Friday, January 25, 2013

Is there a glass ceiling for women in the church?

I became a Christian the year I turned 16. Jesus saw me and He loved me.  When I was baptized my brief explanation was, "He raised me out of death in to life!"  And it was true.

I'd been to a Duran Duran concert the winter before I became a Christian.  I was a true "80's Durannie. We had front row seats.  I spent the whole concert raising my hands, singing, yelling, screaming, dancing, clapping, shouting, moving in a joyous expression of love and devotion to the five men on stage.  Those men didn't even know I was alive.  But Jesus had saved me from death, depression, loneliness, and every one of my teenage angst's.  Jesus saw who I was and loved me anyway.  So, I made a commitment.  I would give my Jesus more than I had given those men in the pop band.

Even in a Pentecostal Non-denominational Church this made me stand out.  Add to that I was usually in the front rows.

I read my Bible in that first year and came away with ideas.  I wanted to be like Jesus.  I wanted to love the lost, heal the sick, comfort the broken hearted the way Jesus always comforted me.  I wanted to glow like Moses, commune with God Himself on His Holy Mountain.  I wanted to do miracles like Elijah.  I wanted to prophesy like Isaiah.

It was during an amazing short term mission trip the summer I turned 18 that I began to see things in a different way.  It had became clear to me that because I was female I couldn't  do any of those things.  I could be Moses' wife. I could be the wife of an Elijah.  I could be the wife of an Isaiah.  But I couldn't BE an Isaiah. It was devastating to me.

I was a woman.  Women had roles in the church.  Men and women were obviously different, and a woman's role as a Christian was obviously different from a man's.  I didn't want to just be a man. I wasn't a feminist.  But I wanted to be LIKE JESUS.

I did have some conversations with both men and women (mostly women) about how I should act and what was proper.  But I didn't feel persecuted so much as pressured.   I was also in a way, ignored.

A young man might come from a hard background and get "radically saved." His youth pastor and others will see his potential and an obvious bent and destiny to do amazing things in the name of Jesus and to His Glory. This  young man is groomed, trained,  and mentored to grow into a more mature role in one of the "five fold" ministries" ie: apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, or teacher. I had all the obvious creditials that a young man might have had. I was radically saved.  I was fearless.  I was very willing.  But, in 1985, a young woman is groomed, trained, and mentored to be that young man's wife. 

Is that what God intended?  Is that in the Bible?

I'm reading this book and it asks some uncomfortable questions about today's Church.  This isn't about feminism.  I am not a feminist.  I think feminism has damaged our society, our families, and our children.  Equality for women was an idea that came from God that the enemy twisted and warped and visited on us in away I am not sure we can ever repair.  This book is not about feminism or that women do the same job as men because they are the same.  

I dare you to read it. 

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