Woman called by God as missionary now has regrets

Woman called by God as missionary now has regrets

Testimony from a woman who watched WIM DVD

Recently, I received an email from a woman who purchased my 4 DVD set “Women in Ministry Silenced or Set Free?” and then wrote me about the impact that the DVDs had on her.  I was so touched by her testimony that I asked permission to share her story with the world.  I have removed her name as she requested anonymity because of her situation.  I hope that you will be encouraged and touched as I was when I read her story.

rope2 on Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

 

_____________________________________

Dear Cheryl,

I’m not sure if you are the one I should write to, but I wanted to let someone know that I watched the DVDs “Women in the Ministry” twice and my reactions to it.

For three days I was an emotional wreck.  I got angry, I cried, I’d stopped watching it and walked around the house talking to myself.  I fell to my knees and told God I didn’t understand.  I even was asked by others if I was feeling ok or if I was sick.  It tore me up inside.  Please, let me explain.

I am a woman in my fifties..My background is a lifetime of being in conservative, fundamental, baptist churches and have been married for thirty some years to a man with a similar background.  Our women are restricted in serving the Lord and are constricted to servant roles in our churches.  We should only wear skirts and dresses which must be mid calf.  We should not be bare armed although to the elbow short sleeves are permitted.  We may cut and style our hair, but it should be at least shoulder length.  We cannot preach, period, or teach males once they are 13 years of age and we cannot hold any type of leadership position, even on committees or panels.  A man (usually the husband of the woman who really needs to oversee the event or function) is usually appointed the position of leader even if it is only a figurehead.  We are taught that our roles are “separate, but, equal.”

The workings of the Lord

Through the workings of the Lord (though some may say the devil) I came across your web site.  I was intrigued and ordered the DVD set WIM.  I have always thought that something wasn’t correct about the restriction we are forced to be under.  When I was a teenager, before I truly and fully understood this restriction, I felt called to be a missionary.  I felt sure I knew to whom I was called and where I was to go.  I counseled with my pastor as all good congregational members do and was shocked, confused and hurt to find out that I couldn’t be the missionary I felt led to become.  I was told that no mission board would back me because I was a single woman and that the only way I could be a missionary to the people I felt called to was if I married a man who was also called to the same.  But truth be told, I had to be wrong about my calling, because God calls men.  God prepares the heart of a woman to follower her husband into the mission field, but doesn’t allow her to answer the call of a leadership position because the Bible says so.  If I truly was called, it must be only to help my future husband in his ministries.

I couldn’t understand why God would do this, after all, men were as sinful in His sight as women were and women were just as equal in God’s sight as men.  I wanted to do what was right.  My choices were thin, I could either accept God’s Word or be in rebellion.  As time went on, I came to accept that men just might be more special to God than women.  So I pushed my “calling” aside and accepted my role as a woman in the church.  I married young, raised my children, helped my husband in his ministries, taught the 4 + 5 yr. old Sunday School, sang in the choir, played organ/piano for services, etc., etc., etc., but I never really had peace.  It was as if there was a “little tiff” between me and God.  It was as if I had a hole in my heart.  And when a man stood up behind the pulpit to preach on women and their roles, I would cringe, I would resent it and fight back the tears.  That lost, confused and hurt feeling I felt that day so long ago would rise to the surface.  I would tell myself that that was just my sin nature resisting the commands of God.  After all nobody likes to be told what to do.. I would then ask God to forgive me for being rebellious and I would force it all back down.

Reaction

I watched the DVDs the first time with the reaction I mentioned at the beginning of this letter.  After all, this was not what I had been taught.  How could this be right?  How could Bible Scholars, men who had spent their whole life studying the Bible backwards and forwards, have missed this?  After I had settled down, a few days later, I watched the DVDs again with my Bible and a concordance with a Hebrew/Greek Bible Dictionary and I followed along.  Everything that was being discussed seemed correct and I greatly rejoiced.  The hole in my heart has started to heal, because I now know that man is behind the restriction, not God.

I, also, mourn.  For although I now embrace the truth and will defend any woman who would dare claim these teachings for her own, it’s too late for me.  I cannot do the same because to do so could mean I might lose my family.  If I could not convince them that these DVDs speak the truth, I would be labeled a heretic.

Oh how I do so wish that the Scriptures used in the DVDs were from the King James Version.  It would take a miracle for me to convince my husband or some other man from the church to watch these.  On the off chance a miracle would happen, as soon as the first Scripture is read and he/they realize its not KJV, they will dismiss it.  They will mock.  They will give no value to it.  It doesn’t matter that the study goes back into the Hebrew and the Greek, if the scriptures are not from the KJV then it is a work of Satan trying to corrupt the Word of the Lord.

