IN THE MINISTRY
WOMEN IN THE MINISTRY
Subtitle: A Scriptural Look At An Unscriptural Practice
Resources to aid your Understanding
The 1964 song by Bob Dylan, "The times they are a-changin'," accurately reflected the chaotic upheaval of that era. And few, if any, within the the "establishment" recognized just how far American society would be moved both politically and spiritually!
During that time, the pursuit of an Equal Right's Amendment by the Women's Liberation Movement caused quite a stir. And while I think that all along most men believed equal pay should be given for equal work, the social trauma of large numbers of women entering the work force during WWII caused a backlash that still reverberates to this day. For millennia men had been the bread-winners for the family and when women (particularly married women) entered into direct competition for jobs, it was not at all welcomed! Such competition was seen by the men as "taking food out of their children's mouths." The unwritten code was that husbands were expected to provide for the family and the wife's role was home and children. Then if work outside the home was deemed necessary, or desirable for her, it should be at jobs traditionally filled by women.
Call it chauvinistic if you will, but it was the norm for many thousands of years. And the destruction of that tradition during the latter part of the twentieth century continues to have far-reaching consequences.
In an Associated Press article entitled: "Feminist leaders and critics agree times are tough for women's movement" (Tuscaloosa News, January 10, 2004), the final two paragraphs read as follows:
" 'Feminist leaders have failed to keep up with the times,' said Christina Hoff Sommers, a resident scholar with the American Enterprise Insititute, whose writings are often critical of groups like NOW. [National Organization of Women]
'Women have achieved parity with men in most fields,' she said. 'You'd think the feminists and women's studies professors would be celebrating, but in many ways they've never been more despondent.' "[insert and emphasis mine].
What do you suppose is the major reason for their lack of joy? Have they not for all intents and purposes achieved equality with men? Yes, and I submit to you that once reality set in, they found being equal with men did not--and indeed could not--fulfull the desires of their heart!
While the equal rights battle was raging and state legislatures were debating whether or not to ratify the amendment,. I read where someone interviewed a state representative in Florida. That particular individual had just finished an emotional speech in which he urged voting against the amendment. Then sensing this might make a good news article, the reporter asked him to elaborate and I will never forget what he said. Basically, his view was that he, along with most men of that day, were raised to believe women were "the fairer sex." They were to be put up on a pedestal and treated with great honor and respect. And, he said, it would break his heart to have to drag them down to equality with a man!
My friends, chivalry is now quite dead and its demise is directly attributable to that social upheaval. The "glass ceiling" of corporate America is almost a thing of the past because women have made considerable strides in the down and dirty workaday world. But tragically, many are realizing too late that they paid a Faustian price in the process. The siren call of a career conflicted with their innate desire to bear children and they chose to put it off. Now biological clocks have stopped ticking and motherhood has passed them by. Emotional scars that will never heal are the bitter fruit. And it begs the question: Was throwing off the social "oppression" of hearth and home worth the price?
So now we come to the intent of this article. The equality issue gave tremendous impetus to a trend that had previously been only a trickle and made it into a flood. With their new-found political and economic clout, "liberated" women were determined to overcome every obstacle imposed upon them by a wicked chauvinistic male-dominated society. And overcome they did--even to the point of insisting they be ordained into the Christian ministry. But was that forced intrustion Scriptural? Absolutely not!
From the very beginning God made His instructions clear--men are assigned the responsibility to serve as the spiritual head of the home and each will be held accountable by Him for their performance. Women were relegated to a subordinate role and the reason is clearly stated by the Apostle Paul in his first letter to Timothy:
"Let a woman learn in quietness, in entire submissiveness.  I allow no woman to teach or to have authority over men; she is to remain in quietness and keep silence [in religious assemblies].  For Adam was first formed, then Eve;  And it was not Adam who was deceived, but [the] woman who was deceived and deluded and fell into transgression.  Nevertheless [the sentence put upon women of pain in motherhood does not hinder their souls' salvation, and] they will be saved [eternally] if they continue in faith and love and holiness with self-control, [saved indeed] through the Childbearing or by the birth of the divine Child". 1 Tim. 2:11-15 (Parallel Bible, KJV/Amplified)
A subordinate role does not in any way imply inferiority. Every organization requires structure in order to function properly and this is especially true of both the family unit and the local church. Someone has to be in charge or chaos will reign and God did not leave that responsibility in doubt. Men did not seek leadership, but they have it--like it or not! So we must pay particular attention to verse 12. Many continue to accuse Paul of being a "woman hater" because of these words, but we must bear in mind they were divinely inspired! Jesus Christ revealed the great doctrines of the faith to Paul while he was in the deserts of Arabia and required him to teach them to others.
"But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.  For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ" Galatians 1:11-12 (KJV)
"Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.  Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days" Galatians 1:17-18 (KJV)
So if you have a problem with what he said, you are quite literally disputing instructions given by the Son of God!
