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Women in Authority - scripturally defensible.

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  • Women in Authority - scripturally defensible.

    It is rather difficult to find a lack of support, for women in leadership roles, in scripture - but maybe not so difficult to find a prohibition on women leading a congregation of mixed sexes (so 'tis said.)

    Deborah was a prophet before she became a judge (Jdgs 4:4).
    Junia was an apostle (Rmns 16:7), argument and translations saying otherwise notwithstanding: the fact was affirmed by Augustine.
    The existence of female prophets is affirmed in both Old and New Testaments. (Acts 21:9).
    God appointed in the church, first; apostles, second; prophets ...
    If any rule against women in authority ever existed, God ignored it.

    For anyone claiming co-equality in the Trinity, difficulties arise with attempting to use 1Cor 11:3 for placing men in preferred position. This same verse would make God in superior position to Christ.
    Last edited by tabibito; 06-27-2021, 01:56 AM.
    sigpic1 Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω

  • #2
    You certainly established that a woman may be a prophet. Now is a prophet a church leader?

    I say no, a prophet is not a church leader. In the old testament, the prophets generally spoke out against the priests, the leaders in the temple. This continued through the ministry of John the Baptist. There is no old testament record of a prophet leading a congregation. The best you get is apparently a prophet would lead a school of prophets which to me is not the same as a congregation.

    In the new testament, God did appoint prophets into the church. But there is no indication to me that God gave them a leadership position. The only prophet post Resurrection that I can recall is Agabus and in neither of his appearances did he appear to exert leadership authority.
    Scripture Verse: Acts 11:28


    One of them, named Agabus, stood up and through the Spirit predicted that a severe famine would spread over the entire Roman world. (This happened during the reign of Claudius.)

    © Copyright Original Source

    ;
    Scripture Verse: Acts 21:10-11

    After we had been there a number of days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. Coming over to us, he took Paul’s belt, tied his own hands and feet with it and said, “The Holy Spirit says, ‘In this way the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem will bind the owner of this belt and will hand him over to the Gentiles.’”

    © Copyright Original Source

    .

    I don't think you can use the office of prophet to get a woman into a church leadership position unless you can demonstrate a prophet is a church leader.
    "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

    "Theology can be an intellectual entertainment." Metropolitan Anthony Bloom

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Thoughtful Monk View Post
      You certainly established that a woman may be a prophet. Now is a prophet a church leader?

      I say no, a prophet is not a church leader. In the old testament, the prophets generally spoke out against the priests, the leaders in the temple. This continued through the ministry of John the Baptist. There is no old testament record of a prophet leading a congregation. The best you get is apparently a prophet would lead a school of prophets which to me is not the same as a congregation.
      Not necessarily an analogous situation. In the OT, there was only one "congregation" -- the whole nation of Israel. And most Protestants recognize there is now only one priesthood: The holy royal priesthood of all believers (1 Pet. 2:5, 9; Rev. 1:6; 5:9; 20:6). In the OT, Israel as a whole was God's priesthood to the world (Ex. 19:6), and the sons of Aaron were in effect a priesthood within the priesthood.

      Elders / bishop-overseer-supervisors / shepherds are in some ways similar to the OT priests, but IMO different in even more ways.


      In the new testament, God did appoint prophets into the church. But there is no indication to me that God gave them a leadership position. The only prophet post Resurrection that I can recall is Agabus and in neither of his appearances did he appear to exert leadership authority.
      Scripture Verse: Acts 11:28


      One of them, named Agabus, stood up and through the Spirit predicted that a severe famine would spread over the entire Roman world. (This happened during the reign of Claudius.)

      © Copyright Original Source

      ;
      Scripture Verse: Acts 21:10-11

      After we had been there a number of days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. Coming over to us, he took Paul’s belt, tied his own hands and feet with it and said, “The Holy Spirit says, ‘In this way the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem will bind the owner of this belt and will hand him over to the Gentiles.’”

