Friday, July 23, 2010

Women Preachers???

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.


Rebecca (me!) said...

I took a class last summer that taught many topics on being a Biblical week, it covered Submission.....and we really dug into the scripture regarding Women first, I was really upset that anyone would say women should not be in leadership roles and left one church because of, like you, I see the light and the freedom that comes with it!!

Marvin said...

I agree with the scriptures and still say if men won't be men then women will be.One of the greatest influence in my life is my wife. I heard Chuck Swindoll say that the Holy Spirts voice seemed alot like his wifes voice. Remember Jesus words And he did not permit him but said to him, “Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.”Hey that's something even a guy like me can do. The lord bless you in His Preplaned Path ways. John

Stacy said...

Just stopping by for the first time. So nice to meet you and loved your post. As the coordinator of our Women's Ministry at our church, and a student of God's Word, I say Amen to all that you have shared. I, too, believe that God says in Galatians there is neither "Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male or female, for we are all one in Christ Jesus." But He is also very clear that a woman is not to be over a man in any capacity. You did a wonderful job explaining and backing up with God's Word.

We, as women, have been called to teach our children, (Deut. 6) to teach the younger women (Titus 2) and to be witnesses to Christ. But too many women think that they also need to be teachers of men and thus being head over them.

I look forward to stopping by again.

In Christ,

The London Lady said...

It's rare that you find a woman, especially a talented woman, who is willing to submit to God's ways and not her own ways. We can argue it away and convince ourselves we are honouring the Lord but if we are going outside of God's will then we are not pleasing him. I was encouraged by your post, Leigh - keep up the writing!

Speaking Thru Me Ministries said...

Thank you all for your kind words of encouragement!

Stacy - I was just at your blog and found out about your battle with cancer. I am sorry to hear this but have lifted you to the Lord. Also, if your church had a need for a speaker some time I would feel so honored to be considered. I pray all is going well for you!

Much love, Leigh

Aimee said...

I'm confused. So what will happen to women who preach and teach in mixed congregations and Bible study classes? Are they going to hell just because of sharing and expounding God's Word? Do we condemn them and judge them? Maybe they they have not truly accepted Jesus Christ because they failed to interpret correctly or they ignored 1 Timothy 2? What will happen to women pastors who believe they've been called by God to that particular ministry? Should we doubt their calling as teachers and women pastors? Deborah (Bible) did not speak for just one time. She was a judge of the Israelites, a leader. If you are a leader, could you really just speak, preach, or teach, counsel, rebuke, whatever you want to call it, for just one time to male species? If no man (male) answers God's calling to him to shepherd the church, what would God do? Maybe He'll just command a rock to pastor His flock. And what happened to "know the context of the Scripture to be able to come up with a right interpretation"? Do we exclude that rule to Paul's letters to Timothy? And another thing, what if men in the church have turned into false preachers (that's still possible), should I still listen to them because they will hold against me 1 Timothy 2 if I'd disagree with them and rebuke them. I'm confused.