Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Women Preachers - MacArthur

This past few days I have been studying about "God's High Calling For Women" by Mac Arthur. I mean he is awesome. He preaches much like Dr. Rummage at our church giving lots of Greek, Hebrew explanations, and really exposing each word in the scripture. The resources that this preacher has developed over time are incredible. I believe Grace To You is the name of his ministry in California.

So anyway, I was very interested in hearing his exposition on the role of women in the church as far as teachers, preachers, prophets, etc. I know there will be some that read this and are immediately turned off by the truth so let me give you the bottom line immediately. Men and women have different roles in the church. Not lesser or greater, but different. "In terms of spiritual blessing, we have equality", but still our roles are very different. To be a preacher in authority over men and women by a woman - it should not be. To speak in authority or teach in authority, it should not be. A woman should not pastor, should not be an elder, etc. Any kind of position that she is "leading" a man or has authority over him - it should not be! There you go!! Now give me a moment to back it up in scripture.

1 Tim. 2:9-15 - ok what we have going on here in this passage are women going to worship in clothes that are not suitable to bring Him honor, praise, and adoration. They were dressed in such a way to see their own glory and to distract from the true purpose. Then in verse 10 Paul talks about their testimony. We are to act and dress in a way that supports our profession - our life calling to live as Christ, to give evidence of our salvation. So it is impossible to be in the will of God by being "in the ministry" and yet claiming to preach and teach men and have authority over them.

So it goes on to say that "let the women learn". What was happening - women were way over-reacting to their submission. They had been suppressed for so long so instead of acting in the appropriate manner, they were way over reacting to this and trying to usurp male leadership, rise up and take over. Sounds like a female to me. But, no Paul was saying, yes oh yes, let them learn, but not in an overt manner. They have every right to learn, just not be in authority over men. Women could teach women. Just not preach, teach, lead men. Men and women have equality in spiritual blessing in the church, just different roles. And women leading men is not it!
Ex. 19-20 - 10 commandments were given to men and women
Deut. 6 - all instruction was given to men and women
Ex. 12 - Passover - both were responsible for festivals
Ex. 21:28-31 - equality in value of life
Num. 6:2 - Nazarite vow was for men and women - I never knew this!!!
Prov. 6:20 - both men and women knew the law and were expected to teach it to the children.
Neh. 7 - men and women helping in worship
Ex. 38 - women served at the door of the tabernacle

Once again, we have the same spiritual blessings and expectations, etc., but we do not have the same roles. In the OT and the NT there are no women kings, priests, preachers, elders, evangelists, pastors, prophets, etc. That does not mean that women were not loved by God or anything like that, but that we have different roles. 1 Pet. 3 says that we are the weaker vessel. That "weaker" is like fine china, not lesser in value.

In the OT there are 5 women that are called prophetesses. They at no time had an ongoing prophetic ministry, just prophesied on a given occasion.
Miriam - led the women in praise and worship, but not the whole group.
Deborah - used one time to give a revelation to Barak
Huldah - God spoke through her on one occasion
Noahdia - she was a false prophet in Neh. 6:14
Wife of Isaiah - she gave birth to a child whose NAME had prophetic meaning!

And lastly in the NT -
Jesus first revealed his Messiahship to a women - at the well!
Luke 13 and Mark 5 - women healed
Luke 10:48 - taught women
" 8:3 - women took care of Jesus in His entourage
" 11:28 - first appeared to women

This whole study has been very revealing to me and quite eye opening. I know now I can no longer address a whole congregation as I have done in the past. I do remember one time going to a whole church and the preacher sitting on the front row. I knew something was not right. I was very uncomfortable, but was not quite sure that I had done something wrong. Now I know - this is not the way God intends things! To live in obedience is so much more important to me than to feel right or even valued. I know my Heavenly Father values me more than words can express and more than the human heart can ever feel.

Thank you Lord for this teaching today. I now also understand why Beth Moore is adamant about being in women's ministry. She always makes sure that is what is understood. I know there are some men that come to her conferences, but I guess she is not in control over that. You are blessing her efforts miraculously and it appears her heart and motives are pure and right. Human, certainly, but seeking You and trying to remain in Your righteousness. Lord, thank you again for this. I want to live in Your righteousness and in Your will. I want to be lead by You and held accountable to Your standards. Thank you for raising the bar and making known to me Your expectations. Forgive me for the times I was just ignorant. I have to keep studying Your wonderful Word and learning from the best teacher of all! I love you!


heather said...

I know that Beth's studies are primarily for women and that she has a heart for women, but she spoke at Belmont Church (the entire congregation) more than once. She also speaks at the Passion conferences which are coed. When I went to her Sunday School class, I feel pretty certain that it was coed as well (though it was a while ago) so I'm not sure that she only speaks to/teaches women.

Leigh Gray said...

Hey Cousin Heather!! You have some really good points. Our mutual friend, Amy H. in Houston, has made me aware of some different perspecitves as well. I love anything that causes sisters in Christ to talk about things of Him and not each other! LOL! I am certainly on the learning curve. Thank you for causing me to think again!! You are the best!!! Love you!