      © Copyright Original Source

      .

      I don't think you can use the office of prophet to get a woman into a church leadership position unless you can demonstrate a prophet is a church leader.
      Acts 13:1 lists several prophets, including Saul before he became Paul later in the chapter. Acts 15:32 lists two more.

      Whether prophets qualify as "church leaders" may depend in part on how one interprets the "ranking" in 1 Cor. 12 and Eph. 4.
      Geislerminian Antinomian Kenotic Charispneumaticostal Gender Mutualist-Egalitarian.

      Beige Nationalist.

      "Everybody is somebody's heretic."

      Social Justice is usually the opposite of actual justice.

      Comment


      • #4
        While I'm cogitating on Thoughtful Monk's comments
        Ephs 4:11 And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers,
        12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;
        13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith

        Can it be effectively argued that fulfilment of the first phrase of verse 13 has ever been in evidence?
        sigpic1 Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω

        Comment


        • #5
          I think this may have come from a discussion in which I was involved, and my "sticking point" was that a woman is not to be "the lead pastor" or the head of the congregation, just as she is not to be the "head of the home".

          How bout the "husband of one wife" qualification? Are there those that think there's an interpretation of that qualification that allows, for example, "the wife of one husband"?
          The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by NorrinRadd View Post
            ...
            Acts 13:1 lists several prophets, including Saul before he became Paul later in the chapter. Acts 15:32 lists two more.

            Whether prophets qualify as "church leaders" may depend in part on how one interprets the "ranking" in 1 Cor. 12 and Eph. 4.
            That would be another worthwhile discussion -- when the word "prophet" is used in the sense of 'predicting (or warning against) future events' or simply "proclaiming the truth".
            I consider myself a prophet, but only in the sense of proclaiming what the Word of God actually says about events, both past, present and future.

            The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
              I think this may have come from a discussion in which I was involved, and my "sticking point" was that a woman is not to be "the lead pastor" or the head of the congregation, just as she is not to be the "head of the home".

              How bout the "husband of one wife" qualification? Are there those that think there's an interpretation of that qualification that allows, for example, "the wife of one husband"?
              Ah now. Paul does lay down rules for the elders (masculine noun), but he makes no mention of the "elderesses" in that passage. Female elders (e.g. Rmns 16:1 - Phoebe) are definitely part of the early church hierarchy, whether or not they were preachers, but why would Paul prohibit an unheard of practice? What is the likelihood of a woman having two husbands in the first century church? Further, argument may be raised against Prisca (Rmns 16:3) as an apostle, but the claim that she was a "fellow-worker" with Paul doesn't designate her as a simple congregant.

              Overall, my take is that AT BEST there lacks a conclusive scriptural prohibition against women in leadership roles. Without a conclusive overall statement, it is within the province of a congregation's decision whether to have a woman as church-leader. Nothing allows for one congregation to declare another's alternative choice incorrect.
              Last edited by tabibito; 06-28-2021, 10:49 AM.
              sigpic1 Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by tabibito View Post

                Ah now. Paul does lay down rules for the elders (masculine noun), but he makes no mention of the "elderesses" in that passage. Female elders (e.g. Rmns 16:1 - Phoebe) are definitely part of the early church hierarchy, whether or not they were preachers, but why would Paul prohibit an unheard of practice? What is the likelihood of a woman having two husbands in the first century church? Further, argument may be raised against Prisca (Rmns 16:3) as an apostle, but the claim that she was a "fellow-worker" with Paul doesn't designate her as a simple congregant.

                Overall, my take is that AT BEST there lacks a conclusive scriptural prohibition against women in leadership roles. Without a conclusive overall statement, it is within the province of a congregation's decision whether to have a woman as church-leader. Nothing allows for one congregation to declare another's alternative choice incorrect.
                So, lemme emphasize again --- I'm specifically talking about THE lead role in a local church - "the pastor", or lead pastor or whatever you want to call "the man in charge".
                The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post

                  So, lemme emphasize again --- I'm specifically talking about THE lead role in a local church - "the pastor", or lead pastor or whatever you want to call "the man in charge".
                  You mean like an apostle? Junia was one.

