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PaulWest
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Joined: 2006/6/28
Posts: 3405
Dallas, Texas

 Re:

Annie, I'm an Assemblies of God evangelist, and I totally agree with your post, your take on what the old time Pentecostal missionaries would think about our denomination today. It's very true. Thank God, though, that there are still AG churches that haven't gone utterly contemporary and seeker-accomodating. I suppose they make up a part of the true remnant that God maintains throughout the centuries. The Word is still being preached with unction and conviction in these little churches...and their faithful Pastors haven't bowed the knee. But such churches have become far and few...

By the way, I'm credentialed through the North Texas District, Austin section; what district and section was your husband with?

Brother Paul


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Paul Frederick West

 2007/6/14 2:18Profile
crsschk
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Posts: 9192
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 Re: return

Apparently I am compelled to carry on after all. How to shorten so many things into concise, small thoughts ... Maybe just easier to let it go out in the more normative rambling fashion that takes in so much that it comes out much the same way.

Am inclined to some clarifying... Observance. That is a word that carries through all these discussions at all times. Bit's and pieces challenging, comparisons to other discussions. repeating themes. Spiritual principles. What we do here as a whole, or rather what we ought to be made more aware of in regards to each other.

To breakdown just one of the many misunderstandings ... this is not a contest, it often appears to be but I would much more liken it all to a processing pod. A place where we can hash things out. That will always bring forth it's own inherent difficulties and wrong assumptions. Speaking in broad sweeping generalities here but it seems noteworthy to mention again because inevitably we are bound to begin getting offended too personally or begin to offend personally, attack at the character level, have a wrong spirit and a wrong goal in mind.

Having tarried here quite some time one of the greatest observances is in how much ... substance there is in our [i]reactions[/i], especially to challenges. A great deal of this is very well exemplified in
[url=https://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=17227&forum=36&start=10&viewmode=flat&order=1]All Israel Will Be Saved?[/url]. The point being how we can get all out of sorts with each other and not take notice of the very reactions themselves. What do [i]they[/i] say to us? And say [i]about[/i] us?

As part of that the other overlooked aspect is the sort of 'camp' mentality that would separate us when we agree and disagree. It is a perception and\or a reality depending on whether we have Gods will and desire in mind or own own. It is usually one of the great attempts here to break these 'camps' up whenever they begin to form, intentionally and by that I mean 'unaware' and aware, unintentionally. A play on words there. By and large most of us are inclined to getting to the bottom of matters and are not self-seeking and self-asserting but ... Always a but, do we not overlook a great deal in these things? Our reactions are [i]telling[/i] of our fiber and makeup and often just how far we have yet to go in spiritual fortitude and denying of the fleshly matter.

I do believe this matter at hand needs even more elucidation, not less and may need to be broadened before it can be again narrowed. Another posting on spiritual authority needs a true hearing and examination. What it is by definition. [i]Whose[/i] authority it truly is and where we as instruments are used in the order of things in the Lords economy. It seems far more prudent to start at some level ground of definition and principle.

One of the great beauties in my mind about this fellowship here is the very challenges themselves. I am constantly challenged by all this discourse to re-think and re-access things and often write not selfishly in that sense but as speaking my own challenges forth in questions that are milling about the cranium. Though I have written often in a more thesis style, statement type manner, it is always under girded by this notice of dictating on to a mirror that reflects back in ... "is this true of yourself?" I can thank Art Katz in great part for forcing that issue, this matter of truly being honest at core levels. Furthermore it also brings back o the fore the very pertinent observation that is expressed by David;

[i]For the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David. O Jehovah, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising; Thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou searchest out my path and my lying down, And art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, But, lo, O Jehovah, thou knowest it altogether. [/i] Psa 139:1-4

All of that Psalm is very expressive but I think we do tend to forget just Who it is we are [i]before[/i] at [i]all[/i] times. We can be somewhat dislodged in our practice against our own hearts, forgetting that there is an observance going on at [u]all[/u] times ...'[i]every word[/i]' being accountable.

