Opinions on faith and life

Snatching Defeat From the Jaws of Victory

2010-06-14

This phrase is often used for sports teams, and illustrates a phenomenon I’m all too familiar with regarding certain professional teams in my state: we don’t always finish the race. And as Christians we’re all familiar with Paul’s statements about disciplining ourselves so that we are not “disqualified from the prize”.

But now let’s apply this to a rather ironic practice in Christianity: believers fighting for the last place in line.

What I’m referring to is when many Christian men (and the women who bow to them) get indignant and hostile at the very idea that a woman would believe she is called to an area of service that, according to Jesus, is the lowest of the low: Christian leadership. The kingdom of heaven is upside down to the kingdoms of the world, which have the rulers bossing those under them. But in Christianity, the leaders are at the bottom of the pile, serving and lifting up everyone else. One cannot be both a servant and a ruler, regardless of the quality of that rule.

Who fights for the last place in line? Who demands that the coach put them on the bench, unless they think that the bench is where the team leader belongs? Who forbids others to join him there, simply because they are the wrong color or speak the wrong language or, God forbid, don’t have all the right body parts? Who busts a gut to reach the lowest rung on a ladder?

Those who fight for their position show by their actions that they believe this position is a HIGH one of RULE, of POWER, of AUTHORITY, and NOT of SERVICE. They can try to coat this ugly fact in layers of flowery adjectives, like “kind, loving, benevolent, caring, gentle” and even “humble” and “serving”, but they’re only fooling themselves. If they get defensive of it, it’s all about power; if they rail against those who point these things out, it’s an idol. It simply isn’t possible for any believer to claim humble service when they bend over backwards to keep it for themselves and deny it to others. By simple virtue of the fact that they grasp for something and forbid certain others to do the same, they prove that they consider it a high position, not a low one.

So any and every believer who insists that women cannot serve in leadership of men is saying that they do not accept Jesus’ model of the kingdom. It’s that simple.

Prove me wrong... from scripture, and in context. I dare ya.

5 Comments

Lin

" It simply isn’t possible for any believer to claim humble service when they bend over backwards to keep it for themselves and deny it to others. By simple virtue of the fact that they grasp for something and forbid certain others to do the same, they prove that they consider it a high position, not a low one."

My guess is that if Christian "service" were ever understood as what it is really taught in scripture, most who are leaders now would not be attracted to it. They would look to worldly power positions, instead.

Paula Fether

No doubt.

This all reminds me of the phrase made popular by P. T. Barnum: "There’s a sucker born every minute", or that of some of the old industrialists, "Sheep were made to be sheared". Many, as Paul said, have seen the faith as a way to make a living, and the gullibility A. W. Tozer mentioned for all things "Christian"-sounding is alive and well today.

Terri Tippins

I like the way say things Paula. The Bible makes it perfectly clear that to ’live’ you must ’die’, if you want to be ’first’ you must be ’last’ and if you want to ’lead’ you must be the ’servant’ of all. Men have placed women below them willfully in order that they (men) would not be last after all. You don’t see many people fighting over the last spot in the grocery line or lunch line.........I mean who wants to be the very last? I promise you it won’t be an ultra conservative christian man.

Paula Fether

Tanx Terri! :-D

You’re right... it seems that the ultimate Christian male is defined by who is beneath him. Pathetic.

Lin

Terri, I likened it to putting Christian makeup on a pig. There is a huge gulliability for anything with a plastic fish on it ,,,another way of explaining what Tozer meant.

I saw this first hand for a long time and fell for it, too. Believe me, Madison Ave is alive and well in our church marketing departments. It is amazing what people can market as Christian. Preemanience as Christian?

But the only way this works is if people are not reading the Word for themselves and they think believing in Jesus Christ is all they need. They are not fully aware it is Christ IN YOU that makes us believers. Even Satan believes that Jesus Christ is God in the flesh.

They go and listen to proof texts on how to live moral lives and ’act’ Christian. Or, they have the Word exposited for them never being Bereans themselves.

They do not know what they are missing. The Christian life is nothing like what I was taught in that system.