Every Easter I have this ominous feeling that my colleagues in churches who don’t ordain women are skipping part of the resurrection story.
They have to be. They must be. There’s no way that they can be reading the Gospel account and still not see the need to ordain women into the pastoral office.
Because here’s the truth of the resurrection story: women are the first to proclaim the resurrection.
They are the first ones entrusted with it.
They are the first preachers to those scared disciples in that upper room.
So how can they defend not ordaining women, especially on Easter, when on Easter they hear the women are entrusted with the sacred news first?
I really wonder.
Is it because of Paul’s letters, where he tells women to sit down in church (and he only writes that once, by the way)? Are we to believe that Paul has more authority than the risen Jesus?
If we hold Paul’s letters as equal to the example of Jesus in the scripture, we need to honestly re-think our identity as “Christians,” and perhaps just fess up that we’re “Paulians.”
I mean, except for the rampant misogyny of the ancient world, it’s a wonder that women weren’t the first and only pastors of the church! They were the only ones who stuck around through life, death, and resurrection.
And that rampant ancient misogyny still shows itself today, of course.
And you know it does.
Because there are tons of churches who will read the Easter text and not get a whiff of irony in it all as their all-male clergy dominate the roster. Oh, sure, they’ll lift up the role women play in the world. As “helpers.” As “good and faithful.” And at least good enough to teach Sunday school.
To the little children. Not the older children. Or adults. Women can’t have authority over men.
And just when do men become men, by the way? I’m a man. But I can’t really tell you when it happened…
And trust me, teaching Sunday school? That is no small thing.
But if that’s the extent of what women are empowered to do, it’s also not large enough. Not large enough when the Gospel witness clearly shows, in all four Gospels, that the women are the first to know (and in most of the Gospels to tell) the resurrection good news to the scared and hiding men.
Perhaps this Easter some denominations will be raised from their ban on women clergy into the resurrection life of full participation.
You never know. Crazier things have happened…like people being raised from the dead.
Thanks, Tim. Always good to hear your preacher voice lift up your female colleagues.
I know this came from your heart…thank you!
Amen! And the church wonders why people are leaving.
I shared your Blog Post! Lots of interest in the Artwork. Can you share the Artist/credit? Thank you.
Thanks, Monica. I have tried to track down the artist for the last week, but could not find her/him. I didn’t imagine the post would get so much publicity, or else I would have used an image with attribution.
I found the image on another site. They, also, didn’t have the artist.
Thanks for reading!
The church I used to belong to insisted that the Bible is inerrant and infallible, thus Paul’s prohibition mush stand. But I don’t know how trained professional preachers can believe such lies. They must not know the Bible as well as I do. Of course the “Order of Creation” is a main emphasis of the argument (Adam first, then Eve and the garden of Eden story). But if the Buble us inerrant, how do they explain the following contradiction: Adam and Eve are kicked out after eating from the tree of knowledge in the midst of the garden, so they can’t eat from the tree of life. Yet, in Genesis 2:9, the Bible reads that when the trees were first caused to grow from the garden, the tree of life was in the midst.,
Don’t confuse value with roles. Men and women are equal, but simply put, have different roles in the church. You might find this interview valuable: https://youtu.be/BPF0SGOXwjA
It’s clear we don’t disagree, Richard. To say someone is “valuable,” but just not “right” for a role (by consequences of biology, no less) is to devalue them off the bat.
But I do appreciate you reading and taking the time to comment.
That should say *we don’t agree*
I find it ironic that your very argument had a significant role in convincing me of the exact opposite. Jesus’ love and the way He valued women was revolutionary at the time. Your Easter example is a clear picture of that. But you don’t see Jesus making it abundantly clear that women should become pastors or lead men (He had the perfect opportunity when He chose His 12 disciples and yet He chose all men). As a woman with the gifts of leadership and teaching I have almost too many opportunities to use my gifts within the church. I’m excluded from one office but have dozens open to me. I guess my question is: why must women always want the one thing that God says is not in their best interest to have?
Because God doesn’t say it’s in their best interest. Men do.
Thanks for commenting and reading.
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As a Classical Pentecostal in a denomination that ordains women and is currently growing, I must declare my doubts about the practice. Biblically women weren’t ordained for PASTORAL ministry in the scriptures. Though, I fully contend that when men fail God will send a women such as in the time of the Judges. However patriarchy is God’s plan for the family and Church. And the further we get away form that the less we honor God. I believe God is giving Pentecostal Churches time to repent of the mishandling of the scriptures on the matter. But nice thought provoking article.
Hi Anonymous, thanks for reading and writing.
It’s clear we don’t agree here, and most likely aren’t going to. We see the Bible in very different ways. I am grateful you stopped through though!