Stubble, straw and scarecrows

Stubble, straw and scarecrows

Diane Sellner and CARM

In 2006 my DVD Women in Ministry Silenced or Set Free came out and since that time I have seen my share of scarecrows who are intent on destroying the message of women in ministry. One such scarecrow refuses to go away and it is time to create a blog post where others who have been hurt by the issue of women in ministry can share their pain.  If you are a woman in ministry or a woman teacher and you have been hurt, abused or silenced and you would like to share a short story, this is the post for you to share with us. I will moderate the comments so that any scarecrow/troll who would like to sound off against women in ministry will either have their comments moderated or removed.  This is a safe place where others who are like minded can encourage you as there are many who come to this community of loving Christians who value the worth and ministry of women.

The reason I named this post Stubble, Straw and Scarecrows is because those who are vehemently opposed to women’s gifts used for the common good are planting chaff and their words are nothing more than stubble and straw. Stubble, straw, and scarecrows are not God’s tools nor are they things to be afraid of. We are to fear God and allow Him to decide what gifts we receive for the fact is that the gift we receive from God comes with His permission to use His gift for God’s glory and the common good (1 Peter 4:11). No man can give us spiritual gifts and no man may kill God’s gifts within us. We are accountable to God and we must be faithful with what God has given us rather than holding back because of the fear of man.

I will start with my story. In 2008, I had the opportunity to respond to accusations against women in ministry made by CARM (Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry).  Through this contact, I was eventually subjected to months of name calling by Diane Sellner who is the vice president of CARM and she is CARM’s head discussion board moderator who is a strong opponent against women in ministry. In 2008 Diane launched a concerted attack against me personally saying that God would shut down my ministry. What was my crime? My crime was my support of women’s rights to use God’s gifts for the common good, and for creating  a DVD on this subject which was seen as persuasive and having influenced people on the CARM discussion boards.

There are some that visit my blog who were on the CARM boards at that time and they were witnesses to the attacks against me.  Through Diane and her role as moderator of the CARM discussion board, I was accused of being despicable, a weak Christian, unstable, a heretic, evil, a danger to the body of Christ, poison, I “stink”, a wolf in sheep’s clothing, a pathological liar, a hypocrite, brainwashed, a classic heretic nut case, dangerous, an imposter and a deceiver, no ounce of character, my doctrine on women in ministry is said to be from the pit of hell, and that God will remove me from the web. On top of the name calling, Diane Sellner purchased my name three times as an internet domain name in an effort to try to prejudice people who would google my name. Diane linked the purchases of my name as domain names to a blog that she created where she identified me as a narcissist and she encouraged people not to listen to me. Diane was outed in August 2008 as the one who purchased my name, by the admission of her own boss at CARM.  I have all of this well documented. Diane had purchased my name as a domain name with the help of a private registration which shielded her name from the public view, but with her boss at CARM admitting that he knew she had purchased my name three times in an effort to destroy my ministry, Diane no longer had the cloak of secrecy to hide. In a fizzled attempt to remove my ability to influence people for women in ministry, one year later, in 2009, Diane let her purchases of my name as domain names expire, although she has not stopped trying to harass as she continues to keep her blog targeted against me online with her own brand of name calling. What a sad example it is of her character.

This is an example of stubble, straw, and a scare crow, of just one such name of someone who has tried hard to stop my ministry, but God had other plans.  That was in 2008 and it is now 2012.  Since that time my DVD set has gone around the world and I regularly get emails from people who have been touched with the strong message that they have seen from the Scriptures that the DVDs present in context.  The 4 DVD set Women in Ministry Silenced or Set Free? has helped many men and women to understand their prejudice against women in ministry and the strength of my argument has been the very passages that are used to hold women back. When the hard passages of Scripture on women in ministry are looked at carefully in their context, these passages no longer hold women back, but women have experienced a release to serve the Lord with all that He has given them and in every avenue that He has called them.  Praise the Lord!

But there is something that makes me sad. What makes me sad is the amount of people who are still being hurt by people like Diane Sellner. She has not yet repented. Through the years I have heard from those who are terribly hurt by Diane’s tactics and an internet search of her name shows some of the extent of the problem. I have flourished even though Diane has been focused on destroying me. But there are others who are not as strong who have been hurt and I believe that these people can use some love and support too. If you are on this blog post because of Diane Sellner and you need encouragement or a listening ear, email me. My contact info is listed at the top on the tab marked email. I don’t want to read bad stuff about Diane on my blog. If you need help, email me.

This post is especially for those who have been marginalized and hurt because of the issue of women in ministry. You are safe to share your story here and you will find love and support. I want to encourage you that you can obey God and suffer persecution and survive it with integrity. Just as nothing has deterred me from the ministry that God has called me to, so the opposition against women in ministry can be seen for what it is. It is dead, dry and about as scary as a scarecrow. With God’s gifting and calling, you are attached to God’s power source and no weapon formed against you by the enemy will prosper unless you bend and give your back to the scarecrow. Don’t be afraid of man and don’t turn and run. Just go on with your ministry and ignore those who want to bring you down. Fear God and serve Him and let things fall as they may. In the end, I believe that you too will see that the attacks against you are nothing but stubble, straw and scarecrows and none of that can harm you in the least.  Be encouraged!

68 thoughts on “Stubble, straw and scarecrows

  1. Cheryl,

    I didn’t realize how deliberate certain of your opponents have been in their efforts to discredit your ministry and to harm you personally. Though I have been accused of being a heretic at times, and have lost some friends for being an advocate for the equality of men and women in Christ Jesus and the New Covenant Community he established–no one has so fiercely and deliberately persecuted me as you appear to have been.

    Yet when people attack you and others who uphold and proclaim that in the New Age inaugurated by the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, in the New Covenant, no one may be barred from full participation in Christian ministry and leadership on the basis of race, ethnicity, social status, or gender–it’s not just you they are attacking, they’re really attacking what the NT itself actually teaches (cf. Acts 2; Gal. 3:26-4:7 and 2 Cor. 5:11-21; Rom. 12:3-8; 1 Cor. 12:1-25; Eph. 4:7-10; Col. 3:9-17; 1 Pet. 2:4-10 and 4:7-11).

