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Women as Pastors – Danger of Condemning God’s Chosen

January 28, 2011

Does God Ordain Women?

Both the Hebrew (Nebrah), and Greek (Proph) used for prophetess means female preacher. (See Young’s Concordance, Pg. 780.)

I am not going to reiterate what I wrote in the 4 Article Series on Women as Pastors.

Galatians 3:28 “…neither male nor female…for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”

Acts 10:34 “…God is no respecter of persons….”

There is not one Scripture in the Greek Text that forbids women from preaching, but many verses encourage both men and women to preach the Gospel. It is the great commission! We will address these in another section of this series.

Acts 2:18, “And on my servants and on my handmaidens, I will pour out in those days of my (God’s) Spirit; and they (the servants) shall prophesy.” This is taken from the Old Testament, Joel 2:28-32.

We shouldn’t be asking whether the church should let women be pastors. We should look at the bible and follow God (and Paul’s) example. Not only does God ordain women as pastors, and into leadership, but it is clear that we are not suppose to oppose our leaders, men or women.

Many people leave a church when a woman becomes pastors. Partially they leave because of their ignorance. Sometimes they abandoned the church where God placed them because of pride and arrogance. It is interesting that this type of rebellion is exactly the same type of arrogance and rebellion the group of newly converted women showed in 1 Timothy which caused Paul to tell women who were ‘learning’ to remain quiet.

The Dangers of Condemning a Woman Pastor

I need to preface this section of the article. Not every woman/man is trained well enough to hold the position of pastor. Not everyone is called of God to be a pastor. Many people today are getting correspondence ordinations through unrecognized and no-denomination organizations that are preaching blatant lies. The problem is, they do it out of lack of understanding and training. I believe these are the women who are ‘still learning’ that Paul instructed to be quiet.

However, in the Old and New Testament, the Reformation, the Holiness Movement, and other places in history we see women who are baptized with the Holy Spirit receive the gift of being a pastor/prophetess/elder. These three often refer to the same calling, to preach and lead the children of God. It is of these women that the following verses apply.

The Bible says, “Touch not mine anointed and do my prophets no harm.” And may Acts 5:39, “If it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.”

Phebe – Romans 16:1-2. Paul commended Phebe 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.

In both Matt 16:19, and Matt.18:18, Jesus has given to the apostils the following authority.

Matt 16:19, Jesus said, “I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

Matt.18:18-19, Jesus said to the apostils, “Verily I say unto you, whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them.”

John 20:22-23, “And when He (Jesus) had said this, He breathed on them (the disciples) and saith unto them, receive ye the Holy Ghost; Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain they are retained.”

Luke 2:36, “Anna a prophetess.”

Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth”

Women were baptized with the Holy Spirit on that first day. Why didn’t Jesus specifically order that they be left behind?

Jesus told his followers to “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” John 1: 19. Why didn’t Jesus state that he only meant the male followers?

John 1:20 “teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” This commandment was to everyone who followed God. No one doubts this, despite the use of the word ‘teach’ which also means ‘preach.’

Let us take a look at the 2 verses that seem to be anti Woman Pastor verses

1 Cor.14:34-35, “Let a woman keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn anything, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.”

1 Tim.2:11-12, “Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, not to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.”

We’ve already discussed these verses using the theological and Greek translations – which give a very different meaning. But not everyone is willing to accept the fact that their old version bibles were not translated well. So let’s look at these verses again.

Learn – both these verses have one word in common. Women should learn quietly. I don’t think that anyone can argue this. It is rude to interrupt the instructor and pastor. In fact, in today’s church, no one interrupts the pastor.

Law – in Corinthians, it was against the law for a woman to speak publicly, in some places. In others, where Artemis was worshiped, women had special status over men.

usurp authority – obedience – both of these words mean that a woman should be arrogant, proud, rude, or be aggressive. And, as we learn in the New Testament, a person who has an intimate relationship with God displays the fruits of the spirit including humility, gentleness, and love. Again, this does not apply to a woman who is ready to assume the role of pastor.

Silence – 2271. Greek is, hesuchia. Quiet, tranquility, stillness, as in quiet life. Again, we see that she is to be modest, and gentle, not loud or boisterous, not appearing as the women of the world appear.

