Women in Ministry ?
Vera Csada Canada
Every time I read about the debate of whether women should be in the same ministries as men, I have an urge in me to write about what I have been thinking about in this area of spiritual and scriptural thought.
I know with real assurance that men would benefit greatly if they would only set some of the women in a position where they could be heard... where their teachings could be esteemed as just as valuable as those of a man's. Women are not called into the ministry of Christ to 'show men up' or to 'put them down', but have a calling to unite the body of Christ. I believe that until the men in the church have a correct relationship with the women in the church, spiritual unity of mind, and unity of purpose, will not be as it should be.
Here are some thoughts to consider: - It is true that there are far more passages of the bible that don't limit women within the church, and these greatly out-number the few that do. All that is written in the bible is not written for the exclusion of women. It is written for all of us.
- There is nothing that Jesus ever said or did that would suggest that women should not speak or teach in the church, or fulfill fully their ministry gifts wherever, or however, the Lord may lead them.
I have heard the argument that Jesus never picked any women for disciples, and when He sent them out two by two that they were men. My thought is... that was then, and now, is now... and also that the Father, Jesus, and the workings of His Spirit are never confined, and cannot be confined, to what He did then, in the past. The scribes and Pharisees tried to confine Jesus into how they viewed the scriptures to be written. Could we possibly be hindering the Holy Spirit from bringing about some very good things forth from God by disregarding, or degrading, the ministry of women?
The chief priests, and scribes of the temple at Jerusalem had totally convinced themselves that they were following the scriptures in a very truthful and diligent fashion, but refused to accept what the truth really was. Jesus was the truth. Why did they do this? Was it because they had within them a spirit of fear? It seems that they did not know the 'God of Love', but only the 'God of Control'. - Jesus, our Lord, may have been the only one who knew that the bible was going to be written and preserved till the end of time. Paul (and many of the others who contributed the New Testament may not have had any clue to this fact at all).
- Also, neither Peter, nor Paul, should be considered as completely flawless, or as ones of pure 100% perfection when it comes to every little aspect of their lives, and ministries. Remember that they were just humans, like us, picked for a special time, and a special job, (also just like us). One pastor told me that he was taught in bible school that a preacher should never preach out of the four gospels alone, without it being backed up by scriptures from other places. I was totally amazed at this reversed sense of direction, as clearly the ministry of Jesus should be our first standard of reference.
- Concerning the scripture of how women are not to speak in church but only to ask their husbands at home, I have not been able to find any written proof of my belief that the female children in that day did not have to be very learned in the scriptures as the boys were all required to be. I believe that they were much more required to learn homemaking skills such as cooking, cleaning, and looking after the little ones, rather than the book of the law and all of the scriptures.
It makes sense then that the women should not speak up in the churches if they don't know the basics of the scriptural things that the men were talking about. It makes sense then that they should not interrupt the men who are discussing them, but rather they should wait until they get home and then ask their husbands.
In today's world there are many women who are very studied in the word, and gifted in the Spirit. The reason I think that this is so is because they have often been more free than many men in these days that we live in. Many men must work a full time job to keep a supply coming in for their families to survive. They are not as free as the husbands of old who looked after the animals with their servants, while the women did all of the work in the home. (Consider the work of the Proverbs 31 woman, while her man sat in the gate with the other men and tried to keep all things in the state of peace and security). She was one busy lady!
- Now on the subject of authority, I believe that the husband has the final say and is the protector, and leader, whether visibly so, or not. He may let his wife take control as he watches, and takes over only when he sees a necessity to do so. He trusts her. because he has learned and knows, that she does only those things that are good for all, including himself.
The husband has natural tendencies that are strong towards protection, and also provision as well,...and doesn't have to be taken away from this job at any time while the wife often has her mind and body taken captive because of pregnancy, birth, and the nurture of helpless little ones. It makes sense then that he has the final say as to the good of his household, so that they are cared for, and protected. Even though he may work hard to be a supplier he still can usually free himself in an emergency, when his wife and children may need him in some way.
We must all see that spiritual authority belongs to the Lord. The wife (and perhaps women) were made subservient to their husbands (and perhaps men) only after the sin of Adam and Eve. Before this they were both given the same command: to subdue the earth, and to have dominion over it. They were to work together as one.
Discernment and desire for all the precious things of God should include recognizing the authority of the Holy Spirit. If we can be more serious about a word of God coming through a man and much less serious about a word of God coming through a woman,...then we must see that we may have a prejudice, and a partiality within us and that is not good! We need to discern the prophecy, or the teaching, etc. ...rather than the outward appearance of the person. The problem here perhaps is recognizing what truly is being governed by the authority of the Holy Spirit, and what is not.
- Women have been told and taught submissiveness, and this is good, because this helps us when it comes to being submissive to the Holy Spirit as well. Many men need to learn more about how to submit to the workings of the Holy Spirit, ...and this of course, includes knowing when to be submissive when the Holy Spirit is working through a woman.
- In the story of Adam and Eve when they had sinned, and went astray, you can see that it was the woman that pointed out the way. She said to her man, "Look and taste!" This he did. Now, since this time, we are always looking at women as the ones that will lead everyone, including men, astray! I believe that if many people would look at their marriages, they would see that the wife has often gently redirected their husbands back to a proper focus in times when they have needed it, rather than the other way around! I believe that godly women are very good at seeing when men have lost the proper focus, and when there is a need to be brought back into it, for the good of all.
It has been scientifically studied and found that while men are more target orientated than women it is the woman that can more easily see how all the ingredients must work together to make one cake, or pie, etc. So, I believe that true spiritual unity within the body of Christ will only happen when women are given their rightful place, and the focus shifts from the 'who's who' to an overall picture of the whole body working mightily together.
I believe that women are more likely to be concerned with lifting up others, rather than entering into some kind of competition, or heirarchy, or having the need to be 'the one in control'. They are more likely to see everyone as thirsty, or hungry, and have a strong desire to give them what they need in order for them to grow spiritually. Right now the church is generally seen as uncaring and unloving, and only concerned with it's own preservation. This needs to change, and it will take the ministry of women to birth out a new perspective in this area.
Another thought about Eve: Even though she was a woman, she was a woman that didn't have a mother, and also at the time of her sin, didn't have any children either. I add these two things on here just to spark your thinking about the whole situation that existed at the time of her sin. She may have had no real perspective of 'family', at the time of her sin.
So, while women are often looked at only as objects of sin, (or pleasure, and possession), we may be overlooking some of the great spiritual blessings that we could be receiving if we changed our thinking about it.
I believe that the men that God will choose to be the end-time leaders will have their lives in order and this will include having a right relationship with women. Pure and undefiled religion for a man is to remain unspotted by all fleshly thoughts and desires in each and every encounter with women.
I believe that many men would accomplish much more in their personal ministries if they would allow a woman to impart some wisdom to them. The love of God, (or the judgement of God), will break down the many walls of self preservation that exists in the church today, and give it the end-time perspective that it needs. I believe that many women have already been sent with some messages to men in leadership and that many of them have not taken heed to it. Now God is not going to come to some of these with the gentleness of a woman any longer, but rather with the roar of the Lion of the tribe of Judah!
Let us all learn how to be under the control of the Holy Spirit. Written with love for all of God's dear children,
from Vera Csada