    However, as one who has visited your website on several occasions and entered into various discussions with you, I would like go on record to state that you have consistently proven yourself a wise, careful, and thorough student of the Scriptures, committed to the accurate explanation and application of its teaching as a whole. Furthermore, in dealing with difficult commentators who were belligerent and gave you a lot of sauce, you genttly, patiently, and persistently interacted with them, sharing the truth–just as Paul admonished all true ministers of Christ and his Word (cf. 2 Tim. 2:23-26)–proving your true metal as Christ’s representative. So you have nothing to be ashamed of, that I can see.

    Continue in what the Lord Jesus has revealed and confirmed to you both by his Word and by his Spirit as being true and essential to the Christian faith and life, and teach and preach only that, according to what you know to be your Spirit-gifting and calling. “Don’t worry about how to respond or what to say. God will give you the right words at the right time. For it is not you who will be speaking–it will be the Spirit of your Father speaking through you” (Matt. 10:19-20, NLT). And remember his promise to all who suffer in his service: “God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way” (Matt. 5:11-12, NLT).

  2. Ditto what Frank said.

    Also, I’ve just put up a post at my blog called “Hating People Out Loud” with links to some ugly things men say about women. Because those links were so toxic and spiritual death promoting, I know I had to put up a more positive post soon.
    I couldn’t find the youtube video I wanted so decide to link this post of yours instead and am calling it “The Good News in the Face of Hate”.

  3. Cheryl, this is terrible. The worst, to me, is how someone like this could lie and decieve, and still believe they are doing God’s work by keeping women out of ministry.

    Regardless of where someone stands on women in ministry, lying and fraudulently pretending to be someone else is not of Christ.

  4. Frank,
    Thanks for the kind words! When all of this “stuff” was going on, it was very discouraging but I was quite naive because I had not seen someone act this way before, and I was hoping that common sense would rule. I am thankful to the Lord that I am no longer so naive. When I come across a person who displays the character traits that I saw in my accuser, I move on. For that lesson, I am grateful. In this case, trying to be nice only got more abuse.

    But God really is good! I have lots of compassion for those who are hurting and I even have a lot of compassion for those who are fighting women in ministry because they think the Scriptures mandate the silence. That compassion allows me to treat these people like human beings. If they are willing to communicate, even if they are angry, I don’t have a problem. I do have problems if they lie to me and are deceptive. But if people are attacking what they don’t understand, but they are willing to fight it out and be reasonable, I think they should be given the benefit of the doubt and I try to help them with arguments that made a difference in my own life.

    For those whose only business is to persecute me, I don’t go and bother them or mock them back. God will deal with them and I can even have a hand by praying for them. And I do believe that there is a reward for enduring persecution. God is honorable and He pays attention.

  5. Mara,
    Thanks for the link on your post.

    The thing that really gets me is how can people emotionally handle the hatred that they dish out and still call themselves Christian? I know that God has called us to love our brothers and sisters in Christ and the fruit of hatred is so far off the fruit of a Christian, that it bothers me how anyone can claim to know the Lord and hate their brother. I think that what I have been through, I could have feelings of hate, but I don’t. I know that the Lord Jesus is Sovereign and He gives strength to handle “Job” experiences. I also believe that He is able to take every experience and bring amazing good out of it, so it just makes my trust in the Lord so much greater. We really can bring praise to the Lord through and in all things!

  6. Retha,
    I agree. We are all going to give account of our lives and for some people, I really fear for them. This kind of behavior isn’t a game.

  7. I don’t even understand how this Diane Sellner person could do half the things she did. How can she moderate a discussion board or be Vice President of the website? She’s a woman. Surely there are men on that CARM website who don’t want her to be in authority. The stench of hypocrisy seems pretty ripe to me. I wonder if she even realizes how much of a hypocrite she is?

  8. Dejablue,
    The situation with a female who takes authority over the entire discussion board, including taking authority over men on a complementarian site, was an anomaly that many people pointed out during the time I visited the board. The response was that the board and the ministry is not a church and therefore they can do as they like. Also the rules on the board don’t apply to the “management” and the rules can be bent or broken as they wish. Many call that hypocrisy, but when you have the ability to make to break the rules as you wish, it isn’t likely that those ruling the board either see that or care.

  9. Cheryl,
    I had no clue. I’m so sorry to hear this. It is one thing to have your views criticized it’s something else entirely to be labeled a heretic and have someone buy domain names because you might use them – how bizarre.

  10. Thanks, Elaine. By the way, the purchase of my name as domain names was solely to create an opportunity to stop people from being influenced by my material by trying to discredit me as an evil person. I never thought about buying my own name to try to defend myself. What I have done here for years should stand the test for anyone willing to check out an evil report.

    I too think that what happened to me was bizarre. It spoke volumes to me about who I was dealing with and so I have chosen to keep going with the gifts that God has given me and to stay away from those who are trouble.

  11. With God’s gifting and calling, you are attached to God’s power source and no weapon formed against you by the enemy will prosper unless you bend and give your back to the scarecrow.

    It is so true that with God’s gift one is connected to His power. As long as one puts their faith in what God gives, no opposition can prosper against His gift – I know that to be a fact first hand.
    I won’t tell my story but I had dealt with persecution, possibly even demonic warfare, evil to be sure, and confused individuals or Christians who persecuted and displayed dispicable behavior…and let me tell you, once I decided to stand on God’s gift through faith, the enemy ran to the other side of the country..
    I wish I could tell my story but it’s a deep one..
    Anyway, I just wanted to share the fact that it is very true if one puts their faith in God’s gift (whatever it may be), or stands on it firmly there is nothing the opposition can do to overcome it.

  12. Cheryl,

    I’m thinking about starting up a new blog site, and the current discussion has brought this question to mind: If set I it up with a certain title under my name, what measures can you take to keep your enemies from purchasing it as domain names and so frustrate their attempts to ruin your reputation and ministry? Hope this doesn’t interupt the current flow of discussion.

  13. Frank, I know you could get a patent (or is it a trade mark) on your name, so that no other could use it. If you have a common name like John Smith you probably could not get it on your name alone, but you could geta trade mark on a business or site name.

