Tag Archives: theology

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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Toward a Theology of Levity

One of the Wesleyan theological bloggers I regularly follow is Craig Adams. I really identified with this blog post: Toward a Theology of Levity. Check it out!

Toward a Theology of Levity | Theology | Commonplace Holiness

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Can Divorce Be Forgiven???

My cousin Gordon wrote a note on facebook about how difficult it is for some Christians to accept someone who has been divorced… in fact, SOME will deliberately SHUN even a family member who has divorced. He challenged his readers to rethink that practice and make a change.

Now, I DO agree that Scripture is clear that God HATES divorce… If the concern is over the SIN of divorce, OK… but Scripture also says that if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and WILL FORGIVE our sins and Scripture is also clear that Jesus said there was ONLY ONE unforgiveable sin… And he did NOT spell it D-I-V-O-R-C-E. So to justify the “shunning” some religious traditions prescribe and practice because of the ‘sin’ of divorce, requires that you believe that Jesus was wrong. Is that such a good idea?…

OR… Perhaps the shunning of a divorcee is simply a statement that we believe God is powerless to forgive and Christ’s sacrifice was not really enough. After all, who does He think He is… God?
Seems theologically dangerous to me. Wasn’t Lucifer condemned to Hell for trying to overrule God?? Who are we to call something ‘unpardonable’ when God gave His Son, and Christ shed His blood, to forgive ANYONE who repents?

AND if God HAS TO condemn a divorcee because divorce is sin, then God must HAVE TO condemn the gossip to Hell along with the glutton and the liar and those who judge others.
I choose to believe the Bible and the God it reveals to us… The God who despises and hates ALL sin, including divorce, and yet is ALWAYS faithful and just to forgive us when we confess our sins.

One more thought: Jesus taught us to pray: “forgive us our sins AS WE FORGIVE those who sin against us.” I wonder if He really meant it?

He also said: “Let him without sin, cast the first stone.”

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Suicide

Just a couple of weeks ago, a man in our community committed suicide in his early 30’s. He had ongoing concerns with his health and also, largely because of the health issues, had a growing problem with finances. Several members of his family are involved in my congregation and I spent quite a bit of time in the immediate aftermath with them. Ultimately, I officiated the memorial service.

THAT WAS ONE VERY TOUGH WEEK!

The father of the deceased, within his first five steps of coming home where the rest of us were gathered, asked me: “Is he in Hell for killing himself?”

You know, I grew up believing that suicide was murder (of yourself) and thus was a sin. And of course, like any sin, if you sinned you were absolutely, without question going to Hell UNLESS you repented before you died. And since you couldn’t repent before you died when you’ve just killed yourself, then it just made sense that committing suicide was an automatic one-way ticket to eternal damnation. Right?

In fact, as a pretty mixed-up teen, it was that belief that made me NOT give in to the whispers of the enemy that quite often suggested suicide as a way for me to escape from my painful situations in life.

My answer to this grieving dad, however, was ‘no.’

My reasoning is based on four things…

First, a mentor as I became a pastor had explained to me once that his own father had committed suicide. It was a comfort to him to know that God held people responsible for their decisions and behaviors based on their ability and understanding. For instance, if a severely mentally retarded person dies without having said the official sinner’s prayer, but knew they loved Jesus, would they go to Hell? No, the reasoning went, because God deals with you on the level where you are. This mentor shared that self-harm and suicide were behaviors acted out by someone who is suffering from such pain and turmoil that they are, in essence, extremely sick. In that moment of pain, when the suffering is so great, he believed that the suicidal person CANNOT properly reason out the choices anymore. Therefore, God, who deals with them in that moment like the mentally disabled person who knows no better, treats them as a sick person who just needs help.

Secondly, I took a one credit course at seminary on “Pastoral Care and Suicide” and I review my notes every so often… My answer is consistent with the teaching I received in that course.

Thirdly, I once got my hands on a audiotape teaching by Jack Hayford, a well-respected pastor and teacher in the charismatic and PromiseKeepers movements, called “The Sin Of Suicide.” In that teaching, following several suicides in the extended family of his own church, Hayford taught a similar idea. The ‘sin’ is the self-focus of suicide… the lack of considering what your action would do to those around you. Essentially: selfishness.

Lastly, my wife acted like a research assistant for me during this past couple of weeks and found an absolutely awesome webpage fashioned from a brochure put out by the Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches entitled: “What should we think about suicide?” I have never read anything quite so succinct and Biblically faithful on suicide.

I’m really interested in having some other folks read through the pamphlet and share their thoughts. I would loan the Hayford tapes, as well. I want to have some conversation, online or offline, on this subject. I want to hear of others who have walked through similar situations and how you’ve ministered.

Any takers?

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Church Fathers

OK… here is the other quiz Keith referenced in his blog

You’re Origen!

You do nothing by half-measures. If you’re going to read the Bible, you want to read it in the original languages. If you’re going to teach, you’re going to reach as many souls as possible, through a proliferation of lectures and books. If you’re a guy and you’re going to fight for purity … well, you’d better hide the kitchen shears.

Find out which Church Father you are at The Way of the Fathers!

 

 

 

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Kudzu

One of my absolute favorite comic strips is KUDZU by Doug Marlette. In it, a teenaged boy in the South named Kudzu, learns about the world around him. There are different characters one might meet in a Southern small town, but my favorite is Rev. Will B. Dunn. Every so often he begins a prayer to the Almighty as “It’s me, Lord, Thy Will B. Dunn…” I love it!

Our local newspaper doesn’t carry this comic strip, so I subscribe online by email. CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE GO COMICS SITE AND SUBSCRIBE.

This southern pastor is Kudzu’s confidante, coachs the church league sports teams, writes an advice-style “Ask the Preacher” column for his local paper, and he preaches, buries, marries, and counsels the variety of people in the town.

In any case, this is today’s strip and here are a couple of others that are favorites of mine.


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