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Women In Ministry: Following Christ's Example

Updated on April 17, 2012

Welcome to our Hub.This One will be on that very controversial subject of women in ministry. As you may have already gathered from my Hubs that we are highly in favor of encouraging women in the ministry of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the one who opened the door to Oneness of men and women to join in his priesthood of all believers, 1 Peter 2:1-10, Genesis 3:15 and Mathew 28:18-20, Revelation 3:7-13. Jesus Christ's work is Egalitarian in nature in which both men and women can contibute equally and vitally to his Work, Matthew 6:33.

I will be using another interesting article from Christian For Biblical Equalities - Arise E-Newsletter, which seems to hit directly at one of the major reasons why some men think women are not qualified to be in the ministry. This 'Article' will be from Efrem Smith, who is superintendent of the Pacific Southwest Conference of the Evangelical Covenant Church. He has held leadership positions in organizations such as the Boys and Girls Club of America and Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and is the author of numerous articles and books.

In this article Efrem will be relating to us about an experience he had with an male pastor on supporting women as senior pastors. He says, " I have asked many men this question."So let's see what the reaction to Efrem's question was by this male pastor. "As a man, when you see a woman up front preaching or teaching, what is the first thing you think about?

"Well,the first thing that comes into your mind is if she is attractive or not. This distraction is one of the main reason's women should not be senior pastors or preach to men." Efrem was somewhat shocked by this argument. Not because his friend believed this, but because he said it out loud and so boldly. He stated it as if it were a biblical truth. To me, his statement was more about sexism within evangelicalism connected to the sexism within the broader society, than some well thought out theological position on women in ministry leadership.

At least he was honest and pointed to the real issue at the foundation of why many evangelical men struggle with women in ministry and pastoral leadership. Some try to cover up the truth by using the words of Paul in the New Testament. I'm not going to to go into all the scriptures which support women in ministry and pastoral ladership because this has already been done.

What Efram says is: Should the words of Paul - which could very well be situational - be used to argue the case for women in ministry? Should not the actions of Jesus with women and the equipping of women by God speak louder than the words of Paul. I don't in anyway negat the words of Paul or them being from God, but these words of Paul are put in their proper context when put up against and compared to the works and words of Jesus. Why is this important? Because Jesus is God and Paul is not. God speaks higher than God's servants simultaneously. This understanding is important in dealing with the issue of women in ministry.

What do the actions of Jesus with women in the gospels tell us about God's empowerment of women, and should this speak louder then Paul's words, which I present were situational, not universal? Jesus transforms and empowers the life of the Samaritan woman at the well. Jesus had a woman anoint and prepare him for the cross. Jesus answers the prayers of the Canaanite woman. Jesus heals the woman with the issue of blood. Jesus stands with the woman caught in adultery. Jesus gives life to a teenage girl left for dead. A woman is at the tomb first to acknowledge the resurrection of Jesus.

All of this is not about women in pastoral leadership, but it's about the bigger issue of God being mindful of the second-class ctizenship of women and dealing with it as a kingdom agenda. Jesus challenges the place and role of women to the point that his own male disciples were annoyed every time they witnessed his empowerment of women.

When it comes to women in mnistry and pastoral leadrship, we should join the position of Jesus and also acknowledge our sexism. Amen.

Now, we see why women were first to the tomb and were sent by the angel to evangelize the men, Matthew 28:1-10. Also, we see Jesus ordaining Mary Magdalene as the first woman apostle, and then telling her to go tell his male disciples that she has seen the Lord alive, John 20:13-18. God acknowledges woman as good work-women, 2 Timothy 2:15.

Why some men have a hard time accepting women in Christ's ministry is hard to understand? It might be they are not famliar with the traditions of the scribes and Pharisees of Christ's day. Women were treated by the Jews as second-rate humans. This reminds me of a recent article my wife and I read in the daily newspaper about certain indepentant Jewish women called "miniyam" ( or egalitarians) trying to change some of the customs of Judaism today.

We thought that this article, in the Living section of our newspaper, quite sad since women were ignored by their Jewish male leaders. This is a tough road to travel since the Verbal Torah was brought with the Babylonian Talmud into what is called Judaism. For some reason this very same reasoning with this very same hierarchical concepts of men came into the Christian churches starting at the beginning of the second century by patriarchal men who rejected Jesus Christ's Egalitarian Church message.