  14. Thanks, Retha, for the information and advice. I’ll check that out when I go to the web-building site I’m interested in.

  15. Frank,
    I am not sure that there is anything you can do to completely block people from keeping any enemies from trying to harm you via the web if they are persistent. You could trademark your name for several hundred dollars, but then are you willing to sue those who infringe on that trademark? If you aren’t willing to go there, then trademarking the name might not provide any real protection.

    It seems to me that fighting a spiritual battle will bring out opposition and that is what has happened to me. I can try to get rid of all opposition by using their tactics but that only puts me into the same mud pit as they are in. Sometimes we just need to keep going and be persistent in spite of opposition and trust that God will protect us as we keep our integrity. Surviving in the midst of strong opposition is a tremendous sign of God’s empowerment. That is the way that I see it now and no form of opposition is going to silence me or stop me. At the same time I am not going to judge anyone who uses the law to keep themselves safe. I understand that God does not always do things the same way for everyone. Pray about what God would have you do and be wise in all things. Then persistently go ahead with the opportunities that God opens up for you.

  16. That is horrible what happened to you. May the God of Peace surround you with angels of protection.

  17. Thanks for telling your story Cheryl and standing up for others as well. I was around at the time, having experienced similar treatment at times before. What is amazing about what was done to you is that the person did it with her own name while she was in a position of leadership on a well known forum. Not very wise. Some people just think they are untouchable and can do anything they want. 🙁

  18. I am shocked, but not really surprised by this horrible story. I thank God for the strength he has given you to maintain your ministry under this.

    I have a story to tell. I live in Sydney Australia, and the church I grew up in was not particularly conservative, so it wasn’t until I got married at 22 and joined my husband’s church that I really encountered full-blown complementarianism. I was invited to do a course called “The Philosophy of Christian Womanhood’ (does it still exist?) which rammed the whole submission issue down my throat so forcibly that I was left believing that God would be angry with me if I did anything other than raise children and concede to my husband’s every wish. The atmosphere was such that when my husband (an elder) was asked to take on an extra responsibility at church which he didn’t want and really didn’t have time for, and he evaded it by saying, “I’ll have to talk to my wife about that” jokes went around the church for weeks about his ‘unsubmissive’ wife! (who hadn’t actually said/done anything)

    A long story ensues, which includes dealing with heavy abuse issues from childhood onward along the way. Eventually (1999) I ended up in a different denomination where the pastor was quite supportive of women. With 2 other women from the church I went to a conference interstate whose highlight, for me, was when a man got up and apologised to the women there for the way in which the church has treated women. It was a major time of healing for me, from a wound I hadn’t really known was there. I went to that conference as a wife and mother whose children had almost grown up, and who had no thought of being anything else, I came home knowing that god had called me to study theology.

    Again, I am cutting a long story short, but i eventually graduated with a BTh from an inter-denominational college (I couldn’t face my own denomination’s college because of their attitude towards women. I knew a woman who went to that college and occasionally preached as a student minister. On Monday mornings when she came back to college for another week, her fellow students (especially the women) would ask her, “Did you sin this weekend?” A PROMINENT PASTOR HERE HAS BEEN QUOTED AS SAYING THAT IT IS A SIN FOR A WOMAN TO PREACH AND A SIN FOR A MAN TO LISTEN TO HER

    I graduated dux of my college, although I was 53 with no previous degrees. I have since completed a Masters in Adult Education from a prominent local university. I get occasional preaching spots in my local church, and have never had anything except a favourable response to the quality of my preaching. And I have nothing to do beyond a sermon 4-6 times a year. I can’t get ordained because of my gender though I can tick every biblical requirement. I have friends from my former church who have asked me to my face how I can justify what I’m doing. I feel like a wasted resource, and i am asking God a lot of hard questions. And one of thew most frustrating things? Hardly anyone I know takes my calling seriously — even friends who have no problems with the role of women in the church per se don’t take it terribly seriously — occasional preaching is apparently a nice little hobby for me, and this from the same people who are the first to tell me that I have been gifted in this area. Because I don’t financially need to work, it can’t possibly be important!

  19. Lynne,

    Is it possible that you could go to a different denomination? Women like you are very needed. The body of Christ needs to receive of your gifts. It is such a shame that women such as yourself have been hidden from the church, shackled from being used of God in their callings.

    but times are changing. And we are never too old for God to use.

  20. Hey all…

    Speaking about Grudem… He is sharing his wisdom today, Sat., via Justin Taylor at TGC.

    “Complementarian Decision-Making as a Couple”

    “…. Even though there will often be much discussion and there should be mutual respect and consideration of each other, ultimately the responsibility to make the decision rests with the husband. And so, in our marriage the responsibility to make the decision rests with me.

    This is not because I am a wiser or more gifted leader. It is because I am the husband. God has given me that responsibility. It is very good. It brings peace and joy to our marriage, and both Margaret and I are thankful for it.”

    …”The biblical ideal is loving, humble headship and joyful, intelligent submission.”

    Wow! Now promoting -.”Joyful, Intelligent Submission.” Sounds irresistible…

    Thought some folks might like to reply. And advance the conversation. 😉

  21. “This is not because I am a wiser or more gifted leader. It is because I am the husband. God has given me that responsibility. “

    This is one of the more idiotic statements of the gender hierarchalists. IMO it takes someone either not very smart to say it or one who thinks he is able to fool many (which Grudem has indeed done). Those who believe it either just want to have that responsibility or don’t want any responsibility. Neither is a good stance to take in life. Anyone who takes the time to research if Scripture actually promotes such a foolish stance will find it glaringly absent from Scripture.

    Wisdom says not to meddle in the things one is not gifted for. If a decision is to be made about something one really has no insight on, then the decision either needs to be passed on to someone who has more knowledge or they both need to do some research and brainstorm it together.

  22. “Dr. Wayne Grudem: Before the fall, Adam and Eve had a relationship that was beautiful, harmonious, loving, and kind, and yet there was a leadership role that Adam had that Eve did not have. After the fall God says I am going to introduce conflict here as a punishment. The punishment is: Eve, you’re going resist that authority that Adam has, and Adam, you are going to rule over her by virtue of the fact that you are stronger. And there’s conflict.”

