Why I Am Thankful For Glennon Doyle Melton

glennon-doyle-melton-photo-2015-credit-to-amy-paulson-photography

(Glennon Doyle Melton photo 2015 – credit to Amy Paulson Photography)

At the end of 2014, I began to climb my way up in the world of Christian women bloggers, evangelists, ministers, teachers, preachers, and authors. I began my journey with a broken heart; the evangelical church had rejected my gifts over and over. All of my passion for ministry, love for Jesus, volunteer experience, and higher education did not matter. Local churches were looking for “God’s man for the job.”

I was raised and educated in the Assemblies of God church and other new-charismatic traditions, that “claimed” to be affirming of women at all levels of church ministry; yet, I almost never met a female pastor, and I almost never heard a woman preach on Sunday mornings. So I looked to the female superstar evangelists as my heroes.

Many of these women were pioneers for women in ministry, and we should be grateful for them, but I have not seen one of them take a stand for equal opportunities for women ministers.

Sure, many of them are taking action to move women forward in various ways, but they do not take a clear stand for gender equality in Church roles.

I was and am hurt by all of the female ministers who are now in their 50s, 60s, and 70s, who refuse to use their massive platforms to fight for women’s equal ministry opportunities in the evangelical church. To me, “that’s not my calling,” is not a good enough reason for them to remain silent on this major issue.

There is a cost to standing up for what is right; it means fewer opportunities for one’s personal ministry and often less financial backing. It also means a smaller following, and less book sells.

Since the evangelical church has ignored, rejected, and stolen women’s ministry opportunities for the most part, young women, such as myself, look online to find our heroes. Who is taking a clear stand for me? Who is unafraid? Who will refuse to be silent on behalf of women and girls whom God has called to be preachers and pastors?

I will tell you who: Glennon Doyle Melton!

Finding Glennon online brought healing to my heart. Finally, an older sister who is taking a clear stand for gender equality in the church, and standing up to all the hits that come along with taking this stand. She is not afraid to retweet her followers’ tweets, because someone might judge her for being “associated” with that person’s doctrine.

No, Glennon’s love, acceptance, and association for and with her followers is unconditional, even if they disagree with her on various issues. She asks one thing of people online; treat me how you would want to be treated. Kindness is her aim, so she has set a healthy boundary for herself. Anyone who attacks or judges Glennon’s faith and love for the gospel deserves to be blocked.

How dare anyone question someone else’s Christianity?

I thought the Bible says that we all fall short of the glory of God. Who gets to be the authority on what is orthodox and what is biblical? We are all human, trying to find the truth as best as we can. Most of all though, we are all looking to be known, because to be known is to be loved.

Glennon has not only shown the world her true self, but she has shown us her past and present struggles. She may be the most authentic Christian on the internet. Further, she interacts with her followers (not just other “famous” Christians). She seeks to know her followers, because she genuinely loves her sisters.

Glennon was one of the first “famous” Christian bloggers that followed me back on Twitter. She did not know my theology, nor did she care. She just loved me and wanted to know me, because I am her little sister in Christ.

Girls and women need women to look up to in the Church, and since the local church does not seem to care to fix this massive problem, I will continue to look up to Glennon.

The truth is, I have grown attached to Glennon, and I love her unconditionally. She has brought me joy and hope. She is rare in her clear stand for gender equality in the Church, and she fights for girls and women with her words, every single day.

I believe that the greatest heresy that exists is a Christian that does not love. So perhaps we are all heretics to some degree.

Glennon is where she is at, just as I am where I am at in this journey with Jesus. I will love her and follow her, even if she blocks every person on the internet that hurts her feelings. I don’t care if I don’t agree with her on all things; I will still endorse her and I am not afraid to be associated with her.

Glennon, MANY of your little sisters thank you for taking a clear stand for us. We know the hard hits you get for this. On this Thanksgiving day, know that MANY of us are crazy thankful for you. Carry on, warrior!

***

~Happy Thanksgiving All~

I am taking a much needed break from blogging and social media for at least a month. I love you all and I will be back, so we can continue to break the glass steeple together! #SelfCareMatters

More from Jory Micah

For The Broken Ones…

Last Sunday during worship God began to give me a vision for...
Read More

19 Comments

  • Hi Jory,
    I looked up Glennon’s writings. Can you recommend one that speaks to the issue of gender equality in the evangelical church? That is, a good place to start reading her work?

