WOMEN SERVING AS PASTORS
STEPPING OUT OF DIVINE ORDER
By: Victor T. Stephens
"People often claim to hunger for truth, but seldom like the taste when it's served up."
~ George R.R. Martin
Jesus and Women
After the fall of mankind, women have been treated as second-class citizens; unworthy of equality, and in many instances, they were depersonalized. In this section, I will point out some interesting facts about the relationship Jesus had with women in contrast to other men of His day. When we begin to examine the women in the New Testament, we will observe that Jesus viewed women in a different and remarkable aspect. Not only did Jesus honor and respect his mother, Mary, He revolutionized the way all women were treated; demonstrating utmost love, dignity, and respect for them; and often violated the rules that were laid down by the "religious" leaders.
Although the Jewish Talmud prohibited women from being taught, Jesus was consistently willing to dialogue and teach women freely. During His conversation with the Samaritan woman at the well, Jesus taught her about living water; indicating that He was the Messiah. Other points discussed by Jesus included eternal life and the manner of genuine worship (John 4:7-26). Unlike the religious leaders of His day, Jesus did not adopt the position that women could not understand spiritual truths or theological issues. He expected women as well as men to be taught from him.
During the account of Mary and Martha, Mary was being taught by Jesus along with the rest of His disciples. Martha, on the other hand, complained to Jesus concerning her lack of help from Mary. In response, Jesus gently pointed out to Martha that Mary's thirst for spiritual truth took priority over her domestic responsibilities (Luke 10:38-42). Take note that this passage does not mean domestic duties are always to be ignored. In context, it simply means "what is better" at the current moment under the current conditions.
Luke, chapter seven tells the account of a sinful woman who washed Jesus' feet with her tears and anointed him with fragrant oil. This humble act was evidence of her faith, and thus, she was forgiven (verses 37-50). Anna of Asher, a prophetess, gave thanks for Jesus when Mary and Joseph dedicated him to God at the age of six weeks
(Luke 2:22, 36-38).
Women were free to travel with Christ and take part in his earthy ministry. Numerous women, including "Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee's sons" followed Jesus and cared for his needs (Matt. 27:55-56). Their association with Jesus was something that was considered unprecedented during that time period. Mary Magdalene, Jonna, and Susanna traveled with Jesus and his 12 disciples. These women contributed to the support of Jesus and his disciples with their own funds (Luke 8:1-3). They were present at Christ's crucifixion and were the first to testify of His resurrection.
While Jesus placed high value and dignity on women, he nevertheless recognized role distinctions for men and women; and thus, did not exalt women to a place of leadership over men. Jesus never stated anything that reprimanded the divine creation order in which men carry the primary responsibility of leadership. Surely Jesus, who often broke religious rules and social customs, would have chosen at least one woman into the Apostleship. But, no such arrangement was implemented. Even in Acts 1:15-26, the only account of a replacement apostle, the one chosen was a man (Matthias). Since it is a fact that many women traveled with Jesus and his disciples, one must question why a woman was not chosen as a replacement apostle. Taking this into consideration along with the fact that Christ elected 12 men to the Apostleship, which is in harmony with Paul's command in 1 Timothy 2:11-14, we can conclude that it is God's will for only men to lead in the church as well as the family structure.
There are some men and women who have attempted to reconstitute the renditions of Paul's writings to justify women taking authoritative positions in the church. To allege that God's Word sanctions women to hold the position of pastor or preacher illustrates that one has to reject the biblical teachings on the leadership and authority of man; and dismiss the biblical representation of the virtuous woman. Likened to Eve, when a woman veers from God's ordained plan, she will fall to the stratagem of Satan.
Christians should take heed of political correctness by consenting to the deviations and conforming to the defiance of women pastors who refuse to adhere to God's divine order in the church. Instead, we should develop proper biblical discernment and conform and adhere to God's Word.
In view of the biblical evidence presented in this article, Paul clearly stated his deduction for male leadership and the prohibitions for women preaching and teaching in a church assembly. Paul's reference to the creation order is one of the greatest definitive marks of confirmation that invalidate the notion that women are permitted to lead in the church assembly.
Furthermore, an analysis of the 33 arguments by pro-women ordainers has disclosed that there is no evidence in Scripture of women holding pastoral positions. It is monumentally fascinating how pro-women ordainers will deny the facts and continuously go to great lengths to twist the Word of God for the sake of their self-fulfillment.
While some male pastors and feminists outside and within the church may show anger, frustration, and disdain at these conclusions, it is irrelevant to the reality that their mindsets are contrary to what God's Word teaches. Thus, we should not compromise to this aberrancy by supporting a woman who has stepped out of God's divine order in the church. Instead of dismissing the truth and remaining in a state of indolence, we should speak out and help restore God's proper order for the body of Christ ... in the church as well as the family structure.
Men and women who love the Lord have a very important place in the plans of God. As each of us performs our God-given gifts and duties, our home life and church body will be able to function in a manner which glorifies God.
In the body of Christ, I appreciate the women who have contributed much to the church; and understand both the importance of spiritual equality and the clear responsibility that God has designed for them. I pray that God will continue to bless and honor them for their loving and committed faithfulness. In like manner, men should love and honor them with dignity.
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