Tag Archives: ordination

Ten Reasons Men Should Not Be Ordained Pastors

All of the sudden in the past three months or so, I’ve encountered the idea that women should not be ordained pastors from about five different sources… from five different Christian faith traditions in fact. NONE of them is from my United Methodist tradition, I need to add. It was in the past but we solved that theological confusion 50 some years ago.

Based on the reasons I’ve heard and read, then, for exactly the same logical kinds of arguments, then MEN should not be ordained pastors either.

(Full disclosure: I didn’t write the following article, but it’s genius and I wish I had!)

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Ten Reasons Men Should Not be Ordained Pastors

10. A man’s place is in the army.

9. For men who have children, their duties might distract them from the responsibilities of being a parent.

8. Their physical build indicates that men are more suited to tasks such as chopping down trees and wrestling mountain lions. It would be “unnatural” for them to do other forms of work.

7. Man was created before woman. It is therefore obvious that man was a prototype. Thus, they represent an experiment, rather than the crowning achievement of creation.

6. Men are too emotional to be priests or pastors. This is easily demonstrated by their conduct at football games and watching basketball tournaments.

5. Some men are handsome; they will distract women worshipers.

4. To be ordained pastor is to nurture the congregation. But this is not a traditional male role. Rather, throughout history, women have been considered to be not only more skilled than men at nurturing, but also more frequently attracted to it. This makes them the obvious choice for ordination.

3. Men are overly prone to violence. No really manly man wants to settle disputes by any means other than by fighting about it. Thus, they would be poor role models, as well as being dangerously unstable in positions of leadership.

2. Men can still be involved in church activities, even without being ordained. They can sweep paths, repair the church roof, change the oil in the church vans, and maybe even lead the singing on Father’s Day. By confining themselves to such traditional male roles, they can still be vitally important in the life of the Church.

1. In the New Testament account, the person who betrayed Jesus was a man. Thus, his lack of faith and ensuing punishment stands as a symbol of the subordinated position that all men should take.

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How To Spot A Christian

These were my sermon notes from Sunday morning. I don’t guarantee spelling, grammar, etc. are used correctly since these were only my speaking notes.

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Gospel Reading:        John 13:31-35

Scripture Text:           1 Corinthians 13

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On June 13, 2003, I was ordained as an elder in the United Methodist Church.

 A lot had to happen in order to get that far, but one of the tougher ones was the series of theological questions I had to give written answers for.

 One of the questions:  “What are the marks of the Christian life?”

 How will you know if someone else is an authentic, real Christian and not just faking it?

 How will someone else know if YOU are an authentic, real Christian and not just faking it?

 Scripture speaks of a multitude of “marks” signifying the authentic Christian life.

 James 1:27…   keeping oneself ‘unpolluted’ is one mark of the Christian life that I see throughout Scripture… the idea of holiness.

 “Do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance,” Peter explains in I Peter 1:14-16, and then calls us all to “be holy.”

For me, holiness boils down to Christians making personal choices about their personal behaviors based on the choices God would make as described in the Scriptural record.

 One mark of a Christian when they obey the principles of the Bible. I John 5:3  reads: “This is love for God: to obey his commands.” Jesus said “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord’ and do not do what I say?” (Luke 6:46).  

 We also read that in Matthew 7:22 where Jesus says, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord.’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in Heaven.”

As a United Methodist, I believe other marks of the Christian life include meeting together in worship (Hebrews 10:25), active participation in worship by singing, praying, listening, giving, and such (I Cor. 14:26-27), baptism (Matt. 28:19), sharing Holy Communion (I Cor. 11:17-33), hearing the “instruction of the apostles” (Acts 2:42), studying the Scriptures (II Tim. 2:15),  discipleship (Matt. 28:19), and being witnesses of Jesus Christ (Acts 1:8).

 But let’s take it a step further, shall we? 

 Paul spoke of the “fruit of the Spirit” (Gal. 5: 22-23) that would be natural by-products of a Christian life:

  • love,
  • joy,
  • peace,
  • patience,
  • kindness,
  • goodness,
  • faithfulness,
  • gentleness, and
  • self-control.

 Ultimately though, I think it boils down to what Jesus says in John 13:35, when he clarifies that love is the determining mark of who is or isn’t Christian… “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Years later, his disciples would reiterate that delineating mark of a Christian in passages like First John 4:7-8: “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”

And the love that marks a Christian life is evidenced by our willingness “to lay down our lives for our brothers…” including sharing our material possessions.