  • I never look for, “Gods Man”. God gave us intelligence to do the choosing and he expects us to use it to the best of our ability. Only God can see the heart, we cannot. So many churches in choosing a pastor say they are praying for “Gods Man” as though they have abdicated their responsibility and God will choose. We are the study Gods word and look at what it has to say about choosing a pastor and we are to read it in context and read it for what it actually says, not what someone else tells us it says and then put it into action when we are deciding. You will never choose “Gods Man” You can only choose as best as you can.

  • Hi Jory…..I’d never heard of Glennon, and was a bit confused about what had been written about her, so I googled her name and found a lengthy article about her and her ‘girlfriend’. It appeared to be very factual and legitimate, and so it all fit together. Maybe I’ve missed something, but my comprehension of this issue is that we should not judge Glennon, who she loves, her lifestyle, mostly because she has been such a huge advocate for girls and women and, besides, we are not about judging. We’re all sinners anyway. We should be about loving and caring and supporting. Is this correct? Have I terribly misunderstood something? Or should I say “palm slap on the forehead”? If I really believed the love and caring stuff, then I would have invited my EX-husband’s girlfriend and her daughter to come live with us and our 2 children (as he had suggested). I mean, after all, she was a member of a nationally-known mega church, and he was a men’s teacher, usher, and man-about-church, and was doing so much good (read: big $$) , highly respected, in with the golfing crowd, etc. He did, indeed, tell me that he ‘loved her’. Twice. So he loved her. How sweet. After that fizzled, he got involved with another employee again. She, too, was single with 2 daughters, and he ….uh….assisted her in many ways, even into the back seat of the car, and other trysts, for a total of at least 5 years before they finally married. But it was all so LOVING. When I questioned his golfing partner and fellow church officer why he didn’t approach his Brother with Galatians 6:1, he said he did not because he was afraid of losing a friend. Huh? I shot back at him and said, “Well, what am I, chopped liver?” I guess his attitude about my insignificance wasn’t very loving, was it. It was all about the man thing and not losing a friend. I absolutely get that. VERY long story short, all these loving relationships and warm and fuzzy feelings obviously did not work. Nobody ever said, “Hey, you can’t do this.” Jory, I can’t, for the life of me, understand why you and others are supporting this woman who is clearly in open sin and trying to say this is all about love. Yes, you really ought to take a hiatus from blogging, etc., and do some serious thinking. If you and BCE are not going to say it, then I will…..”Glennon, I’m sorry your husband cheated on you. So did mine. There were at least 2 affairs, probably 3. I get it. I’d bet it was a horrible thing for you to experience. I get that, too. Been there. That’s over and done with, as much as it can be over and done. I’m addressing your current open and blatant sin of having a ‘love’ relationship with another woman. If there is anything clearer than God’s plan of salvation (and grace and restoration!) in the Bible, then it’s also clear that your sexual female/female relationship is wrong. Just as wrong is the failure of others to address it. Or maybe they have, and I just have not noticed it. But, Jory, I would have thought you would be among the first to speak to it, leader that you are. If you saw one of your earthly sister or brother siblings in a dangerous situation of any kind, you’d jump at the chance to rescue them, save them, protect them from whatever the danger. You wouldn’t care a whit what anybody else thought of you. OK, I’m done. Sorry I’ve taken so much space to rant. I’m well over twice your age, so give me a bit of a break as an older woman who, IMHO, does have a thing or two of value to say.

    • Carolyn – I agree with you! And Jory: you questioned in your article who is to say what is orthodox or biblical? The answer is this: God has made it clear in his Holy Word. To truly ‘love’ Glennon, you would need to use your influence as a friend and proclaim Truth to her and urge her to repent of her sin. Just like liars and thieves must repent, so must adulterers and fornicators.
      And the reason you’re not finding a lot of support for female pastors is that it’s not biblical. Sorry.

    • Carolyn – I think Ezekiel 18 might be relevant here:

      But when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity and does the same abominable things that the wicked man does, shall he live? None of the righteous deeds which he has done shall be remembered; for the treachery of which he is guilty and the sin he has committed, he shall die.

      If Glennon has turned from righteousness, then whatever good she might have been doing beforehand cannot be used as a kind of credit to try to offset the broad road she is (in danger of) going down now.

      Is the issue of women’s ministry so all-important that this kind of moral lapse is a price worth paying? I would certainly not continue to endorse the ministry of a complementarian if they were to lapse into ongoing immorality, as indeed some have. On the contrary, such people need warning of the very real danger thay are placing themselves in, of ending up disqualified for ministry in this life, and heaven itself eventually.

      I know both sides on this debate can turn it into something of a idol, but in this case it would seem women’s equality was the underlying god and religion, and not righteousness and a right standing before God himself.

