Aimee Byrd

Inside the word. Outside the box.

That’s supposedly me. I read that about myself yesterday. Just a couple of hours after reading an OPC pastor in my own denomination telling others on Facebook to call my church to put a stop to me. Then he gave my church’s information, showing a picture of my pastor.

Not a daughter of Sarah. Because I resent God’s created order and hate him for not letting me teach. That’s what I read. Is that me?

I love God’s created order. I love being a woman. I love being taught. I love men…well not all men, but there are good number of men that I thank God for—my husband, my father, my brothers, and my son being foremost.

I don’t even feel a strong desire to teach in my church. I love to learn. My only impulse to teach is when I see a vacancy, a need, where maybe I can help. But others could too. Who am I? If someone else who is qualified steps up, praise God!

Not all teaching is behind a pulpit. And I don’t know what all this “usurping authority” is about. When Scripture calls us to teach and admonish one another (Col. 3:16), or that by this time we ought to be teachers (Heb. 5:12), to use our gifts of teaching or exhortation (Rom. 12:6-8), to pursue love and spiritual gifts (1 Cor. 14:1), when Scripture calls brothers and sisters to build one another up with a teaching if they have it (1 Cor. 14:26), are we to pretend that this is all directed only towards the men? Is exercising our gifts as disciples in the general office of layperson usurping authority, or obeying the authority of Scripture?

I am struggling to understand what it is about me that needs putting a stop to. To where there is now an organized effort, with officers in my own denomination—men with spiritual authority—that are organizing offensive and defensive strategies against me. Me? Who the heck am I? I read about my “agenda” and my motivations, and I don’t know this person they are talking about. Talking is a kind word. Plotting, scheming against…slandering. Yes, that is appropriate. Normally, we would just be wise to ignore such people. Unless, they are in positions of spiritual authority. In your own denomination.

What do you do when you have screenshots of these people talking amongst themselves in a group where they think they are protected? Only, it isn’t some small room, but a group that had over 1,100 members—many church officers, some even published. What if they are obsessively writing about you day and night? What if they are calling you Jezebel of Thyatira, ungodly, saying if your husband really loved you, he would shut you up? What if they were calling ahead of your speaking engagements, telling them to guard their families? How does it feel to enter into suspicion and possible danger? I can tell you that.

But am I that person? Am I an imposter—not Sarah’s daughter? (Who talks like that anyway?) Should my church discipline me as these people insist?

For what, you may be asking? This must be bad. Really bad. What is this agenda they speak of? Well, none of it is contrary to the confessions of my denomination. And as far as the gender part, much of what I write is in line with the OPC statement on women in the church from the 1980’s. Yes, I do have some differences with some points, but I write about general office within the bounds of what the OPC’ers were saying back then. And that is where I speak into, the general office of laypeople—all the while, upholding ordination for qualified men.

All this danger language is emotive and vilifying. Is it masculine to be so emotive? Well, I better not question that, but I will hold fast to who I am in Christ. And to what all who love and confess him are. We are new creations, given a mission. We have agency in that mission as disciples, as his beloved bride.

And like I said, I love being a woman. I have a perspective that not all can see. And my Groom bids me to share it. So, I can burst on the scene, like the bride in Song of Songs, saying, “Oh, that he would kiss me with the kisses of his mouth” (SoS, 1:2). Exclamation point. Initiative. Discernment. Resolve. That is the bride of Christ. I will write more about that later.

*Originally published February 7, 2020.

3 thoughts on “Not a Daughter of Sarah?

  1. Bruce says:

    Just wanted to write a note, from an Old School pastor, to let you know there’s at least one other (besides your own) who is thankful for your work, who thinks you are a blessing to the church and the OPC, and wishes there was more respect shown you by all the gentlemen in the room. Certainly by all the pastors. But perhaps we may hope that noise is coming from a vocal minority, whose internet platform makes them seem more influential than in actuality.


  2. Cynthia W. says:

    ” … an OPC pastor in my own denomination telling others on Facebook to call my church to put a stop to me. Then he gave my church’s information, showing a picture of my pastor.”

    Well … “doxxing.” Who’da thunkit?


  3. Patricia L. says:

    I have never understood why people attempt to attempt to change the church they are in when there are so many others that more closely align with their views. The PCA is flexible in their ideas on the role of women in the church. Some have women deacons. I imagine they allow women to teach. The denomination that broke away from the PCUSA over homosexuality has women pastors. Abuse, of course, is never acceptable, but that is a separate issue from women in teaching and leadership roles.


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