I selected this picture, because I know many of us feel this way right now. I wish I could say it was about the election, that would actually be easier. Instead, it’s another Christian leadership controversy… that involves women. Ugh. Lord, help us.
As a woman, a Christian woman, I remember things I once believed but through time, education, and experience I have changed my opinions on. At one time I was a staunch believer that women couldn’t be Pastors, because the Bible said so. That women could only teach women, because the Bible said so. It appeared so black and white. It was Titus 2:3-5 for all occasions, times, places. Done deal.
It was when I was actually challenged to defend my argument by using the scriptures, that I realized that wasn’t so crystal clear. I couldn’t deny that there were times the Lord pulled women up into leadership or gave them incredible responsibilities. I settled on the fact that the scriptures state that we are all one in Jesus (Gal 3:28), and that it was within reason that according to His will and His needs that God would appoint women in to leadership roles typical reserved for men. I even used the scriptures to determine when those occasions would be, what expectations would be of these women, etc. (This is a post for another day).
So, I can understand how over time with research and due diligence one’s understanding of the Word can clarify and our positions on a subject may change. I do not hold growth against anyone. We should all have a better understanding of the scriptures today than we did five or more years ago. What I struggle with is when I see leaders publicly malign the Word of God. At the end of Titus 2:3-5, the scriptures remind us that our teaching of others and our good character is a reflection on God. We are literally told that all of this is so that we may never (or never be accused) of maligning the Word of God.
Over a week ago, a popular Christian author for women was caught up in controversy. She and her husband made statement that they had changed their opinions on a subject, claiming to have done the due diligence and research required. Their normal stance on loving and coming up alongside took a turn. Now she was calling something the scriptures called “sin” as something that can be “holy”. Let me be perfectly clear that I own several of her books, as well as her husband’s. I think they have done amazing things, great things. And so, I took a position. I was going to separate the wheat from the chaff.
I could continue to glean the good from her work, and I would have to disregard the bad. It wasn’t up to me to judge her. As a friend said, even a broken clock is right twice a day. Even from a purely secular position, they speak words of love, concern, compassion, empathy, reconciliation, forgiveness, grace, mercy, et’al. All wonderful things, scripturally supported. Then came the speed bump. But I thought, I can handle this. I’ll treat her like a secular author. Separate wheat from chaff. Separate.
Yesterday, I was preparing to leave to speak to a group of women leaders. I took a last glance at headlines, and I saw it. A popular Christian speaker and author I follow was trending. That caught my attention. I was not prepared for what the headlines were saying and what they implied. I had to read the article twice to wrap my head around all of the facts. On the drive, I was in full worship mode. At the event we were sharing scripture, and the words about Titus 2:3-5 were spoken. As leaders/teachers we are not to malign the Word of God.
That stuck with me on the ride back home. As I listened to worship music, praying to God through the lyrics. I blurted out… they are wrong.
I can love them. I can love the work they do. I can see the value they add to the world. I can learn from them about many things. I can even see the sincerity of their heart. I believe they truly feel they have come to the right conclusion. I can’t hold that against them. We’ve all been there. However, they have brought this forward in the public view. They have put us all in a position to make a choice.
Will I side with someone who has a heart that loves God and people, but has a flawed heart, and publicly teaches from that flawed heart…
… will I malign the Word of God?
When I put it like that, it’s clear. I can not malign the Word of God. By supporting the stances of these 3 people (and the sheer number that are rallying around them, sharing the same opinions)… I am by association standing in agreement with these three leaders. Because, this is not an “agree to disagree” situation.
What does this mean?
I know that it means those who follow this blog, who have always criticized these people from the start… you need to pray for them. Not judge them. Pray for them, regularly. They have a far reach and we need to pray that they return to the Scriptures and align with God.
I know that it means those who follow this blog, who are part of the fan club… you will probably stop following me. My blog numbers may go down, twitter and instagram too. I may get hate mail. Some family will be “disappointed” in me. I understand your loyalty. They are good people, who have huge hearts, and do amazing things. They have even challenged me to be a better person. But I won’t reverse my opinion, they are wrong. And those who love and support them should be praying for them, as well.
I hope that it means for those who are confused and conflicted, that I have provided some clarity. I apologize for not having clearer perspective my first go around on this subject. Let’s talk and work this out together. Pray for clarity and discernment. Learn the Scriptures so that you can be a good Berean, testing against the Word. Be responsible with the Word, so that we do not malign it.
And for those who have no clue what I am talking about, it’s probably a great blessing you don’t. We know the phrase “curiosity killed the cat”, and I’ll admit it won’t take you long to figure out who I am writing about. I’d prefer you not hunt it down, or engage with gossip and slander. What you can do is pray for our leaders.
I’d encourage you to take some time, dig into 2 Timothy 3, and ask the Lord to reveal truths of what is happening in our world and through our leaders.