I have not seen the new movie Courageous yet and may not until it hits DVD, but I have heard good things about it. This post is not about the message behind that movie that fathers need to be courageous and stand up to be the fathers they are supposed to be to their children. That's a great message, but the bigger message should be that Christian men need to be courageous in the Church at large. I would like to refer to the following article as the basis for the rest of my post:
Baptist Fellowship Offering Cash Incentives to Churches Considering Female Pastors
The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Missouri (CBFMO) will offer cash incentives to any member church that is willing to consider hiring a female pastor.
CBFMO leadership decided in September to pay interview, travel, and other expenses incurred by search committees that include a woman in their list of candidates in hopes of expanding the number of women in church leadership.
None of the 50 CBFMO churches have female senior pastors.
"The whole idea behind it, honestly, is to reduce the anxiety or risk that churches feel," CBFMO associate coordinator Jeff Langford told Christianity Today. "Search committees don't want to break new ground or rock the boat."
There already is a lot of anxiety surrounding searching for a pastor, he said. Search committees want to make a good decision but not one that is too progressive, so often they choose what feels comfortable to them—a male candidate, he said.
Paying expenses is a way to lessen that risk of opening the door to a woman pastor, he said.
So, there is nothing here from the CBFMO about even recognizing the idea that Scripture clearly teaches that the offices of elder and of deacon are to be men in the context of saying that they are to be the husbands of one wife. The apostle Paul also clearly taught that he did not allow women to hold authority over men, him being an apostle of Jesus Christ shows Christ's authority on this matter. This Co-op wants to remove the anxiety in hiring a woman pastor. Really? How did we get to this point? Have we come so far that we now bow to women to be our leaders in matters of Scripture that we are willing to pay search committees to hire woman "elders"? This continues to stem from the secular women rights movement of the early 20th Century. Not all of the rights fought for are bad: better wages, right to vote, secular leadership positions in business, etc. However, by the 1970's, the movement had seeped into the church, and major denominations split over some of these very issues (the P.C.A. and P.C. USA denominations come to mind).
In short, men have not been courageous in the Church. They have allowed women to dictate to them what scripture should teach and they have gone along with it. For what? Unity? I doubt it. Women hold a power over men that cannot be explained and men fear it. This is not to be a woman-bashing post, but a post to hold up Scripture as authoritative over whatever secular society may tell us. What has woman pastorship and eldership in the church gotten us? It has gotten us squabbles over the affirmation over homosexuals in the Church, more particularly homosexual clergy and same-sex marriage. Look at the churches that deny that homosexuality is a sin. Nearly all have women leadership, either at the top or near the top. This includes the Methodists, Lutherans, and the Presbyterians (U.S.A.). This comes from weak men in the Church who have not taken up their God-given right to lead the Church in Scriptural matters.
Our women's Bible study at church has over 20 women consistently. That's great. I'm glad that they are able to get together, study scripture, and converse among themselves. Our men's Bible study has three, sometimes four attending. We study scripture, discuss it, and apply it to our lives. There's a disconnect somewhere. Then again, we don't get some former football player that couldn't hack it in the NFL to come speak to our group about how we can be "manly" men and avoid all the bad stuff he saw in the NFL like other churches may do to attract a crowd. Scripture is what we stand on and where we will stand. Courageous men in leadership is not a problem in my church. I do see it as a problem in other churches. This is why we have a co-op offering to pay for churches to hire women pastors. Maybe someone needs to pay them to study scripture better.