Women In The Ministry Summary


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Women In The Ministry Summary

  1. 1. 1 Women In The Ministry SummaryThe scriptures generally used against women in the ministry:1 Tim 2:11-15 ~ . 11-Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. 12-But Isuffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be insilence. 13-For Adam was first formed, then Eve. 14-And Adam was not deceived,but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. 15-Notwithstanding sheshall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holinesswith sobriety.1 Cor. 14:34 ~ 34-Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is notpermitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, asalso saith the law. 35-And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbandsat home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.See the article at the Dunamis Word entitled “Women in Ministry, Is There Sexism In TheChristian Church?” for the basic elements of this argument.The first stop to understanding this topic is to discover the sitz-em-laban of scripture. This is theactual historical setting in which the scripture was recorded. This leads the bible student todiscover not only the “what” of scripture, as in what was actually said, but also the “why” ofscripture, as in what purpose did the scripture or instruction serve.We must make note, of the actual setting to say that the church was a growing first centurychurch experiencing an influx of people both in Corinth and in Asia that had little point ofreference for Jewish Tradition, ethic or concept of synagogue. They were certainly unfamiliar inmany cases with morally relative customs of the Jews. Many of these customs however existedand continued within the first century chuuch especially prior to the second temple destruction in70AD.7 Lines Of Argumentation That Make A Powerful Case In Favor 1-Jesus Commissions Women This may be the single most important piece of evidence that Jesus not only calls women to service, but that he gives them instructions for men and to direct men and mankind in general even telling forth his word without regard to gender. (Matt. 28:10, Mark, 16: 7, Luke 24:7-12, John 20:1-2) Provided Courtesy Of Supt. Harvey Burnett ~ The Dunamis Word/ New Bethel COGIC P.O. Box 6167 Peoria, IL. 61602 www.bethelburnett.blogspot.com Dunamis1@netzero.com
  2. 2. 2 All three synoptic gospels record this plus the gospel of John, thus making this one of the most thoroughly verified events of the NT. This was against the culture and prevailing thoughts of the day. Jesus commissions women in all gospel accounts. Like the baptism of John, which was to validate the works of John and pronounce a new kingdom, Jesus giving the women charge was a SOLID, sound and irrefutable assertion that Women could be and were commissioned by Jesus to do works of tell forth or forth-telling the word of God.Dr. John P Mier in his book, "A Marginal Jew" points out on more than one occasion that Pauls epistlesoften have a strong Jewish and Pharisaic overtone. In fact at this juncture, and also 1 Cor. 11, PaulsPharisaic Judaism seeps out more strongly than at other times. This is the key to understanding whatPaul was referencing when he spoke about women learning in subjection and in silence and not usurpingauthority over men. As it pertains to women learning in silence and subjection, Clarkes BibleCommentary states the following regarding Pauls admonition to women in the verses: "This was a Jewish ordinance; women were not permitted to teach in the assemblies, or even to ask questions. The rabbins taught that "a woman should know nothing but the use of her distaff." And the sayings of Rabbi Eliezer, as delivered, Bammidbar Rabba, sec. 9, fol. 204, are both worthy of remark and of execration; they are these: ‫ לנשים ימסרו ואל תורה דברי ישרפו‬yisrephu dibrey torah veal yimsaru lenashim, "Let the words of the law be burned, rather than that they should be delivered to women." This was their condition till the time of the Gospel, when, according to the prediction of Joel, the Spirit of God was to be poured out on the women as well as the men, that they might prophesy, i.e. teach."As a “cultural” practice, women did not debate or dispute men in public. This was culture,not command of God. This was why we also see the men struggling with accepting the words ofthese women after Jesus commissioned them. That denial was an ANE or OT paradigm. This hadnothing to do with the LIBERATION that was brought and delivered by Jesus. 2- We Are Redeemed From The Curse Of The Law It is clear that Women being “behind” a man was based on customs and practice and was of the OT motif. It was part of the curse of the law. Gen 3:16 outlines the curse, “Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee”. In fact Paul, when dealing with these issues that were of “specific instance” as we will outline later, invokes 2 common OT motifs to establish the subjection of women. Provided Courtesy Of Supt. Harvey Burnett ~ The Dunamis Word/ New Bethel COGIC P.O. Box 6167 Peoria, IL. 61602 www.bethelburnett.blogspot.com Dunamis1@netzero.com
