Egalitarian vs Complementarian Views on women in ministry: A Combined Discussion on Tradition and Praxis


Egalitarian vs Complementarian Views on women in ministry in Pentecostal Theology: A Combined Discussion on Tradition and Praxis

Kenneth J. ArcherKenneth J. ArcherA Pentecostal egalitarian view of humanity does not diminish, dilute, or demote maleness or femaleness but instead properly elevates both to mutual dignity, honor and love through mutual submission and service as individual followers of Jesus properly image the Social Trinity relationally in community.

Troy Day Absolutely! My other comment was asking exactly that. Thank you for posting in the topic…/

Amanda Walker I don’t understand how complementarianism ever crept its way into Christianity. Inequality between genders was a worldly, secular custom.

Troy Day We’ve discussed before the IPHC Council Position paper on WOMEN in MINISTRY after the Trinitarian model, adopted by the International Pentecostal Holiness Church. TThe Council of Bishops addressed the 7 deadly sins of the church, one of those being male domination…


Joe Butler So the IPHC has women in leadership at all levels?

Troy Day Dr. Dayton says it best here: ” This church hosted the Seneca Falls Women’s Rights Convention of 1848 (which first called for women’s suffrage), participated in the ordination of Congregationalist Antoinette Brown, the first woman to be ordained (founder Luther Lee preached the ordination sermon) and originally founded Wheaton College-though in recent years the church has been identified as a “holiness church” and since then has been incorporated into the fundamentalist/evangelical tradition.”…


Lee Theology Department Statement on… Women in Ministry | “Statement on Women in Ministry”

“The Department of Theology supports the full participation of women in all vocations of the church. We affirm that God the Father incorporates persons into the body of his Son Jesus Christ and pours out the Holy Spirit upon them without discriminating according to their sex. We affirm that God calls women to every activity, office, and level of ordination in the church. We both renounce any restrictions on the ministry of women based solely on their sex and commit ourselves to the removal of any such restrictions. Finally, we strive to provide a learning atmosphere in which women can find their voices and discern, understand, and pursue their many indispensable vocations.”

201502_070_PaulAaron Scott@actscelerate: It is a noble sentiment, almost always arising from well-intentioned hearts. Alas, for whatever reason, the Father, appears to have chosen otherwise when it comes, NOT to ministry, but to church-at-large leadership. Having served under highly intelligent and powerful women in Fortune 25 companies, there is little question of their ability to lead well. Having a lovely wife of organizational intensity, I know this truth with even greater clarity. And yet plenty of God’s ways don’t fit mine. Divorce. Why can’t someone make a new choice and become much happier…instead of having to wait for adultery or death? Since only 4% or so of those 25 or older are virgins, the whole fornication prohibition does not at all seem effective. I wouldn’t doubt if more than 70% who marry are not virgins. You get the idea. Plenty of things in God’s plan need adjusting to better fit with the world. The same with women in church-at-large leadership. We all know women of remarkable ability. Women that could almost assuredly do a better job than sitting or hopeful presidents of today. I know I’d vote for them! But for the church, it seems God does not at all consult the human economy. He tells us to GIVE in order to receive…to turn the other cheek…to believe before you see…that works don’t save us…on and on. So many things that the world does so very differently. You would think that as important and as crucial as women are in the secular AND RELIGIOUS arenas, the answer to women in leadership in the church would almost be tautological. But it is anything but clear!  We all acknowledge the impossible debt the church owes to our women. No other demographic comes close to their drive and energy. As a pastor, there was a time in my youth when I thought preaching and altar calls were the essentials of it all. Then I became a pastor and found that without my wife (and the other women), very little graciousness remains. No Children’s Church, Sunday School, fellowship opportunities, homecomings, etc. The Father spoke oh, so, true when He spoke of women being a “help meet” to her husband! What glorious harmony is possible because of God’s plan to put us together!  And yet…and yet….  Still the Father did not put this supremely talented creature over the sometimes less able husband….  TO BE CONTINUED

UncleJD@actscelerate: So a pastor has to be married?

Ricky Grimsley Ok….so i just had a fb conversation about Kari Jobe and how she was heretic because she believes that jesus died on the cross and then went to hell to take the keys to death and hell. That aside. The conversation broke down to how she should not be preach or teach the gospel anyway because she is a woman. So in light of 1 corinthians 14….what does it mean. How far do you take it. Does anyone actually believe that women are supposed to remain silent in the church?

Johan Paulsson Johan Paulsson Nothing but a Hindue if you follow Kari Jobe, women should not usurp authority over men
Ricky Grimsley Ricky Grimsley What does usurp mean?
Ed Robbins@actscelerate: Like the COG could close down Lee. Funny. It can’t be done in that if the COG closed it down, it would go bankrupt. They couldn’t sell it to anybody other than Lee. As for the president selection, I know how it works and if there was an agenda to oust the current president, he would be retired by the time they pulled it off. The COG can only change 2 BOD at a time.
Corey ForsythCorey ForsythScreenshots of it didn’t happen.. smile emoticon
JimDavis@actscelerate: But until Lee’s religion department has more COG ministers in it then it does liberal theologians who teach stuff we don’t embrace as a denomination, they can keep their opinions to themselves. I don’t give a flying flip what the religion department thinks. Majority of them aren’t even Church of God.
Ricky Grimsley  Ricky Grimsley I thought charles page would be all over this. Lol
 Stan Wayne Stan Wayne I would like to apologize to Kari Jobe for you. Wouldn’t it be better to be sure of 1 C 14 before you bash a woman with it. There is so much conservative pro woman preacher stuff to read on this that it is hard to know where to begin – how about starting with googling be Catherine Booth on a woman’s right to preach. Read slowly 1 Cor 11 and 14 and think about sister Kathryn Sister Aimee etc
Ricky Grimsley Ricky Grimsley @ stan Stan Wayne i was on Kari Jobe’s side in this conversation. I was just asking for discussion.
Corey Forsyth Corey Forsyth Ricky Grimsley that makes me so much happier about the course of this post… I am growing weary of the modern day theological witch hunters trying to represent Christ by bashing everyone in the name of correct theology…
Stan Wayne Stan Wayne Fantastic – Pentecostals tend to see 1 C 14 through the lens of Acts 2 (daughters, handmaidens) and 1 COR 11 prophesying women and Philips daughters prophetesses and Junia apostle etc. I actually think guneo usually means Wife rather than Woman and that these ladies were in the childcare section asking questions in a disruptive way
Ricky Grimsley Ricky Grimsley And that why i asked “what does usurp mean”. Personally i have alway believe that it just means that a woman must always have a man as a covering. As in i dont believe women should be bishops and overseers. That they should ty to take authority in the church but can certainly exercise it when its given in the proper way.
Stan Wayne Stan Wayne Well – I am not Church of God ( episcopalian) so I see 1 Peter 5, Acts 20 etc saying bishops and elders are the same person. Usurp seems to imply if husband is happy wife can teach
Jeffry Woolston Jeffry Woolston The first person to deliver the resurrection message was instructed to do so by an angel and was a woman if I am not mistaken! After all what is a sermon other than delivering a message that God has given to us? Once I was asked why there where so many women preachers. My response was, “Because there are not enough men who will answer the call!” Ezekiel 22:30 And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.
Louise Cummings Louise Cummings I like that answer.
Nathan Hellrung Nathan Hellrung I believe the order of leadership for the church is clearly set out in scripture and that is to be a male is to have authority over a church. This is not a sexist thing, it’s the order set forth. Now, I believe women can be leaders in the church and even teachers in the church, but the main authoritative figure in the church should be a man based on the model and order given us all throughout scripture. God bless!
Jeffry Woolston Jeffry Woolston What is the place of women in ministry and the Church? Woman was created NOT from the skull of man that she might be (rule) over him, nor from his foot that she might be beneath him (as a servant or slave), but she was created from a rib taken from Adam’s side that she might walk, work and worship beside him as an equal partner and co-laborer. When woman (Eve) walked separate from the man (Adam) she encountered the serpent alone and was beguiled and introduced sin into the world. The guilt is not her own for the man (Adam) allowed her to separate herself from his side and walk alone and vulnerable. The result of this separation from one another is that man must now serve as an authority (protecting covering) to woman and for woman to su bmit to this God established authority of man. Even though Paul declares (by the Holy Spirit) in his writings that we are all one in Christ Jesus and that in Christ there is neither male nor female (Galatians 3:28), God still has an order that He has set in place (1 Corinthians 11:1-3) and if His good and perfect will is to be done (on earth as it is in heaven) we must acknowledge, obey and walk in the way that He has set before us until He comes and establishes His kingdom on earth. His will be a new kingdom (to man) on earth that will be as His kingdom in heaven. This new kingdom will have new rules (His). ONLY then will things be different than they are for both man and woman.

