2/11/2007

What would you say to Christy?

What would you say to Christy? –[MORE]

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

Taking after a wise older mentor/pastor, I'd say nothing. I'd smile. And I'd let that person know how much they mean to God regardless of the thoughts, ideas and actions of others.

The reality is, that is all that matters anyway. The reality is, that is all that can fix many things in life as well.

This just sounds like the same types of feelings, thoughts, and fears a child about to go to school or the like would have, just at an older age, just with bigger dreams and with just higher stakes. The difference now is that the person has a different, infinitely more loving, all-knowing and all powerful Father to tell it all to!

There is much to be said about the secular statement and please forgive the wording but it is very applicable:

Life is a B...., and then you die.

No matter what you do, how hard you try, what goals and standards you try to meet/live by, there is someone out there hellbent on your failure/destruction. His name is Satan and he will make your life hell in any way he can...through your church, your job, your marriage, etc.

And then, as a last tidbit, I would remind that person that Satan's best hidout is righteousness and his/her worst enemies will always be from the ranks of those who claim to be righteous! There is no other mindset more hellbent on hurting and destroying others as that mindset. Do not run to them when you are in need, do not ask them for help when you are down, and surely do not admit any sin because they will become your judge, jury and executioner. Satan's best workers are those who tout righteousness!

And they I would tell that person if they ever want to talk again, they know where I am!

Pete Vecchi said...

I'll address these on the "short list" individually--

CHRISTY: Here’s the short list:

1) Education is an idealistic pursuit that does not necessarily prepare us to fit in the boxes we create. (i.e., what we thought it would be and what it really is are two different things)

RESPONSE: This is true in many ways. I believe that in many cases, formal education is way too overrated, and life experience is way too underrated. In Bible College in preparation for ministry, I studied the Bible, preaching, counseling--all those "pastoral" types of things. Yet as a pastor, I'm expected to be the "go to" person when it comes to things such as church finances, tax laws, computer expert, audio/visual expert, as well as have a handle on being a secretary, custodian, maintenence person, etc.... I personally believe that many times too much of an emphasis is placed on a "formal" education, but getting into this would take me into an entirely new tangent that I don't have time to discuss right now, and that would get me off of the topic at hand.


CHRISTY: 2) Educational process does not accurately match occupational process. (i.e., what I was prepared to do and what is expected of me do not align)

RESPONSE: Same as item # 1


CHRISTY: 3) Others are not always prepared for or open to ideas and changes presented by recent graduates who are often classified as “idealistic.” (i.e., finding a powerful voice in a resistant world is difficult to impossible)

RESPONSE: Tradition is sometimes great, but more often than not is seems to be a pain. I don't know that being young or idealistic is the reason for the problems. The reason for the problems is that people want their comfort zones. Oftentimes (but certainly not always) in the church, the longer a person has been with a congregation, the more resistant that person is to changing anything in the church. Let's face it--in a world that is constantly changing, some people want their church to be a haven of normalcy. I'm surprised that some pews haven't contoured to the shape of certain people's bodies because those people have sat in the same place for so many years! :-)


CHRISTY: 4) Structure shuts the woman out as confusion persists about the biblical roles of women (i.e., prevailing church beliefs place women in a position to sacrifice themselves and underachieve or face hell, fire, and brimstone)

RESPONSE: Again, this unfortunately is "tradition". I want to state emphatically that I believe that God calls some women to pastoral/preaching ministry, just as He calls some men to that same type of ministry. I believe Paul when he wrote that (paraphrasing here) in God's sight there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female. However, we must also remember that the same Paul said (again, paraphrasing) that women should be silent in the church. The truth of the matter is that Christians have had to deal with this dichotomy for years. Personally, I wish Paul would never have written that part about women being silent in the church, but he did, and that writing became part of our Holy Scriptures, and so we can't simply ignore it. Instead, we have to deal with it, struggle with it, wrestle with it, and try to make sense out of the fact that the Bible say that in God's sight there is neither male nor female but also says that women should keep silent in the church. (For the record, I personally believe that the women keeping silent in the church was more or less a cultural thing specific to the time and place of Paul's writings). Unfortunately, most churches have people in all different stages of spiritual development and maturity, and this and other issues probably won't just "go away" since the Bible says two things that can be interepreted to mean opposite things.


