I was watching a “controversial sermon” (as the interwebs is calling it) made by the wife of Joel Osteen, Victoria Osteen, on serving God and self. I don’t think this is controversial at all. People are going bananas because Victoria Osteen was preaching and said that when we serve God, we’re really “doing what makes us happy” rather than God. She was endorsing this particular method of serving God and telling the congregation to do just that, because when we make ourselves happy, we make God happy. This shouldn’t be taken out of context! For example, if a person is a kleptomaniac, it’s not going to make God happy if they steal, if stealing makes that person happy, etc.
However, I do think Victoria Osteen is on to something in that when we are playing into our altruistic ways and doing good for others, we are in fact “serving ourselves” in our deeds too. She was merely highlighting this aspect of “self” which can be seen throughout various psychological perspectives, as I’ve learned through my studies. I can’t say I’m in 100% agreement with her, but I can’t dispute her claim altogether either.
But this isn’t the jaw-dropping part. Steve Camp, a pastor and former chart-topper in the Christian music world, said in a Huffington Post clip (at 2:55- 3:28), “Victoria seems like a sweet person but an uninformed person. She can’t be a pastor of a church- there’s no place in the Scripture for a woman to be a co- pastor of anything, and…she needs to be discipled. She seems immature yet very sincere in what she’s claiming.” (http://live.huffingtonpost.com/r/highlight/christians-react-to-victoria-osteens-controversial-sermon/540e11b5fe3444535b0001dc?cn=tbla)
I cannot believe in 2014 that such ignorance is still thriving. How in the world can a person think that God is limited and that He cannot move His Spirit upon a woman if He so chooses? This level of ignorance is shocking. I could pop off a fat handful of Scriptures right now- from memory alone- that proves that God can and indeed does encourage women to preach- and not only encourages them but ordains them.
The very fact that God says that we (both male and female) are created in His image tells a person that God is not just male, but female too.
So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. (Gen. 1:27)
Here’s something else to consider: There’s a place in the book of Numbers where God sends a prophet, Balaam, to go and speak to the people in a town. The prophet decided to not go and changes his direction. When the donkey he was riding on actually corrected the prophet’s misdirection, the prophet smote the ass, hurting it. This happened three times, causing the donkey to actually speak out- as in- using actual words so that the prophet understood it:
“And the LORD opened the mouth of the ass and she said unto Balaam, ‘What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times?”‘ (Num. 22:28)
What does this Scripture tell us?
It tells us that if God can open a donkey’s mouth and cause it to speak, don’t think He can’t open a woman’s mouth and cause her to preach.
And here’s one for the road, which eradicates sexist claims, such as what Mr. Camp offered:
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. (Gal. 3:28)
And here’s another important Scripture to chew on. Deborah, who was a prophetess, judge, and warrior–mentioned in the book of Judges–was chosen to lead Israel out of the hands of their oppressors. The people had prayed for a leader, and they were given Deborah- a woman.
People came and sought advice from her under a palm tree, where she used to sit:
And she dwelt under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in mount Ephraim: and the children of Israel came up to her for judgment. (Judges 4:5)
Barak, a warrior, sought advice from her about going into battle. in so many words, she told him that sure, she would go with him (being a warrior too), but that there would be no glory in it for him and that the Lord would deliver their enemy into the hands of a woman:
“And she said, I will surely go with thee: notwithstanding the journey that thou takest shall not be for thine honour; for the Lord shall sell Sisera into the hand of a woman. And Deborah arose, and went with Barak to Kedesh.” (Judges 4:9)
Sexist men, who think a woman must “remain silent in the church”- please- educate yourselves in the Bible before opening your mouths, calling women “immature” and saying that they have no place to preach. Be a disciple yourself and stop limiting God’s strength and power. Does Jesus not say that all things are possible with God?
“But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, ‘With men’ this is impossible but with God, all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26)
If you are truly a “believer”, then believe.