Manmade religions, denominations, movements and churches may make all of the rules, declarations and bylaws they want in an attempt to change things according to their own desire, but that does not change the order which God Himself has established for man and women for as long as we live on this earth in its present state. What this means for ministry and the church is that men and women may serve together in ministry, side by side, but at NO time may a woman rise to a place of spiritual authority over a man. 1 Corinthians 11:5 says that a woman should not even pray without having a covering. To do so brings dishonor to her “head” (covering authority). In other words, together as equals, women and men ministers may discuss reason and debate and make decisions concerning the polity and doctrine of the church. But women may not rise to a position of authority over men in God’s church. This may not be convenient or pleasant for some but THIS IS the will of God as revealed in His Holy Word. Times change, opinions change, cultures change, but the Word of God remains unchanged as the only standard of truth and written revelation of His will for us.

Louise Cummings Louise Cummings I’m sorry I’m so late writing. Well I did have a long arrival written. But people kept calling , and coming to the door. I was just about ready to end it and I lost it all. I’ll try to remember some of it. It seems the writings has changed since I wrote. But referring for a woman not to pray with her head uncovered. I was wondering why you didn’t write the rest of what it said. It plainly says for her hair is given to her for a covering. The part where it was discussed for a women to keep silent in the church. I grew up in a church like that until I was about fifteen yrs. old. Maybe a little younger. I started to going to a Church Of God with my niece. I got a real hunger for the Holy Ghost. Then in a youth service one Sunday night. The Lord filled me with the Holy Ghost. Some says Holy Spirit. The Bible says it both ways. But any way the Bible says if we hunger and thirst after righteousness , we shall be filled. If you want more of God you can have more of God. But you have to get Hungary for God. Any way the Bible where it says for a woman to keep silent in the church. The Bible never said anything about preaching. He said for a woman not to teach or absurd authority over a man. Well when a man ask you to preach you are not taking authority over a man. He is giving you permission to preach. Any way the Bible doesn’t say preach it says teach. These churches that doesn’t believe in women preaching. There have teachers. Even teachers of children and youth when they are at they are at the age they need to learn the true word of God. They also sing. That’s not keeping silent. They are going against the Bible when they say we should not preach. And you won’t find that in the Bible. But you will find teach. Which is what they let demon do. I know because I was raised like that. Now I’m not trying to say anything against this church. I have gotten many blessings there. But the Bible says to walk in the light as you have seen the light. I’m not the judge of them. God is the Judge. And He knows the truth and will Judge correctly. But if God showed you the light on any thing. You better walk in it. Or you will be Judge for it. As a matter of fact we will be Judged from the Word any way. We may think if you don’t know it you won’t be Judged for it. But you will. The Bible said God one time winked at ignorance. But now commands everyone to repent. He said He would be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah than for us. Because we have the Bible. It’s up to us to study and learn what it says. Paul was talking about when he told we mom to keep silent because of confusion in the church. If we want to know anything ask our husband at home. Well when I am at church I hear what the preacher is saying. What do I need to ask my husband. I hadn’t study the Jewish history on this. But we know from the Bible the women had certain quarters in the Temple. I’ve heard that Jewish history bears it out that we mom sit in one place and women in another. And they was causing confusing calling a cross to the men. What’s going on. Paul told them to keep silent. Ask your husband at home. Why did Paul tell the to help the women that labor with him in the gospel. If he was against it. And why did the Bible say Phillip say he had four daughters that prophecies. Why did the Old abs New Testament say that in the last days sons and daughters would prophecy. Why did Jesus make a special trip through Samara to tell a women He would give her Living Water and she carried a message into Samara and many came and believed in Him. Why did Jesus send a woman to tell his disciples He was alive. The greatest message that can be told is Jesus is alive.

Aaron Scott@actscelerate: BOTH sides of this issue have good, godly, and sincere folks.

However, both sides are not equally supported by Scripture…or the Spirit. If we make this change, the Holy Ghost will continue to save and reach those who are lost. The church will not fly off the tracks as soon as the vote is over. Jesus is to gracious for that. But there are always consequences for failing to discern His voice….

If there are wrong intentions on either side, it might be that those will be visited upon us. I have this suspicion that if women get these rights…but then subsequently do not soon rise to key levels of leadership, we will hear more on this (perhaps a certain percentage of seats will be requested set aside just for women, etc.?).

Academia does not have the scriptural backing on this that the other side does. That doesn’t mean academia is not filled with sincerity and love. Rather, they are simply coming from a place where more than scripture is being weighed. They are looking at scripture, cultural norms (within Christian boundaries, of course), and so forth.

The other side (us) tends to focus ONLY on the scriptures…sometimes to our detriment. Consider that if we went ONLY on the scriptures, then it is a “settled,” if contradictory fact, that women are to keep silent in church. In the vast majority of believers, we find a way to at least allow the ladies to teach Sunday School, sing, testify, speak in tongues, etc. It’s a good thing we allowed a little common sense to go along with our scripture, right?

At the same time, it does sting when, even though we pay–or have paid–many bills to keep Lee going, our views as sincere, Church of God folks is apparently renounced…. Kind of like Mom and Dad laboring for years to put a child through university, only to have the child return after graduation to tell the parents they are really not very bright, that atheism is the only logical path, etc. Just an imperfect analogy, but you get the idea.

Lastly, while we must take more than just the text into account, we must not give more weight to those non-textual elements. We are a supernatural people. God has us believe and do things that are at odds with everything from science to finance (e.g., five loaves and two fishes will not feed 5000 people…and then have more than you started with…unless God gets in it, as He did in my IRA some years ago). So we best take care that in our well-intentioned efforts to take a holistic view, we do not flaunt the act of faith and obedience that God placed to bless us.

Stan Wayne Stan Wayne Notice men are usually the hard liners
Maria Irene Costas Maria Irene Costas I’m an obedient to my call as a Bible teacher for the last 15 years. Never have an empty room and the majority are men in my class.
Johan Paulsson Johan Paulsson Usurping authority over men? If that is the case then you are not humble.
Maria Irene Costas Maria Irene Costas Johan Paulsson religion has no place with Jesus or His church… I’m doing what the Lord tells me to do, no men. I’m under His authority, under His head and under my husband and Pastor which are my first supporters. tongue emoticon
Johan Paulsson Johan Paulsson Maria Irene Costas. Jesus has never told women to usurp authority over men, that is what you have made up in your own false religion, you are not following Christ.
Maria Irene Costas Maria Irene Costas Johan Paulsson that’s your opinion which is not biblical.
Stan Wayne Stan Wayne Good woman
Johan Paulsson Johan Paulsson Good thing to be disobedient to God’s word?
Stan Wayne Stan Wayne You need to go to John MacArthur’s church or stop the nonsense and read about Acts 2, 1 Cor 11, Priscilla, Phillips daughters, Junia and stop belittling people who are serving God
Roger David Roger David LOL @ the John McArthur command. I wouldn’t attend a John MacArthur teaching session if you paid me to…unless it was to offer a rebuke
brotherjames@aCTs here is an article from the AG Enrichment magazine that has a short list of some of the influential women of Pentecost includes Maria Woodworth Etter and Kathryn Kuhlman to name just two. THere is a woman named Dr. (earned from AG seminary OTCP) Maria Kahleel in Pembrook Fl who is one of the most dynamic, powerful preachers of the Full GO\ospel I have ever heard. Here is a short bio of her (Maria Khaleel is senior pastor of New Life Assembly, Pembroke, Florida. She started the church in 1992.It is a multicultural congregation, with over 30 nationalities represented, and over 700 in attendance, 80 percent of which are first-time converts. She was ordained in 1988, and became the first woman to be elected as presbyter in the Peninsular Florida District of the Assemblies of God in 1998, a position that she served in until 2006. She has also served on the National Evangelism Committee and on the National Women in Ministry Task Force.)
Tom Steele Tom Steele Acts 21:9 “And the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy.”
Roger David Roger David Is prophesy the same as preaching/teaching?
Ricky Grimsley Ricky Grimsley Revelation 19:10 KJVS. [10] And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
Maria Irene Costas Maria Irene Costas Kari Jobe is an anointing woman of God. God called her to bring the good news of Jesus Christ. If you are called (woman or man) to the body of Christ and to bring the good news you better do what Mark 16:15 said.
Johan Paulsson Johan Paulsson following your immoral feelings. Very demonic
Louise Cummings Louise Cummings I don’t think they are properly putting Scriptures together. I can see the point of where she is coming from
Carolyn ParkerCarolyn ParkerNo women are not to remain silent

 Christopher Stephenson@LeeU Before I begin, I want to stress that the following comments are my own. I make no attempt to speak on behalf of any of my departmental colleagues. The Statement speaks for the Department; I now speak only for myself.

Thank you to everyone who read the statement. That is the sole reason that I shared it–for it to be read. I see little value in crafting a statement like this if no one knows that it exists.

The Statement was adopted by the Department of Theology–not any other department(s), not the entire School of Religion, not Lee as an institution. If the Statement frustrates you, please do not spread your frustration around to others unnecessarily. : ) It is a Department of Theology Statement. This is a theological issue.