With that bit of preface ... this matter of [u]usurping[/u] is quite tremendous and found place in the aforementioned thread, quite well expressed I believe by our brother Robert there if anyone is inclined to see some correlations. It is one piece in opposition or antagonism that shows the polar opposite of so much in regards to spiritual authority. Again a fuller development I believe necessary. Short here time wise with so much seemingly wanting expression, may begin it with some short antidotes and questions to get it started but it seems very much on my heart and why I had to push back the natural tendency that wanted to beg off all this and go forth with what I believe the Lord is challenging me to carry on with. I do not have all the confidence in the world that this is the Lords doing, it could be my own disposition yet still, but after giving it all too much prayer, have the sense like Paul that it [i]seemed[/i] best to him and the Holy Spirit to carry on.

Briefly to the matter at hand. Thanks to Annie and Paul in your responses and to phoebe1 for bringing forth yet another challenge with your reply. My particular take overall is that it is still muddled while bringing out a great deal of truth and factual things. It seems to me still that this is a great deal of the problem by trying to take in too many different specifics and make them into one big pedantic stew. It still rather misses a greater foundational floor and seems to build the structure from the roof down ... A bit too all inclusive and seemingly contradictory, some glaring omissions for instance here;

Quote:
First Corinthians 14:34-36
There are only two passages in the entire New Testament which might seem to contain a prohibition against the ministry of women (1 Corinthians 14:34 and 1 Timothy 2:12). Since these must be placed along side Paul's other statements and practices, they can hardly be absolute, unequivocal prohibitions of the ministry of women. Instead, they seem to be teachings dealing with specific, local problems that needed correction.

There are various interpretations of what Paul was limiting when he said, "Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak" (14:34). Options include (1) chatter in public services, (2) ecstatic disruptions, (3) certain authoritative ministries (such as judging prophecies), and (4) asking questions during the service. Yet, Paul does allow women to pray and prophesy in the corporate service (1 Corinthians 11:5).

Although we may not solve all the difficulties of this chapter, we do conclude that this passage does not prohibit female leadership, but like the rest of the chapter, it admonishes that "all things be done decently and in order" (1 Corinthians 14:40).

First Timothy 2:11-15
The meaning and application of Paul's statement, "I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man" (1 Timothy 2:12), have puzzled interpreters and resulted in a variety of positions on the role of women in ministry and spiritual leadership. Is the prohibition of women teaching and exercising authority a universal truth, or was Paul reporting his application of divine truth for the society and Christian community to which he and Timothy ministered?

From the above survey of passages on exemplary women in ministry, it is clear that Paul recognized the ministry of women. Yet there were some obvious problems concerning women in Ephesus. They were evidently given to immodest apparel and adornment (1 Timothy 2:9). The younger widows "learn to be idle,... and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not" (1 Timothy 5:13). In his second letter to Timothy, Paul warned against depraved persons (possibly including women) who manipulated "weak-willed", or "gullible", women (2 Timothy 3:6, NIV).

A reading of the entire passage of 1 Timothy 2:9-15 strongly suggests that Paul was giving Timothy advice about dealing with some heretical teachings and practices involving women in the church at Ephesus. The heresy may have been so serious that he had to say about the Ephesian women, "I am not allowing women to teach or have authority over a man." But we know from other passages that such an exclusion was not normative in Paul's ministry.

First Timothy 3:1-13
This entire passage has been held by some to confirm that all leaders and authorities in the Early Church were intended to be, and indeed were, males. It is true that the passage deals primarily with male leadership, most likely because of majority practice and expectations. When there were women leaders, like Phoebe, they would be expected to meet the same standards of character and behavior.

Translations of verse 11 present evidence of the translator's choice based on personal expectations. The word gunaikas can be translated as either "wives" or "women," depending on the translator's assumptions concerning the context. One rendering leaves the impression that these are qualifications for deacons' wives; the other suggests this exhortation is addressed to female spiritual leaders.

Although the first-century cultural milieu produced a primarily male church leadership, this passage along with other biblical evidence of female spiritual leadership (e.g., Acts 21:9; Romans 16:1-15 ; Philippians 4:2,3) demonstrates that female leadership was not prohibited, either for Paul's day or for today. Passages which imply that most leaders were male should not be made to say that women cannot be leaders.



Think this still is confusing the matter by making 'leaders' or 'leadership' the issue and muddling this with what was being stated. "Strongly suggests" or 'may be' is an assumption and I must wonder why a very important point is being left out here in exegesis of at least 1 Tim;

[i]Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise [u]authority over[/u] a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.