Thank you

Thank you so much for producing these DVDs.  They not only started a healing process in my life, but also, I am now wondering about other things that I have been taught as Bible truths.  Some are:  1. marriage.  This would seem to go with the WIM (How submnissive is submissiveness supposed to be?);  2. women’s apparel (How are we supposed to dress?);  3. KVJ verses other Bible Versions;  4. Pastor Rule. (Does he really have absolute authority?);  5.  Church Discipline (Is it necessary and, if so, what is the proper way to administer it.)  Perhaps you will consider making DVDs on these subjects.

I wish to know what church or denomination you are from.  Perhaps there is a church in my area I could attend, ifone day I am able to break away from mine.  It is so hard to attend now that I have watched the DVDs and know the truth.  A visiting evangelist made a statement in which he cruelly denounced women counseling men and the men of the congregation responded with a hearty “Amen.”  It hurt.

I pray that Christian men will have their eyes opened to the truth as they read their Bibles and put away their preconceived notions and beliefs.  I pray that they will soon liberate Christian women everywhere.  However, I feel like Moses.  I am looking over into the Promised Land, but I won’t see it in my lifetime.

In Christ,

(name removed by request)

22 thoughts on “Woman called by God as missionary now has regrets

  1. This is exactly why our message must be heard. How many more women have been “led out of the garden” with man and away from God? How many men have been taught to swallow this blasphemy which makes them little gods? How can the Holy Spirit not be grieved and squelched by this pride in the flesh? And how many more women must also face this terrible choice between God and family (“I came not to bring peace but a sword…”), all because of “he will rule over you”?

    There can be no “live and let live” or “agree to disagree” when women are belittled, mocked, and often beaten or killed due to the teaching of hierarchy in the community of believers. Light cannot live with darkness; the flesh can only fight against the spirit.

    We all need to start putting our money where our mouth is. How long will we just keep silent in the “churches”, in the name of a false and man-centered “peace”?

  2. Yes, may God “work all things together for good” for this lady. I’m sure He isn’t done with her yet!

    And I have to wonder how all those proud men deal with the likes of Lottie Moon who were single missionaries, who also believed in women’s full equality in every sphere of Christian living. I’d like to see them call those who were saved because of her “lost”, and then continue to hypocritically collect mission offerings in her name. I’d like to hear them call her a Jezebel for choosing to “obey God rather than men”. And she is only one of many.

  3. What a great letter! My heart goes out to her because she knows this truth even while stuck in a world of lies and legalism.

    She mentions so many things but a few that I hope to encourage her:

    1. As for KJO, I would encourage her to read the preface written by the KJV translators. It is a very interesting read. These men were laboring under a king and a state church. That affected their translation and they seemed to know it by their own words in the preface. there is a reason King James wanted a new translation. And it was not because there was not a good one already.

    2. As for church discipline..which is being touted and promoted everywhere these days, it is becoming increasingly obvious it is being promoted to gain power and control over others.

    Just last night I was reading this in 2 Corinthians and I could hear Paul’s love, tears and anguish in his call for church discipline from 1 Corinthians:

    1 But I determined this within myself, that I would not come again to you in sorrow. 2 For if I make you sorrowful, then who is he who makes me glad but the one who is made sorrowful by me?

    3 And I wrote this very thing to you, lest, when I came, I should have sorrow over those from whom I ought to have joy, having confidence in you all that my joy is the joy of you all. 4 For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote to you, with many tears, not that you should be grieved, but that you might know the love which I have so abundantly for you.
    5 But if anyone has caused grief, he has not grieved me, but all of you to some extent—not to be too severe. 6 This punishment which was inflicted by the majority is sufficient for such a man, 7 so that, on the contrary, you ought rather to forgive and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one be swallowed up with too much sorrow. 8 Therefore I urge you to reaffirm your love to him. 9 For to this end I also wrote, that I might put you to the test, whether you are obedient in all things. 10 Now whom you forgive anything, I also forgive. For if indeed I have forgiven anything, I have forgiven that one[a] for your sakes in the presence of Christ, 11 lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.

  4. I believe that the KJV is a very woman friendly Bible and is the only one that crosses boundaries and has wide acceptance. I would be pleased to see more women’s materials use the KJV.

  5. Hi Sue, I was not even thinking along the lines of KJV being friendly toward women. I was thinking of the legalism of KJVO and refusing to hear other translations.

    But, I would be very interested in your thoughts on why the KJV is women friendly as compared to other translations. Maybe this comment stream is not the best place. Can you write about it on your blog? I always learn tons from you.