Nowhere in the Old Testament will a single instance be found where a woman served as a priest. The priesthood and service at the Tabernacle/Temple was off-limits to women and that prohibition went unchallenged for the duration. Then as the New Testament era began, Apostles, Bishops, Elders, Deacons, and Evangelists were exclusively men. Each was called and appointed by the Holy Spirit. Their qualifications are found in the following passages:
"This is a true saying, If a man
desire the office of a bishop, he
desireth a good work.  A bishop then must be blameless, the husband
of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good
behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;  Not given to wine, no
striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;
 One that ruleth well his
own house, having his
children in subjection with all gravity;  (For if a man
know not how to rule his
own house, how shall he
take care of the church of God?)  Not a novice, lest being lifted up
with pride he
fall into the condemnation of the devil.  Moreover he
must have a good report of them which are without; lest he
fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.  Likewise must the deacons
be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy
lucre;  Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. 
And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon,
being found blameless.  Even so must their wives be grave, not
slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.  Let the deacons be the
of one wife, ruling their children and
their own houses well.  For they that have used the office of a deacon
well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith
which is in Christ Jesus. 1 Tim. 3:1-13 (KJV, emphasis mine)
"For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:  If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.  For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;  But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate;  Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers" Titus 1:5-9 (KJV, emphasis mine)
The term "bishop" refers to the office of a minister/pastor and the term "elder" refers to men holding that position. These are the preachers, evangelists, and missionaries--all of whom must be divinely called by God to the ministry. The term "deacon" refers to the office held by godly men selected by the congregation to assist ministers in meeting the needs of the people. Strong's Concordance has this to say about the office:
diakoneo, dee-ak-on-eh'-o; from Greek 1249 (diakonos); to be an attendant, i.e. wait upon (menially or as a host, friend or [figurative] teacher); techn. to act as a Christian deacon :- (ad-) minister (unto), serve, use the office of a deacon
In Romans 16:1, Phoebe is said by Paul to be a "servant (diakonia) of the church" and from this some insist it is proper to have women deacons. But in view of the obviously male qualifications listed in the verses above, it would appear the nature of Phoebe's service and not her holding an official office is in view.
Historians say that throughout the Church Age women have occasionally assumed the role of "preacher", but not until the Protestant Reformation and the onset of John Wesley's "Methodism" did any do so in significant numbers. And that excursion died out fairly quickly--as one might expect--due to pressure from biblical literalists. But Pentecostalism revived that quest and, as stated earlier, the feminist movement kicked it into high gear. Now "mainline" denominations are increasingly pressured into ordaining women to the ministry.
Beloved, this situation screams for common sense to be exercised! Does it appear at all reasonable to you that God would allow male chauvinists to suppress female preachers for the better part of two thousand years if it was truly His will they preach? As Paul said, "Yea woe is unto me if I preach not the Gospel!" (1 Cor.9:16). Like Jonah of old, one called to preach cannot continue to be silent! Sooner or later they will be compelled to proclaim the message and only one who has experenced the call can fully appreciate that fact. The mere desire to preach is vastly different from an all-consuming compulsion to do so. And those thus consumed will find a way to proclaim the message, because God will see to it.
Also do you not find it interesting that as this phenomena gains momentum, apostasy is spreading throughout Christendom like the plague? One is not necessarily the cause of the other, but I personally believe it is a blatant symptom. "Women ministers" is a spiritual oxymoron and those deceived by it are not wise.
As any preacher called of God can tell you, the ladies have traditionally been the backbone of every local church. Their faithfulness to duty greatly surpasses that of the average man and their compassionate nature is an indispensable quality where service for Christ is concerned. Godliness and chaste behavior by Christian women have long served as shining examples for all to see. But the feminist movement opened Pandora's Box, so to speak, and in my opinion the greatest spiritual decline in history has taken place among women who profess faith in Christ.
Men by nature are coarse and lean toward the profane--so what else is new? A fall from a position just above rock bottom is not very dramatic. But when great masses of women, many of whom were Christians, abdicated their largely unappreciated roles as symbols of virtue and respect--a massive, but silent earthquake shattered the foundations of our society. Just as Adam and Eve gained the knowledge of good and evil, women fell to equality with men and may God have mercy on us all.
If you have been born again and received Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, but have been very lukewarm in your spiritual walk with Him, you need to immediately ask Him for forgiveness and for renewal. He will instantly forgive you, and fill your heart with the joy of the Holy Spirit. Then, you need to begin a daily walk of prayer and personal Bible Study.
If you have never placed your trust in Jesus Christ as your Savior, but have come to sense His reality and the approaching End of the Age, and want to receive His FREE Gift of Eternal Life, you can do so now, in the privacy of your home. Once you truly believe in Him as Lord and Savior, you are spiritually Born Again, and are as assured of Heaven as if you were already there. Then, you can rest assured that the Kingdom of Antichrist will not touch you spiritually. If you would like to become Born Again, turn to our Salvation Page now.
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