LET THE LADY SPEAK, Y'ALL
by CHARLES ROBEY
(MOODY AL USA)
There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28)
Can women preach or teach in church? Well, what a loaded question. Especially, in today's society. The answer to this question, whether "pro" or "con", has probably caused as many church splits, as any other controversial subject. And Satan has probably used this one issue, more than any others, to cause divisions in the structured church. (Ephesians 6:12)
So, here goes my summation on the subject.
The main issue is not so much that of "women preachers, as it is how we define the church. Church is simply where two or three are gathered together in His name. (Matthew 18:20) So, once we understand the definition of “church” the whole debate about whether or not it is wrong for women to preach or teach in church fades away into insignificance.
First, an understanding of God's church. The church is made up of God's people. So, this definition of the church may just happen in a number of scenarios, when God's people get together. Be it two or three around a dinner table, five or six in a living room coffee or tea, seven or eight at a public coffee shop, or larger gatherings in some other facility, for the purpose of spreading the gospel. Why then may women not speak and teach in a structured church service?
These afore mentioned gatherings are also the church, are they not, when the things of the Kingdom are discussed or taught? And both men and women are usually together at these type arrangements. Why can women speak and teach in one context, but not in structured brick and mortar church house?
For those who may think that it is wrong for women to preach in church, I would ask them this: “Is it wrong for women to speak in Sunday school or home group Bible studies?” And again, what's the difference?
You see, the early church actually started in the home. (Acts2:41-47) It is only now, in recent times with our vast diversity of denominations, that this quest has come to preference.
Some may argue that the Bible distinguishes a woman as the weaker sex. However, women are not as much the weaker sex, as they are tender hearted (I Peter 3:4). And this virtue, of being tender hearted, is paradoxically her weakness. Her virtue of gentleness leaves her vulnerable to abuse and in that sense "weaker." Paul goes on to say here that "even if you suffer for righteousness sake you are blessed. (I Peter 3:14)
No decent man would ever exploit this vulnerability in women. However, Satan surely did, by approaching the woman first with his original temptation. (Genesis 3:1-7) So, if the woman was the first to surrender to Satan's temptation, which caused mankind's inbred sin (Romans 3:27), why then should women not be allowed to publicly announce the remedy for this sin, which is God's salvation? (Romans 5:8)
Some rely on (I Timothy 2:11-12) as a basis of the argument against women preachers. Yet Paul also praised certain women for helping him in the ministry. Women such as Phoebe (Romans 16:1-2), Junia (Romans 16:7) and Priscilla, who helped lay foundations in the early church (I Cor 16:19) In (Phil 4:2-3) Paul expresses solidarity with two women leaders, Euodia and Syntyche. And he refers to other women who obviously led churches, such as Chloe (I Cor 1:11) and Nympha (Cor 4:15), and he does not try to silence or restrict them.
However, the New Testament mentions a wide variety of leaders in the church: apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers, bishops, elders and deacons. What are these offices? Are they commanded for the church today? I say yes. (Ephesians 4:11-12)-12) Christ Himself gave these positions. And women in a church leadership role, doesn't automatically translate to pastoring. (Titus 2:1-4)
My main theme here is proclaiming the gospel, be it given by man or women. Whether given in a structured church, or elsewhere. Please read the apostle Paul's concluding personal remarks to the Colossian people. (Colossian 4:7-18) Colossians 4:7-18) You see, God created both men and women (Genesis 2:18)), and to Him all mankind are equal.(Galatians 3:28)
God's very nature is revealed through both genders. (Genesis 1:26-28) This is why the biblical definition of a family is a father and a mother. If a child needs both parents to learn the ways of God (Prov 1:8-9), then surely we need instruction from both men and women in the church.
The "Great Commission" was given to all mankind, to spread the gospel. (Matthew 28:18-20) and the fruits of the "Spirit" were given to all mankind as well. (Galatians 5:22-23)
In conclusion, I failed to give mention any given official titles or positions proclaimed by any structured church's "Ecclesiastical Hierarchy". I leave that particular duty up to the church's "By-Laws", and Constitutions".
So, what do you think, about this subject? I would be interested to get your insight. Just be kind in your remarks, please.
Author's Post Script
I assume the jury is still out on this one. With a miss-trial of today’s making. So, here goes,
When we, as a church, stop fighting over these non-essential issues and divisive doctrines of man, and begin to come together "without regard to divisions," as was the case in the early church (Acts 2:41-47), then we will see the glory of the Lord covering the earth and a massive move of revival by the Spirit of God sweeping our nations. God help us move forward in love, honor, and respect - for Your glory alone. Amen!
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