  6. lin said “As for KJO, I would encourage her to read the preface written by the KJV translators.”

    Absolutely. As I recall, they not only praised the work of those that had come before them but expected, and even encouraged, further translation work in the future. Of all people, they would have been aghast at the very concept of “KJV only”.

  7. If you use the KJV no one will suggest that it is biased or influenced by feminism. It tends to be very literal and gender neutral in that when it says “any man” it is clear that it is referring to any person. The preface does not say “when it says ‘man’ it means male.”

    Also 1 Tim. 2:12 uses the phrase “usurp authority” instead of “exercise authority.” This is consistent what we know about the word authentein. In 1 Cor. 11:10 a woman is to have “power on her head” rather than a symbol of authority. Phoebe offers succour and Junia is an apostle. I think it offers women more dignity.

    However, there is one verse which is mistranslated in the KJV.

    To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. KJV Titus 2:5

    5to be self-controlled,(A) pure,(B) working at home, kind, and(C) submissive to their own husbands,(D) that the word of God may not be reviled. ESV

    Perhaps it is simply best to think of one’s ideal audience. It is very unfortunate that we don’t have one translation that is considered authoritative across denominations.

  8. I reloaded my previous comment because I forgot to enter the anti-spam word. That explains the odd backslashes.

  9. Very good points, Sue! It is interesting to consider that the translators of KJV had no need to fear equality with women in society and the church so were more true to the text in that respect.

  10. Anonymous, I understand the nightmare of discovering the truth while within the confines of a family or marriage which believes otherwise. It can be devastating. It was for me. Now, I am gradually coming to trust God for even this situation. He is working within it at the very least by allowing me to learn far more about this topic than I had ever imagined doing. Where it will go from here, I don’t know.

    I would encourage Anonymous to hang in there, and never lose hope that God can’t use you. Instead of being a missionary to people in some distant land, in time, you may well become a missionary to those women and men around you who are caught up in the darkness of complementarian theology. Darkness is darkness-whether overseas or here.

    For now, let God continue to heal your wounds and draw you close. I continue to be amazed at how He provides unexpected comfort, wisdom, etc. as I have struggled and groped my way through this darkness.

    You can be sure I will be praying for you, meanwhile! And know that you are not alone among those who have left their spouse’s and family’s churches. I have had to, and my spouse and I are not of like mind on this topic so we do separate things on Sunday mornings. It is not ideal, but it is what I came to feel I had to do in order to not violate my conscience and because hearing the untruths spoken from his church about women became too much for me. I was not aloud to say much about it in return, so why continue to go there? I did not even want my presence within a comp. congregation to be misunderstood as an endorsement of those teachings.

    It meant that for a good long while, I have gone nowhere, except to go on exploratory forays to other churches. I am still not settled into one place. Most Sundays, I just stayed home and read and prayed there. The need to heal was too great. Meanwhile, my ‘fellowship’ consisted of following the comments and articles on various websites and a few phone calls to distant like-minded believers. I am not at all suggesting this is the format for all who have undergone this same experience. It simply happens to be mine.

  11. My heart also goes out to this brave woman. May providence guide and guard her always.

    It takes a brave human being to survive under such horrific bondage for as many years as she did.

    This site and others like it are freeing one human being at a time from the religions of men and the slavery those religions can produce.

  12. Sue – Titus 2:5 certainly isn’t the only place that the KJV runs into translational trouble, at least in the cultural paradigm of a 21st century reader, but I certainly see your point. I find myself constantly searching different versions to see who seems to get it closest (in comparison to the original languages, of course), even if it means looking at a paraphrase.

    Just a sample –

    I think the KJV has malakos and arsenokoit?s all wrong in 1 Cor 6:9 because the translation focuses on personality characteristics rather than real sinful actions. Although I generally don’t like the NIV, I believe in this verse they got it exactly right.

    I view the translations in the opposite order in Job 31:1, where I believe the NIV leads the reader completely astray by introducing “lust” into the verb biyn where it simply doesn’t belong. Their translation leads one to believe only a certain level of looking at a woman is bad (especially when considered along side Matthew 5:28). In this verse, I think the KJV is dead on.

    This is why I have an 8 version parallel bible in my library and rely on web resources like blueletterbible.com where I can easily compare versions. Considering ANY version to be perfect and the only authoritative version is, at best, short sighted. At worst, I dare say it is idolatry.