CHRISTY: To desire to maintain my own passions and pursue my desires or to seek equality or, God-forbid, leadership in a marriage transforms you into a feminist and heretic. Until the church determines its stance on women in ministry, even in voluntary ministry, and its understanding of marriage roles, women will forever be trapped somewhere between achieving their dreams, thereby fulfilling their calling, and doing what is expected of them.

RESPONSE: Whether a person is male or female, he or she needs to persue not personal desires, but rather desire to do what God calls that individual to do. We sometimes need to exercise faith that if God wants something to happen in our lives that it's totally up to His grace to see that it happens. In a world that's infected by sin, things will never be perfect--even within the church. But seek first God's Kingdom, and these things shall be added to you as well (How's THAT for being idealistic?). :-)



CHRISTY: On a personal level, life after graduation is terrifying. What if I don't reach my fullest potential?

RESPONSE: Most of us never will--regardless of our gender. We must remember that God's strength is made perfect in our weakness.



CHRISTY: What if I have to "settle" to "make ends meet?"

RESPONSE: Then you'll probably be in very good company. Even Paul had to wait a number of years after his conversion before he and Barnabas began their first missionary journey. Even in the course of following God's will in one's life, there are sometimes detours. But instead of looking at those detours as always being the enemy getting in the way, sometimes we need to look at the detours as things God wants us to experience to make us more effective in the paths He wants us to take.


CHRISTY: What if I never marry? What if I do marry? Does that mean the end of my dreams? How can I reconcile my desires and other's expectations?

RESPONSE: Forget others' expectations, and be the individual God wants you to be. But also, forget your desires. Ask God to make your desires HIS desires. As to marriage, it isn't a 50-50 proposition. It's got to be a 100-100 proposition, where each spouse gives 100%. If each spouse commits totally to God's will, have faith that God will lead you where He wants you to go. If you end up not marrying, fine. If you end up marrying, then perhaps God has a help-mete suitable for the things God wants to accomplish through you--AND through your potential husband. Sometimes teamwork is more effective than goining solo.


CHRISTY: What do you do when your understanding of God and His will seems to go against the church?

RERSPONSE: Realize that nobody is ever going to agree with you 100%. Realize that the church is not perfect because it's made up of imperfect human beings. Then commit the areas of disagreement to God, and let Him guide you into the battles He wants you to fight, and let Him guide you away from the battles He wants you to let go of. Also, know that sometimes we are absolutely sure that we are right about something, only to later find out we were wrong. That's part of the maturing process--a process which often comes through time and experience. I'm by no means an expert on all this, but at the same time I certainly know that I view some things very differently now than I did when I was 21 years old. That doesn't mean that I was wrong back then, but in many cases, God has used time and experience to shed light on things for me.


CHRISTY: Can following God's call in your life make you face opposition and/or division?

RESPONSE: Jesus followed God's call, and look what the people opposed to Him did to Him.

Jeanine Long said...

Christy:
To share my perspective on questions 1,2 &3 – an education prepares you to recognize how much you really don’t know when you enter the real world. However, that places you at a great advantage over those without an education – they think they know it all. At least you will recognize that you must continue to learn to make it in the real world!

As for question 4, I am not a woman in “pastoral” ministry, but I believe called to genuine ministry just the same. (Yes, I know that ministerial students may argue that one.) I believe that one who follows God calling – regardless of the occupation – is in ministry doing whatever it is they do. So as a formally educated (Ph.D.), married mother of three who has followed God’s calling in the secular world, let me take a stab at the last question. I used to joke that marriage is a fine institution for those who want to be institutionalized. But the truth is, it is a union blessed and designed by God. With the right person (that is the part where we try to get ahead of God) loss of self is not an issue; neither is educational level nor occupation. In a God ordained relationship domination/control/independence are spiritual concerns not relationship issues. Commitments, drives, dreams and ambitions are spiritual matters not relationship issues. Let “What’s for supper?” “Whose turn is it to wash dishes?” or “Whose taking out the garbage?” occupy argument sound space. Will it always be perfect and in harmony, of course not. But in a marriage that begins God-centered and grows on that foundation, wonderful times far out number hardships and bad times.

Oh, and as for female leadership being a lonely path, you are only lonely when you walk by yourself. Great leaders seek God’s leadership and companionship. By the way, normalcy isn’t all it’s cracked up to be either. It’s generally the middle or 50% mark. No one wants or respects the middle. Who is satisfied with at “C”, half way, or 50%? Go for better than normal – be who God designed you to be. You won’t be content otherwise.

