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Should Women Be In Ministry Or Not?

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Should Women Be in Ministry or Not?
10:00AM EST 2/12/2013 Ron Cantor with Dr. Daniel C. Juster


I am a little nervous as my fingers hit the keyboard. Seeing what kind of firestorm was unleashed from blogs by Lee Grady and Jennifer LeClaire, both excellent writers—do I really dare add my two cents on women in ministry?

Ahhh, why not?

Government vs. Ministry
Is it possible that both camps are right to some degree? We must separate governmental authority from ministry gifts. For the most part, men are called to govern (eldership), but women can teach, preach, prophesy, etc. (see Eph. 4 regarding spiritual gifts). Yes, there are exceptions like Deborah. But Deborah is one of a handful of women used at that level of governmental authority. It is the exception, not the rule.

It would hard for a woman to be the husband of one wife (although Ellen seems happy:-)), however that is not a qualification to preach and teach or do miracles, but to sit on the elders’ board (see 1 Tim. 3), which is the primary governing body in a local congregation (at least in the New Testament). Yes, there can be exceptions, but the rule is that God calls men to govern.

It does appear that the Scriptures here and in Titus 1 are saying that an elder is to be one who leads his household, and Scripture gives that role of leadership to men. It cannot just be a cultural limitation for the time, since it is found in most cultures of the world and ratified in the patterns of Biblical leadership. However, the Bible greatly elevates women and their potential roles. Women are equally created in God’s image; that is quite a gain from most cultures. Hence, the Bible’s view of men governing should not hold back women from ministering.

As those who have a high view of biblical inspiration, we cannot think that Paul’s prescriptive teaching yielded to demeaning women. Role distinctions are clear in Ephesians 5, 1 Timothy 3, and 1 Peter 3. We would be foolish to not recognize the God-ordained differences between men and women.

We are quick to blast homosexuality because two men can't make a baby—it is not natural, we say. Valid argument, but God also did not create men with the ability to breastfeed. Men and women are different. That is a good thing! We complement each other. I am so happy to be married to someone who doesn’t look like me and act like me, but to a beautiful woman, who keeps me from making foolish mistakes because she is not like me.

What About Galatians 3:28?
Good question, and as a Messianic Jew who still believes Israel is called and chosen, I am well versed in explaining this often misunderstood passage.

"There is neither Jew nor Greek, neither slave nor free, nor is there male nore female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Gal. 3:28).

This passage is dealing with our standing in the Messiah, ability to approach God and the availability of salvation. When it comes to eternal life, God’s love for us and our status before him, there is no difference between men and women. In context, he was not talking about women in ministry, but the fact that Gentiles do not have to keep Torah (Jewish Law) in order to receive salvation. Just as the Jews are still called to live as Jews (see Rom. 3:1-3, 11:29) men and women have different roles.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist or a biblical scholar to see that God made us different. I know I am treading on thin ice here, but for the most part, wouldn’t you agree that the average male has more ability to govern than the average female? More of a tendency to the rational (which is sometimes a problem!). And wouldn’t you agree that the average female is far more merciful, loving and caring than the average male? Far more sensitive to the needs of others? I know there are exceptions, but by and large, this holds true.

The healthiest churches that I have witnessed are not ones led by women, or dominating men, or a power couple, but ones led by a team of male elders, who value their wives' input. This is the New Testament pattern.

What about Priscilla?
Let’s assume, though scripture is not clear, that Priscilla was an apostolic leader. Let’s assume that she led a team of men. If that is true, then she is the one example of a woman holding governing authority in the New Testament. And what that says to me is, like Deborah, there are rare exceptions, but that is not the rule.

I just taught in a Filipino Bible school in Tel Aviv. The leadership is all female. The students are all female, except for one man. They are migrant workers in Israel. God is using the female pastor in mighty way, as there are very few Filipino males in Israel. She is a Deborah.

Covering and Protecting
Having said that, in our congregation, which is led by a senior leader and team of elders, we love it when our women preach, prophesy and teach. We have a woman on the regular preaching rotation and she may be the finest teacher in all of Israel. But she is not an elder.