[b][u]For[/u] Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.[/b]
[/i] 1Ti 2:11-14

Why make mention of it if it is not so important? That word "for" is rich in recognition and explanation. I believe we are still in the realm of usurp and spiritual authority.


_________________
Mike Balog

 2007/6/14 10:07Profile









 Re:

Hi Brother Paul, Yes - there are good Pastors left and not just in the AoG. I judge a particular fellowship by the Pastor. If a Pastor's good, the Church is good. Isn't that a saying, that 'as the Pastor goes - so goes the Church'. I'm Non-denominational now and have been for about 21 years. I like to visit brothers and sisters in any truly born-again Church. But right now, I'm at a PCA Church, because this Pastor is a very sharp, keen man, sort of like Oswald Chambers or the like. I was at a point that I needed some meat, like the Authors we have here and last year, met this execellent man.

BTW ~ may I ask in all earnestness that you all would pray for him. He's having a quadruple bi-pass and other procedures done to his heart next Wednesday. Thank you all so very much.

Paul, we were with the Southern New England district.

Hey, I was in Austin for a while back in '78.
That's quite a place. Lake Austin with it's "volkswagon sized cat fist".
Is it true ?
But, you definitely are in a "hub of a wheel" there for all sorts of political views. My my, what a place. Hope you're finding your way around there with great joy in the harvest of souls.

Lord Bless you very much.
annie

 2007/6/14 11:16









 Re:

Hi Mike.

Mike, every time I go off line for a while, it's to get myself 'straightened out' - To grow.

When I went off for this last year, I found a funny little bumper sticker type thing that read, "I don't need your attitude, I have one of my own!" Ha! And believe it or not - but I focused on the "one of my own" part when I stuck it onto my monitor for the year. ha.

I believe, if we're truly 'pressing in' that no matter how long we're with the Lord, we still have only just scratched the surface of what He can make of us ... as in the process of our being comformed into His image.
I think we should see a reasonable amount of difference (or even great sometimes) when we look backward at every passing year, at ourselves and our reactions to things, etc..
In the case of this thread - I learned even more about a woman's place. As that question I raised for Ron a few pages back. I had been 'taught' one way about 1Corth14 but never saw that chapter the way I did the other day. Wow!

I think the Lord has been merciful and sometimes lets these 'awakenings' take place when the person is more able to handle them.

Now this is just what I got out of that chapter the other day, and when I thought it through, I had to do it the hard way, because I did prophecy in the Church. But felt the others, the elders and Pastor and whomever should discern or judge after.
But upon re-reading ever so slowly the other day, one-word-at-a-time - I will no longer practice that, in a Service.
Outside to a Pastor or whomever is head, but that's what I've gotten out of this thread and 2Kings22 and thank you for your posts. I think your attitude and trying to keep this thread acedemic and not emotion is what has caused it to bear fruit ... even this older woman has learned a rather large new thing and Mighty grateful.


"Keep On!" - Martin Lloyd-Jones

Thank you!

 2007/6/14 11:34
PaulWest
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Joined: 2006/6/28
Posts: 3405
Dallas, Texas

 Re:

Quote:
Isn't that a saying, that 'as the Pastor goes - so goes the Church



Very true saying, I think. If the Pastor is a holy, praying man, the church will show it. I've found such churches to be generally small in attendance with a regular flow of "hoppers" that come in to test the waters and soon find it's over their head. That is, they refuse to [i]stand up[/i] - so they pack up their lawn chairs and sun block and head over to the plastic kiddie pool toting along a myriad of floatation devices in their baggage.

But God calls us to the ocean...

Brother Paul

p.s. I'll be in prayer for your husband, dear sister.


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Paul Frederick West

 2007/6/14 20:16Profile
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 Re: A Woman Speaking Under Authority

Quote:

crsschk wrote:
Forrest,
Quote:
I don't intend for them to be trick questions or to necessarily use them in the arguments I may make. I want to know what I need not talk about in a fully reasoned study of authority in the church.

I feel as if what I am saying is not being heard. You may feel the same way. But I think it is valuable to continue the discussion.

Please tell me:



Well I do feel the same way to some extent and recognize the sort of unintentional or who knows perhaps intentional cherry picking that we can do in these discussions. [i]Not an accusation[/i]. It happens. I do it just as easily. I think I have failed largely to get across the main point that I am finding contrary to scripture and will leave off with the commentaries in a subsequent and last post instead, not to prove, not to buttress, not even knowing what they might have to say. If all this effort was or is causes some more thinking and searching the scriptures for their true intent and meaning at the source, than I am happy to dislodge from it. To be honest could hope for more but ... perhaps would further the thought to address what you have asked me here in these series of questions.

I did attempt them honestly but found a problem right from the get go because you are asking me what "I think" in large part and "I think" it is irrelevant what I think on those questions. It was difficult not to take them as somewhat baiting regardless of your intentions and I have no reason to believe ill will or the like.

Some of them were downright ... provocative to say the least, not offended but bemused at such foolish things being asked when you already well know the answer to them.

I will not partake in this because I do not wish you to be forming your responses off this questionnaire that may be proving something of my point anyway ...


To the commentaries.



No problem, dear Mike.

I placed the questions in the "do you think" because I was asking for instruction from you on these points to reveal your thoughts.

If you think your thoughts are not to the point of the discussion, you do yourself a disservice.

In any case, we both follow the letter of the law.

I'll just stay away from churches.

Blessings,

Forrest


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Forrest Anderson

 2007/6/15 0:15Profile
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 Re:

Quote:

Christinyou wrote:
1 Corinthians 12:1-18 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant...Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit....Who is the Gifted One, the One that is in every born again body member? Is it not the Lord Jesus Christ Himself? Who administers these Gifts of God? Is it not he Holy Spirit teacher as He wills. We are not all gifted apostles or teachers etc. at the same time, but we can all be an apostle, teacher, etc. as the Holy Spirit distributes the gifts and God wills. It is the Giver not the gift or the receiver that is the builder of the Body of Christ for both man and woman.

1 Corinthians 12:6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.

1 Corinthians 12:11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man (and woman) severally as he will.

All are one in Christ. 1 Corinthians 12:12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.

"So also is Christ", that is the perfection of our salvation Christ is One and we are One in Him and the Father and the Holy Spirit.

Man and woman are baptized into one Spirit which is Christ and becomes the Body of Christ in one Body, and there is no difference in the Spirit of God in us. 1 Corinthians 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

1 Corinthians 12:18-20 But now hath God set the members (man and woman) every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased Him. And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body. Christ.

1 Corinthians 12:23-25 And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.

This is beyond, "woman keep silent in the church".

Hebrews 7:28 For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, maketh the Son, who is consecrated for evermore.

The great High Priest of the Christian profession is the only perfect priest, Heb 7:11,19. The Jewish priests were all imperfect and sinful men. The sacrifices which they offered were imperfect, and could not give peace to the conscience. There was need of some better system, and they all looked forward to it. But in the Lord Jesus, and in his work, there is absolute perfection. What he did was complete, and his office needs no change.

As all that are His, we are also a kingdom of priests.

Hebrews 7:28 For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, maketh the Son, who is consecrated for evermore.

As man and woman we are consecrated for evermore in Christ Jesus.

In Christ: Phillip




I agree, although the scriptures you've quoted could do with some commentary to link them, but that is my teaching nature.

Since neither you nor I attend, or value, organized religious behavior, in the manner of denominations, or formalized worhip, it is to be understood that we would automatically stand against taking God's Word out of context merely to support the authority of men in the churches.

I am a Son of God, Heir to the Promises, a Priest and King.

That I am female is getting more irrelevant as the years pass, except for the seemingly unlimited experience, I as a woman, have experienced, and the base it gives me to help others understand each other.

And I will, I pray, receive a crown unto glory, or righteousness, or victory on that day when we stand before our King of Kings, not that I may be gloriefied, but that I may know that I pleased the Lord my God.

And in that day, we will probably no longer be limited by masculine or feminine differences, but will have full access to all parts of our mind.

And with Christ as our High Priest, I will take my orders gladly, knowing that He will explain anything I don't understand, and guide me in all things, as High Priest, and as Husband to me and to us all as part of His Bride, the Church.

I merely find myself grateful that my Brothers on SI are not taking their authority outside the church buiding, or outside their marriages.

As an additional word of encouragement to you, I love it when you comment in depth between the scriptures you find, for it does flesh them out so well, and place important linkages that many may miss.

Thank you for standing up for the feminine side of your Bretheren in Christ.

