Tuesday, August 22, 2006

You're Outa Here!

Sunday School teacher, 81-year-old Mary Lambert, has been "fired for being female" according to an ABC News report. The report states that Mrs. Lambert has been a member of the First Baptist Church in Watertown, N.Y., for 60 years and has taught Sunday School there for more than 50 years. In recent days, the church board sent her a letter, citing 1 Timothy 2:12 as their basis for dismissing her from her teaching duties.

I have a few thoughts here:

  • Why in the world is ABC or any other news agency reporting this? And, how did they find out about a situation that, in my opinion, is stricly a church/congregational matter?
  • The report quotes the Watertown mayor as saying it's "fundamentally wrong" to go after a woman teaching Sunday school and use a passage from the Bible as your rationale. If the church shouldn't use the Bible as their "rationale" (authority), then what should they use?
  • Why do we care about the MAYOR'S opinion? Is he a member of the congregation? Does he have some kind of information about this situation?
  • It's amazing to me how many people who DON'T attend church ANYWHERE have an opinion about this situation and/or what the Bible has to say about women in church.(Google "Sunday School Teacher Fired" or check out digg.com for an absolutely eye-opening look into the thoughts of some "internet theologians." WARNING: There is some crude and very stupid language contained in some of the comments. Some people just don't have a very large vocabulary.)

In general--and keep in mind, I don't know all of the details of this particular situation--I would most likely side with the church board on this one. I'm not comfortable with women pastors/evangelists; I have no problem with women teaching children, but based on my understanding of the aforementioned Scripture, I think God has established His plan for teaching within the church and I believe the responsibility of teaching adults in a coed situation falls on the shoulders of men.

Several years ago, I was involved in a very similar situation; a church that I used to attend had a woman teaching a coed adult class and had been for 30+ years. She was/is very intelligent, possesses a vast knowledge of the Bible, and does a tremendous job shepherding her class. In the midst of reaccessing some of the church's policies/positions, a conversation among the leadership (of which I was part) ensued as to how we should handle the removal of this woman from her teaching position. I'm embarrassed to say that, in the end and in spite of our agreement that "that passage means what it says", no one--including myself-- had the guts to "rock the boat"...and boy would it have ROCKED! She's still teaching the class and I wonder from time to time if anyone thinks about that New Testament passage AND thinks: "Yeah, that's what it says, but I'M not getting in the middle of that one!"

I don't think this kind of thing belongs in the secular arena. I hope Mrs. Lambert isn't the one that alerted the press. And one last thing: the report states that "she already has five offers to teach in other communities." I can't imagine a church that would immediately place an individual in a teaching position THAT quickly, without know anything about them, interviewing them, observing them for the type of spiritual fruit that is consistent with a Godly teacher of God's Word. I can't imagine it...but I guess they do exist.

20 comments:

newbluebaby said...

Wow... I've blogged to the past! Someone who is following a book over someone who cares to teach. Blog to the future, a woman can teach and/or do ANYTHING associated with ANY church, as long as she cares and believes. The bible has been mis-translated and edited too many times that it's as reliable as the toliet paper you buy.

There is no reason to fire a teacher because she is a woman. It's pathetic.

Cheatwoods said...

The bible is definetly more reliable than toilet paper!! Sometimes when you need toilet paper it just isnt there!!! But if you want the word of God then it is always there, wheather it is in your bible or in your heart!
Ok I have said I piece on that coment!!
I do think that woman can be evangelist, only for the pure reason that I believe God wants to me share the gosple with people so they dont go to hell!! I dont know about a sunday school teacher, however in my church women lead women and men lead men! I dont think that woman should be leading men, for the biblical reason as well!! \

anywho, i am due dec, 3rd!!! And what I did about the photos was e-mailed the poeple, they gave me a well try this answer wich I already did and pretty much didnt leave them alone untill they fixed it!!! HEHEHEHEH!!! And it worked! Good luck, I know its frustrating!!

gasomatic said...

Don't respond to my comments, just erase them. Typical head in the sand response that I expect from radical bible thumpers.

Keith said...

To "Gasomatic": It's my blog...I deleted your last comment because you used language I that I find offensive. If you care to engage in intelligent, "face-to-face" dialog, you are more than welcome here. Keep hiding behind a private blog/profile and I'm pretty sure I've already got you figured out. What grade are you in?

gasomatic said...

It's my blog? It's my profile! You are offended by the word "erection"? You placed your beliefs in the secular world(this blog), be prepared for the secular world to respond. Got me figured out? I don't think so big boy. Your views on the elderly teacher are no different than the Taliban. Time to wake up in the real world. Women are equals.

