Monday, April 30, 2012

Women In Ministry By Michael Davidson

So, a couple weeks ago I was at a function and there were some people from the community and our church. Well before everything got started a couple people I was with was asking me who was who and what their roles were in the church.  Someone decided to chime in and ask about a particular person that I was talking about. I was telling them what they do and all that. I probably should have been prepared for it because when you have 2 people together you will find something you disagree on. Always. That's just the way it is. There's ways to express your opinions though and that's the part I've never understood. If you're unsure, unclear, or just flat out disagree there's a way to ask without being condescending and degrading. You would've thought I just stomped a kitten right in front of this man! I've never seen someone so offended.... until about 2 seconds later when he responded! Basically he flat out says that the church I attend clearly doesn't read their word. Something I don't understand is why people who don't even take time out of their day to read the bible or attend church service even bother to debate it. (If you've read it and understand it- there's nothing to debate honestly) He says he feels women shouldn't preach and that the bible says women shouldn't be preachers. Well my church has two of the best women preachers in the world two women who are two of the best preachers in the world! One is holy ghost and fire filled and brings the house down. The other is more quiet but there isn't 2 minutes that pass that she's not got a scripture coming out of her mouth. She is probably the most educating minister I've ever heard. I love both styles and I love both women. I think they're amazing and quite frankly I bit my tongue so hard it almost started bleeding. Now I know that you shouldn't get upset when someone tries to make you that way, but boy, when people start talking about my church family and my preachers I can't help but to get a little offended. So for everyone who thinks women shouldn't preach, and who have read in the bible somewhere that women shouldn't have a significant role in ministry; this is for you.

Galatians 3:28: "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus."
Romans 16:1-2: "I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea: That ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you: for she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also."

Phoebe was designated to serve with the overseers of the church. Why would Jesus want a woman to serve with the overseers of the church if he didn't feel they should have important role in ministry?

Acts 18:24-26: "And a Jew named Apollos,  born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus. This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John. And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly."

Now, if Jesus doesn't think women should have important roles in ministry why would he have a woman explain his way more adequately to other people, including men?

These aren't the only women. Mary Magdalene & Mary Salome (found in all four gospels) Joanna & Susan (Luke) Tabitha & Lydia (Acts) Julia (Romans) Deborah (Judges) all played significant roles in the bible.

1 Corinthians 11:5
: "But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven

Why were women encouraged to pray and worship accustomed to the times and be prophecies, if they weren't supposed to be a disciple and spread the word of God?

Oh, and that's not all! Numbers 22:28: "And the LORD opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times?"

Seriously, God speaks through a donkey (who just so happened to be a female donkey!) but he can't speak through a woman?

Now I know where the confusion comes in. 1 Timothy 2:8-15 talks about the women and men in church.

Verse 8 says: "I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere..." like I mentioned, 1 Corinthians 11:5 encourages women to pray accustomed to the times. Why are women encouraged to pray if they shouldn't?  To me, maybe I'm wrong (but I don't think I am) "the men" refers to a group of public worshipers in general. Kinda like the mysterious "they" people refer to in today's times. Prayer is part of Christian worship. The bible is full of scripture regarding the power of prayer as well as female Christians.

Verses 11-13 says "...Let a woman learn in silence. I do not permit a woman to teach or have authority over man but to be in silence. For Adam was formed first, then Eve." Well obviously like I just provided, women were encouraged to pray accustomed to the times. So no, they shouldn't be silent. & Like I mentioned earlier, in the book of Acts we saw Priscilla educate Apollos on the way of the Lord. 1 Corinthians 11:11-12 says "Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord. For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God." Acts 10:34 says that God is no respecter of persons. All people are created equal in God's eyes. Jews, Gentiles, Men, Women.... all the same. For women to not have authority over man refers to not forgetting who they learned from. 2 Timothy 3:14 says to continue on the path of what you have learned but never forget where you learned it. You always hear people say to respect your elders. Its kind of the same thing, in my opinion. You will never have authority over who molded you into the person you are today. You grow up, you move on, but you never forget where you came from. You learn the word, you speak the word, you spread the word, but never forget where you learned it. Obviously with Adam being created first,  Eve (the woman) learned from man. Verse 13 alone should put an end to any doubt you have about that scripture, but for some; it doesn't. By saying that all women should learn in silence is referring to your attitude while learning. Get in your prayer closet, read the word of God, learn it, and become a true believer. This isn't just for the women, this is for everyone. To seek God is to know God.  Matthew 6:16-18 says "Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly." Again, you see people as a whole referred to as "men." Scriptures on the power behind fasting flood the bible (Matthew 17:20-21, Daniel 9:3, etc) If you seek your father in silence you will be rewarded. So by saying that women should study in silent wasn't saying they should be ashamed and they're not allowed to do so.

Humble yourself and give yourself unto Him and you will find the answers you're seeking for. God answers all prayers whether they come from men or women. God wants his work done by all. Don't ever let someone try to stop you from worshiping to your full capabilities. Stand up, speak out, spread the word.

Proverbs 31:30 says "...a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised." Not mocked, not dissed, not put down for her efforts. Praised! So the next time you see a woman serving the Lord and ministering to others before you shrug her off and blow hot air and make comments like "oh, somebody needs to read the bible" maybe you should read it for yourself first

The bible can be interpreted many ways. You can read a piece of scripture here and there and make it mean what you want it to, so you have the right to disagree with me if you would like, and that's fine. Maybe I'm the one interpreting it wrong; but I don't think I am. 

By Michael Davidson