Saturday, May 29, 2010

This Rash Called Women Preachers

This is Memorial Day weekend--a good time to talk about liberty and freedom, but I already wrote my Memorial Day thoughts: so; how would more equality for the “lesser” sex? CALLED, EQUIPPED & NO PLACE TO GO: Women Pastors and the Church (Randy Huber, Warner Press, 2003).

I finally got around to reading Randy’s book, having observed its presence for several years. Being on such a tight book budget is a fright! Reality is retirement no longer provides such things as book allowances. Oh well … Worthwhile read! I met this fine young writer at NAC in years past but cannot recall when or where. Perhaps when my son was on campus. I was impressed with the quality of Randy’s writing, as well as the breadth of his scholarship. A good resource for an active pastor!!

He covers most of the reasons I have ever heard for opposing “women preachers and defends the rights of his female peers with persistent vigor and authority. The ladies should arise with pride, and many of the men should sit down in shame. I still remember the Missouri pastor (now deceased) who ranted and caved years ago at National Convention as he voiced his opposition to the likes of Dr. Wilma Perry preaching in Warner Auditorium. I was ashamed for him that day.

I was further reminded of my dear friend Jack, whom I once pastored, who asked me in all seriousness why the Church of God was caving in to the Feminist Movement in allowing “women preachers”. It startled me, but I patiently explained that it was not a feminist issue because women preachers were a large force in the Holiness Movement in years past (Randy effectively deals with that issue as well).

My real reaction to Randy’s book, some seven years after it was first published--’03) was to look in a recent Church of God Yearbook (08 to be exact) and count the number of congregations in Anderson, IN, our Agency Headquarters. I think I counted 11, all of whom are led by male Pastor’s in the senior slot.

Then I wondered about our Agencies: of course the Women of the Church of God have a female in the lead role; they are probably 100% female. No other would likely dare look to female leadership; then I remembered my own alma mater, WPC. My friend Jay Barber did the unthinkable when he supported Board conclusions to bring a none Church of God educator on board as his successor. Somehow, I don’t believe Dr. Gray, gentle soul that he was, would have found that too distasteful. He had a way of overcoming barriers of one kind and another.

BUT, it all leaves me with one conclusion, Randy; The Church of God (Anderson--Reformation Movement) is no more ready to accept women preachers in places of authority than they are to extend an open hand of denominational fellowship to all followers of Jesus.

A lady Senior Pastor at Park Place Church; horrors. Worse yet, put a woman in charge at Church of God Ministries; I cannot even imagine. Yet, we continue to have this "rash" of women preachers that we somehow cannot scratch ...

From Warner’s World, I am

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