Finally… Women In Ministry!!!

So let’s start this post off with full disclosure.  I was pissed.  Actually, I think I still am!

Can I say that on a Christian blog?

I was in my Theology Class on last Thursday, and Women in Ministry came up again.  I guess I had endured one too many male-dominant conversations that would render women silent in the church forever.  I knew that the majority of the students, male and female would disagree with me.  Yet being the man I am,

I spoke!

I do not believe that the bible forbids a woman from any other expression of ministry than that of the Pastor/Elder.  Yes, that means that I hold that a qualified woman can preach from the pulpit, to men and all.

This, of course, started an uproar in class.  Even the female facilitator tried to convince me that a woman, Biblically, should not teach men.  She went on to explain that she doesn’t teach, she facilitates.  Does a female facilitator not have authority over a male student?  She certainly lets us know when we can speak and or need to move the discussion along.  What’s wrong with that?

In my opinion, she is great at what she does, and every now and again she even dispenses these nuggets of knowledge.  I dare not call it teaching lest she be fired, I suppose.

Anyway, after 4o years a local church has decided to allow women to preach and I say Amen and Amen again.

Elders of Irving Bible Church spent 18 months studying the question of women in ministry, including whether women should be allowed to preach.  Their key conclusions:

•The accounts of creation and the fall (Genesis 1-3) reveal a fundamental equality between men and women.

•Women exercised significant ministry roles of teaching and leading with God’s blessing in both Old and New Testaments.

•Though the role of women was historically limited, the progress of revelation indicates an ethic in progress leading to full freedom for women to exercise their giftedness in the local church.

•Key New Testament passages restricting women’s roles were culturally and historically specific, not universal principles for all time and places.

•Though women are free to use all of their giftedness in teaching and leading in the church, the role of elder seems to be biblically relegated to men.

SOURCE: Irving Bible Church

As a man I say this with all sincerity.  The type of restrictions that some put on women totally disgust me.  It turns my stomach and causes the same kind of righteous indignation that rises in me whenever I see gross injustice, like that of slavery.

I have seen men read from “The Daily Word,” (mess that up), and call it preaching.  I have also been challenged by some incredible, well-prepared, gifted, and down-right talented female preachers.

To say that there is nothing that we (the church) can learn from a woman simply because of her sex is frightening to me.  And look, I understand that men and women are different.  So a man is to be the head of the household.  I agree and I am.  Does that mean that I can never learn from my wife?  That I never have to submit to my wife?  Does that mean that my 13 year-old son gets to be superior to my wife because he has a penis?

Get a grip!

Okay, I told you I was angry.  I shall now return to my irenic, peace-loving self.  Well until a fundamentalist, (whom I will love anyway), tries to get on here and quote:

1 Timothy 2:12, where the Apostle Paul says, “But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.”

I will then ask for the following.

  1. Exegetical Statements (What did it mean then) to include the historical, grammatical, contextual and literary interpretations.
  2. The Theological Statement (The eternal principle extracted since this was, clearly, not written to us) and
  3. The Homiletical Statement (How exactly does it apply to us today?)

Finally,  I will ask if you are in a position of authority.  By that I mean a Senior Pastor or Elder.  Just being a man doesn’t cut it here.  I ask this because I keep wondering, how did so many men get the authority to forbid women in the church to do anything, if they themselves are not in a position of authority?

As always your comments are welcome.

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8 thoughts on “Finally… Women In Ministry!!!

  1. What, are we both up late writing? 🙂

    I’d add an Amen, but I don’t want to fall into speaking Christianese – excellent work, especially in not getting the “facilitator” fired.

    Be at peace until they turn our favorite band of the 80’s back on – Twisted Scripture 🙂

  2. “Out of the respect of the congregation, a woman should not herself, read the law. It is a shame for a woman to let her voice be heard among men. The voice of a woman is filthy nakedness.” From the Jewish Talmud.

    “Men should not sit and listen to a woman…even if she says admirable things, or even saintly things, that is of little consequence, since they came from the mouth of a woman.” Origen (A.D. 185-254), The Early Church Father

    “Women have no creative power, inventive genius or originality. Rather, (they are) creatures of instinct and imitation, beautifully adapted to what nature intended.” Anonymous British Doctor in an 1869 Pamphlet

    “Nowhere was the power of divine healing ever given to be administered by any woman. Women have their rightful places, but when you put one in the pulpit it is unscriptural.” Rev. Dallas Billington of Akron Baptist Temple in his 1952 attack on Evangelist Kathryn Kuhlman

    Excerpts taken from the book: “10 Lies the Church Tells Women”
    (How the Bible has been misused to keep women in spiritual bondage.)
    by J. Lee Grady

    I think the point is made here that this kind of thinking has been around since “cootie” was a baby. In the book, the author says: 1 Timothy 2:12 has been used many times to deny ministry opportunities to women and it is said that those who do pride themselves on being so-called biblical literalists. “The Bible said it, I believe it and that settles it.” But that taking the Bible literally can sometimes lead to errors.

