“Neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female.”
Why then is the equality issue between men and women still an issue in the church, even today?
Historically and Scripturally
Eve was deceived by Adam and so women are more easily deceived than are men. Therefore, women should not teach in the church in case they are deceived and lead others astray. So goes one argument for holding women from leading or preaching.
Although I don’t fully acknowledge the logic, it’s the most valid I think and warrants that women have a covering and particularly when they are leaders; but so must men be accountable, for all are vulnerable to stumbling.
When Corinthians were being instructed by Paul in 1 Corinthians, a significant part of the church was being “told off” for carnal behaviour. This included the telling-off of the women for blabbing too much in services. ‘Talk to your husbands at home’ he said, for it is ‘shameful for women to speak in church.’ So goes the second argument… women must not teach or preach.
Ever since, we’ve had women suppressed in some congregations.
But Paul also wrote, there is no distinction in the Spirit between men and women. (Galatians 3:28) So logically, the two references cancel one another out. That would be logical wouldn’t it?
In matters of behaviour, women need to exercise self control. But in matters of the Spirit, we are equal to men and ought to be heard. The Holy Spirit is our teacher, comforter, protector, convict-or. Do we not all have access to the Holy Spirit in equal measure?
That’s my stand. In a nutshell, that’s my position. One of my callings is to convey this message, in grace, humility, boldness and steadfast faith.
Stocks of grain, a matt, and the Sabbath
When Jesus allowed his disciples to pick grain on the Sabbath (Matthew 12), the leaders asked him why? And when the man whom Jesus healed was carrying his matt on the Sabbath (John 5), the leaders were very cross. Was Jesus tempting others to break the Sabbath? According to Jesus, he was not. He said, “Do not think that I came to destroy the law of the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfil.” (Matthew 5:17)
Men and Women are not the same… but they are equal
There are two keys to my believing what the Father wants me to do: to warn as a watchman and to stand in faith for righteousness, sometimes with words. It is not that I seek it nor do I “want” to do it. Sometimes it terrifies me; sometimes it is combative. If I get it wrong, I could cause someone to stumble and that would be on my watch. This is not my will, but to speak what I discern is my character and is my calling — or rather to say it is His calling for me.
Reason 1: My entire personality and experience confirms I am a watchman and as such, according to Ezekiel 3 and 33, if I do not warn as I’m called to do, if a person stumbles, their “blood” is on my head.
And Reason 2: The Holy Spirit is not confined to our understanding of law. By holding the view that women must not lead based upon Paul’s reference for women to keep silent in church (1 Corinthians 14:34), Jesus’ wander in the wheat fields on the Sabbath and allowing his disciples to eat grain, or his encouraging the cripple to collect up his matt on the Sabbath, Deborah the Judge and Priscilla at teacher to Apollos (Acts 18:26) and other examples are each a contradiction to this RULE.
Did GOD make a mistake?
I am not perfect. But GOD is perfecting me as He perfects each of us who seek to surrender to His will. “Be perfect as your heavenly father is perfect” said Jesus.
Whilst I do not wish to cause anyone else to stumble, I don’t wish to remain silent on this issue. And for even raising it, I am blocked from ministry by those who disagree. This is sad.
Did I make a mistake?
And yet, those who fear GOD, respect and keep His word. Those who turn a deaf ear to the equality of women at least in their conscious mind, do so out of reverence for GOD. Although I may see they are wrong, they are doing it for the right reasons.
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
And so, I know that I am correct in believing GOD gave me a calling I did not ask for, and for which He created me just as He willed. He placed me in contact with those who would disagree and would block my message. He did not make a mistake. So long as I am doing what I know to be right in His eyes, in love for my bothers and sisters, the rest is His responsibility and not mine.
For two reasons at least, there is an undeniable imbalance of men in ministry over women, both in the Bible and in our world today. Why is this? For one reason, women have children and bear the greatest portion of raising them. That is both cultural and (I believe) biological. Therefore, they’ve less time and perhaps their anointing/ministry is first and foremost for their children. Another reason why there are fewer women leaders, including in the Bible, is cultural. The rule is that men lead, but Biblically and historically, there are exceptions.
I don’t mind being an exception. I do mind, however, being blocked and ignored on the basis there are no exceptions.
Peace and Joy
But never mind. GOD is sovereign and in His sovereignty, I have gifts which some will not accept. But I accept the gifts, and I accept those who don’t accept me.
Hallelujah and Amen. The truth does set us free! How we respond to the truth brings a consequence that can only draw us closer to our Father, Jehovah GOD, if we choose to allow it to do so. I leave others’ journey with the LORD.
Shalom and GOD bless.