    Another new doctrine by Grudem that has no Biblical basis, just a bit of Grudem’s eisigesis of Scripture for which he has become famous.

  23. …”The biblical ideal is loving, humble headship and joyful, intelligent submission.” – Wayne Grudem

    When submission has the meaning Grudem defines, what is the difference between stupid submission and intelligent submission? Is it:

    Stupid submission – “Hubby said it, so I do it.”

    Intelligent submission – “Hubby said it, I know it is stupid, but I do it.”

    For that matter, what is the difference, if headship mean what Grudem say it does, between humble headship and proud headship? Is it:

    Proud headship – “Because I said so. That is why.”

    Humble headship – “God made me no smarter than you, and I don’t even know if my way is God’s way in this. But he made me the head. That’s why.”

  24. So according to this Wayne Grudem person. What if the family comes across an issue that the wife knows a specific solution for? Is it an error to just take her lead in the situation? It feels like a waste of time for the wife to know the answer but then have to “give” the answer to her husband so that he has the “privilege” of making the decision to act on it.

  25. There is a group on YouTube called the Acts17Apologetics. Since the video isn’t all about the relationship between men and women I won’t post the link unless someone asks for it, though it’s pretty easy to find.

    But anyway, they debate for Christianity and against Islam. A recent video I’ve seen is called ‘Honor Killings in Islam’, roughly 2 hours long. Listening to the video its frightening how close Legalistic Complementarianism lays next to the traditional Islamic views of women in the Quran and how they should behave and how men rule over them.

    Really the only difference is that Christian men aren’t given a command to kill a woman who dishonors them.

  26. “Humble headship – “God made me no smarter than you, and I don’t even know if my way is God’s way in this. But he made me the head. That’s why.””

    Sounds like Stupid Headship to me. Why would anyone want to direct something, or make decisions about something if they were not sure what the best decision should be?

  27. Hi dejablue,

    What if the family comes across an issue that the wife knows a specific solution for? Is it an error to just take her lead in the situation?

    According to Grudem, first of all if the husband went with the wife’s solution it wouldn’t be considered “her lead” and secondly as long as the husband is the one making the final descion on what to do, no matter if it’s the wife’s solution or the husbands, it wouldn’t be an error because well, it’s the husband who is making the finale decision on what to do lol. Though to “just take her lead” would be an error on the husband’s part in Grudem’s book.

    It feels like a waste of time for the wife to know the answer but then have to “give” the answer to her husband so that he has the “privilege” of making the decision to act on it.

    lol But in this way the husband’s headship is upheld and he is honored in making the decision to act. lol

  28. So, how does this fit into the mix:

    I make some statements about something. My husband responds, giving his unique thoughts in response to mine, presenting his take on the situation. They are a paraphrase of what i just said.

    (I tell him so, partly out of exasperation, partly out of the ridiculous humor of it. He acknowledges it, smirks and chuckles, ego intact.)

    Happens all the time.

  29. And how do I know his ego is intact? Because I ask,

    “hey, uh, it seems from what I’ve read that men are kind of…. “delicate”, with rather “fragile egos”. And so, to protect, let’s say, “you”, I should always be very indirect, and always say things as mere suggestions that probably have no merit anyway. It seems direct statements are too harmful for you to hear. I know i was a little “direct” right there — did I offend you?”

    And he looks at me & says, “….where’d you hear that load of nonsense????”

  30. Cheryl,
    I have been busy with job hunting and taking MS Office 2007 courses since my last posted comment, so I just saw your comments (#17) today. And I guess I have to agree with your assessment. The only thing I think I would add is that regardess of what my opponents might do, I must always put on the armour of God, as Paul directs in Eph. 6:10-18, and then clamly and patiently teach the truth without compromise, as Paul also directs in 2 Tim. 2:24-26.

    Another thing that is keeping me busy is that I’m doing research for an essay I hope to write soon and make available to CBE as a resource, “Jesus the Messiah: Redeemer, Reconciler and Royal Liberator.” And in my research, I came across the following passage that points out a truth about God and his plan of redemption, reconciliation and liberation that hierarchical complementarian, for all their professed devotion to Scripture and its teaching, cannot or will not see:

    “All too often in church history God has been misrepresented as suppressing rather than promoting freedom. He has been the heavenly despot who is the model and sanction for oppressive regimes on earth: divine right monarchies in the state, clerical rule in the church, patriarchal domination in the family. It is clear that this is not the biblical God. His lordship liberates from all human lordship. His slaves may not be slaves of any human master (Lev. 25:42). Those who call God their Father and Christ their Master may call no man either (Matt. 23:9-10). This is because the divine Master himself fulfills his lordship not in domination but in the service of a slave (Phil. 2:6-11). But what kind of freedom is it that the biblical God promotes? According to liberal individualism, highly influential in Western democracies, ‘the only freedom which deserves the name, is that of pursuing our own good in our own way, so long as we do not attempt to deprive others of theirs, or impede their efforts to attain it’ (John Stuart Mill). Perhaps a definition of the biblical understanding of freedom might be formulated in parallel to Mill’s definition: The only freedom that deserves the name is that of freely pursuing the good of others, not by depriving them of liberty, but by promoting their liberty” (Richard Bauckham, “Freedom in the Bible: Exodus and Service,” GOD AND THE CRISIS OF FREEDOM, p. 20).

  31. “Perhaps a definition of the biblical understanding of freedom might be formulated in parallel to Mill’s definition: The only freedom that deserves the name is that of freely pursuing the good of others, not by depriving them of liberty, but by promoting their liberty” (Richard Bauckham, “Freedom in the Bible: Exodus and Service,” GOD AND THE CRISIS OF FREEDOM, p. 20).”

    yes, yes, yes. This is what I do my best to teach. As well, this is also the definition of mutuality or mutual submission. And it is the picture of unity in marriage. This is the way a true “head of” and a “body of” connect and stay together. This is also the picture of a true servant/slave that Christ spoke of in Matt. 20:25-28

  32. It’s been a long while since I’ve commented here, but I wish you the best possible Cheryl, and it is my fervent hope that your enemies will come to naught in their efforts to harm you.

