Monday, July 14, 2003

Women Pastors

There are some things that most churches try to avoid talking about—adultery, homosexuality, lust, women preachers, and the like. People don’t want to hear about controversial things like that, and if they are talked about, it should only be touched upon briefly or not looked at very deeply. People don’t want to go to church to confront things that could much more easily be ignored or filed away as something only Christian scholars would look at. To a layman, these things aren’t important, only knowing Jesus is good and that you are forgiven are. Sunday morning we were treated to a heavy dose of the controversial topics of the Lutheran church (Missouri Synod).

My pastor talked about how it is said in the Bible that women are to be silent in the church, which has always been interpreted as saying that women cannot be pastors. He didn’t just glance over it either, he expounded upon it and I could feel myself tense up a little. A controversial topic in one of our sermons? Isn’t this something I should be studying in a theology class instead? So women aren’t supposed to be pastors, but do I agree? In this world of equal rights, how can the church, and God for that matter, be so sexist? My biggest problem with this concept is that there isn’t a very good explanation as to why women cannot be pastors. Are they less theologically inclined than men? Are they not smart enough? One common answer to this question is that women had the responsibility of bringing life into the world—that is why God made them the sustainers of life.

Well, sure, women are the ones who have our children and hold them in their bodies for nine months, but they wouldn’t be able to have children without a man’s help. Doesn’t this make men an essential part of the life process as well? Because a woman takes care of her children makes her incapable of being a theologian or preacher? I don’t really know. I can also see that I haven’t answered the question of what I believe either, mainly because I’m torn on what I should think. I have been brought up to believe men should be pastors and that’s that. I do believe what the Bible teaches and tells us, but why is there still that nagging feeling in the back of my mind that tells me that barring women from being pastors doesn’t seem right? I will say that I still do believe only men should be pastors on the basis of what is written in the Bible, but it should be known that I’m not adamant about this point, I merely believe what I do because it seems right at the moment, but the reasons why seem quite vague to me.

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