The Statement neither mentions by name nor is directed to any single denomination or church tradition, including the Church of God. To assume that the statement relates only to the Church of God is to assume that the Church of God is the only church tradition with which the Department is concerned. That would be to assume too much. Such restrictions are undesirable in every church tradition in which they exist, not only the Church of God.

At the same time, I choose to believe that the leaders of the Church of God value the insights of the professional theologians at one of its premier academic institutions. While the Statement is not directed to these leaders, I hope that it can somehow be of benefit to them. Perhaps it could encourage those who agree with it and give those who do not agree something to consider further.

The Statement speaks about the Department, its stance on this issue, and its commitment to try to bring change. It neither makes demands of anyone else nor calls upon anyone else to do anything nor criticizes anyone for anything done or not done on this front to this point.

To the extent that the Statement does apply to the Church of God–for it is one of the churches with such restrictions–the Statement is not a stance against the Church of God but a stance *from within it.* There are twelve full-time members of the Department. By my count:

–Ten regularly attend a local Church of God congregation–I am one of them. –Nine are members of the Church of God–I am one of them. –Six are credentialed Church of God ministers–I am one of them. (And my monthly reports are up to date. : ) –Five are ordained bishops–I am one of them. (There would be one more if she were eligible!) –One is a career missionary, married to a Church of God national/regional overseer.

“Renounce”–to reject something publicly–is the right word. I publicly reject the idea that these restrictions are adequate or desirable.

With respect to the Church of God, the primary restriction in question is a matter of *polity,* not *doctrine.* It does not occur in the Declaration of Faith, Doctrinal Commitments, or Practical Commitments, but rather in the descriptions of the ministerial rank “ordained bishop.”

The International Executive Council, International General Council, and International General Assembly “renounce” aspects of Church of God polity every two years by proposing changes to it. Implicit in the mere creation of an agenda for the International General Council is a rejection of the idea that the polity is already perfect and that revisions do not need to be considered.

The Statement renounces restrictions, not persons. It says nothing about the intellect, character, or sincerity of persons who support such restrictions. It refers only to the restrictions themselves.

The Statement does not indicate a refusal to abide by the restrictions as long as they are in place–as if anyone had the ability to “ordain women as bishops anyway” in spite of the restrictions. Of course, I abide by the restrictions. Yet, in the same breath I immediately say that I want the restrictions to disappear completely because they are not funded by what I consider to be the best theological insights on the matter. Remember from the 2014 General Assembly that I am required only to “adhere to” not necessarily “agree with” all matters of polity. : )

Anyone who might feel that renouncing this small set of restrictions amounts to renouncing the Church of God as a movement per se has a significantly narrower view than my own of the essence and significance of the Church of God, which could not possibly be exhausted by any single matter of polity such as this.

I do not assume that my own experiences are universal, but most of the young people among the best and brightest in the Church of God with whom I have contact see these kinds of restrictions as an incentive to leave rather than an incentive to stay. Just one more reason that I want the restrictions to disappear yesterday.

As far as the timing of the Statement, the Department finalized it about a month ago. I did not investigate whether it had been publicized elsewhere before I shared it here, but I waited to share it here as long as I did because, frankly, I did not want to prompt some of the kinds of responses in the thread during Lent. I know that this is a contentious issue for some, and there are better ways to prepare to celebrate the Paschal Mystery than contention. I recall no mention whatsoever in our departmental conversations of any attempt to influence anything that may or may not be discussed at the 2016 General Assembly. As for myself, I submitted a formal request for the removal of the ordained bishop restriction to be placed on the 2016 agenda, in response to the International Executive Council’s invitation to make such requests. I hope that we have the opportunity to consider it in Nashville.

While I was typing most of these words, my older daughter (age four) awoke from sleep and came to where I was typing because she had not seen me all day due to my teaching responsibilities. As I hugged her tightly, I cried and prayed that she would have the strength to be faithful to the Church of God and that she would not grow up in a church that keeps her at arm’s length as it currently does her mother, who, along with me, has found the strength to be faithful to the Church of God anyway. I am a fifth-generation member of the Church of God, and I want both of my daughters to be the sixth.

Again, thank you to everyone who took the time to read the Statement.

Please remember that this post is my own thoughts. To the extent that they pertain to the Church of God, they are grounded in my commitment to the Church of God. The fact that I want to see change is a sign of my engagement with and concern for the Church of God. I believe that critical commitment is more valuable than apathy or complacency.

The Church of God and the Department of Theology need each other, and both are better together than they could ever be if they were apart.

Johan Paulsson Johan Paulsson feminism it is called. A feminist spirit is it when a woman usurp authority over a man. where are women with a humble, meek and quiet spirit?
Ricky Grimsley Ricky Grimsley We are all supposed to humble and meek.
Stan Wayne Stan Wayne You Amish fundamentalists haven’t explained 1 COR 11, Acts 2, Priscilla teaching Appolos, Phillips prophet daughters, Apostle Junia, women prophesying teaching discerning in 1 Cor 14 and the role of widows and Phoebe, the role of single women (not wives) etc etc
James Craig James Craig Although the bible does say for women to keep silent in church, if you study the history of that you will find that it has to do with church business. Women in the ministry yes I believe they can preach and there are some that I love to hear.
Stan Wayne Stan Wayne Do you think history is the right approach? Do you mean Deborah and other historical figures or do you mean exegeting the passage from a literal historical perspective?

Post from the Chair: [@LeeU] Thanks to everyone who has read the Department of Theology’s (DoT) recently posted statement on women in ministry; I have appreciated reading the responses on the board.

That statement, which was crafted over a month ago during a department meeting wherein all full-time, ranked faculty of the DoT were present, was a revised version of a statement the DoT had adopted back in the fall of 2007. This revision was approved by the DoT on March 03, 2016—without dissenting voice—and it comes at the END of an intentional, three semester engagement with this issue among ourselves, our students and leaders in the Church of God, Lee’s sponsoring denomination. It started with a three part symposium on Women and Authority in the Church back in the Fall 2014. The first symposium investigated the role of women in the New Testament church, the church after the apostles and the medieval church. What we found was an ebb and flow within the history of the church regarding the ministerial freedom or restriction placed on women; that is, in some periods and in some places there were women who had official positions like men. In other places, not so much. The second symposium considered the question for the contemporary church, but was not limited to the Church of God because (a) the student constituency of Lee University spans multiple denominations and (b) the students being trained in the School of Religion are not solely from the Church of God (take, for instance, our Pentecostal students from the Assemblies of God: their denomination has NO restrictions on the ordination of women nor the positions they might hold in the denomination. In fact, a woman sits on the committee that is similar to the COG’s Council of 18!) Our third symposium that semester was specific to the Church of God, and the panel that night consisted of two denominational leaders and a full professor from the COG’s Pentecostal Theological Seminary.

I think that I need to spend a moment to talk about that third symposium because the panel spoke about the ebb and flow of women’s authority, position and credentialing in the COG. A series of decisions were made from 1909-1925 that increasingly circumscribed the role of women, delimiting their functions within the church, specifically in governance AND “sacerdotal” functions (that is, performance of baptisms, communion, marriages, etc). Prior to 1925 women were allowed to do water baptisms, communion, marriages, etc—even if it was not normative—but the 1925 General Assembly (GA) decided to remove “sacerdotal rights” from women’s ministerial duties. This decision was attributed to the influence of A.J. Tomlinson, who was considered the “pastor of the church” as the general overseer. Around 1940, the COG changed the wording of its levels of credentialing so that only men could be called “licensed ministers,” and only licensed and ordained ministers could perform the sacerdotal functions. It remained this way until 1990, when women were permitted to attain the level of “licensed minister,” and thus once again were authorized by the church to perform the ordinances and officiate weddings, but they could not become an “ordained minister.” What did not come out in that symposium or the Q&A following it was this: a) 1992, women were granted the right to speak on the GA floor; (b) 2000, a call was made “from the field” to alter the wording of the credentials such that the second level, licensed minister, became an ordained minister and the third level became ordained bishop, this latter level women were not permitted to attain; (c) 2006, women began to be officially appointed as missionaries rather than simply acting under the “covering” of a husband; (d) 2010, the GA decided women could serve on Pastor’s Councils, which since the 1960s had been limited to only males; (e) and finally, in 2011, Emma Sue Web was appointed as a district overseer in California by the state overseer!

Now, back to the main narrative of the DoT’s three semester engagement on this issue. In November 2015, the SOR invited Sandra Kay Williams to be the keynote speaker at our Homecoming Alum breakfast. In that speech, she told her story (and those of other women she knows) of ministerial marginalization because of womanhood, and she pleaded for a revisiting of the polity that restricts women to full credentialing in the COG. Not 30 minutes later, after a lengthy Skype interview with Margaret Gaines, a long-time COG missionary and this year’s recipient of the SOR’s Alum of the Year award, I—along with over 100 other people—watched as the General Overseer of the COG publicly apologized to Margaret for the way the denomination treated her (and at times hampered her ability to minister). It was a righteous moment, and one that I will never forget—it was when I knew that this denomination was being led by a holy person, Mark Williams.

