This was not the post I wanted to do today, but it is the post I needed to do, both for myself and for others.
I’ve been a Christian in the church for most of my life. I also was a missionary in Japan. I ended up at an evangelical college because I got a big scholarship. The past twenty years, I went to more conservative churches, mostly because that was what was near me. Then I chose to go to a seminary mainly based on the excellence of its Greek professors, even though theologically it didn’t believe in female pastors.
I spent years searching for a church that would accept me, a ministry-trained single female, as I am. During a fairly recent church search, I spent over two years visiting a large number of churches that all basically told me I was worthless to them.
When Sarah Bessey started her Twitter hashtag
#ThingsOnlyChristianWomenHear, I’m sure she didn’t think it would elicit such strong emotions in people, both men and women. Many of these tweets left me cringing and yelling “Nooo!” at my monitor. There was considerable lashback, much of it by people claiming that it was some sort of secular conspiracy or that Christian women were flat out lying about the abuse they suffer. A few people said, “Why don’t you just leave that church?” Well, I did, several times, and the next turned out to be the same. Some of them even claimed to believe the opposite.
I told the truth, and I believe others did, too. Mostly because even though I didn’t post what they did, I still have heard things that were quite similar. After a move, I finally found a wonderful church with a female pastor, and they have allowed me to exercise a number of my gifts that I could never use anywhere else.
Though I believe this outpouring of honesty is absolutely necessary if anything is ever to change, there is a more hopeful response in the hashtag #ThingsChristianWomenShouldHear
I’m going to let some of the posts on #ThingsOnlyChristianWomenHear speak for themselves:
The things I posted were absolutely said to me, sometimes more than once. They might have been shortened a bit because there’s only so much you can do in 140 characters, but some of them were said with considerably more contempt than I could express on Twitter.