Blessings,

Forrest


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Forrest Anderson

 2007/6/15 0:38Profile
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 Re: Assemblies of God

Quote:

phoebe1 wrote:
I think you all might find the assemblies of God's official stance on this issue insightful. I see alot of the bias they refer to here against women in a number of your views. Please read slowly and carefully. Thank you.



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The Role of Women in Ministry
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Position Papers are official documents of the Church that have been approved by its General Presbytery.


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Supernatural manifestations and gifts of the Holy Spirit have played a distinctive role in the origin, development, and growth of the Assemblies of God. From the earliest days of our organization, spiritual gifting has been evident in the ministries of many outstanding women.

Divine enablement has also been seen in the spiritual leadership of women in other Pentecostal groups. The Pentecostal movement believes that the 20th-century outpouring of the Spirit is a true fulfillment of the scriptural prediction, "Your daughters shall prophecy... and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my Spirit" (Joel 2:28, 29).

The Bible as Final Authority
The history and current practice of the Assemblies of God give demonstration that God can and does bless the public ministry of women. Yet there is currently much debate concerning the proper role of women in spiritual leadership. So it is appropriate to ask if Scripture describes any limits to this public ministry. We all agree that Scripture must be our final authority in settling questions of faith and practice. But when born-again, Spirit-filled Christians, following proper hermeneutical principles, come to reasonable but differing interpretations, we do well not to become dogmatic in support of one position.

We affirm the inerrancy and authority of Scripture. We desire to know for certain what God expects of us. When we come to a sure understanding of His divine Word, we are committed to declaring and obeying those clear instructions. But we also exercise caution in giving authoritative importance to interpretations that do not have indisputable support from the whole of Scripture. Although the Holy Spirit may be active in the work of translation and interpretation, we cannot claim inerrancy for interpretations (even of extant Hebrew or Greek texts).

Historical and Global Precedent
In the early days of most revivals, when spiritual fervor is high and the Lord's return is expected at any time, there is often a place for, and acceptance of, the anointed ministry of women.

Over time, however, concerns about organization and lines of authority begin to emerge, and the group moves toward a more structured ministry. As institutional concerns come to the forefront, the spiritual leadership of women is accepted less readily, and church leadership becomes predominately male.

The experience of the Assemblies of God has been no exception to this progression.

Twentieth-century practice among Pentecostals around the world reveals evidence of a genuine struggle to apply biblical truth in various cultural contexts. In some settings, female spiritual leadership is readily accepted; in others, though women may have limited ministry, leadership posts are withheld from them. At times there is inconsistency between the leadership a female missionary has at home and that which she has on the field, or between her opportunities and those of a national female.

Indeed, culture has influenced the extent of leadership a woman has been allowed to share. The Church must always be sensitive to cultural concerns, but it must look to Scripture for the truth that applies to all times and cultures.

Biblical Examples of Women in Ministry
Old Testament history includes accounts of strong female leadership. Miriam was a prophet, one of the triumvirate of leaders God sent to Israel during the Exodus period (Exodus 15:20). Deborah, as prophet and judge, led the army of the Lord into successful combat (Judges 4 to 5). Huldah, also a prophet, authenticated the scroll of the Law found in the temple and helped spark the great religious reform in the days of Josiah (2 Kings 22; 2 Chronicles 34).

The New Testament also records ministering women in the Church Age. Tabitha (Dorcas) is called a disciple and had a ministry of helps (Acts 9:36). Philip had four virgin daughters who prophesied (Act s 21:8,9). Euodia and Syntyche were Paul's coworkers who shared in his struggle to spread the gospel (Philippians 4:2,3). Priscilla was another of Paul's exemplary "fellow workers in Christ Jesus" (Romans 16:3,4, NIV). In Romans 16, Paul greets a multitude of ministering persons, a large number of them women.

Phoebe, a leader in the church at Cenchrea, was highly commended to the church at Rome by Paul (Romans 16:1,2). Unfortunately, biases of modern English translators have sometimes obscured Phoebe's position of leadership, calling her a "servant" or "helper", etc. Yet Phoebe was diakonos of the church at Cenchrea. Paul often used this term for a minister or leader of a congregation and applied it specifically to Jesus Christ, Tychicus, Epaphras, Timothy, and to his own ministry. Depending on the context, diakonos is usually translated "deacon" or "minister." Though some translators have chosen the word deaconess (because Phoebe was a woman), such a distinction is not in the original Greek. It seems likely that diakonos was the designation for an official leadership position in the Early Church.