                  There are churches, SBC among them, who allowed women into the field to evangelise, and when they had built congregations up, running under their supervision, the churches concerned replaced those women with male preachers. It was all well and good for women to have full authority in fledgling churches, but not in established churches. Seems to me that such procedures point to double-think.
                  sigpic1 Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
                    I think this may have come from a discussion in which I was involved, and my "sticking point" was that a woman is not to be "the lead pastor" or the head of the congregation, just as she is not to be the "head of the home".

                    How bout the "husband of one wife" qualification? Are there those that think there's an interpretation of that qualification that allows, for example, "the wife of one husband"?
                    Yes. Payne (Man and Woman -- One in Christ) and Bartlett (Men and Women in Christ) give evidence that the Greek expression (literally, "one-woman-man") is an idiom meaning "faithful spouse," and can refer to either sex, while the related expression in 1 Tim. 5:9 (literally, "one-man-woman") refers only to faithful wives (not husbands). IMO Bartlett gives a more readable and generally better presentation, explicitly explaining 1 Tim. 3 as continuing the discussion from 1 Tim. 2. Both (Payne and Bartlett) note that, assuming the claims about one-woman-man are correct, there are no other nouns or pronouns in 1 Tim. 3 (or Tit. 1) that specify gender (contrary to the implication of virtually all English translations apart from the CEB and CEV).
                    Geislerminian Antinomian Kenotic Charispneumaticostal Gender Mutualist-Egalitarian.

                    Beige Nationalist.

                    "Everybody is somebody's heretic."

                    Social Justice is usually the opposite of actual justice.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post

                      So, lemme emphasize again --- I'm specifically talking about THE lead role in a local church - "the pastor", or lead pastor or whatever you want to call "the man in charge".
                      Are you sure the whole idea of "the" lead role is not an anachronism being read back onto Scripture? Can you point to Scriptures indicating a single "man in charge" as normative? I mean, I see Nympha as "the" woman in charge of a particular church, but offhand I'm not aware of Scripture teaching that there must be a single "head" person, as opposed to a group of elders.
                      Geislerminian Antinomian Kenotic Charispneumaticostal Gender Mutualist-Egalitarian.

                      Beige Nationalist.

                      "Everybody is somebody's heretic."

                      Social Justice is usually the opposite of actual justice.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Thoughtful Monk View Post
                        I don't think you can use the office of prophet to get a woman into a church leadership position unless you can demonstrate a prophet is a church leader.
                        In addition to what I posted above, I don't think it's necessary to demonstrate that prophethood is a leadership role in order to see leadership roles as being open to women.

                        The OP already documented Junia (Rom. 16:7) as being an apostle. While that term certainly had a range of meanings, most people would agree it generally involved some degree of leadership.

                        Phoebe (Rom. 16:1-2) was a "prostatis," or "patron." This was a position that afforded at least some degree of leadership (and the term is related to "proistemi," "leadership" in Rom. 12:8 (i.e. the same book), as well as "preside over" in 1 Thess. 5:12 and "manage" (one's household) in 1 Tim. 3.

                        It seems natural to me to regard Nympha (Col. 4:15) as the leader of a house church, since she was the householder, and she is the only person greeted by name.

                        Here Marg Mowczko makes the case that the "chosen lady" of 2 John 1:1 was the leader of a local church. She addresses the usage of the words "chosen," "lady" ("kuria," a term indicating some rank or honor), and "children," and refutes the common idea, held by even some egalitarians like Craig Keener, that "chosen lady" referred to that church as a whole. (Marg has an article addressing the overall topic of "women pastors" here.)

