I seriously thought I’d be going in another direction this week, but Wednesday morning I’m driving to work and hear this on the radio:
Transcript: Redefining Retirement: Bryant Wright- Right From the Heart Ministries
Have you ever noticed how God chose men in their senior years to take part in huge moments for His kingdom? Noah finished building the ark when he was 600! Abraham left is home at 75 to move to an unknown land where God would lead him. Moses was 80 when he stood up to the most powerful man in the world and led a nation to freedom. No retirement for them! In fact, God's word doesn't mention anything about retirement for anyone but the Levites. For everyone else? It's just not there. Stepping back from certain vocational pressures and responsibilities can be necessary, but our lives are ultimately meant to serve Christ for all of our days. The wisdom that comes with age is valuable in living out the faith, and we're called to use it, and share it. Are you entering the retirement years? Ask God how He wants to use you. This next season may be your greatest adventure yet. This is Bryant Wright, speaking Right From My Heart.
Here’s the absolute truth: Many of you probably have no earthly idea why I turned it off about 3/4s of the way through, and yelled at my car. I agree with the point of the message. God calls people in all stages of life. It’s this “older men” idea that has me up in arms.
Then there are others who know exactly why I reacted the way I did, but don’t want to tell me to my face why they actually agree with Bryant Wright. You love me, and you’ll support me in areas not related to ministry, but Melissa- you’re not a guy, so back down.
[Quietly walks away, finds an empty corner, screams into the void. Quietly returns back.]
I used to think I could just be what God called me, and the fruit of my faith would turn people around. I was wrong.
Then I used to think, I could lay out the many women God had called, including prophets and ministers, and it would turn people around. I was wrong.
Then I used to think, if I created one solid argument that I could easily keep pinned to a page, I could focus on other things, and that would turn people around. Dead. Wrong.
Fighting Misogyny in the Church is Renovating a House Infected with Black Mold.
It’s like buying a beautiful house, peeling back the wallpaper and finding the whole thing is infected with black mold. There’s an ease to not knowing, and a truth that is not going to go away. It is easier to live in ignorance. And you think, “Okay, that’s their choice,” but the house is lived in by a huge family. It’s not practical to just kick out anyone who’s uncomfortable living in danger. (Though there is an exodus.) It’s easier to just allow them to leave rather than dealing with the truth.The truth is, this beautiful house you invested a lifetime in will have to be gutted to it’s bones. Everything you loved will be destroyed.
That’s why the Church punishes those who want to fix the problem. If you could snap your finger and just get rid of the mold, they’d let the fixers in to do it, but it’s going to destroy almost everything. I feel anxious just contemplating their loss. Knowing that the theology, rite, and ritual are all infected is heartbreaking.
Bryant Wright sees the beautiful house, not the life-killing-mold
Have you ever noticed how God chose women in their early years to take part in huge moments for God’s Kingdom? Mary was probably only 12 years old when she was called to carry Christ in her womb. Ruth was probably a teenager- old enough to get married and not yet have children, when her call to Naomi began. The Woman at the Well was probably in her 20s when she became an evangelist. The Bible is filled with women called to do God’s will in a world blind to their call. Deborah was a Prophet and Judge. Mary, sister to Martha, was called to learn at the feet of Jesus Christ. Martha was allowed to openly critique God in Lamentation. Allowed to say something loud enough to teach generations for two thousand years. Women were given the very first sermon: “He lives.” God can call anyone to speak the Word. Anyone.
Like, isn't it interesting that women don’t need age to find wisdom to do God’s call? Maybe it’s all the trauma lived early on? Being forced from a young age to be other-centered at the sacrifice of the self then, punishing women who want to care for their own body and soul.
Being a woman in ministry is enlightening. Once you are a woman called by God, that’s when you see the mold. Simply existing means you are beginning the demolition process that will lead to restoration. It will destroy everything. It’s actually our other-centered training that causes us to speak up. When we try to get rid of the mold, we’re punished for trying to destroy the beauty of God’s house. Most women end up fired or leave because once the yoke is worn, the world becomes terribly oppressive. (No- it’s not equal or fair to male pastors. Don’t pull that women are the weaker sex bull. Not until you walk a mile in my shoes. I’ve walked a mile in yours.)
So many of us just walk away, because the Christian world is content in their ignorance. So many in the Church don’t even know the infection and it’s extent. It makes the restorationists look evil, when really it’s the ones who know but maintain ignorance the real evil.
I think what frustrates me most about this radio spot is how easily the “old male minister” can shut it all down; turn it all off.
Wisdom is often earned with age, but not because of getting older. Wisdom comes with experiences. Some people remain naïve their entire life, because they never live through anything that tests them. Some younger individuals earn their wisdom early on, because life throws some tough balls, and a few of them hit. Many of those people take those experiences, and turn it into wisdom. Older people are generally wiser because they had a higher probability to experience something that would later become wisdom. That doesn’t naturally mean older people are wiser. I’ve met some very ignorant older adults. I’ve also met some very wise younger adults.
I am nothing.
Here’s the real rub. I am nothing. I have no power. Do you really think I have any ability to take down anything that is fortified and guarded the way these issues are guarded? No! These people are not afraid. They are arrogant in their ivory towers. They have never put themselves in a position where they could even hear the echo of a critique. All pulpits are one sided. Their thoughts get out, and no other thoughts get in. This was never about wisdom! It’s always been about trust! Can we trust God enough to hear and act in Truth. No- not the dime store truth that has left millions in stagnant waters. Not the self-help guru truth that is warping the sanctity of faith. Truth. Truth that can’t be heard because the microphones are too well guarded. Truth that cannot be seen because to admit there is a problem will tear down the façade.
But truth that can be felt.
I am nothing. I have always been nothing.
We are something, but that requires more than just you agreeing with me. That requires you being part of this voice. It’s my dinky little blog vs church’s multi-billion dollar ministries. Do you see? Put your faith in something that is going to fix the problem. Make yourself uncomfortable now, and stop this death march!