"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

5 Reasons Why Women Can Pastor God's People

When it comes to women who pastor, some of my conservative evangelical friends - that is, people like me who believe that the Bible is God's inspired and infallible Word - often find themselves struggling with the thought that a woman can pastor God's people.

And many of them can't understand why I don't struggle with it.

To these friends of mine, believing a woman can pastor is akin to believing the devil is the fourth person of the sacred Trinity Tetrarchy.

"It just can't be," they say.  "It's unbiblical, impractical, immoral, and violates centuries of church tradition, not to mention modern confessions like The 2000 Baptist Faith and Message."

To my conservative evangelical friends who bristle at the mere mention of women pastoring, I offer 5 reasons why women can pastor God's people by addressing those who say they can’t pastor.

1. Your definition of "pastor" is not biblical. 

The moment you believe that the word "pastor" is a "noun of status" which speaks of a person "in an office of authority" over God's people, where "the pastor" (or ruling elders) exert(s) spiritual authority or control over other people, then you have defined pastor contrary to Jesus and the sacred Scriptures.
"But Jesus called His followers aside and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their superiors exercise authority over them. It shall not be this way among you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave." (Matt. 20:25-27)
I've written an entire book on this issue. Its called Fraudulent Authority: Pastors Who Seek To Rule Over Others.

The basic problem with churches that establish "male elders" who "rule over" their church membership is that they've established a structure contrary to the teachings of Jesus. That church has come under the misguided belief that men only are to "exercise spiritual authority" over God's church and the Christian family. In this system, nobody - especially females - can disagree with, contradict, or speak out against the male elders because they'd be arguing with "God's anointed authority."

Read Jesus again to His followers. "It shall not be this way among you." The word "pastor" should be viewed as a "verb of service" and not a "noun of status." Every Christian, male and female, is called to shepherd others to Jesus. If your church's definition of pastor is "one with spiritual authority or divine power over others" then Christian women cannot be pastors. But neither can Christian men. No Christian rules over anyone else. Pastors are to be servants of all and masters of none.

Jesus is the only authority over His people.

Some who have grown up on the King James Version of the Bible might object:
"Remember them which have rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith you follow, considering the end of their conversation." (Hebrews 13:17 KJV).
Listen to my message on Hebrews 13:17 from 2008. The English translation of the Greek for the King James Version of Hebrews 13:17 is very poor. The words "rule" and "over" are not even present in Hebrews 13:17 in the original Greek language.

How then can a church be led? Answer: By older, spiritually gifted, men and women of humble character who guide, shepherd, and lead others through gentle persuasion and encouragement.

I'll be happy to send you our organizational structure at Emmanuel Enid if you email me at wade@emmanuelenid.org. Prior to 2011 and our constitutional revision, women weren't included in leadership at Emmanuel and we made many mistakes because half the people gifted by God to lead the church  were being intentionally excluded.

Not anymore.

2. Your continuity of Old Covenant worship patterns is detrimental. 

This is a huge issue. Very few people will talk about this, but you need to understand it.

Anglicans, Presbyterians, historic Episcopalians, and a host of other denominations that style church structure after Old Testament style Yahweh worship are adamant that females can't be in leadership. They believe in the continuity of the Old Testament into New Covenant days. To them,  the church of Jesus Christ has simply replaced the people of Israel, but the manner in which God’s people do worship should be the same today as it was in Old Testament days.

However, Baptists, Methodists, Assemblies of God, and other evangelical organizations  see a discontinuity between the Old Testament and the New Testament worship structures.  These evangelicals historically have had no problem with women pastoring God's people, something I'll show you in a moment.

There are some exceptions to this rule. For example, when Baptists begin to form partnerships with their Reformed cousins (think Al Mohler and Tim Keller), then sometimes church government and leadership styles of reformed denominations begin to make their way into Baptist churches. Though Baptists have been historically congregational in church polity, in these modern days of  New Calvinism, more and more Baptist churches assemble "priests" (elders) around a "high priest" (THE pastor), who are all male. These male "pastors" or "elders"are those that "rule over God's people," just like male priests in ancient Israel.

In the Old Testament, Yahweh worship was led by male priests only. The women were excluded from going beyond the Court of Women in Temple worship. The High Priest was always a first born son from the family of Aaron. Spiritual worship was led by qualified males.

But that Old Covenant with Israel has disappeared, replaced by a New Covenant.
"By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear." (Hebrews 8:13)
When the Old Covenant began disappearing after the death, burial, resurrection of Jesus Christ, and after it "officially ended" in AD 70 at the destruction of the Jewish Templea new way of worship dawned!
"But you (both males and females) are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light." (I Peter 2:9). 
"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)
I once sent a paper explaining New Covenant worship to a church that restricts church leadership to males only. The paper was disconcerting and even troubling to them. To admit that their exaltation of "Christian male authority" and their "exclusion of Christian females" from Kingdom leadership was harmful to their church was impossible for these male elders. In fact, it became necessary for them to attack the messenger (me) rather than review their ministry with humble, genuine biblical reflection.

Any church that attempts to function with solely male leadership will eventually struggle.

The Covenants have changed.

The Old Covenant agreement between God and Israel was a "come and see" religion. Come and see the Temple. Come and see the rituals. Come and see the festivals.

The New Covenant is a "go and tell" religion. Go tell sinners of the Savior who has guaranteed the Creator’s goodness to those who trust Him. Christianity is radically spiritual, internal, personal, and trans-cultural (all peoples). 

Some of the best worship you can have is with family or a small group of believers around a camp fire at a lake, or at home around the dinner table, or at a backyard barbecue. 

Believers are the church. God dwells in us. Where we are, there He is. We don't behave one way 'at church' and another way everywhere else. We ARE the church.

Further, since the life of God is in the individual who trusts Christ, there is no hierarchical authority in the church.

 Every believer is a pastor (priest) who shepherds others to Jesus. 

3. Your limitation of spiritual gifts according to sexual genitalia is harmful.

This one will be short. Christ's bestows the gifts of teaching, prophesying, exhortation, shepherding, and other spiritual gifts on His people regardless of gender.
"So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers,to equip the saints for works of ministry, to build up the body of Christ" (Ephesians 4:11).
Gender is never mentioned in the Bible when it comes to spiritual gifts. Never.

When an institutional church overrules the Spirit of God, it will find itself absent the Spirit unless corrected.

This article is one of many that explains that the gifts of the Spirit are granted regardless of gender.

The overwhelming testimony of the New Testament is that gifted, humble men and women of character, preferably older in years (e.g. "elder") will shepherd, guide, and pastor God's people.

Christian men who exclude Christian women from fulfilling the call of God according to the Spirit's gifts are infatuated with their own alleged "authority" and are in danger of losing the unction and anointing of the Holy Spirit in their own ministries.

4. Your narrow view of Christian "ministry" is baneful.

Ordination. "The action of ordaining or conferring holy orders on someone."

Ugh.

We don't ordain anybody at Emmanuel Enid.

The state of Oklahoma requires a "ministerial license" to officiate marriage ceremonies,  to recognize vocational ministers working at a state recognized 501-C3 non-profit, and to grant ministerial tax credits for those working in non-profit vocational ministry.

We will license men and women as vocational employees of our non-profit because the state requires it, but we don't ordain anybody.

Every state government in the United States of America considers "licensing" pastors and "ordaining" pastors" as the same thing. Most churches don't consider them the same thing. Emmanuel Enid does.  We only "license" because the state requires it.

Denominations that "ordain ministers" typically make a non-biblical separation between "clergy" and "laymen."

