I’m not huge on tears, but tonight my church made me cry. That’s not a good thing. The “leaders” in my church just voted 17-13 to continue to bar women from the offices of elder and deacon. And this hurts. More than I thought it would.
I had prayed that these men would “hold open the doors” for women, as Carolyn Custis James says, but instead they slammed those babies shut. (“Don’t let the front door hit you in the backside,” as my dad would say.)
I’ve considered this church my family, my home for nearly all my life, but now it’s the place that has barred the door, leaving me—and all women—out and wandering. I’ve joined the ranks of the “homeless” Christian women in America, as my friend Jonalyn Grace Fincher has called us. And it sucks.
My comfort—as I blog angrily along here—is that Jesus is out here among us wanderers. He understands this “homeless” feeling; he gets what it is to be shut out, unwelcome, and to have his gifts questioned and belittled. And I know that his hand is not among the 17 (or is it 34?) hands leaning against the doors of my church’s council room, trying to keep the girls out. Brothers, Jesus doesn’t share your fears about women. Or your ignorance of Scripture.
So again I’ll seek the One who threw open the most important doors—those leading to heaven—when he died on the cross for us. I’ll look to him for guidance, to ease my wounds, to help me forgive (and to forgive me because I’ve been stewing about seeking revenge for two hours now!). God help me.
But thanks to the 13 brave men who voted in favor of this! You are men of God and heroes in my book. To the 17, well, I just hope you’re at least brave enough to let us know who you are. You voted against me. Be sure I’ll be voting against you. No hard feelings, my brothers. I’m sure I’ll be able to find biblical backup.
See about my vengeance….? Seriously. Pray for me.