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Women in Ministry is Biblical

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by womenofdestiny, Jul 13, 2005.

  1. womenofdestiny

    womenofdestiny New Member

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    Often we hear of so many debates on whether women should minister the gospel or not. This became an interesting situation since we all know that God does not see gender. I have done an extensive study on this and found that women can preach the gospel as well as Pastor in the church. What do you think?
     
  2. chief30

    chief30 Member

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    the only thing i have to back myself up is that all the apostles were all men
     
  3. Linus

    Linus Well-Known Member

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    Could you perhaps post some of your findings on the issue?

    I don't think they should. It isn't authorized within the Bible anywhere that I know of.

    1 Corinthians 14:34 - The women are to keep silent in the churches; for they are not permitted to speak, but are to subject themselves, just as the Law also says.

    Take that any way you wish.
     
  4. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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    Hi Woman of Destiny,

    I notice that this is your first post on the forum, so I thought I'd take the opportunity to welcome you to our happy family.

    If you would post here: - Are you new to ReligiousForums.com? , you can introduce yourself to all the members.

    You might like to have a look at :- Articles for New Members ; from there, there is a link to the forum rules, which you ought to see.



    Enjoy the forum.:)
     
  5. James the Persian

    James the Persian Dreptcredincios Crestin

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    Well, I'd echo Linus on this one, though I'd also note that preaching in church and engaging in missionary activity are two very different things. Unordained women missionaries were common in the early Church and St. Mary Magdalene is one such as are various other later saints. The only ordained position within the Church for women, though, was that of deaconess and their role was not even like that of a deacon let alone a priest. I too would be interested to see the basis for your conclusions on this.

    James
     
  6. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    I wonder how many churches have deaconesses? (Romans 16:1, I Timothy 3:11)

    There is much in the scriptures that tell us to "blend" in with the culture. When in Rome etc. Slaves are not to escape, Stay as you are, etc. etc. The Apostles took the immediacy of Jesus' return very seriously. After all, they saw our Lord arise from the dead, so they knew he kept his word.

    Everything seemed to be dedicated to evangelism. Evangelism works best if you do not offend those you are reaching out to. This is why Paul became all things to all men:

    I Corinthians 9:19 Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God's law but am under Christ's law), so as to win those not having the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings. NIV

    It is incumbent on us to try and determine which commands were based on culture and which were universal. I think that Love answers this for us. Think about it.
     
  7. James the Persian

    James the Persian Dreptcredincios Crestin

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    Are you saying that you think there were no women priests because that would have somehow hurt the early Church's evangelistic efforts? I'm not sure that I'm reading this right, but if that is what you're saying then I'd have to disagree. St. Mary Magdalene and, as I said, many later female saints did great work bringing people to the Church. The fact that they were women doesn't seem to have had a negative impact.

    The fact is, though, that this thread was about female ordination being Biblical, which I don't think you've shown at all. If you think it is theologically defensible I can respect that, though I disagree, but I don't see how any of your Biblical references support this view.

    Incidentally, whilst you'll find very few deaconesses if any, we do still have them in the Orthodox Church, at least in theory. In fact there's quite a movement to revive what has become a rather neglected order nowadays (it wasn't suppressed but seems to have died out naturally over time). I'm all for having deaconesses, but priestesses are, I'm afraid not an option.

    James
     
  8. Melody

    Melody Well-Known Member

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    Forgive me for cutting and pasting such a large quote, but I know how some people are about actually going to links and reading.:D This is a very interesting site and worth the read. Here's a link to the source. I would draw your attention to the very last sentence.

    Verses 34-35 deal with the participation of women in worship. These verses forcefully forbid women to speak in church. If they have questions they are to ask their husbands at home. These verses have received intense scrutiny in recent years. They appear to contradict the assumption of 1 Corinthians 11:5 that women may pray and prophesy in church. A variety of explanations have appeared. The traditional explanation has been that verses 34-35 are Paul's standard teaching and that the material of chapter 11 must be refer to prayer meetings or some small group meeting rather than the worship service of the whole church.

