Sincere Concern

I received the following message on Facebook today.  I am glad he wrote since he is communicating sincere concern for my spiritual well being.  And I am thankful that though he is concerned, he is not yet judging me.  I admit I say “yet” because I feel the judgement will be forthcoming when I answer. 

Please pray with me that I will answer him in a loving way and that I will be able to communicate my understanding of women in ministry in a way that he might acknowledge the possibility that his understanding is lacking.  And may each word reflect the fact that mine is as well.

Sara,

I have to ask you a question, because I know you have been a great sister to me over the years and hopefully I have been a good brother to you. I have been meaning to write you for awhile but kept putting it off. I am very concerned about the path you are on with seeking to preach to God’s people. How have you justified preaching to men biblically?

I believe God has put a strong passion in your heart for truth and have always appreciated it, but to ignore the bible, and then to preach from the bible is hypocritical. I know your heart, which is why I can write this and know that you will not be too defensive. Please help me understand what you are thinking?

In Christ,
Concerned Brother

Just so you know, I’m not freaking out about all this but it is discouraging and disheartening.  I think maybe that communicating that discouragement to others will keep me from getting militant and defensive.  I think it will keep me humble.  The call that God has on my life is God’s.  I can say it is “my call” only because God has “given” it to me.  But in a very real way it is God’s call which means I don’t need to fight for it.  I need only live it out.

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14 Responses to “Sincere Concern”

  1. sherrieh Says:

    Hi Sara. You are in my prayers. God will give you the words to use because you are doing his work.

    Sara there is much work we all have to do for Creator/God. When one gets the call to serve God, one must heed it. Go with your heart. I have real difficulty with anyone who is judging anyone else’s journey. I sit on a church board that accepts all people regardless of race, religion or creed because we all have to get faith and hope back into the world.

    Sara, God will whisper the words in your heart. Answer in love. This person has many questions and a long way to grow. You will help him to grow and understand that God loves women and needs women to be ministers too. Many blessings and hugs, http://www.sherrieh.wordpress.com.

  2. fishclamor Says:

    holy mouse, what an ego this guy has. as if you are not fit to teach him.
    tell him that mary magdelene was IN FACT the first preacher, and then offer him one of things in your toe, followed by the word “off.”

    this guy is not a friend. he thinks he’s better than you because you are *just* a woman. he is not fit to preach or to judge, and he already is judging you quite harshly as *less than* he is by virtue of his, well, you know.

    yeah, the toe thing, followed by “OFF.” you will have to delete this comment but i think it’s important for me to say that this is cruel and unloving–the very antithesis of what he professes to be–your brother in christ.

    jesus let women teach. think of all the women jesus allowed to teach HIM–like the woman at the well…for one…jesus loved women as disciples and he chose mary magdelene to share the best news EVER. HE chose her to be the first preacher. so where does this bozo get off? does he find himself wiser than jesus? it appears so.

    this guy needs a heart transplant. and the name of the toe things, immediately followed by “OFF”.

    hmmm. looks like this guy really chapped my hide.

    i love you and we all know you are doing what god has asked you to do.

    it probably chaps your “brother’s” hide that jesus was born to a woman at all.
    i’m , like, totally serious.

    you rock you roll don’t let this get to you. give me his phone number i’ll give him a piece of your toe.

    HAAAAAAA!

    love you girlfriend. catch you later.

  3. fishclamor Says:

    or, there’s the more loving response right before this one. maybe you could combine them? ;-)

  4. tenaciousweed Says:

    oh, wow. this could get a little ripe, couldn’t it? and at the same time, it’s an opportunity you’ve been given to process the strength of your call and stand more strongly in it (for you, not him), regardless of what your response to your friend ultimately is.

    i am thankful you walk with a God who is not constrained by labels.

    i want a seat in the peanut gallery for your next preach out, you smoking mouthpiece, you! Remember Zusya! (sp?)

  5. fishclamor Says:

    along the more loving response line (love for you, dear), you have to borrow my precious little book called “jesus according to a woman.” you will feel a new strength.

    also, something i read/heard/dreamed somewhere: about jesus washing the disciples feet: the woman who cried on his feet and dried them with her hair? she taught him to do that.

    i have kept a little mental journal of all the things that jesus allowed women to teach him–the woman at the well, isn’t she the one who talked about the crumbs under the table and taught him who he was here to serve?

    those are just the two things. you will love the book. it will help you in your journey, i think. i will look for it now.

    tenweed, tell me about zusya?

    huge love,
    jen

  6. tenaciousweed Says:

    Zusya’s in Pink’s first sermon. S’gud.