  13. so, gengwall, out of curiosity, which bible do you recommend to new believers? Or, if several, which, and how do you explain the multiples to them? I have been asked by my comp why I can’t recommend just one bible. I am then accused of looking for versions that tickle my ear, that support what I want to believe. When I explain that all current versions are translations, and therefore not inerrant, and that I look for ones that are the closest to what I understand the originals to be saying, I am met with: ‘well, you are no Greek or Hebrew scholar(which is true), so how much can you know about what the translations in the original languages mean anyway? And if I mention reading what other legitimate scholars have written, based on their studies, I am met with the tickling ear accusation since scholars can be found on both sides of the argument (comp/egal argument).

    It always makes me feel like my license to ‘rightly divide the word of truth’ has just been ripped from my hands and stomped to pieces on the ground in front of me. And never mind that the stomper has chosen to listen to those in authority over him, Sunday after Sunday, and I can assure you THEY weren’t there when Jesus and the apostles and Paul walked and talked on this green earth. Cain’t win fer losin’.
    (spell-check hated that last phrase. 🙂

  14. I have been asked by my comp why I can’t recommend just one bible. I am then accused of looking for versions that tickle my ear, that support what I want to believe.

    Ah, yes, I have heard this argument. Your response is correct – that no translation is inerrant. To prove it, refer them to the very words of the KJV scholars who were extreamly humble and well aware of their inadequacy in comparison to the original authors.

    The answer to the “Greek or Hebrew” scholar argument is that, besides the many scholars who are out there, there are scores of online resources available to help one understand the original languages. (This drives them nuts because they usually hate the internet as well).

    As far as scholars “tickling the ear”, challenge them that they also listen to scholars who could be just as guilty. Their very teaching assumes a level of scholarship that you consider just as “ticklish” as any you might listen to.

    Of course, in the long run, it is sensless to argue with automatons who have drunken the comp koolaide. Rest assured that you take the more sensible approach, and even their darling KJV scholars would agree.

    I prefer the NASB in most cases because it is very literal. I am not very fond of the NIV, although, as I have said above, it sometimes really gets it right. Most of all, when dealing with difficult passages, I start where Cheryl often starts – with the online Greek and Hebrew interlinears at scripture4all.org. I actually have the desktop version which allows me to search, gives mouse over definitions, has the Strongs numbers and concordance, and has several other parallels to chose from. For hard copy I have several versions available and the afore mentioned 8 version parallel. And I use blueletterbible.com quite often as it has multitranslation display, lists all the verses that use any particular Greek and Hebrew word, and has the Thayer’s Lexicon. For extra-biblical resources on Greek, I use the lexicons at perseus.tufts.edu

    Of course, for someone who just wants a bible to read, the NIV is probably the most readable text. I just would warn anyone that the bible does not contradict itself, an any apparent contradiction either from plain reading or proposed by another person should be thoroughly studied. your challengers are correct in that there are many out there who “tickle the ears” on all sides of every issue. I trust no person to TELL me what the bible says without researching it for myself.

    The good news is that the bible was written for every person. One of the biggest lies that “scholars” like to tell (I actually had a pastor tell me this once) is that to truly understand the bible you have to have a theological education. Everyone else should trust the learned pastors and appologists to explain the “mysteries” and other hard to understand passages. Nothing gets me more ticked off because I know that the original readers, and indeed to a great extent, the original audience, of the bible were not Phd’s.

  15. gengwall-thanks for the helpful and great response! I don’t know why I never thought to look to the lion’s mouth (kjv translators’ comments) for such a terrific comeback! there it is!!!

    I am glad, too, that the original wasn’t written for a ph.d only audience. Nor did most of the audience have one in their back pocket.

    By the way, I get a huge kick out of the expression on Dogberry’s face on your site as well as his words. Perfect.

  16. For new believers I am recommending TNIV for reading. For women I’m recommending the NRSV Study Bible for Women. It’s NT only and sold by Amazon and CBE. The notes are life giving. I wish someone would put out a similar Men’s Study Bible with the same or similar notes. The men’s study Bibles seem to get all the male only dominance thrown at them. 🙁

    Great testimony Cheryl. Thanks for posting it. 🙂

  17. Tiro, thanks for the tip! I never thought about men wanting a good study bible from the vantage point of this topic but that makes sense. My duh!

  18. Wouldn’t it be great if we could persuade CBE to put out a men’s study Bible? 🙂 If anyone knows any of the VIP’s of CBE, now is the time to get someone working on publishing such a Bible with good notes. All they do is pick a decent translation and add some pertinent notes.

    The Women’s Study Bible was noted by Catherine Clark Kroeger, Mary Evans and Elaine Storkey. What egal men would be good to do notes for a men’s study Bible?

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: