Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Big 'ol can or worms...

Always Learning: The Problem with female BIble teachers
Woman as preachers.
Big can of worms. Huge. Mega size contested can of worms within the Christian circles.
Do I believe it contradicts the Word of God? Yes ma'am I do.
Do I believe it is a one-size-fits-all Truth? Yes. And no.

Not that y'all asked my thoughts on this, but here they are for whatever pondering value they may be worth. My thoughts are going to be random, not really in any particular order.
Aren't you glad I'm not a paid site, LOL

Knowing specifically what ministries God intends women to perform in the church can be a challenge. For instance, can a woman teach the Bible in a high school or college Bible club meeting? Should men read Bible-study books, commentaries, or theology books written by women? Is a woman permitted to lead and teach in the church youth group or lead the singing in the main service? Many people also wonder why women who are just as gifted and productive as men shouldn’t be allowed to use their abilities in the church. Some women are able to teach, preach, and lead better than many men. Why should we not let them bless the church in those ways? These are important and challenging questions, and Scripture gives us clear principles to follow as we answer them.
Can Women Serve as Elders and Pastors in the Church?

I have always felt it was wrong for women to stand before me and preach or to teach. Even before I was Saved and had any knowledge whatsoever, I just felt it wasn't right. However, I do not see this point of view as being totally valid either...
1 Cor. 14: 34-35 does not say anything about women preachers. If Paul intended this verse as a general rule to bar all women from speaking in church, then they cannot teach Sunday School, testify, pray, prophesy, sing, or even get saved, and this would contradict the rest of the Bible (Acts 2:4; Acts 2:16-18).

Paul was rather dealing with a particular problem in the church. Women were not educated as were the men in that day; therefore the women would talk back and forth to their husbands in church and ask questions concerning the sermon. Paul said, "If they will learn anything, let them ask their husbands at home; for it is a shame for women to speak in the church." If they want to talk things over let them wait until they get home. This rule is still good for the church today, where people are talking and causing confusion in the church service. They should not speak in church. (Not in the back of the church either before or after services.)

If a woman cannot speak in church, then she cannot speak in prayer meeting, young people's service, etc., for who can deny that Sunday School and Prayer meeting, and Youth work are parts of church? Christ's Church is not a building, but rather it is found where two or three are gathered together in His name, whether at a street meeting, in a tent, a home, church, classroom or anywhere else
I don't see this as saying women have no voice in church. Obviously it isn't a good thing for anyone to be chatting away during the sermon itself, it is clearly disruptive to those around you. But to say no voice within the walls of the church? That's ridiculous. I do not believe that everything needs to be "explained" to a woman, that we are somehow inferior in our ability to comprehend that we require a man to spell it out as it were. I do not for one minute believe God only speaks to men, and that as women, we are left to only hear the understanding of Scripture as taken by a man, even a Godly man. Clearly, women can serve a vital role in the Church. What role exactly is part of that can of worms in most Christian circles I've encountered. There have been many women in Scripture who taught, prophesied, etc. but to be ordained as pastors, I don't see at all. Placing them above men in the Church 'chain of command' I see as something God did not, and does not, approve of.
God called and used women preachers in the Old Testament.
DEBORAH - Judges 4:4-5. Deborah was a Judge for both civil and criminal cases. The children of Israel came to her for judgment. She was the chief ruler of Israel for 40 years, giving orders to the Generals and all the army. She did the work of an evangelist, prophetess, Judge, and a preacher. God gave her authority over the mighty (Judges 5:13).
MIRIAM - Exodus 15:20; Numbers 12:1; Micah 6:4. She was a Prophetess and a Song Leader in Israel.
HULDAH - 2 Kings 22:14. Five men went to Sister Huldah and communed with her. She spoke to a congregation of men concerning the book of the Law. A female preached to a man's congregation, and her message was taken to the nation and produced a revival.
MAHER-SHALAL-HASH-BAZ'S MOTHER - Isaiah 8:3. She was a prophetess.
God called and used women preachers in the New Testament.
The first message of the Resurrection of Christ was spoken by women to a group of men.

Anna - Luke 2:36-38. She must have prophesied in church, because she did not depart from the temple.

Phillip had 4 daughters who prophesied. Acts 21:9.

Priscilla assisted Paul in his revival meeting and even taught Apollos in the way of the Lord more perfectly.

Phebe - Romans 16:1-2. Paul commended Phoebe to the Church at Rome and requested that they assist her in her business. She was one of Paul's assistants in the work of the Lord and delivered the Book of Romans to the people from the hand of Paul.
As a woman I have my own thoughts and opinions (obviously right?). In the end of it all, I will be held equally accountable in my own standing, not merely as a subtext under my husband. My sins are my own, they are not my husbands, as his sins are his own and do not transfer to me (in terms of salvation. I could honestly have a whole other post on the topic of following a spouse into sin, but perhaps another time)

How about teaching in Sunday School or in children's ministry?
I have never agreed with the idea of joint, or co-ed Youth Ministries, men or women teaching. Yes, I actually believe children are far better served within the Church itself, alongside their families, rather than separated into grade levels for "children's church"...which tends to downplay any real teaching merely because they see the children as too immature in nature to comprehend a lesson unless it is full of color and sound, cute little songs, and has a snack involved.
...Again I could go on about how the modern church seems intent on teaching its message even to the adults without jazzing it up to a circus environment. Y'all know I'm quite opinionated.
Am I saying I don't believe there is a place for segregated ministry?
Not exactly. I do believe the young teens are better served by separate classes, so that the young men and young women can be exhorted and ministered to by a Godly example from their own sex. A man, for all his Godly worth, is not perhaps the best teacher of a young ladies role in the family unit. Maybe I'm just viewing that from the standpoint of someone who has watched far too many faux-Godly men abuse that position and teach deeply false examples of a woman's place in the family. Still, if a young man or young woman has issues of a personal nature, they are more likely to seek counsel from a Godly teacher within their church family, and usually one of the same sex. A teen girl with personal concerns most often seeks the counsel of a woman she trusts, for example. Personal issues are not likely to be spoken out in a youth group of mixed gender, kwim? How many youth meetings have you been in where the call for prayer requests comes in the form of a million hands raised sharing "unspoken" requests? Of course I do not believe unspoken requests are somehow less valuable. Truthfully, I have viewed far too many prayer requests as being nothing more than thinly veiled sharings of gossip among Christian groups. Apparently we believe if we preface it under the label of prayer request it is ok and more socially acceptable as gossip.
Yes, that's a whole other can of worms posting there as well...

Back to the youth groups specifically...I honestly believe that many of those 'unspoken' requests or pleas for prayer covering, would be shared more openly in a gender specific grouping. Of course this may not always be the case, but I can't help but feel there is a lot lost in terms of ministry in a mixed grouping, especially of those new to Christ.

When Adam and Eve sinned, God’s perfect plan was perverted by the depravity in the hearts of men and women. Adam sinned by stepping out from under God’s authority when he ate the divinely forbidden fruit, and Eve chose to reject the authority of both Adam and the Lord. One of the consequences of their sin was the corruption of the complementary relationship between man and woman. Genesis 3:16 records what the Lord told Eve: “Yet your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” The desire Eve would have toward Adam is not a good kind of desire but a desire to conquer or overcome. You can see this in Genesis 4:7 where the same word describes what sin would do to Cain: “Sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it” [emphasis added].
From that time on, one of the expressions of sin in women would be the tendency to break out of God’s intended supporting and following role. At the same time, men’s sinful tendency would be to neglect their responsibility to love and lead their wives, dominating them instead. God’s perfect plan can be implemented and enjoyed in marriages and churches only when sinners receive new hearts of humility and obedience. It is only when men and women submit to God’s way that they will experience the greatest blessing.