Only the "ordained," according to these churches, can fulfill the "ordinances of the church" (baptism and the Lord's Supper). It's amazing how traditions in institutional churches carry on through "ordination" ceremonies. It's almost like a cult.

Before I was "ordained" as a Southern Baptist pastor in 1982, I was told that I would be examined by other "ordained" men. During my "prep" for this ordination, some men who though they were being helpful told me that one of the questions that would be asked was:
"What are the ordinances of the church?"
I was told how to answer: "Say baptism and the Lord's Supper." Dutifully, I answered such, and was promptly "ordained" by the Southern Baptist Convention.

It was only years later that I learned baptism and the Lord's Supper are ordinances of Jesus, not the church. The word "ordinance" means "law." Jesus gave us both ordinances, not the church:
Jesus came to them and said, "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (Matthew 28:19). 
"The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread,and when he had given thanks, he broke it and he said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” (I Corinthians 11:23-29). 
Every believer in Jesus Christ, whether male or female, is called a minister in the New Testament. We are a royal priesthood.

Therefore, gifted women can "go and make disciples," and can "baptize," and can "serve the bread and the wine," and can lead people to remember Jesus.

That's because Jesus told all of His followers, not just males, to "go and make disciples."

But the church that emphasizes "ordination" will tell people to "come." And when they come, they will only see "males" ordained by the church to "rule over" other people and "do the ordinances."

I recently wrote a post about serving as a trustee for the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.

When I served as an IMB trustee, I got into a heated dispute with trustee leadership (all males).

It seems that we had Christian women missionaries in the Far East who were leading men and women to faith in Jesus Christ and the new Christian converts were ready to be baptized. It was made known to the IMB trustees that there was nobody to baptize the recent Chinese converts.

Not knowing any better, I raised my hand and asked a question of my fellow trustees:
"Why don't the Christian women missionaries who taught these people about Jesus and led them to faith in the Savior baptize them so as to fulfill the command of Jesus in the Great Commission."
Crickets.

Without responding to my question, the chairman of the subgroup determined we would pay $3,000 to fly a male Baptist pastor to a foreign country to baptize the men and women that had been led to faith in Jesus Christ by our female missionaries on the field.

My courteous but firm opposition to the IMB's unbiblical patriarchal policies led to a protracted battle between the world's largest missionary sending organization and its trustee from Oklahoma.

I still marvel, fifteen years later, IMB trustee leadership had the ludicrous, absurd, and unbiblical notion to fly an "ordained male minister" to the Far East to baptize Christian converts who came to faith in Jesus Christ under the discipleship of Christian women. 

Males and females are to minister in the name of Jesus, fulfilling His command to make disciples. 

Tens of millions of people are coming to faith in Jesus around the world, led to Jesus by gifted, humble men and women of character who are fulfilling the ordinance of Jesus Christ, whether recognized by the institutional church or not.

Christian ministry is about following the commands of Christ. Our view of ministry needs to be more biblical than institutional.

As an aside, the moment institutional churches advocate women, homosexuals, and others being ordained to "rule over" Christian people through "an office of authority" received by "ordination" of the church, you'll hear the same objections from me that I'm now giving about the ordination of men.


5. Your understanding of historic church confessions is partial.

Oh, sure, the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message states:
"While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture." (Article VI The Church)
Confessions are not inspired. They are often rife with errors. Some of the local association Southern Baptist confessions of the 1850's advocated slavery as biblical.

The problem of the 2000 BFM is not the exclusion of women from "the office of pastor."

No. It's "the office of pastor" which is unbiblical. The word "office," like "office of the President" or "office of the pastor" is nowhere used in the New Testament.

Reading this paper, called The Bible and Authority in the Church, might help you understand how church tradition has supplanted New Testament teaching.

Christian leadership is based on giftedness and not gender; character, not control; humility, not hubris; selfless service, not self seeking; and personal piety, not powerful positions.

Baptists from days of old understood these concepts.

The earliest recorded comment on the role of Baptist women was by John Smyth, founder of the first identifiable Baptist church of modern history. In his 1609 work Parallels, Censures, Observations, Smyth wrote:
“...the Church hath powre to Elect, approve & ordeyne her owne Elders, also: to elect, approve, & ordeine her owne Deacons both men & woemen."
Baptist women did preach in England in the early days of the 17th century. Most English churchmen found the practice as distasteful as believer's baptism.

Nevertheless Baptists had women preaching. 

The Anabaptist Waterland Confession of 1580 is the first “Baptist” Confession to refer to the setting aside gifted people for ministry.
In times of need the congregation shall prepare itself before God with fasting and prayer, calling upon Him for help--for He alone can send the right servants into His harvest--that our heavenly Father may prepare the right servants among the congregations to the glory of His name; servants who will proclaim His holy Word truthfully, and in true Christian love, according to His pleasure, to hungry souls, [as well as] administering the sacraments and the ban.
This document does not take gender into consideration when assigning roles.

For their views on the ministry, the English Baptists went directly to the Bible for their authority. 

Those women who preached and those men who allowed it thought they found adequate scriptural teaching and precedent.

More recently, I challenged Al Mohler at the 2018 Southern Baptist Convention to answer a question I had about a woman the Home Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention sent in the 1860s to teach and minister to African-American male pastors who were being held on an island in the Mississippi River.

Dr. Al Mohler might tell you that he wasn't "stumped" by my question,  but it sure seemed to me that he couldn't answer it. Read the back-and-forth for yourself and see how Southern Baptists have not always believed that a woman can’t lead others spiritually. It makes the present exclusion of women by some SBC leaders (not all) seem so silly.

The next time I hear a person state he or she doesn't believe in "women pastors" and cites the 2000 BFM, I might feel compelled to ask, "Do you even understand the purpose of a confession?"

A confession is not a creed. 


A denial of women pastoring God's people based on a Baptist Confession is akin to advocating racial slavery because a Baptist confession once said slavery was biblical.

What people ought to be doing is searching the Scriptures.

And the Scriptures advocate both men and women pastoring people to Jesus. 

Long ago, I called out the problem of "sexual abuse" in the Southern Baptist Convention. Nobody listened then (2007), but people are sure listening now.

I'm calling out my conservative evangelical friends for their exclusion of women from Christian leadership, for their energetic attempts to stifle gifted Christian women from fulfilling the commandments of Christ to "go and make disciples," and for their unbiblical approach to Christian ministry.

Conservative evangelicals must stop: 

1. Debilitating females with God-given gifts,
2. Denigrating females in their Spirit-led ministries,
3. Downplaying females as New Covenant priests.

If not, the Spirit may well depart.

62 comments:

Deb said...

I again appreciated your normal, in-depth look at Scripture. Therefore I was so disappointed when you published someone else's shallow look at socialism. Just one example: "the Old Testament times had private property" totally ignored the massive redistribution of wealth every 70 years. Just because sinful and selfish people chose to not keep God's command should not be used as an argument in today's sinful and selfish times. Please go back to doing better.

Mary/Paul Burleson said...

Deb,

I'll weigh in here just from my personal perspective. This is about the Sabbatical year law, not Socialism for me. I'm just thinking there might be some confusion on the Sabbath year of Israel. Every instance in in the Old Testament where the Hebrew words, "shamat and shemittah" [release] are used, regarding the Sabbatical year, it is to be understood in the sense of a temporary, not a permanent, release, I'm thinking. In fact, Deuteronomy 15:3 says, “Of a foreigner you may exact it, but whatever of “yours” [think debt here] is with your brother, [an Israelite] your hand shall release [shamat] meaning a temporary, not a permanent release from paying the debt. This means that what the creditor has loaned remains his EVEN DURING the Sabbatical year—he simply couldn’t collect payments during that year. It was a REST from paying a debt but was never intended to release the debtor from paying what was owed or the debtor getting something that belonged to the one who made the loan.