Did you know that Jesus not only came to die for our sins but to place women in his ministry, starting in 31 A.D.. This was on the first Pentecost and was fortold in Genesis 3:15, Joel 2:28-30. Woman still have that desire to be at one with men the way Eve was with Adam in Genesis 1 & 2. After the Fall, because of Adam's reluctance to rescue Eve from Satan's assault on her (Adam was present and heard everything said by the Devil and Eve). When Eve touched the fruit that should have been Adam's cue to step in and protect his wife. By not protecting his wife Eve, this has become the one big reason for the rise of male patriarchy and 4,000 years of abuse against women. This would last until Jesus Christ came to put our gender relationships back in their proper prospectives in his ministries of the New Testament, Galatians 3:28-29.

Of course Jesus was killed by the very same traditions of Judaism of his day that rejected the equality that Jesus taught.. His teachings were that women are meant to teach and preach and prophecy right besides the men in his day and in this day, Acts 2:17-18 ,which again was prophesied in the book of Joel 2:28-30. Not only were Jesus teachings in conflict with the tradition of Judaism of his day, they are also in conflict with the teachings of much of Christianity and Judaism and the Jewish Kaballistic Noahide Laws of today, Matthew 15:1-13

Jesus always treated women with compassion and dignity as first-rate humans, Matthew 19:3-11. Christ's new ministry was meant to include women even today and to be treated with the same kind of respect that Jesus had for them. Though there are not to many Egalitarian Churches today there are some like the Friends Church-Quakers, Pentecostal Holiness, and John Westely's Methodist Holiness Church, that have regular women ministers working alongside men. The influence of Platonic and Gnostic traditional teachings that came into Christianity are very similar to the traditions of Judaism and have been a major cause of why women are kept out of church ministries.

So, the point of Efram's article and our obsevations from proving all things is to give hope to women that there will be a big surge of women back into the ministry of Jesus Christ. We have faith that at least some Christian churches will reinstate women for a great Revival and witness before Jesus Christ's return. There will be Holy Spirit inspired women to help men give a mighty Revival.

Jesus Christ wants women in his church ministry and no Revival will be successful without them in leadership roles to get the job done. The Lord God of Israel is not happy with the treatment of women (keeping women out of his ministry) as if it were a good thing through the traditions of both Judaism and Christianity and makes this quite clear in, Malachi 2:11-17, Galaians 3:28-29.

God bless you women of Christian faith to step up with the men and may the same God of Israel help the Jewish ladies with their miniyams. Keep up the good (God's) work. God loves you ladies! God has not changed his mind, Malachi 3:6 > "For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not destroyed ( notice it says sons)." & Hebrews 13:8 > Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever! God will get the job done , step out in faith now, 1Thessalonians 5:23-24 > And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who will also do it.


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    • lionswhelp profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      Thank you, Rev. Ted. Its nice to see someone working hard with our much needed ladies.

    • christ4ever profile image

      Rev. Teddy C. Ryan III 

      7 years ago from a life in sin saved by the Lord's grace - we are blessed with the ministry in Florida & Georgia

      Excellent read and well documented information (both in scripture and other supporting texts) on the Ladies involved with Christ's ministry and during the foundation of the early church. Also interesting to note is Efrem's account. I remember another preacher relating how pastoral persons should all dress (not just women) in an appropriate manner that directs people to look at the human face (not the body), as a window to the soul and thus glorifying the works of the Lord through us.

      @rommergrot -BTW the (1 Corinthians 14:34-35) verse you've quoted is considered by many scholars to be "pseudo-Pauline", written as an addendum after Paul's matyrdom and reflects a directed "change" that the early organized churches wanted to promote (the marginalization of women). Otherwise, even if this is not accurate, it has been noted by other theologians that: "Therefore, the few isolated texts that appear to restrict the full redemptive freedom of women must not be interpreted simplistically and in contradiction to the rest of Scripture, but their interpretation must take into account their relation to the broader teaching of the Holy Scripture and their total context".