    The most popular explanation has been that the women at Corinth were involved in disruptive behavior. The common scenario supposes that the women sat together on one side of the room and the men were on the other. If women shouted questions to their husbands or defiant remarks such behavior would cause a major disruption of the order Paul calls for in this section. Such an explanation is certainly possible but we do not know if women and men were seated separately in early Christian worship or not. They were in the Jewish synagogues, but first century Christians worshipped in homes rather than church buildings.

    Another recent explanation has been that verses 34-35 represent a quotation from the Corinthians. That would solve the problem of contradiction with chapter 11. It also explains the very un-Pauline way of arguing in these verses. Rarely does Paul appeal to the Old Testament Law as a rule for people to obey. Talbert (pp. 92-93) argues that verses 34-35 represent the position of at least some at Corinth and that verse 36 is Paul's "indignant reply." However, the normal indicators of a quotation from the Corinthians are lacking in this passage.

    A significant number of commentators argue that these verses were added to 1 Corinthians sometime after Paul wrote the letter. Such an approach used to be labeled "liberal" but the recent massive commentary by the very evangelical scholar, Gordon Fee, takes this position. Fee (pp. 699-701), however, argues his case on the basis of ancient manuscripts rather than the problem of contradictory ideas.

    The number of explanations put forth for verses 34-35 shows two things. First, it is extremely difficult to understand these verses as they appear in chapter 14. They contradict too much of what we know Paul thought about women. Second, no explanation has been sufficiently satisfactory. We may never know with certainty the best way to explain why these verses appear in this place and what we are to make of them. In such cases a spirit of grace and tolerance is better than one of dogmatic assertion.
     
  9. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    James,

    I think you missed my whole point. :D

    The Bible refers to Deaconesses... and I gave two scriptural references. As for Priests, all Christians are priests (male and female). We don't need a second "order" and it's not mandated by the NT.
     
  10. James the Persian

    James the Persian Dreptcredincios Crestin

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    Melody,

    Interesting quote, though I don't completely agree. In any case, the prohibition against female ordinations beyond that of deaconess in all the pre-Reformation churches is not based solely on the Pauline epistles. I'd actually argue that it isn't even mainly based on those epistles. Nor is it based on an argument that all the Apostles were male (especially considering the number of women we consider equal to the Apostles - St. Mary Magdalene, for instance, is often called the Apostle to the Apostles). Our opposition to female ordination is based far more on the position of the priest as an icon of Christ (who was male) and as such is based in Holy Tradition. In effect, the female Church is headed by the male Christ and the local church (also thought of as feminine) is headed by the male priest (to put it extremely simplistically). I realise this is slightly off-topic, as the thread is about whether or not female priests are Biblical, as I understand it. To show that it is, however, would require more than a few vague ideas that some passages may be reinterpreted in a way supportivce of a female priesthood, and I simply don't believe that there are any passages in the New Testament that one could cite as Biblical support for female ordination. I, then, would rather follow Holy Tradition, as have my forebears in the faith for the last 2000 years, than I would modernist theologians who appear only too happy to abandon ancient doctrine to cling to the latest social trends. The faith is supposed to be timeless and true, not of this world.

    James
     
  11. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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    Sorry about the length of this, but it does seem thorough and makes some very good points; although it is written by a woman, it appears to be objective;
    http://www.newbeginningchurch.com/womenpreachers.html

    Women as Preachers: An Examination of Biblical Principles

    By: Brandie Grimm

    Throughout history it has been debated whether or not women should minister the gospel of Jesus Christ, yet incased in the Bible are records of women who were vessels to carry the Word of God. The intent of this argument is to show that women are able and commissioned to minister the Word of God. First some of the Scriptures must be translated as they will be discussed. Then the Biblical evidence and examples of women as ministers, deaconesses, and prophetesses will be submitted followed by the application of women’s ministries today. A preacher as a minister has some very clear guidelines, but who can be the minister or preacher? Is there a restriction besides holiness?

    The Hebrew word for preacher, which is qoheleth meaning, “a (female) assembler” (Strong’s 32). The Greek word for preacher is kurux meaning a “herald”. (Vines 482) The English word preacher is only used eleven times in the Bible (Strong’s 806). In none of these occurrences it is stated specifically that women are not supposed to preach. The Bible speaks only of performing the function or holding the office.