In short, the Sabbatical year debt-release law required of Israel was NOTpermanent cancellation but a year-long suspension of payments so debtors could be refreshed by resting, along with their fellow Israelites, in the Sabbatical year, but creditors would still be repaid. The Sabbath was for REST not for the redistribution of wealth.

RB Kuter said...

Wow! Seldom hear from Mary/Paul Burleson. Did "Mary" contribute this?
Sure sheds light on an aspect of that Sabbatical year I did not know.

Wade Burleson said...

RB,

It sounds like Paul Burleson (with Mary as his - and my - professional editor!) :)

Thanks all, for the excellent comments.

RB Kuter said...

Comes to mind as I read your well thought out post, Wade, it came to mind how your blog gets so much more attention than blogs written by women. For whatever reason, in general terms, men occupy the most leadership positions over situations involving men and women. Men commentators and blog writers more frequently attract combined male and female audiences than do women commentators. That being the case, it seems interesting that men seem to be greater advocates for women progressing in leadership positions than women.

I'm trying to look at this objectively. I'm pretty sure my assessment is accurate and it makes me wonder why this is the case. Is this issue of women occupying leadership positions less significant to women? Why do information sources originated by men have more audience than women? Why are we not reading more blogs and commentaries about how women are discriminated against written by women?

Why is society dominated by men throughout the world in terms of males filling leadership roles in situations involving women and men? Why did Jesus call only men to fill the role of His 12 disciples who eventually became those primary leaders of the early church? Why did Jesus refer to God as "Father"?

Are we to anticipate global society changing so as to accommodate a more equal number of women in leadership positions in those situations involving men and women? Would that be better and more consistent with the way God intends things to be? Would God have changed His mind and had Jesus have a 50-50 mix of sexes within His "12"? Was Jesus thinking according to His maleness? Was He being dictated to by the male dominated society in which He lived at that time?

These are a few things that come to mind as I read and contemplate your posts on this issue. Perhaps if there were more female originated commentaries regarding this it would shed some light on the female perspective, but there aren't many and I am not really enticed to go on a search for one given that it probably will not have much impact on the way things are or will be. That's not sexist, it's just that reading commentaries by women are just not something that I am inclined to do, and I don't think many men are. That's why most readers of women commentaries are other women whereas men commentaries have a more equal balance of men and women readers.

My point being, maybe the way things are and have always been is the natural order of the way it is intended to be, although I do believe there are abuses in all orders of society that Christian love and grace must address. Is this one of those?

Wade Burleson said...

"That being the case, it seems interesting that men seem to be greater advocates for women progressing in leadership positions than women."

Good observation.

In my experience, gifted servant/leaders of humble character never promote themselves. They just "do the work of the ministry" without promoting themselves for leadership.

On the other hand, pompous patriarchal pastors punish people painfully perceiving perilious pushes to pastoral positions.

Laughing.

That's why women gifted, humble women should be promoted, and pompous proud pastors resisted.

The church will look more like Jesus when that happens.

Thanks RB.

BTW, just finished reading a manuscript by Kevin Giles that has a premise that unbiblical views of church leadership (all male) is one of the major contributing factors to sexual, physical, and emotional abuse in the church and the home. It's both a sad book and a superb book.

Wade Burleson said...

Deb,

There is in the heart of many of my friends a dissonance toward me. They love my theological teachings of freedom, grace, equality, which I find in Scripture obtained through following Jesus.

But I'm a good Baptist.

Unlike my European continental Reformed ancestors (Anglicans, Scottish Presbyterians, Reformers like Calvin, Zwingli, and others who persecuted the Baptists), I always separate the STATE from faith.

I am a conservative politically - which means I believe we should acknowledge God as Creator of the Universe and follow NATURAL LAW as a nation - not MOSAIC LAW - and government should protect personal freedoms, including all individual liberties (religion, speech, etc) and the right to own personal properties.

That's where I dislike political socialism intensely.

I do not believe the government should be in the business of redistributing wealth.

I am totally opposed to political socialism, but believe God's people should care for the poor in their cities - and I sure wish I could show you how that's working out in Enid! IT...IS...AMAZING.

We have spent hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars over the past decade on community development locally and globally, sharing Christ as we drill for water, build homeless shelters, minister to prisoners, teach foreigners English, hold citizenship classes, help the underprivileged with occupational, educational, financial, and medical clinics - all the while not receiving one dollar of government support.

That's why churches get "tax credits."

We should be doing what the government isn't (and SHOULDN'T) be doing.

Shame on the church for asking the government to do our job.

Victorious said...

Hello RB,

Why did Jesus call only men to fill the role of His 12 disciples who eventually became those primary leaders of the early church?

Dr. Gilbert Bilezikian answers that question clearly imo:

The symbolism of the number twelve is self-evident. Jesus made clear a relation between the old covenant people represented by its twelve tribes and the people of the new community represented by the twelve apostles, with the latter taking precedence over the former (Luke 22:29-30). The ancient nation of Israel had begun with the patriarchs, the fathers of the twelve tribes. The new Israel, the spiritual descendants of Abraham, began with the twelve disciples. They were the new covenant counterpart to the twelve patriarchs. They formed the transition group between the past and the future, between the ancient people and the new community.

From the Twelve, the constituency of God's people was expanded to include followers of Christ from both the people of Israel and from all nations in order to form the universal church. The ultimate command of Jesus to the eleven remaining disciples was to make disciples of all the nations (Matt. 28:19). Their mission was to form a multitude of disciples like themselves. With the launching of that mission accomplished, they would fade into the multitude. In other words, they were to reproduce themselves as disciples so widely as to make their own ministry obsolete. According to the book of Acts and as is evident from the history of the early church, this is precisely what happened. The Twelve were the pioneer servant-ministers of the new community, and their lives eventually faded into anonymity.

more here:

https://godswordtowomen.org/Apostles.htm

Victorious said...

Dr. Gilbert Bilezkian's conclusion from the link above:

Consequently, anyone who claims today that women should not participate fully in the ministry of the church because Jesus' apostles were male simply does not understand the scriptural dynamic of the change that occurred from old covenant to new and instead tries to force on the church, Christ's new community, the standards of ancient Judaism. The argument that women should be barred from some church ministries because Christ's apostles were all men represents a regression to preresurrection conditions. Consistent adherence to this rule would require that not only women be excluded from ministry but also Gentiles, since Jesus and his apostles were Jews. Church leadership and ministry should then be only assumed by Jewish men.

To put it otherwise, to be consistent, Pope John-Paul II's contention that all priests should be male because Christ's apostles were male also requires that all priests be Jews because the apostles were Jews. Moreover, consistency also requires that priests be married, since the apostle Peter, the Pope's alleged predecessor, and other apostles were married ( Matt. 18:14-15; 1 Cor. 9:5), and since only married men with families could become overseers (1 Tim. 3:2, 4). But thanks be to God that the New Testament declares all considerations of race, class, and gender irrelevant to the life of the church because of Christ's gift of oneness to the new community (Gal. 3:28).

Wade Burleson said...

Good stuff Victorious.

RB Kuter said...

Victorious, you address the rationale behind the "12" but not so much a response to why all men disciples. Jesus was introducing everything new and fulfillment of The Law and The Prophets so portrayed radical abandonment of the traditional practices and views of the time. He could have introduced a new pattern for the display of equality, balanced leadership in respect to the genders by choosing 5 or 6 women to be His disciples if He chose. He did not overlook the potential and value of women in leadership roles by any means and His ministry was strongly supported by women, but seemed selective in the types of leadership roles they were to play.

