Can men be pastors? Can Christian men be teachers, preachers, elders, seminary professors, Sunday school teachers, worship leaders, small group leaders, police officers, elected officials, church treasurers, and so on and so forth? How does that line of questioning make you feel? Why does it sound so off, even offensive?
“There were zero women pastors in the Bible and no women apostles. There were no women pastors in nearly 2000 years of church history. Therefore, women cannot be pastors.”
This argument has been thrown at me on a number of occasions. There are a few things to unpack here. What does the New Testament say about pastors? Were there women pastors in the Bible? Were there women apostles in the Bible? Can we determine whether or not the early church had women leaders?
In recent years I have been struck by how feminine communion is At the Last Supper Jesus says, “This is my body broken for you” & “This is my blood shed for you” and all of it is to bring about new life. How similar to what a mother can say to the baby she just […]
What was she doing there?
There, of all places
Why don’t you run, Mary, just run?
Join disciples’ mad dash to self-protection
Bolt…far as you can possibly go
Any reasonable soul
Anyone would understand
Run Mary, leave this harrowing place
No spot, no place in all creation
From which makes more sense to be gone.
An argument often used to restrict women from church leadership is that Jesus spent most of his time on earth investing in a group of 12 men.  But a close reading of the gospels shows that his band of followers also included women disciples. I’ll leave the reader to their own survey but offer […]
“Girls can’t be drummers.” My 3-year-old daughter.
“I had no idea I could be a youth pastor.” A female high school student.
These two statements have had a profound impact on my pursuit of gender equality. Let me start with my daughter.
She and I love to watch music videos together and one morning, we were watching a band with a girl drummer. With the certainty of a toddler, she uttered the statement above that broke my heart a little bit.
She wasn’t sad; she wasn’t feeling excluded. This was just the simple reality for her because she had never seen a woman drummer before. Of course, girls can’t be drummers!
The situation was remarkably similar for that female high school student. Every winter, we hosted a winter retreat for middle school and high school students. Every year, we invited a local pastor or youth pastor to be our speaker for the weekend. And every year, that pastor was a man.
I realized what we had been unintentionally communicating to our students by this choice: girls can’t be pastors. So I decided it was time to invite a female pastor to be our speaker.
We love the Egalitarian blogging community and to show our love this Valentines Day, we want to offer you all FREE PRINTABLE valentines! But we know that you, our Junia Project readers, don’t want just any ordinary valentines. So we collaborated with the incredibly talented Honey, I love You Print Shop to bring you something really […]
My call to pastoral ministry began during my first semester of seminary. I was taking 3 required courses – Greek Exegesis, Mentored Ministry, and Exegesis of Genesis. God used Greek class to show me I was really good at this stuff and ministry class to show me that I had a lot to learn […]
Reflecting on his contemporary Paul’s theological writings, the apostle Peter writes in 1 Peter 3:15-16:
Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.”
There it is: “[Paul’s} letters contain some things that are hard to understand.” And God’s people said, AMEN.
Of course, we’re not certain which Pauline teachings Peter had in mind, but it seems like there’s a good chance he was talking about passages like 1 Timothy 2:8-15.
A few months after we said “I do,” my wife, Amy, and I attended a class for newly married couples at our local church. Each week, we were taught a different topic by a different teacher intended to help us grow in our marriage. That week’s topic was “Women’s Roles.” I remember sitting in that room like it was yesterday. The teacher walked into the room, strode up to the whiteboard, and wrote the following list:
She then said, “Ladies, these three S’s are the best way to remember your role in marriage.”
I could feel Amy stiffen in anger next to me. I began laughing involuntarily. I assumed the statement was a misguided joke meant to alleviate the tension in the room. But after I got a “stop laughing, moron” look from the teacher, I realized something horribly tragic: this wasn’t a joke at all. I was stunned.
THANK YOU to all of you for supporting us in year four of blogging at The Junia Project. We are delighted to have four new authors in the Top Ten posts written in 2017.
Despite commitments that limited our time to write (Kate started seminary and did a ton of speaking and we both stepped into Associate Pastor positions at our respective churches), the blog content kept coming in. Here are the top ten:
When I met this blazing high-school junior, I could tell she had a fire in her gut that compelled her to contend for things that matter to God. This was her God-given gift to the world, yet she shattered the mold of a typical, “godly young woman,” and lost interest in organized religion.
Not an uncommon story.
While the institution of the church in the West is arguably in decline, wise women, young and old, are finding their way to Jesus, starting revolutions of love against society’s degradation.
I remember that Christmas when what I wanted most in the whole world was to be having a baby. We had been hoping to have children for a while, but after some tests we were waiting for an appointment with fertility specialists. It was November when we got the news that conceiving on our own might not be possible, and I was devastated. As Christmas got closer, the last thing I wanted to hear about was pregnancy and babies – and here we were entering a season where a story involving those exact things was all around me.
When I teach about the Trinity in my introductory theology class, the topic of God and gender often comes up. “Is God male?” Let’s think about that.
The Bible often refers to God with masculine personal pronouns. Following this, Christians usually say “He,” “Him, “His,” and “Himself,” when referring to God. Trinitarian language is predominately masculine (“Father” and “Son”) though “Holy Spirit” is more elusive. Many popular Christian books celebrate the more masculine qualities of God (especially books for men and books on ‘leadership’): God is a hero, a conqueror, a warrior, a triumphant king, and so forth.
Even so, I would be extremely hesitant about saying that God IS male; in fact, I would push further to argue that such a notion applied to God, absolutely and without qualification, is both false and misleading.
As both a woman in ministry, and a mom, I often feel like I live in tension.
I’m sure all working moms feel this tension. There’s a constant pull between pastor-me, and mom-me. I have moments where I feel like I’m not using my gifts to the fullest, like I’m not living up to my calling, like I’m not doing all that I could be doing. I look at others, and I feel that twinge of jealousy. How are they doing it? What choices have they made? What is different in their lives?