1 Cor.11:5, “But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven (like a prostitute that would shave her head.)

Let us take a closer look at this. Why would Paul teach that a woman teachers (prphesieth) should cover their head if they are not suppose to speak or teach in public? Why would Paul work with at least 5 women pastors, and one woman apostles if he believed that all women should not preach or teach?
Women as Pastors Series

The Dangers of Hypocritical (Pick and Choose) Doctrines

I know the word hypocrite is rather harsh but think of it. None of us would read Matthew 5:29-30 and cut their leg and arm off, or poke out their eye because they went and watched a secular movie in the theater. We want to ‘pick and chose’ what verses to take literally, or what apply to us. This is exactly the type of religious dogma that Jesus hated when He walked the earth.

Yet we will take 2 verses out of context, which, no matter how you look at them, do not preach that God is against women as pastors, while there are several verses that

Women as Pastors Pt3: Does Paul’s Qualifications for Church Leaders Exclude Women? 1 Timothy

January 27, 2011

When Paul wrote the qualifications for leaders did he write to men only? One phrase that many refer to is 1 Tim 3:2; and Titus 1:6. Many claim that these verses claim that only a man who is not widowed and remarried, or divorced and remarried can be a pastor. Because polygamy is not a part of today’s culture, they assume that it wasn’t rampant in Paul’s day. This line of thinking has many problems. It can also be used to claim that only a married man can be a church leader, which excludes Paul himself. In another verse Paul preaches that celibate workers in the church can serve God better (1 Cor 7:32-35).

However, many theologians agree that this term refers to marital faithfulness.

Another problem is that many translations state that a pastor ‘manages his own household well, keeping his children under control’ 1 Timothy 3:4. Despite the fact that the Greek language does not have any gender related pronouns. This means that if Paul had of wanted to refer to a man only, he would have needed to use the word for ‘man’ – not the pronoun that could mean male or female.

To eliminate women from any leadership at home or in the church would also need to state that Paul made another grammatical mistake when he said that younger widows should marry, bear children, ‘rule’ the household – 1 Tim 5:14

There is one blatant translation of 1 Timothy 3:2, which states in many bibles that a ‘elder must be a man. This statement does not appear anywhere in any of the Greek manuscripts. This is a biased opinion of man ‘interpreting’ the word of God and changing it to meet doctrine.

The opening sentence of 1 Timothy chapter 3 literally says ‘If someone aspires to overseeship, he/she desires a noble task. There is no gender bias here at all. To make changes to one part of the scripture, and not another, is wrong.

For example, if we were to claim that the masculine words in Greek referred to men only, not to the group being spoken to, then we must also state that women are excluded from the free gift of salvation. You cannot have it both ways. Either a word means one thing throughout the New Testament, or it means another. It is wrong to change the translation depending on the subject.

Philip B. Payne writes: “Two of the most prominent complementarians acknowledge this phrase does not clearly exclude women. Douglas Moo acknowledges that this phrase need not exclude “unmarried men or females from the office . . . it would be going too far to argue that the phrase clearly excludes women. . . .” Douglas J. Moo, “The Interpretation of 1 Timothy 2:11–15: A Rejoinder,” TJ 2 NS (1981): 198–222, 211. Thomas Schreiner acknowledges, “The requirements for elders in 1 Tim 3:1–7 and Titus 1:6–9, including the statement that they are to be one-woman men, does not necessarily in and of itself preclude women from serving as elders. . . .” Thomas R. Schreiner’s “Philip Payne on Familiar Ground: A Review of Philip B. Payne, Man and Woman, One in Christ: An Exegetical and Theological Study of Paul’s Letters.” JBMW (Spring 2010): 33–46, 35.”

Doctrine in Practice

Let’s put our doctrine into practice. A church that excludes a woman from being a pastor, must also agree with the following: No allow women to enter the church without her head covered, to sing hymns, to teach any male over 12 years old, everyone must work six days of the week, nothing must be done on the Sabbath at all, men who do not tithe properly cannot have a leadership position, men whose families are not all happy and following God cannot be in leadership, men who lie – look at a woman lustfully – does not pray without ceasing – etc cannot be in leadership.

As you see, a ‘pick and choose’ theology doesn’t work. You cannot have it both ways. You must accept God’s truth as the truth.

Women as Pastors PT1: Women Paul Praised

Women As Pastors Pt2:What Does Paul Teach in 1 Timothy 2:12

Women as Pastors PT3: Does Paul Exclude Women as Pastors? 1 Timothy

Women as Pastors Pt2: What Does Paul Teach in 1 Timothy 2:12 ?

January 27, 2011

The question we must ask should be does God chose women to lead? We see that the answer is proven through the bible. Paul accepted this. So we must ask if there were certain groups of women whom were causing trouble in the bible? Before you read this, keep one thing in mind. Is there any biblical reference to support the theory that a Greek word means one thing for a woman, and a different for a man. Second, remember whom Paul is writing to, and what problem he is addressing.