You bring up a great point about the selection of the "12" not being intended to be representative of the mix in the church, i.e., no Gentiles. So I am going to have to think about that one for a while to see how that might destroy my argument entirely. Actually, there is NO argument between us on this and my intentions are not to say there should be no women pastors because all 12 of the disciples were men. Just wrestling with things while trying to consider all aspects.

RB Kuter said...

Wade said; " just finished reading a manuscript by Kevin Giles that has a premise that unbiblical views of church leadership (all male) is one of the major contributing factors to sexual, physical, and emotional abuse in the church and the home."

Perverted leadership in the clergy has no doubt enhanced MANY injustices in society such as racism, discrimination against women, and on and on. They should be called out on it in all instances, especially by mature believers in their own congregation, but unfortunately, we tend to be silent lambs and consider the Pastor as being the shepherd whose authority should not be challenged. That's probably due to the authoritarian principles applied by that Pastor to maintain his control. Guess the congregation is to blame for calling such a personality to begin with to serve in that position. Doesn't reflect well on those people under his reign.

Shari England said...

Amen!! My exact thoughts. Love you use of alliteration. 🤣

Shari England said...

Wish blogs had a “like” button. Well said.

Elisabeth Arnold said...

>>I find no clear or compelling biblical grounds to preclude and ample scriptural materials [clearly and Biblically given in the posted article] to support women’s full and free participation in the church’s ministry as God might gift and guide. That is to say, I regard those scriptural passages that silence and subordinate women in the church to be situation-specific. Taken together, I find the sweep of Scripture to affirm
women and to allow for their unlimited involvement in kingdom
matters. Moreover, I think that the trajectory of the New Testament witness is one that encourages men and women in Christ to share and serve in gospel proclamation and church administration.
If you are inclined to agree, then I invite you to consider with
me how we might help our (Baptist) churches and committees
move beyond whatever hinders our affirming and employing
women in (Baptist church) ministry. In a word, we should think
globally and act locally. Initially, we need to assist in lovingly and skillfully raising congregational awareness to the prospects and possibilities of women ministers and to persist respectfully and patiently with those brothers and sisters who might be inclined to resist or reject such a proposal out of hand. As it happens, it is the start that stops most of us most of the time.
Additionally, we should acknowledge that it is easier to support
women in ministry in theory than it is in practice. If we would
assist in general, then we will have to become intentional in the particulars. Church culture and conduct tends to change slowly. One tangible way that we can affirm women in ministry and can advance this worthy cause and concern, if incrementally, is to recommend and to support women’s
service and leadership in classes as well as on committees and boards (including, where applicable, the trustees, deaconate, and ushers) of local churches. We can also encourage women to respond positively to God’s calling on their lives for vocational ministry and to gain the needed education and training to best serve Christ and his church.
Then, as ministerial positions come open, perhaps churches will be more willing to talk to women candidates and to confer with other congregations who have had women serving on their ministerial staffs. (Women serving and leading in [Baptist] churches is, of course, not new. The biblically-based proposal that women are called, gifted, and able to occupy formal ministerial roles and responsibilities in our congregations,
however, has only recently begun to gain any real momentum.)
In due time, such a course of action might go some way in
rectifying the disparity and inequity that characterizes so many
of our assemblies. At such a time, we will be able to celebrate
more fully and fittingly the unity in diversity that should mark our Christological, eschatological communities (note 2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 6:15). As a new creation of sisters and brothers, we will then be able “with one voice [to] glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 15:6)<<
Todd D. Still, PhD, is the Charles J. and Eleanor McLerran DeLancey Dean and the William M. Hinson Professor of Christian Scriptures at Baylor University’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary, where he has been on faculty since 2003. A graduate of Baylor University (BA, 1988),
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (MDiv, 1991), and the University of Glasgow (PhD, 1996), he has also studied at the University of St. Andrews and at Cambridge University. He held previous academic appointments at Dallas Baptist University (1995-2000) and Gardner-Webb University (2000-2003) and was an Honorary Research Fellow at the
University of Exeter (2008). In addition to being the author and (co-)editor of books, articles, and Bible study materials, Still is a licensed and ordained Baptist minister who frequently teaches and preaches in congregational and conference settings and serves churches as an Interim Pastor.
https://www.baylor.edu/truett/doc.php/144245.pdf...

Victorious said...

RB,
He could have introduced a new pattern for the display of equality, balanced leadership in respect to the genders by choosing 5 or 6 women to be His disciples if He chose.

Jesus predicted that “repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in [Christ’s] name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem” (Luke 24:47, emphasis added). The gospel of the kingdom was to be a blessing to the whole world, but it was natural that it be first proclaimed to Israel.

When Paul speaks of the gospel bringing salvation “first to the Jew” in Romans 1:16, he alludes to the special relationship the Jews had to the Messiah.
The Christ was the Son of David, and the hope of the Messiah had long been held by the Jews (see Luke 2:38). So, when the gospel of Christ was first proclaimed, the Jews had priority. We see this prioritization in Paul’s first missionary journey. Every time they would come to a new city, Paul and Barnabas would preach in the synagogue to the Jews in that city.

from here:
https://www.gotquestions.org/to-the-Jew-first.html

Rex Ray said...

Wade,

An atheist, Voltaire, states one obstacle you have: “Our wretched species is so made that those who walk on the well-trodden path always throw stones at those who are showing a new road.”

Another is: ‘We never did it that way before!”

Just last Sunday, our congregation was asked if our church wanted to “ordain” a man. Where you would have said, “Ugh”; there was a loud “YES!”

You quoted Hebrews 13:17 (KJ) as being wrong, and Hebrews 8:13 as being right.

I believe those Scriptures are an example of Paul writing:

“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needed not to be ashamed, RIGHTLY DIVIDING THE WORD OF TRUTH.” (2 Timothy 2:15 KJ)

Thanks for a great post.

P.S.
Paul, great to hear you again!

Connie said...

Whenever I read this viewpoint on women I feel like (and I may have missed it here) there is a large piece left out. God the Father obviously established an order of leadership or authority in the Godhead that Jesus so beautifully submitted to and modeled for us. Paul very clearly established the same model in marriage (and I believe) in the church. Even in secular society we have roles and positions at every turn. Could you please address how the Colossians 3:18, Ephesians 5:22-33, 1 Corinthians 11:3 add another side to all of this. Do you teach gender roles in marriage? I have no problem receiving what you have written to consider but it seems incomplete. ( I just read another similar article and again this was left out). Thank you.

Wade Burleson said...

Don't misunderstand my views on ordination, Rex.

If Baptists ordained men and women to ministry (i.e. "laid hands on them asking for the anointing of the Spirit to fulfill their ministry") and NEVER saw it as "ordination to an office of spiritual power and control over people" - which most every Baptist church mistakenly sees ordination as - then I would lead our church to ordain people.

Because of the biblical errors pertaining to modern "ordination" - we'll only license because the state requires it and will always compel men and women to "go and tell" others about Jesus according to how the Spirit has gifted them.

Anonymous said...

Connie..I'm in agreement with your questions/concerns. While there's a wide variety of ministry open to women, all of those verses you referenced (and more) speak to limitations of specific forms of leadership. Also, I can't reconcile the movement/arguments towards women ministering ALL the ways men do with the fact that Jesus CHOSE men to be apostles. The gospels were written by men and the epistles were written by men and most of them TO men but none written by women or to a woman in leadership. There's a reason given that says, "the woman was deceived." Why is that so hard to agree with? Why are we kicking against the pricks (or goads)? What is Jesus thinking of us all right now?!?

