Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Not a Preacher, But a Missionary

Being a teenager is all about finding yourself right? At least, that's what the books say. So as i strive to discover my purpose in life i consider the talents and gifts God has bestowed upon me. I make a mental list. The gift of speech, of love, of learning and research. Hmmm if i were a man what job would these gifts point to? Oh yeah, a pastor. There is just one teensy weensy problem. Women aren't supposed to be pastors. So God what were you thinking? Why does my gender haft to affect my life calling?

Genesis 3:16 To the woman he said, "I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you."

1 Timothy 2:11-14 “A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent” But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.

When I read these verses I feel my heart break a little. I find myself asking God "am I not good enough?" Egalitarianism: the belief that we are all completely & utterly equal, it comes as a breath of fresh air to my soul. I feel myself revived, comforted when i hear that women have just as much right as men to leadership. You know what though? I'm not sure. In fact i don't think anyone is sure. That is why it is such a heated debate. Are women capable ? Is this what God's plan truly is for the World ? What verses should we ignore, and which ones should we apply ? These are all concerns for church leaders who seek to do the right thing . Many argue that women & men were created for distinct roles according to there gifts & abilities. The problem is that i can't think of 1 thing a man can't do that a woman can. Except of course, bear a child; but even this comes with a price since new life brings great pain. Even though it takes two to make a baby women who were involved in adultery or got "knocked up" usually bear the weight of the responsibility . So what does this mean ? Are women little more than servants? Does God give more importance to men? I don't think He does, i truly don't. Even though these "restrictions" God places on women are hard to understand and can even be hurtful i trust that God knows what He is doing.

Proverbs 22:4

Humility and the fear of the LORD bring wealth and honor and life

God is asking something of us. ALL of us. Humility. To fear the Lord. Until the debate on woman's role in the church is settled (which i don't know if it ever will be) I think it important to humble ourselves and be grateful for the opportunities the Lord has given us. We can get so caught up in ourselves and wanting to be more that we lose sight of what truly is important, and that is serving the Lord. I can see my gifts and abilities as being wasted due to my gender or i can find another way to use my gifts for His glory. As always, God provides an answer. I can be a missionary. Is it not the same thing ? Bringing people to Christ, encouraging and helping them throughout their spiritual journey? Sure, it doesn't come with a title, but titles mean little to God.

Matthew 20:16
"So the last will be first, and the first will be last."

Have you ever asked yourself who was the greatest christian who ever lived? A few names might come to mind: David, Billy Graham, Mother Theresa, Rick Warren. The answer is no one knows. Maybe the greatest christian who ever lived was a little old lady in a pink sweater who sits in the pew all the way in the back and truly rejoices in serving the lord. Maybe there is no such thing as the greatest christian who ever lived.

God calls us to be fishers of men and what better way to do that than to be a missionary? A calling that can be fulfilled in any circumstance, anywhere; even in your own hometown. God knows, maybe i am totally off on this and he will soon reveal that His plan for women is to become leaders in the church. It is not my place to judge if one of you do seek a career in ministry. It's just something to think about, something to consider. Living a life of love, being a servant.

p.s. my opinions may be subject to change as i become more aware & educated. Please pray for me and my struggles with woman's role in the church (and in life) and that i may keep my sight on what is truly important. Feel free to post any opinions or thoughts you may have on the subject !

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