Before you answer, take time to read the verses listed her and confirm through Strongs that I’ve translated the Greek properly. There are two or three things that follow through bible translation:

1. If something is important it is repeated multiple times in the bible.
2. The whole scripture is one letter from God. Taking things out of context or translating them to fit your ideals is a sin.

1 Timothy 2:12

It is very possible that Paul saw that the powerful women of Ephesus did not have a humble heart for God. They wanted to retain the power gained in their worship of Artemis, and the money. Paul stated at the beginning of 1 Timothy that his purpose for writing the letter was to stop certain ones from teaching false doctrines. The Greek word here does not mean men, it means ‘people’ or ‘ones.’

It is important to note that in 1 Timothy 2:11-15 Paul was speaking to the church in Ephesus. There is also some debate among theologians whether the first few words ‘Let women’ means that, or it means ‘Let That Woman’ or ‘Let Her’. The problem comes from the fact that Paul distinctly uses the singular word ‘a woman’ or ‘the woman’ or ‘that woman’ – not the plural as we are often taught.

It is also noted in verse 11 that Paul is talking about women who are still learning – not those who are ready for authority. No matter whether she was a powerful women in the community of Ephesus, Paul wanted her to know that her power did not extend into God’s Kingdom.

It should also be noted that the word ‘submission’ doesn’t really mean second-rate, servant, or subjected to. The word is the opposite of rebellion. Paul wanted the women of Ephesus to stop rebelling against God’s teaching.

The third problem comes from the word ‘authentein’. This does not mean authority. Authentein is most definitely not the Greek word for authority (Greek: exousia) which is a common in the New Testament. Authentein is means to be “arrogant” and “self-willed”. Paul used this word in Titus 1: 7 where he writes that overseers must not be arrogant (authades). In Greek literature this word is used to reference violent crimes including murder, child sacrifice, but most often in the connotation of sexual immorality or promiscuity. This word is not used, ever, in conjunction to a Godly woman.

Women must be silent. Again, the Greek word hesuchia means calmness and quietness, as in ‘keeping one’s seat’ or ‘remaining in order’, a word which is translated differently in the 1 Timothy 2:2, and 11. The very same chapter!

The second last part comes from verses 13 to 15. Many use this to say that women must not be in leadership because Adam was made first, and he was not deceived. There was no ‘order’ in the Garden of Eden. Man and women were one, in perfect unison. They lived in harmony and unity. They had dominion together.

This must be read with verse 15 – women will be preserved through bearing children. Verses 13 – 15 refer to the fact that the Ephesian women looked to Artemis for help during child birth. Paul was saying that Artemis couldn’t help them, only God. He may also be addressing moral purity here.

Paul wants the women to live in harmony with men in the church, not retain their rebellious and arrogant allegiance with Artemis. There is nothing in 1 Tmothy 2 that suggests this is a universal teaching. As most of Paul’s teaching it is ‘occasional’ – meaning that it refers to the people who he is writing the letter to. Another way to understand this is to apply it to your own conversations. When you are talking to a friend, or writing a letter, you do not talk and make sure you reference everything to everyone in your community. No, you write to that person, about things that matter to you and that person.

Does that verse mean that it doesn’t apply today? Certainly not. There are many Gnostic women who still follow these same practices. There are many rebellious and arrogant women in the church. And, there is a growing number of Christians who believe that God winks at sexual immorality. This verse is as relevant today as it ever was, to the people who believe the same things as the church in Ephesus.

The second thing that we must take into consideration is that neither the Hebrew Talmud, or the Bible, dictates that a woman cannot be in authority – except one verse – a verse that is in direct conflict of what Paul practiced and taught the churches to practice. If a teaching is important then God repeats it many times.

Women as Pastors PT1: Women Paul Praised

Women As Pastors Pt2:What Does Paul Teach in 1 Timothy 2:12

Women as Pastors PT3: Does Paul Exclude Women as Pastors? 1 Timothy

Women as Pastors Pt1: Women in Ministry Who Paul Praised

January 27, 2011

I stand in awe of God’s guidance. If you had asked me a year ago whether I would be in seminary this year, I would have dutifully ‘proved’ to you that women were not suppose to be pastors. I was just parroting dogma that I’d been fed without ever searching the scriptures myself. I never realized that Pricilla was Paul’s assistant, Juana was an apostle, and Pheobe was a deaconesses. The King James calls her a servant, but everywhere else in the New Testament this word is translated to mean deacon. IN fact Acts 21:8-9, Acts 2:17-18, 1 Corinthians 11:4-5 state that women Prophesied. Well, a Prophet speaks and teaches ‘God’s Word’ in the church.

