Today I was asked to back up another online minister in defense of women preachers and church leaders on Facebook. A woman took the liberty of turning an innocent comment about someone going to church and creating a bizarre debate about whether or not women could be leaders. Her argument was that women in leadership was pagan (I’m not sure where she got that from because even paganism tended to degrade women in leadership in those days) and she insisted women could do things in their houses, just not in church. Her strange logic eluded me to no end, especially when she started saying she could commit murder tomorrow and still go to heaven – but apparently women preaching was the unforgivable, unpardonable sin for which there was no redemption.
The issue of women in the church has not been as much of a primitive historical debate as we might like to believe. More and more evidence supports women in leadership roles alongside men in New Testament times. Historical evidence points out the exclusion of women came later as the church grew more and more political and, as a result, more and more deviant from the truth. We could debate on this singular issue here, but it is not my desire to turn this issue into the argument for or against women preachers. I’m an apostle; we all know where I stand on that debate. I have spent years analyzing, studying, researching, and working in apologetics on this topic and it is not of debate within my mind. I can’t believe with all the evidence out there to support female ministry we still have debate and argument against it. That having been said, to put it on a plane as greater than if not equal to murder, is probably the most ridiculous argument I’ve heard against female ministers yet.
I did point some things out to her. For example, all the people in the New Testament specifically named as pastors with congregations were actually women (Nympha – Colossians 4:15, Lydia – Acts 16:40, Chloe – 1 Corinthians 1:11, Priscilla – 1 Corinthians 16:19). I mentioned the Apostles Junia (Romans 16:7) and Apphia (Philemon 1:2). I also pointed out that, given her background with the Anglican Communion, there are a number of women who were preachers or leaders in modern times acknowledged within their communion of saints, including Fanny Crosby. She really didn’t answer me. It was of more interest to her to argue with a stage four cancer patient and call her a redneck instead. She clearly had no Bible background and was just reiterating what someone in her off-color current denomination told her to say. She had belief, but no information; zeal, but no knowledge.
Years ago on the show “All In The Family,” Archie Bunker made the following statement: “A bird that flies in the fog is a dingbat!” In other words, someone who tries to do something without any foresight, ability to see, or vision is, well…a dingbat. The woman posting all over facebook was…well…a dingbat. Sister Dingbat is what I am going to call her. She was so busy being fanatical she forgot to be informed. She sounded cult-like and ridiculous, not to mention totally without merit in her opinions. She was flying around in a thick fog, making vague statements without any clue. The rants and raves of ideas placed in her mind rolled around to no end, never ending, and never coming to any knowledge of the truth (2 Timothy 3:7).
Today’s church encourages zealotism without learning. Too often we are made to believe our enemies lie where they do not in the hopes we will get so worked up, so obnoxious, and so defensive that people can’t even talk to us anymore. It’s not uncommon for me to meet people who claim to be the most Christian of the Christian who are so disagreeable, dislikeable, and obstinate that you don’t want to hear a thing they have to say. May I remind every believer: people liked to hear Jesus. They liked to talk to the Savior. They grew from what He said. People don’t want to hear Christians today. Maybe we need to step back and think of why that is. Do we sound too fanatical? Is it too much about our own opinions rather than God’s Word? Do we even know what God’s Word says – and better yet, do we understand it?
It’s not enough to have a handful of Bible verses to spout off at any given time. We need to display revelation and knowledge in our understanding of God’s Word and live that Word with our lives. There is no shortage of so-called Christians flying around in a fog of opinion, legalism, and doctrine with mouths louder and bigger than their own good. Get into that Word…get that revelation and understanding…or else, risk running around…as Sister or Brother Dingbat.
“Pay attention to the Word. Understand knowledge. Love life.” – Quote attributed to Jesus as found in an apocryphal writing
(c) 2011 Lee Ann B. Marino. All rights reserved.