Junia was identified by Paul as an apostle (Romans 16:7). But many translators and scholars, unwilling to admit there could have been a female apostle, have since the 13th century masculinized her name to Junias. The biblical record shows that Paul was a strong advocate of women's ministry.

The instances of women filling leadership roles in the Bible should be taken as a divinely approved pattern, not as exceptions to divine decrees. Even a limited 34-4191 of women with scripturally commended leadership roles should affirm that God does indeed call women to spiritual leadership.

A Biblical Survey of the Role of Women in Ministry
Of primary importance in defining the scriptural role of women in ministry is the biblical meaning of "ministry". Of Christ our great model, it was said, "For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many" (Mark 10:45).

New Testament leadership, as modeled by Jesus, portrays the spiritual leader as a servant. The question of human authority is not of primary significance, though it naturally arises as organization and structure develop.

Genesis 2:18-25
Some expositors have taught that all women should be subordinate to adult men because Eve was created after Adam to be his helper ("help meet", KJV). Yet the word ezer ("helper") is never used in the Hebrew Bible with a subordinate meaning. Seventeen out of the twenty times it is used, it refers to God as the helper. Instead of being created as a subordinate, Eve was created to be a "suitable" (kenegdo) helper, or one "corresponding to" Adam.

Some argue that God created men and women with different characteristics and desires, and that these differences explain why leadership roles should be withheld from women. Others attribute these perceived differences to culture and social expectations imposed on children from birth to adulthood. Physical differences and distinctive biological functions are obvious; but it is only by implication that gender distinctives can be made to suggest leadership limitations.

Paul's Emphasis on Charismatic Ministry
Ministry in the New Testament is charismatic in nature. It is made possible and energized as the Holy Spirit sovereignly distributes spiritual gifts (charismata) to each member of the body of Christ (Romans 12:6-8; 1 Corinthians 12:7-11,27,28; Ephesians 4:7-12; 1 Peter 4:10,11). While some gifts are a spontaneous work of the Spirit and others are recognized ministry gifts to the Body, all are given for service without regard to gender differentiation. For example, the gift of prophecy is explicitly for both men and women: "Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy" (Acts 2:17). That women received and exercised this gift of the Spirit is well attested in the New Testament (Acts 21:9; 1 Corinthians 11:5).

If Peter found certain statements by Paul hard to understand (2 Peter 3:16), then it is no surprise that we, who are removed by 1900 additional years of history, would share his struggle in interpreting some Pauline passages. And we, like Peter (2 Peter 3:15), must respect and love our brothers and sisters who hold alternative interpretations on issues that are not critical to our salvation or standing before God. We only request that those interpretations be expressed and practiced in love and consideration for all of God's children, both men and women.

First Corinthians 11:3-12
The statement that "the man is the head of the woman" has for centuries been used to justify the practice of male superiority and to exclude women from spiritual leadership. Two alternative translations for kephale ("head"), debated widely by contemporary evangelical scholars, are (1) "authority over" and (2) "source" or "origin." Both meanings can be found in literature of Paul's time.

Taking the passage as a whole, the second meaning fits as well as or better than the first meaning, leading to the summary statement of verse 12: "As the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things [are] of God." Even the relationship between the eternal Son and the Father--"the head of Christ is God" (11:3)--fits better as "source" than "authority over" (cf. John 8 :42). Without attempting to resolve this debate, we do not find sufficient evidence in kephale to deny leadership roles to women (in light of biblical examples of women in positions of spiritual authority, and in light of the whole counsel of Scripture).

First Corinthians 14:34-36
There are only two passages in the entire New Testament which might seem to contain a prohibition against the ministry of women (1 Corinthians 14:34 and 1 Timothy 2:12). Since these must be placed along side Paul's other statements and practices, they can hardly be absolute, unequivocal prohibitions of the ministry of women. Instead, they seem to be teachings dealing with specific, local problems that needed correction.