Cindy Meyers

RB Kuter said...

Victorious, "So, when the gospel of Christ was first proclaimed, the Jews had priority."

Not to belabor the question, but I am sincerely looking for a proposal as to why Jesus chose all men as His "12".

I believe you attempted to explain a proposal to that question but it went over my head. From those statements you made, I am led to "think" that you are suggesting that Jesus chose all men to fill the roles of His closest "12" disciples to appease the Jewish traditions in place at that time, hence, your saying that He directed the new church to go to Jerusalem, Judea, first.

I appreciate the inference that Jesus was acknowledging that it was appropriate to go to the Jews with the Gospel initially and then on to the rest of the world. But I don't see that as indicating His maintaining Jewish traditions and methods of applying The Law in ways that conflicted with God's intent.

Jesus broke so many aspects of those traditions when their application by the Jews were inconsistent with the heart of God that it invalidates a suggestion that He would concede to following a former tradition that did conflict with the heart of God. That being the case, I would not accept the proposition that Jesus would choose an all-male "12" simply to appease Jewish tradition.

Am I misunderstanding the point you were making or am I again simply being slow in comprehending?

Wade Burleson said...

Connie,

The eternal subordination of the Son to the Father was ruled "heresy" by the early church councils. I do not necessarily believe something is heresy because the Latin church said it was, but I do believe that "eternal subordination of the Son" is heresy because it contradicts the explicit teaching of Scriptures.

I've written much on this subject. To promote male leadership because females are subordinate to males like the Son is subordinate to the Father is darn close to heretical teaching.

Start here - https://www.wadeburleson.org/2015/06/eternal-subordination-and-sbc-divorce.html

Wade Burleson said...

Cindy,

You write: ""the woman was deceived." Why is that so hard to agree with? Why are we kicking against the pricks (or goads)? What is Jesus thinking of us all right now?!?"

Seriously? You think all women are deceived and men are not?

Wow. Trust me, I've known far more deceived men than women.

The verse you quote is from I Timothy 2. Read what Marg Mowcko says:

"Many Christians believe 1 Timothy 2:12 contains general teaching that applies to all women, forever restricting their ministry. But for a while now, I’ve come to believe that this verse may be about a particular married couple in the Ephesian church and is limited in scope.

One reason for my belief is Paul’s switch from the plural “men” and “women” in 1 Timothy 2:8-10 to the singular “man” and “woman” in verses 11-12. There is a reason why Paul switched from plural to singular, and we need to pay attention to the apostle’s choice of language.[1]

The second reason I believe 1 Timothy 2:12 is about a particular couple is because of the singular verb sōthēsetai in 1 Timothy 2:15. This verb is correctly translated as “she will be saved” and refers to a woman, not plural women. The plural verb meinōsin “they continue” in the same verse probably refers to the couple: “she [a woman] will be saved . . . if they [the couple] continue . . .) [2]

The third reason I believe 1 Timothy 2:12 is about a particular couple, and not referring to all women in general, is because the context of the second half of 1 Timothy 2 is the problem behaviour of particular people in the Ephesian church.

~ In 1 Timothy 2:8, Paul addresses the problem of specific men. He is not speaking about all Christian men, only those who were praying with unresolved anger issues and quarrels, and Paul offers correction to their behaviour.

~ In 1 Timothy 2:9-10, Paul addresses the problem of specific women, certain rich women who were wearing luxurious hairstyles, jewels and clothing. These two verses do not refer to all Christian women, only to those who were showing off their wealth, and Paul offers correction.

~ In 1 Timothy 2:11-15, Paul narrows his focus to the problem behaviour of one of these rich women.[3] This woman was not ready to teach—she needed to learn quietly—and she was acting in a domineering or controlling manner (Greek: authenteō) towards a man, most likely her husband. Her controlling behaviour may have stemmed from a concern about the effects of sex and procreation on salvation, a not uncommon concern in the early church.[4]

Paul offers corrections (1) to the woman’s behaviour in verse 11-12, (2) to her teaching in verses 13-14, and (3) to her concern about salvation in verse 15.

All these verses in 1 Timothy 2:8-15 are about specific people and specific problems in the Ephesian church. These verses are corrective. They are not general teaching. This doesn’t mean that principles cannot be derived from these verses, but we need to understand Paul’s intent here before we work out any principles and apply them more broadly".

Victorious said...

RB, you said:

But I don't see that as indicating His maintaining Jewish traditions and methods of applying The Law in ways that conflicted with God's intent.

and

That being the case, I would not accept the proposition that Jesus would choose an all-male "12" simply to appease Jewish tradition

Jesus was a Jew. From the very beginning (Genesis), it was God's desire to have a people to call His own. Because of sin, His people (Adam and Eve) had to leave the place designed specifically for them to be fruitful and multiply. Outside of the garden, as His people grew in number, they came in contact with those in pagan nations and eventually the Law was established to bring an awareness of sin and behaviors that enjoined justice, humility, fair treatment of everyone, etc.

In other words, God is still working with His people to have a land of their own with laws that reflected the characteristics of God; righteousness, merciful, just, etc. Throughout the OT, we find 353 prophecies about the coming of the Savior/Messiah prophesied in Genesis.

So "when the fullness of time came...." Jesus was born of a woman; born under the Law. Gal.4:4 So that so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. Gal 4:5 He grew in wisdom and taught in the synagogues.

From the beginning, women were mistreated, captured during war and used as slaves, concubines, etc. Jesus elevated the status of women while at the same abiding by the Law until His death and resurrection. Up until that time, women were not permitted to study the Torah, worship in the synagogue with the men,forbidden to appear in public unveiled (IIRC)and men were not to speak to them in public. Jesus begins slowly to change man's treatment toward them in a variety of ways; i.e. speaking with the woman at the well, associating with women who ministered to Him as the women who washed His feet with her tears, etc.

All of this is to say that all things were dealt with on a timely basis with the "goal?" of eradicating evil practices/behaviors and teaching mercy and forgiveness toward one another.

The 12 disciples were Jews who were a step in the process of including gentiles into the family God desired from the beginning. Of importance is Paul's understanding of the Torah and his usefulness in refuting the errors of those Jews who caused problems in the early church.

I'm getting too long-winded....sorry. Bottom line is the Bible is a history of progressive times and cultures that lead to the availability of salvation to "whosoever will...." And the assurance of knowing that God shows no partiality. (NASB) Acts 10:34; Rom. 2:11; Gal. 2:6; Eph. 6:9; Col. 3:25; 1Tim. 5:21; Jas. 2:9.

Victorious said...

RB...btw, only the last comment above of Oct. 25, 4:54 is my explanation.

The others (Fri Oct 25, 10:03:00 AM 2019 and Fri Oct 25, 08:23:00 AM 2019) made by me were from links I provided as opposed to my words.

Hope that makes sense.... :)

Ken F said...

"Also, I can't reconcile the movement/arguments towards women ministering ALL the ways men do with the fact that Jesus CHOSE men to be apostles."

Hi Cindy,
Are you aware that the early church called Mary Magdalene the apostle to the apostles? Jesus was the one who sent her to proclaim his resurrection to the "real" apostles, which makes her a real apostle. If the women had not come to the tomb because they were told to stay home, Christianity would never have gotten off the ground. We can be thankful that Jesus included them in his plan to proclaim his resurrection.

Ken F said...

"God the Father obviously established an order of leadership or authority in the Godhead that Jesus so beautifully submitted to and modeled for us."

