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Women & The Bible

08 Mar

What brought my attention to this topic was the following article found at The Christian Post:

http://www.christianpost.com/news/should-women-be-leaders-in-the-church-the-question-that-preachers-of-detroit-refuses-to-sweep-under-the-rug-watch-a-sneak-peek-134878/

A lot of men are against my position. They hate me because I’m a woman. When I was consecrated, preachers stood up in their pulpits and they began to quote the scripture that a woman cannot be a bishop. I know that sexism is a systemic problem in our church and in our world. But I believe now that I can be a voice,” Vaughn shared in an aside with viewers in the premiere episode.

Of course men are against women preachers and it is not hatred women pastors are experiencing. Nor is it sexism when a woman is denied the position of minister, preacher, pastor or whatever synonym you want to use. If she is going ‘t be a voice’ then why does she choose the one that tells women to go against God’s word? I liked the following comment under that article:

sandinwindsor 7:32 PM on March 06, 2015
Godisgood1 – from what I was taught when I was much younger, a female pastor was always getting off track and truthfully, I can see that for when social issues become more important than the Word of the Lord. Look at that woman who considered herself a Bishop in Detroit and lied to her congregation for two months that she had married another woman. Look at the woman with caleb’s church with the impaired driving and hurting the man on the bicycle…As a woman, I say women are not cut out to be pastors. We have female things on our minds and I think we are too willing to compromise than fight. Women and men think differently.

I cannot see a female pastor as entertaining as watching someone struggling in a job they are unsuited for is not entertaining, but with television these days, who knows

The bold words are the key to that response. I looked up this issue in a few of my resources and the logic behind putting women in ministry stems from a lot of confusion about what the Bible is talking about. Here are a few examples:
The Bible was written in an age when women faced very different roles and expectations than they experience today. Nevertheless, Scripture takes women seriously. Jesus had important friendships with a number of women and affirmed their value and significance.

Word in life study Bible. (1996). (electronic ed.). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

Women did not face any different roles in ancient times than they do today. God ha snot changed their roles or duties since he created women. Yes Jesus had friendships with a number of women BUT he never taught that they could lead his church or be in authority over a man. Being friends with women is not a reason to elevate women to a position they are not to hold.
In the Old Testament, some of Israel’s finest leaders were women, such as Deborah the judge. Second, in the New Testament, women like Phoebe (Rom. 16:1) and Philip’s daughters (Acts 21:9) were in involved in ministry. In addition, in Philippians 4:2, Chloe and Euodia appeared to have leadership roles in their fellowships.

Hayford, J. W. (1998). Ministering In the Spirit and Strength of Jesus. Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

If you honestly look at those women quoted above and who modern women point to in scripture as leader sin the church, you will find that not one of them violated God’s rules concerning leadership in the OT Temple and the NT church.  Not one is listed as becoming an ‘overseer’ of a church congregation.  Being a judge, a prophetess, or active in using one’s spiritual gifts is not the same as being promoted to pastor or shepherd over a flock of men and women.
You will notice that Deborah did not take a role as the high priest or any priest in the temple. Her duty from God did not violate God’s rules on who could be in charge of the temple.She and the rest of the women pointed to by modern women to justify their disobedience to God’s word all fulfilled their duties in submission to God’s will, his rule, his order for the church & the family.
The are allowed to use their gifts and talents for Jesus BUT they are not allowed to disobey God’s rules. That means those women who feel God is calling them to be a pastor they better carefully and honestly double-check that call, for God is not going to call women to go against his rules. There is a ministry for women but it is not one that sins against God and tells the world that God’s rules do not matter.
A ‘strong woman’ is not one that violates the rules and tells everyone she can do as she pleases. A strong woman is one who obeys God humbly and with proper submission to his word and their husbands. The second reference has several good questions after that quote that need to be answered.
If a woman is clearly gifted in ministry and has demonstrated the kind of character that the Bible requires for leadership, should she be allowed a place public ministry? Why?
The answer is ‘no.’ Woman have a ministry but it is not over the man. The Bible talks about women teaching other women thus they would need ministerial gifts to fulfill that duty but that is as far as they can go.
By not allowing women who are called by God to minister, what harm can be done to the body of Christ?
The confusion here is over the word ‘minister’. Being in the pulpit and taking a position of pastor is not the only definition or application of the word ‘minister.’ There are many different ways for women to obey God and minister in the church without violating God’s rules for church or family leadership. Being called to minister does not equal a  man’s call to full-time ministry or as we would say in the modern age, professional ministry.
Christians need to learn how to differentiate between the definitions and applications of the word. God knows the difference and it is the people who are confused and need to be honest with themselves. A paid and authoritative position is not required to minister to people’s needs. Nor is one required to be obedient to God.
How can suppressing women from ministry hurt our witness before a watching world?
First, we are not suppressing women from ministry but obeying God’s command about who leads the church and the family. Second, our witness will not be hurt by obeying God over secular society and their ideas.  The world needs to see that the followers of God obey him and if we don’t then our witness will be marred and damaged. Why should they follow a God when his own followers do not?
How can a wrong view of women in ministry actually prevent some people from accepting Christ as their Savior?
Let’s not use the guilt trip to allow women into the pulpit. The HS moves people to accept Christ not who is in the pulpit. The question that needs to be asked is, how can the church justify disobeying God by putting women in churches as pastors when God has clearly punished his people for simple disobedience? One example is the battle of Ai.  We then need to ask, why would God call people to disobey him when he hates disobedience so much?
I doubt that those people who reject accepting Christ as their savior would change their minds if they found a woman in the pulpit. Unbelievers just need an excuse and the lack of a woman in ministry would only be an excuse not the real reason why they refuse to be redeemed.
Then there is a hint of hypocrisy in the arguments of those who support women in ministry.  They have a very glaring omission, a person they never talk about. They love to point to all the women in Acts who ‘are strong in the faith’, a deaconess or active in helping young believers get on track with God but they ignore one woman in Acts who sets the example of what happens when you disobey God and sin. I am talking about Sapphira

Now there elapsed an interval of about three hours, and his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. And Peter responded to her, “Tell me whether you sold the land [d]for such and such a price?” And she said, “Yes, [e]that was the price.” Then Peter said to her, “Why is it that you have agreed together to put the Spirit of the Lord to the test? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out as well.” 10 And immediately she fell at his feet and breathed her last, and the young men came in and found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 And great fear came over the whole church, and over all who heard of these things. (Acts 5 NASB)

Disobeying God is not a game. Though Sapphira was not ‘in ministry’ she still disobeyed God like those women who take pastor positions when they know it is against God’s command.  You will find that those who support women for professional positions do not talk about Sapphira and her example. She upsets their apple cart and shows God’s true feelings about those who disobey.

Such people only want to think about the good things of life and do what they want instead of giving up their selfish desires and humbling themselves to follow God’s way. They make up all sorts of excuses to justify their participation in sinful activity, twisting scripture to fit their point of view instead of changing their point of view to meet God’s requirements.

Since the issue has yet to be resolved, it might in fact require a full season for the women to come to terms. Will Evangelist Clark-Cole experience a change of heart? Or Bishop Vaughn give up ground on her position? — Probably not, as Christians have been at odds over the issue of women’s roles, both in the home and in church, for decades. (Op Cit Christian Post)

The issue really has been solved, not by those people but by God. he has not changed in the last 2,000 years thus the prohibition on women pastors, etc., remain in effect. The only people at odds are those who refuse to obey God.

 

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Posted by on March 8, 2015 in academics, Bible, church, controversial issues, faith, family, leadership, theology

 

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