“How can you serve in a denomination like that? A denomination that is know for having archaic views about women? Doesn’t it bother you?”
This was the question posed to me by a friend while we sat watching our boys play baseball. Yes, I told her. Yes, it bothers me. A lot. But not for the reasons it used to.
When I was in my 20’s I wanted nothing to do with the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. I thought, as most 20 year olds do, that I had stuff figured out. I was convinced that the LCMS (the denomination I grew up in) was not right for me. After all, I was about to be married to the grandson of an Assemblies of God preacher! Not that I thought we had to go to Assemblies of God church, either…..
So many things have changed since Jeremy and I were married in 2001. But one thing that hasn’t changed is that we are not “married” to a denomination. We love Jesus. And that’s enough. Denominations are something of this world. Man-made. And man, are they divisive. There are days we are ready to just do “home church” with our little family in our little living room. No denominational doctrine, no other people’s feelings to worry about, and most importantly: I could go to home church in my pajamas. 🙂
This is not what God calls us to do, however. He calls us to get messy. And what I’ve come to realize in my infinite 35 year old wisdom (haha) is that all denominations are messy. I agree and disagree with the “views” of every church we have attend in our 13 years of marriage…and that’s 4 denominations so far (Baptist, E-Free, Non-Denominational, and LCMS). I have seen Satan’s hand and God’s grace at work in all of these churches.
But most of all I’ve seen people. God’s people that look much like the Israelites that my sons and I are reading about each night. Together, we praise God for His mighty works and His all-powerful name. And with the next breath, we grumble because the manna He has blessed our church with is “not enough” for the “things we want to do for Him”. We confess our sins to each other and ask for forgiveness (all thanks to Jesus that we don’t have to slaughter a goat to get this forgiveness like our Israelite brothers and sisters in the Bible). With the next breath, I ask God why he wants me to serve in a denomination that views women the way it does and I feel tempted to leave my ministry position for something that “fits me better.”
Does the whole “women in the LCMS” issue still bother me? Oh, yes. But not for the reasons it used to. Not just because I disagree with the interpretation of certain “women should be silent in church” scriptures written by Paul. Today it bothers me because I see how it has hurt God’s daughters and God’s daughter’s ministries. I will be exploring this more in my blog and I would welcome anyone to continue this conversation with me. It’s not an easy one, but, it is a necessary one!
Lord, thank you for Your church. Thank you that you call us RIGHTEOUS sons and daughters because we are covered with the blood of Jesus. Thank you for leaving the Holy Spirit with us to give us peace, no matter what storms my rise. We love you and we worship You for who You are! Amen