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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, because 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, 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 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 tell the whole world My Gospel and the Truth of My Word…]"  (Acts 2:17-18) 

What do handmaidens or maidservants do?  The same as what menservants do.  As female servants they too 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, 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 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 evil 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!” 

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 have to 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 Jews and Gentiles 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 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 THE REASON WHY THIS TYPE OF MISOGYNY IS IN THE BIBLE   

One can take anything from the Bible and make it into a lie — or tell it in the full context of the Bible, and let the Word of God be the Truth of God.  Ignoring Jesus’ complete atonement in the place of females, just as in the place of males; the Holy Spirit outpouring at Pentecost as the fulfilment of God’s promise to the entire Body of Christ; and the fact that “in Christ, [spiritually,] there is now no more male or female... for we are all one in Christ,” and so forth, male misogynists insist on focussing on passages and verses that make males into the supreme ‘authority of the church,’ lording over all women in everything.  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, because during that time, it was a men’s world.  Women were mere sex and other slaves.  Jesus’ full atonement in the place of women, and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in women were therefore inconceivable in the misogynist-corrupted minds of all 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 religion, dividing and confusing even the truly born again, blood-bought body of Christ, and robbing his truly spiritual nation of His Holy-Spirit gifts and ministry.  But 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. 

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 men in general.

There is not one single 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, or men and life in general.

The references in Genesis 1-3, (with the omission of Gen. 1:27-28, which is God’s truly Scriptural UNIVERSAL PLAN for male and female to manage the earth together), mostly pertain to the relationship between husband and wife, and they, as the New Testament references, are the distinct designation of God’s Original and Unchanged Creation Principles.  The woman was created female for her “own” husband, and for him alone, as the man was created male for 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 gross insult to the holy marriage covenant and joint management of both male and female, as God commanded in Gen. 1:27-18.  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 wrote in Gal. 3:26-29 that, 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, and 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 religious church system, or to the body of Christ in general: Jam. 4:4-7.  The marriage-covenant between a (one) husband and his (one and only) 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 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”: 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 filled 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?” 

While it seems likely that Paul was referring to Godly, inward respect in this passage, some believe he related a physical head covering and the length of a woman's hair to her submissiveness, and commanded that the woman must submit to the dictates of all men, not only to her ‘own’ husband.  He 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.”

Based on this verse, some religious leaders falsely teach that a woman should always have a male ‘head’ as her ‘spiritual cover’.  They allege that, if she does not have a husband, a male leader should become her ‘cover’ - which, revoltingly, implies husbandry!  But where is this doctrine stated 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, [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.”  Was Paul confused and Peter speaking only to men?  This uncontextual view of spiritual husbandry jeopardises the woman’s reputation and position in the congregation as well as in the kingdom of God.  What happened to the woman’s own authority in Christ through her own salvation in Him?  Only a woman’s OWN husband is the head of her home, and ONLY Jesus Christ her Lord is her spiritual Cover, or the Banner over her!  

The serious question remains, should a woman, as a blood-bought, born again, Spirit-filled, blessed child of God, prove her inward attitude of respect for Christ, her own husband, and the congregation by the wearing of a veil and the length of her hair?  This sounds more like Islamic rule than Jesus’ true body of believers, who are all subject to only ONE New Testament Law:  the Moral Law of Love.  New Testament Scripture commands no other outward sign of faith, except the Scriptural baptism of born again disciples, the Lord’s Supper and the anointing of oil in healing as a mere symbol of the Holy Spirit.  (Mt. 28:19; 1 Cor. 11:23-31; Jam. 5:14-16.)

Unless a woman sinfully, or without good cause, (one cannot respect a womanizer, adulterer, violent oppressor, drunkard, drug addict, lazy miser, child molester, etc. because then you must submit to and respect all sin,) has no respect for her OWN Godly husband – which seemingly is not the case; her femininity, marriage relationship and the spiritual order of the marriage covenant have absolutely nothing do with her calling, giftedness, and ministry in the congregation.