One of the roles of eldership is to cover our women when they minister, to protect them from spiritual warfare. I understand that very statement can be seen as condescending to women, but I don’t mean it that way. I know my wife, who is a strong-willed Israeli—nobody’s pushover, is grateful when I lay hands on her and chase away the enemy, and as her husband I have the authority to do so.

Jesus the Radical
We fail to understand how radical Jesus was in regard to women. In His time, women were greatly devalued—much like they are today in many Islamic nations. When he stood against the Pharisees at the Temple as they sought to goad him into stoning the women caught in adultery, that was radical! When the Holy Spirit moved Paul to write passages that would speak of a husband having genuine affection for his wife, and laying down his life in love for her, that was radical!

It was not the norm for a husband in those days to regard his wife in this way—as someone to be cherished, protected, someone for whom he would be willing to die. You have no idea how radical this teaching was. Asking a man to express unconditional love and affection for his wife was unheard of. Western culture has Yeshua to thank for this shift. Without the teachings of the New Covenant, the West would never have become as civilized as it is.

That being said, if God wanted women carrying governmental authority in the congregation, then He would have led Paul to write that. God was not afraid of offending the culture.

Conclusion
•God loves and values men and women equally.
•Men and women have different roles and giftings.
•Women can and should minister.
•However, they should do so under the covering of a board of elders.

Ron Cantor is the director of Messiah’s Mandate International in Israel, a Messianic Ministry dedicated to taking the message of Jesus from Israel to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8). Ron also travels internationally teaching on the Jewish Roots of the New Testament. He serves on the pastoral team of Tiferet Yeshua, a Hebrew-speaking congregation in Tel Aviv. His newest book, Identity Theft, will be released on April 16th. Follow him at @RonSCantor on Twitter.

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He's basing his conclusion on the wrong premise. Women can teach and prophesy... but not to men! "For I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority..."  When Paul visited the man with several daughters who prophesied, God still sent a man over to prophesy to him.  This writer appears to be rather Charismatic in his views and approach.

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So I hold a position in male dominated local government where I contribute my opinion (professional & personal) that will affect an entire community... is that a woman in a position of authority that shouldn't be? Do I have to much authority? Technically I am in a "governmental authority" position.

 

Personally I do not agree with women as heads to churches/congregations. I dislike it a great deal because that is not where G_d wants us to be. I do however believe there are many areas in which a women can contribute a great deal in the churches/congregations.

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Christ is not, was not, radical!  People are the radicals who've gone off course and rebelled against God.  Well, what is one to expect from ecumenical,  liberal Christians?

The teachings of Christ were radical to the people of that day, even to some people of today. That's the point made in the article, not that Jesus was some "radical nut" as we most often think of radicals today.

 

Women in the days of Christ and the Apostles were mostly viewed lowly, even basically as property by some. The teachings of Jesus that women had equal standing with men before God, that women should be loved and treated well, were radical ideas to most people.

 

Much of what we in the West take for granted as normal, decent and right ideas towards women is something that came from the New Testament. In much of the world that hasn't adopted the teachings of the New Testament women are still often viewed as lower than men, sometimes on about the same level as animals.

 

In areas such as this, women people come to Christ and follow Him there is radical transformation in households, the community and sometimes throughout the society.

 

Beyond all that, I posted this because I don't recall ever hearing the arguments put forth in that article before. I've heard many arguments for and against women preaching and their involvement (or not) in church leadership, but not put forth as in this article.  

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In the New Testament, how many bishops, deacons, elders, or any other God ordained ministerial positions in the Bible are held by women? Any examples I've heard before are often very unclear and controversial.

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In the New Testament, how many bishops, deacons, elders, or any other God ordained ministerial positions in the Bible are held by women? Any examples I've heard before are often very unclear and controversial.

I've never heard of a legitimate one. Some claim there were women deacons (deconess), while others claim Priscilla and some of the other women mentioned in the New Testament were preachers and/or church leaders. There is no Scripture to support these claims, only their own speculation based upon their desire for support of such.

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Both man & woman, if they follow God, doing his will, they play a very important role, yet when they get out of their role, whether man or woman, they become nothing but a false teacher.