    It must be clarified that in I Corinthians 11 when Paul speaks of women praying and prophesying with their heads covered. Paul is not speaking of women in general or even Christian women in general; he is speaking of married Christian women. “That she is a Christian woman and a married woman is evident from verse three where the Greek says ‘kephale de gunaikos ho aner’. The Revised Standard Version and the American Translation by Goodspeed are correct when they translate these words, “The head of a woman is her husband.”…The lack of an article before gunaikos and the presence of one before aner calls for this translation” (Prohl 24). Due to these facts it is concluded that women in general are not being referred to but married women who are to be in submission to their husbands in order to preserve their marriage (24-25). Paul in this time period was trying to keep marriages in tact due to the many things going against women. Paul promulgates his teaching about head coverings for women not in order to restrict their participation in prayers and prophesies but to help them to do so in dignity, as it was a sign of insubordination for a wife to go with her head uncovered (Bib 3 191).

    Many scholars base their arguments that women can’t preach on I Timothy 2:11-12: “Let the woman learn in silence with all submission. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.” When looking at this scripture it appears to be plain stated. Yet, upon closer examination it shows that a woman is not to force authority over a man. The definition of usurp is “To seize and hold (an office, rights, powers, etc.) without right or legal authority; take possession of by force.” (Webster 626). This Scripture shows that a woman is not to “force” her authority on a man. If her supports he it is not force. “It is only submission if you disagree” (Norris Nov 23, 1998). This passage was written not to Jewish women but to the Greek churches. When looking at the condition of women, the highest thought of womanhood was that of a housewife. Paul only intended to maintain the integrity of the Church. When looked upon this new found Christianity would look like “the Church is but a house or orgies”. He did not want that the wives of the Church should look like they had shed their virtue. Therefore it was that Paul said “You shall not violate the customs of your country. You shall not bring discredit the religion of Christ by doing that which can be interpreted but in one direction by every man who sees it. I forbid our women to teach in Greek communities.” (Exell 374)

    Paul also states in I Corinthians 14:34,35 “Let your women keep silent in the churches for they are not permitted to speak: but they are to be submissive as the law also says. And if they want to learn something let them ask their won husbands at home for it is shameful for a woman to speak in church.” When taken in context these scriptures are not solid enough to make an argument. It is clearly stated for married women to ask their own husbands. This verse does not make mention to unwed ladies.

    In these scriptures Paul was trying to maintain the position of a married women in the plan of God. In the order of creation a women is to be under her husband and Paul was again trying to establish the sanctity of marriage. At this period in time pagan influence was very strong in Israel. Women were made to look like tools of the devil. Due to the Babylonian captivity and invasion of Alexander the Great of Rome pagan influence was still very strong. Examples from the Apocrypha and the Talmud show evidence of this (Prohl 48). Women were held in such low regard they were not to be looked upon. Women were to keep covered at all times and to keep silent because it was said that women were sexual incitement (Prohl 51-52). The worship of Aphrodite also posed a problem to Paul and his church due to the sensuous worship of the young women of neighboring assemblies left a constant peril to the little church. In order to protect his church he departed from the idea of equality of the sexes, as we have found in Jesus.

    A largely debated issue is that of a woman ministering or preaching and still being under submission to her husband the head of her household. In Ephesians 5:22 the husbands headship is based both on the woman’s submission and the husband’s loving and nurturing of his wife. “Wives submit yourselves unto your own husbands as unto the lord. This verse says nothing of “ruling’. In the larger context of Ephesians kephale means both “rule” (1:22) and “source” (4:15-16) (Liefield 134). If a man supports his wife in her ministry she is still under submission she therefore cannot be accused of being rebellious to her husband.

    In II Kings 22:8-14 when the books of the Law were found, King Josiah sent the secretary, the priest and three other messengers to Huldah, the prophetess. He sent these men to a woman to receive a message from God (Elders 49). God also used the Judge Deborah. She was married to Lapidoth and she was the judge to Israel after God delivered them into the hands of Jabin king of Canaan. In Judges 4:4-9 she commanded Barak to gather his men at Mount Tabor and he refused lest she would go with him and she agreed so that”…the LORD shall sell Sisera into the hand of a woman.” These women were placed in positions of authority by God and they were accepted by God’s people. These women were called by God to lead and instruct his people.

