If you give Donald Trump a platform, he’ll probably want to run for president.
And if you give him a candidate debate,
He’ll want a microphone and some questions to go with it.
So you’ll bring him a crowd, cameras and some opponents.
When he insults you, he’ll want to do it again and again.
Then he’ll be offended by any question snarkier than a rainbow,
So he’ll want to rant on live TV.
Sound familiar? I’m not here to pick on Trump – he gets enough of that on his own. I’m here to ask you about the Donald Trump in your church. Do you know who he or she is?
Your Trump is probably the person who makes you cringe if you have to talk to them in the hall after church. Maybe they’re an elder with their own agenda, maybe it’s a bullying pastor, or maybe it’s you.
A Trump is someone who typically speaks without thinking, has a higher regard for themselves over others, is ignorant of others (in this case, women), and is a bully versus an influencer.
This person is toxic, but doesn’t always know it. And this person could be in your church. So here’s a little story of what might happen when your Trump comes into your office for Pastoral Counseling.
On the rare occasion a Trump asks you for advice, you’ll know you need to tread carefully,
So you gently say they went too far with their words.
Then he’s going to say, “Well they’re just a horrible person, knows nothing about me.”
After you contain your eye roll, you’ll offer a few examples of being a bully.
When he’s finished “listening” he’ll probably want other evidence. And another. And another.
So you tell him you can’t call women mean names and demean half the world’s population,
Then he’d probably want to know ‘why not?’
So you’d explain who Sarah, Rahab, Hannah, Deborah, Esther, Lydia, Mary and many more were. (Insert mic drop here).
Just because it’s so much fun for me, allow me to remind us all how Jesus valued women versus how our culture views women.
- Culture views women as weak, but Jesus needs the strengths and gifts of women and men. The strengths, gifts, skills and passions HE gave them.
- Culture (and often the church) views women as not qualified to lead. Jesus says you are ALL made in my image. Anatomy is not a qualifier for leadership. God sees the heart and calls women and men to lead.
- Culture views women as sexual objects, but Jesus says you are seen, loved and valued. Do we see, love and value our sisters and brothers equally?
Jesus created Adam first, but he didn’t create him to be over or above Eve. They were equals, partners in the work of Eden, tasked with the same mission. It was women that helped fund Jesus’ ministry and followed him to listen to his teaching. Jesus offered miracles, healing and forgiveness for both men and women. Jesus went out of his way to talk to the woman at the well, and he paused for the sweet moment with the woman who anointed his feet with tears and perfume. It was John and a few women at the foot of the cross while Jesus died and women anointed him for burial. Mary was the first person Jesus appeared to when he rose from the dead. Learn more here.
Women matter to Jesus. They don’t matter as less-than or as “weaker vessels” as some Christians like to say. They matter as equals. Men and women were and are created equal in his sight. We all carry within us the DNA of the Imago Dei.
Now, back to our story.
He’ll ask you for a bigger leadership role at church,
You’ll have to clarify about being an influencer who leads without abusing power.
When he hears your explanation, he’ll ask to run his own ministry.
So you send him to the youth pastor and tell him he can co-lead a small group.
And chances are, if you give him a small group, he’ll want a platform and microphone to go with it.