Sunday, therefore another day to hear the sermon and hold one’s peace at church, and to set the record straight in the blog.
The theme for today’s sermon was EMPOWERMENT OF WOMEN.
We all face only one shortage and that is TIME. Had things been the way it was prior to Noah’s time, we’d have had all the time to do 2 things:-
1. to ascertain from those older than us ( maybe a Methuselah could ask for details from Adam and wud have had an un-perverted narration of facts on history) and form true opinions. and
2. not having to rely on the biased & preconceived notions of the so called researchers who look for something,and when they find nothing, they substantiate their theories with straws- which get bandied about and make the issues hazier.
But Alas! that is not to be and here we are with limited time at our disposal and unless otherwise it is our job or is paying, we do not want to spare TIME to clarify issues, which are cardinal to our being. Hence an accurate HISTORICAL perspective may not be available to me, but I am also aware that anyone else touching upon this topic wud be under the same liability.
When we talk of EMPOWERMENT, we are talking of giving a greater say in the decision making process of the systems, and to ensure that – when the opportunity is well used by those empowered- if the objectives of the systems are met and those objectives are salubrious in the long run, then those suggestions are to be adopted- however contrary to the existing system the suggestions might be.
Practically this may not be so- as the system might need revamping before such salubrious suggestions are given effect to. Then, the suggestions adopted cannot see the germination thereof. And as already stated, we don’t have time to follow through, and the suggestions languish for want of implementation.
In a church if one talks of empowerment, what is one talking of? To be a member of a Committee of Appointments for the profs in the colleges run by the church; to have a say in the spending of the diocesan funds?; to become a priest and have a say in the politics of the Christian flock? Nay- there is a Christian side to the system. If one wants to be the forerunner to CHRIST, he has to be like John the Baptist and live outside the societal comforts. No protection, gotta call rogues as vipers, antagonize tetrarchs, get one’s head served in a platter( all for the sinuous dance of Herod’s victim’s daughter- Salome).
When such were the consequences , no woman was willing to walk in camel’s skin, eat wild honey and spew venom against the powerful. But now that the years of hard work of the staunch believers have borne fruit and in the foreseeable future none might be required to do the dirty and difficult jobs as described before, the chicks are putting pressure to be closer to the honey-pot and squealing for an occasional dip in it. The worst is that, men are eager to push their women folk in front and get their agendas fulfilled thru them! So much for empowerment!!!
Woman was not made to get into the hurly burly of leading in spiritual matters, but was created to be of support to man in his endeavors.
God said I WILL MAKE A HELP MEET FOR HIM. Help and nothing more. Eve wanted to rise above the status assigned and there she opened communication channels with the serpent and REVEALED the secret of the tree of knowledge; ate of it; gave some to the MAN- whose assistant she was- and thereby created the mess we are in. It may all be symbolic, but the symbolism has to be extended to squeeze out the implications.
I do not agree with the diktat of Paul that HE DOESN’T GIVE AUTHORITY FOR WOMEN TO SPEAK IN CHURCH. No doubt, this is a passage in the Bible, but when no such PROHIBITION was given by JESUS through all the four Gospels, there is not much weight to the Paulian prohibition.
Further when the disciples tried to stifle the shouts of Hosanna, Jesus’ command was that, if these did not cry out the STONES would cry out the Hosannas. Therefore, God could make anyone a tool in His absolute will. It could be a woman too.
While Jesus was still in the flesh, there is no record to show that he chose them for spreading the gospel. That does not mean that a woman shud not become one- but it also means that we shud not make it an overt agenda to make a woman a priest or a Bishop for the sake of making a woman priest or a woman bishop. Women shud become worthy before they breach the male bastion and then fix standards for their gender. That is how it has been and that is how it ought to be.
There was this Judge named BARAK (cf: JUDGES in the Bible), whose reliance on Deborah was absolute and had to share the glory, of defeating Sisera, with her. He was warned of such sharing and consequently the reduction in Glory , yet he chose sharing. If one wants to depend on women it is nothing wrong, but prescribing it for statistical purposes and for tokenism, is a TABOO.
CHRISTIANITY is a religion for proving it with one’s life and not thru one’s acquired skills and connections! May it remain to be so and let every sane Christian uphold the same.