      Hope that helps - I've also linked to your article here in my recent writing on the "Lady Disciples and Apostles", as a valuble reference:

      May the Lord's Peace be with you always and with blessings... Rev.Ted

    • lionswhelp profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago


      Like I said, if you need more help go to Chrstians for Biblical Equality's web page mentioned on my link. I'm sure you can find the right answers there if you want a deeper study. Try Dr Gilbert Bilezikian's interesting book , "Beyond Sex Roles" I'm sure he can answer your questions. Also another one to read is Richard and Catherine Kroeger's book "I Suffer Not a Woman." If you want theologians and scholars you will find them at CBE. Also try Katherine Bushnel's book "God's Word to Woman.

      I do have a Hub, Beyond Sex Roles that relates to Dr. Bilezikian's book. Try that for a warm up. You can know the truth and the truth can set you free.John 8:32.

      Have a nice Day

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Isn't it convenient to pick and choose which parts of Gods Holy word you will accept? I have a deeper study than you are aware of. Have a nice life.

    • lionswhelp profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      The law was the oral Torah of the Judizers that returned from thre Babylonian captivity not the written law of Moses. Very few theologians except these verses as original verses but more like margin notes put in the text by the copiers. It has been proved that 1 Timothy has also been misunderstoodinthe same light. Paul would not have kept truly converted women from Christ ministry but only the ones coming from Artemus's Temple. There were such Temples spread out in different cities of Greece. It is highly unlikely Paul would put up with such Gnostic Judizers. Even Pauls sarcastic attitude in verses 36-39 that all people of God were to covet to prophesy and speak in tongues. This was against such Jews trying to stop women from speaking in tongues or prophesing. It seems to show he was aware of their attempts to infiltrate the Church of God with their deceitful ways.

      You need a deeper study of Paul's writings by scholars that intrepret his teaching more throughly. Try my link to CBE.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      1st Corinthians 14:34-35

      34: Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law.

      35: And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.

    • profile image

      Errol Kane 

      8 years ago

      Hi Lionewhelp,

      I have been on this earth for almost 60 years, I talk to people all the time as I will again from door to door tomorrow in the Field Service Ministry. Today is 24 Dec 2010. I have had doors slammed in my face from rude and so called christian like people( they said they were christian, not me) here in this country as well as my spiritual brothers and sister that are Christians, Jehovah's Witnesses, in other lands in their communities around the world. I have been laughed at like Jesus was laughed at. It matter not to me or any of my faithful spiritual brothers and sisters worldwide, whether we are laughed at or whether people listen or not, we continue to do as Jesus commanded at Matthew 28: 19 and 20,

      Go therefore and make disciples of people of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all the things I have commanded YOU. And, look! I am with YOU all the days until the conclusion of the system of things.”

      As I said sir, there can only be one truth, one true God.

      The laughter or anything else spearhedead towards us is called persecution. Noah was persecuted with laughter as well but still, he had two things to do, and that was the building of the ark as well as the preaching work (because Noah was actually a preacher of righteousness). God never destroyed anyone without warning, just as that warning is being giving today by true christians.

    • lionswhelp profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      Okay Errol,

      Consider what I have given you as a witness also.

      Which worldly School did you go too? God has many people from different churches. some know more than others and have important truths even though they are not perfect God will make them perfect, 1 Corinthians 3:10-15. Becareful not to witness against yourself it is very dis-heartening to speak against other Christians without seeing what they are teaching about God's Word. i listen to you when others would laugh at you. You are truthful and have a good heart.

      Have a nice day

    • profile image

      Errol Kane 

      8 years ago

      Christ ministers didn't attend any manmade schools sir. Also, as the Bible is proof and Jehovah himself has said, in Psalms 68: 11 , Jehovah himself gives the saying;

      The women telling the good news are a large army.

      True christians are doing the preaching work worldwide with the majority of these being women.

      They don't take the lead over men as the Bible brings out and to which you seem to find fault or discrepencies.

      The peaching work is being done by true christians. I work with them all the time in the Field Ministry. Perhaps one will be knocking at your door soon again or a friends door or a neighbors door, warning and telling you of the Good news of God's Kingdom.

