mad at the rulers of darkness, not those who are trying to bring light into the darkness.

So what if I’m a woman. How’s my walk? Can you see my fruit? Do I look like Christ? If the only fault someone can find in me as a minister is my chromosomes say XX instead of XY, I’m sure that the problem doesn’t lie within my genetic makeup. We need get past our archaic church traditions so we can truly be effective in the world once again.

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About Lady-In-Waiting (Guest Blogger)

Lady-In-Waiting is a secondary educator in foreign language. When not teaching at a high school she serves as a minister at church, being newly appointed over the Singles' Ministry. She believes that God gives wisdom to those who ask and it's only by His wisdom that she stays focused and grounded in a whirlpool of tempting situations.

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