Jason Denniston said...

I would say to Christy:

I think her focus, like a lot of people and incidentally a disproportionately large percentage of Americans, is wrong. Throughout this email I hear a lot of:
- how the world isn't going to fit you,
- how your job isn't going to cater you,
- how the church doesn't change to your preferences,
- how you don’t feel life will satisfy your desires,
- how you don't want to be constrained by a marriage partner.

It reminds me of the mixed up worship chorus "It's all about me, meee. And all this is for me, for my glory and my fame"
Life is about two things. Loving and serving God, and loving and serving others.

What ever happened to Philippians 2 “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus…”

True there are things in the church that are not fair, I'll give you that, and they should be changed, we should all work for that end. But church service is just that service. Jesus teaches in Luke 17:7-10 that servants aren't to expected to be given preference, thanks, or praise, but a servant does their duty, and should say "We are unworthy servants who have simply done our duty."

I guess this all boils down to where you get your "drive" from. If you get your drive from doing things that satisfy your own selfish desires and having a life that revolves around you, they yeah when you get out into the real world you're not going to find that. But if you get your drive from doing those things that God has called you to not for your own glory, but for His glory and pleasure, then you will never run out motivation or drive.

luke middleton said...

Interesting thoughts, Christy.

'What I would say' to your individual points...

About point #1: I think there's a lot of truth to what you said, especially (and in this case, specifically) to ministry. There is a wide, wide disconnect between many colleges that prepare young people for ministry and the church those young people minister to. The question then becomes how do we align these and what is that alignment based on?

Point #4...

1) I'd really encourage you to use Scripture in your thought process.

2) I'd be interested to hear what marriages you have seen that have given you such a specific and terrifying fear. And I'd also be interested to hear the other side of the coin (the good ones you saw).

3) Your fear of losing yourself in marriage is, in a sense, true. And in a Biblically sound marriage, it's true also for the husband, who gives himself for his wife the same way Christ gave Himself for the church. She's now his first priority. And vice versa. Is this not a Biblical model?

4) I think you may be painting what you view as women who have lost themselves in marriage with a sort of broad brush. You're indirectly incriminating many women who have fit a role you are not taking a liking to. You will do well to have Scripture ready to help them see where they have sold-out, settled for less, and disobeyed God's Word.

5) "To follow my heart and calling is to oppose common church doctrine and belief." Strong statement. Very dangerous either for you or for the church. This, again, is where your use of Scripture can align your heart, help settle your soul, and assist you in humbly making your case to those who have protected church doctrine for 2,000 years, or assist you in aligning your own heart and mind to God's calling.

6) As you very clearly stated your passions and desires (and how they don't necessarily align with marriage and the traditional views of marriage roles), your next steps might be to pray for one of the following: 1) for God to provide and outlet for your passions and your joy that will give Him glory, or 2) for God to change your passions and where you find your joy in for His glory.

7) All of this, obviously, puts the largest calling of all on you and all of us in this: examining Scripture, loving it, savoring it, and submitting to it. For the sake of joy. Both the writer and the readers will benefit more next time if you can build us up with the Word more.

As Jesus tells us that He commands things for our joy to be full, I that God grants you the fulfillment of your joy in Him and, if it is His will, in marriage.

Anonymous said...

Mark Twain said that he did not allow schooling to interfere with his education. An education is a lifelong passionate pursuit of the truth. We never arrive at a point where we can say we are educated,and if we think we have the learning will stop.
We can do many jobs in life and make a living, but until we realize that whatever we do is to the glory of God we live a very dull life. Give whatever you do the transcendent quality of knowing you do it to serve God and your life will take an exciting new direction.
Study the word of God as it gives all knowledge proper context for living. I have known and talked to many "intellectuals" who were uneducated, but never have I talked to an uneducated man who knew the word of God.

Fluffy

Christy said...

I think I need to clarify. When I speak of my passion and pursuing my dreams, I refer to God's calling that excites me so much. If I were to follow my will I would never be seen, never be heard. I don't want to draw attention to myself or upset people or go against the grain. I'm perceived as bold and strong, confident. I'm actually terrified but obedient. Many people may perceive me as self-motivated. I'm not. My hunger for God's leading in my life supercedes my personal desire.

