Service, not power.

I am going to start this with a putdown that a buncha people made over at Complementarian Loners.

CL doesn’t think highly or lowly of herself (but she also doesn’t respect or tingle for wusses).

CL and 7man answered correctly. It is not about self esteem. What I find interesting is that this was a consequence of a critique of this post.  The site that is on, Women in Ministry, which states:

This blog is for dialogue on the issue of women in ministry and the freedom for women to teach the bible in a public setting.

By their fruits you shall know them. Again I am quoting CL and 7man

It is typical of post-modern thought that it tends to collapse under its own weight. Like the post-modernist who says “there is no absolute truth” is flummoxed when you ask him, “is that an absolute truth?” the egalitarian would be caught with her pants down with a few simple questions about what she fails to address. The questions they do ask are the questions I asked when I was six years old, literally. The difference is that I have moved on from such juvenile, simplistic questions. They seemed clever when I was six; now they just seem childish, as well they should.

This supposed egalitarianism is more about female domination than true equality, since that is the observable result. It is similar to the way in which those who call themselves liberals are so far left that they are the opposite of a true liberal, and those who consider themselves moderate conservatives are more classically liberal in practice. So the complementarian winds up more egalitarian in practice than many of those who call themselves egalitarians and each term becomes little more than a set of preconceived notions on which to pass judgement about others without knowing what the words even mean.

Why is a man’s rule automatically equated with being for his benefit? The idea of benevolent leadership is not broached and what is revealed, once again, is that women who want to lead like this do not understand the responsibility that comes with leadership. They see it as privilege only. They see a man as doing it for his own benefit because that is her idea of leadership – I get what I want; I get to do what I want; I get to tell people what to do so that I can get something.

Peter has things to say on this. (Yes, I was getting to the lectionary). People think those in leadership have power, But they have responsibility and a heavy burden. This is why we should pray for all leaders in the church: even those we may have theological disagreements with. For they are accountable.

1 Peter 5:1-8

1Now as an elder myself and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as one who shares in the glory to be revealed, I exhort the elders among you 2to tend the flock of God that is in your charge, exercising the oversight, not under compulsion but willingly, as God would have you do it – not for sordid gain but eagerly. 3Do not lord it over those in your charge, but be examples to the flock. 4And when the chief shepherd appears, you will win the crown of glory that never fades away. 5In the same way, you who are younger must accept the authority of the elders. And all of you must clothe yourselves with humility in your dealings with one another, for “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

6Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time. 7Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.

Peter told the leaders to clothe themselves with humility. It is not about increasing our self esteem. Self esteem is a chimera.  Instead, it is about service,

Not power.

This makes me think back to Kirk… at times we have an ex colleague — who has a theology degree (but no church will call her) and a psychologcy degree (but she has lost posts in two departments) arrive with her grandchild. She wants power: I know, because she used to want to rule where I work. And it has turned to ashes for her. She generally goes to the liberal congregation — where the woman minister enjoys, really enjoys, exerting power.

But in Kirk this week one of the women who has a job as a pastoral assistant is leaving fora time and she was asked to bless her replacement. This woman does not want power. She serves. And in service, she has gathered influence and mana.

For power does not come from your title but from your service. Seeking power is. like self esteem, futile.



2 thoughts on “Service, not power.

  1. Yes those who seek power are never satisfied with it.

    Power can be gained in 2 ways through service or through cold blooded manipulation.

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