Friday, October 25, 2013

Male Spiritual Leadership - II

I know what it is like to be treated unfairly. I have been on both ends. I have watched people gain favoritism in ministry by professors of Bible. It stinks. I have watched while peers gained advantages in ministry just based on how professors elevated certain people over others. It still happens and I'm not even in school anymore. Honestly, I don't care what my former professors think of my abilities and knowledge or passion for ministry. I know where I stand. I know I have impressed a number of former professors, colleagues, and ministers with the gifts in ministry I have and there are those that don't think I should be anywhere near a pulpit or church leadership position.

What matters isn't what others think, but what God thinks. He alone is who matters. He alone is the voice of truth.

There are women who believe they have the gift to preach and shepherd who are desiring that churches give them the opportunity to use those gifts in ways that have never been done before. Becoming preachers, ministers, elders, shepherds, and pastors.

As I have said before I do not believe that God permits this for the church at large. I believe there are opportunities for women to use these gifts that allow men to retain their call to leadership. Many of these women speak about the suffering they have undergone by not being allowed to use their gifts. That they've been oppressed and it is time for "gender justice".

Many men and women cry out that they want their wives, sisters, and daughters to be able to use their gifts and not be silenced by the voices of misogyny and legalism. (I will save my post on legalism for later and not address it here today.)

We all have gifts. I have many. I do not always get to use them. I can count on my hands the number of times I have been able to preach in my 12 years as a minister. That's it!!! On just my hands! But I have the gift!
Yes, but my calling was to youth ministry and did not lend the opportunities to preach as much as I thought I could do it.

Have you ever heard of the Levites? They were of the Samaritan order and were not allowed to own land. But, they were given an exalted responsibility to be in charge of preparing sacrifices of the Israelites. Only they were given this position. To be a priest, you had to be a Levite. And not even ALL Levites could be priests. Even more exclusive were the Kohathite branch of the Levites. These men were given the task to enter the Holy of Holies and administer the sacrifices of the people.

God had a particular job for the Levites. It was one that was very important. The Levites had to stand up and take responsibility to do their job and do it well. To do it improperly would result in death! I believe in male spiritual leadership as a calling by God in a similar vein. I take this responsibility seriously. To do otherwise convicts my conscience that if I am not standing up and taking the responsibility, I am not honoring God with my life.

I am witnessing the theft of my calling by, I'm sure, people who want to use their special gifts but who are taking away the opportunity for me to fulfill mine. The church is leaving me behind. I'm sure I am not the only one who feels like I do. Some hear me speak out on this subject and are glad I am not in full-time preaching ministry. To them, I will just give grace and hope they see the irony.

I'll let this one soak in a bit. I have more to say, but will leave it here for tonight.