Bakersfield Women's Ordination Symposium - Julie Mesa


(using up my 20 characters)

Julie Mesa appears to me to be a gentile and quiet soul. Her convictions are drawn from Biblical writers, 2-4,000 years ago, that do not give women equality with man; therefore, she reasons this must be the mind and will of God for all time. She believes God permits women to do everything a man does, except be an ordained pastor. However, Moses did not see it this way.

I wonder if Mrs. Mesa would agree with Moses, speaking for God, that ruled a deceased fathers’ inheritance should go entirely to his sons. It only goes to his daughters should there be no close male relatives. God withheld, for the majority of cases, the right of women to inherit an equal share of her parent’s assets, ideals held by nearly all ancient societies.



Your comment reminds me of one of George Knights sermons, he revealed something to me that I was not aware of. That some of what Moses wrote down was from the ancient Hittite laws of his day (I’m pretty sure he said Hittites). As Jon Paulien likes to put it, “God meets people where they are.”


God did not teach Israel to set up a Jeffersonian democracy, granting men and women the right to vote representatives for judicial and congressional branches etc. Instead, God set up a centralized inherited absolute monarchy in the linage of David, permitting the practice polygamy. I have wondered how we would receive in 2015 the rite of circumcision, from a Mt. Sinai experience of Elder Wilson, if it had never been practiced? Abraham did not seem to have a problem with the idea, as he took the knife to every adult male around him.


Female Inheritance
ACTUALLY, If those daughters had never Spoken Up, and had been quiet, God would never had made provision for females to acquire.
And that would never have been a part of Inheritance Law.
That is something to think about.
Moses never thought about it.

The Hammurabi Code.
A lot of this parallels the 10 Commandments.
Parallels some of the Torah.



Thats a great question. I’m sure some of us would probably react like Moses wife Zipporah:

Then Zipporah took a flint and cut off her son’s foreskin and touched Moses’ feet with it and said, “Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me!” (Exodus 4:25)

I wonder what these boys said to their Mother as she showed them the knife, standing naked before her?


It would have been a horrific site thats for sure. There you have Moses about to die, because he disobeyed God’s command. And their sons probably wishing they had died, leaving Zipporah having to take charge; begrudgingly, but take charge she did. And what those boys said to their mother afterwards? Indeed, what did they say…

One can build a far better Scriptural base for slavery that one can build for male headship of the Christian Church. Far too much is placed on headship and far too little on a pastoral role. The best analogy would be of a choir director. Corporate Worship is more like that than a lecture. There are hymns, prayers, responsive readings, tithe and offerings, The expounding of the Gospel. none of which is gender specific. Tom Z


lol…ah, yes! Thanks :slight_smile:

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It is amazing what conviction and belief can conclude.

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And if I remember right, circumcision was adopted from the same practice among other ancient tribes at the time (Egyptians, for one). God worked through the cultural realities on the ground so that man (limited in their comprehension beyond their cultural setting) could relate to God’s directions and will. Since men in that era and time were the civil and spiritual legal holders God didn’t over ride it to push His truth. He worked within those parameters of cultural and only tweaked cultural rituals, rights, and lifestyle in order to bring it in line with His grace that sought to “grow men up.” As an example of that tweaking laws protecting women from jealous husbands (drinking a potion to prove her innocence), not letting women be used like cattle (if a man divorced his wife and she is marred to another but is divorced again, first husband can’t remarry her), given a certificate of divorce so she could be adoptable into another home for support and sustenance, and the list goes on. But somehow most think that God set up the cultural He worked with. Thus, the anti WO keeps the march forward in understanding by equating God’s working through and in culture with it being God’s culture.

Too, where is ordination mentioned anywhere that the anti WO state points for male headship? She is kindly speaking about ordination when none of the examples she had anything to do with ordination. Her conclusion is based upon incongruent information seeking to make the case.


To be fair, in Muhammad’s set up of Islam women had a lot more freedom that they do now in many, if not most, Islamic cultures today. I have just finished a book by Karen Armstrong entitled, “Islam: A Short History.” I found it very educational and well written. She, I think, makes a great case as to who Islam has fundamentalist elements in it, a recent phenomena, not a past reality. Fundamentalism being a response to modernity and secularism. Protestant America was the first place to have fundamentalism beginning in the 1800’s when modernity was on the rise.

Anti WO is a reaction to the modernity of the world and the pressures placed upon a church in need of responding to it and is indeed very fundamentalist in their response.


I appreciate her calm and kind presentation. She is a genuine nice person (as by the way, Elder Bohr and Elder Torres are as well, I know them both). Didn’t have a lot of huff that the other two presented, but her rationale that have led to her conclusions I find untenable as I found the other two lacking as well. Confusing God’s establishing that culture with God’s working through and in cultural parameters is the proverbial stumbling stone for the anti WO movement and Ms. Mesa tripped up on it. In none of her examples do we find anything associated with ordination itself. Yes, we can all agree that we can’t find in Scripture a woman priest, nor a woman elder (although we do find a woman deacon, not deaconess, by the way, in Phoebe), but using example as a theological truth or will of God isn’t necessarily going to lead to correct conclusions. We don’t have any examples of slaves being set free (outside of God’s deliverance of Israel from Egyptian bondage, of which that act seemed to only serve as an example of taking just care of slaves, not abolishing slavery). No biblical texts calling for the abolition of slaves that believers owned. If we go strictly by example, then we arrive upon a conclusion that the Southern denominations prior and during the Civil War had it correct, biblically speaking.

It is obvious at least from what I can see that she is most content in her place in life as a wife and mother. I admire that and honor it, too. But it doesn’t speak for those women are being called and blessed of God that serve our denomination and pastors in every aspect of the word, save we won’t won’t lay a hand on them.


This is a good time to read the proposed changes into the Church Manual that will be taken to San Antonio very carefully.

Any link to those proposed changes, Winonaww?

In the downloadable PDF that is posted on the San Antonio agenda. I have been educated and trained to unpack and read beneath the surface, so I keep asking what generated the suggested changes, which, sometimes, can be a simple grammatical fix or the resurfacing of clunky language. However, many occasions of the word “minister” are proposed to be changed to “pastor,” and “men” to “individuals.” This could be simply insurance against having to go back to the Manual and edit, yet again, “just in case,” or “because”—those committees work very hard, are tired and under-appreciated, and do not want to be in a situation where they have to invest any more time in the project. Not all cases have been changed, but many.


Seems a prudent move just in case, and if not, then no harm done.

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Don’t forget, the Bible already points out that Christians of Gentile origin are spiritual Jews (not the exact words, but the concept). So, you might be right. One must be a “Jew” to hold office in the church.

“The sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the Lord, to serve Him, and to love the name of the Lord, to be His servants, everyone that keepeth the Sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of My covenant; even them will I bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon Mine altar; for Mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people. The Lord God which gathereth the outcasts of Israel saith, Yet will I gather others to Him, beside those that are gathered unto Him.” (Isaiah 56:6-8)

Becoming a part of God’s people is contingent upon one thing: obedience.

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It’s usually worth a lot around here on this forum. Is that not the case with you?

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