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Is It Scriptural that Women should Minister in Public (or in ‘Church’) Just Like Men do? 

 

Renette Vermeulen

 

                                                                    Women are not allowed to speak in church.jpg

 

 

 

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TRUTHFULLY, WHAT DOES GOD HIMSELF SAY ABOUT WOMEN IN MINISTRY?

This is such an easy question to answer if one merely study God’s Word in context.  The New Testament outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost became the fulfillment of God's Old Testament promise, “It shall come to pass in the last days, [during Jesus’ New Testament dispensation, under the New Covenant, written in the blood of Jesus Christ over all true believers from all nations, because there is no more Jew or Gentile, slave or free,  male or female…  but all are one in Christ Jesus,] that I will pour out of My Spirit on all [truly believing] flesh, and your sons and your daughters [both male and female] shall prophesy, your young men [and of course your young women]  shall see visions; your old men [and of course your old women] shall dream dreams.  And on My menservants and on My maidservants, I will pour out My Spirit in those days, and they shall prophesy [or minister My Gospel and the Truth of My Word to the whole world…]"  (Acts 2:17-18) 

What do God’s handmaidens or maidservants do?  The same as what menservants do.  As female servants they are God’s instruments to bring His Gospel to the world as evangelists, to plant new congregations as apostles, to make known His will and counsel as prophets, to guide and protect His people as pastors, and to remind His people of all that Jesus commanded as teachers, (Eph. 4:11-13.)  If this were not true, why would God pour out His Spirit on His daughters and handmaidens? 

[Heb. Strong’s Concordance, no. 5650 and 8198:] “Men and maidservants are men and women [servant] slaves, (humble servants or ministers) as members of [the same] household.” 

Menservants and maidservants are willing male and female ministering members of the same body, (Eph. 4:11.)  However, under the incredible sin of male patriarchy, which governed the entire pagan world and crept into Jesus assemblies too, terrible distortions of Scripture proliferated over the centuries to condone the oppression of women on all spheres of life - in Jesus’ ministry especially. 

Oh, I can hear those unrepentant misogynists now, “You are twisting the Scriptures and ignoring everything Paul has said because, as all women who try to teach God’s Word, you have the spirit of Jezebel in you!  Go read what Paul said about women like you who do not know their place! Women are not even allowed to open their mouths in public!” 

Yeah?  Well, according to the truth of Scripture, the misogynist ‘spirit of Jezebel’ dogma is another ‘neat’ piece of male witchcraft, which has nothing to do with women per say, or women teachers and preachers in the Kingdom of God - just read this whole passage in Rev. 2 in context.  In fact, misogynist male witches have the spirit of Jezebel in them, according to the truth of God’s Word, for they “call themselves prophets, but they teach and seduce God’s servants” to follow false doctrine and to cling to Christianized, pagan norms and forms.  All false teaching in the traditional church, both in Catholicism and in Protestantism, originated from, and was carried forth by men not women!  The women who spread fallacies in churches such as in Seventh Day Adventism, are merely embroidering on the false doctrines of their male supremacists.  Thus, false teachings that originated from women are in the vast minority! 

 

THE TRUTH IS IN THE CONTEXT OF ALL SCRIPTURE, AS ALWAYS 

To get to the Scriptural truth of the role of women in ministry, (as in everything else in this world,) one needs to study the Bible with the entire context of Scripture in mind. 

The entire context of Scripture applies to the following questions:  How does a particular verse, chapter, epistle, or book relate to the rest of Scripture?  Was it written in the Old or the New Testament, (does it pertain to the Old or the New dispensation?)  To whom was it written?   What was the historical/traditional background at the time it was written?  How did the particular book or epistle fit into their customs and mind-sets, and how is it relevant to the overall picture of the Scriptures today? 

We must remember that God did not dictate the Bible world-for-word.  It was inspired by the Holy Spirit and it filtered unto our modern paper through the minds of men, who were all traditional misogynists

And so, the traditional dress-code, customs, and traditional and conventional beliefs of 1st century Hebrews and Gentiles (those from non-Hebrew nations) cannot be forced upon the 21st century, born again body of Christ, (1 Tim. 2:15; 1 Cor. 11:5.)  For instance: replacing the traditional, 1st century wearing of a veil with the wearing of a hat is simply ridiculous, (1 Cor. 11:10-16.)  