The construction of the statement was placed on the DoT’s agenda in January 2016, but was tabled until March because of other, institutional responsibilities that took the entirety of the January and February meetings. The delay in its posting to the DoT’s FB page was a miscommunication between me and the department secretary—there was no other reason for its tardiness, nor was there some strategic plan for its posting “on that day.” Now, some responses to the statement see us as “drawing battle lines,” or “being at odds” with the denomination, or even as “renouncing the bible.” Truthfully, those kinds of posts surprised me. First, while I admit that the word “renounce” may sound harsh, we meant it in the strictest, grammatical sense of the word, namely, to reject something publicly. Since statements of the type we posted are often formulated with concise wording, we chose a word (renounce) that could be elongated to this idea: “we announce in public that the DoT rejects, as biblically or theologically necessary, the restrictions still placed on women’s credentialing or judicial functions.” Chris Thomas, an ordained bishop in the COG and a professor at the Pentecostal Theological Seminary, published an essay in the book, Toward a Pentecostal Theology of Preaching (chp 6), in which he explored the biblical texts surrounding this topic, determining that restrictions on women are not biblically necessary. My own colleague in the DoT wrote an essay in that same book wherein she argued that being “Made in the Image of God (Gen 1:26-27),” coupled with Acts 2 and the Day of Pentecost, provide a theological justification for women preachers and the removal of all credentialing restrictions. Thus, our “renouncing” of restrictions is not a rejection of the bible nor its authority in our lives or its foundational place in our theology.

Secondly, we posted a “statement,” not a declaration or a resolution. So, rather than imagine ourselves as “drawing battle lines” for war, we were engaging in a conversation. Think about this: a true conversation between people only occurs when a series of statements are made that illicit response and dialogue. The DoT is talking, we are discussing; we publicized this to invite more conversation partners and to move our talking outside the “ivory tower” of the academic environment. What surprised me the most was the supposition from some respondents that GA decisions are inviolable and unalterable, and therefore undiscussable. But this is not the impression that I get when I read the Minutes of the first few GAs. They did not see themselves as setting up laws that were timelessly binding because only Christ was the Law Giver who had such authority. Rather, they gathered to interpret and apply scriptures in their current, historical setting under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. In fact, a motto of those first GAs was, “Walk in the Light as Light is shed on our path.” Early on, Tomlinson would say things like, “This is what we have done in the past, now let’s see if there is new light from the Holy Spirit for our present.” The idea was this: it is the church’s responsibility to continually return to its judicial or governing decisions to make sure that the Holy Spirit did not have something “new” to say to the Body.

Thirdly, insofar as the above is correct, the DoT does not see itself as “at odds” with the denomination. Our loyalty to the COG does not prohibit us from discussing issues. The faculty of the DoT are indeed loyal to the COG—the Statement is not a stance against the Church of God but a stance from within it. There are twelve full-time members of the Department, ten of whom regularly attend a local Church of God congregation—I am one of them. Nine are members of the Church of God—I am one of them. Six are credentialed Church of God ministers (I am not one of those because the TN board required my wife to be interviewed before I could be credentialed, but she refused to be interviewed because she was not going to subject herself to interrogation by a board that would not ordain her). Five are ordained bishops, and one of us is a career missionary, married to a Church of God national/regional overseer. We love this church, and we work to train students to minister within this church we so dearly love.

I am a fourth generation COG Pentecostal. My great-grandMOTHER was a founding member and first pastor of the Sandy Valley COG in Ohio (she was removed from the position when a man wanted the job, even though the church wanted her to remain pastor!). My great-grandfather was one of 13 charter members of the Canton Temple COG, in which church I was dedicated as a baby by Raymond Crowley—former General Overseer of the COG, and by which church I was sent off into ministry in April 1990. I went to Duke Divinity school after graduating Lee in 1994. At Duke I was forced to intellectually defend my Pentecostal heritage and practice (at least one time receiving a lower grade because of my refusal to recant my belief in the Holy Spirit’s continuing empowerment and present revelation to the church and Christians). And now I spend my days teaching, defending and modeling my Pentecostal spirituality and theology to hundreds of men and women in my classes each week at Lee University. And my DoT colleagues are no different than me, even if their personal stories are not identical to mine. Further, our disagreement over this polity issue is certainly not the same as a rejection of the theological commitments contained in the COG’s declaration of faith, which each of us subscribe to. In fact, 2.5 years ago the DoT sponsored a special service on Baptism in the Spirit where over 90 students came forward for prayer to receive the baptism (view the service at ), 2 years ago we had a special healing service (view the service at ), last semester we had a special service on the end times (view at ); plus, in the summer of 2015 we had a special service dedicated to sanctification and the pursuit of holiness, and this semester we had a breakfast and prayer service for those seeking spiritual gifts (over 50 students were present, at least half of them were NOT COG).

We are a faithful bunch who love the Lord, are dedicated to prayer and searching the scriptures, and who seek the guidance and power of the Holy Spirit each day for ourselves, our students and our denomination. Come and meet us; let us meet you, and let’s see what the Holy Spirit will do among us!

~Skip Jenkins, PhD

Nathan Hellrung Nathan Hellrung We must remember that when we go into God’s Word, we must not go in with an agenda and try to make it fit our wants. We must adapt to what the Bible says, not make the Bible adapt to our ways or times. The concept from the beginning has been that the man has the authority. Adam was given Eve as his helper. Paul refers to this concept when he refers to the order of creation in his epistle to Timothy.

1 Tim. 2:12-14 And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.

There is an obvious authority structure set up by God. The woman is not to have authority over the man in the church. This is not speaking of the political and economical world, as we see that even Deborah was a judge in Israel over men. This is about the church. Women supported Paul in many areas and have been and are great helpers in the church. In fact, some of the best leaders, singers, musicians, teachers, etc. are women. No one is denying that. Paul is talking about the relationship between men and women in the church structure, not a social or political context. Look at the bishop/overseer in Paul’s teachings. He is to be a husband of one wife, who manages his household well, has a good reputation, etc. Notice in Titus 1:5-7 what Paul says.

Titus 1:5-7 For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you— 6 if a man is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of dissipation or insubordination. 7 For a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money,

Paul interchanges the word elder and overseer. Each case shows that an elder, deacon, bishop, or overseer is instructed to be male. We see no command for overseers to be women. Men are obviously singled out. Why? Because it’s the created order of God that Paul references. We see countless mentions of priests in the Old Testament and every one was male. No once do we see a female priest. It just isn’t the job for women.

All throughout scripture we are shown an order and a balance. Being a pastor or an elder is to be in the place of authority and within the church, for a woman to be a pastor or elder, she would be in authority of men in the church which contradicts what Paul says in 1 Timothy 2:11-14. God’s Word clearly tells us that the elder is to be the husband of one wife and a woman cannot qualify for this position since she is female. It’s not the popular stance today, but it’s the Biblical stance. It has nothing to do with women being less than men, believe me. I’ve seen more women in ministry positions make a bigger impact then men. If anything, men need to step it up, but I digress. Women are equal to men, and vice versa, but when it comes to authority in the church, the template and standard has been given us in scripture and as true Christians, we are to adhere and align our beliefs and practices to God’s Word and the concept of women pastors just doesn’t jive.

As far as Kari Jobe, I think she’s an incredible singer and worship leader and I have no doubt that she could speak and lead, but as far as being a pastor (Is she even a Pastor?) it would go against the Bible and would be wrong. God bless.

