Wanted: Servant. Must be able to attend to needs at all hours of the day or night. Requirements: The right candidate must be very knowledgeable about Me and My Household. Diligent study is required. Patience is required as well as many in the Household will question, quiz, harass, and even abuse the candidate about the knowledge possessed. Candidate must persevere to correct them in truth and love no matter the attack as I, the Master, would do for the members of My Household. The right candidate must live according to how I say. There is no room for interpretation. The proper candidate will be the role model for My Household and should not be a liar, swindler, cheat, thief, or con artist. Candidate will be under higher scrutiny from members of My Household and will also be expected to be chaste or faithful to the spouse I give them. They shall not lust after nor have immoral relations with any other members of My Household. The right candidate will be proficient in the care-taking of all ages within My Household, whether they are infant or a century old and will dutifully carry out the tasks I assign to take care of them including member’s of candidate’s own household. Salary: Varies, however, assurances are given that candidate will receive all that is needed to support this body and life.
Tough “help wanted” ad to answer, don’t you think? I’ll tell you straight up, I don’t think I could do it. It’s hard enough to be judged on the subjective, I couldn’t stand being a teacher for the same reason. It’s even tougher when you go in knowing that you can get tossed around, and you probably will, and you do it anyway. Oddly enough, however, there are many that don’t want to make this job about servanthood, but about power. Instead of seeing this job as a lower position that serves others, it is seen as a power position that exerts power over others. Which job is it? The “ad” is for the Office of the Holy Ministry. Most of us just call him “Pastor”. Too many people see the office of Pastor as the “boss” of the congregation, exerting his will to see what is going to happen in the congregation and telling people about how things are going to be. Women even argue that they are just as good at doing many of these tasks as men are, and therefore just as qualified to lead others as a Pastor as a man would be. Better, in fact, because they are able to multitask better and are more relational than men. If this was just about qualifications, they might have a point to their demands. But the issue of women’s ordination goes far deeper than qualifications.
If women came at it from a purely “qualifications” perspective, I might not worry so much about the movement itself. However, many women see the Scriptures speaking of women as the cartoon on the side. They believe that the Scriptures have actually been used to abuse them, mistreat them, and scorn them. Putting them down so that men can be built up and held up to the highest office, the one closest to God, the Pastor, the role of the servant. I cannot help but see the irony in the argument that the women who have complained so deeply that they are treated as servants and slaves in the home, second-rate to their husbands, brothers, or fathers simply because they are female, are fighting so hard to get into a vocation of servanthood. That irony aside, one must ask themselves honestly about the theology taught by someone who would believe that the Bible has been used, or misused, to demean, demoralize, and even abuse women. I find it hard to see this image that has been portrayed all because the ordination of women has been denied. In none of the references in the picture to the right does it state, “I do not permit a woman to teach, and if she does, beat her until she stops.” The very idea is ludicrous even to those who state that the church bodies who do not allow women’s ordination are abusing women. So, then the question is, is the act of saying no abusive? If a child wants cookies for dinner and her parents say no and give her hearty baked chicken, steamed veggies, and homemade bread abusing her for giving her the very things that are good for her? I should say not!
So why not ordain? After all, the women who want to be ordained are not saying that they should have cookies, they just want the right to serve the dinner, right? Here’s the catch. Think back to the “ad”. It is just as possible that in serving the dinner, the servant will be beaten because it wasn’t cookies. Or perhaps the servant will have the food thrown at them and get burned. Maybe the servant will be screamed at, profanities and everything. Perhaps the servant will have to endure mental abuse, hearing that the food will not be consumed and the servant will be responsible for starving those at the table to death if the servant doesn’t give them what they want. Again, thinking back to the ad, this is a tough job. Someone’s got to do it. Who’s going to do it?
It’s not that the women can’t. The women could handle this the same as the men. But God isn’t going to allow it. Not because women can’t, but because He has chosen to protect them from it. Why don’t all of us die as martyrs? Why don’t all of us become missionaries? Why don’t all of us become doctors and cure malaria abroad? It’s not given to all of us to do that. Only some of us are chosen to do those things. Only some of us are chosen to become Pastors. Those chosen are men by God’s own design, not because He wants to bring us down to a lower estate, but to honor us. We are like Peter, not wanting Him to wash our feet, thinking that we should be the servants. Christ reminds us that He came to be the Ultimate Servant, to die on the Cross. To remind us of this, He has left many things. Some of them He directly comes to us- through the washing of Holy Baptism He makes us His own. His own Body and Blood are present in the bread and wine at the Holy Supper. But there are other pictures. Marriage is God’s picture of His union with His Bride, the Church. The pastor stands in Christ own stead, male as Christ is male, breathing the Words of forgiveness as if Christ Himself had said them. The pastor also takes the beating from the world, as Christ did. The same attacks, the same heresies, the same distresses plague the pastor as they did Christ because there truly is nothing new under the sun. And God loves me, a princess in His kingdom, enough to keep me away from all of it. Oh, I indirectly get into enough being “the pastor’s wife” and “the pastor’s daughter”, but God protects me from the full onslaught as a honor given to me that I do not deserve. Instead of fighting Him on it, maybe it’s time to be gracious and just accept it.