Jesus’ true Gospel proclaims that every human on earth should be saved through personal faith in Jesus, and we all remain saved by constant obedience to His contextual Word, (1 Jn. 1:12-13; Mt. 7:7-27.)   Every believer aught to know that all sincere believers together are “the children of God through their faith in Jesus,” the Scriptural Christ. 

Paul also wrote, “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are ALL one in Christ Jesus.  And if you [all] are Christ’s, then we are Abraham’s [spiritual] seed, and [spiritual] heirs according to the promise [of the Gospel — Jn. 1:11-13; Gal. 4:6.]” 

 

TRADITIONAL MISOGYNY IS WHY HATRED FOR WOMEN IS IN THE BIBLE   

As always, the truth is in the context of the whole Bible, if interpreted from the viewpoint of the New Testament Covenant in Christ, (Heb. 8:13.) For example, when the Pharisees confronted Jesus with verses from their Scriptures (the Old Testament) on divorce for just any reason, not just on the grounds of adultery, which effectively breaks the marriage covenant allowing a ‘third party’ between “the two who become one flesh” in marriage, He answered, “Because of the hardness of your hearts Moses [Old Testament Law] allowed you… But from the beginning [in Eden] it was not so…” (Mt. 19:3-10.) 

Jesus referred them to His unchangeable Creation principles, before sinful practices and mindsets polluted people’s minds, and they twisted God’s Word to justify their sin. He also told the Pharisees in Mark 7:13, [Although no one can nullify the Truth of His Word that is eternal,] you have made the Word of God of no effect [in your studies and 'churches'] through your [man made ideas, doctrines and] traditions… And many such things you do.” 

“In the beginning” is therefore a good place to start in our search for “all truth” about female ministers in the Kingdom of Christ.  In Gen. 1:26 God created “man” [humanity] In His likeness, to “let them [both male and female] have dominion over... [His creation on earth.] V. 27, “So God created man [or humanity...] Male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, [both male and female] and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply… [your talents in general, Mt. 25:14-30, and physically in marriage, not making children irresponsibly, but to care for your family as husband and wife, and] subdue the earth [or manage My creation in general, together as equals…] In Gen. 2:18-24, God also explained how He created a wife for Adam, so that he should not be alone. A helper comparable to him [or equal in their humanity and before God, and spiritually under the New Testament Covenant, “joint heirs in Christ,” Rom. 8:17.]  So, God instituted the marriage covenant, saying, so that the “two should become one flesh in marriage,” they shall [both] “leave [their] parents…” 

Confusing God’s calling and authority for both male and female over His creation in general to manage everything as equals, with His private marriage covenant between a husband and his own wife, (the symbol of Christ and His bride,) is a terrible mistake.  Yet, the whole pagan world and Christianity, even born again believers in Christ, continue in this error to this day. This disobedience to God led to the sin of worldwide misogyny, the hatred and terrible oppression of women in all societies and on all levels of life – especially in religious gatherings such as Christianity.

Despite the many misogynist passages in the Bible, women are not subject to all men in general; never was and never will be. Wives are subject to the Godly leadership of their "own" good husbands, who love them and whom they can respect. That’s it.  Beyond their marriage covenant, women are men’s equals in managing religion and secular and religious life, (Gen. 1:26-27.) This was God's first commandment to both male and female when He created them, and it will stand forever. All misogynist teachings came through the fall in Eden, and the sinful oppression of males over females (and even of females over males in their hatred for men.) 

However, through inherited misogamy in all cultures, one finds that even Paul dreadfully discriminated against women in Scripture. Can the Paul who wrote that there is no race, gender and social status in the spiritual body of Christ because believers are all one in Him, (Gal. 3:28,) be the same Paul who wrote that women must be silent in the assemblies and let their own husbands teach them? (1 Cor. 14:34-35.) Is it the same Paul who alleged, “A man must not cover his head when he prays or prophecies, since he is the image and glory of God; (verse 7,) but woman is the glory of  man…”  So, the poor female was not created in the image and glory of God and suddenly has no spiritual authority except when she wears a head covering to ‘honor’ the man? (V. 7.)  He then continued, “Man was not created for the woman but woman for the man… v. 9.”  So, is there something wrong with the man’s physiology that he was created male but not for the woman? (1 Cor. 11:4-16.)  But then Paul explained, “Therefore women must cut their hair [in a show of shame] if they refuse to cover their heads when they pray and prophesy — [didn’t Paul just say they must be silent in the assemblies?]  Wow, one can try to ‘spiritualize’ this neat piece of religious misogamy [hate] as best one can, but one can never do it without annulling Jesus’ True Gospel of salvation for both male and female. 