If I were to pick a Bible character that I relate to the most it would be Jeremiah - the weeping prophet. I don't feel adequate. I don't want to uproot, tear down, and destroy - I just want to build, not rebuild (Jer. 1:10).


My viewpoint comes from a life time of wrestling, a love of education, a dream job (that to my knowledge doesn't yet exist), a torn searching of the scriptures, and a broken heart for the Lord.

I know that education doesn't align with real life. I know that we are never alone if we walk with God. I know that a good marriage should not involve losing oneself. I'm not unaware of scripture.

What I struggle with is the conclusion that I have come to - God has called me. The church at large does not accept that call despite the fact they say that they do. And marriage, regardless of how good it is, still brings about a huge change in person, dreams, abilities, etc.

"God is good. Satan is bad. Follow God. Ignore self. Going against traditions, even wrong tradition is hard. Quitting is easy. Don't quit, unless of course you have forgotten to ignore self. Reference scripture. You aren't alone - God's with you." - True but predictable. I know these things.

My thought was not so much a question as a journey - a writing of the conflict of a heart who knows the things you all say and who faces the realities of this understanding. These are more rhetorical questions. These are the outpourings of me as I struggle to follow God's call, fight Satan's attack, and remain faithful to God and the church.

For the most part I hear a lot of - that's just the way it is. A little of the - figure out what God says (which is not the issue unless the whole world figures out what God said and does it) and a little of you're a selfish American. I'm probably not going to clear anything up until I clear my head...this was just an initial reaction.

1) I desire to fulfill my potential and follow my passion (which aligns with God's calling on my life)
2) I've studied the scripture and looked at church traditions and have talked to the every day person. My problem is that the theory we say and the reality we live in don't align.
3) I'm long to marry and achieve my fullest potential. I know God can provide a balance, but it is certainly difficult to see.
4) I pray that I am not selfish, seeking a church and job for me. My human desire is to warm the pew and take the path of least resistance. My calling is much more frigtening.

Sorry, I won't accept that life is a b..... and then you die.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who ever really gets to know God and do His will eventually comes to that conclusion if they are honest! Most who serve God the way He wants die eventually and it is only after they concede that life's a b......

Just because you don't accept the fact that the sun is yellow does not make it not true!

Besides, most of God's will never happens within the confines of organized church anyways!

And further, anyone who ever did the will of God had to walk alone most of the time, even when there were others around them. I guess they neglected to teach you those things in "chritian" college, eh! That is because it is not psychology soothing and doesn't fit within the bounds of their sociological norms. God never does!

Anonymous said...

Don't you ever wonder if the Israelites who died in the wilderness ever wondered if life was a b.....?

They probably didn't have that term but probably said something like...life is such donkey poop! And then they died in the wilderness!

Anonymous said...

Re: your calling being much more frightening....Think about it this way. Anyone God ever called specifically into a job and not just a priest with regular duties, had jobs that, to the on-looker would fall into the category of: this job sucks!

There had to have been some benefit or threat to it all that we do not see/know! Otherwise, why would they do "crappy" work?

Why, after crossing the Red Sea did Moses not tell God, look at these fools blaming me for everything. Find someone else to take care of these weenies! I'm outta here.

Ok, so he was promised land. Big deal. He could buy land and have babies and have many descendents with his own equipment!

So tell me, what made him stick with those fools? And you talk about frightening work! Honey, I don't think God could be asking you to do anything more than Moses, Christ or the like!

Our own little world sometimes seem so "all-consuming" doesn't it! And besides, God surely needs us or it would all fall apart.

Reminds me of a statement by this Dr. of Theology...it said, Redemption is impotentent w/out a receiver of the redemption. Ah haha, I suppose God is only potent only when He can perform some useful act. At all other times He is impotent! Spoken like a real fundamentalist.....God needs man!
Ahahahaha, I guess God needs a wife to be satisfied/fulfilled too so He can do His manly spiritual duties or He is otherwise impotent in that area as well.

I guess if God revolved around me, things might look very scary. But since they revolve around Him. No problem, it is His job, His responsibility and His failure or someone else's (as long as I obey), not mine.

The AJ Thomas said...

