Sunday, October 12, 2008

Cabbage in the Pulpit = no offense?

Tonight I talked with my husband, Christopher of St. Cynic, while sauteeing cabbage and onions. In this position, I could be rebuking, telling him a profound truth, sharing a vision or a godly insight, quoting holy scripture, arguing a theological point, informing him of my beliefs regarding holy communion, or any other such thing, and as long as I am stirring the pot (hehe)- in this case one full of cabbage and onions-, I can have free reign of the *pulpit.* In fact, I am fairly certain that even if he had a group of his most mainline, most traditional christian friends over to eat with us, I could go on and on without offense, with my wooden spoon firmly planted in that 5 quart sauce pot.

BUT if I were to do the same from a pulpit in a sanctuary of a church building, then I am committing an offense, a controversy, breaking with tradition. I am acting outside of my station, my role, my God-given 'place.' Right?

Okay, now imagine I'm standing at the man-made pulpit in the man-made sanctuary, in the man-made church building, BUT I am cooking! Is it okay to teach then? If I speak, and someone learns something from what I shared, am I not teaching? 

Today I sat in a church building erected by human hands, and listened to a woman teach with words of wisdom from God- from the pulpit (or lectern as was the case), and I wondered what about this arrangement is so offensive to the church groups that I have known in the past? If she had shared the same thing during a potluck with everyone eating together, nobody would have been offended, and everyone would have been blessed by what wisdom the Lord had given her to share with us. So, I can only conclude that it is actually the import we place on the man-made thing, and the rules surrounding it (none of which are found in the scriptures to my knowledge) that are the reason for banning women from teaching in the church. 

As far as I understand, the pulpit is not the altar of God, our hearts are His altar, and if the words the woman at the front shares come neatly to that altar in my heart, edifying and strengthening the relationships I have with the Lord and His people, how could it possibly matter to anyone who spoke them? 

Man, woman, child- when quickened by faith, and enabled by the Holy spirit, speak words of wisdom and truth, it is all from God right?  None of us belongs to him/herself either, right? As one body, we are intertwined and interconnected such that we cannot live without one another, need one another. Should the hand not inform the arm that the burner is hot because it's a girl? Or a child? 

Don't worry, if you learned something- it's okay- I was typing this in the kitchen, where I belong. *Rolls eyes*


suneal said...

"In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams" (Acts 2:17).

I guess Sarah, the women here only prophesy in the kitchen. Or, maybe this Scripture applies to all women but you? I know there are strong Scriptures that seem to indicate women are not to teach. But the Old Testament, the Law Paul referred to, is chalk full of women judges, heroes, prophetesess, leaders. Without getting bogged down in all of this, I think if a church is balanced, (not solely women teaching or perhaps even primarily) it is the best course. I also personally have been priveleged to beneift from very good women's ministries, and learnt much. Also, I have heard of powerful women missionaries, risking their lives, preaching the gospel. Where were the men then to tell them to be quiet? That would amount to me, to Jesus' statement, "He who is without sin, let HIM cast the first stone."

Blessings on you wise daughter of the King.

Sarah said...


Amen, brother!