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Author Naomi King Walker

Naomi K. Walker is an ordained Baptist minister. Now retired, she served as music/worship pastor at Immanuel Baptist Church in Frankfort, Kentucky, from 1995 to 2017.

American schools have long taught the English grammar rule that allows the words “man” and “he” to refer to both males and females. This practice has evolved along a convoluted path. According to Carolyn Jacobson in the English department at the University of Pennsylvania, “man” was once a truly generic word referring to all humans. […] Read More

Language is powerful. In the broad sense, language as a communication tool takes many forms: behavior, expression, gesture, tone, words. Language has power to bless or curse, inspire or deflate, heal or wound, clarify or confuse, include or exclude. Theologian and hymn writer Brian Wren in “What Language Shall I Borrow?” says that “language has […] Read More

In 1978, Frank and Evelyn Stagg’s groundbreaking book, “Woman in the World of Jesus,” gave impetus to the modern women in ministry movement. The Staggs’ meticulous research effectively poked large holes in prevailing Scripture interpretations that advocated male domination of women in church and home. An uproar ensued among conservative pastors and husbands. The ground […] Read More

Human relationships are complicated. Each of us is uniquely endowed with particular strengths, weaknesses, desires – and peculiarities. The very nature of being human is that we are created to live not only in relationship with God, but with all those other “peculiar” human beings. That’s where things get messy. One negative factor is our […] Read More

Those of us who advocate egalitarianism, working for justice worldwide, may consider ourselves to be enlightened, inclusive and progressive. But hierarchical thinking can linger subtly in our own lives, manifesting itself as racial or patriarchal attitudes of superiority. For a few months in 1973, I rented a room from a widow in South Georgia. “Miss […] Read More

Hierarchical paradigms shape our thinking about the world in which we live. We tend to view relationships as levels on a pyramid, constantly assessing whether we are above, below or equal to others in intelligence, education, popularity, wealth, attractiveness, health, talent, power, importance, family or even spirituality. Competitiveness seems hard-wired inside our brains. We instinctively […] Read More

Hierarchy is the primary foundation of the world’s systems. Military model. Corporate model. Winners vs. losers. Rich vs. poor. Powerful vs. weak. The reason hierarchy prevails is because it works so well for us. It’s what we’re used to. It’s what we know. We’re so wrapped up in our hierarchical, pyramid-like thinking that it’s difficult […] Read More

Christians, by definition, are followers of Christ. They just differ on “how.” How should Christians walk daily with Christ? How closely? Every Christian falls in a different place along a wide spectrum of discipleship practices and intimacy with Christ. Churches, by definition, are groups of Christ’s followers, disciples supporting each other and joining together for […] Read More

Several years ago I was introduced to the term “church wife,” a paradigm of a 1950s woman who does the main work of keeping a home or church running efficiently, but is never allowed a leadership role or title (head of household, deacon, ministerial staff, pastor) typically reserved for men. Even today, congregations everywhere are […] Read More

Racism or sexism? Which is a bigger problem for churches? Historically, Americans have dealt with racism much longer than sexism. Caucasian vs. African-American (“white” vs. “black”) issues were the focus of civil war over a half-century before the large “women’s rights” protests began. Both racism and sexism are rooted in hierarchy and power. Women of […] Read More