 

Its not surprising that the majority of people would support women in any endeavor they chose.

 

2Pe 3:3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,

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Yet all of us (saved men, women, & children) are called to be ministers of the gospel, right!

 

 

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 18  And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19  To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
 
I would conclude that any Christian of any gender can minister to the unsaved world to bring them to Christ, but only godly faithful Christian men are ordained to minister to the saved.

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The teachings of Christ were radical to the people of that day, even to some people of today. That's the point made in the article, not that Jesus was some "radical nut" as we most often think of radicals today.

 

Women in the days of Christ and the Apostles were mostly viewed lowly, even basically as property by some. The teachings of Jesus that women had equal standing with men before God, that women should be loved and treated well, were radical ideas to most people.

 

Much of what we in the West take for granted as normal, decent and right ideas towards women is something that came from the New Testament. In much of the world that hasn't adopted the teachings of the New Testament women are still often viewed as lower than men, sometimes on about the same level as animals.

 

In areas such as this, women people come to Christ and follow Him there is radical transformation in households, the community and sometimes throughout the society.

 

Beyond all that, I posted this because I don't recall ever hearing the arguments put forth in that article before. I've heard many arguments for and against women preaching and their involvement (or not) in church leadership, but not put forth as in this article.  

 

The teachings of Christ were not really radical to those who submitted to Him, only to those who rejected Him. And of course the religious leaders of that day rejected totally Him, for His ways tore up their play houses. They had it made, they were looked up to, they had the respect of the people, wherever they went they were recognized, they had the best seats in the synagogues, temples, & they loved it. They wanted no changes at all.

 

Lu 6:11 And they were filled with madness; and communed one with another what they might do to Jesus.

 

Lu 13:14 And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because that Jesus had healed on the sabbath day, and said unto the people, There are six days in which men ought to work: in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the sabbath day.

 

 

Joh 5:15 The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus, which had made him whole.
Joh 5:16 And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day.

 

Yes, to them Jesus was radical, & they hated Him, with Him their authority would be nothing, they would lose their respect, lose the best seats, they would be just common people, & with all their might they tried to ruin Him, & of course they finally murdered Him.

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In the New Testament, how many bishops, deacons, elders, or any other God ordained ministerial positions in the Bible are held by women? Any examples I've heard before are often very unclear and controversial.

 

Example or not, we need to abide by the Word.

 

 

1Ti 3:1 ¶ This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.
1Ti 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

 

1Ti 3:12 Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.

 

 

Tit 1:6 ¶ If any be blameless, the husband of one wife

 

1st, it starts off, "if a man desires," not a woman, & in both cases it says, the husband of one wife, so its very clear, God requires a man to hold either position, not a woman. So if a new Testament Church is abiding by the Bible they will not have women in leadership roles.

 

Of course if a church is not a New Testament Church they're free to do as they please, & the majority of churches in this world are man made churches of which Jesus has nothing to do with

.

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Women have taught men in the truth (Acts 18:26) but they are not to hold a position of authority over men in the church. The thing is most churches I know of are ruled by women, including many IFB churches, even if they don't hold an official office within the local church over the men.

 

I've been to churches where the men didn't dare think of having any get together without the women yet the women are always having get togethers and bible studies with one another. This is the trend that is in America as a whole. Males are discouraged from taking control and even bereated. My brother's pastor (SBC) admitted to him that the women and children ran his church. They pretty much determined which ministries were going to be run and what was going to be preached. This is one big reason why men aren't interested in church anymore. 

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The issue is not women in ministry but the lack of men in ministry. Women are doing a great job ministering to other women and children but we, men, are doing a terrible job taking charge and ministrering to other men and the church. It is our fault that women are doing what God calls us to do. A lot of men are abandoning their roles as leaders not only in church but at home and women have not choice but to lead in those areas. I personally know 5 women that are raising their children and their husbands are not where near. If we want to stop the controversy, then men need to step up to their role, as God intented. 

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Even in churches where men have stepped up, there's women trying to take over.

 

And if the woman would abide by the Word, they would not do what God tells them not to do.

 

The reason woman are trying to be leaders is because of  SIN, the SIN of wanting to do what they should not.

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