If these passages were true, we can assume that when God gave “them [male and female] dominion over the earth,” He was just referring to “men,” not to women as well.  So, how many Adams did God create in Eden that Paul could obliterate Eve from the “them” in these verses? (Gen. 1:26-27?)  But as we will see in this study, this is only the tip of this misogynist iceberg. 

If the Vatican and other Bible translators did not force Paul to speak their misogynist language, then Paul sounds more like a Muslim than a born again believer, and we must dissolve the entire Gospel of grace in Christ, which teaches that “God so loved the whole world, that He gave His only begotten Son, so that everyone [male or female] that believes in Him, shall not perish but have everlasting life,” (Jn. 3:16.)  We can also tear the following truth from the Bible, “God poured out His Spirit on all [believing] flesh... And on His men servants and on His female servants [or ministers] He poured out His Spirit” at Pentecost and to this day, when both males and females, slaves and free, and Jews and Gentiles personally accept and follow Him, (Acts 2:18; Jn. 1:11-13.)

If there was not a huge amount of tampering with the Scriptures in these passages during Bible translations, it seems that Paul, a chosen vessel of Jesus but still a mere man, also “had to renew his mind to no longer conform to religious and other lies and hatred of the world, but to know the perfect will of God,” Rom. 12;1-2.

 

So, why does the Bible speak only about male pastors, bishops, (which do not even exist but was written into Scripture by the Roman Catholic papacy,) and so forth?  Well, since the fall in Eden until this day, it has been a men’s world.  Women were (and are) viewed as mere possessions, workers, breeding machines and sex and other slaves.  Jesus’ full atonement in the place of women, and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in women were (and mostly still are) therefore inconceivable in the corrupted minds of misogynist men

As we have seen in ‘Did God give men Permission to Rule Abusively over all Women? God does not discriminate against women.  Just as importantly, God did not give men permission to rule and lord over women on all levels of life just because He created them male

Misogyny or hatred for women in all its dreadful forms was born that day of The Fall and the devil is the author thereof.  Misogyny is one of the most destructive weapons of all religions, Christianity too, dividing and confusing even the truly born again, blood-bought body of Christ — robbing his truly spiritual nation of the special empathy, wisdom and insight He had entrusted to His female ministers.  However, God is no misogynist, neither did He give men a licence to oppress and abuse womenGod never intended that male and female should turn against each other or oppress and diminish each other’s person or giftedness, (Gen. 1:26-28; Prov. 31:10-31; Eph. 5:21-33; 1 Pet. 3:1-7; Mt. 19:4-10; Mal. 2:13-16; 1 Cor. 7:2,14.) 

All evil comes from the devil, not from “the Father of lights, in Whom there is not shadow or turning, [double mindedness…]” (Jam. 1:17.) 

Nevertheless, deluded religious leaders made the gross mistake to generalise God’s specific marriage covenant, thereby sinfully corrupting God’s Marriage Covenant and subjecting all women to all men in general. 

There is not one contextual, truly God-breathed verse in the Bible that subjects women to men in general.  For every verse that commands wives to submit to the Godly leadership of their “own” husbands, there is another that commands husbands to “love, honour” and cherish their “own” wives - which has nothing to do with other men, the church, the true body of Christ, or life in general.

The references in Genesis 1-3, (with the exception of Gen. 1:27-28, which is God’s Universal Plan for male and female to manage the earth together), mostly pertain to the relationship between husband and wife.  The woman was created female only for her “own” husband, and for him alone, just as the man was created male only or his “own” wife and for her alone.  Therefore other men and women, and even the angles, have absolutely nothing to do with the marriage bed, the personal structure of the home, or the God-given relationship between the husband and his wife, (Heb. 13:4.) 

