When I was a confirmation student, my pastor took a motley crew of 12 teenagers on a tour of Luther Seminary, in Minneapolis. As I walked into the seminary, my eyes widened. My heart thudded and I heard God speak to me clearly, “You are called to this, my child.”
For years I harbored those words deep in my heart. It wasn’t considered “cool” to want to go into ministry, and my mother’s words about a high school friend — “She’s so smart! Why would she go into ministry?” — rang in my ears.
I told no one God’s words to me that day, and eventually convinced myself that he hadn’t spoken at all. I even convinced myself he didn’t care and — maybe — he didn’t exist.
But then my heart awoke again at the end of my senior year of high school and God filled my life with his presence. His calling weighed heavily on my heart.
So I uttered the words, “I think God is calling me to ministry,” for the first time to a close Christian friend’s mother. Her response was shattering.
“Oh, no!” she declared. “That is not coming from God! He does not call women into ministry!” She then led me in prayer, asking God to take “Satan’s call” from my heart. To my everlasting regret, I joined her.
It’s been nearly a decade since that day, but the memory of it and the devastating effect it had on my heart is fresh. That is why I joined CBE’s staff. My journalism degree and my years of experience in project and publication management are merging nicely with my desire to serve. But even better, I am now able to work at eroding the lies Satan has told God’s people.
In our cozy evangelical world, it is easy to “go with the flow.” For some people in the pews, the debate over women in ministry may seem like a distant fight battled by those on the front lines. For some, it is easier to silently disagree. For the people high- lighted in this issue — and countless others who have lost their jobs, their friends and their reputations — keeping silent was not an option.
We may suffer loss because of our beliefs, but that may not be all bad. Paul says in Philippians 1:14: “Because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.”
Let the courageous acts of those who lost much burn as shining examples, encouraging us, like Paul’s fellow workers, to share the message of biblical equality boldly and without fear.