I mean this way more lovingly than it sounds but... You make your self out to be prety hot stuff in this post but if you really had a great education and wonderful ideas and great problem solving skills you would think you could convince enough other people of that fact that they would give you a place to use those skills. It seems you are one of three things:
A) Deluded - you just really aren't that great.
B) Self centered - you expect to be allowed to lead because of how great you know you are rather than how worth following you have proven yourself to be.
C) Not expecting enough of yourself / impatient. Work hard, do good and prove your follow-ability. Don't assume that if it's not handed to you on a platter you will never get it. If you want to be a leader and you can't help people to change their minds you are in rough shape. View it as a leadership challenge - first you lead them to trust you and then you lead them to where you know things need to go. Realize that these things take time but probably not as much as you think. I believe truly great leaders always eventually always get their chance.
If I were betting I'd say it's mostly C with a side order of B.
Remember, you don't have to convince all of Christendom you are worth following, just a bunch of people from one church. I'd suggest finding one with lots of new converts who are younger. Their stance on Women in ministry is far more biblical than most established Christians.

Anonymous said...

aj, a little patience, please! Is it the student's fault they leave college with the idea that they will step in and immediately become great leaders or does that come from their mentors and instructors? For most, by the time they leave college, they are nothing more than the sum total of what they have been taught.


And, the trend in secular as well as christian realms for the last 10-20 years has been "be a leader", make a difference, be somebody, be all you can be in God's army!

Jesus only said, follow me and I make you fishers of men! The greatest of all leaders, God-Man, was content to be spit on!

Now tell me again, was Maxwell right or wrong?

Doug said...

Christy...

Very well put. Honest and authentic to boot! I appreciate it.

I think of the 9 years of higher education I received and how little it translates into anything I have done since. (I'm 46.) They were pre-requisites to get to a goal. A means to an end. A huge emphasis on the theoretical and minimal emphasis on the practical. Most programs have a token "internship." Those are the only parts of the program that actually help you get ready to do what you're going to do. It seems that the thing college and post-graduate work prepares you best for is academia.

As far as the role of women. Yes, that is highly confusing, particularly with how American culture has evolved in the last 100 years in that regard. It's horribly confusing, and many women end up tamed, depressed, and bitter. As a Life Coach I speak with many many women who, in their 40's and 50's are getting in touch with how much of their "selves" they have lost in an effort to submit, obey, and serve. Most are depressed and bitter and overweight. "Boundaries" has gained a lot of popularity in Christian circles, but I don't think it adequately addresses these scriptural principles. It basically pays lip service to them, but ignores them in practice.

I imagine that if I were a woman I would lose a lot of my drive and passsion for my career, etc., once I started having children. I can't imagine not switching my primary focus to them. And rightly so, I think. I think the "pause" button would be pushed for about 20 years. Quite a pause.

One suggestion is to make sure you marry a man who turly loves YOU and cherishes your uniqueness and gives you the space to be independent and creative, etc. Avoid the cotrollers, dominators, the self-absorbed. It can be the difference between a life of heaven and hell.

Again, bravo on your sentiments.

Doug

Christy said...

I don't know if anonymous is the same anonymous or several people - but you certainly say some bold things to not put your name on it. Perhaps I'm ridiculous or wrong, but at least I put myself out there.

I'm not going to disagree with the fact that following God's call is difficult. I also never said, nor do I believe, that my life is more difficult than that of Moses or Jesus or anyone else. I'm not in the business of comparing my list of woes to others. It's rather difficult to say that my life is better or worse than anyone elses - it's subjective. I'm not saying that there aren't downsides to every job. I understand that. It isn't the point. I'm not saying that I shouldn't or won't set aside my human desires to pursue God's calling. I'm not sure where the selfish tone came in. I wasn't aware of that and now that it's been brought up, I'll pray through and look through it.

Your theology and your challenges are not contestable. I agree. Perhaps I am unclear. Perhaps I should have prefaced my thoughts more. Read this not as a theological stance but an experience. I'm very happy for you if you can separate how you feel - your fear or excitement or hurt or joy - from your calling in life. I haven't been able to, though. Even if I know God will provide, time will tell, and everyone has struggles - faces oposition and feels lonely - I still think and feel.

All these "bad" parts of life or of work or of following God by no means cancel out the good. If wandering the wilderness in the desert was that awful with no rewards or no positives, Moses probably would have quit. The rewards of following God are greater than the struggles, but that doesn't make the struggles any less real.

