She reminded me of a swamp creature. Her long tangled hair hung in mats down her back while a threadbare dress barely covered her slim frame. Juliana was actually a beautiful young woman who soon began to clean up for church, but her eyes still fell whenever I spoke to her. Barely in her twenties and already the mother of four children, she was lonely. Her husband was in the service and gone for months at a time. Trying to make sense out of life and hungry for God, Juliana called our church and asked for a Bible study. The pastor offered to give her a ride home because she didn’t drive. One day on the way home, he reached out and touched her hand. Juliana was flattered to find such an educated man interested in her. She began to spend afternoons at his house while her kids were in preschool and his wife was at work. His marriage suffered, her family suffered and eventually the entire church suffered.
Different circumstances might have yielded different results. Ideally, Juliana should have met a woman pastor who nurtured her. Or a faithful man of God who introduced her to the women in the congregation. Perhaps her response would’ve been different if her father had raised her to respect herself as much as any man. At the heart of Juliana’s vulnerability was the false patriarchal concept that men are more valuable than women.
Many people are unsure about women’s ordination. There are several arguments against it, so let’s consider those arguments in the light of God’s love–
1. It’s Just a Feminist Agenda
Some say Women’s Ordination is about female egos, but do the same people feel men’s ordination is about male egos? Of course this is a hasty generalization. Most pastors are simply serving God. If a woman has been a pastor long enough to be ordained, the fruit of her life will be evident. It’s not Christ-like to evil surmise on the basis of sex.
2. Ordination is Not Biblical.
Regardless of what it’s called, anointing with oil, laying hands on someone and praying over them is still biblical. How can any church truly led by God, refuse such a benevolent act to anyone who desires to serve God?
3. Male Headship
Opponents who cry out “Christ or Culture” have turned truth on its head because the male headship doctrine actually represents the culture of the church from the dark ages.
I wish Juliana’s story was an isolated incident, but it’s not. I know several women with similar stories. Each of these women had an over inflated view of their pastor and low self-esteem. Many are familiar with a recent theologian and major force behind a certain youth movement who has been seducing young women with his perceived power and authority. Ironically he and his followers are among those who have spoken out against Women’s Ordination because they claim the male headship model over equality. This mistaken concept is what enables men to be abusers and sets up women to become victims.
The Church Should be Leading Human Rights–Not Oppressing Them
Women’s Ordination actually affects women everywhere. When the church refuses to ordain women, it is perceived as to be speaking for God, but does it truly act as Jesus would? Young girls are currently receiving the message God values women less than men.
Jimmy Carter and The Elders (distinguished leaders from around the world) have determined the “practice of religion to be one of the basic causes of abuse where women are treated as subordinate or inferior people. And this example set by religious leaders gives an excuse to other dominant males to persecute or abuse or deprive women of their justifiable rights.”
Anyone who thinks this abuse happens far from home needs to watch the video on domestic violence below. The statistics on domestic violence within the church are shocking.
God created men and woman both in the image of God. Sin temporarily interfered with God’s natural order, but Jesus as the second Adam has restored what was broken. He did this most obviously by the way He treated women with equality. It’s true, He had twelve male disciples. That was the tradition in the culture of that day, but Jesus broke societal norms by empowering women. He ate with them, taught them and allowed them to sit at His feet and wash His toes with perfume.
The Godhead does nothing by coincidence. It was a woman ordained by God who carried God inside her body and announced the Messiah. It was non-Jewish woman beside a well who became the first evangelist. It was a woman who was given the privilege of announcing the resurrection. The equality Jesus demonstrated was confirmed by Paul when he proclaimed, “There is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ” (Gal.3:28). The mistaken concept that God prefers men over women never came from the life of Jesus.
If the Church truly wants to represent Jesus, it should give women the same respect Jesus gave them and it can start by treating its female employees with equality.
Women + Equality = Unity.