Time's Up

"Time's Up!" By now you have no doubt heard about the powerful address given by Oprah Winfrey at the Golden Globes Awards Celebration. She was speaking about the recent "me, too" movement in which women from the entertainment, political, and corporate worlds-women actually from every corner-who are now standing up to predatory men that sit in seats of power and influence. Sparked by the courage of one woman, hundreds of others have now joined in to say, "me, too" - I was also harassed, assaulted, or discriminated against because I am a woman.

Oprah's speech that night took this movement to the next level. "me, too" has now evolved into ''Time's Up!" Their way of saying that those in positions of influence who have abused that influence,­ your time is up and we won't sit quietly and take it any longer. The list of powerful men who have now been called out grows daily.

It seems to me the church of Jesus Christ ought to be the banner carrier for this movement. After all, in our Book - at the very beginning - we are told in no uncertain terms that "God created them, male and female He created them... " All biblical scholars agree that the Hebrew term "adam" did not refer to a man named "Adam". The word simply means "humankind". So that in the beginning, God created all of humankind as equal. This is the foundation of our understanding of one another.

And yet women are to this day still not receiving their due respect within the walls of the church. I have been privileged to serve along side women in five different congregations. I have found them all to be highly intelligent, creative, competent and hard-working colleagues. And in every one of those congregations I have heard congregation members say things like, "you sure are the prettiest preacher we've ever had" or "how does your husband feel about you doing this work?", or worst of all, "no thanks, I'll just wait to talk to Jim."

 Photo credit:  Wordpress.com

Photo credit: Wordpress.com

In our society, it is way past time for us to recognize the full place that women should hold in our world. They are not "decoration." They are not merely "helpers." Woman are leaders and they have been called by God into the church and into the classroom and into the boardrooms of this nation. 

If you are not moved by the power of the ''Time's Up!" movement, I wonder if that's because you don't have a daughter? Would it be OK with you to know that your own daughter was being harassed by someone who thought he could get away with it because he was "in charge?" Have you asked your spouse if this had ever happened to her? I have four daughters and it is not OK with me.

Maybe one thing we can all do is begin now to teach our boys what it is to respect girls. I fear that if we wait until they are young men, it may be too late. But if we start early, we can change the narrative. I'm pretty sure God would approve. 

Peace,

Jim