The Freedom Papers No. 2: Token Women In The Church (Part D)

Support the Women Willing To Pay The Price

Women who have a call on their life need recognition from the Body of Christ. They need safe places where their calling and gifting can be developed. They need financial assistance and support. 

What is normal and perfectly acceptable to all men who enter the ministry is not for the women who choose the same profession. Men can expect rewards, and rightfully so, for their hard work. Women will find themselves left at the bottom of the pile, no matter how hard they work. 

Unrewarded Work

To work without reward, if carried out all of one’s life is extremely depressing and self-effacing in the extreme. However, this is the reality for most women in the ministry. They accept and live with the limitations placed on them if they are to remain in the work full time. In my experience, most women, token or otherwise, finally give up.

Prejudice

There is no evidence in scripture that supports this prejudice. Suffering for the sake of the gospel applies to both men and women, but it is not meant to be this kind of suffering. To eliminate this any sort of prejudice within the body of Christ is to be weeded out. The freedom of the gospel is based on the love of God for all humankind in all its different manifestations of gender, sexuality, race, physical ability, etc.  But the balance is false.

Token Women In The Church

Tokenism

The Lord does not want tokenism for the daughters of God. A few good women will not suffice for the role models needed to release half the army of God.  How many women cry out to God in frustration and sadness; muzzled, bound, and fettered by the false judgment that has been placed upon them by their ‘brothers’ in Christ.  More importantly, how much has the church suffered a loss.

This kind of behaviour is the antithesis of the gospel command to all believers from our Master and Saviour, Jesus Christ. “Go into all the world and preach the good news, make disciples.” What arrogance to teach that this command can only be followed by men. It is before the Great I AM that we must give account. It is not enough to have ‘token’ women! She is a poor substitute; an unreal role to model, and a source of shame to The Woman – the Church, the Bride of Christ.

Women tend to show complacency when only a few steps forward have been taken. Perhaps, in the main, for many of them, their livelihood does not depend upon it. Food on the table is a great incentive for anyone, and the majority of middle-class women in the church have someone whom they depend on for their daily necessities. 

Tokenism and its effects

This may be why they so readily collude in the deviation from equality, namely: male – in-charge -, husband – and – headship doctrine, submission – of – wife- as – his helper.  Tokenism effectually just places a woman within the male establishment. 

For other women, this often has a negative outcome.  The token woman is neither one thing nor another. She is no longer one of them neither is she free herself. This explains the failure of women successfully working together, or never accepting one another in leadership. 

Both these things play a very large part in draining any work where women are present. Yes, solidarity can be found where it pertains particularly to the conventional woman’s experience, that of giving birth, marriage, loneliness, old age and widowhood, depression, and death. 

But support systems of financial, or professional networks are practically non-existent. Solidarity within the ranks of women is hard to find, indeed, it is well-nigh impossible.

Accept Other Women In Leadership 

Women, in the main, do not accept other women in leadership unless they have bonded with a male. They do not financially support each other.  Women have been so brainwashed under the Old Testament tithing to such a degree, that they do not ask where their money is being used. 

They eventually make wills to leave their homes to the established male hierarchy to use it without a thought of what will become of it. Why not change your will: support those who have supported you? You might decide to set up a Trust with a group of trusted women to administer it to support women in ministry. 

Women Wake Up!

In the main, women appear content in giving their money in the belief that it is being distributed by males who claim they ‘know what they are doing’. Some say shrug their shoulders and say ‘well he is answerable, not me. No! That is not true. You are entirely responsible! 

I have worked in these establishments. The waste is in many cases alarming. Males who elect themselves as the higher authority and receive these monies are answerable before God. Women are the financial mainstays in most churches supporting male leadership. The same male leadership that keeps her and her sisters controlled and silenced.  Stop supporting them  

There are those women who move against the current of their times and find a position of autonomy without the ordeal of being in a male-dominated church.  If that’s what you want, search for that kind of woman and come alongside her and run with her. 

Get involved. 

Exercise your gifts. Discover your calling and run with it. Find an independent woman who practices autonomy, active faith, and self-assertion. These are essential to her achievement. However, all such faith-full characteristics will bring upon her a tirade of offensive name-calling.

Women Support Women

If she does not fit the mould of long soft curly hair, makeup, and clothes that suit the feminine image, especially prevalent amongst the middle-class churchgoer, her image will be tarnished. She will most certainly be labelled by the ‘F’ word, ‘feminist’. 

Because of her autonomy, she will most certainly be accused of exhibiting or pertaining to misandry, hating, or prejudiced against men. Labels such as this will undermine her confidence if she does not understand the strategy of her enemy, the patriarchs, and the battle. 

The Patriarchal System is Anti-Christ

Is it going too far to call men who reject the spiritual gifts in women; suppress and prevent their aspiration to serve and be fruitful for Jesus – as anti-Christ? No, it is not. In times past, Christian women may have been exasperated by the supposed ignorance of men in the church, but there is no longer any excuse. 

Today, the amount of scholarly material available on the broad subject of gender equity both in the world and scripture cannot be denied or ignored. Anyone who wants to learn, to study, will have no trouble finding material on the subject.  The Scriptures teach equality. All one has to do is practice the golden rule ‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you’ and base one’s living and actions on that foundation stone and equity will follow.

Teach Equality From The Scriptures 

It is not hard to teach equality from the Scriptures. The bible is not without women who achieved important things in God.  God has not left us without a witness. However, at present, it is rare indeed to hear a whole sermon delivered with a bible woman character as the central theme. I encourage men and women who have the opportunity to teach this from the pulpit to do so.

Women’s Point Of View

A healthy teaching pattern might be that for every male biblical model a woman presents a woman, biblical model. Women see the world differently from men. A man cannot teach the bible and reach the needs of women.  The church includes both women and men. 

A couple of years ago I taught for a week in a church in Brisbane, Australia.  I chose to highlight the women’s bible characters to use as examples for the subjects I was teaching on. The Pastor was not happy and said so. 

Women Wake Up! Look Around

If you doubt what I am saying, ask any woman who has been a long time in ministry.  Is there an equal number of women as there are men on the board of the church you attend? I think I am safe in saying there is not! There are many horror stories of abuse surrounding women’s experiences of being in a place of leadership in the church. 

Very many of us, godly women and men, have laid down our lives for the Gospel and long to see a new outpouring of God’s Spirit on all flesh.

Sirs, (would you mind getting out of the way), we would see Jesus. Please, please, change your patriarchal mind: repent!

God bless all those that seek peace and the freedom that comes from knowing Jesus,

Patricia

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