Sunday, June 12, 2016

Women in New Testament ministry

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I            I have posted below some verses from the New Testament about women ministering in the early Church.  Although Paul famously taught that women should be quiet in the church (service?), apparently they didn't take this to every level.  He commended plenty of women in the early church for their service and ministry.

What I also notice is that the phrase "men and women" often occurs, even when persecution, jail, and martyrdom is mentioned.  Why did the Jewish leaders want the women (and mothers of children) treated this way?  Why did the Romans later treat the women as badly as the men in the torture and killing?  If women are treated equally in martyrdom, why should they be unequal in other ways?
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From a human perspective, these are logical arguments. I have mixed feelings about it.  When women are spoken to in an exhorting way in the New Testament, it is almost always about their "mouths"--gossip, strife, busybodying, etc.  That has not changed; some women like drama and stir it up with their talk.   Women when they are younger should probably focus on their children, but after a certain age women have great wisdom.  Why should a 60-year-old women be expected to follow the guidance of a 30-year-old pastor without question, just because he's a man?  I think women should be ordained and on staffs of churches.  However, I would still go by the tradition that the senior pastor be a man.  The church has become way too feminized already.

  Luke 8:1 1 After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, 2 and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; 3 Joanna the wife of Chuza, the manager of Herod’s household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means.
Acts 1:14 14 They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.
Acts 2 17-18 In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.
Acts 8:30 But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off both men and women and put them in prison.
Acts 13:50 (In Pisidian Antioch) But the Jewish leaders incited the God-fearing women of high standing and the leading men of the city. They stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them from their region.  
Acts17:4 (In Thessalonica) Some of the Jews were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a large number of God-fearing Greeks and quite a few prominent women.,
17:12 (In Berea) As a result, many of them believed, as did also a number of prominent Greek women and many Greek men.
Acts 21:9  Leaving the next day, we reached Caesarea and stayed at the house of Philip the evangelist, one of the Seven. 9 He had four unmarried daughters who prophesied.
Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
I Cor 14:34.  Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says. 35 If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church. The one commandment that was apparently not taken everywhere.
I Tim. 2:9-10 modesty
I Tim 3:11 In the same way, the women are to be worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything.
2 Tim 3:6, (speaking of false teachers) They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires,
Titus 2:3-4 Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. 4 Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.
I Tim 5: Women are seen as providers of care and this was an important pat of being in the body.  It was not seen in a diminished function to be a caretaker. 
I Tim 2:11:  A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet.
Romans 16:12 and other places: Paul mentions several women who apparently did ministry.  Priscilla, Euodia and Synteche, Tryphena and Tryphosa, Mary, Persis, Chloe, Junias, Nympha, Aphia, Phoebe, Lydia, Rufus’ mother, Nereus’ sister, Damaris, Tabitha, four daughters of Philip.  Claudia, Timothy’s mother and grandmother, Eunice and Lois.  Some are wealthy or high society women who could offer their homes for church meetings; some worked with their husbands in ministry. 
Take away:  Let no one despise your woman-ness—including yourself.

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