Since studying the role of Women as Pastors at the seminary level, I’ve gone online and read a lot of articles written on the topics. It amazes me how many ordained pastors will blatantly leave out the above 3 women, but expound on places where women should raise children of faith, work in hospitality roles, pray, or support the ministries financially.

Juana was an Apostle

Then we reach one verse 1 Timothy 2:11 – 14. Paul and Timothy appears to claim that they don’t let ‘any’ woman teach or have authority over ‘any’ man, a strange contrast to the fact that Pricilla goes to Rome with Paul’s letters and reads them to the church there. Or that Paul instructed the church to support, and Paul praised, Juana. She was not only a gentile convert, and a woman, but she had been jailed with Paul. He called her ‘eminent among apostles. Paul placed Juana on the same spiritual level as himself.

Romans 16:7. “Greet Andronicus and Junia, my relatives who have been in prison with me. They are outstanding2 among the apostles3, and they were in Christ before I was.” NIV4

One professor taught me that “God Ordained women in the old testament. He also empowered women in the New Testament with the Holy Spirit. What is Good enough for God, is Good enough for me.”

Phoebe was a Deaconess

IN Romans 16:1-2 Pheobe was a deaconess. “diakonon” in Greek. In The King James she is called a servant, but in 22 other places this word was translated ‘minister.’ Consider Col 1:25 “Of this church I was made a minister according to the stewardship from God bestowed on me for your benefit, that I might fully carry out the preaching of the word of God,” (NAS) Phoebe travelled 800 miles to Rome. The letter introduces her as a minister and a great help to Paul’s ministry. The word, “prostatis” (Strongs 4368) that is translated ‘helper’ in many bibles actually means ‘a woman set over others, a patroness, a female guardian.”

Nympha, Lydia, Chloe were Pastors

In fact, she is the only leader mentioned by name in her town. Lydia also hosted a church within her home. Chloe was a minister of such renowned that her members indicated as belonging to Chloe as a group. (Col 4:15, Acts 16:14, 15, 40, 1 Cor 1:11) We also see the mention of Marks’s mother hosting a church in her home (Acts 12:12) but it doesn’t mention clearly who the minister was.

Paul Praised Stephanas – a Pastor

In 1 Cor 16:15-16 we see where Paul praises Stephanas for not only being a pastor, but being the first pastor in her area. Not only that, Paul instructs the church to be in subjection to everyone who works for the church. (the word men is not in the Greek).

A Mis Translation into ‘My Elect’ of the Greek Eklektee Kuria ‘Chosen of God’

Thayer’s definition of the second word is the feminine version of Kuros, ‘one in supreme authority. 2 John. Paul is writing Her a letter telling her how to care for her converts. Her name is never given. But, this is not unusual as the greetings and the signatures are removed from many of the letters when the bible was written.

In 1 Peter 5:13 there is mention of a babalonian woman who might be the ‘woman’ Paul referred to in this letter? Or, was her name really Electra? Was her name Kuria? These are questions that will never be answered.
The one thing to focus on is that Paul never rebuked these women, or refused to work with them. He worked at their side and commanded the church to do likewise. In fact, some books of the bible you are reading were letters Paul wrote to these women.

Women as Prophets

There are many verses that talk about women prophets. In fact, one verse instructs women to cover their head, or have long hair, if they pray or prophesy publicly. The confusion of the word prophets and their role in the New Testament church has lead to this verse being ignored. However, the verse does mean to stand up in front of the church and give them ‘God’s Word’ and instruction, both to men and women.

Take a look at Acts 13:3-4; 16:6, 1 Cor 14:31, 1 Cor 14:3, 1 Cor 14:1. The last is important as Paul is stating that prophecy is the most desirable of the spiritual gifts.

Women as Evangelists

Evangelists are people who preached the gospel of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Euodia and Syntyche were women who were warmly regarded as fellow-workers by Paul. They worked at his side (Php 4:2-3)

Women as Teachers

Priscilla’s ( also Prisca) name appears first in 4 of the 6 times her, and her husband, are mentioned. This was not a mistake, but a statement that she was first. Priscilla and Aquila were both active in ministry.

Women as Pastors PT1: Women Paul Praised

Women As Pastors Pt2:What Does Paul Teach in 1 Timothy 2:12

Women as Pastors PT3: Does Paul Exclude Women as Pastors? 1 Timothy

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