Hi Connie,
From where did you get the idea the the Trinity is a relationship based on authority? Isn't it rather based on love and mutual submission? Have you ever investigated the word "perichoresis" in regards to the Trinity.

Jeff said...

I didn't see any of your reasons cover the various NEW Testament passages regarding the actual list of qualifications that exist in more than one place. But given your article, I think I have a good idea of how you would dance around those to please the view of today's culture.

Anonymous said...

Wade,
I am seeing three reactions to this concept; 1. That only misogynist men want to rule in the church and home, so if they could just be convinced to stop hating women they’d magically stop limiting them. And 2. That it’s just those darn feminist women who are trying to grab equal power with men and do manly church stuff. And 3. It’s 2019 and society has changed and men and women live differently so the Church should also.

None of these views are convincing to me, clear teaching is. Thank you for clear Biblical teaching!
Heather

Victorious said...

Jeff, you man like these qualifications?

1Tim 5:9  Let a widow be enrolled if she is not less than sixty years of age, having been the wife of one husband....

1Tim 3:2  Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach

1Tim 3:4  He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, 

1Tim 5:14  So I would have younger widows marry, bear children, manage their households , and give the adversary no occasion for slander. 

Manage oikodespoteō
Thayer Definition:
1) to be master (or head) of a house
2) to rule a household, manage family affairs

Tim 5:1  Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren;
 
1Tim 5:2  The elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters

Connie said...

Obviously when you post a comment on a blog like this you are taking a risk of being totally misunderstood. Wowzers, though. I wouldn't have expected from the flavor of your teaching to have you jump to something I did not say and basically suggest I believe hearsay. But I will assume I did not express myself well. Jesus, while an equal person of the Trinity with God the Father and God the Spirit, took the role of a submissive servant in his incarnation. It is all through the book of John and it is an example of how to we are to live the Kingdom life. The questions I actually asked were not answered, but it is okay. I have so many amazing men and women in my life who love to engage with me in theological conversations so I will go with one of them. thank you for your time.

Bob Cleveland said...

It's a ton of fun being an old geezer and disagreeing with all the other old geezers in our local church, about this.

I even debated this, informally, with our retired pastor's wife ... over supper Wednesday nite.

RB Kuter said...

Victorious, thank you for expressing your views but I respectfully disagree.

I don't believe that Jesus introduced initial steps for a progressive plan for Kingdom work which was to evolve as His followers determined over time. If He intended to begin with an initial step and then for the church to progress with subsequent steps He specifically gave instruction for that. The example you gave with His instructing followers to begin evangelizing in Jerusalem and proceeding to expand progressively throughout the globe is a case in point.

To propose that Jesus chose a model for using only men in His selection for the "12" because He was so culturally sensitive to the Jewish society while having the intentions for followers to transition that model to include women in that role is not a logic I accept. That would imply to me that Jesus chose one way of doing things given the times and conditions of the culture while expecting those examples, models, instructions to be adjusted as the winds of worldly society changed. Kind of like being "politically correct", so to speak.

I have thought about whether using the model for expanding the Kingdom to include Gentiles should be applied to that of expanding those leadership positions to include women. But Jesus specifically instructed and portrayed that Gentiles would be included in the Kingdom prior to His crucifixion. He visited areas and announced His Kingdom to Gentiles Himself. That Gennersaret area where He encountered the demoniac and sent the demons into the pigs is an example. There were other Gentiles that He ministered to and even elevated them to having faith greater than anyone else. All of this was, of course, contrary to what the culture of the Jewish religious institution would have accepted.

I am pretty sure I understand the logic you are using now but I don't agree with it or accept it as a credible rationale for why He chose all men to serve as the "12" and promised they would be tribal leaders in heaven.

But thank you for sharing your ideas with me.

RB Kuter said...

Wade, you responded to Cindy writing, "Seriously? You think all women are deceived and men are not?"

I was disappointed that you contrived Cindy to be proposing that context when she made reference to Eve. I sure didn't.

I was also disappointed in what I think was a very weak attempt to portray the context of the 1 Timothy passage proposing that part of it was directed to a general audience and other portions to individuals due to the Greek changing from plural to singular use of the word. Interesting that this context is formed in a way that accommodates your position even though Paul does not specifically qualify it as such.

Sometimes we do encounter Scripture which appears to contradict other passages and consideration must be given to diverse context and applications intended for particular situations. But to disqualify certain verses of the 1 Timonty 2:9-15 passage due to reference change from "women" in some spots and "woman" in others, given what seems to me to be the same lesson, is a stretch.

Goodness, if we had to discern all instruction in the Bible which was translated by extraordinarily gifted people serving earnestly in translation projects with their immense combined education in those original languages in order to arrive at alternative truths it would not say much about the credibility of our Bibles.

Victorious said...

RB, why then do you think Jesus chose all men to serve as the 12?

RB Kuter said...

Victorious, of course, I do not have a channel to God greater than yours or Wade's or any other genuine follower of Jesus Christ. But this is one of those issues that God cloaks with a veil of mystery for us to wrestle with and dialogue about like we're doing. I believe God loves all the attention it gives to Him as we seek to better understand Him.

I believe God created 2 genders with unique and wondrous characteristics associated with each. He did not create either with the intention of that gender, or sex, functioning without the other. They were incomplete in themselves. They need each other like the "right" half of the brain needs the "left". The dynamics of this reality/created order is not applied exclusively in marital relationships. Men and women who are not married to each other need the advantages of relationships involving members of the opposite sex as they function in society, at the workplace, in politics and especially in regards to Kingdom service.

But these two genders are distinctive and God, for whatever is His reason, injects both into His eternal plan in consideration of their distinctive differences and gifts. My concern is that we attempt to diminish the distinctiveness of the two sexes by trying to apply our own perceived perspective of what is proper, just, or appropriate, or respectful to the other. It appears obvious to me that God has chosen to operate this way, the way of His created order using the two genders in distinctive ways.

I don't know "why" God chose to create this order or "why" He has already portrayed this as being His method of unfolding His redemptive plan and administration of His Kingdom. But it seems apparent that He has/does it that way.

I don't know why He specifically made the promises to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, instead of their wives. I don't know why His account of His work throughout the ages portrays His unique personal interaction with men such as Moses and Joshua, King David, Solomon, etc. I don't know why Jesus refers to Him as "Father". I don't know why God intended for the leaders of the 12 tribes to be male and Jesus chose men to be the 12 disciples.

But to ignore that which seems to be so obvious and repetitive in God's work and reject that aspect of His intentions seems to be dangerous when we are struggling to work in situations involving these dynamics.

As I have said numerous times, I am not against women serving in any role in ministry. I have participated in the deacon ordination process (I know Wade doesn't like that term, "ordain") of multiple women. I have gladly/gratefully had occasion to partner and work with multiple women pastors. I have witnessed and served with women missionaries who were serving in situations so difficult that men would not have done it. I am certain that in those cases the women were God-ordained and sanctioned to function in those roles. But that does not appear to be the apparent norm or blanket application of how God fills the roles of those meant to be leaders in mixed-gender-follower situations.

With that said, I know it must seem confusing to understand just what is my position and I may seem to be contradicting myself, but, hey, that's the way I see GOD working in this regard!

Victorious said...

Good morning, RB!

You said...I believe God created 2 genders with unique and wondrous characteristics associated with each. He did not create either with the intention of that gender, or sex, functioning without the other. They were incomplete in themselves

God's concern is always for individuals; married or single; black or white; male or female; Jew or Greek; slave or free, etc. He is a God who is not partial and shows no personal favoritism.

