"For pastors and teachers of the Bible to say, "You can't preach because you are a woman, period" without taking the time or care to understand the woman they are saying this to, is an abuse of power."
I was once asked by a pastor, "This really bothers you, doesn't it?" Yes, yes it does.
Is God not able to call women to teach His Word? And, if we are all really equal, what is it that God is not able to call men to do?
If God is not able, well, that destroys a lot theology.
Is there really no condemnation in Christ Jesus? If so, why am I condemned to never teach a man?
If there really is no Jew or Greek, male or female, slave or free, because we are all in Christ Jesus, why are the rules different for me?
Why do I have a gift to teach, and an education to do so, if I am not allowed to use it?
When I felt God calling me to ministry back when I was a teenager, was I hearing wrong?
Ephesians 4:1, "And he himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers..." Which one of these am I allowed to be?
Why would God create me with something inherently wrong? Why would He create me with a desire to do what I am not even allowed to do? Why does this restriction hurt me so much?
Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom (2 Corinthians 3:17). Even in this area?
I am not writing this to try and change anyone's mind about they have come to believe the Bible says. I am also not writing for pity. I am certainly not writing out of defiance.
I am writing because I am an individual, I have a story, and I have real feelings. To be simply clumped into a blanket rule that "women can't be pastors," and be expected to accept that and be okay with it, is hurtful and harmful. For pastors and teachers of the Bible to say, "You can't preach because you are a woman, period" without taking the time or care to understand the woman they are saying this to is an abuse of power.
I don't want to leave my church or my Seminary over this. I don't want this issue to be divisive, but I am learning that division is exactly what it causes.
There are the questions I have been asked repeatedly as I bring up this divisive belief with others:
Why would you attend a Seminary that won't even allow you to be a pastor afterward?
Why would you attend a church that doesn't support you in what God is preparing you for?
The answer to both: Because I feel God calling me to both of those places. I also feel Him calling me to teach or preach in some capacity. I have always desired to be a pastor. How is one calling right and the other one wrong, when they both come from God?
When I preach or teach, I am constantly asking myself if I am doing something wrong. How can sharing God's Word and what He has done in my life, ever be wrong?
It just hurts. I try to pretend that it doesn't, but it does. It is on my mind all the time. And, it's the one topic that instantly brings me to tears.
I don't know how God is going to work all things together for His good in this, but all I genuinely long to do is bring glory to Him by sharing how His Word and His love completely changed my life.
Why is that wrong?