    The winds of change are moving in the churches and the worst of the old medieval theologies are moving too. Out and good riddance.

  33. Frank,

    Excellent comment!! Sorry that I did not get to it sooner. I am onto my next DVD project and when I get focused, it is difficult to tear me away. Everything else becomes secondary and so I haven’t been on my own blog for awhile. I will be so happy to “birth” this baby by year end, so that I can become more normal. I really appreciated your comment and thank you for posting it here!

    It is very important to put on the full armour of God because when we are doing the work of the Lord, we are going to be fighting the arrows of the enemy coming from all different sources.

    Thanks for stopping by, and I am glad that you posted. Those who have made themselves my enemies will have to stand one day before God and give an account of their actions and until then I am trusting in the Lord, my protector who knows all in advance and is able in everything and every way to protect.

    Things are indeed changing in the churches and God has promised that He will work through women too in these last days. I have no idea how God will get past some of hold-outs who will not receive from God through the hand of a woman, but God knows. Praise the Lord that it doesn’t just depend on us to figure it all out!

  34. Have you guys ever heard of this guy named Kevin Swanson. I’ve listened to a couple of his podcasts and he really seems to hate egalitarianism. I’m not quite sure if its Christian Egalitarianism or Humanist egalitarians. But he treats egalitarianism like monstrous sin like that of axe murder. I’m listening to this podcast about Sudan. Him and a guest are talking about their disgruntled feelings about the Sudan government giving women independence and jobs.

    They also find it troubling that women in Sudan are youth pastors and preachers. And want to stop it from happening.

    From here I get the feeling that this Swanson guy is one of those who considers complimentarianism a doctrine/foundation. Basically Sudan needs to be saved. But by men and men only.

  35. Dejablue,
    I tried to listen to some of the podcast to hear what you said they were saying, and I couldn’t find the following through all my fast forwarding:

    “Him and a guest are talking about their disgruntled feelings about the Sudan government giving women independence and jobs.”

    This is disgusting. People have a right to life and a part of that is being able to provide for oneself financialy since it takes money to eat and have shelter. Complementriarchy deserves an “eye for an eye” for how else will staunch complementriarchalists ever learn?
    Does Kevin Swanson deserve to have a job?

  36. I’m Matt Slick’s eldest kid, Rachael Slick, and I remember him ranting about you. He /hated/ you.
    In any case, he’s insane, anti-woman, sexist, and only employs those who think like him. Diane’s got his back, though I really think she shouldn’t, since she knows how much of a shithead he is.
    I remember crying at night, asking God why he hadn’t let me be born a boy. Or speaking very negatively to other women and feeling disgust at anything feminine. Or trying my hardest to be as masculine as possible. Because women were weak and not to be treated with respect.
    This sort of stuff is very damaging, and though I don’t know both sides of the story, I’m glad you’re speaking out against this oppression of women so common in religion.

  37. It is my belief and observation that often those who take an unusually strong stand toward controlling women and limiting women, have an underlying dislike, even hatred, of women. It will do little good to point out the wrongness of their judgements. They need to see the root of their judgements; that their foundational viewpoint toward women is not godly love. What such people need to be made aware of is that they are filled with a sinful attitude toward fellow believers and God will not honor it. They violate all the ‘one another’ Scriptures.

  38. #42 Rachael,
    Welcome to my blog! Thank you for sharing what appears to be a very painful story.

    I haven’t been on my blog much of late as I am working on a new DVD due out at the end of the year, but your comments really got my attention. I feel great compassion for you. I understand what you mean when you say that your father hates (hated) me as I experienced that as well as I sat just a few feet away from him when he stated in front of his own pastor that he would destroy me and my ministry. Both of us taped our meeting and I have never experienced that kind of venom in person before. It seems that I was singled out as one to be specially hated not only because I teach on Women in Ministry but because it appears that I am the only one who has ever succeed in getting him to attend a Matthew 18 meeting. By the end of the 4+ hour meeting, we thought that we had success as he agreed to stop attacking me and mentioning my name but by the time that we made the 12 hour ride home, he had posted pages written against me personally and removed his public correction on his radio podcast that he had agreed to give where he gave a correction to his public misrepresentation of my teaching.

    While your father’s reason for meeting with me was to try to destroy me and my ministry by threatening me, so that I would give up on women in ministry, all it did was create a stronger resolve to fight for God’s women who have been abused, maligned and taken advantage of among other incredibly sad treatment.

    What I have learned from all of this, is that when a person will not stop attacking and will not reconcile, trying to push them into a reconciliation will not succeed. If their heart is hard, no amount of grace will touch them.

    I would really like to have a private email with you, if you can email me. My email and/or contact information is under the email button above. Also if I can help you in anyway, I would love to do so.

    For the other side of your Father’s hatred of me, I have posted a statement here I hope this helps you to see the other side because there is no way that your Father would share this side with you. Hatred is a very harmful thing that has no good fruit.

  39. Rachel,
    I’m so sorry to hear this. I wrote my comment in response to pinklight and didn’t read yours. This is terribly difficult to grow up with. I know since I experienced similar.

    However, what I’m going to say now may feel strange. Our best hope of healing will be found in forgiving such people. They are spiritually sick. We don’t need to share their sickness. Forgiveness is letting go of expecting to be righted. God will make it right. They aren’t going to change unless God does something. And God isn’t going to do anything in them if they resist His admonitions. Once we let their influence in our lives (on this subject) go, we can then stand back and be who we really are. And we can extend both pity and mercy toward them, for they are blind to their sin. We can also resist future bad influence from them. Once we forgive them, our ability to say NO with graciousness, firmness and understanding will be increased.

    And then we can honor such a parent as a parent without receiving the damage from their sins.

  40. It is my belief and observation that often those who take an unusually strong stand toward controlling women and limiting women, have an underlying dislike, even hatred, of women.

    This is my belief also. And I can’t stand it. These days I feel like I’m at a point where I’m tired of it and feel like changing the sound of my voice against such hatred.

    It will do little good to point out the wrongness of their judgements.

    This I agree with too.

    They need to see the root of their judgements; that their foundational viewpoint toward women is not godly love.

