Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Grid Blog for Int'l Women's Day: Top Ten Reasons Why Men Should Not Be Ordained

Today is International Women's Day, and several of us on the blogosphere have been asked to post something today to commemorate the event. Because I have a few readers who may not have been regular readers of this blog when I first posted this list several months ago, a repost seemed appropriate. To use the same disclaimers as before, I'm a man seeking ordination (someday) myself, and so I'm quick to note that this is all tongue-in-cheek. I'm also quick to note that this is not my list, but something I got from a professor of mine, who didn't write it, either, but got it from the internet. He will actually be using it today, as well, as he teaches a course entitled "Women, the Bible, and the Church" here at the seminary (which my wife is Teaching Assistant for!). This list has made the rounds in a few forms over the past several years. I've taken the liberty of making a couple of small edits from the form in which I got it.

Top Ten Reasons Why Men Should Not Be Ordained (think David Letterman)

10. A man's place is in the army.
9. For men who have children, their duties might distract them from the responsibilities of being a parent.
8. Their physical build indicates that men are more suited to tasks such as chopping down trees and wrestling mountain lions. It would be "unnatural" for them to do other forms of work.
7. Man was created before woman. It is therefore obvious that man was a prototype. Thus, they represent an experiment, rather than the crowning achievement of creation.
6. Men are too emotional to be priests or pastors. This is easily demonstrated by their conduct at football games and watching basketball tournaments.
5. Some men are handsome; they will distract women worshipers.
4. To be ordained pastor is to nurture the congregation. But this is not a traditional male role. Rather, throughout history, women have been considered to be not only more skilled than men at nurturing, but also more frequently attracted to it. This makes them the obvious choice for ordination.
3. Men are overly prone to violence. No really manly man wants to settle disputes by any means other than by fighting about it. Thus, they would be poor role models, as well as being dangerously unstable in positions of leadership.
2. Men can still be involved in church activities, even without being ordained. They can sweep paths, repair the church roof, and maybe even lead the singing on Father's Day. By confining themselves to such traditional male roles, they can still be vitally important in the life of the Church.
1. In the New Testament account, the person who betrayed Jesus was a man. Thus, his lack of faith and ensuing punishment stands as a symbol of the subordinated position that all men should take.

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  1. goodness, that's a lot of disclaimers. I was expecting something scarier or something. :) thanks for sharing it - it's really funny.

  2. that was really funny - thanks for posting it.

  3. funniest post I read today :)

  4. the humor in this is a fresh breath of air in the midst of an otherwise intense issue. thanks!

  5. Excellent! Funny, poignant, and so, so true! Thanks for a different twist to an old set of rationalizations.

  6. I enjoyed your post and posted it on my blog!

  7. I think your post is brilliant! It goes to show how NOT to argue in the question of gender in leadership...

  8. funny and useful. thx for sharing. germans must read this too. so i posted a link on my blog.

  9. now there's also a german translation available.. see


    lot of this arguments are a nice answer to arguments against women ordination..


  10. I found you going through several links via a female pastor in the UK among others, in search of the originator of this list. Which seminary is this and who is the professor? I am always at a lookout for the 'right people'.
    This is truely brilliant. I suppose it is ok if I translate it into Finnish and spread out also 'as something anonymous found in the internet'?
    Anne Mikkola from Finland.
    PS. Are you aware of Christians for Biblical Equality in Minnesota? They promote this globally these days.
    YOu can find me just googleing if you wish to respond to this mail privately.

  11. Anne,

    I'm afraid that I do not know who originated this list, although the version I got originally had some references to "cricket matches" that suggest it was perhaps started in the UK (or one of the few other places that regularly play cricket, which is admittedly virtually unknown here in the United States).

    As to the seminary and professor, I have made it a blog policy not to mention such things by name in order to avoid spam (search engines and "robots" find these names and start sending unwanted comments and/or e-mails). I can help you find both (shouldn't be too hard for an actual person who's interested) by telling you that the seminary is a multidenominational seminary in Southern California, one of the largest in North America, and that the professor is a New Testament scholar who has been teaching a class on "Women, the Bible and the Church" for nearly 30 years. He is currently fighting a battle with "incurable" colon cancer, and hopes to be able to teach the class for a total of 30 times (I believe he's just finished #28) before being forced to retire due to his health. The LA Times did an article on him and his struggle recently, which may help you in your search.

    I have considered this list to be in the public domain, due to the fact that it was already widely spread anonymously before I came across it (my professor didn't originate it, either), so I certainly don't mind if you translate it (in fact, I was honored to find the German translation Micha mentions linking to this blog post just a few days ago).

    As to CBE: yes, I'm not only aware of the organization, but my wife and I are members.

  12. Anne said:
    Well, I am from another continent. And not very familiar with your theological systems. (name deleted) Seminary is the only one I can think of, and after surfing on their pages for a while cannot find any course by that name. I quit this project. You are not promoting CBE message by this kind of secrecy. We should work together to spead the good news rather than hiding them.
    Just my belief and experience too.
    Bye now.
    Anne - just tried if there was something valuable connections here that might help in the global mission. I'll be praying for that nameless professor anyways. Would have been nice to know who he is.

    My apologies if this seems "secretive." That's not my intention at all. I'm happy to tell you that you figured out exactly which seminary I was talking about, and purposefully tried to give clues in my last post that would make it easy to figure out.

    My reasons for not explicitly naming the seminary, myself, and the professor, have been stated elsewhere on the blog in the past. Click this link for one of my first attempts to articulate this policy. Suffice it to say, I'm more concerned about preventing unwanted spam than I am about letting folks know who I am. What often happens is a computerized "spider" finds the name on the web, and starts sending unwanted advertisements that connect with perceived interests. I have done a number of things to attempt to thwart such attempts, and keeping names off of the list is simply one of them. I hope you can understand. It is certainly not my intention to deny CBE any publicity.

    Here, if it helps, is the exact name and course number from our web site. I used this through Google, and came up with a course description (naming the professor in question) right away.

    NS561: Women, the Bible, and the Church

  13. Thanks. This is really wonderful. There seems to be 2 profs teaching the same. It is good to see this kind of encouraging developments.
    I am only learning this blogging stuff myself.



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