We must take history into account in our interpretation and understanding of scripture. In the NT, we see what appears to be a preference of males over that of females. However, if we take history into consideration, we will begin to see how that attitude came to fruition. It began with the Jews orally passing on the Mosaic Law and ending up with what is called the Talmud. Also important is the formation of the "sects" of Pharisees and Saducees who eventually began to infiltrate the new churches and cause havoc with their views of their superiority and their racial and social prejudices. Jewish Women were the primary victims of their prejudice that included such details as even comparing a woman's voice to "filthy nakedness" and it was considered sexually provocative.

One cannot read through the gospel and not see them arguing with Jesus and confronting Him with their references to both the Torah and the Talmud (Oral law) and their racial and social prejudices . Likewise Paul's epistles without reading of the problems the Judaizers caused in their efforts to bring the Christians under Jewish law.

My conclusion, based on those historical facts, is that under those conditions, it was inevitable that the first missionaries of the Christian movement should be Jewish males. Had Jesus included Gentiles and women among the Twelve, he would have forfeited the future of the movement at its inception. And with the conversion of Paul who was a Pharisee himself and would have understood the teachings of the Oral Law/Talmud, the impartiality of God becomes his mission to preach to the gentiles and women; slave and free. He follows Jesus' in refuting the Judaizers and their efforts to focus on the prejudicial laws about insisting on circumcision, women, slaves, etc.

Victorious said...

P.S. should anyone want to view the the Talmud and it's teachings, here are two links that support as evidence the attitudes of the Judaizers in the NT.

https://www.sacred-texts.com/jud/talmud.htm

http://halakhah.com/tcontents.html

Ken F said...

"Jesus, while an equal person of the Trinity with God the Father and God the Spirit, took the role of a submissive servant in his incarnation."

Hi Connie,
In both your original comment and in your follow-on comment you made the point that the relationships in the Trinity are based on authority and hierarchy, and that this same type of authority and hierarchy is the model for marriages and churches. But I humbly submit that you are starting with incorrect assumptions. If there is any role of authority in the Trinity, it appears to be something that each gives to the others rather than holding onto and wielding it. The Godhead seems to care much less about who is in charge than we are. Also, the idea of hierarchy/subordination in the Trinity is a formal heresy that was condemned many centuries ago. If the Trinity is the model for marriages and churches, it means loving mutual submission, not hierarchy and authority.

Ken F said...

"Jewish Women were the primary victims of their prejudice that included such details as even comparing a woman's voice to "filthy nakedness" and it was considered sexually provocative."

Hi Victorious,
Have you read "God's Word to Women" by Katherine Bushnell? She was a doctor, medical missionary to China, and a Greek and Hebrew Scholar. She believed in inerrency, but also found incredible bias against women in how the OT and NT were translated. She does a remarkable job of exposing the prejudice against women. I highly recommend that book.

Victorious said...

Hi Ken,

Indeed I have! I purchased the book many years ago (1975-ish?) after it was republished from the original in 1923. I now mostly use the book on-line here:

https://godswordtowomen.wordpress.com/100-lessons/

Ken F said...

Hi Victorious,
I think you might also enjoy Paul Young's book "Eve" because it is based on her book.

Rex Ray said...

Wade,

Why in the world would you quote Marg Mowcko saying 1 Timothy 2:12 is about a married couple in the Ephesian church?

Paul clearly states in the next verse his reason for saying, “I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.” (KJ)

Next verse: “For Adam was first formed, then Eve.” (I Timothy 2:13 KJ)

Well, they were a married couple, but not in the Ephesian church.

RB Kuter said...

Victorious; "My conclusion, based on those historical facts, is that under those conditions, it was inevitable that the first missionaries of the Christian movement should be Jewish males."

That's one perspective. Mine is that women were included as the first missionaries following the resurrection of Jesus Christ in defiance of the Jewish religious institution that surrounded them but the first leaders of the church were men. The fact that those early church leaders were men was not necessarily following the Talmud and the corrupt culture of the Sanhedrin. Instead, it was a continuation of the model portrayed by Jesus/God the Father, throughout the ages.

As you mention, Paul was indeed well versed in the Law and its use by the Jewish institution of the day. Prior to his re-birth, Paul was a strong player in the implementation of the perverted Law as directed by the contemporary Jewish institution. Paul's identity completely changed following the death of the old "Saul" and re-birth as the new "Paul". That Jewish institution which had formerly guided his persecution of the church became his persecutors.

Jesus understood The Law better than anyone. Still, He did not allow Himself to be dictated by the corrupt application it had undergone and the culture established that reflected that. That culture actively opposed His "new wine" application of God's true Law with the heart of God as intended to be its essence. It doesn't add up that Jesus, Paul, and other leaders in the early church were functioning according to teachings or cultural tendencies imprinted on them that had to be shaken off over time as determined by what was politically correct.

Certainly, women were involved as "missionaries" in Kingdom expansion in the earliest days of the church, just not in the same type of role as were the men. Women missionaries were first to proclaim the resurrection of Jesus Christ when the men were still cowered in their secret room and rejected the testimony of those women missionaries. Women played no small role throughout the Kingdom expansion as they hosted, taught, and supported the work being done.

You write; "We must take history into account in our interpretation and understanding of scripture. In the NT, we see what appears to be a preference of males over that of females."

I find it revealing that you say we must take history into account in our interpretation and then propose that the New Testament ventures from the history that preceded it. You seem to overlook God's method of work throughout the Old Testament using those men leaders I had referred to earlier. The New Testament, i.e., the post resurrected dispensation, was simply a continuation of the same God's operation within the New Wineskin of The Gospel.

There is no suggestion in Scripture that I see where God's administration and application of His timeless providential plan changed. It doesn't change today. God's methods are derived from his very nature. The critical change implemented by God following the resurrection was the promised indwelling of His Holy Spirit into those who accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and followed Him. God did not change. WE changed to being creatures with the "mind of God", in other words, having a better understanding of God's methods and purpose for us.

We thereby function in a manner more consistent with God's character than ever before possible. We relate to the "Old Testament" having the same heart of God in recognizing His true intent of having a Law and behaving in a manner more consistent with how God has functioned throughout the ages.

This is the way I personally feel the most at peace with how God works. But I do concede that there are many, perhaps most, who sincerely follow Jesus Christ, like yourself, that do not agree. That's okay. The salvation of either of us is not based upon our being correct on this issue.

Wade Burleson said...

Connie,

Please forgive me for misunderstanding your comment. I intended no personal offense, and do apologize if my comment conveyed such. I genuinely thought you wrote that all women - through Eve - are more susceptible to deception than men are, and that’s why women shouldn’t lead.

I do apologize for misunderstanding. I have heard that kind of argument before, but it’s my error to conclude you were suggesting such. I’ll read closer next time.

Wade Burleson said...

And, I may be confusing “Connie” and “Cindy” - please forgive me. :)

Cindy said...

Thank you, Wade, for your apology. My comment wasn't what you thought. I was just re-iterating Paul's explanation for his previous comments about women's expected behavior in church. But I am intrigued to research the woman you referenced.

BTW...I'm the one you prayed for whose been married to an unsaved man for over 30 years! Thank you, again, for that.

Cindy

Wade Burleson said...

You're welcome! Thank you!

Rex Ray said...

Off Subject

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/justice-department/justice-department-review-origins-russia-probe-turns-criminal-investigation-n1071731


“A probe by Attorney General William Barr into the origins of the Russia investigation has changed from an administrative review into a criminal investigation, a person familiar with the review confirmed to NBC News.