Can the understanding that I am to serve God not also be combined with the servant's reaction to the calling? Can't both perspectives co-exist to make a whole picture? Gideon said he was the least of these and questioned God. Jeremiah said he didn't know what to say. Peter denied Christ - why? He was a human who had human experiences that intertwine with and sometimes - whether we like it or not - supercede theologicl principles. Saul, later Paul, feared for his life after is conversion. The psalms are full of human emotion, doubt, hope triumph, fear, guilt, frustration, faithfullness, forgiveness, and much more. Do we know expect that humans are God's drones? Do we condemn them because they feel or think or doubt? How can you so easily separate the human experience - emotions and thoughts - from theological stance?

I know psychology and sociology are not often appreciated in the church (although - and this is another arguement - many churches use them without knowing what it is they are doing). I know that those who are well-experienced and knowledgable in theology often do not appreciate the psychologizing of the Bible. My reality is that we are people, humans - God accepts and understands our humanity.

Anonymous said...

Although older than Christy, I don't think I'm much more "wiser" in certain areas. The struggle to understand God and His ways will be a "journey" for a life-time. And I would suggest that sometimes the Church gets into waters that it has NO business delving into...then the very "cause of Christ" suffers because we long to much for the limelight and "changing the world" when Christ Himself said we would have wars and rumors of wars...And I'm not hoping for a "rapture", a better day, heaven or any of that "spiritual" stuff...It seems to me that the Church is a political organization and as ALL political organizations the leaders decide what is to be...better seek solace elsewhere if you can find it! And how do you understand God in all of it? Does He intervene in the affairs of men? Or is it the political scene that captures the day..and the ones at the bottom are told "its for the cause" and given platitudes of "heaven". I'm beginning to think the Church doesn't truly exist...it is all in our heads...

Anonymous said...

At least we agree on one thing -- there is no separation. But to mix the humanism of psychology with the Godlikeness of theology is totally impossible!

In the words of the demi-god, Dr. Phil, that boat won't float (I call him a demi-god because when anyone has a problem his response is, I have a plan for you, if you follow it, all will go well with you. Sounds like Jesus Christ to me!)

Is there some good in psychology, yes. Is there some good in sociology, yes. Do both have their place, yes.

But tell me, will the sociological study of religion get you to God? No. Will the psychological study of religion get you to God? No. Will either unlease the supernatural in one's life? No.

Just like anything else of the world, you have to sift it for the applicable/good. Will the TV lead you to God? No. Will the educational system lead you to God, no. Will Dr. Phil lead you to God, no.

I think that now that psychology has become the religion of choice with the humanistic god being the therapist, there is a problem. Since when is a therapist to tell a charge, I want you to do something and I want it done now and this is how you are going to do it!

Who is the therapist to make the determination and overpower the subject's will to gain what they desire in that person's life! Why the hell are they there in the first place because obviously they can't stand on their own two feet already. So to take further advantage of them for one's ego is a problem and it is sinful.

Jesus never destroys nor does He overpower a person to remake that person! He allows you to put yourself and your will in His to be transformed.

Work with true christians and those who really know God and His word and you will not see folks being pushed around or forced into someone else's mold. I know it happens in many christian realms, but it is wrong and it does not happen everywhere! Only immature folk have to deal with others that way. Mature, well-rounded, non-legalistic folks with the true love of God just lead the change. It happens naturally!

That said, there is no division between the emotion and the spiritual. What there is, is a God, and that God is not man!

In short, what I do not accept about sociology and psychology is its humanism and its major focus on the lower nature and its "need" to be god.

John Mark said...

I think, Christy, that your frustration or fear is rooted as much in your age and your apparently "over-achiever" temperament as much as in your gender. Now, I am one who tends to see the glass half-empty. But don't limit what God might want to do in your life.
As for marriage, most every person who gets married finds it ain't always what it's cracked up to be. Just as many men as women struggle with this.
On the other hand... I remember hearing Twila Paris once sharing a humorous little story about wanting a husband, and asking God to provide a husband, then wondering why in the world He gave her this man as a husband. Her husband was running sound that night, if memory serves.
For all the problems we have in trying to sort out the role of women in ministry, I personally see more women pastors today than I ever have in my lifetime. I know many women feel shut out of ministry, but that doesn't mean that there are no opportunities anywhere.
You may indeed be idealistic, and I wonder what a few years of living in the 'real world' will do to your approach to life. I suspect that you will do well, and always find us slow and plodding types a bit of a bother.

Christy said...

