Thursday, February 1, 2024

Women Pastors? Biblical or not?


Yes, I know it's been a good minute, but I haven't had a GOOD thing to write about in a while.

I know my long-time readers are always looking for something new, and while this certainly IS NOT something new, it is something I haven't written about here before...

So with that, we have today's question (modified for flow and anonymity):

Question: Pastor Keith, there was something I wanted to speak to you about; seeing you brought up your feelings about women and their place when it comes to Biblical instruction.

My husband and I were attending an Advent church, in MA while my ordination was coming about.  Things were going well and my husband and I even began holding dinners, during the holiday; when folks had no one to eat with.  Then, the pastor of this church heard I was going to be ordained and everything changed.

He basically shunned me.  I was no longer worthy of doing the things I had done before.  He was incredibly angry that my cousin and my friend wanted to have me do a special portion of their wedding ceremony (not marry them).  My husband could not handle the way I was being treated, so he made the decision for us to leave the church and we did.

There are some lines of thought that feel no woman should be a pastor nor instruct the word of God, for they are a woman and must have the 'covering' of a man.  However, there is the other line of thought that when Christ Jesus paid the price; He PAID the price and truly did make a New Covenant.  And, His sacrifice is a woman's covering, for we are ALL meant to spread the Gospel.  Spreading the Gospel is to teach and instruct.

The Holy Spirit leads me into ministry; where He sees there is a gap.  This is where I step in.  I am to lead by example.  At least this is what the Holy Spirit is telling me.  I have only had a few strong men in my life and 2 of them are left here on earth.  I have learned my ways from them, not from women.  I hope this will help you understand me a bit better :)

Answer: Sister, I don't expect you to like or even value my reply, but I hope that you can see past what you think of as "MY OPINIONS, MY VIEWS & MY FEELINGS", and instead see this as WHAT THE OPINIONS, VIEWS & FEELINGS OF GOD ARE.  Because as far as I'm concerned, MY feelings are WORTHLESS when it comes to Gods Word.  Amen?

So, before I begin, please know in your heart that I mean no offense, no hostility and no ill-will of any kind.  If there's anything I've written that you'd like more clarity on, I'm available to speak any time.

First things first: NOBODY can claim to have a TRUE relationship with God unless they have 1 concept CLEARLY UNDERSTOOD.

Sola Scriptura: is a Christian theological doctrine held by most Protestant Christian denominations that posits the Bible as the sole infallible source of authority for Christian faith and practice.

Without Sola Scriptura, ANYTHING that God has to say is flimsy and fallible.  Without Sola Scriptura, God's Word is ANYTHING BUT INFALLIBLE.

With that said, I have to answer the obvious question: What about the Holy Spirit?  And you'd be RIGHT to ask that question, especially since you mentioned Him so much (both in your question and to me on the phone).  Sola Scriptura is the PRIMARY WAY that we should HEAR and KNOW God's Word.  It's in stone and according to the book of Malachi, HE DOES NOT CHANGE.

Interruption: After I finished writing my response, I realized that I forgot to tell you something....  You made something of a habit during our 3 phone calls of mentioning THE HOLY SPIRIT THIS and THE HOLY SPIRIT THAT.  That was what led me to write the response that you have here.  You may not realize it, but the arguments you use aren't that much different from what any other religion teaches.  It's the same nonsense that keeps on producing new "prophets" and "apostles".  -- Ok, back to my reply...

Of course with that said, why bother speaking with the Holy Spirit at all?  First of all, if you expect that God will give YOU a NEW or BETTER answer, then you're lost, far more lost than I would spend the time with.  If you believe that God WILL ANSWER YOU or GIVE YOU GUIDANCE - BASED ON WHAT HIS WORD ALREADY SAYS, then I'd be in 100% agreement with you.

With that said, I think the Pastor that kicked you to the curb is a jerk.  There's plenty of them out there.  Fred Phelps anyone?  I think that God said it CLEARLY in 1 Timothy 2:8-15.

1 Timothy 2:8-15 - I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting; in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works. Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. Nevertheless she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control.

