Women in Ministry
The Word of God can sometimes be confusing on certain subjects. Just do a study through the book of Revelation and you’ll see what I mean. Yet, the overwhelming amount of Scripture is clear and understandable on just a simple reading. One of the most clear passages in the Bible is I Timothy 2:9-15. This passage clearly lays out Paul’s inspired understanding of how women are to function within the church. The heart of the matter is found in verse 12 which simply teaches that women are not to function as elders (pastors, shepherds, overseers) in the church. He says, “I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man…”
While everyone loves John 3:16, many hate this passage and try to distort it in order for it to mean something else, but the truth is right there in black and white. Some try to use other Biblical figures whose functions within the church were vague, but how do we interpret vague passages? In light of clear ones, like I Tim 2. The truth is that women have a different and complimentary role according to God in the church and also in the home. This truth is grounded in something transcendent - the curse of Genesis 3. Unless one is desiring to completely wreck their hermeneutic (how they interpret the Word of God), then this truth must be believed. And this truth, like all of God’s truth, is good for us and especially good for women.
Here are three thing to remember about women’s role in the church:
REMEMBER THAT GOD IS PRO-WOMAN
Going back to the very beginning, God saw that man was not enough for humanity. His creation was missing something, the universe needed women. God thought that. From the beginning, God was a proponent of women. He used women to accomplish His will in the world. As we just celebrated Christmas, just look at baby Jesus. How did the Messiah come into the world? Mary. Who were the first ones to find out Christ had risen? Women. God elevates women beyond cultural norms.
REMEMBER THAT MEN AND WOMEN ARE EQUAL IN CHRIST
Throughout human history one can see that humanity has beaten down women. They’ve been viewed as property and secondary to man. Yet, God’s Word shows us His heart for women. He has lifted them up throughout the entirety of Scripture. Beginning at Genesis 3 and continuing throughout the canon of Scripture, God has a high view of women. This is especially laid out for us in Galatians 3:28, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” While they fulfill different roles in the church and home, God does not see men or women as better than the other, they are equal in Christ. Each is just as valuable to Christ. Different roles within the church does not change that fact.
REMEMBER THAT TRUE SATISFACTION ONLY COMES THROUGH CHRIST
A few weeks ago I was watching a video from 1993 when Dr. Al Mohler was just voted in as the new president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He came to campus and had a Q/A with the students. Many female students were concerned about his installment because of his views on the ordination of women (that they should not be ordained for pastoral ministry as clearly laid out in I Tim 2). They asked him questions essentially saying, “Why do you not affirm me?” This still happens today with this argument, it becomes a personal attack to say that women should not be in ministry, but it’s not about the person, it’s about what God says and He says women have a different role in the church.
Yet, this does not mean that women are not to be in ministry. In fact, women are essential for healthy ministry in the church. Just because women are not to be elders, does not mean that they cannot serve the Lord faithfully within the church, nor does this mean that they are not capable of teaching God's Word. They can be in charge of women’s ministry, children’s ministry, and many others which are just as vital and important as pulpit ministry. This realization that women are not to be pastors does not mean that women cannot be all that God intended them to be, rather it’s part of God's plan for satisfying their souls. Pastoral ministry will not satisfy one’s soul, only Christ can do that. Sisters, do not let culture or even your heart trick you into thinking otherwise.