Michael Green Michael Green Awesome response. It does say women can be prophetesses. But no authority over a man that is the order God has ordained. He created women as a help mate.
Nathan Hellrung Nathan Hellrung It’s the biblical standard but it’s not popular today, that’s for sure. smile emoticon
Michael Green Michael Green You can’t convince people who go by their intellect.
James Craig James Craig Acts 2/17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams
Nathan Hellrung Nathan Hellrung Is there not a difference between prophesying and pastoring a church?
Jeffrey Madison Jeffrey Madison There is no difference, the anointing is the same. The only difference is the cultural aspect, and that is what you’re missing here.
Nathan Hellrung Nathan Hellrung There’s most definitely a difference my friend. The difference is the church structure, which Paul was clearly talking about in 1 Timothy 2.
Jeffrey Madison Jeffrey Madison No there isn’t, I am sorry you are wrong. The Bible clearly says that it is the same Spirit that produces the anointing for the office of the Prophet and the Pastor. Here your perception of pastoring falls under the same anointing of being a Prophet. ISee More
James Craig James Craig Joel 2/28 And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:
Jeffrey Madison Jeffrey Madison Paul doesn’t command for the election of female overseers because it was contrary to the culture of the Greek/ Roman world. However, the Bible plainly states that there is no male or female in Christ Jesus, all are equal. Furthermore, Jesus states thatSee More
Nathan Hellrung Nathan Hellrung I would tend to agree that it had to do with the culture of the Greek/Roman world “IF” Paul hadn’t referenced the created order by God all the way back from the beginning at creation. Why do this if it was just a matter of “culture?” I think the reasSee More
Ricky Grimsley Ricky Grimsley It was a matter of culture just like hair was a about culture. Nature may have taught that men with long hair was a sham but didnt the Nazarites have long hair?
Roger David Roger David Only those that took the Nazarite vow had long hair and it was for a season.
Jeffrey Madison Jeffrey Madison The Corinthians were Gentiles, they did not take Nazarite vows. Paul’s mention of hair was part of their culture; in that in the Roman and Greek world, women had long hair, and men had short hair (and shaved faces). Where in Semitic cultures (i.e. theSee More
Al Green Al Green Women can be pastors as well as prophetesses, teachers and any other leadership position you can name. Whatever God leads you to do whether you are a man or a woman do it with boldness in the power of the holy spirit. Now the controversy over Jesus goiSee More
Johan Paulsson Johan Paulsson immoral feelings, I see
Al Green Al Green What do you mean by that?
Johan Paulsson Johan Paulsson Based on immoral feelings, not on what the Bible teaches concerning women
Al Green Al Green Not at all maybe you should read your bible its full of women in places of authority
Jeffry Woolston Jeffry Woolston I don’t know who started the “women can not be a pastor” talk but as far as I recollect in the COG they may be a pastor but can not lead business meetings. I grew up years ago and had a friend whose mother was a COG pastor and her husband had to lead all of the business meetings. Women are only “limited” when it comes to business matters. Is that not still the case?
Al Green Al Green I think its ridiculous that women can’t run business meetings in the cog come on people Deborah was a judge and that was in old testament times
Jeffrey Madison Jeffrey Madison Nathan Hellrung The subject of female preaching/teaching/leading, and head coverings has everything to do with culture.

In the Greco-Roman world a woman’s hair was an object of lust. Due to this, those who wished to remain single shaved their heads tSee More

Troy Day Troy Day What does hair got to do with preaching the Gospel of the Living GOD, anyway?
Stan Wayne Stan Wayne Troy – it is connected in 1 C 11 is why but I agree – the determining interpretive factor is that this kind of behavior was present in Corinth before Paul ever got there
Jeffrey Madison Jeffrey Madison It has nothing to do with either. However, for some reason the fundamentalist think it does.
Jeffrey Madison Jeffrey Madison Troy, I think it’s because of the fundamentalist view that sees Biblical Inspiration as Dictation (i.e. God verbally spoke each word in the Bible), or it’s because they have to high of a view of Plenary Verbal Inspiration (i.e. the Holy Spirit through special revelation guided the writers in the selection of each word). Due to this, they cannot get over the fact that some things in the Bible do not apply to us today.
Carolyn Parker Carolyn Parker I believe God’s word
Stan Wayne Stan Wayne Carolyn: so does everyone here – that is why we are trying to understand what it is saying about women and men
Ricky L Bagwell Ricky L Bagwell In the church of Corinth I believe women were asked to keep silent do to the culture concerning the evil. Aphrodite the sex goddess had prostitutes interning into the church. Got to stop it some how. As for as women not teaching, well that’s another tSee More
Stan Wayne Stan Wayne The word guneo can mean “wife” or “woman” – if he was asking the mothers in the children’s area not to interrupt with questions till after the service while minding kids and getting distracted it would make some sense – since other women were prophesying in the service 3 chapters earlier
Dennis Purvis I too support the opening of all ranks and offices of ministry in the Church of God to women. Like and/or share if you agree and add your name to the list.
Jeffrey Madison Jeffrey Madison Yep, it’s definitely because they hold to a heretical view of Biblical inspiration. Because of this, these Christians miss the more important parts of Scripture, it’s like Jesus said “they will strain out a gnat and swallow a camel,” (ff). We have the lost to save, and these fundamentalist are worried about who can preach and teach. The last time I checked Jesus “ask the Lord of the harvest for harvesters.” Jesus did say what the gender of the harvester had to be. Furthermore, Paul states in Romans that no one can believe unless they hear the gospel. It shouldn’t matter who teachers or preachers, as long as the gospel is being preached, and people are being saved.
Nathan Hellrung Nathan Hellrung A heretical view of Biblical inspiration? No one’s saying that women can’t evangelize and make a difference, just pointing out the order in the church structure as shown in scripture since the beginning of time. Biblically, it’s incorrect to have a woman pastor, who holds authority. If you don’t agree with it, that’s fine, but calling others views of it heretical is ignorant in my opinion.
Ricky Grimsley How far do we go with this. Women have to dress moderately and must keep silent?. Is amazing how people look at the bible and see different stuff.

177 thoughts on “Egalitarian vs Complementarian Views on women in ministry: A Combined Discussion on Tradition and Praxis

  1. John Ruffle “Straight taking love is required” on women in ministry too, brother. I’d also recommend the new book by William DeArteaga on Agnes Sanford and Her Companions

  2. Sister Karen Lucas too had a great comment which should be quoted here “…. I had no idea that this issue was not already resolved with them but it appears that opinions are pretty divided and so discussion is pretty intense these days. I think the main point of contention is over whether a woman could serve as head bishop (or whatever they call the position in COG). I am IPHC. So, I can relate but only to a certain extent. This was a wonderful compilation. God speed!” We’ve also wondered with with Joe Butler and some others what was the the official IPHC position in light of this great paper the IPHC COUNCIL adopted recently

  3. Henry Volk CrossTheology While you comment on the mother of Jesus, what is your stand on women in ministry among Pentecostals? David

  4. I personally am more of a complementarian guy but I grew more open towards egalitarianism, after hearing Dianne Wood speak about this complicated issue. 🙂

  5. In trying to read the article, all I was able to see was the comments. This is troubling in that on both sides of this argument, people like to point fingers and use words like “heretic” or otherwise condemning language. I do have my concerns when people call into question Biblical authority which in and of itself may be the only real marker of “heresy” but once again we have people from the radical edges getting most of the response rather than loving gracious people wanting to honestly discuss Scripture. I have some strong leanings Biblically speaking in either direction on this issue – this tension is difficult and is certainly not helped by those who would simply use one line to condemn anyone who doesn’t agree with them. I get it, because I know there is my opinion or belief and then all the other wrong ones (tongue firmly in cheek). We have to find a way to discuss these issues without compromise of Scripture or of grace and love for one another.

  6. Not familiar with all denominations but Karen Lucas too had a great comment which should be quoted here “…. I had no idea that this issue was not already resolved with them but it appears that opinions are pretty divided and so discussion is pretty intense these days. I think the main point of contention is over whether a woman could serve as head bishop (or whatever they call the position in COG). I am IPHC. So, I can relate but only to a certain extent. This was a wonderful compilation. God speed!” We’ve also wondered with with Joe Butler and some others what was the the official IPHC position in light of this great paper the IPHC COUNCIL adopted recently @Brian Crisp have you read this position paper? It worth reading even only for its Trinitarian perspective

    1. Dr. Kristen Welch, I should have said. She’s on FB, perhaps she should be invited into the conversation.

    2. Folks, I believe that this is a very crucial matter best discussed in appropriately succinct, but not pithy manner. God richly bless you all!

    1. Hi Troy Day, did you read my whole comment at the beginning of this thread? I was disappointed that someone had copy and pasted the whole article without any acknowledgement of the source. This is unethical. (It’s also illegal.)

    2. I can no longer find the thread on this page. Perhaps someone deleted it. And my article has been deleted from the website, which is a shame. I’m not out to cause trouble, but I would like whoever posted it to talk to me, and not pretend nothing happened.

    3. The internet is a broad vast space where everyone copies and shares without much way to control it. Facebook for one is now censuring whatever they perceive as a more conservative content. I for one cannot tag you in this post – not sure if this has to do with fb or not. Nevertheless, this is the original link to the original discussion saved before fb censured it. Margaret Mowczko

    4. Hi Troy, I think we are misunderstanding each other. I’m not talking about sharing links on facebook, I’m referring to copy and pasting an entire article on a website without any acknowledgement of the source or author/collator.
      Anyway, I don’t want to make of this than intended. I’m not angry or anything, just dismayed that this kind of thing happens, and people think it’s normal when it is actually illegal.
      I always ask permission if I want to copy and paste another person’s article–always! And if I quote someone, I always include the name of the person I’m quoting.
      Anyway, thanks for speaking to me. 🙂

    5. Anything and everything is shared on fb. Even whole movies, not just articles. How to stop it would be the million dollar idea. How to stop fb from censuring would be the billion dollar idea.

    6. My problem isn’t with Facebook, it is with individuals who copy and paste entire articles without permission from the copyright owner, or don’t, at the very least, provide reasonable acknowledgement. Just because other people do illegal and unethical things doesn’t mean that it’s OK, especially as Christians who try a trying to live by a higher codes which includes being law-abiding.