      With respect, this is not a debate it is a Witness that you have just been given and Psalms 68: 11 is just one of many scriptures. I am no part of christendom as you know and no part of this system of things. Friendship with the world is enmity with the true God.

      As I have said, what gives true christians the right to preach is not by mans doctines or schools, but by accurate knowledge of the scriptures through Jehovah's holy spirit making the truth known to his true followers and not to the world, and of course through these scriptures here found at 2 Cor. 3: 5 and 6,

      Not that we of ourselves are adequately qualified to reckon anything as issuing from ourselves, but our being adequately qualified issues from God, 6 who has indeed adequately qualified us to be ministers of a new covenant, not of a written code, but of spirit; for the written code condemns to death, but the spirit makes alive.

      Well, it was nice talking to you and I do believe this is probably my last visit. I do hope you regognize soon, that there can only be one truth out of All that is before you. Soon, the Messianic Kingdom will begin to take over earth's affairs. The same Kingdom Jesus came to earth and preached about when he said, 'I must declare the good news of the Kingdom of God.' Luke 4:43

      Christendom does not do that and has no idea what that Kingdom is.

      Please send me an email if you wish. I would like to hear from you from time to time. Not in the forums for debating because I do not wish to do that, but for conversation sake and the Kingdom message. Take care sir.

    • lionswhelp profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      I'm back Errol,

      1 Timothy 2:12 certainly is a controversial scripture. The problem with most who try to use it against women is that their scholarship is to shallow. First of all this is a "hapox" verse meaning it is used only once in the Bible. Therefore research must be done to see just what kind of women Paul was speaking about.

      There are scholars and theologians that have done further research on this subject of 1 Timothy 2:11-15. For more detail check out my Hub "I Suffer Not a Woman" for more details.

      The problem here is with Jewish Kabalistic proselytes, 1 Timothy 1:3-7 who where misinterpreting the first nine chapter of Genesis and were teaching the women at Artemus'temple that Eve came first. These woman were trying infiltrate the churches of God in Corinth and Ephesus. They were very demanding and were causing problems for Timothy by interrupting Timothy and Paul by chanting,and carrying on and letting their hair down. Their main 'goddess' was named Eve. They were teaching falsely that Eve came first, 1 Timothy 2:13, so Paul told them to be silent and learn at home. This was not meant for all Christian woman forever, but only for those that were being rude and bringing false doctrines into the local church. This could be applied to both men and women attempting the same nonsense today.

      I would recommend Richard and Cathy's book, "I Suffer Not A Woman" or checking out Christians for Biblical Equality on my link to them for more information on this text along with others that seem out of place and contrary to what Paul actually taught about women and are used to try and keep women from preaching(propheseith) and praying as ministers,1 Corinthians 11:5, 2 Peter 3:15-16.

      There were certain Jews that hated Jesus Christ and were forever trying to disrupt the Churches of God in Greece. This is a tool by Satan to keep women from leadership roles even today in God's church. Satan hates women because he knows hat if he can keep men and women apart this will hinder the work of God.

      From the 1880's A.D. to the 1930's A.D. many women were trained for the ministry in the USA. It was these white single ladies who brought the Gospel to Asia and Africa and were very productive. Today it is women of all colors that are still carrying the Gospel to China, Africa and all nations with better results than men. So remember, "There is neither Jew nor Greek, neither slave nor free, neither male nor female for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise.", Galatians 3:28-29.

      Have a nice day.

    • lionswhelp profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      Thank for writing Errol. I read your other post.

    • profile image

      Errol Kane 

      8 years ago

      Worldwide, the preaching of the good news of God's Kingdom government is being done sir and Psalms 68:11 brings this truth out very plainly.

      Psalms 68: 11 , Jehovah himself gives the saying;

      The women telling the good news are a large army.

      In just about every country in the world, true christians women are doing this preaching work. You probably seen them many of times over the years.

      So you see sir, reue chrisitian woman are preaching and teaching the good news about God's Kingdom, his Messianic government.

      1 Timothy 2: 12 , I do not permit a woman to teach, or to exercise authority over a man, but to be in silence.

      However, you were given other scriptures as to a womans place in the true christian congregation from another post in another area of your Hub.


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