    Jesus’ interactions with Martha and Mary at the event of Lazarus’ death reveals their in- depth understanding of the resurrection. Mary’s anointing of Jesus to “prepare Him for His burial” spoke of a comprehension of the Messiah’s fate that even the 12 Apostles could not get their heads around. This is the result of being taught and instructed by Jesus but it is also an example of an ability that women had; to learn! This practice of Jesus teaching and instructing these women alongside males on levels of higher learning was witnessed by all the disciples and it was revolutionary.

    And women were free to follow Jesus and the disciples and even participate in the ministry. So why are so many men in denial of this. Why are the scriptures being wrongly interpreted?

    Keep on digging, you might be surprised at what you’ll find.
    Blessed to be a woman of God and highly favored.

  3. “Out of the respect of the congregation, a woman should not herself, read the law. It is a shame for a woman to let her voice be heard among men. The voice of a woman is filthy nakedness.” From the Jewish Talmud.

    “Men should not sit and listen to a woman…even if she says admirable things, or even saintly things, that is of little consequence, since they came from the mouth of a woman.” Origen (A.D. 185-254), The Early Church Father

    “Women have no creative power, inventive genius or originality. Rather, (they are) creatures of instinct and imitation, beautifully adapted to what nature intended.” Anonymous British Doctor in an 1869 Pamphlet

    “Nowhere was the power of divine healing ever given to be administered by any woman. Women have their rightful places, but when you put one in the pulpit it is unscriptural.” Rev. Dallas Billington of Akron Baptist Temple in his 1952 attack on Evangelist Kathryn Kuhlman

    Excerpts taken from the book: “10 Lies the Church Tells Women”
    (How the Bible has been misused to keep women in spiritual bondage.)
    by J. Lee Grady

    I think the point is made here that this kind of thinking has been around since “cootie” was a baby. In the book, the author says: 1 Timothy 2:12 has been used many times to deny ministry opportunities to women and it is said that those who do pride themselves on being so-called biblical literalists. “The Bible said it, I believe it and that settles it.” But that taking the Bible literally can sometimes lead to errors.

    Jesus’ interactions with Martha and Mary at the event of Lazarus’ death reveals their in- depth understanding of the resurrection. Mary’s anointing of Jesus to “prepare Him for His burial” spoke of a comprehension of the Messiah’s fate that even the 12 Apostles could not get their heads around. This is the result of being taught and instructed by Jesus but it is also an example of an ability that women had; to learn! This practice of Jesus teaching and instructing these women alongside males on levels of higher learning was witnessed by all the disciples and it was revolutionary.

    And women were free to follow Jesus and the disciples and even participate in the ministry. So why are so many men in denial of this. Why are the scriptures being wrongly interpreted?

    Keep on digging, you might be surprised at what you’ll find.
    Blessed to be a woman of God and highly favored.

  4. I never understood the whole :
    “women should remain quiet” schpeal.
    That has been totally taken out of context biblically.
    If you have something the Lord wants you to say, SAY IT. The Lord used a Donkey once, what makes a woman so “unthinkable”.

    Tony
    http://www.imablogger.net

  5. @ Joanne – Welcome back and well said.

    @ Tony – I never understood, either. We have learned so much from women. I have learned so much from women. Even the ones who says, they aren’t teaching.

  6. Hi! Stumbled on your blog entry and love it! Well said!
    I enjoyed your Rabbinic style pre emptive argument re Timothy!
    I also like the fact that you said you were pissed (though I take it you are from the US cos it means ‘drunk’ here in the UK so I was confused at first!!)
    In my last church, we had a couple of women who preached with some frequency and they were both excellent.
    I agree with Tony, God can (and does) speak through anything.

    Best wishes,
    Kate

  7. You should be here in Big D and heard the hubbub this caused locally. It wasn’t on the Wall, because quite frankly, it gave me such tiredhead, I needed my own woman to rub my temples and pray for healing. Then I began thinking, “Is it a sin if she does that?” and the headache cam back all over again.

    OK, maybe not, but it was a beating.

    All this situation became was a bunch of old farts hooking up discussing the days of yore when women went to Ye Ole Grocery Store picked them up a pack of Ye Ole Smokes and remained slew foot and pregnant in Ye Ole Kitchen.

    Nice post, brother. Scream louder next time.

    Peace,
    HiScrivener

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