Yesterday I encountered something that I hoped I would never encounter again. Something I thought that I had overcome and even that we as a society had risen above. Being a woman, I have had my share of prejudice hurled at me. When I was divorced and a single parent, I faced discrimination even from the church I was attending.
I am the type of woman who knows how to fix cars, can do household repairs and many things customarily deemed to be a "man's job". I'm not afraid of hard work or getting my hands dirty. I never let my gender stand in the way of what I can accomplish. When I was growing up, I was somewhat of a tomboy and preferred to be out digging in the dirt, climbing a tree or riding my bike over the hills with the boys in the neighborhood. You would rarely find me playing with dolls or the "girly" stuff. If you told me I couldn't do something because I was a girl, you had a fight on your hands and still do!
Then when I decided to follow God's calling on my life and become a Pastor, I again was subjected to more discrimination. I knew there were people who considered a woman to be more of "Pastor Wife" material than the Pastor. But I never let that be an obstacle to me. I've had people–especially men–tell me that women are not supposed to be Pastors because the Bible said for women to keep quiet in the church. This is so far from the truth it's not even funny.
Yesterday I had a fellow writer here send me a private message telling me that I was out of order, am a "slap in God's face" and that women are meant to be wives and mothers only, NOT Pastors. He even went so far as saying that you can dress up a pig and put perfume on it but it is still a pig. This kind of ignorant, uninformed, discriminatory, "macho", kind of insult hurts me. Not because I get my feelings hurt, but because it goes totally against what Gods word says.
But I know where many get confused about this line of thinking. It was Paul who said the women should be kept silent in the church. If we do a study of First Corinthians, we can find out why he said that. Please note, it was not God who said it, but Paul. During that period of time, many women in the church were "undisciplined". They were gossips, trouble makers and there were even harlots in the church who were seducing the men. This is who Paul was directing that statement too.
When I read the scriptures that speak of the gifts and callings placed on people's lives, I find none that say; "And God gave this gift or that gift to only the men and the women didn't get that gift or that calling, they weren't allowed because after all they are just women". I see no scripture that says that the duty of the woman is to be "barefoot and pregnant" or that women are to just be wives and mothers. I do however see countless stories that speak of the incredible women in scripture. Look at the outline of a virtuous woman in Proverbs for example. The Bible is full of women who God used in various forms of ministry. Women who were strong, bold, wise, brave and outspoken; clearly ahead of their time.
It is unfortunate that even to this day, there are those who want to take God's word out of context, twist it and warp it to suit their needs. It clearly shows that they have not studied the Scripture or gotten over their ego problem to be willing to seek the truth of God's word.
It's sad to me that there are some who are so intimidated and threatened by women in the church that they try to manipulate the word of God to justify their ignorance and simple mindedness. We have some incredible teachers of the Word today, many are women. Joyce Myers, Kay Arthur and many more come to mind. God is no respecter of persons, meaning God does not look upon our gender, skin color, heritage or even our past, He looks upon our hearts. It's a shame that some people can't get that concept.
copyright 2005 Pastor Brenda Libby (and proud to be a woman of God)
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Hi Pastor Brenda, I know that must hurt so bad. I'm heading to the same place you are. God has put the call on my life as well and I won't back down either. People who think that God don't call women to pastor the same as he does men don't know the word. They need to go see what the word has to say about it and stop the religious junk they have heard all their life or what they THINK the bible is saying on the subject. God is with you and for you and so am I and I'll bet a host of others are to. Preach on Pastor, I am.
My own pastor deals with the same thing. I commend you. I recall the words of Bishop T.D. Jakes: "It was a woman that was chosen to anoint Jesus for His burial, not a man. It may very well be, therefore, that God calls women to anoint the bride."