HOW DO WE DO THIS?

HOW DO WE KNOW IF WE HAVE THIS KIND OF LOVE THAT SHOWS THAT WE ARE TRULY CHRISTIANS?

John cautioned the church to “not love with words or tongue, but with actions and in truth” (I John 3:18).

James explained that this action- and truth-based form of love would be seen by believers caring for those in distress… even orphans and widows…. (James 1:27).

Peter encouraged the believers to “Live such good lives…” that “they may see your good deeds and glorify God…” (I Peter 2:12).

Jesus Himself spoke of the importance of action-based love when he explained that reward and punishment for those who claimed to be his followers would be based on what people had done “to the least of these” because that was the same as doing (or not doing) for him.

Therefore, If I am TRULY a Christian, then I “love my neighbor”(Matt. 19:19) in such a way that I reach out and help with what I have as much as possible to the hungry, thirsty, sick, imprisoned, orphaned, widowed, and needy… physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually.

HOW DO I LOVE MY NEIGHBOR?

 I Cor. 13:4-8   Love is…

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Love will last forever.

Not that any of us does this perfectly, but we know it’s what we are to strive for.

O God, help us to love those you’ve put in our path… that we have the “mark” that shows others that we are YOUR disciples!

 

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Still A Good & Faithful Servant

One of the events of this summer, the day I actually returned to duty after my sick leave in fact, was the celebration of the ministry of Reynoldsville’s newly designated PASTOR EMERITUS, The Rev. Leo C. Cramer. We celebrated the 50th Anniversary of his ordination as an elder in the Methodist tradition and we recognized him publicly for his ongoing invaluable ministry with , and among, and to, our congregation. We had wanted to get something into the conference newspaper, but they didn’t have room. These are the comments I started with as we moved into his installation as pastor emeritus.

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The idea of this celebration started shortly after I arrived and there were a lot of people with a lot of questions about what role would Leo have with this new pastor…

I had friends who had entered ministry before I did who told of coming to this church building and learning the basics of being a pastor and a preacher from Leo as he taught the Local Pastor Licensing School.

I had a DS and Pastor Hughie who had told me of Leo helping to fill in the gaps when someone was away or sick…

I had you, my new church family, telling me of times when Leo had been there for a baptism, a funeral, a graduation, or just there as a listening ear in important life moments.

And I knew that we needed to continue to involve Leo. I needed his knowledge of names… He actually, from memory, can help me figure out who someone is by explaining where they sit on Sunday morning. (In fact, he’s offered to make me a seating chart cause he knows who goes where…)

I needed his understanding of who to talk to in order to get a job done. He knows who is talented with hammers and who is expert with calculators.

I needed his help in finding those people who might need a pastoral visit who wouldn’t necessarily be comfortable calling the new preacher and asking me to come.

And with some folks, with their well-hidden homes, I needed his help to even find them… and to figure out how to get home again.

I started asking people how can we help Leo to understand that we, both the congregation and this new pastor, need him as a part of our ministry team.

Being ‘methodical,’ all pastors are listed in the conference journal with their pastoral record… so I looked him up and realized, without straining too hard with the math, that it was 50 years ago this month that he had been ordained… and 60 years ago he had been licensed, ready to serve as a pastor whenever the bishop might need him.

But you know… just like the social page in the newspaper doesn’t feature just anyone who had a wedding 50 years ago, but only those who CONTINUE to be married after 50 years… so we also wanted to make a distinction here with Leo.

YES, we celebrate his ordination five decades ago… before I was even born… but that’s only a part of the picture… For we also celebrate that the ministry of Jesus Christ is advanced by the way Leo Cramer continues, even though he’s entitled to an easy retirement and has earned a rest, this man CONTINUES to minister…

And we as a church have recognized him as a pastor emeritus because we understand, and want the world around us to understand, that the ministry of First United Methodist Church, is stronger because Leo is part of our team.

When I first approached Leo about this, he laughed and said that ‘pastor emeritus’ was just a polite way of saying, “Thanks but goodbye!” sort of a “Here’s your hat, what’s your hurry?”

But Leo, we declare to you today, that this title is all about a recognition of your fruitful ministry of the past and our belief that, with you on our team, we will together have a continued fruitful ministry together in the future.

Leo, we thank you.

Leo, we honor you.

Leo, we love you.

Leo, we need you.

Picture used with permission of Red Room Images, Reynoldsville, PA http://www.redroomimages.com/

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