    True but even if they were to see it (as at least some I believe do already) I don’t think it would matter or change much.

    What such people need to be made aware of is that they are filled with a sinful attitude toward fellow believers and God will not honor it. They violate all the ‘one another’ Scriptures.

    Again, I just don’t see how certain ones being made aware of their attitude will change anything. It’s their sad human condition, and I wonder what it will take for such persons to stop their sin.

  41. heh. I don’t know how to quote other people’s posts. But I am responding to Pinklight:

    Yeah Its a 35 minute conversation and they tended to hop around a bit in their subject matter. The things concerning women and family pop up from time to time. The Sudanese man, who’s name I cannot recall, basically starts the talk about the situation in Sudan about the war. About 7 minutes in he talks about the war being a threat to the family although the Sudanese church seems to be growing. But he doesn’t like that the U.N. are coming in and are doing what he calls a “gender based approach to redevelopment” separating women from men and giving women business and jobs. Giving women these jobs is apparently messing up the family unit.

    Or at least I’m assuming he means it’s bad for a woman to have a business apart from a man. Thus the U.N. is corrupting and secularizing the nation.

    At 12 minutes the Sudanese man talks about how the women have 25 percent of the government jobs and that this has emboldened them to want more jobs. And this of course is completely against God’s will, am I right? They talk about church matters and up to a bit after the 15 minute mark he talks about how some women in the churches are youth ministers and preachers. And that the church he and his brother run do not allow women to have these positions.

    The overall message is they do not like the idea of men and women being apart from one another and that they should remain together to preserve the family. And to that I find no fault. But to me a disturbing emphasis was put on the woman half. No real comments were made on the fact that man was separated from woman. It’s the fact that woman was separated from man that is bad.

  42. Rachael,

    I’m glad you came here and shared what you have. It is a sad story and I couldn’t imagine myself having grown up in your shoes, so I definately feel for you there. I mean, you have to be a strong person to have gone through what you have. Strength is a good thing. And I’m glad you’ve shared your voice here. And it takes courage in my mind for you to have posted here and said what you’ve said.
    The secret is, I was involved some with Cheryl during her experience and oh the horror that I dealt with and saw her deal with! Then I got wind of something that someone had said here at Cheryl’s blog about CARM and I then in response closed down, meaning I was done sharing or talking about the whole CARM thing out of fear!
    So, thank you for sharing.

  43. Man Rachael, my heart really breaks for you. I was really blessed, at least in some ways, to have the earthly father I had. He did and said some really hurtful things to me especially in the last years of his life, but one thing he NEVER did was make me feel diminished because I was female. He did really love and respect me, I believe, as a person. And, I always loved and respected him for who he was too. I actually went to the link Cheryl provided and read about her experience with your dad, so I have more of an idea of what living with him was probably like for you, and I’m so sorry. In a way, at least, I really do know how you feel because while my dad loved me greatly, my mom was one of those people who had absolutely NO business being a parent…EVER. Typically in situations with abuse in families, it’s the men who are abusers and the women who are too pathetic and gutless to leave and get their kids out, but my family situation was reversed. While I don’t know what it’s like to be hated or put down because I’m female, I DO know what it’s like to have a parent behave hatefully towards you, so in that respect, I really do know how it feels and I’m so sorry for what you went through.

    As for the whole “woman issue,” I don’t know why, but for some reason, I’ve always felt deeply affected by it emotionally. Like I said, it’s played no actual role in my life. I haven’t been personally attacked or put down for being female, but for some reason, as a woman, I’ve always felt rather insecure about being a woman and afraid of not having equal worth in God’s sight because of my gender and the strong resurgence of complementarian thinking in the church these days. I mean, when you really think about it, how DO those verses in Ephesians about husbands and wives sound from the perspective of a woman? To me, they’ve always sounded really terrible and chauvinistic against women. And, I’m sorry, but the verses about how husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church don’t make the verses about wives submitting to their husbands any easier for me as a woman to swallow. I mean, think about it. REALLY think about it. What does the verse, “Wives submit unto your husbands AS UNTO THE LORD” REALLY say to you? To me, it has always seemed to SCREAM that a woman does not have the same worth in God’s eyes as a man does. To me, that verse has always basically seemed to say, “Wives, make your husbands God.” That’s certainly how I think a lot of men in the church take it (and I think they THOROUGHLY ENJOY doing so, although they probably won’t admit it!) I mean, think about it. REALLY THINK about those words for a minute. Wives, submit to your husbands as unto the Lord. You know what that verse does for me? For me, it basically makes a woman sub-human if she’s married. For me, that verse basically makes marriage a mere contract of slavery that allows a husband to own his wife like a sub-human piece of property. That verse REALLY seems to say that if a woman is married, her husband is God. And, that verse is one of several reasons why I likely will NEVER get married. I mean, I believe the egalitarian position is the correct one. But why do I believe it is correct? Because I WANT it to be correct. I believe it is correct because I merely HOPE it is correct. I don’t really know for sure, and if the comps are right about Ephesians…well, that is a chance I am not ABOUT to take. I want God to be my God and no one else, and certainly not a MAN, because while my father was great to me, I’ve seen the way men (one man in particular in my life) think of and treat women. To say the least, the verses on wifely submission are enough to put men on one HECK of an ego-trip, no matter how much following verses may preach at men to love their wives. I don’t think those verses are enough to prevent the ego-trip the preceding verse about wives submitting to their husbands “as unto the Lord” can really give them. I guess “the woman issue” is as important to me as it is because of the insecurity the submission verses have really given me all my life. And I won’t admit this often, but I do struggle inside, I have all my life, about being a woman because of the way certain Bible verses can sometimes make me feel, although in my heart of hearts, I don’t really believe that was ever God’s intent.

  44. Here’s how to quote another:

    [blockquote] At 12 minutes the Sudanese man talks about how the women have 25 percent of the government jobs and that this has emboldened them to want more jobs. And this of course is completely against God’s will, am I right?