Hey anonymous, just a quick response to your last comment – psychology and sociology are just the study of people - psychology on the small scale and sociology on a large scale. Psychology works to take an understanding of people and help them to better understand themselves. It also takes abstract ideas and works to make them more concrete. When you use statistics, you are often dealing with the results of psychological studies (research methods).

I don’t know what happened that made you so angry and bitter toward psychology. A therapist is never to manipulate a person, forcing them to be who he wants them to be. He/she is not to be a demi-god, but then again neither is money, cars, partners, work, food, or anything else we so often put in our lives. It’s highly unlikely that the study of people becomes a humanistic religion. People are focusing on misconceptions of the field and individuals who misconstrue and mislead cause problems. The study of psychology is not based at all on the need to be a god. If a person sees their therapist as a god, the person has a problem, not necessarily the therapist. If I think my dog is god, is my dog bad? I’m confused at what role people are to have. You dislike the therapist who offers help to another because that is like Christ – are we not to be like Christ?

To be honest, I think someone could come to know God through psychology, sociology, television, education, and many other means. If we disqualify everything that crosses our paths, what is left? How are we to come to God? Theology?

I don’t know what these postings have to do with my original thoughts anyway. I don’t understand where you are coming from. I’ll close with this final thought – Life is not a b…. and every Christian does not come to see life as that and die. We are to live life more abundantly, not in despair. Following God will have its trials but it isn’t as you maintain –a b…... God would never call us to live in that state of anger, bitterness, and hurt. I don’t know how you came to feel and believe as you do, but my prayer is that you won’t be bound by this cloud of pessimism that traps you in a life that is so unpleasant, that God will show you the beauty of life even in difficulty.

Angie Van De Merwe said...

Christy,
Education is a lifelong process and Not just a diploma. The value of education is much more than information.
Education does not necessarily prepare one for the occupational process UNLESS you further your education to specific areas and degrees. The more specialized your field and demand in the market-place determines the opportunities you may have. In areas that are not driven by the market, political networking is necessary, although I must say that my own husband has "trusted God" for this.
Others usually aren't open to recent graduates idea(l)s. Possibly besides bad experiences with the "idealistic" who do not know the cost or the means to get to the end "goal", the "experinced" are usually in the senior positions because of their experience. The "world" doesn't want to "take the chance" or loose good people on the team due to the "idealistic" young person who has too much confidence than wisdom....the modern world is not the ancient one...The wise "idealistic" young person will listen, learn and grow. And when the time is ripe will divulge his/her "dreams" to those who know the character of that young person and their work ethic.
As far as women go, do your homework, and go to a church that is similar to your beliefs. If you find that you are in a church that is totally open to women in minstry then seek to help "transform" that conviction, but don't do it alone.

Chad said...

Christy, thank you for the open sharing of your feelings. Those of us in "grown-up" ministry have learned to hide our feelings better. You are a model to us all who use the word "authentic" but do not often practice it.

Drury, it is time for you to do a column on "ministry entry." When I entered ministry it almost knocked me down--I was so used to being "served and praised" I had an awful time adjusting to "serving and praising"--let;' have a column from you, Drury.

Pastor Rod said...

Keith,

I think it would be wise to stop accepting anonymous comments. There have been several off-topic and unkind comments made by individuals unwilling to identify themselves. I know that you are able to slough off those that are directed at you, but, as in the case of Christy, they are often directed at others.

Christy,

I wish I could express in just a few words what I have needed more than 25 years to learn after school. I'll try to sketch out some of the main reactions I have to your comments.

First, you have been mislead if you've been told that the purpose of a liberal arts education is to prepare you for a career. (It sounds like some of your professors have some distorted ideas, as well.) In my opinion, the purpose of education is to shape you as a person, to give you a foundation upon which you can build after you leave school.

Second, the thing I remember most about my years just out of school is my own arrogance. The one thing recent graduates need most is humility. A university education is a fabulous resource. But it also has a tendency to make young people overconfident. There are many things you will need to learn from people who have never even finished high school.

Third, forget about "fulfilling your potential." That is a burden that will wear you down and keep you from "denying yourself and carrying your cross." Your goal should be to remain faithful to your Lord and to be available to him to participate in the work he is doing to advance his kingdom.

Fourth, as to your comments about the world being hostile toward women, I cannot speak as a woman. But as a pastor and the father of two daughters, I would suggest that too much focus on "the way things should be" will only distract you for the opportunities that do exist. It seems to me that the opportunities have never been greater for women than they are right now.

