Jedi Training: A Lesson from a Young Padawan

From the back seat, I heard this conversation:

MH: “LC, you’re my padawan, which means I’m the master, so you have to listen to me.”

LC: “The thing is you always get to be the Master. I don’t want to play anymore.”

It was a valid complaint on LC’s part. MH does like taking the lead of their play as the older sibling and Star Wars aficionado.

LC isn’t the only Jedi in training who had trouble listening to a Jedi Master. If you’ve watched the prequels, then you understand that from the beginning Anakin struggled to listen to Obi-Wan Kenobi and follow his Jedi training. This struggle eventually led to his transformation to the dark side and to becoming Darth Vader.

No, I’m not worried that LC’s headed for the dark side because she is rejecting the training of her older sister. Actually, I love the fact that even at five she is questioning and challenging the character of her Master. She wonders if she can trust her older sister for real Jedi training or if there her sister is just trying to tell her what to do.

In too many churches, the “Masters” of the church whether that be ministers or lay leaders have corrupted the training that is supposed to occur in churches. Training much like Jedi training that is supposed to be encouraging light and life rather than death and destruction. These church Masters use the Bible as a means to defend their¬†terrible actions convincing those whom they oppress that it is part of their training as padawans.

I know because I’ve heard their stories. Something about my voicing a call to preach and pastor when that wasn’t something a woman was supposed to do, opened the floodgates to women to share their stories with me. Maybe because I was bucking the system. Maybe, because for those churches who use the Bible to oppress women and put them in their place, my voicing a call to ministry was much like LC’s admission that she wasn’t going to play by her sister’s rules anymore.

I’ve heard devastating stories of women who were convinced by male interns and male minsters that they were special and chosen by God. And after they were convinced that they were special and chosen by God, these male ministers and interns convinced the young women that in order to help them minister and become closer to God, they needed these women to perform sexual acts to help them become closer to God. And if they agreed, they too would become closer or better in God’s eyes.

This is not the story of one woman. This is the story of too many women and in too many cases, those male ministers and male interns are still in ministry, still training young females as their padawans and still using the Bible and God as their excuse for abuse.

This is the dark side creeping into our churches.

This is not something we talk about. This is something we cover up by telling women that they should feel honored and treasured and important to be serving the males in their lives because those men are submitting to God. This is something we keep teaching and perpetuating the perfect breeding ground for sexual abuse because we have set up Masters with limitless power in our churches.

I didn’t interfere with LC’s objection and declaration that she didn’t want to play anymore because I hope to God I am raising two female Jedis who will do the same if they ever feel threatened by a Master who has been trained in the dark forces.