Last week in Lori Alexander’s private chat room for her site The Transformed Wife she kept mentioning a recent sermon by the pastor of their church she and husband Ken disagreed with. She said Ken got up and walked out. That Ken would soon be sounding off on this sermon, writing a take down response.
What was the subject? The role of women in the church and life as far as I could tell. It looks like the pastor and church that Ken is objecting to is Ryan Rosenbaum of Seacoast Community Church in Encinitas, California.
Here’s a small part of Ken’s copious word salad whining about Pastor Rosenbaum:
I guess the bigger question, Pastor, is why are you going against what the church universal and what your own church has taught from the beginning? Your own church still may still hold to having no women preachers, although you allow every other type of speaking in the church by women from leading singing, prayer, announcements, to the little mini-sermonettes that often happens when a woman has the mike. I think most of us are okay with allowing women to speak in church with the 1 Timothy 2 understanding that it applies exclusively to: “I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man” (1 Timothy 2:12). But the verse is followed by “rather, she is to remain quiet.” So maybe we shouldn’t be so modern thinking as we are.
I am guessing that Ken considers any word by a woman in church, even a simple “Let us bow our heads and thank God” to be in violation of his own personal ideas here. A sermonette actually instead of what it genuinely is, the lead into a prayer.
Why should we believe you, our elder teacher
I cannot inflict upon you much of Ken’s own vile sermonette, which is all if you are not telling women to submit, submit hard and always submit you are sinning. You have to read all of it a Lori’s site. It’s ranty word salad in Ken’s too lengthy wandering style he usually reserves for inflicting on the many women he spends hours talking to online.
Here’s where this makes me despair. What does the Bible say about disagreeing with someone in the church? You are told to go directly to that person and speak to them about it, not gossip to the entire world. This is just a tiny inch away from gossiping. If Ken had written this in such a way that was aimed at all pastors instead of clearly being aimed at one particular pastor it would be one thing.
I don’t agree 100% with everything spilling from my pastor’s lips either. But, I figure, he’s a man, a human, a flawed individual like the rest of us. I go to him privately to discuss my concerns instead of putting him immediately on internet blast like Ken has done.
Ken is defying his own spiritual head, running counter to his own stated beliefs. But we always knew that Lori and Ken consider themselves above the law of the scriptures, cherry picking what they will believe in and what they will ignore instead of attempting to keep to the whole of scripture. They are typical practitioners Evangelical legalism.
Better ways to deal with disagreeing with a pastor’s words? Quick note: I am not talking about toxic situations, sexual abuse, or gaslighting here. I’m speaking of the simple scriptural differences between people.
- Go to the pastor and express your concerns, not to other people.
- Do not share with anyone but your spouse what you’re upset about.
- Listen. Listen first to what the pastor has to say, and decide to accept or reject his thoughts. Give him at least a little respect by paying attention.
- Realize that there are some adults in this world you will not agree with, and it’s not the end of the world. Heck, it shouldn’t even be the end of the friendship.
- Try to end the discussion on a positive note. You don’t know that your words might give him something to think about and modify his stance eventually.
- Don’t gossip about it afterward.
This is exactly the kind of stupid behavior that drives church splits and turns relatively safe and healthy churches into toxic environments created by angry people with control issues.
Sometimes the upshot is that you realize that the pastor isn’t what you need and you end up leaving that church.
In this same vein I recommend a book titled “Crucial Conversations” for those difficult conversations. It’s a good read for anyone interested in de-escalating difficult communications and coming to a common understanding.
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