    There are many women named in the bible specifically for their ministry. Paul’s ministries had many women connected to them. All of them are held in high regard with Paul. Pheobe, Mary and Junice are mentioned with affectionate regard. Tryphena and Tryphosa who “labored in the Lord” and Persis who “labored much in the Lord” and the unnamed mother of Rufus whom Paul called his mother also (Meyer 13). Also mentioned in Acts, were Dorcus, Lydia and Pricilla and Philips four daughters. Dorcus also known as Tabatha, in Acts 9:36, is called a disciple and is known for her good works. Lydia was the first European convert and was noted as attending to the things that Paul had spoken.
     
  12. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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    Pt 2

    The most striking example of female leadership is often written out of most modern versions of the Bible and explained away by most modern commentators. This example comes from another of Paul’s long lists of greetings in Romans 16:7 which is usually translated just about as it is in the Revised Standard Version, “Greet Andronicus and Junias, my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners; they are men of note among the apostles, and they were in Christ before me.” “…Interpreters are realizing that this is a serious mistranslation of the verse”. (Furnishings 108) The second name can be translated as “Junia,” the Greek equivalent of the common Roman name for females’ or as “Junias” (not “Junias” conceivably the shortened form of the (male) name Junianus (109). Since this name is otherwise unattested, the correct translation must be “Junia”. This means that the RSV is correct when it changes the word men into a subsequent phrase, “Greet Andronicus and Junia, my kinfolk and my fellow prisoners; they are outstanding among the apostles, and they were in Christ before me (109). Most important to this is that Paul numbers Junia as well as Andronicus among the apostles.

    The first Deaconess ever mentioned by name was Phoebe. Paul commended the care of men to Phoebe and said that she had been a helper to him (Wyker 23). Nearly all authorities agree that the proper translation of Diakonos in Romans 16:1 should be “Phoebe…a deaconess” instead of “Phoebe…a servant.” (Meyer 13). A Deaconess is defined as a teacher, pastor, servant or minister (Strong’s 10). In I Timothy 3:8-13 a deacon is defined and verse 11 plainly includes women “Even so must their wives be grave…” (Wyker 30). This shows that women can also be a large part of their husband’s ministry. Women were also used in the New Testament as ministers of God. Anna, the prophetess, (like Deborah also a married woman) was used when she declared to all them that wanted redemption that Jesus would be the giver of salvation in Luke 2:36.

    In Acts 2:17-18 Peter quotes Joel 2:28-32 as saying “Your sons and your daughters will prophesy…Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my spirit. In this chapter in Acts, the events are some of the most important in church history. Where God extended his ministry and in this passage women were included in the number that were called (Liefeld 135).

    In Acts chapter one women are placed with men in the prayers. In verse 14 they all, “devoted themselves in prayer along with the women” women were not excluded then as equals. Galatians 3:28 shows that in the Kingdom of God there is no sexes so how can a woman be excluded from the ministry. In Ephesians 6:1 it says for children to honor their father and mother. It does not say that a man-child should only honor his father. Showing an equality in the heading of the children. Therefore establishing in a sense the equal role that males and females play in a marriage.

    Perhaps the most important example of the equality of men and women is in that of Aquilla and Priscilla. Paul held Pricilla in the same respect as Aquilla so much so that he used the familiar form of her name, Prisca. Pricilla was placed as a team with her being as much a part of their ministry as he was. When Paul greeted them he did so as equals as in I Corinthians 16:19 “Aquilla and Prisca, together with the Church in their house, send you hearty greetings in the Lord” Paul’s reference to “their house” may seem normal enough in today’s terms but in Paul’s day it was far less common. One would expect Paul to say “Aquilla’s house”. That Paul uses a plural possessive may suggest something about Paul’s view on the marriage itself as well as his understanding the role of Pricilla in the leadership of the Church. Even when they instructed Apollos, a well renowned and eloquent preacher, Priscilla was part of it as an equal. When she and Aquilla heard him and did not fully agree with the gospel he was preaching “they took him and expounded to him the way of God more accurately” (Acts 18:24-25). This shows the theological instruction of both male and female husband and wife (Furnish 106). They had both commissioned him so they both had a part (Harkness 63).

