Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. (Psalm 1:1, KJV)
The writing has been placed on and erased from the wall many times: power corrupts. Women, being deemed the weaker sex then, should be less susceptible to such short-circuitry, no? Well…not necessarily.
Eve‘s inaugural curiosity, Jezebel‘s ruthlessness, Delilah‘s wiles over Samson’s vowed Nazarite strength and the mother-daughter mayhem of Salome‘s swing to remove John the Baptist’s head provide us some not-so-sweet examples of Biblical femininity.
Gratefully, they represent a minority relative to the women skilled in lamentation, the Proverbs 31 ideal and those whom supported Jesus’ ministry and Transfiguration (including another Salome, maternal aunt of Christ).
That being said, 1 Corinthians 11 and Titus 2 further expound upon the order of Godly dispensation and gives some grace to the precedent of enmity set upon Eve’s daughters above in Genesis 3, especially as it pertains to prayer and doing the work of God.
Ministry was spoken into my life for many years in many ways. Pastors I’d known, elders I hadn’t and others along the way expressed their beliefs that God wanted to use my penchant for looking past riches or other dressings into the heart of matters for encouragement of all our highest callings in Christ.
Hearing the suggestion at enough gatherings did make me go hmm…then home to doubt the possibility and wonder how they didn’t see all the flaws that sometimes made me agree with those who saw the worst in me. Choosing to abide by a Berean by choice is no easy feat much less to be ordained into the oft disobeyed Levite path of brotherly love with The Most High, as priesthood done right exemplifies.
I once reckoned from my flesh that the decent middle ground for a late-blooming, slightly wild child with an offer to attend a reputable theological seminary was to half-step among the world and engage interfaith ministry training, ordination. Neither option stood up to fervent prayer or sat well enough with me, so I continued to walk on; imperfectly enough as too many humans do.
It’s a matter of life-and-death to know that stumbling, especially to the degree that it lies as a conscious block to a believer, brings its punishment. If anything soft deserves default condemnation, then, it seems a yielding doctrine once we transcend a title or office and truly come into better understanding of God’s Will is among them. With that clarity, some of our more stringent br/others in Christ deserve commending for commanding straighter, closer walks with Him.
Now older, wiser yet more teachable, aware, self-controlled and unashamed of the full Gospel beyond music these days, the world’s fallen nature screams within me yet moreso at me from too many TV shows, hit songs, public transportation billboards and even pulpits. The volume was almost enough to tempt me out of line and at the fore with a ‘somebody’s gotta do it’ attitude.
Good intentions and all, even that is incorrect. It is not my place as the created, namely a woman, to disrupt the order or decency God requires and is birthing in me. To quietly study The Word, journal/share with true brothers and sisters to confess then grow (in) His body of faith, sing “psalms and spiritual songs” and, most importantly, live in a manner that reflects Him honorably is sufficient. That is of Grace.
I visited a church today that is currently between pastors. Having begun this post prior to seeing and meeting the guest minister, it was quite the surprise (but not really considering The Holy Spirit’s revelatory ways) to engage the bald woman who began her congregational address promoting a newly published book by her husband, also a minister, who wasn’t in attendance.
The commerce was a qualm I couldn’t appreciate since being led to remove myself from the face and center of anything professing Christ. It’s also possible my seat in the congregation, shoes or hairstyle were someone else’s qualm, so I left that snap judgment at the altar, knew I wouldn’t be a member there and continued to receive my Lord in the moment. After all, her message of reliance upon the Anointing before doing anything had already resonated with my heart in advance.
By virtue of their partnership in life and preaching, it might be safe to say the couple represented a modern-day Aquila and Prisc(ill)a, an “eagle” in spirit and military history paired with an “old-fashioned” woman learned in The Word. The absence of her physical covering (without personal judgment as I’m not privy to her medical needs) and marital shield (of unknown reason) was an unspoken snapshot of the church’s state, however; no consistent leadership by a head appointed of God.
SO…what becomes of the controversial woman pastor? What also becomes of women like me—neither birth sister to any or deaconness nor married to a man of God with whom I can amplify the Will and Word of Our Father nor birth mother to anyone via said Godly union thus unequipped to be “saved through childbearing”? Wasn’t the ultimate birth salvation already achieved through Mary?
If we must be a remnant, why not do so excellently? Like our upstanding Levitical brothers, unless any of those statuses change, The Lord is our portion in purity. Like the doorposts swathed against plague symbolizing the first Passover, we are covered by The Blood of The Lamb; The Blood that checks issues and overcomes the world. Even in dark hours, may we continue to walk with God-in-Christ into His Truth by way of The Holy Spirit’s inspiration of His Word.