When certain people read that I’m putting together a series of guest posts about women in ministry, they may be tempted to think and say that I’m out to destroy the Bible, nay Christianity itself. They may assert that I’m misconstruing clear passages from the Bible based on loose speculation and undermining the very faith I claim to support.
If women are allowed to teach and serve as equals in ministry, what will become of Christianity and the church? I’ve conducted a very thorough risk assessment of my series that kicks off next week, and such detractors are certainly right. There are tons of risks. Here are just a few that I’ve thought of:
Under the cold-hearted leadership of female leaders and ministers, men will be rounded up and locked in the nursery. Children will puke on their shiny shoes. Pastors will lose their expense accounts. Secretaries will stop answering the phone.
THE COFFEE WILL NOT BE MADE!!!
Yes, it is a terrible thing when sinners fall into the hands of an “angry woman.”
Sermons will start to include illustrations based on raising kids and cooking dinner instead of sports and war movies. Women will start to speak their minds to the male authority figures in their lives, thereby causing strain on men who are forced to utilize neglected parts of their brains. Men will have to start vacuuming better, moving the chairs out instead of just going around them. Dinners will not be cooked. Children will stop eating their vegetables.
Dangerous heresies will sweep through the church by “easily deceived” women—just like Eve. In fact, women will start forcing their husbands to eat apples all of the time. The line for the men’s restroom will become oppressive. The parking lot with become a scrap heap of twisted vehicles piled upon one another. The back rows will buckle and break under the weight of disinterested, dispirited men who feel like the church is way too feminized.
Without a man to wear a suit up front, men will no longer know how to dress on Sunday morning. First they’ll forget their ties, and then they’ll soon denigrate to stained t-shirts, slippers, and dirty Carhartts. They’ll stop reading their Bibles because they’ll become convinced that only a woman can interpret it for them. They’ll stop signing up to lead anything in the church. Even the hunting group will be organized through the cabal of the lady’s knitting group. Camouflage will be replaced by knit teddy bear sweaters. Venison dinners will be replaced by crusty, inedible scones and fruity teas.
Yes, letting women teach, speak in church, hold authority, or call themselves “ministers” in any sense of the word could destroy Christianity as we know it. And even if my little series of stories about women in ministry won’t do any of the things I mentioned above, I do hope it destroys part of Christianity as we know it—the part where women think they are somehow designed by God to be inferior to men.
This will be a destructive series. However, we’re not destroying something for the fun of it. This is a matter of obligation, a dirty job that someone has to do: undoing the wrongs of the past and restoring women to their proper place in the church through empowering stories.
I’m not interested in forcing anyone to join me in this. I know there are some men and women who are comfortable with male-dominated systems. That’s fine for them. I’m not forcing them to change anything. I’m far more interested in speaking to the women and men who think there is something wrong with that—who sense in their times of prayer and readings of scripture that God created men and women to be equal partners in salvation, ministry, and the home.
And really, what’s the worst thing that could happen? A woman may discover her calling into ministry?