    Every time in the bible Jesus is ministered to it is either by women or angels. In Luke 10 Mary made herself a disciple at Jesus’ feet. Matthew 27:55 “And many women were there beholding afar off, which followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him” and Luke 8:1-3, where women are mentioned by name and many others and are recognized for ministering to Jesus with their substance, are just some examples of women ministering to Jesus. Women are all given the same requirements for salvation and called to do the same works and have the same spirit inside that leads them to do the things of God.

    Jesus is no respecter of persons according to Acts 10:34. He has made no exceptions to any of the laws of salvation. There are many things in God’s word that we must all do, for God has commissioned us all. Galatians 3:28. We are all equal in God’s eyes, we are his son’s and daughter. Jesus himself recognized the spiritual and intellectual capabilities of women at Jacob’s well, where he held a theological discussion with a harlot (Ryrie 27) Jesus did not reject or disapprove of the witness she took that brought many men unto him, showing that women may indeed work to retain sinners (29). Mark 16:15-18 states that when they believe they shall cast out devils and speak with tongues and lay hand on the sick this was said of every creature that the eleven ministered to.

    Even in modern day churches women do hold offices of ministers. They are accepted as Sunday school teachers and instruct the children, which are most able to be influenced at those ages but cannot instruct men under the leadership of God. Women are permitted to sing songs that speak the same message as some sermons but they cannot say them without music? Why can women teach foreign missions and preach to foreign men yet cannot minister to American men? Why can women speak of the love of God in John 3:16 but not of the other aspects of God? (Liefield 129). Many of these beliefs are based on the positions of Paul but as it has been shown those arguments are not valid.

    Women in the broadest sense are to work for the Lord. They may have many positions and offices in our churches. According to scripture if a married woman can be submissive to her husband and still minister she may due that without consequence as shown in the examples of Deborah and Priscilla. Many other unmarried women were used greatly of God and led his people. Some of the women were so regarded as to be called prophets and deacons. Women are just as much a part of today’s ministries as they were in the bible.:)
     
  13. James the Persian

    James the Persian Dreptcredincios Crestin

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    Sorry, but there are three orders mentioned in the NT: deacons, priests and bishops. (I am not talking about the universal priesthood of all followers of Christ here, but organisation of the Church). The word priest in English is a corruption of presbyter, which means elder, just as bishop comes from episcopos meaning overseer. The elders and overseers seem rather confused in the early Church, but both orders are there. Are you trying to say that we should only have deacons and deaconesses? If so, I suggest you read your scripture again, preferrably using a translation that is as close as possible to the original Greek.

    James
     
  14. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Oldest Heretic

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    I would suggest that the practice amongst the Jews was for only men to be the equivalent to our Priests.women were quite commonly priestesses in the pagan and roman world, even Gods.
    I think Paul and the Apostles continued the Jewish tradition. though I think there must have been an undercurrent that lead to the Gnostics and the strong belief that Mary Magdalene was an apostle.

    To day many Christian Churches see the Man only Idea as Baggage picked up from the Jewish faith and the male oriented ideas of the time. Rather than a decision of Christs made for all
    time. And so they have ordained women as priests.
    Had Christ arrived in our time and in view of his exceptionally liberal teaching in other matters and the fact that that women were an intrinsic part of his life and work, I am sure he would have had women Apostles and approved of women priests.
    Terry
    ___________________________________
    Blessed are the poor in spirit, the kingdom of heaven is theirs.
     
  15. Melody

    Melody Well-Known Member

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    "
    You must spread some Karma around before giving it to Terrywoodenpic again."

    Ratzenfratzen :149: . I'll try to remember to come back later (she says as she tries to remember where she put down her glasses...yet again).
     
  16. reyjamiei

    reyjamiei Member

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    If God does not see gender, why would he, or how could he create man and woman, male and female?
     
  17. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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    Out of interest, from where do we know that God 'does not see gender'?:confused:
     
  18. reyjamiei

    reyjamiei Member

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    I never said that God doesn't see gender, your question was the point of my post, I only quoted from womenofdestiny and asked, How could God create gender if he can't see it?
     
  19. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

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    ** Moved to debate forum.
     
  20. Linus

    Linus Well-Known Member

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    You interpret those passages quite differently than I. That's for sure...
     
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