  45. Then end your quote with [/blockquote]

    At 12 minutes the Sudanese man talks about how the women have 25 percent of the government jobs and that this has emboldened them to want more jobs. And this of course is completely against God’s will, am I right?[/blockquote]

    I think it’s great that the women are getting a taste of financial independence. But ofcourse, it’s completely against God’s will for them to want more jobs because *gasp*, it’s a sin! lol

  46. At 12 minutes the Sudanese man talks about how the women have 25 percent of the government jobs and that this has emboldened them to want more jobs. And this of course is completely against God’s will, am I right?

  47. But instead of using the ” [ ]” symbols use the “” symbols.

    Did that make sense? lol

  48. Somewhere inside myself I’ve come to the conclusion that I just shouldn’t get married. Christianity seems to be mostly complimentarian. But I can’t stand it when I’m told that I’m second class. If I stay single that can never happen. Nobody will “expect” anything of me in relation to my husband. I’ll be able to always be who I want to be and who God wants me to be without having to worry about people thinking I’m not being a proper wife and mother. Download the podcast. He talks about a lot of other superfluous stuff if you just click the listen button. Its bad for women to have careers and get jobs. Women stay at home with your daddies until a man comes and marries you. Yes every woman has to do this or America is doomed.

  49. Dejablue,

    I use to struggle with the same thing. It appeared to me that most christians accepted complementarianism. I think that’s changing though and fast?
    I don’t know the percentage really for egal or comp beliefs amongst christians, but these days the idea that so many accpet such a crude doctrine hasn’t been bothering me much. Just wanted to let you know that you’re not alone in your experiences.
    I know what you mean about being upset over being thought of as second class too. Can’t it be infuriorating?!
    If only we didn’t worry about what others think so much. Our views, thoughts and opinions can’t be of any less value than any other person’s – unless of course our beliefs devalue others (like complementarianism). In my mind complementarianism has little value because of how it negatively effects women.

  50. Dear Cheryl,
    I am shocked at the persecution you have experienced by others who call themselves Christians. They are in the dark and afraid of the true working of the Holy Spirit in women. I also have experienced much persecution for wanting to participate in ministry and/or for allowing the Lord to work through me. Due to having been raised in a dual culture, both American Indian and non-Indian, I have experienced jealousy primarily from men, for being an educated woman and for wanting to participate in ministry. I have almost given up participating in public ministry because I have been silenced by jealousy, racism, and other types of persecutions. I applaud your courage to stand strong and am going to continue to allow the Lord to use me in whatever capacity He chooses to glorify His name.

  51. I just wanted to thank you for this blog. I really was ministered to by it after I was rebuked by a woman today at my daughter’s eye appointment. Her son gave me a gospel tract. I gave it back to him thanking him, but urging him to share with someone else. I told him that I was a minister and that I had Jesus Christ in my life.

    She asked to speak to me outside.

    While outside she wanted to know what Bible I was reading and began trying to show me scripture. I told her I was familiar with what she was showing me. She was adamant that I was misled. I told her I didn’t want to argue with her and that we would just have to agree to disagree. She told me she would be praying for me that God would burden my heart to know the truth. She kept touching me too. I just gently backed away, told her that was fine and I went back inside. My daughter asked me if everything was okay, and I told her yes, and that not everyone believes the same way we do. I felt personally attacked, but God had already spoken to me throughout the week. I know who the real enemy is. Thankfully He was preparing me for the attack. I know that I didn’t call myself to preach the gospel! My husband prayed for me and encouraged me when I got home. I just wanted to say that I appreciate what you are sharing.

  52. Folks,
    I’ve read through a number of the comments here, as well as the post, and I heave a great sigh over the attack against those of us who have been called to the ministry. I pray for women whose husbands feel the need to squash them, and I pray for congregational leaders whose hearts are to shepherd women in their gifting. Never before has the passage in Genesis 3:15 been so clear – that the animosity between women and the adversary, that curse, is still upon us in many ways. I pray for the Messiah’s return, when all things will be restored to their intended purpose, which we can see is men and women, side by side, teaching their children and a dying world who our Father is and how He desires for us to live.

    Our congregational leader did a fantastic study over the past six months taking apart some of the very scriptures that are misused to keep women “in their place” in the assembly. I encourage you to study this out, so you can be fully equipped to have the discussion and be able to explain the true meaning of the scriptures to those who have ears.

    Blessings to all of you.

  53. Swanson seems like the kind that also complains if poor wives don’t work, or blames the poor for having families at all – or just for being poor. Hypocrites. Not everyone can make a decent living.

    Rachael, I’m so sorry about your father’s treatment of you; thank you for having the courage to share your story here…praying for God’s healing touch in your life and hoping you will come to see that you are of so much more value than what your father thinks.

  54. I have enjoyed reading your responses and can relate to many of them. When I was growing up, all I wanted was to be a full time minister. I grew up Southern Baptist and in those days (60’s and 70’s) women were allowed to be ministers as long as they weren’t the “senior pastor”. I figured associate was good enough and set to work getting ready to enter the ministry.
    I went to a Baptist college college where I lead a bible study that eventually grew to 50 out of which 9 people went on to full time ministry. I went on to seminary eventually ending up with 3 master’s degrees (MS in Counseling Psych, MMin in Biblical Counseling and a ThM).
    Here I am Lord – use me! No paid offers came in. It was ok to be an associate minister (unpaid of course) while the men got a salary in various charismatic denominations that said they were for women in ministry. Working 40 hrs a week just to pay bills doesn’t leave much time for ministry though. I got a few speaking engagements at Women’s Aglow meetings that paid a $25 honorarium for a four hour round trip journey.
    I talked with the president of SBTS in Louisville about my future. He said if I got my PhD he would offer me a job as Old Testament professor. Less than two years later the doors of the SBC slammed shut on women in any kind of ministry and all the women professors at SBTS were fired.
    I’m 52 now and still the doors remain closed unless I’m willing to go to a really liberal denomination. I write articles that few read and study the bible for my own benefit and try to share with as many as I can.
    It’s frustrating though. I recently built a website for our local church and drew up a statement of faith that I worked hard on. I tried to capture the distinctives of our church as compared to another and just found out today – one of the pastors erased the statement without even bothering to tell me why. My guess is that women can’t think theologically. Not that any of the men in our church could write a statement of faith but we just can’t have a woman doing it, ya know!
    I’ve tried to do what’s right and play by the rules but that hasn’t worked. Now what?

