Sunday, May 06, 2007

Women in the Church

Here is a video that quotes some of the leading men in the church (and Pat Buchanan) and their views on women. The video is a response to the views of these men:


I think that this response is the wrong response. Obviously these men of the church were looking at the role of women, not from a biblical perspective but one colored by their culture and the norms of their society. A response to this should not be a visual and manipulative use of images of young women and the words of feminists. Our response would be more powerful and have lasting impact if we can demonstrate from the word of God that men and women, though having different gifts are equal in the sight of God and that the role of women in the church is far more than bearing covenant children.

Nowhere in the New Testament does it say that this is the sole role for women of the church and if it were then there would be many women who would not be fulfilling their role since there are many women in the church who are not married. And it would be strange for Paul to encourage Christians not to marry (1 Corinthians 7:8) if women only had this one role.

It is arrogant for men to assume that they have a superior role in the church and look down on the gifts that women can offer. I believe that the Scripture excludes women from only one role in the church and that is elder (in the Presbyterian church the pastor is considered a teaching elder, the is run by him and the ruling elders). Everything else is open to them, anything that the laity can do they can do.

And if men doubt that women in the church share an equal status, they only have to read this verse to remind them how God views his church:
Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
And if we want an example of the roles of women in the early church we have many: they were prophets (Acts 21:8-9), servants (deacons) of the church (Romans 16:1) and it was in some of their homes that Christians met (Acts 12:12).

Let us not allow our brothers in Christ to fall into the sin of pride and arrogance by allowing them to limit our role in the church. Let us call them to repentance and love and help them to see that they are not above the body but part of it and that includes women. Let's help them to see that the priesthood of believers includes women as well (1 Peter 2:5). Let us be like Priscilla when she saw that Apollos was incorrect in his teaching of the "way of God," went with her husband to correct him. Let us do the same with those in the church who don't understand the truth that is so clearly evident in Scriptures. Women stand before God united with their brothers in Christ, none are superior, so we don't have to demand our rights but it is necessary for the benefit of our brothers to make sure they understand the word of God and aren't misrepresenting it to others.


  1. mamas*little*treasures said...
    AnnaYou are a wise woman of the faith - it has never been about proving that women are "better" than men, just that we all have different, but equally valuable, gifts that we bring to the Body of Christ. The "first wave" feminist demand that women are same as men simply invalidated their own unique role in God's creation. We are different . . . we have different gifts . . . . and Christ's church needs one day to acknowledge and value the contributions of all its members. We are a "body" for a reason! Thanks for your wisdom and insight. Nina
    mamas*little*treasures said...
    Michele - sorry about the "Anna" at the beginning of my post. Must have been a subconscious slip up on the keypad . . . . that's my daughter's name, so I'm clueless how it happened. I do know that your name is Michele! Nina
    casey said...
    I think it was a lame video. Quoting Church fathers from how many centuries ago...and Pat Robertson as an authoritative source for today? Though, I have to say I smiled to see Driscoll's name included in all of that.

    And, did I miss Plato as an authoritative source for Christian Theology?

    I just didn't understand the point of the whole thing.

    I agree Michele - let's reason from Scripture on the nature of men and women, rather than make a video that really doesn't address the issue at all. Good call.h
    Sam said...
    @michele: I take it you believe in the universal application of 1 Tim 2? Assuming so, I note your hope to publish Bible studies - how would you expect these to be received by males?

    Honest question btw - I'm currently on the fence regarding gender submission & women teaching; the debate is extremely complex.

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