Open Your Heart and Mind
First, it became fashionable for guys to have one ear pierced. Then tattooing surged in popularity. Then the piercing craze expanded in both genders to include every part of the body. Nowadays young people are actually having themselves branded! Fads and fashions come and go, and it’s a shame that some people alter their bodies permanently for a temporary fad.
Ideals and idols come and go also. Many who follow a trendy ideal or idol are permanently scarred when that idol falls. We are quick to point fingers, but often it is Christians who do the scarring with our rush to judgment.
Our denomination has been ordaining women for over 100 years. Someday soon half of active Cumberland Presbyterian ministers will be women. Yet women ministers are rarely called by congregations to serve as senior pastors. Many search committees will not even consider interviewing a women minister. This problem may be a matter of rushing to judgment before knowing the facts. This is always a dangerous precedent because it may bring many biases and prejudices with it. The world will not get better until we open our hearts and minds to new ideas. That is our call as stewards.
Questions to Think On
- How often do you decide whether or not you like someone after just having met him or her? How willing are you to change your opinion after getting to know him or her better?
- The rubric FORD (fall-oppression-repentance-deliverance) has been suggested as a repeated cycle in the history of the Israelites. How do you see this cycle in Judges 2:11-20?
- What are some of the fads in which you wish you had never participated?
- In what areas or groups of people are you too quick to judge someone or some situation? Politics? Teenagers? Senior citizens? Family? Social issues?
How Do I Act?
- Determine how much time, effort, and money has been wasted on fads over the years in your own life, in your family, and in your church. Think of ways you can live in community without subscribing to every passing fad.
- Volunteer to serve on the pastoral search committee the next time you have a chance. Encourage the committee to consider calling a woman pastor.
- Based on Judges 2 (specifically the fact that God called women to be judges over Israel), develop a response to someone who might say that women should not serve as elders, deacons, or pastors.