Why Men Should Not Be Ordained

A friend (a woman, naturally) passed this on to me. I thought it was pretty funny. Also helpful in reminding ourselves that what passes for an argument often isn’t.

Ten Reasons Why Men Should Not Be Ordained For Ministry

10. A man’s place is in the army.

9. The pastoral duties of men who have children might distract them from the responsibility of being a parent.

8. The physique of men indicates that they are more suited to such tasks as chopping down trees and wrestling mountain lions. It would be “unnatural” for them to do ministerial tasks.

7. Man was created before woman, obviously as a prototype. Thus, they represent an experiment rather than the crowning achievement of creation.

6. Men are too emotional to be priests or pastors. Their conduct at football and basketball games demonstrates this.

5. Some men are handsome, and this will distract women worshipers.

4. Pastors need to nurture their congregations. But this is not a traditional male role. Throughout history, women have been recognized as not only more skilled than men at nurturing, but also more fervently attracted to it. This makes them the obvious choice for ordination.

3. Men are prone to violence. No really masculine man wants to settle disputes except by fighting about them. Thus they would be poor role models as well as dangerously unstable in positions of leadership.

2. The New Testament tells us that Jesus was betrayed by a man. His lack of faith and ensuing punishment remind us of the subordinated position that all men should take.

1. Men can still be involved in church activities, even without being ordained. They can sweep sidewalks, repair the church roof, and perhaps even lead the song service on Father’s Day. By confining themselves to such traditional male roles, they can still be vitally important in the life of the church.

By Paul Neeley



8 Responses to “Why Men Should Not Be Ordained”

  1. Bill Reichert Says:

    Which only goes to show, I suppose, that no one should be ordained!

  2. timhensley Says:

    It may be fashionable to poke fun and the idea of male leadership. But when you set the spoofing aside, there’s still the NT itself, which says such things as “women shall be saved in childbearing” and should “devote themselves to domestic duties.” By the modern standard, such statements are regarded as bigoted and outlandish. But there they are nonetheless. And in the end, you either live by them, affirming a God-given division of labor, or you dismiss them by crayfishing on the authority of the text. And oh my, what twistings and turnings these exegetes will engage in to throw off the yoke (which Christ himself has told us is easy).

  3. David Graham Says:

    LOL – great piece by Paul Neeley. Made me laugh. Thanks for posting it.

    (Also, I have to agree with Tim Hensley, that the NT is clear on church leadership, so one either has to take it or leave it. Parsing it to fit one’s personal tastes isn’t legitimate.)

  4. David Drury Says:

    This is some high satire here. I expect that those who need to hear it most will not get the joke, however. 🙂

  5. Joy Arroyo Says:

    I am a woman candidate for ordination in the Wesleyan Church, and I started preaching when I was 23 years old. I’ve preached in a variety of churches, and the response of the people is the same: when I preach, the Holy Spirit moves. It is something that goes beyond my personal tastes: it is a call and commissioning of God, marked by the presence of the Holy Spirit. In light of this, I am going to offer some scriptural reflections on women in ministry.

    In Acts 10, the Jewish Christians were astonished when the Holy Spirit came upon the Gentiles. After all, they knew their Scriptures: that it was unlawful for them to “associate with or visit a Gentile” (Acts 10:28). Why would the Holy Spirit cross these clearly Scriptural boundaries? And not only were Gentiles included in the Kingdom of God, they also soon became leaders of the Church! But what about the Scriptures that were so clear on this matter? Ezra was embarrassed at the marriage of Jews with Gentiles because “the holy seed has mixed itself with the peoples of the lands” (Ezra 9:2). And separation of Jews and Gentiles was not only an Old Testament rule. Jesus himself said, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matthew 15:24). Then why would the Holy Spirit ignore Scripture? The church leaders were divided on how to handle this issue.

    I’m sure they had to go back through the Scriptures and perhaps find another thread weaving its way through: the inclusion of “all nations” into the kingdom of God because of God’s great love. Ruth, a Gentile, married Boaz, and from her line, King David and eventually Jesus were born. Jesus heals the Gentiles to whom he was not sent. Isaiah said, “And the foreigners who join themselves to the Lord . . . these I will bring to my holy mountain” (Isaiah 56:6). So, in spite of Scripture separating Jews and Gentiles, the greater plan of God was to have all nations involved in God’s kingdom, and this is what the Holy Spirit was up to in Acts 10.

    In the same way, although certain Scriptures forbid women in church leadership, we can see a thread throughout Scripture running counter to these attitudes. Female leaders such as Deborah and Esther, using intelligence and strength, save their people from destruction. Women follow Jesus during his ministry, and he does not turn them away. Paul acknowledges the key role women play in the church: Phoebe, the deacon, and Priscilla who, along with her husband, instructs Apollos in doctrine and works hard for the church. And finally we get this prophecy in Joel that “sons and daughters will prophesy” – and to prophesy means to speak, not remain silent, in church. This prophecy of Joel is repeated in Acts 2 when the Holy Spirit comes upon the church. But why would the Holy Spirit encourage women to speak in a prophetic role when they are told clearly in 1 Timothy to remain silent? Why would the Holy Spirit go against Scripture in this way? Perhaps, just as the greater plan of God included the Gentiles, the greater plan of God also includes women in church leadership.

    But that nagging question remains: why would there be Scriptures that forbid Jews from associating with Gentiles, and why would some Scriptures forbid women from speaking in church, when God’s plan was to eventually contradict these attitudes? One answer could be that certain cultural conditions of the time made these attitudes necessary, but they were not meant to be followed forever. Another answer could be the way Jesus explains the Old Testament divorce laws to the Pharisees, laws he later overturned: “It was because you were so hard-hearted that Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so” (Matthew 19:8). From the beginning, God had a plan for all nations to be blessed through Abraham. From the beginning, God created both men and women in the image of God, equal. The curse of sin and hard-hearted attitudes twisted these good plans of God, but the Holy Spirit is in the business of eliminating sin and softening hearts toward God’s greater plan. So, let all nations be blessed, let the daughters prophecy, and whether we are at our jobs, in a classroom, or behind a pulpit, let us proclaim the good news of God’s kingdom!

  6. Kay Gould Says:

    As women discern their roles in leadership in the church, is it really necessary to “bash” the men? Has the pendulum swung to far? Sometimes funny can be very destructive.

  7. Wednesday Link List « Thinking Out Loud Says:

    […] on the lighter side, Tim Stafford has decided, in the interest of balance I’m sure, to list ten reasons why men should not be ordained. Yes, it says men. A younger Robert H. Schuller preaches on the roof of the snack bar of the […]

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