    • Excellent response, Carolyn! I am a huge fan of Glennon and the good she has brought to this world. But I am incredibly saddened that she has chosen to embrace self-fulfillment over self-sacrifice when it comes to her family and marriage. The article Jory references in her Facebook post was actually thoughtfully written by a woman who truly advocates for women in ministry and shared with me by a woman who is an ordained priest. We can advocate for gender equality while also advocating for full submission to the order of God.

      • She has disqualified herself from any notion of being a teacher, not just in a 1 Tim 2 sense of which she is sadly yet another example of the deception that creeps in when this is ignored, but the teaching the apostle clearly does permit in Titus 2.

        I have seen far too often how egalitarianism, when it becomes rebellion against apostolic teaching and practice (and I know Gal 3 is also apostolic!) chokes the grace of God out of believers’ lives. You get worn out and discouraged women who don’t understand why God seems so remote they are not sure if he exists any more, and who can barely remember the last time he answered prayer in a distinct way. Husbands too – when they make no attempt to fulfill their half of the bargain.

  • Blessings Jory! We will miss you, but so grateful you are taking a break. This is such a sad a true message about the women in the church afraid to stand for equality for women — and for those like Glendon not afraid to rise above the hush hus conformity and stand behind you. May you find solace and rest during this break!

  • Carolyn- while I have empathy for what you have experienced and I believe that experience does probably help you to minister to other women who have been cheated on, your age doesn’t give you the right to judge others or say whatever you want. You do not cite your Biblical references for your thoughts about same sex relationships so I cannot address them specifically. However, you do reference God’s plan of salvation. I would draw your attention to John 3:16-17, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” Jesus was sent not to condemn but to save… Jesus alone.

  • Well said Ken. In fact those who publicly sin and refuse to repent should be put outside the church until they do. Paul advocated this, so therefore what he said came from God.

    • And I agree with you also, George Falconer, and with your statement of what should happen with public sin. Unfortunately, I think it rarely happens. We’re all the weaker for it.

    • I think she was already *put out of the church* for just loving and ministering to people who are LGBTQ and with differing gender identities than Christian’s are willing to minister to. I don’t know how to judge her actions as a believer or as a church leader but I know the draw of belonging to a tribe and if any judgment is in deed due it may well fall on those who excluded her.

  • Jory,

    You said ” Who gets to be the authority on what is orthodox and what is biblical?” Well, this is subjective moral relativism that is not a part Christian philosophy or teaching. It is atheistic,

    I would urge you to express and extend your extensive use of love beyond yourself instead for the benefit of yourself and some modern secualr political ideology. Gender politics and equality is not about sharing God’s benevolent love towards others, rather, it is used to satisfy a defective need-love and faith in ourselves and our own goodness. It is like those people who claim their dominion over creation revolves around conquering and using the earth as an object to be exploited for their own benefit in the name of God.
    Lets talk about love Jory. What do you need to do in order to gain equality to a man as a sexually active married woman? Were you created to express God’s benevolent love by being created as your husbands work buddy with sexual benefits that needs to be sterilized to gain equality to a man. Where you or marriage created for a wife to serve money and make a name for herself? How is this God’s love? How is this any different than your garden variety atheists in the neighborhood? My husband has some guy friends at work who yearned for a girl to create two incomes and have a sexual outlet laying beside them. Some of them lived with their girl friends and got married later, but the relationship remained unchanged. They still acted like teens in the back seat of a car using each other for sexual gratification and personal gain. Did a piece of paper act like a magical wand that transformed their relationship into a benevolent action that serves and pleases God? Does the same magic wand also transform same sex marriage? This would be the same mentality that circumcision acted like magic dust to bring about righteousness which was really a faith in themselves and their own goodness.
    God never created Eve to be Adam’s work work buddy with sexual benefits, rather, the love of God satisfied Adam’s need love and this joy in the Lord needed to go beyond himself. The joy in the Lord is not to be hidden. Would you hide a spring of water you found if your community was dying of thirst? Why would spouses hide their joy in the Lord from each other? This is what gender equality accomplishes. A husband obeys God by extending his love out to his bride by providing and protecting her and the wife accepts the husbands provision and protection of her so she can obey God by extending her love to her husband and their children. The couple express their benevolent love for each other and for God in the sexual act and the life of the marriage. This is not exploitative but giving. This is not reduced about who gets to decides which movie or restaurant, this misses the picture. A man who sends his wife off to work and uses her as a sexual object is not an authority. Plain and simple! He is using his wife as an object of his sexual gratification and the wife is letting herself be used as a sexual object. This is just mutual selfishness that has eroded marriage to be so weak that same sex couples can enter into it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *