Tuesday, December 26, 2017

I am NOT retiring!

I am NOT retiring!

I am decreasing, so another may increase.  I may even have to work harder because of this act of my free will. 

Prior to all the revelations the brave souls of the #metoo movement brought to light I had a sense from the Holy Spirit to give up a position of leadership and open the opportunity for a woman. 

FYI:  The next wave of the #metoo movement is gathering energy and is about to crash over male dominated religions.

FYI:  The Holy Spirit is, was and will always be grieved with any form of any gender dominance. 

FYI:  All humans are equal. 

FYI:  The bible doesn’t make men the tie breaker, giving men two votes and the woman one vote in family decisions, nor the male the head and the woman the neck, the rear end or any other body part that is less than the male.

FYI:  The Anti-Christ Babylonian System that represents all that is evil was built on a foundation of human slavery.  See Rev. 18:13.  Note:  Historically, organized religion has aligned itself with human political systems and this pattern just might be the evil system described in Revelation 18.

Maybe, theologians that have made commentary that has become acceptable traditional Christian family values, on their understanding of the Ephesians 5 passage have slightly missed the meaning.  Maybe mutual submission is the topic of the passage. Maybe the outlining of the gender roles is specifically outlining the role of Christ as head of the church.   Maybe the Ephesians 5 passage is as it says it is, “a mystery” and was never intended to be the foundational rock upon which marriages are built.  Maybe what seems so very clear to so many is really not so clear and remains a “mystery” that takes a lot of thoughtful, prayerful pondering to solve the mystery.  (See Ephesians 5: 21-33)  Read it as if you are reading it for the first time without the bias of male dominance.  Maybe the idea is love, respect, not master, and slave in marital relationship. Just maybe tone down the anger that may be rising with this challenge to male superiority in the church.  This is not a challenge to the infallibility and authority of Scripture, but rather a challenge to an interpretation of God’s Word. I believe and receive that God’s Word, the Bible, is infallible, authoritative and is THE rule for faith and conduct.

Women, consider asking your church leadership how they see the Ephesians 5 passage as it relates to you being a decision maker in your congregation. 

Married women, consider asking your husband how he sees the Ephesians 5 Passage as it relates to you being a decision maker in your family.  Let him know how degrading it feels to not have an equal vote.  Let him know it opens you up to using methods other than a straight up conversation to move a decision in your favor.  Let him know you desire to be treated as an equal partner in life, and will no longer be a slave with half the votes of the men in the family.

Women, consider monitoring the platform opportunities of ministry that your denominations or fellowships offer to women.  Consider asking hard questions behind the scenes with quiet meekness, seasoned with humble perseverance.  Only as a last resort, speak openly about the inequalities of opportunities for women.

I am a year and a half into the revelation that racial and gender equality was included in Christ’s atoning death on the cross.  This eye opening experience came simultaneously with a heart fast led by a book by Alicia Britt Chole,“40 Days of Decrease”.  John the Baptist thought to himself, and then SAID with his mouth, “ I must decrease”.  (Jn. 3:30).    Jesus also experienced decrease as a baby in Bethlehem and the night of his betrayal that preceded his crucifixion.

Men in church leadership consider carefully the biblical passages and listen to the gentle nudging of the Holy Spirit to release the captives and set at liberty those who have been bruised.  (See Luke 4:18,19)

Men, STOP abusing women and children! 

Men, START decreasing your authoritativeness and accept racial and gender equality as a huge part of the atoning death of Jesus Christ.

And…  I am NOT retiring, nor am I receiving perpetual retirement income from the small not for profit 501 (C3) church I served for 30 years.  I am entering a season of decrease, walking a pathway of willful financial surrender of a paid leadership position.

Pray for me, that I will remain on the pathway of humble submission and surrender.  This path is leading me somewhere better, and I don’t want to miss God’s plan that will only unfold as I continue walking this path.  I also realize that even John the Baptist went through a mental/emotional let down as he second-guessed his decision to decrease. (See Luke 7:18-28)

Pray for me that I find both an income producing and kingdom of God increasing opportunity to be God’s source of provision for our family.  I still desire to be as John Wesley said, “Earn all you can, Save all you can, Give all you can.”

In addition, forgive me if I offend anyone in this process of decrease.

Be aware that my prayer that I feel is being led by the Holy Spirit is this:

“Lord, may every white male in church leadership, experience decrease so that ethnic minorities and females be given opportunity to step up and into church leadership.  In Jesus name.”

1 comment:

  1. Craig, found your blog interesting. Could you publish the answers to the following questions along with your post to bring some context and clarity. Who is the woman who will be taking over as the lead pastor? How long have you been the pastor? What is the seating capacity and average weekly attendance at the church? What denomination are you a part of? Thanks for posting this information along with blog post.