  3. 3. 3 A- Judaic Assumption: WOMEN CAN BE READILY DECEIVED (1 Tim. 2:14): This was a throwback to Paul’s Pharisaic heritage. That women should be subject because Eve aka: “women” was deceived in the Garden and because Eve was deceived and Adam was not, therefore the transgression was upon her. (1 Tim. 2:15) (also see Paul’s parallel to spiritual deception or reversion from tenets of faith basing it on the physical nature of being a woman pointing out Eve… 2 Cor. 11:3 ~ But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. [Caveat and Retort: It is Paul’s Pharisaic training (Acts 22:3) that leads him to his conclusions that the women’s position and resultant actions were somehow the issue. I don’t believe that Paul’s teaching was a universal command and was CASE SPECIFIC for three reasons 2 of which I will outline here: 1- There is ample evidence to be found in the fact that Paul declares that it wasn’t the sin of Eve that brought about the curse of sin, but that it was the sin of Adam: Rom. 5:12 ~ Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: This is important because it could shed light on why Paul approached the subject dealing with the Church at Corinth the way he did providing a specific polemic to deal with specific issues. Language also indicates that as we will see later. Gamaliel Died probably AD 50 was said to be one of the greatest teachers of Judaism. 2 - The historical accounts of Paul’s teacher, Gamaliel indicate that he was a proponent of women’s rights under Judaism and interpreted the law in favor of women This gives insight into why Paul’s position on marriage was unique, especially when combined with commands and instructions that he received “from the Lord”. In addition, Gamaliel was not violent in his view of various religions and there is no evidence that he persecuted Christians as we see in his student Saul. For these reasons I propose that Saul vacated his teacher’s motif in some places, in favor of placating the larger Pharisaic community as he himself indicates that he was zealous of the law above his fellows. (Phil. 3:6, Acts 21:20 , 22:3) He wanted notoriety and catered to the mass teaching of religious and nationalistic purity. Thus it was God’s “service” for him to have certain put to death in the “name of God” Provided Courtesy Of Supt. Harvey Burnett ~ The Dunamis Word/ New Bethel COGICP.O. Box 6167 Peoria, IL. 61602 www.bethelburnett.blogspot.com Dunamis1@netzero.com
  4. 4. 4 Subsequently, after salvation, Saul, now Paul, was not a killer, but his background would bring to light why he would have simply reduced the polemic to the subjugation of women in the particular settings that he was addressing. Simply put, telling the women to quiet down during the corporate gatherings and learn from their husbands at home, was the most easy argument to make, Further Paul makes that argument without the necessarily saying that God was specifically saying to do so as we shall discover. B- THIS “LORDSHIP” OF THE MAN WAS ACCORDING TO THE LAW OR OT PARADIGM (1 Cor. 14:34): An unavoidable consequence of accepting the literalness of Paul’s argument, assuming a universal command, without regard to context is the inescapable fact that the root of Paul’s teaching in this area was according to Law or an OT paradigm rather than a NT move or revelation of God in the subject. (which will be dealt with in a minute)It is clear from all available, extant resources that Paul invoked the prevailing Jewish thought onthe subject. This is a key issue. We can trace through historical study exactly what Pre-NTJewish religious teachers taught regarding the issue of woman. From my article ON THEDunamis Word entitled, “Sexism In The Christian Church”[Caveat and Retort: We have been redeemed from The Curse Of The LawIn Christ we have been redeemed from the “curse” of the law as outlined by the samePaul in Galatians: Gal. 3:13 ~ Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:Now, this is interesting. In other areas we claim our liberation from the curse of the lawclaiming that we do not have to abide by its ceremonial aspects and that the Law isinsufficient for salvation. However, in the church dealing with this issue, we assume thatbecause it is an OT practice that it is sufficient for practice. This is a logicalinconsistency. We can’t have it both ways.If this practice was born as a result of the law and we are not under the law, then how is itthat we yet abide by the literalistic order established under the law?The subjugation of women in this manner to declare that they cannot teach or leadmen as a universal command is a JEWISH idiom and practice smuggled into theChristian church with the claim that it is truly a Christian practice. That argumentdoesn’t hold up under scrutiny. Provided Courtesy Of Supt. Harvey Burnett ~ The Dunamis Word/ New Bethel COGICP.O. Box 6167 Peoria, IL. 61602 www.bethelburnett.blogspot.com Dunamis1@netzero.com
