Women in Ministry

I’ve been considering this question for the past little while. Specifically, is it ok to allow the status quo to stand in terms of women in ministry? Should we excuse these attitudes that deny women equality as humans, image bearers and ones chosen by God?

Great post from Dr. Jeremiah Gibbs on this question, and how he came to support women in ministry in more than just name.

 

How I Became an Advocate for Women in Ministry.

Justice Begins with Me.

I have been walking this road for a while. Walking along the river, always being called into the river. “Jump jump jump in the river, dance dance dance in the river” we sing on a Sunday morning.

And I wonder.

I have begun to be suspicious of those who seek only more “glory” to see the signs and wonders, to live more and more in the presence, but does it change you? If it doesn’t, does it have any value?

I believe that healing happens. I believe that God wants to walk and talk with us as in the garden..on earth as it is in heaven.. but I think that often we miss the whole point of why.

Can we really walk in the glory, and spend our time seeking to go “deeper” when we are so quick to ignore our neighbour? When we are so desperate to maintain our priveledge and power that we are willing to fight for oppression for orphans, widows and refugees. When our politics [read our motivations and world-view] are so hateful and self-seeking. When we pursue material things and call them blessings. When we disdain the weak and broken.

Some days it is more than I can process. And then I come back around to Him. To the one whose name is above every name. To the beautiful saviour, Jesus. I come back to his character, the overwhelming LOVE that he showed. Perfect Love, Perfect Truth. And I realise that those things that I despise, that make me the most enraged, those things are in ME.

I am selfish, judgemental, self-seeking, lacking compassion and grace. And once again I am reminded that the qualities I most long to see in the world around me, they all begin with ME. They begin in my home, my workplace, my rush-hour drive. And I am humbled.

Help me to walk in LOVE to ALL of your children, Oh God, not just the ones who agree with me. Help me to see them as HUMAN, as a person on a journey.

Jesus and Activism

I have been following the IF:Gathering Equip series of bible study for the past little while (ladies, check it out, its rather awesome.) and daily I am challenged on applying scriptures to life and specifically how to live out the calling that is on me in a Christ-like way.

I suppose that brings us to a bit about me. I am an activist, specifically working with the rights of women and children in conflict zones and disarmament. Last September I was priviledged to intern with the amazing women at the Nobel Women’s Initiative and work on the Stop Rape in Conflict campaign.

In my day job I am in ministry as an administrator at my church.

These two things often feel as though they are in conflict with one another. I mean when people say that they are “blessed” because God gave them a fancier car/house/pair of shoes, I really struggle. As an intern I was reading stories from literally across the globe about sexual violence, domestic violence, human trafficking etc. It just didn’t, and still often doesn’t, make sense to me how God cares about a North American persons sales at the mall but doesn’t intervene to protect the six month old baby from violation. Like, what!? But I will talk more about that in another post.

The other thing is that often I encounter ways in which my own country perpetuates injustice- both globally and at home. It makes me FURIOUS. Like I can actually feel my temperature rising. And because I am soo angry, I say things. Harsh things. Factual things.

But words that speak facts are accepting the darkness where you see it. In Jesus I am called to speak prophetically- to speak life into situations where there is none. To pray into the dark places, those factual places. To take action in ways that I am able and part of that action is prayer.

BUT. here is the key. In Acts 23 Paul insults the High Priest of the temple not realising who he is. in verse 5, when the man’s position is pointed out to him Paul apologizes and reminds himself that he is not to speak evil of any of our rulers.

Now I don’t take that to mean that you should never question authority. I think that is taking the verse too far. What it actually says is that you are not to speak evil; ie. Insult, curse, denigrate or humiliate.

I would sum it up like this: If you are working to be a Peacemaker, to follow Christ’s example of loving ones enemies and blessing those who curse and praying for those in power, your words matterSpeaking violence through insults, mocking, cursing or speaking with hatred only breeds more bad things. The fruit of violent speech is darkness, chaos and disunity.

Instead today I challenge you, Jesus Activist, and myself to speak words of life over your leaders. Pray into the dark places. Take action to change policies that you feel are harmful through proper channels but remember to partner your actions with prayer and let Him guide you.

Ultimately it is not God’s heart for any person to suffer injustice. Let his heart for the world shape how you respond to it.