  55. I sympathise so much with the stories that have been told here. I am now 66 and am still waiting. I heard the call of God when I was 14 years old, when He said to me, ‘As the Father sent me, so send I you.’ It was entirely unexpected and overwhelming to me that He would speak to me in this way. I could not become a minister because of my gender and so I did a degree in Biblical Studies and became a teacher of Religious Education here in the UK. To me, it was second best, but I did not see what else I could do. When I was in my thirties, I joined a charismatic church where my gifts were recognised and I was used to preach regularly and lead a house group. however, there were one or two who were very jealous of me (one in particular) and they incited the pastor the fire me. He did so and proclaimed to me that I had never been a leader of the church – even though my husband and I, together with the pastor and his wife, were the only people who were invited to attend the leaders’ meetings. I was devastated and my most productive years (my forties) were lost to ministry. Apart from occasional preaching, I did not do anything in the church for 20 years. Then we joined my son’s church (he is a pastor) and the way opened up for me to (unofficially) lead a Bible Study group and this led to two more. These prospered until circumstances brought them to an end (my unwise choices, but then I had never had a mentor, because of course anointed and gifted women are not spotted and brought on by the leadership of the church as men are). There followed a few years of testing, criticism and attack. I believe God permitted this to train and refine me as He trained and refined Job through his sufferings. Bob Sorge’s book ‘Pain, Perplexity and Promotion’ was very helpful to me. And here I am – 66 and still without recognition or opportunity.

  56. Helen,
    I know all about refining. We need to stay the course even though we are attacked and criticized. It is a painful process but those who will walk the hard path will reap a benefit at the very least in our character. Sometimes we can get mad at God because our expectations have not been met, but maybe we need to see if there is a door open that is different than our expectations. The fields are white unto harvest and the workers are few. Let’s pray for wisdom that God has promised to give liberally to us, that we may see with our eyes and hear with our ears the specific way prepared just for us. Let’s be humble and learn our lessons along the way, and do everything for the glory of the Lord Jesus.

  57. Thank you for your response, Cheryl. I know that you do know about refining and waiting on God. I have concluded that maturity is to put down the issue of ministry and simply be committed to doing what God leads us to do. No-one can stand in His way or thwart His purpose and He is sovereign in my life just as He was in all Job’s testings. The Bible says that we must not bury our gifts but must multiply them for His Kingdom’s sake. Those who make women bury their talents will be answerable for that, but they cannot prevent His purpose from happening. As you rightly say, His opportunity can be very different from our expectations. While waiting for His purpose to unfold, I taught religion at school and was able to tell the gospel to literally thousands of young people, so I was obedient to his command to ‘do the work of an evangelist’ even though that is not really my gifting.So opposition to my ministry (such as it is) only led to the furtherance of the gospel. I take comfort from the fact that Moses was 80 when his ministry began and Abraham waited 25 years after being promised a son at the age of 75, before the fulfilment of the promise. God gave Job double what he had before and God is able to do the same for me – and everyone else who is trusting Him through testing. Helen.

  58. Thank you! I was called into the ministry by Jesus. It isn’t something that I ever thought he would do for me, my story is long. He placed me in positions that only He could have done to speak with the people I have and taught the people that have come. We are currently in Campground Missions, God called twice! 1st time we learned a valuable lesson, it’s not about us! I came across your blog because a cousin of mine called me a Pastrix. I had to go figure that one out. Then came across a great book called Jesus Feminist. Then the words Equalitarian and Complimentarian. I had never ever run into as many against me as for me Christ followers. I had applied to churches I knew were against women in the pulpit to get a rise out of them and defended women in the ministry. But when it came to my own family, it’s something I have to dig in deeper and set my Word on the Lord. 15 yrs ago, the Lord called me to do something to rock an SBC church, it was with the Worship leader, it was to get the kids moving to praise the Lord during VBS, loud and loving, moving and singing loudly. This opened up the doors to see what else the Lord called. We got stationed overseas (2 of us unhappy about it) and the Bible Club they had shut down because of 9/11, all the airmen were called out. The chapel shut it’s main doors, boarded it’s windows and met anyway. I was ready to rest in the Lord and see what he wanted. It was within 8 weeks and the Lord said, I want you to restart the bible club. WHAT! Within 3 weeks, we had trained 25 leaders, had 75 kids signed up- 3 yrs old to Sr’s in HS. The Lord led amazingly with me in tow. He gave me such a great team of Officers and Airmen! I also became the Liaison for the chapel and spoke and newcomer meetings. When I moved back to the states the Lord placed me in a denominational church that only the Lord could have done because you would have had to drag me in w/o him pushing me. I began seeking the Lord closer and closer and walking with him to bring in kids and parents. We started a first ever in this denom a Bible club. I began to pray, Lord we need this many kids and new leaders tonight, he sent double. As he did this, the rest of the staff marveled at Him! He did that the whole first year, it began to excite people to see the Lord work and allow HIM to enter into their presence. I decided I needed to attend Bible College because I was teaching and it was passionate but so limited. I completed 4 years in 2.5 yrs! God called us out after 5 yrs and said, when I call you out I will no longer be welcomed here, the demons were outside the window laughing as I was praying to the Lord Jesus about what would happen. I cried, I said Lord what do you want me to teach them this final year, He said, Teach them my Word so they can stand on me and know me!” I did and the Lord tagged so many others to teach that year, people that had never cracked open their Bible, bought new ones to prepare and teach with. It was amazing, it changed lives!
    It’s been 6 years and we went back to visit a few weeks ago, while most of the staff were out, we talked with someone we worked with, she said they are failing to make budget, ministries have dwindled, they don’t have much longer before they are in a sad state.
    So, the point, women are called just as men, and as I begin to dig into it deeper and really see it clearer, I realize that God is God and he calls us into his own, he desires each of us to serve in every aspect, in or out of the church. In our ministry, we are a light in the darkness, a beacon of hope, we don’t have to preach it right now, we have to live it and when they enter into our doors on our work shifts, we hope that they see Jesus in us. Thank you for your blog, I look forward to reading more of it. You can catch our God’ventures at

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