Wimmin Preachers

I sometimes wander around the net, peeking in at various blogs of preachers, pastors, priests, and other clerics. Once in a blue moon, I’m rewarded with someone’s sermon which shows that rare combination of good writing skills, an inspiring message, and a minimal showing of the various doctrinal errors which, in my mind, pervert Christianity at a fundamental level.

If anybody is has a similar interest, allow me to introduce Emily Hunter McGowin, a seminary student in Texas Ohio. I originally found her via a link on Rodney Dunning’s blogroll, and have, over the course of the last few weeks, been reading some of the sermons she’s writing as part of her coursework as well as her other posts.

Verily, I say unto you, this chick has got a high spiritual coefficient; she has a light that shines so brightly it pierces through the fog that the Southern Baptists call a theology.

Allow me to point out a couple of examples. In my opinion, she did an awesome job with her sermon on the parable of the tower-builder and the king contemplating war. Of course, I’m a hardcore nitpicker, so I have to take a few points away for the first couple of paragraphs at the top of her third movement where one of the most insidious forms of mainstream Christian doctrine which usurps Jesus’ teachings makes a brief appearance and threatens to undermine the entire thing. But, it’s only a couple of paragraphs in an otherwise important and well presented message.

Another one that I found particularly notable was her Justice for a Whore sermon. It’s particularly notable for me, as I find it incredibly rare to find a decent sermon taken from the Old Testament, which, in general, I feel should be deprecated as soon as possible. But Emily deftly shows that one can indeed occasionally find some good things whilst dumpster-diving.

Christianity today desperately needs the kind of spiritual leader Emily is and will be. So what’s the problem? She’s in, or at least was in, a conservative seminary. Her church is/was in Texas affiliated with the Southern Baptists (assuming I’m reading correctly). Obviously, her inner light is strong enough to withstand the onslaught of conservative doctrines, but in one of her recent posts, My Ordination, she writes:

There are few Southern Baptist churches in Texas that will convene an ordination ceremony for a woman and mine is not one of them. No, I did not stand before an elder body, nor did I receive questions from an assembly of deacons, nor did I have the hands of ministers laid upon my shoulders. I would be honored to be a part of any such service but, for now, that is not to be.

You see, people, the conservative understanding of scripture absolutely forbids women from being pastors. This alone is absolute proof to any rational person that either the scripture is wrong, or the interpretation of it was done by seriously ignorant people (or by people with distinctly ulterior motives). Her initial “teachers” sucessfully convinced her that she wasn’t called to be a preacher. What a bunch of dumbasses.

After reading her blog, I’m quite convinced that maybe it’s a good thing she didn’t have the “hands of ministers laid upon her shoulders”. The ministers who would’ve done the official ordination are likely not worthy to wash her dirty underwear (although I’d wager there’s a few who’d volunteer for the job, but I’m just cynical like that), let alone ordain her. I wonder if they even realize that they’re no different from Pharisees of the New Testament.

To Emily: Follow your heart, you know what to do already. Don’t allow Pharasees, no matter how well-intentioned, to tell you otherwise. If your church won’t accept you, wash your sandals and move to one that can appreciate your obvious gifts. And never forget what happened that day with the woman in the hospital.

7 Responses to “Wimmin Preachers”

  1. Wimmin Preachers | HotCities.net - TX Says:

    [...] Read the rest of this great post here [...]

  2. Rodney Dunning Says:

    Emily is a treasure. I think I can safely say that she’s welcome at our church.

  3. Lon Says:

    Don’t be greedy, you already have at least one decently bright light in your pulpit. :) If she came to Farmvegas, there’s another church in-town that unfortunately just lost a bright light and had it replaced with lip-service. In my humble-yet-strongly-held opinion, of course. *cough*

  4. Emily Hunter McGowin Says:

    Lon, thank you for the recommendation. I am honored you would address me and my writings in this way. You are correct: I was graduated from fundamentalist SBC Bible college and I am going to be graduated from a moderate Baptist seminary this December. I look forward to a more free and open context of ministry as I relocate to Ohio. Thank you again for the encouragement and support. I will not be forgetting my time at the hospital.

    P.S. You would be interested to know that I won the Student Preaching Award for Truett Seminary. I find it the height of irony that a former fundy woman won the preaching award. Today I preached for a chapel service–the first time I have ever preached in a church setting. I cannot describe the joy and fulfillment. It was wonderful. I am so blessed.

  5. Damian Peterson Says:

    Old Testament, which, in general, I feel should be deprecated as soon as possible

    Although I wholeheartedly agree I’m interested to know how you would square this up with a mainstream Christian who’d see this as something akin to blasphemy. “All scripture is God-breathed”, etc, etc.

    I have never come across a Christian who hold this view.

  6. Lon Says:

    How do I square it? Thanks for asking. :)

    Easy. I’m right and everyone else is wrong. :D

    Seriously, I got too long-winded for a comment not to mention thinking that this needed its own thread. See my Deprecate the Old Testament? post.

  7. Lon Says:

    @emily:

    Although I don’t know what kind of competition you were up against, the quality of your stuff speaks for itself. Glad to hear you officially kicked ass for the Lord. :)

    And if you think you can handle….even enjoy…the life of a pastor, know that there’s countless churches of all denominations who both need and want you, and would totally be blessed upon your arrival. But only if you want. No pressure or anything. *grin*