Thursday, January 30, 2014

10 Reasons Why Men Should Not be Ordained in the Church

Priest 5
Today I'm going to have a little fun mixed with some serious business.  I've seen this list before and it really resonates.  It always amazes me the mental gymnastics that men in churches go through to keep women out of leadership roles.  At the photo exhibit I mentioned in an earlier post, a quote from the husband/father in one of the Christian families had my group puzzled. While he stated that the Bible was "clear" that only men could be leaders in the church, he also cited this verse:  "There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Jesus Christ." (Galatians 3:28 NIV).  One of my friends was indignant and said, "That doesn't make sense. How can their be neither male nor female and yet limit women's role in the church?"  Yes, indeed; it is contradictory.  We're equal...yet not.

Recently, I was scanning some evangelical church websites, looking at photos of the church leadership, that is paid positions within the church.  Every single one I looked at was a middle-aged white male (I confess that I looked at predominately white churches so it makes sense that they'd be white.)  Yet who does the majority of the work in the church?  Women.  Women volunteers. Unpaid.  Oh sure, they get certificates of appreciation and gift Bibles and occasional luncheons to thank them for their dedication, etc., but they don't get the cold hard cash to compensate for their tireless work.  The few paid staff/leadership positions are almost always wives of the leaders, and these positions are usually in the children's area or they are "co-pastors" with their husband.  (Hmmm, interesting how the money always stays in the male leader's hands or household.)

Of course, we've come a long way, baby.  Thanks to the efforts of our foremothers, most mainstream and a few other denominations do have women leaders.  These are women who have gone to seminary to study for their leadership roles, separate and apart from who they happen to be in a relationship with.  It is the fundamentalist, conservative, and evangelical churches that tend to keep the women down. Even those few non-mainline denominations that officially accept women in leadership roles almost never actually hire women.  Sometimes this is because the men in charge think having female co-workers (i.e., anyone above the level of secretary - funny how it's okay for the secretaries to be female) would be distracting or affect their marriages or cause gossip. Yada yada. (I don't know how these guys could function in the non-church job market.)  Yet time and time again the scandals within the church are almost always caused by the behavior of male leaders.  (I only know of one female pastor who was outed for misbehavior and, again, she was a "co-pastor" with her husband.)  Why prevent women from being in leadership roles when it is the men who misbehave, despite the absence of female leaders or co-workers?  (We all know about the past church scandals.)

So maybe it's time to rethink positions of leadership and let the ladies have a go of it. Here's some of the reasoning:

10. A man’s place is in the army.
9. The pastoral duties of men who have children might distract them from the responsibility of being a parent.
8. The physique of men indicates that they are more suited to such tasks as chopping down trees and wrestling mountain lions. It would be “unnatural” for them to do ministerial tasks.
7. Man was created before woman, obviously as a prototype. Thus, they represent an experiment rather than the crowning achievement of creation.
6. Men are too emotional to be priests or pastors. Their conduct at football and basketball games demonstrates this.
5. Some men are handsome, and this will distract women worshipers.
4. Pastors need to nurture their congregations. But this is not a traditional male role. Throughout history, women have been recognized as not only more skilled than men at nurturing, but also more fervently attracted to it. This makes them the obvious choice for ordination.
3. Men are prone to violence. No really masculine man wants to settle disputes except by fighting about them. Thus they would be poor role models as well as dangerously unstable in positions of leadership.
2. The New Testament tells us that Jesus was betrayed by a man. His lack of faith and ensuing punishment remind us of the subordinated position that all men should take.
1. Men can still be involved in church activities, even without being ordained. They can sweep sidewalks, repair the church roof, and perhaps even lead the song service on Father’s Day. By confining themselves to such traditional male roles, they can still be vitally important in the life of the church.
Don't you see the truth and logic in this?

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