                        Many of us see Acts 2 making a strong case for women being equal to men in ministry. It's fairly clear that the passage is the fulfillment of the receiving of "power" promised in the Great Commission accounts in Luke 24 and Acts 1. And Peter's quotation from Joel 2 seems to parallel Jesus's quoting of Isa. 61 as the justification and program for the ministry to follow. So it seems significant to me that the passage twice puts males and females on equal footing in Spirit-enabled ministry.

                        Especially in its context contrasting Spirit and Law, many of us see Gal. 3:28 as eliminating the class distinctions (including but not limited to the fact that ministry was limited by both sex and genealogy) that were explicitly in effect under the Law.
                        Geislerminian Antinomian Kenotic Charispneumaticostal Gender Mutualist-Egalitarian.

                        Beige Nationalist.

                        "Everybody is somebody's heretic."

                        Social Justice is usually the opposite of actual justice.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by tabibito View Post
                          You mean like an apostle? Junia was one.
                          No, I mean like pastor of a church.

                          There are churches, SBC among them, who allowed women into the field to evangelise, and when they had built congregations up, running under their supervision, the churches concerned replaced those women with male preachers. It was all well and good for women to have full authority in fledgling churches, but not in established churches. Seems to me that such procedures point to double-think.
                          SBC is a bad example, because ALL of its churches are autonomous -- that one church (or even a bunch of churches) does/do something is not indicative of the organization's policies.

                          Though we claim to be a non-creedal people, we do, in fact, have a statement of faith on which we vote at annual meetings - the Baptist Faith & Message. It's pretty clear about the office of pastor being held only by men.
                          A New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is an autonomous local congregation of baptized believers, associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel; observing the two ordinances of Christ, governed by His laws, exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His Word, and seeking to extend the gospel to the ends of the earth. Each congregation operates under the Lordship of Christ through democratic processes. In such a congregation each member is responsible and accountable to Christ as Lord. Its scriptural officers are pastors and deacons. While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture.

                          The New Testament speaks also of the church as the Body of Christ which includes all of the redeemed of all the ages, believers from every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation.

                          Matthew 16:15-19; 18:15-20; Acts 2:41-42,47; 5:11-14; 6:3-6; 13:1-3; 14:23,27; 15:1-30; 16:5; 20:28; Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 3:16; 5:4-5; 7:17; 9:13-14; 12; Ephesians 1:22-23; 2:19-22; 3:8-11,21; 5:22-32; Philippians 1:1; Colossians 1:18; 1 Timothy 2:9-14; 3:1-15; 4:14; Hebrews 11:39-40; 1 Peter 5:1-4; Revelation 2-3; 21:2-3.
                          The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            By the way - there's still much controversy about Junia....
                            Either that she was a woman
                            or that she was an apostle.

                            The Greek leaves it open that she was "noted among the Apostles", but not necessarily was "one of them".

                            Here's something from Bible.org
                            Junia Among the Apostles: The Double Identification Problem in Romans 16:7

                            I'm always careful when we find an apparent "exception to the rule" that's not really clear.
                            The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by NorrinRadd View Post

                              Are you sure the whole idea of "the" lead role is not an anachronism being read back onto Scripture? Can you point to Scriptures indicating a single "man in charge" as normative? I mean, I see Nympha as "the" woman in charge of a particular church, but offhand I'm not aware of Scripture teaching that there must be a single "head" person, as opposed to a group of elders.
                              Ultimately, every institution should have ONE "head" --- in nature, anything without a head is dead, and anything with more than one head is a monster.

                              (I'm assuming we're having a friendly conversation here, so I'm being a bit reserved - not in "battle mode". )

                              As for the "group of elders", it still comes down to the qualification of an elder including that he be "the husband of one wife". Both 1 Timothy 3:2 and Titus 1:6 state that rather clearly.
                              Again, in the Bible, we have the pattern - Christ (male) is the head of the Church, man (male) is the head of the home, and the elder is to be in charge of his own household (1 Tim 3:4-5, Titus 1:6-7)

                              The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

                              Comment

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