There are various interpretations of what Paul was limiting when he said, "Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak" (14:34). Options include (1) chatter in public services, (2) ecstatic disruptions, (3) certain authoritative ministries (such as judging prophecies), and (4) asking questions during the service. Yet, Paul does allow women to pray and prophesy in the corporate service (1 Corinthians 11:5).

Although we may not solve all the difficulties of this chapter, we do conclude that this passage does not prohibit female leadership, but like the rest of the chapter, it admonishes that "all things be done decently and in order" (1 Corinthians 14:40).

First Timothy 2:11-15
The meaning and application of Paul's statement, "I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man" (1 Timothy 2:12), have puzzled interpreters and resulted in a variety of positions on the role of women in ministry and spiritual leadership. Is the prohibition of women teaching and exercising authority a universal truth, or was Paul reporting his application of divine truth for the society and Christian community to which he and Timothy ministered?

From the above survey of passages on exemplary women in ministry, it is clear that Paul recognized the ministry of women. Yet there were some obvious problems concerning women in Ephesus. They were evidently given to immodest apparel and adornment (1 Timothy 2:9). The younger widows "learn to be idle,... and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not" (1 Timothy 5:13). In his second letter to Timothy, Paul warned against depraved persons (possibly including women) who manipulated "weak-willed", or "gullible", women (2 Timothy 3:6, NIV).

A reading of the entire passage of 1 Timothy 2:9-15 strongly suggests that Paul was giving Timothy advice about dealing with some heretical teachings and practices involving women in the church at Ephesus. The heresy may have been so serious that he had to say about the Ephesian women, "I am not allowing women to teach or have authority over a man." But we know from other passages that such an exclusion was not normative in Paul's ministry.

First Timothy 3:1-13
This entire passage has been held by some to confirm that all leaders and authorities in the Early Church were intended to be, and indeed were, males. It is true that the passage deals primarily with male leadership, most likely because of majority practice and expectations. When there were women leaders, like Phoebe, they would be expected to meet the same standards of character and behavior.

Translations of verse 11 present evidence of the translator's choice based on personal expectations. The word gunaikas can be translated as either "wives" or "women," depending on the translator's assumptions concerning the context. One rendering leaves the impression that these are qualifications for deacons' wives; the other suggests this exhortation is addressed to female spiritual leaders.

Although the first-century cultural milieu produced a primarily male church leadership, this passage along with other biblical evidence of female spiritual leadership (e.g., Acts 21:9; Romans 16:1-15 ; Philippians 4:2,3) demonstrates that female leadership was not prohibited, either for Paul's day or for today. Passages which imply that most leaders were male should not be made to say that women cannot be leaders.

Galatians 3:28
Those who oppose allowing women to hold positions of spiritual leadership must place contextual limitations on Galatians 3:28. "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."

Some interpreters restrict the meaning of this triad to salvation by faith or oneness in Christ. That truth is certainly articulated throughout Scripture. Yet the verse carries a ring of universal application for all our relationships, not just an assurance that anyone can come to Christ. "Neither Jew nor Greek.... neither bond nor free... neither male nor female"--these are basic relationship principles to which faithful followers of Christ must give highest priority.

The God of the Bible has "no respect of persons" (Romans 2:11; cf. also 2 Samuel 14:14; 2 Chronicles 19:7; Acts 10:34; Ephesians 6:9). He calls whom He will and gives gifts and ministries as He chooses; man must not put limitations on divine prerogatives. In Christ we are truly set free from sin and its curse, which separate from God and elevate or demean according to race, social standing, or gender.

Therefore We Conclude
After examining the various translations and interpretations of biblical passages relating to the role of women in the first-century church, and desiring to apply biblical principles to contemporary church practice, we conclude that we cannot find convincing evidence that the ministry of women is restricted according to some sacred or immutable principle.

We are aware that the ministry and leadership of women are not accepted by some individuals, both within and outside the Christian community. We condemn all prejudice and self-promotion, by men or women. The existence in the secular world of bigotry against women cannot be denied. But there is no place for such an attitude in the body of Christ. We acknowledge that attitudes of secular society, based on long-standing practice and tradition, have influenced the application of biblical principles to local circumstances. We desire wisely to respect yet help redeem cultures which are at variance with Kingdom principles. Like Paul, we affirm the Great Commission takes priority over every other consideration. We must reach men and women for Christ, no matter what their cultural or ethnic customs may be. The message of redemption has been carried to remote parts of the world through the ministry of dedicated, Spirit-filled men and women. A believer's gifts and anointing should still today make a way for his or her ministry. The Pentecostal ministry is not a profession to which men or women merely aspire; it must always be a divine calling, confirmed by the Spirit with a special gifting.