      Are you the person who copy and pasted my entire article?

    7. OK – I am lost here. Are you talking about a specific article? If so, could you share the link so we can be on the same page

    8. On May 8th one of my articles was included in its entirety on the Pentecostal Theology website in among comments. I found out about it because my article had been copied and pasted with embedded hyperlinks, and my website received pingbacks.
      I’m not talking about sharing links on social media as you’ve done in this thread above. That’s perfectly fine.
      Since complaining about the unauthorised use of my article, it has been removed from the May 8th post. Also, I can’t find the comment I left on this facebook page querying the unacknowledged use of my article.

    9. There isn’t a problem with MY article because I fully cited the quotations I used. The authors of those quotations are fully acknowledged. And I didn’t copy and paste any of their entire articles.
      Who looks after the Pentecostal Theology website?

    10. I’m obviously talking to the wrong person.
      Just as well I’m Pentecostal myself, because this kind of thing looks bad.

  7. My wife is an Ordained Minister, I am an Ordained Bishop. We minister as help-meets. She is not usurping authority over the man (husband as more correctly translated). She does all things at my direction, under my covering, with my approval. That is at home, out (in and around town), at the church, ministry in all areas, as well as the rest of our lives.

    If you want a fiery preacher, you get her,, if you want a Bible teacher that is expository then you get me. We both can do either and we do on occasion, but they are our preferences and individualized callings.

  8. David Lewayne Porter do you also do things under her direction, under her covering with her approval? Submission to each other is what the Bible has taught a marriage to be. Your wife is not beneath you. You are beneath each other. There is no hierarchy in Christ. No male, nor female, slave nor free… Complementarianism is a Roman, Pagan idea that has crept into the church. “The man of the house” mentality is carnal and not of God.

    1. We work together as The Spirit directs and as the situation presents. As far as who decides that, after prayer I decide as to when and how to “submit” to her if need be. The Scripture does say, “submitting yourselves to one another”. It also says, “the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the Church”.

      “Eph 5:21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.
      22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
      23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
      24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
      25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
      26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
      27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
      28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
      29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
      30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
      31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
      32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
      33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.”

      As far as your, “man of the house”,
      I am sorry, I have to listen to ALL of the Scriptures, not just a select few that say what people what them to.

    2. Thank you for bringing up this important point! Head, as stated in the text was never meant to be the hermeneutic equivalent to hierarchy. If Christ is the “head” of the church, the “head” imagery in both the Gospel Narratives and Epistles is more similar to Philippians 2 and Matthew 18:1-5, Mark 9:33-37, and Luke 9:46-48. Thus, it supports my original logic that both man and woman are equally submitted one to another. I am not debating that woman are not different than men. We embody the effeminate nature of God and are made in the image of God. Again, the Pater Familia (head of household) is a carnal, pagan concept and was never the intention of God for us to live that way. Women were never lesser then men. We were subjugated after the fall but have been redeemed by the blood of the lamb. It is the power of the Holy Ghost inside us that makes us partakers in Christ’s divine nature.
      It is culture and carnality that decided to position the salvation of women before the curse. Why is it that a man enjoys the “full” privilege of the Gospel, but yet a woman still remains under the curse?
      Also think of the union of the trinity. The Perichoresis is egalitarian. The Son is submitted to the Father, The Spirit is submitted to the Son and the Father is submitted to the Holy Spirit. Not one member of the Trinity is above the other. They coexist in a divine dance of unity, love and justice.

    3. Equal submitted while in their separate, individual, God given positions and roles.

      Good enough for me.
      And thank you.

  9. You both are raising great questions indeed. In my opinion, there cannot be a complementarian way of ministry i.e. where both spouses minister to compliment each other. In practice, when the Holy Spirit commands authority, He does not do it in a complementarian way. Both man and woman are in spiritual authority when anointed and uttered by the Holy Spirit. In all actuality, even Paul says it – there’s no man, woman, Jew or a gentile.

    Lots of people get stuck 1 Timothy 2:12 and more specifically on the word “usurp.” But usurp comes only secondary in the structure of the text. It is the authority that Paul is writing about and it is the authority that comes from God – so no man or woman can usurp it. A good comment by John Conger here: Greg Robinson Mary Ellen Nissley Henry Volk Stan Wayne Is this now good stuff or what?

    1. So are you people Spiritually Transgendered?
      (Trying to smile).

      You seem to forget that God created the male first, then the female to aid him as a help-meet (not mate). Meet = part of him, his side, but not his head.

      You may want to go check the punishment God handed to Eve and the exact meaning of (your desire shall be unto thy husband).
      (Notice I am not concerned about the – and he shall rule over thee).
      Her “desire” does not mean what most people think it does.

      Also the quote of, “with God there is neither male, female, jew, or gentile”
      Gal 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
      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.
      29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

      One in Christ Jesus, Heirs of the promise;;:: God did not erase all of our differences. He does accept everyone equally on the grounds of salvation because with Him there is no respect of persons (we are told this four times in the New Testament alone).
      God did not remove His divine order (as in) He gave some apostles, some prophets, some evangelist, some pastors and teachers.

      The same writer that wrote, “there is neither male, female, jew, gentile”, is also the one that under the same anointing wrote about order within the marriage, home, ministry, Church, and body of Christ.
      All the verses on the topic must be compared, not just one or two here and there.

    2. David Lewayne Porter If that which is addressed to Eve can be construed as a prescription, then that which is addressed to Adam must also be interpreted by the same rules.

      If Eve is directed in Genesis 3:16 to submit to her husband, then Adam is directed in verses 18-20 to do quite a few things:
      1. Only negative emotions allowed at mealtimes.
      2. Every godly man must grow a garden… of thorns and thistles.
      3. A vegan diet is mandatory for men. (not for women.)
      4. Males MUST work up a sweat before dinner, and the face must not be washed of that sweat, before eating.

      It’s obvious that Christian men feel no compunction about counteracting every aspect of the “curse” that applies to them.

    3. David Lewayne Porter As to the order prescribed by Paul… it was never addressed to men, telling them to get their wives to submit to them.

      In fact, in Genesis 1:28, women were given equal domination alongside men… and man was not given any license or direction to dominate women.
      Read it for yourself.

      Instead, all directives to wives to submit are equally balanced by directives to husbands, to love.

      Perhaps the directives to women to submit were in answer to the natural bent of a wife not to submit to her husband.

      After all, ALL Christians are to submit one to another!

      And perhaps the directives to men to love their wives were in answer to the natural bent of a man not to understand and operate in love toward his wife at all times.

      After all, ALL Christians are supposed to love one another!

      Women tend to understand how to love more than they tend to understand how to honor and submit to a man.
      (Face it–women are more intuitive, and tend to value their intuition more than their husband’s reason-based approach.)

      And men tend to understand honor and respect more than they “get” the whole “love” thing. Men have a code among themselves that women do not have.

      Women need to learn from men how to respect as a man can feel respect.

      And men need to learn from women how to love so that a woman will feel loved.

      Neither gender is superior to the other.
      We are merely different, and should learn from one another, in humility.

    4. David Lewayne Porter I hope I’m not overkilling this…
      God created humankind in His image. God is Trinity. He is plurality-in-unity. Thus, His true image had to also be created as a plurality-in-unity.
      Adam and Eve together were made in God’s image.
      Adam was not created any more perfectly in God’s image than Eve was.

      Just as God the Son was the Word throughout past eternity, and proceeded from the Father,
      Even so, God designed that woman also proceeded from man. It is His perfect image.

      Just as the Son is no less God for coming out of the Father, even so Eve is no less the image of God, for coming out of Adam’s side.

      Eve was made to be a help, meet (or fit) for Adam.
      Did this mean she was less than Adam?

      The same word used for Eve being made a help for Adam, is used many times in the Psalms to tell us God is our help.

      Therefore, “help” does not mean to be less than the one helped.

      instead, look at the word “meet”. It means a counterpart. An exact opposite.
      Which implies equality.

    5. Mary Ellen Nissley
      Show me were Eve was allowed to eat a meat (Biblically).
      Show me were diet was specified as animals (Biblically) before the Noahic Covenant and the fear and dread of man upon animals. (Point being, don’t add to the printed text).

      And I don’t know about you but I work everyday by the sweat of my brow. And I deal with thorns and thistles every time I do yard work and cut the grass at my house or church.

      I have never lessened the role or position of women. My stance is God Directs the God-Head so there is order,
      Jesus directs man so there is order
      Man under God’s direction directs the relationship with his woman so that there is order.
      And if he is smart in his dealings with her he realizes that they are heirs together to the promise,,

      1 Peter 3:7
      Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.

      Notice it says “as unto the weaker Vessel”, , not that she is a weaker vessel but for unity and submission/respect and reverence sake that is her role. That is the way it is Biblically whether we like it or not.