Why did Paul write that a woman should learn in silence? Why did Paul write that a woman is not permitted to teach or have authority over a man?  Because Paul was a misogynist?  Unlikely.  Because he didn't like women?  Also unlikely.  Perhaps he was practicing discrimination?  No way!  Could it be that because in the 1st century, women were uneducated?  Nope, if it were so, the bible would tell us it's a matter of education.  He goes on to explain in verse 14 that women are precluded from teaching or being in authority over men thanks to Eve.  It was the woman who was deceived in the garden and caused BOTH her and her husband to fall into transgression.

PLEASE KEEP IN MIND THAT THIS IS INSIDE OF THE NEW TESTAMENT, therefore your supposition that it's all a part of the new covenant is incorrect on its face.

If you think that the Bible somehow teaches ANOTHER ACCOUNT, then you have a most interesting version of the bible to work from.  I can't find anything that shows that God speaks out of both sides of his mouth.

What about Priscilla and Phoebe in the new testament?  Does the bible refer to them as Pastors???  I think the closest we get is "Deacon".  A deacon is a servant, period.  I know you didn't, but I hate when people make up things that aren't there, just to get their way.

And just as a quick aside, it is generally accepted that when Paul says that a woman is precluded from teaching or being in authority over a man, it is SOLELY meant AS IT IS RELEVANT TO GOD AND THE BIBLE.  I'm pretty sure that God doesn't have any issues with women in secular management, mostly because the bible is SILENT on the matter.  Also, if you're inclined to bring up Deborah from the book of Judges, I would remind you that Deborah is UNIQUE IN ALL OF SCRIPTURE.  I was about to write a small book on the matter, but saved me the work and made it more concise, this is what most people I know understand and believe to be true:

Deborah was Israel’s only female judge. Some scholars have suggested that her position as judge was itself a judgment on the weak-willed men of Israel. Because Israel’s men were unfit to judge, God chose a woman for the job, partly to shame the men who should have taken the leadership. Other commentators believe that Deborah’s role as judge was a sign of God’s comforting presence in the midst of His oppressed and downtrodden people.  

With all of that said, it comes down to a single question....

You're free to believe whatever you want, but is it Biblical?

If you tell me, it's what the Spirit laid upon your heart (and doesn't match scripture), then it's not Biblical (it's not even from God!).
If you tell me, that in the flesh it's how I feel, then I would agree with you 100 fold!
But I'm never going to agree that what God INTENDED was OPPOSITE TO WHAT HE SAID.

As for the new covenant, God clearly lays out IN SCRIPTURE what HIS NEW COVENANT IS.  And even better, Jesus not only CONSTANTLY referred back to the Tanakh, but made absolutely certain that we understood that even HE was bound by what it says.


Jeremiah 31:31-36 - Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah --- not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the LORD. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more."  Thus says the LORD, Who gives the sun for a light by day, The ordinances of the moon and the stars for a light by night, Who disturbs the sea, And its waves roar (The LORD of hosts is His name):  " If those ordinances depart From before Me, says the LORD, Then the seed of Israel shall also cease From being a nation before Me forever."

Where does it say ANYTHING about a woman's covering or being able to teach Godly things to men by women?

For posterity, it wasn't me who told you my FEELINGS about women in Ministry, IT WAS GOD THAT TOLD YOU HIS.

I hope that whoever is reading this understands the importance and severity of this instruction from God in 1 Timothy.  If you are a woman AND you believe that God is calling you into ministry work AND He's calling you to pastor and teach MEN, AND you've prayed about it AND you're 100% CERTAIN that the Holy Spirit is leading you to do this, THEN YOU ARE NOT IN FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD AT ALL.  Because God ALREADY TOLD YOU TO REMAIN SILENT.  God makes it SUPER CLEAR in Malachi 3:6, He says I DO NOT CHANGE.

With all that said, I say that Christian women the world over SHOULD at some point in their walk feel LEAD BY THE SPIRIT to work in ministry in some capacity, whether it be a food ministry, an outreach ministry, an evangelical ministry, a women's ministry or even a children's ministry.  If doing those things MAKES YOU FEEL lesser than a man, then I think we've found the issue.  In God's eyes all men and women are equal (when it comes to salvation), but please don't be fooled into thinking and believing that God somehow changed His mind when Jesus walked the Earth 2,000 years ago.

And with that, if you enjoyed reading this today, please share it with a friend or a loved one.  Who knows what it will take to help you break through the walls that Satan has erected?

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