Keith said...

I was not offende by word--simply the context in which the word was used. I have no problem with people commenting. I get much enjoyment reading the rantings of junior highers and people that get really upset when THEIR opinions are called into question.

Does the Taliban really teach about "elderly teachers?" I must have missed that chapter with all the sand in my eyes.

Have a blessed day!

gasomatic said...

I have no problem with your rantings either. Perhaps you misread my last post. You and the taliban are happiest when women are subserviant to you. Praise the lord and pass the cornbread you zealot.

Keith said...

Not that it probably matters to you, but my wife is my equal. She works outside the home as a school teacher; before that, she was a Systems Administrator for a major oil company. She made more money than I did. When our oldest son was born, SHE decided she wanted to stay home, which she did for 15 years. We share in all the decisions, house work, errands, etc. I am not her master and she is not my slave.

My wife is also a Godly, Christian woman that believes the Bible teaches certain roles for men and women. That's her belief--nothing I've forced on her...and I just asked. She has no problem with only men teaching the coed adult Sunday School classes at our church.

Do you attend church? Have you read the Bible? If you have not, then I would not expect you to understand any of what I've said. That doesn't make you a bad person in my opinion. You just see things differently. Can you not afford me the same courtesy without being so angry?

If the things on my blog frustrate you so, you don't have to read them. And I promise not to post angry comments on your blog (if you ever make it public).

Thanks for stopping by.

Cheatwoods said...

Kieth is a very smart guy!

Cheatwoods said...

Even tho I cant spell it!!!! LOL

gasomatic said...

Keith or Kieth is an idiot no matter which way you spell it.

gasomatic said...

Men have not done a very good job as leaders in the past. Maybe it is time for women to step up and demand the same respect and responsibilities as men. It couldn't be any worse then it is now. Just because you have a penis doesn't make you a better leader.

Keith said...

Gasomatic:
The point of this particular blob ("You're Outa Here") is that the Bible has specifically set out roles in the Church for both men and women. If you don't believe that the Bible is "authoritative" in your life, then it's a moot point. What goes on in the secular world is an entirely different subject. You're right-- there have been some really bad MEN leaders. But being able to spell "penis" certainly doesn't / hasn't proven your point(s).

If you haven't figured it out by now, you and I don't agree on certain subjects, and no amount of name-calling will change that. I assume you are of the femal gender (AND I APOLOGIZE if I am wrong), but if you honestly believe you have the skills to be a better leader, then by all means, GO LEAD!. This world needs more people that will stand up for what they believe.

gasomatic said...

Your wife says she doesn't mind men teachers probably because she is afraid you will slap her silly and tell her to go back in the kitchen. There are too many zealots like yourself in this world to allow me to lead in church. By the way, you typed "penis". Don't you feel dirty? Now quit playing pocket pool and get back to work.

Keith said...

Gasomatic: I am sad for you. You cannot seem to make any comment without making some kind of cutting comment. What are you so mad about?

How do you know what my wife is "afraid" of? She doesn't remember meeting you.

If you are a female, you're right--you wouldn't be asked to "lead" in our congregation. We would, however, be more than thrilled to welcome you into our congregation. We would love you and accept you...and hopefully we would be able to talk to you about a God that loves you so much, He sent His Son into this world to pay the price for yours and MY sins.

I'm praying for you. I'm also finished responding, unless you want to have a serious conversation.

teetown said...

I think the ACLU should get involved and sue this 'baptist' church.

Civil rights apply even inside churches.

Keith said...

"Civil rights" implies exactly what it says. We are not dealing with a "civil" situation, but rather one that is governed by the Bible. If you don't believe the Bible has any authority over you or the church, then there's really no way to explain it to you.

teetown said...

The bible does not over-ride the Constitution of the US. No more than the Koran over-rides it.

The bible states it is ok to sell your daughter into slavery if she displeases you, too, but give THAT a try and we'll read about you in the paper.

Keith said...

Below is the contact information for the ACLU in Virginia. Please contact them and tell them about the woman that can't teach Sunday School because of the mean ol' Bible. I doubt they've heard about it already and I'm sure they'll make it top priority. Thanks for setting me straight on my understanding of the Constitution AND the Bible.

ACLU of Virginia
Executive Director: Kent Willis
530 East Main Street, Suite 310
Richmond, VA 23219
Phone: 804-644-8022

teetown said...

You're welcome. Sometimes church boys need setting straight.