I fully believe this statement. The Fall produced the society we have today. The Fall produced the modern feminist, and we have built on that idea every day since. Women want to share the place of authority in their homes, and to some degree they do, with God's guidance as well as His Blessings, but it has been feasted upon by the gluttony of the feminist viewpoint for decades upon decades now.  It is, since The Fall, a part of our nature to step away from God's Word and to seek the authority for ourselves, both in men and women equally, but it is specifically the out stepping and seeking of the woman that has created the discord in so many families that we see these days.
Yes, I overstep my own role here in a great many ways. I can give plenty of examples as to why my choices are sound, and I can give just as many as to why it is totally out of step with anything God Spoken. I am by no means a feminist flag bearer, but neither am I submissive in nature. I am a fallen woman, barely climbing the walls of the pit I have formed, but still I know enough to recognize that it IS a pit, and that for 99% of the fault, it is my own creation.
A woman is not a doormat for a somehow more superior man in the home. That is a feminist stand. Being submissive, being under authority, has nothing to do with whether or not the man you follow is Godly, nor does it have to do with any idea that the man is "better" or more Godly than the woman. It is simply God's ordained calling and the position HE has chosen among the sexes.
Men are not being taught any Scriptural, Godly example of how to fulfill their own role in marriage and home, and the women certainly are lacking in those teachings as well. These men, sitting under unScriptural teachings, and being encouraged to follow the voices of men rather than seeking the One Voice of God, tend to abuse their positions and create much of the life they have at home, but women, by constantly overstepping their own role, have pushed the lines themselves. Neither is to fully take the blame on themselves. I have seen only a few families in my lifetime that have clear blame on one side only, and I have seen a great many who have the discord they do because they are simply not staying in their God given roles.

A distinction of Godly roles, in the church or in the home is a lost art.
It isn't taught in the modern church at all. Maybe a few quirky little notations here and there, usually around Mother's Day or Father's Day, and almost always peppered with a lot of gushy emotion, pretty music, and bobbing heads in feigned agreement from the congregation, but by and large, men are not being taught what God wants in a family leader, and women are being lulled into unsubmissive actions by being told their authority is that of equal footing with the men. If a church truly has a God following leader at the helm, it is teaching that there is now, and has always been, distinct gender roles in every aspect of life. The Church is meant to be a tangible view of a living Bible in the community. No, of course no man or woman is perfect this side of The Kingdom, but there is definitely a great deal of difference between a truly Godly man seeking to follow The Lord 100% and to implement His Commandments in life, and one who is merely paying it lip service. Sadly, far too many churches have lip service only.

Rambling aside, I fully believe woman have a great role to play in the sharing of The Word of God. The woman as a leader is a false teaching among the churches of man, not the Church of God. Sharing His Word, sharing their own understanding of Scripture...I believe they have this role under His Authority, but I do not believe the role is to be played out from the pulpit. Children's Ministry (younger children, as I said above), and in the sharing of understanding among their ladies classes and groups in the church and at home...but not in a mixed meeting of men, and certainly not in a leadership role in the pulpit. That position is only for a man of God, and the woman, no matter how Godly or called, is there in a role of support.  I don't believe these situations limit a woman's calling in the least, nor do they lessen her outreach ability or belittle her worth in Christ. Standing in her God given role exalts a women of God, in the church, in the community, and in the home.

From that time on {after The Fall} one of the expressions of sin in women would be the tendency to break out of God’s intended supporting and following role. At the same time, men’s sinful tendency would be to neglect their responsibility to love and lead their wives, dominating them instead. God’s perfect plan can be implemented and enjoyed in marriages and churches only when sinners receive new hearts of humility and obedience. It is only when men and women submit to God’s way that they will experience the greatest blessing.

Some resources I read thru:
Grace To You: Mens and Womans Roles
Grace to You: Roles of Women
Christian Patriot: Women as Preachers
KJVOnline: Bible Verses about Women Preachers
Circle of Christian Women: Can Christian Women be Pastors?
Circle of Christian Women: Prophecy: Women Leaders
SBC Life: Women Pastors: What does the Bible teach?
Grace to You: God's High Calling for Women, and Part 2, and Part 3
Grace to You: A Biblical Portrait of Women


Greg and Donna said...

Wow!no comments from trolls yet? I agree! I alwats look at thise scriptures as meaning a woman shoukd not be leading men in a study or preaching to men in a congregation. I don't see anything wrong with a woman singing a solo or leading a female Bible Study group, however I know some would disagree.

Mrs Dewey Smith said...

No trolls...I know, right? Seems quite the oddity for my blog, but I suppose I'm still flying under the radar and not a popular read, LOL

Greg and Donna said...

typing comments on my kindle or phone is never a good idea! Boy, what spelling "corrections" are on my original comment. I should have read it more closely before I commented. But still, no trolls....weird! Oh, if you haven't figured it out....I am missmomof7 on Instagram! But your probably figured it out! donna


Jeremiah 6:16
Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.

Blog Archive