    6. David Lewayne Porter You completely misunderstood what I was saying.
      I was not seriously proposing that men must approach their part of “the curse” as a commandment.
      I was only demonstrating that IF men require women to see even ONE aspect of their part, as a commandment, then according to the rules of Scirptural interpretation, the men must see their part also as a commandment. Which one would you choose?

      Fact is, every single part of what is addressed to both Adam and to Eve must be interpreted by the same rules. It is ALL only predictive, and not prescriptive.

      Sin now exists in the hearts of men, even as sin now exists in the earth. And thus it manifests itself not only in the soil, but also in men’s desire to dominate to the hurt of women.

      You have your thorns, and we have ours.

      You say you can pull yours out…
      but we daren’t.

  10. Troy Day have you ever heard of the ezer argument? How the word “ezer” in Hebrew is helpmate. It is used in Gen 2:18 to explain the companion role a second human (a woman) would be; and it is used in Psalm 121:1 to describe God. Isn’t it funny that in Genesis, we want to interpret it hierarchically but not in Psalms? I am sure it would be theological incorrect to assume that a male person is “above” God his, Ezer, right?

  11. There is no concept of “covering” mentioned in the New Testament that I’m aware of.

  12. Right, Margaret Mowczko, and the other thing I always think of regarding “covering” is that if a “covering” is necessary, wouldn’t Father God be covering enough for anyone – male or female – slave or free? What about unmarried adult women who are called to ministry? There are some who think they must literally stay in their father’s home and submit to all his ideas if they never marry. What happens when Dad dies? Little brother takes over??? What if there’s no brother? This gets really complicated.

  13. Margaret Mowczko, Karen Lucas
    So you have never read,
    “Eph 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
    24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
    25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

    So Then I guess if headship and covering does not exist then husbands loving their wives is discounted as well?
    (Poison pill).

    1. This passage does not address “covering, per se. that is another subject, addressed in I Cor. 11.

      As to THIS particular passage, it does tell women to be subject to their husbands. And it is clear.

      However, I find it particularly disturbing that husbands use this as a stick to try to get their wives to submit.

      Does it work, for a wife to try to get her husband to love her, by complaining about it, trying to teach him from the Bible that He ought to love her better?

      So… my point is this: READ YOUR OWN MAIL!

      God wrote some stuff addressed to men, and some stuff addressed to women.
      Men should focus on reading that which God addressed to THEM. If a husband truly loves his wife as Christ loves the church, it makes it SO much easier to submit to him!
      …just as much as it helps a man to love his wife, if she submits to him!

      However, let me tell you my own story.
      My husband had a hole in his soul. He was borderline schizophrenic ever since I knew him… besides being a little autistic. He couldn’t hold a job, and couldn’t manage money… and couldn’t understand social interactions in group settings… and he felt despised by the whole world.

      I tried with all I had, to fill up that hole. But it was bigger than anything I could supply to him. And it nearly destroyed me.

      He blamed me for everything bad in our marriage. For years, he used the very verses you quoted, to try to get me to honor him more. To try to get me to submit better.

      i followed him from church to church… we averaged a new church every year or two… and we moved about as often. Eventually, he was sure he was supposed to start a house church, and I submitted to that, too. Eventually, since no one came, we simply didn’t have services at home, nor did we attend anywhere.

      Isolated and severely depressed, I very nearly committed suicide.

      But then he abandoned me and the kids.
      And suddenly, the light came on.

      The reason he accused me (falsely!) of committing adultery, is because that’s where his own heart was.

      And the reason he constantly held it over me that I wasn’t submissive enough, is because his own ego was far too important to him.

      He was trying to apply Ephesians 5:22 to me,
      without first applying verse 21 to himself!

    2. Hi David Lewayne Porter, the husband being the head of his wife is mentioned in Ephesians 5:23ff, but “covering” isn’t. Nor is it mentioned in any other NT verse, as far as I know (including 1 Corinthians 11:10 which mentions the woman’s own head).
      Christian women/wives have exactly the same access to God as Christian men/husbands. Husbands are not mediators of God’s will, or spirit, or salvation, or whatever you might take “covering” to mean. There is one mediator between God and humanity, the human-being Christ Jesus. We need to take care that no person tries to take on Jesus’ role, or comes *between* Jesus and his wife.
      Furthermore, both Christian men and women have the same Spirit, and the Spirit gives his gifts without apparent regard of gender. The authorisation to serve and minister in any, and every, capacity, is an authority that comes directly from God and is not linked to gender and requires no “covering”.

    3. @ David Lewayne Porter Head in what sense, my good brother? I hope that all women get the proper respect that they all deserve and need.

    4. Mary,
      I am sorry that a man that was struggling with his own personal trials and temptations put you through that in the name of Christianity. I am also sorry that the churches he was in and ministers that he was under did not have the discernment to see it and help. (I just lost a couple from my church because I told the husband that he needed to listen to the advice of his wife/help-meet as Pilot was warned by his wife concerning judging Jesus).

      As much as all of that bothers me we still can not discount or over look the scriptures.

      Please understand that I am not your enemy, and I am not against you. I empathize with you, yet I have to give The Scripture precedence, in spite of what I want or anyone else would like for it to say.

      Your quote, “read your own mail”.
      I did. That is where I always start. You see, as you let me into your point of view and why, You do not know why I take much stance – simply. You commented on my comment concerning “covering” so please don’t get upset when I address you individually.

      1) we are to read the entire Bible, not just certain Scriptures (in some way All scripture applies to everyone.
      2) it is not at all easy to submit to spouses all the time, that is,why our walk with Christ is also referred to as carrying our cross. A good example of a wife’s cross is believing wives setting the example for an unbelieving husband. (You are correct that husbands should give first priority in their marriage to loving the wife, supporting her (in ALL ways) not hating his own flesh). But what did Peter say to do if they did not? Please don’t get upset with a minister that simply quotes God’s standards.
      I wonder if it would help this conversation if we reversed it with a believing husband dealing with an unbelieving wife. What if he wanted to work around the verse that tells him to keep trying and love her unconditionally.

      Maybe you are correct – (poison pill) the issue is that each one needs to concentrate on what God said to them and leave the other party to God for conviction.

      3) ? Did you pray over your marriage before you married?
      Did God say to marry or was there an implied Godly allowance to marry? I believe many people marry those that they are not spiritually prepared to. I walked away from 3 engagements. My wife is everything and more than I prayed for. My wife prayed concerning the husband she would receive 6 years before we met and married.

      As a minister after counseling I have refused to do the ceremonies of 4 couples. They married anyway. 3 divorced in under 2 years for reasons I pointed out during the sessions. The fourth told me I was right and they are determined to make it work.

      (I personally believe people should pray more about their spouses BEFORE they marry instead of having to afterwards we would not be having all of the issues in their severity that we are having now.
      (I don’t have time to go into the way my wife and I met and married) – that is my own mail.

    5. @ David Lewayne Porter I really appreciate your fervor and passion, my brother in Christ, and I would like to talk with you more. God bless you and yours. Love is the greatest way to get points across. The truth in love. I love all of you! 😀

    6. David Lewayne Porter I prayed. but my upbringing was so strictly old-fashioned Mennonite that I was groomed to see myself as nothing more than a help meet for a man.

      We were taught strongly that every woman needed a male “covering… so much so that women had to wear literal fabric “coverings” on our heads. We were trained to be absolutely obedient in all things to our male coverings.

      My Daddy died when I was a baby, and I know that, coupled with such strong teachings, pushed me into marrying the first man who came along, offering to be my covering.

      My mother, my stepfather, and my church were all very much in favor of my marrying the man I did.

      Because if it is bedrock truth that every woman needs to be under such headship, then any headship is better than none.

      I have been set free. Please don’t put women under more bondage than the OT put them under!

    7. Mary Ellen Nissley
      I have not put women under bondage, yet I can not say the entirety of Scripture does not matter.
      Go back and read my initial post. I have the upmost respect for women, especially ministers, but they have their God Ordained place.

      I believe you are reading the scriptures with bias in light of your situation and that is not what God intended. Yet God still ordained his writers to explain headship and divine order in the home, marriage, ministry, and church.

      Men are not to be domineering.
      Women are not to rebel.
      One is just as wrong as the other,
      Are they not?

      I actually advocate for women to be used in their God called roles in ministry. Yet they have to realize they are not submitting and doing so to a man but as until The Lord.

      Any submission by man or woman that does not line up with the totality of Scripture is not from God.

      Be blessed.
      I am praying for your scars, for more, complete, deeper healing.

    8. David Lewayne Porter I am suggesting to you that your view of Scripture influences your ability to see outside your box.

      Throughout the Bible, women were used by God as prophetesses. Nowhere in the Old Testament was a woman commanded to sit down and shut up.

      Yet, we have these two verses in I Cor 14: 34,35… that seem to contradict all that. They say women should keep silence, as also saith the law.

      And I have seen these verses applied all kinds of ways except literally, by the churches who claim they are to be applied to the church.

