This was the title of this mornings sermon.
When I saw it this morning on the churches website (I was writing down the song numbers for service, we try to practice them on the way to church) I knew it would be an interesting lesson– and I had a feeling that it wouldn't be for the better.
Unfortunately, my gut was right.
Our preacher spoke about how God used Deborah and Jael to complete his will. (Judges 4). While I agree with this premise, I strongly disagree with several points he made throughout the lesson.
Here are some quotes (in black):
“God is not limited by looking at our gender to determine who to use next”
While I do agree with this statement on the surface, preacher fails to mention that Deborah was in the positon she was in because the men would not take the leadership. God used (and continues to use) many women — Esther saved an entire race, Naomi, Abigail, Hannah, Sarah, Mary (mother of Jesus), Lydia, Priscilla to name a few, yet none but Deborah was in a leadership position. Yes, there are Deaconess' and Prophetess' but this is a servant position –not a leadership positon. Deborah is the ONLY woman in the entire scripture that had a position of leadership.
“there was more cooperation between Barak and Deborah than many believe”
God gave Deborah a prophecy, much like He gave to Jonah. Deborah prophesied for Barak to defeat the army of Sisera. Barak did not obey God! Scripture doesn't tell us what happened to him–maybe it was a case where grace was given. This implies to me that Barak was a wimpy fellow. “if” you will go with me, I will go” (Judges 4:8). Kind of like us ladies that don't like going to the restroom by ourselves. Barak didn't say to Deborah “since you are judge you should come and defeat Sisera with me” He said “I'll go if you go.” God gives men the responsibility to protect the women. Barak didn't do his job. Deborah is the only woman in Biblical times to go in to battle. I believe God used a woman to do a man's job because a man wouldn't do the job.
“consider the power of a few women committed to the full will of God”
While I don't disagree with the surface of this quote. What preacher implied was that women can do more than men; men are unnecessary and women can do anything alone (i.e. without a man). What about the men of the congregation? Again, Deborah is the ONLY woman in Scripture that has a positon of leadership like this.
And finally, “What if every woman reclaimed their children, husbands, etc” (I didn't get the rest of what we need to reclaim, because I was thinking “this is totally opposite of scripture”). Scripture clearly states that the hearts of the fathers will be turned back to their children (Malachi 4:6).
There is not a woman alive that needed to hear this sermon. I would expect that even the most submissive woman struggles occassionally with wanting to usurp the authority of men. Genesis tells us that the woman's desire will be over her husband (and I believe this implies men in general). Women want to rule over men because of Eve's sin. Preacher just made a man's job in the church obsolete. He also gave women the right to do whatever they want to do”The Lord told me to do ______” (Yes, preacher implied that one could use “thus saith the Lord” to justify their plans). What man will/can argue with that. Scripture says that “the heart is deceitful above all else” A woman's heart can be swayed so easily. Many times I have told hubby that I thought we should_____. He took my advice and down the road, we can look back and see how Satan used me to lead us down a road we'd rather not taken.
I just asked hubby what his thoughts were by the end of the sermon and he said, “huh, the women can take care of this” This sermon, not only did not encourage my husband, but is totally opposite of what he posted recently about the feminization of church. Not only that, but I spoke last fall at Ladies Day about a woman's role as wife and mother–preacher today was totally opposite of what I said a few months ago.
It will be easy for us to take a couple of weeks to pray about what we should do, with next week being Easter and the week after that being the homeschool conference. But this lesson was definately over the line of scripture and unfortunately, we have some decisions to make.
Our week just got even rougher. . .