  5. 5. 53-“One In Christ Jesus”Argument The same Paul who is said to have provided the restriction for women is the same one who has also provided has delivered: Galations 3:28-29 ~ 28-There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 29-And if ye be Christs, then are ye Abrahams seed, and heirs according to the promise. Unlike it’s Judaic parent Christianity did not create or foster gender classism, at least to the extent that teachers of the law had interpreted such through and by way of the scriptures. Many claim that this “one on Christ Jesus” (ness) was restricted to matters pertaining to salvation and that there was no denial of salvation based on access to and through Christ to the Father. That is another logical fallacy called special pleading. Why? Because there was NEVER such a distinction or restriction in salvation under Judaism. The blood of goats and heifers was effectual and fervent for all men and even strangers of the nations who would receive it. To argue that this is a restriction is not only a bad interpretation of scripture, it is an unwarranted assertion and imposition of scripture. Paul’s word’s here and in this case become powerful evidence that not only was there no restriction in salvation, but there was no class distinction in Christ based on gender. This was truly a unique “Christian” moral value that was out of time during its time and would have been interpreted as such by all either in favor or against.4-Linguistic Argument & Scriptural Evidence To understand this, we acknowledge that ALL scripture is given under the inspiration of God and is profitable for all teaching and doctrine (2 Tim. 3:16) however we must make note of at least 2 things: 1- Paul doesn’t speak as commandment of God on all issues and in this issue there is evidence that he did not do so. 2- Men that interpret Paul’s words often use Selective Literalism to make their case. Provided Courtesy Of Supt. Harvey Burnett ~ The Dunamis Word/ New Bethel COGIC P.O. Box 6167 Peoria, IL. 61602 www.bethelburnett.blogspot.com Dunamis1@netzero.com
  6. 6. 6 Observation 1: Commandment of God vs. The instructions of Paul: In 1 Cor. 7 Paul lays down instructions dealing with marriage as follows: 1 Cor. 7:7-12 ~ 7-For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that. 8-I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I. 9-But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.10-And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband: 11-But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.12-But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away." 4 times in this discourse Paul delivers HIS instructions on the issue as opposed to a command of God. Paul does the same thing in 1 Tim. 2:11:15. 12-But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. Paul makes note and takes time to say that HE SUFFERS this to not occur. There is no command of God to this. In another passage in 1 Cor. 1:16 Paul giving instructions on hair and glory says this: 16-But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God Paul gave admonitions and followed up by saying that if some didn’t agree that his teaching was a matter of cultural commensurability rather than restrictive literalism. Observation 2: Selective LiteralismOne of the greatest problems with placing restrictions on women, their duties and activitiesthat they can engage in because they are women is the selective literalism that those thatrestrict implore. If we take a literalistic approach, because there is no reason to simply take ONE verse and make it a rule, we must also apply all of scripture on the subject. The restrictions are as follows: 1- learn in silence"(1 Tim. 2:11), 2- "be in silence" (1 Tim. 2:11) (1 Cor. 14:34) 3- "be under obedience"(1 Cor. 14:34) [no mention of to whom if she is not married] Provided Courtesy Of Supt. Harvey Burnett ~ The Dunamis Word/ New Bethel COGIC P.O. Box 6167 Peoria, IL. 61602 www.bethelburnett.blogspot.com Dunamis1@netzero.com
  7. 7. 7 4- dont even SPEAK in church (1Cor. 14:34) 5- learn from their "husbands at home" (1 Cor. 14:34) The question is, why have those that oppose women “teaching and usurping authority over a man” content to allow a woman to speak in church (yet alone sing) even against the command of scripture? This is a most damaging argument against those who simply want to restrict what women can do in the church. The evidence of scripture from how the language of scripture is applied doesn’t hold well for the argument that Paul has received a binding universal command from God that restricts women in ministry. Selective literalism and picking certain emphasis while overlooking others is disingenuous to the scriptures and a solid biblical reading all together. Upon examination commands and restrictions in context simply don’t exist.5-The OT prophecy was that “daughters” would prophesy. This isforth telling and there is no restriction that would be to women only. Often those in the Charismatic and Pentecostal camps of understanding are critically scrutinized for the claim that “to prophesy” may mean to tell the future as God has inspired or sent instructions. May revert to say that NT “prophesy” simply means to forth tell which would also include teaching and instructing. Without going into a great deal of detail in this writing, allow us to assume that “prophecy” in the NT is restricted to “forth-telling” (which in this case is a minimal facts argument). As stated, that would also have to include, by definition, teaching and instructing. In Acts, on the Day of Pentecost, when the Holy Ghost was poured out, Peter began to preach a message based on what was prophesied in the book of Joel 2:28: Acts 2:14-18 ~ 14-But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: 15-For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. 16-But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; 17-And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: 18-And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: Provided Courtesy Of Supt. Harvey Burnett ~ The Dunamis Word/ New Bethel COGIC P.O. Box 6167 Peoria, IL. 61602 www.bethelburnett.blogspot.com Dunamis1@netzero.com
