Smart Women and the Church

In the immortal words of Tammy Wynette, sometimes it’s hard to be a woman.  In fact, sometimes it’s particularly hard to be a woman associated with the churches of Christ.  Other than a few congregations on the liberal fringe, churches of Christ tend to be aggressively complementarian:  no women in leadership positions, no exceptions.

This is particularly difficult for intelligent, capable women who in nearly any other situation probably would be leaders.  Through the years, I’ve had my share of conversations with women in this category who express frustration at the teaching and leadership of men whom they judge to be less capable than they are. Continue reading

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Worm Bait

humility

The gospel preacher steps out of the pulpit, the congregation is led in its final two songs, the ‘Amens’ are said, brethren file to the foyer, and it happens…the preacher is now the point man.

He is showered with love and encouragement. Kind words are exchanged, “good jobs” are said, hands are shaken, hugs are received, and the preacher leaves the building feeling like a million bucks.

Brethren do a marvelous job of making the preacher feel special, whether his sermon was a home run or not. Despite all of this, unbeknownst to some, the preacher is often fighting an inward battle with himself; trying not to become worm bait.

Being in the public eye can often cause one to become conceited. Friends, there is no room for this in the Lord’s church. God’s people must stay humble. We have no reason to boast in anything, except for in the cross and Him crucified.

“…but far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world,” Galatians 6:14.

I’m reminded of one in scripture who was speaking publically, this man was encouraged, he failed to give God the glory, and he was ultimately killed because of it. I’m thinking about Herod in Acts chapter 12.

“On an appointed day Herod put on his royal robes, took his seat upon the throne, and delivered an oration to them. And the people were shouting, “The voice of god, and not of a man!” Immediately, an angel of the Lord struck him down, because he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and breathed his last,” Acts 12:21-2.

Compare the above passage to the one below. Just after Jesus had fed five thousand people with five loaves of bread and two fish, the Scriptures say in John 6:14-15,

“When the people saw the sign that He had done, they said, “This is indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world!” Perceiving then that they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by Himself.”

The example in Acts shows a mere man claiming praise and honor for himself. The passage in John portrays One who deserves all praise, glory, and honor withdrawing Himself from such accolades.

We all know in the end Jesus was exalted (Philippians 2:9) and Herod was struck dead and eaten by worms (Acts 12:23).The question remains, what will become of you?

Don’t become worm bait. Give God the glory.

“…whatever you do, do all to the glory of God,” 1 Corinthians 10:31.

By Timothy G. Ruffin