Building: Women Builders

1 Corinthians 14:33b-40, 1 Timothy 2:15

We have been talking about building the Church, that each and everyone of us is to do our part in building the Church with love being the over all bonding principle. Yet, in what we are about to read it makes one wonder what the role of women is if they are not permitted to speak in the church. 

Keep in mind that we are reading someone else’s mail. Paul is addressing problems within these particular congregations in Corinth and that this is the 1st century church…

This is very hard to understand when Paul earlier had said about women speaking forth the word of God to those of the church in 11:5 and it goes against what the Holy Spirit clearly and plainly teaches in most of God’s word. 

When Jesus was raised from the dead, he appeared first to women, “Jesus said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me’” (Matthew 28:10). Is the “go” here any less than the “go” of the Great Commandment?  I mean, the women were not merely transferring information – they were delivering a command from Jesus, given to his “brothers,” Jesus expected these men to obey the message delivered by the women. Jesus gave the women authority to relay his instructions to the men.

Historically we see, that while few, God used women to be leaders and prophets. In the Old Testament book of Judges, Deborah, a prophetess, spoke for God and led all of Israel judging the men and the women under her leadership.  Israel had peace from 1107 BC until her death in 1067, 40 years. Then the Israelites did what was evil in the sight of the Lord as Judges 6:1 tells us (See Deborah’s full story in Judges 4 & 5).

Then in 2 Chronicles, we Find the prophetess Huldah (34:21-28).

As we go through this I would encourage you to approach this with an open mind, humility, patience, and with an understanding of where other traditions get there stance on this issue. We need to have the willingness to speak honestly about what God reveals in scripture about this. 

We will also need to recognize that men and women on both sides of this issue disagree. We must not let this issue break the bonds of unity we are to have in the Church, even if we are convinced and convicted that our position is the right one. If God has allowed the different traditions and fellowships of His church to have separate and opposite positions on this issue then we need to openly and willingly express our position in love. Even if we leave that discussion agreeing to disagree.

I will tell you that as a Church Of God, we believe that women can, and should, hold positions of leadership as pastors, preachers, and teachers within the Church.

First, Mary a woman was chosen by God to bring the Savior into this world. 

Second, all of the gospels record women as the first to proclaim the resurrection of Jesus (Matthew 28:1-10, Mark 16:1-9, Luke 24:1-12, John 20:1-18).

Third, Paul records women as deacons and ministers and speaks of them as co-workers in the Gospel.

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. – Galatians 3:28

Digging Deeper

  • Are women called to do ministry?
  • If there is neither male nor female, and we are all one in Christ, what is the problem with women teachers and pastors? 

Further Reading: Judges 4:4-9, James 5 (especially vs.7), 2 Chronicles 34:19-28, Galatians 3:26-29, Romans 16

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