Finally, fulfilling your dreams and fulfilling your calling are not the same thing. The reality is that God often has to kill off our dreams before he can use us to fulfill our calling.

One more thing: be very careful what model of leadership you hold in your mind. You said, "I am very dominant, a leader." Toss out everything you believe about leadership and focus on John 13.

God bless,

Rod

Cozbo said...

Christy,

1: You can only be put into a box if you are cooperating or dead. If you are worried the "real world" will stifle you and lead you to a life of mediocrity don't be. Be idealistic. Be steadfast and don't worry if the world isn't like you want. Go and make it a better place.

2: We all choose our point of suffering.

IF you don't want to compromise your dream, goals and idealogy, then don't. Your can suffer through a dull lifeless job as your point of suffering, or you could be jobless and broke looking for just the right one that will make it where you can keep your dreams, goals and ideas intact.
Choose your point of suffering.

You may get married and find that your whole life becomes a compromise or you may remain childless and be an old maid but at least your dreams(at least some of them) remain intact. Choose your point fo suffering.

Life isn't going to be "happily ever after" when you graduate. You will find it a battle to hold onto the non-negotiables and knowing which battles are worth suffering and when discretion is the better part of valor.

3:Jesus said to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and ALL these things will be added to you as well. Keep the main things in life the main things, and "don't sweat the small stuff" that doesn't really matter in the long run to your ultimate goals as a Christian.

4: Never turn down advice, just don't always use it. Advice is free, so it is abundant. You will learn that some advice is good and some is bad. Pray for discernment and then stick with your conscience. Better to go with God and suffer a bit than to please men and compromise yourself.

Jo Hanson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Justin said...

A couple things:

Your feelings are not unfounded. Most of us have been told our whole lives by our boomer parents that we can "be anything we want" only to find out that they really didn't mean it. (or we took it the wrong way)

The sad fact is college is going to pump you up for ministry so much and you are going to have so many great ideas, you are going to want to implement them all at once and the church is probably not ready for you. Ma and Pa Wesleyan might need a few years to get used to seeing the new face let alone listening to what it says.

I think it was Coach D that told me if you want to get the church to do what you want...resign. For some reason people might not listen when you are there but if you graciously resign and visit a few years later you will find it just how you wanted it. I laughed him off at the time but I just resigned and ,believe it or not, some ideas were presented (not by me) and approved that I have wanted done for the last 2 years. Would my "good ideas" ever have been thought of and acted on if I was never there? Who knows? All I can say is that good things are happening. For good or ill my name will not be attached to my idea. This probably is not encouraging but it happens.

As for marriage and ministry, I was probably a better pastor before I got married. I had more office hours, ate lunch and dinner with more teens, my messages were probably more sharp and I got to play Xbox more. I could "do more ministry" as a single person. I was really concerned about this when I got married until I read(shameless book plug) Sacred Marriage, I forget the author but he basically agreed, "If you want to serve Christ stay single, if you want to be more like Christ get married."

I think alot of your insights are spot on...you have to decide what to do with them. (geez that sounded cliche)

Evan Nutter said...

Christy,

As to marriage...

Ephesians is clear, the wife IS to submit...AS TO CHRIST. Do you submit to Christ? Is that a chore?
Hopefully you are ALREADY submitting yourself to the will of someone else.

That being said, Paul goes on to describe the role of a man as loving his wife like Christ loved the church. Christ died for the church. If we I am to be like Christ, then my wife's desires and well being should be placed before my own and just under God's desire and will for me.

If God is calling you to do something, and your husband is doing his part in your marriage, then what do you have to fear?

Discuss these roles before marrying that special guy. I have no doubt that marriage can only enhance your dreams. A husband is to be a selfless helper to his wife too. And if it is clear that God has put you together, what do you have to fear?

Choose wisely, and make sure that your drive is God driven, not Christy driven, and not motivated out of spite for those who say women can't...

reedypeedy said...

Christy, As I read all these posts I notice that the men seem to have advice for you...keep on, remain faithful...I don't know if your path is right for you, or the box you find yourself in that juts up against they passion inside you. Maybe the struggle is the things...maybe your voice crys out, "In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord"...or maybe not.

Eric said...

Christy,

In response to the question "What would you say to Christy?" I say thank you. Thank you for letting your experience resonate. Thank you for exposing myths about our education system and our ecclesiology. Thank you so much!

Eric Hallett