Footnote, Spirit Filled Bible, 1 Cor. 11:5-10: “A proper understanding of this section is based on understanding Creation Principles, [God’s universal plan for the general management of secular life, versus God’s specific plan for the home], and Corinthian customs. Uncontextual, outdated Corinthian customs [just as Muslim tradition] dictated that a woman who appeared bareheaded in public was considered to be loose and immoral. [Traditionally], uncovered [or cut] hair, or a shaved head symbolised a loose, unclean condition.”

In the very beginning, God created male and female to reign together as equals over His creation.  Likewise, He recreated fallen mankind of both sexes through the spiritual rebirth in Christ to reign as equals over His spiritual kingdom as His born again, symbolically female, bride of Christ - Gen. 1:26-28; Gal. 3:26-29; 1 Pet. 2:9-10.

So, why did Paul command the woman to “submit” to all men in the Body of Christ, while God merely commanded her to submit to the Godly and good leading of her OWN husband for the sake of their OWN marriage covenant as the symbol of  all Jesus’ believers’ submission to Him?   And why would he command that women must “have other men as spiritual covers over them if they do not have husbands?” 

After all, the God-inspired submission of both male and female to one another in everything good and Godly, is the crux of not just the marriage covenant, but of every relationship on earth — and of the relationship between all believers in particular.  Why did Paul, in all fairness, not silence those evil religious Christian men who abuse women spiritually, emotionally, physically and verbally — abusing God first by using His Word out of context as a deadly weapon to justify their witchcraft against women?  Why didn’t he command them to submit to the authority of the  entire [symbolically] female bride and body of Christ?  At least, that would have been Scriptural, good, and Godly  - 1 Pet. 3:7; 1 Tim. 3:2-16.

 

“LET WOMEN KEEP SILENT IN THE ASSEMBLIES; FOR IT IS NOT PERMITTED UNTO THEM TO SPEAK, BUT THEY ARE COMMANDED TO BE UNDER OBEDIENCE, AS ALSO SAYS THE LAW?” 

It seems that Paul still granted women, who wore traditional head coverings, permission to pray and prophesy publicly in 1 Cor. 11:5.  But in 1 Cor. 14:34 he commanded their complete silence, “...As also says the Law?”

While some allege that this is not a prohibition on ministry; Paul was merely admonishing chattering during sermons, this is clearly not the case.  Paul, or perhaps later male chauvinist religionists and other Bible translators, ‘lawfully’ commanded all the women in all the assemblies to keep quiet – in the context of the public ministration of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.  Supposedly, it is disorderly for a woman to minister in the assembly, simply because she is female.  Can this be the Paul that wrote that in Christ, there is no more male or female, but we are all one in Him?   Did Paul get confused, or what? 

Christ set His believers free of the Ceremonial Law to obey only the Moral Law, which is written on the hearts of all humanity.  Yet, Paul used a “law” to support his uncontextual command; (if Paul did indeed say this) – a law that does not exist in Moses’ Law or anywhere else in the Bible.  Some Bibles refer this ‘law’ to Gen. 3:16: “He shall rule over you”.  Yet, this too, is clearly no a law at all.  Even if it were, did Christ not fulfil the entire Old Testament Law for females as well?  - Gal. 3:7-14; 2:18-21.

Spirit Filled Bible, footnote, “The woman is not directly cursed, although it is obvious that she comes under God’s general curse.  Rather, there will be a major marring of her appointed roles as wife and mother.  Maternity will be with great suffering [because of the fall;] therefore Old Testament women saw large families as a sign of blessing. “He shall rule over you,” asserts the divine assignment of the husband’s SERVANT-LEADER role.  There is no evidence that this was ever intended as diminishing her person or giftedness, [or her place in God’s UNIVERSAL PLAN for humankind].  It does not assert male dominance over females.  It does assign husbandly responsibility for leadership in the marriage relationship.”

One of the most destructive decrees religious men have ever made is the submission of all women to all men on every sphere of life.  As a result, even New Testament women were and still are being abused, silenced and oppressed. 

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