Recently, there have been a series of blogs posted on Kehila News Israel (KNI) written by two individuals named Inbar Sinai and Yael Levy. I don’t know who these women are, therefore my comments about them are based on my interpretation of what they have written, rather than first-hand knowledge of who they are.
After reading two out of three parts of this series, I was extremely bothered by many of the ideas offered by the authors. I shared my thoughts with others in the community, both men and women, who all felt the same way as me. Before posting a response, we waited to see if any pastors and elders of our community who regularly contribute their thoughts and teachings to KNI would respond. Since there haven’t been any responses, I felt moved to respond.
Before I do that, I’d like to throw out this question.
Where are these pastors? That’s a subject which deserves its own blog post, but for now, I’m responding to Inbar and Yael.
I don’t have any pastoral authority, so these are just my own private thoughts, informed as they were by the discussions I had about the contents and tone of these blog posts with others in Israel’s Messianic community, most of whom were also not pastors.
In their KNI bio, Inbar and Yael say that “They are passionate about justice and gender equality and have devoted their lives to advocating for minorities and empowering marginalized communities.”
There’s a lot to unpack in that short statement, but I’ll leave that aside for the moment.
The content of the blogs themselves lead us to some conclusions and raise serious questions which deserve serious answers.
First and foremost, they’re really angry and fed up about several things, especially the fact that women in general (and perhaps themselves in particular) have not been allowed to become a pastor of a congregation here in Israel. They’re also upset that even those women who are in positions of responsibility/authority in congregations are all married.
Furthermore, they’re deeply impressed with the post-modern, secular humanist thinking that has become widespread among scholars and commentators in the Mainline Protestant (and even some evangelical) churches in the US which, among other things, blames outdated and increasingly irrelevant “patriarchal customs” (which Inbar and Yael lament are so common among the Messianic community here in Israel) for this situation they’re so fed up with.
Finally, they are deeply irritated that most of their fellow women seem to be so lacking in outrage over the situation.
As a bonus, they also feel qualified and entitled to advise women in the Messianic/Believer community about what they should do, and what they most definitely should NOT do, especially regarding marriage and children.
This last part was too much even for some who were initially sympathetic to what these blogs were saying.
Yael and Inbar, whoever you are, I beg to inform you that a lot of people of both genders are really turned off by the very obvious contempt you have for the leadership of the Messianic community, the standards they’ve set and which they refuse to compromise on, and for all us poor, dumb, miserable fools who put up with it.
I doubt that’s the fruit you were hoping to produce, but if it was, congratulations.
Again, I’m not a pastor or even an elder. I don’t want to get into critiques of specific points you brought up because that might tempt you to respond with your own specific reactions to my critiques. That could go on forever and frankly, wouldn’t do anybody any good. So, I offer these thoughts as a general reaction to your blogs
Being a Disciple of Jesus Christ is NOT about what WE want, it’s about what HE wants!
It’s not about conforming to the standards of this world, (i.e. women have been elected to lead governments in several Western countries so why shouldn’t women lead Messianic congregations in Israel) it’s about being transformed by the renewing of our minds under the guidance of the Bible and the Holy Spirit so that we become more like God and LESS like the world.
It not about “empowering” or elevating ourselves, it’s about humbling ourselves.
It’s not about taking control of our lives for our own benefit, it’s about laying down our lives for HIS benefit. It is also a life where we SERVE God, and one another, in humility and love, with no one seeking to elevate themselves above anyone else.
It’s not about delaying marriage and/or children so we can pursue what WE want and/or feel we deserve, it’s about following the leading of the Holy Spirit so He can show us what HE wants and KNOWS we deserve.
It’s not about pursuing a secular standard of “justice” and speaking out when we think God’s Word is unfair, it’s about living lives of OBEDIENCE to Him who created us, sustains us and gave us His Word in which the way our community should be organized and directed is very clearly and specifically laid out.
It is these instructions that the Messianic Community in Israel follows by organizing our congregations the way we do, with men leading as pastors and elders and with (usually married) women assisting in various capacities, but not in governing roles.
It is also in these Scriptures that God’s plans for marriage and the family are laid out, and where it tells us that the life of the Body of Messiah is a COMMUNAL life, with marriage, children and families having a central role. Marriage and children are NOT a burden to be put off so we can go pursue our own fleshly desires and career goals.
By expressing contempt for and demanding a change in these structures and procedures (in large part of the basis of writings of people who were using fleshly, human logic and wisdom and who don’t even pretend to be walking in obedience to Him (yes, I went through and read much of the material you posted links to in the blog post attempting to refute the relevant passages in the Pauline Epistles)) you are not being brave. You are not being innovative. You are not being principled. You are not even being “modern” or “liberal” or forward thinking.
You are simply being rebellious, and if you choose to walk in rebellion, you will walk alone.
He is God. You are not.
It is His Church/Kehilah, not yours.
He has Authority. You do not.
We will follow Him, not you.
We make no apologies for this, no matter how unjust you might think it is.
The Kingdom of Jesus Christ is just that, a Kingdom. It’s not a liberal democracy where we have free speech to criticize the government for things we don’t agree with. The King’s commands are not up for negotiation with the union. It’s a take it or leave it deal and you’re either all the way in or you’re all the way out.
We all have to make a decision, and my prayer for Inbar and Yael is that they make the decision to be obedient to the King and stop trying to incite a rebellion against Him.