  7. fishclamor Says:

    oh darn it. sorry pink. i thought i had it mesmerized. will have to look it up or just ask you. whose blog is this, anyway ;-)

  8. pinkhammer Says:

    You guys are a trip. To te rest of the blogosphere out there, don’t be afraid to comment. The insanity that is often going on here is really a cocophany of love and inside jokes. : )

  9. fishclamor Says:

    insanity? do you want to see my card?

  10. fishclamor Says:

    cereally, you gotta get this book outa my library. i think it will rock your world. it rocked mine. jesus according to a woman. i know where it is and everything. i’ll put it in my mailbox if you want to swing by and pick it up ’cause i know you’re people worn. want me to do that?

  11. EJ Says:

    I told you it would be easier if they kept their mouths shut.

    Ultimately, he’s having an argument with God. There isn’t anything you can say, really. It is one of those things you’ll learn in seminary. A lot about historical and biblical criticism. A lot about understanding the church’s history, the fact that women were in deed allowed to be spiritual leaders (i.e. pastors) for many of the early church’s years. Little tidbits that help people to understand how we ended up here. The problem is, they generally only speak to those who are looking for the “why not?” or the “who said ‘no’, anyway?”

    There will be others you meet who will see differently. It the funny thing about any call. We Lutherans believe that the Call is initiated by God, supported by others and confirmed when you actually accept a church who has called you. You simply respond “yes” or “no”. Ultimately, though, if you’ve been called, you’ll say yes. Which is why the argument is an argument he has with God, that God would dare to call someone who doesn’t have a penis, or is black, or is gay…or what have you. Or, in Jesus’ time, God would actually call a Gentile instead of a Jew to lead on his behalf, in wake of his absence. Or that God would actually do something that wasn’t recorded in the Bible to begin with. If THAT was the case, we have been able to just turn it in since about 90-100 a.d., nearly a few thousand years ago.

    But there are many things that cannot be experienced with the mind but felt in the heart. I don’t know that there is anything you CAN say that is going to convince him.

    I have a very good friend who is now a priest in the Roman Catholic Church. His name is Steve. Steve and I met during CPE. While we were there, I got a chance to ask him questions about the RCC. Some of them (when do you think you’ll be allowed to marry — his answer, oh, not too long — in a hundred years (which, of course, IS not too long in the RCC, when do you think women will be allowed to be priests — oh, longer than that — 200 years, but it WILL happen), were the usual. But I also asked him if he would commune me if I went to his church. He said, “Yes, but please don’t tell anyone. I would have no choice but to commune you. It is obvious to me, anyway, that you are called to serve the church, regardless of what the church says — of course. But if you tell people, it would make it very difficult for me.”

    The good news is this (little ‘g’ not big ‘G’ Good News), everyone goes through this, man or woman. Every pastor has SOMEONE he or she has met who think they are not called by God to serve. Either they are not tall enough, pious enough, man enough, woman enough (in some rare cases), not like the LAST pastor enough, smart enough, too smart, preach well enough, pray well enough, are at the hospital enough, available enough, home enough, at church enough — EVERYONE has had AT LEAST ONE person, most often, several people, for whom they don’t measure up to be actually called by God.

    Strangely enough. It is actually a big relief that the only problem he has with you is the fact that you have breasts. Because THAT is something you can’t really do much about. The real guilt starts when the other things that are actually a part of your academic development don’t measure up for someone. Because that is something you THINK you OUGHT to be able to control.

    So, long story short. God is calling YOU. And he just happened to put YOU in a woman’s body. Not your problem. Sounds like its this guy’s problem. But it isn’t YOURS. You are just what God made you. And if its good enough for God, and not enough for him? Well? That’s his problem, isn’t it?

  12. fishclamor Says:

    Amen, sister. thank you for this post. pink is just what God made her, and clearly, that’s just great as far as God is concerned. yeah. what you said.

  13. pinkhammer Says:

    Thanks, EJ. You are definitely right on the money in a lot of ways. I had to look into quite a bit of that when I started to understand the call God had on my life becauses I became a Christian in a fundamentalist church and so I even thought women should be in ministry. Spent a lot of time in “Discovering Biblical Equality.” I learned a lot from that. I definitely don’t want to justify my call to my friend, but I do want to take the opportunity to tell him what I have learned.

    I appreciate the wise counsel and encouragement from everyone! You’re the best!

  14. Response « The Pinkhammer Says:

    […] By pinkhammer Well, I finally responded.  A while back I blogged about a message I got from a friend of mine who I know from college.  He and his wife were on staff with the […]

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