Women Leadership in Christian Churches - A Rejoinder, A Thought


(A Rejoinder to a Content at Associated.com)

By P.V. Ariel, published Mar 22, 2008
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E Pushpa Lalitha, India's first woman Bishop. Pic Credit NDTV
This refers to an interesting article appeared on the pages of AC under the caption, "What Role Can Women Play in Leading Worship? Under the sub head, 'Exploring What the Bible Says About Women in Leadership Roles' by Nicole L.

The writer by quoting the verses from Luke 8:1-3 ("Not long afterward Jesus began a tour of the nearby cities and villages to announce the Good News concerning the Kingdom of God. He took his twelve disciples with him, along with some women he had healed and from whom he had cast out evil spirits. Among them were Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons; Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod's business manager; Susanna; and many others who were contributing from their own resources to support Jesus and his disciples.") Says, "Why would the author take the time to make sure that women were listed, by name, in this particular passage?"

This does not mean that Jesus expected a ministry from women what he expected from men. Of course, Jesus never put forward a second class level to women. Galatians 3:28 is very clear that, "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. In first Peter again we read, "... being heirs together of the grace of life; (I Peter 3:7). No doubt He showed the same level of love and salvation to all. No disparity in it. Jesus did not bar them from singing, praying, witnessing prophesying and a lot of other spiritual activities. But notice that Jesus never select or send a women to the mission field. Instead this was entrusted to His disciples (Matthew 28:19,20). His disciples and all the other apostles too were men. If he expected this ministry from women, He would have definitely selected some women to this ministry.

Apostle Paul, while writing to the Corinthians, wrote:
 "Let the women keep silent in the churches; for they are not permitted to speak, but let them subject themselves, just as the law also says. (I Cor. 14:34.). He continues in verse 35 "... it is improper ('shame' in KJV), ('disgraceful', marginal meaning in New American Standard Bible) for a woman to speak in Church. Later, while writing to Timothy, he said, "Let women quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness. But I do not allow woman to teach or exercise authority over man, but to remain quiet (1Timothy 2: 11-12).

A women's position in the church is very obvious from these Bible passages. They are forbidden from teaching in congregations and commanding over men. Ordaining women as clergy or Bishop is purely not scriptural. God's Word cannot be changed according to the age or situations. It never changes or it cannot be changed according to our conveniences, instead, it apples the same for ever. So let the women submit to His Word and restrictions without aspiring for man's portion. They have many other areas of ministry in Christ's kingdom. Let them do that faithfully.

The purpose for which God made the woman was that she might be "an help meet for him." She is neither his master nor his slave. She is part of him, him complement, that which is added to him to make him complete-"An help meet for him" "she will do him good and not evil, all the days of her life." Proverb 31:12)

Woman's Area of Service.
This does not mean that, women are exempted from other Christian services. They are equally important for the smooth functioning of any Church or Assembly.
Here is a fourfold service for women:

1. Homemaking:
1 Timothy 5:14; Timothy 2:3-5 God has ordained the home as the center of family life. The wife is the homemaker. The older women are instructed to teach the younger women the duties and the art of homemaking-to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, to be chaste, to be keeper of home, to be good, and to be obedient to their own husbands. Surely this is a great and noble task.

2. Kindness, and good works: 
1 Timothy 5:10; Rom. 16:1-2' Acts 18:1-3. Besides her duty to her family a Christian woman has many opportunities or serving other relieving the afflicted, doing acts of kindness caring for the servants of the Lord, etc.

3. Private instruction: 
Acts 18:26 Although it was not permitted to Priscilla to teach in the assembly she was permitted to show hospitality to Apollos when he visited Ephesus, and with her husband Aquila to explain to him in their own home "the ways of God are more perfect."

4. Personal Testimony:
 Philippians 4:3. Paul speaks of those women "which labored with me in the Gospel." Though not permitted to preach in the church, women are permitted to tell in other ways what God has done for them, and thus often to win a soul for the Lord. Let men and women never neglect the opportunities that may arise to witness personally for Christ and for the extension of His Kingdom.

END NOTE:
In fact there are a good number of things a Christian woman can do in relation to the church, and its activities.  May God help our women flock to do their duties entrusted to them by the God Almighty.  Let them not seek beyond that. Let us not deviate from the Word of God in any matter even in the leadership issue.


A matter from the archives of Philipscom

Philip V Ariel Founder and CEO at Philipscom

A freelance writer, editor and a blogger from Kerala. Now based at Secunderabad, Telangana, India. Can reach at: pvariel(@)Gmail [.] Com
Tel: 09700882768