Parody video: 7 reasons men should not be pastors
"Some men are handsome, they could be too distracting for us on Sunday," was one statement made in a satirical video released yesterday entitled 7 Reasons Men Should Not be Pastors.
7 Reasons Men Should Not Be Pastors
I mean, they could still lead worship on Father's Day ...Posted by Sojourners on Tuesday, 5 April 2016
The video, released by the Christian social justice organisation Sojourners, sees women list reasons why they think men are unfit to serve as ministers, parodying the reasons so often invoked to disqualify women.
"Time and time again, we at Sojourners hear how women continue to be sidelined in their churches or treated as second-class citizens," Elaina Ramsey, Sojourners' women and girls campaign director, told Christian Today.
"This video flips the script and cleverly illustrates how women struggle to be heard or taken seriously in their congregations and communities. Last month we celebrated women's historic contributions. Now we must support the next generation – this video seeks to honor the future of women's leadership."
With over a million views in 24 hours, the video has struck a chord.
Whether or not you agree that female ordination is biblical, the video highlights that some of the reasons women are denied leadership roles are not based on Scripture, but patronising, gender stereotypes.
"They're too emotional to be priests or pastors. Go to a March Madness game and tell me I'm wrong," one woman says.
"Male pastors that have children might be distracted by being a parent," another adds.
"Jesus was betrayed by a man. How can men be trusted to lead?"
Speaking to Christian Today, Ramsey explained that "for centuries, men have primarily interpreted scripture and theology across faith traditions. As such, women's voices and experiences have been devalued or dismissed in the church. Yet women are the lifeblood of many Christian communities.
"But the messages that women and girls receive undermine their sacred worth when they aren't represented in the pulpit or are restricted to leadership roles based on traditional gender norms. It's 2016 – it's time for churches to support women's leadership (and not just in the children's ministry)."
The video is an update to a popular blog post written by Eugene Cho, founder and lead pastor of Quest Church, Seattle in 2008. His list was based on an older list written by Dr David Scholer, a Fuller Theological Seminary professor.
Many of the largest Christian denominations, including the Roman Catholic Church and the Southern Baptist Convention, do not allow women to be ordained. And even among the denominations that do allow female ordination, far fewer women are in leadership positions than men.
Women still lead only 11 per cent of American congregations according to the National Congregations Study report released last year.
"We're all equal in faith, yet we have a long way to go to dismantle 2,000 years of patriarchy in the church and beyond. But through bold and courageous steps, women religious leaders (clergy, laity, and theologians) are slowly breaking through the stained-glass ceiling," said Ramsey.
"It will take honest and hard conversations from within the church to address gender inequality. But I'm hopeful we'll get there. After all, women were the first to herald the gospel."