The Assemblies of God has been blessed and must continue to be blessed by the ministry of God's gifted and commissioned daughters. To the degree that we are convinced of our Pentecostal distinctives--that it is God who divinely calls and supernaturally anoints for ministry--we must continue to be open to the full use of women's gifts in ministry and spiritual leadership.

As we look on the fields ripe for harvest, may we not be guilty of sending away any of the reapers God calls. Let us entrust to these women of God the sacred sickle, and with our sincerest blessings thrust them out into the whitened fields.

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Phoebe,

You are a dear to post all of this, and it is well worth reading, for I think it presents a balanced view of women and men in the church, under Christ.

I've always been fond of the Assemblies of God, since my philosophical mentor, Dr. Gene Scott, worked so much in setting up your educational programs that led to the incredible growth of the the Assemblies of God.

Of coure, that was over 25 years ago, but since my Sister-in-Law is Assemblies of God, I have heard nothing but good of them.

And to have the policy so plainly stated, it might actually lure me to seek out such a church, if I can find one nearby.

Not that I want to Pastor a Church...I want to do what God ordered me to do...."WRITE".

Strange that a woman being ordained a minister troubles people so - it's merely a public pronouncement of the willingness to serve, and the call of God being acted upon.


Many Blessings to you, Sister!

Forrest


_________________
Forrest Anderson

 2007/6/15 1:13Profile
UniqueWebRev
Member



Joined: 2007/2/9
Posts: 640
Southern California

 Re: A Woman Speaking Under Authority

Quote:

LittleGift wrote:

The personal key the Lod gave me, as said earlier, is to be sure that there is no area of rebellion against Him in my own heart.

Whatever the present day application and interpretation of "I suffer not a woman to teach...", if [i][u]that[/u][/i] issue is dealt with we will be in right relationship to Him and to every other brother or sister who is in the same place with Him.


In Him


Jeannette




Hi, there!

I agree that how we bring about appropriate authority in the church is much more difficult than it seems, in a world where equality of men and women seem fairly normal to Western Society.

I would say that my main dispute with the 'Authority' in the church is when a learned woman with a great deal of experience in the mission fields or in local outreach, or in just reading her Bible is politely told to 'shut up', when what they have to say may be the very Word of God.

And frankly, I think those that take the position of Paul's scant word in two places forming the whole of Christian thought on women in the Church is limited.

But lacking any direct call from God to a position I don't want, I am more than happy to let men take the responsibility along with the authority. I have no problems with it in all the churches I don't attend. It's when they do not take the responsibility of their office that I have difficulties!

As to rebellion against God, quite the contrary! I'm going to do whatever God tells me to do, regardless of what people may say.

It's a good thing that my ministry is to those family members and friends of people who won't set foot in a church, for whatever reason. I guess God must have known how I felt about the situation, and arranged things accordingly! He also may have wanted to keep me safely away from the churches, so that I might not inadvertantly do some harm there.

Blessings, my dear one!

Forrest


_________________
Forrest Anderson

 2007/6/15 1:37Profile
murdog
Member



Joined: 2006/2/4
Posts: 352
Fort Frances, Ontario

 Re:

Forrest,

Quote:
And frankly, I think those that take the postiion of Paul's scant word in two places forming the whole of Christian thought on women in the Church is limited.



"As in all the congregations of the saints, women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. 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."
1 Corinthians 14:33-35

"Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety."
1 Timothy 2:11-15

There may be only two references but they are extremely clear.

Quote:
I would say that my main dispute with the 'Authority' in the church is when a learned woman with a great deal of experience in the mission fields or in local outreach, or in just reading her bible is politely told to 'shut up', when what they have to say may be the very word of God.



If there were meant to be clauses in the two scriptures I posted above I think the Holy Spirit would have included them.

ex. "As in all the congregations of the saints, women should remain silent; unless you have extensive mission field experience, local outreach experience or you just read your bible a whole lot."

I believe your main dispute is with the authority of scripture.

Murray


_________________
Murray Beninger

 2007/6/15 11:06Profile





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