To assume otherwise, is to apply twisted creation principles to the general relationship between males and females, which is a terrible insult to the holy marriage covenant and joint management of both male and female in secular life, as God commanded in Gen. 1:27-28.  When Christ redeemed humanity from their state of sin without God, He did not redeem the woman to a lesser degree than the man.  And so, Paul also wrote in Gal. 3:26-29, concerning life in general and also in the things that pertain to congregational life, “you are all children of God through faith …  there is not male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

This does not mean that Jesus did away with the sexes on a physical level, and that the unisex concept, homosexuality, and lesbianism are okay, (Rom. 1:24-32.)  Nor does it mean that He annulled the physical marriage and family structure in any way.  However, from the very beginning in the Garden in Eden until today, the Godly submission of the wife pertains only to her own husband and not to other men, even those in the body of Christ.  In the same way, the truly Scriptural born again bride of Christ should live a life of total submission to Him alone, but this submission does not pertain to the world, to the idolatrous church system, or to the body of Christ in general, (Jam. 4:4-7.)  The marriage-covenant between a (one) husband and his (one) wife, is the only relationship that places a distinct head or rather, a loving, human steward over the woman just because she is female. 

 

JESUS’ WHOLE BODY IS A SPIRITUAL WOMAN: THE BRIDE OF CHRIST   

The whole spiritual body of Christ or actually, the ecclesia or ‘called out assembly,’ is a [spiritual] woman: the bride of Christ.  Therefore, all the members of the bride “must submit to one another [in everything true, good and Godly,” (Eph. 5:21.)  This also applies to men, who remain the love-heads of their own wives in their own families, but lose that position in the congregation to be the bride in conjunction with all the women.  While God created male and female for the cause of their own family, men and women in Christ’s true body are all children of God individually and they form His bride as a whole, (Gal. 3:26-28; Lu. 20:34.)  In the same way race, class and the sexes do not exist in Jesus’ body and in heaven.

The truth is that the male-and-female bride of Christ lives under God’s universal plan, [the management of life in general, where men and women manage His creation and kingdom as equals], while the different sexes pertain only to God’s house-order, or His specific marriage covenant, which only relates to the physical family home, (Gen. 1:26-27; Eph. 5:22-33.)

Yet, religious discrimination against woman is so deeply rooted that even the Bible is stuffed with misogyny.  For believers who made the writers of the Bible into icons, this might be an unforgivable statement.  Yet it seems that the writers of the Bible, quite human for their time, sometimes forgot that the bride of Christ is a spiritual woman where physical gender does not exist.  For instance: in instructions to the entire body of Christ, the apostles mention only males.  If God wrote down every single word of the Bible Himself, as some believe, did He sometimes forget about women, and His calling of women as His maidservants?  Definitely not.  Everything the Spirit inspired had to filter to paper through the writers’ personal perceptions, mind-sets and religious notions. 

 

“SHOULD ALL WOMEN HAVE A MALE ‘HEAD;’ EVEN IF IT’S A STRANGE MAN LIKE THE PASTOR?” 

Giving Paul the benefit of the doubt, let us assume he referred to Godly, inward respect in the passage, when he related a physical head covering and the length of a woman's hair to her submissiveness, which church leaders interpreted as a commandment that women must submit to the dictates of all men, not only to her ‘own’ husband.  (A Godly husband will never dictate to his wife, but lead her in love and truth while giving her a voice and a special place of wisdom and insight beside him.)  Still, Paul even related a physical head covering to her spiritual position and authority in Christ, (“because of the angels”), simply because, as a woman, “she was created female for her own husband.” 

Sadly, clergies interpreted this ‘covering’ as another commandment which claims that a woman must always have a male ‘head’ as her ‘spiritual cover’.  They allege that, if she does not have a husband, another male leader must become her ‘cover’ - which, revoltingly, implies husbandry!  But where is this doctrine found in the full context of Scripture? Paul himself wrote in Gal. 3:28, “There is neither...  Male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”  And Peter wrote in 1 Pet. 2:9, “You, [all born again believers in Christ] are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him, Who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light.” 

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