Top Ten Reasons Why Men Should Not Be Ordained

Churches of Christ are fairly laissez-faire around the issue of ordination... many of our paid ministers are not ordained, and the Church of Christ view around ordination is very different from that of many other traditions. The belief that all Christians are "ministers", but that some people may be set aside from secular work in order to equip all the other "ministers" in Christian service, is one of the key ideas in our movement. Gender is pretty much irrelevant in this view of paid (and/or ordained) ministry.

For some of our brothers and sisters in other denominations, ordination has very different implications... and gender is one of the important criteria involved in who may (or may not) be ordained.

Circulating around cyberspace is a somewhat tongue-in-cheek argument about the importance of gender in ordination to Christian ministry:

Top Ten Reasons Why Men Should Not Be Ordained:

10. A man's place is in the army.

9. For men who have children, their duties might distract them from the responsibilities of being a parent.

8. Their physical build indicates that men are more suited to tasks such as chopping down trees and wrestling mountain lions. It would be "unnatural" for them to do other forms of work.

7. Man was created before woman. It is therefore obvious that man was a prototype. Thus, they represent an experiment, rather than the crowning achievement of creation.

6. Men are too emotional to be priests or pastors. This is easily demonstrated by their conduct at football games and watching basketball tournaments.

5. Some men are handsome; they will distract women worshipers.

4. To be ordained pastor is to nurture the congregation. But this is not a traditional male role. Rather, throughout history, women have been considered to be not only more skilled than men at nurturing, but also more frequently attracted to it. This makes them the obvious choice for ordination.

3. Men are overly prone to violence. No really manly man wants to settle disputes by any means other than by fighting about it. Thus, they would be poor role models, as well as being dangerously unstable in positions of leadership.

2. Men can still be involved in church activities, even without being ordained. They can sweep paths, repair the church roof, and maybe even lead the singing on Father's Day. By confining themselves to such traditional male roles, they can still be vitally important in the life of the Church.

1. In the New Testament account, the person who betrayed Jesus was a man. Thus, his lack of faith and ensuing punishment stands as a symbol of the subordinated position that all men should take.

What do you think of this view?


therevhead said…
*Pouts* flounces of in a huff!
s!st@rA(T said…
In the hospital the relatives gathered in the waiting room where
their family member lay gravely ill. Finally, the doctor came in
looking tired and somber. "I'm afraid I'm the bearer of bad news," he said as he surveyed the worried faces. "The only hope left for your
loved one at this time is a brain transplant. It's an experimental
procedure, semi-risky and you will have to pay for the brain

The family members sat silent as they absorbed the news. After a
great length of time, someone asked, "Well, how much does a brain
cost?" The doctor quickly responded, "$5,000 for a male brain, and $200 for a female brain."

The moment turned awkward. Men in the room tried not to smile,
avoiding eye contact with the women, but some actually smirked. A
man, unable to control his curiosity, blurted out the question
everyone wanted to ask. "Why is the male brain so much more?"

The doctor smiled at the childish innocence and so to the entire
group said, "It's just standard pricing procedure. We have to mark
down the price of the female brains, because they've actually been used."
Lucy J said…
Yeah, Janet, quite amusing... seems to reverse the main arguments generally used to block women from participating fully in the visionary work of Jesus Christ!

Then there is the whole discussion about the validity of ordination itself...

A lot depends on how inculturated and indoctrinated one is in regard to Christian life experience in a particular denomination.

My history is one of multi-denominational experience... not because I planned it that way or intentionally directed myself that way, but it has ended up that way, as the main thing I was determined about was to live a life totally dedicated to God's love and service.

What an adventure that has been! I have navigated the storms of fundamentalist conservatism and pulled back from the edge of dissipated way-out-there-ism.

Although one might suffer, the fellowship of the Spirit is very sweet, and after a time, one does meet kindred-spirits along the way... one just has to recognise and cherish them.

Sometimes the boys just need to move over and give the girls a go!

I think a multi-lateral approach is best to educate "the church" about such things.

At the moment I am studying the Reformation as part of a Masters degree course, and it's very clear that there needs to be a combination of "wind, fire and water" approaches to the kind of activism necessary to break through massive institutional barriers. Success at revolution/reformation always stirs up controversy, but we must live the dream, and dream to live!
therevhead said…
*Pouts* flounces of in a huff!
therevhead said…
*Pouts* flounces of in a huff!
Janet Woodlock said…
Ah Revhead, you've proved the point that men are too emotional for ministry, but did you have to prove it three times?

The funny thing is that a variation on all of these arguments have been used in relation to the ordination of women... which proves the point that if people in authority say something often enough, seriously enough, the most ridiculous ideas can start to sound persuasive.

S!st@rA(T... an oldie but a goodie!!! Thanks for visiting.

Hey Lucy... great to hear from you as ever! You seem to be one of those people puddling in all the different levels. I really admire your passion for the big J and the Kingdom.

Love Janet
Lucy J said…
Hey, Janet, at least I'm not irretrievably drowning! Sometimes I feel like I'm up the proverbial creek without a paddle. Other times I feel like a salmon continually swimming up the torrential stream. One day somebody said something I found incredibly liberating... salmon were born to swim upstream! That somehow internally gave me a new lease of life, and I must say I have much more enjoyed the struggles since.

Maybe some of your blog-friends/bloke-friends might like to share references to some books they found helpful in the "free the female" fest.

One I found most helpful was "God's Word to Women" written by a female medical doctor turned scholar and missionary, Catherine Bushnell, at the turn of the 19th century (I think)... quite revolutionary in her time. She felt the call of God on her life but came up against the patriarchal system and so dedicated herself to the study of Hebrew to get back to the original meanings of the Scriptures to find out what God really thought of and meant for women. Her findings were fascinating!

One more thing, I wonder what happens to "therevhead" now that he has third-time positively tested? I am as yet unacquainted with him, but sincerely do hope that he can overcome his apparent emotional psychosomatic disability and talk/type like the rest of us very soon :)
Janet Woodlock said…
Therevhead is actually my FABULOUS boss (sorry, team leader) Martin... apparently his computer posted the last two comments by itself when he his the "back" icon on the internet.

I first heard all these naughty ideas about women in the New Testament being involved in ministry from studying at that evangelical icon, L'Abri in Switzerland, years and years ago... an audio tape series (remember those days?) Last year I studied "Men, Women and Ministry in the New Testament" at CCTC, which frankly, just gave me even more "ammo" that a combination of translator bias and cultural misunderstandings have led to some pretty dodgy conclusions by the post-Constantian church about the role of women in the church.

CBE also have some great resources from an evangelical perspective on some of the "difficult" passages to interpret.

I think I'd just better write a series... if I can fit it in between studying Greek.

Pray for me girls... studies in ancient Greek is making my brain explode. Not a pretty sight.

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