The review is being conducted by Connecticut U.S. Attorney John Durham. The New York Times first reported Thursday that the administrative review has turned into a criminal investigation.

It’s not clear when the change occurred, but the probe began in May as an administrative review.

The Times reported that the change in status gives Durham the power to subpoena witness testimony and documents, to impanel a grand jury and to file criminal charges.

President Donald Trump has repeatedly called the Russia investigation conducted by former special counsel Robert Mueller a "witch hunt."

On Friday, Trump, talking to reporters on the White House lawn, predicted the investigation could bring to light "a lot of really bad things." "It looks like it's becoming very serious from what I'm hearing. Investigate the investigators," Trump said.

Republicans have suggested the investigation stemmed from a plot by members of the Obama administration and career intelligence officials, in what they call the "deep state," to undermine Trump.”

Unknown said...

Connie, the view that there is hierarchy in the Godhead was ruled a heresy long ago. There is love and mutual submission between them. Jesus submitted to the Father on earth as an expression of that and because he was living as a Man for our example.
As for women, the verses about submission are best viewed in context with the ones about slavery - in a relationship with someone who has legal life-or-death authority over you (husbands and masters), how should you behave for your own safety and to protect Christ's reputation? Peter is specifically addressing women with unsaved husbands. Paul emphasizes mutual submission before he speaks of wifely submission. I have no problem with the latter once the former gets as much emphasis and practice. Notice several things: wives are never told to obey, only submit, and they are never told to even submit in the entire Old Testament, where women were a lot more equal than in most societies! Also unless women were being taught radical equality in the church, it is unlikely they would need reminders to be submissive at home. So to develop an entire doctrine about "biblical roles in marriage" and teach it as authoritative is not sound. I remember the trouble it caused my parents, who had a great marriage until they were taught rigid roles. When they finally decided to ignore all the rules people were teaching, they were fine again.

Unknown said...

Junia was an apostle. The 12 were a special case, chosen for the foundation, but Jesus had other disciples besides them and a lot of those disciples were women. He sent out 70 to preach and there were 120 in the upper room. There are many women listed in the New Testament that co-labored with Paul.

Unknown said...

How does the female apostle Junia fit your ideas?

Anonymous said...

Would like you debate James White on this Wade.

He first stated on the charge of misogyny on John MacArthur is a mischaracterization and attack asserting a "hating" of women. I will say that he does have a point. The term is misleading. I am wondering if he caught your post possibly.

The second thing he mentioned, as he doesn't have any problems with women speaking publicly, is that no qualifications for women as elders is ever mentioned in Paul's letter although his letters do mention qualifications for women deacons. I was sort of taken by that one. Got to thinking that he does have a point as well.

He is a very good debater. Would like to see it happen.

Rex Ray said...

https://www.dallasnews.com/news/crime/2019/10/27/mass-shooting-at-texas-am-commerce-homecoming-party-in-greenville-according-to-reports/

Authorities could not get any information to identify a man that used a handgun to kill two and wound eight at a Texas A&M University-Commerce celebrated homecoming weekend. Two of the victims died, including 23-year-old Kevin Berry Jr. of Dallas. Four more were in critical condition late Sunday.

Commerce is about 40 miles from where we live. But the crowd of about 750 at the party would not talk to police.

I believe they’re in fear because it was gang related. More proof of this was shown later by shots being fire where a group were having a vigil for the dead.

Rex Ray said...

A picture of one Mexican killed in a bathing suit revealed his neck, chest, and arms covered with tattoos that showed skulls, $, and “Fear No Evil”. Twice, tattoos had “Money, Power, Respect”.

In some areas it’s common for Gang Members to have tattoos.

RB Kuter said...

No-Name mentions: "The second thing he mentioned, as he doesn't have any problems with women speaking publicly, is that no qualifications for women as elders is ever mentioned in Paul's letter although his letters do mention qualifications for women deacons."

There are no qualifications for an office of "elder" given in the Bible. Deacons ARE elders. So are other mature believers.

Christiane said...

IF we take a good look at this teaching:"
"There is no Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus";

THEN we have some indication of a NEW kind of relationship to one another 'in Christ'.

as to when and how this new relationship is formed, there is much conjecture, and there is also much confusion as to how this new relationship is lived out in Christian praxis that honors Christ Himself above all others involved

for some, who see their 'maleness' as what needs to be celebrated, the decision was made to declare Christ to be 'eternally subordinent to the Father' and to use this model as something which ought to guide the behavior of wives bowing down to their husband's wills

but this doesn't fit in with ancient Church's Doctrine of the Holy Trinity, no

for others, examining how the Church has for millenia restricted women and using this as a weaponized rationalization for continuing the isolation of women from 'being called' and requiring them not to 'insult' male superiority by speaking their truth;
and that has led to much grief among the women who have heard God call them by name to serve Him

what does it mean 'all one' with the former distinctions no longer having weight among those 'in Christ'?

If the meaning has something to do with 'a human person made in the image of God' being called to His service, than is it possible this 'new' relationship 'in Christ' began at the moment of Incarnation? When Christ took our humanity to Himself in order to heal it?

How is 'the human person made in the image of God' to now be interpreted as our humanity has been assumed into Christ Himself for all time going forward?

Seems to me that males have taken on much self-importance over the years when they shut the door on the women who would bring them the Good News,
and that they have chosen to do this even in the light of the Apostola Apostolorum, Mary Magdalen, who was sent forth by Christ Himself to go TO THE MEN with what is, for all time, the greatest news of the faith? Something about that Resurrection changed things for women in how they are to be 'heard' in this world when it comes to the 'good news', and this change is celebrated in the command of Christ to the Magdalen to go and tell.


Johnny D. said...

Thank you, Wade.

Wade Burleson said...

I would enjoy debating James White on this subject. :)

Christiane said...

FYI
https://www.lawfareblog.com/statement-nsc-ukraine-expert-zelensky-call

Rex Ray said...

RUSH TO JUGEMENT?

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/10/28/texas-shooting-greenville-texas-a-m-party-updates/2483281001/

This link states Brandon Ray Gonzales, 23, was arrested by Sheriff Meeks for the shooting at a Halloween and homecoming party for Texas A&M University-Commerce at Greenville, Texas where there were about 750 people.

TV channel 8 has interview Gonzales who says he is innocent that he was in his car with others and didn’t go inside. If that’s true, surely someone at the party will testify he was not the shooter because Gonzales looks VERY different than most people.

Sheriff Meeks took Gonzales’s handgun. With test it will be easy to see if his pistol fired the bullets that were found in the two killed and eight wounded. UNLESS his trial will be like Sirhan’s where all bullets looked the same because ‘substitutes’ were used.

I doubt that will happen because President Trump has no interest as President Johnson did in Sirhan’s trial.

Rex Ray said...


https://www.commercejournal.com/news/protest-calling-for-brandon-gonzales-to-be-freed-planned-for/article_9d1362ba-fa74-11e9-adb5-139517f415d6.html

“A protest is planned in Greenville this weekend [7 p.m. Saturday outside of the Hunt County Sheriff’s Department] in response to the arrest of Brandon Ray Gonzales on a charge of capital murder for the shooting deaths of two people early Sunday morning at The Party Venue. Though the sheriff's department arrested Brandon Gonzales, the real killer is still loose…the exonerating facts are many…not the least of which is a multitude of friends have testified that he was with them.”

Gonzales lives in Greenville. He works at an Automotive Dealership as a security guard.

I’m thinking of driving 35 miles and join the protest; carrying a sight: “Are Greenville police dumb for not testing Gonzales pistol for the murder weapon?