  8. 8. 8 Here Peter seeing men and women moving in the Spirit, does not seek to restrict it, he seeks to emphasize that it is a move of God. Women “prophesying” to men, glorifying God and telling forth the way of salvation. For one to claim that they were only giving praise, is again unwarranted scriptural literalism. So we see with this argument that Women being able and called by God to FORTH- TELL aka prophesy, is an act of the holy Ghost within the church and the life of the believer. There is no restriction.6-Paul Recognizes Women In Ministry Paul references either women in the ministry or women associated with his ministry over 23 times in the NT. NONE of the references restrict women to simply ministering to other women. Neither does Paul define their duties by saying that they only are to serve women. Those assumptions are impositions upon scripture. Paul also did not distance himself from women that served the Lord in leadership and ministry capacities within the early church. His admonitions to to the church at Rome to receive Pheobe who served as a Deconess at the church at Cenchrea, and to "help those women which laboured" with both He and Clement in the gospel, (Phil. 4:3) cannot go without note. In addition the ministry of Aquila along with his wife Priscilla, who had a church in their house( 1 Cor. 16:19) , was widely known and a definite benefit to both Paul and Apollos (Acts 18:26). The question is how are we to believe that a woman labor in the gospel, in silence and restricted only to women, as the critic and ultra- fundamentalist requires? The notion is just plainly ridiculous if not simply impossible one and further displays a misinterpretation of Pauls intent.7-The Sovereignty Of God One of the cardinal doctrines and recognitions of the Reformation and the reformed Christian faith belief is the doctrine of God’s sovereignty. That he can do what he wills as his own divine act and action without question, charge or restriction. For those who restrict women to simply be “under” a man or only serve at a “man’s direction” This doctrine is not otherwise questioned with the exception of God using a woman to teach, preach and lead a man. Provided Courtesy Of Supt. Harvey Burnett ~ The Dunamis Word/ New Bethel COGIC P.O. Box 6167 Peoria, IL. 61602 www.bethelburnett.blogspot.com Dunamis1@netzero.com
  9. 9. 9 Unfortunately many who literally hold to the restriction of a woman in the service of the Lord, believe that God can use a “donkey” to speak to a man (Num. 22:28 ~ Balaam) and instruct him, but cannot, does not and should not use a woman. What of God and HIS will or plan? Is man’s thoughts regarding who God can use greater than the God who uses all people to his glory? Those who restrict women in ministry and even leadership also violate the cardinal belief that God is sovereign. For them he is sovereign “as long as” he uses who they approve. This is an affront to God. Conclusion & Summary: The aforementioned 7 lines of argumentation make an overwhelming case in favor of women in the ministry in both roles of teaching, forth-telling both men and women and further in church leadership. Many women simply don’t want to be a leader and they do not have to. Many men do not wish to lead also. They don’t have to either. However, to make the assumptions that God has restricted persons from certain aspects of HIS service simply because of their gender is much more than the scripture teaches to a universal church. In Paul’s writing we see the command to certain behavior and restrictions based on what was occurring in those settings. The setting was primarily based on Jewish practice and idioms. These “traditions” were not commands of God but served their purpose in establishing order and bringing together all mean and women to the glory of God. It is my hope that the church would stop delivering restrictions based on gender bias and seek to find the sitz-em-laban of scripture and ask why God allows what was said and what impact that it had on believers. The fact is that man was in bad shape without a woman…God created the woman for him. How can be satisfied to simply oppress what God has given him to help him, not only privately, but also publicly?Pastor H. BurnettThe Dunamis WordNew Bethel COGIG Provided Courtesy Of Supt. Harvey Burnett ~ The Dunamis Word/ New Bethel COGIC P.O. Box 6167 Peoria, IL. 61602 www.bethelburnett.blogspot.com Dunamis1@netzero.com