      Fact is, these verses do not flow with the context, unless you see them as what they are: a question Paul is quoting from the lost, original letter from Corinth. The law being referred to is not the OT, but the Mishnah! (Of course the Mishnah was only in oral form yet, at the time.)

      I have read the Mishnah. Have you?
      It’s what was being “said by them of old time” that Jesus rebuked so strongly. And in that Mishnah, you will find the precise words: a woman’s voice is not to be heard in the assembly–it is a vile thing.

      The OT holds no such concept. This is why there was no such thing as a women’s court in the Tabernacle, or in Solomon’s temple. But under the influence of those women-oppressing rabbis, the women were separated from the congregation of the Lord, and place behind screens, both in the Temple, and in synagogues. This is not anything God ever commanded.

      Instead, in the OT, you see Miriam set alongside Moses and Aaron, as a leader of the people. (Micah 6:4) You see Huldah consulted to verify to the king and the priest, what exactly was the Word of God… and she prophesied directives to them.

      Even in the NT, we have Scriptures inspired through Elizabeth and Mary.

      “What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only?” 1Co 14:36

      No. It came to and through women also.

      Now, go back and look at the preceeding context of those two verses… It’s all about how ALL may speak. ALL may contribute equally to the services in the church.

      If not ALL are allowed to contribute equally, then not ALL can be comforted.

      Because being allowed to contribute equally is an integral part of being comforted.

      May I share a bit more of my story?
      I was part of a church that literally applied these verses.
      The adult Sunday School class was integrated. (The men wanted their wives by their sides.) As a woman divorced against my will, I had no male representative to speak for me. I was held in strict silence, only allowed to listen, and not speak in the “open” discussion.
      I came to a crossroad. Either I was going to sit down and shut up, and die inside, (I felt it happening) or else I was going to leave that church. I didn’t want to leave! About 50 people of that church were my extended family! We were very close! If I left that church, I was literally forsaking my family for the Lord.

      I tried to settle down and just be silent.
      But God sent me a strong warning through a dream– I dreamed I was standing before Christ, and He was placing people on His right and on His left. I was pretty sure I would be placed on THAT side– and I was! then I turned around, and realized I had seen it wrongly! I thought I was right, but I was LEFT!

      I cried and screamed for mercy, but Jesus ignored me.
      I felt the lostness of a soul facing hellfire for eternity.

      I woke, and flailed to find my Bible, gasping, “Oh Lord, Please help me know I have eternal life!”

      And the Bible fell open to Luke 10:25.
      God was telling me I had to love Him with ALL my heart, soul, mind, and strength… otherwise, I was not fit for Heaven.

      That was the turnaround. That’s why I had to leave my family, my security, and my culture.

      God led me miraculously to the church I am in, and has set me into the ministry. Every day, as I pray, I hear His voice: I have called you to preach.

      To disobey would be spiritual death. To pull back would be to cut off my oxygen. He is all I have left.

      I do not want any authority over men. I do not long for a place to be recognized or given power. All I want is to serve my Lord with all I have to give.

      My pastor, and everyone else in my church, tells me that I have a powerful anointing on my ministry. But that doesn’t really matter to me… I don’t want recognition. All I want is to do everything God has called me to do. There is SO much to be done!

    9. You missed the forest for the trees.
      I never lessened the role of a woman. I never said she was to sit down and shut up (as you put it).
      You are trying to convince me of a point that I already adhere to. But and yet in God’s order the wife is still under the husband as far as submission and headship (just as Jesus did, does, and will do all He does at the directing of the Father).

      You referenced Miriam, when was she allowed into the Holy place?
      When did she see God’s face, face to face?
      What happened when she exalted herself and came against Moses (she received a more swift judgement from God himself than did Aaron) and Moses whom she was set alongside of – as you state it – had to intercede for her healing, not even Aaron could do that.
      If they were set along side each other, where was Miriam while Aaron was forming a calf, why was she not a spiritual enough leader to stop it? Where was she while Joshua accompanied Moses as close to God’s presence as possible? How about when God called Moses to the tent of meeting and when Moses returned to the camp Joshua stayed in the door of the tent?

      But any way, enough of the speculation.

      Sister I love your testimony.
      The same way you said that you don’t want authority over the man, I don’t want authority over the woman, yet that is God’s Plan.
      If we remove women from church history then we truly have no church because the women have carried the church throughout much of it’s history.
      Being the head of the wife, church, any other person or situation gives us a chance of more harsh judgement.

      Sister be blessed, I just hate that a man hurt you so bad that you are (afraid) of the true biblical meaning of Holy, Spiritual, God submission.
      I hate that a church has treated you like this.
      I think I would have loved to have been able to have you in my congregation.

      I am praying for you.

      Truly be blessed in Jesus name, by the healing of the Holy Spirit.

    10. David Lewayne Porter Can you please show me the command in Scripture addressing you to take the initiative to bring your wife under your domination?

      And I don’t think your theology is quite correct in how you view the eternal submission of the Son to the Father, within the Trinity, in eternity past.

      Jesus learned obedience by the things he suffered. He never had to obey the Father before.

      The Eternal Godhead exists in perfect unity. the Son flowed from the Father, as the Word, and thus was in perfect unity, without the need for domination or submission.

      The only reason one ever needs to be dominating, is when there is a clash of wills.

      In the Garden, Jesus prayed “Not My will, but Thine.”
      This was a new thing. Jesus’s natural will was different from the Father’s will. And thus, he learned obedience.

      Within the body of Christ, all Christians are to submit one to another. We are to dwell together in the unity of Love. What kind of love? The kind that flowed within the Trinity in eternity past. The kind that seeks not her own. The kind that vaunteth not itself.

      And when that kind of love exists in a marriage between Christians, there is no clash of wills. There is no need of domination.

    11. Sister, there is not a verse for a man to dominate his wife, [or anyone else]. I have not stated nor impied any of that in any of my posts.
      I wonder if you have read my posts, you could not have read them all, totally.
      If my wife had not displayed the character of a Biblical and Godly Spiritual lady, I would not have married her (I walked away from 3 engagements for that reason).

      My wife had displayed her ability to minister with a confident yet submissive gifting and Spirit in the ministry before we ever met and discussed marriage.
      I use women in my church to minister (when I will not use men) due to the peaceable Spirit the ladies possess (that the men lack).

      To disagree with you again, show me where a Christian is to dominate others even if/when there is a clash of wills..?…

      Please go reread my posts before you try to place words in my mouth or opinions in my head that are not there.

      Be blessed (as long as you follow and obey God).

    12. David Lewayne Porter Actually, I had read all of your posts in their entirety, but I went and re read them just now…
      I can see how we weren’t really communicating as well as we could have been.

      I guess you aren’t nearly as strict as I thought you were.
      My main concern is that I know what it looks like when a church tries to literally enforce the Scriptures that seem to teach that women need a male “covering.”

      i grew up under it. And God had to bring me out, to be able to use me in the calling he created me for.

    13. Agreed, be blessed, I am truly sorry for your past hurts.
      They should have never happened.

  14. Quite to the contrary, David Lewayne Porter. I am very aware of it and also very thankful for it. It’s a beautiful passage. However, I think it would be important to do a word study on the word “head” in this scripture. The interpretation Westerners tend to assign to it in the hierarchial sense may not be the most appropriate choice. The word is probably more accurately interpreted as “source,” which is more in keeping with the general concept of the word “husband” as in husbandry. Verse 23 is, I believe, a further explanation or evidence for the purpose and value of adhering to the instruction given in verse 21 to engage in the mutual submission that you so wisely pointed out was described in verse 21.

  15. Karen I like your comment regarding head as “source”. We speak of the “head” ir a river, being the source from which the river springs. I think your observation about the hierarchical western mindset is very valid, because if we believe in “healing and wholeness” as a central focus of Gospel activity then by definition, we should be seeking a holistic view of life and human interaction. Often the inner wholeness must begin to emerge and this enables physical healing and the eradication of dysfunctional behaviours that so often plague us.

    Conversion is a journey. A danger is we often see ut as an end in itself, but it is much more than that. Many religious people wave their salvation ticket Sunday by Sunday but fail to ever jump on the train for the life journey. This of course was what the “deeper life” message was all about – living our faith, knowing the truth, and allowing the truth to destroy self mis-conceptions and setting us free in Jesus Name.

  16. Exactly Karen, and where is your river without the source? There is not one is there.
    I am not belittling the woman, on the contrary. By the woman being created the fact is shown that man could not do it alone. But looking to 1 Cor 11, man is the head of the wife, 1 Corinthians 11:3
    But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.

    Who directed Christ’s earthly ministry He Himself or the Father. How did Christ end up on the cross
    Phil 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
    6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
    7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
    8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
    9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

    There are too many other Scriptures that keep us from just discounting that the head of the home is the male (under Christ, under God The Father).
    If not, then I submit, that the woman not doing so is not fully nor completely submitting to God.

    What do you do with believing wives being told to reverence her unbelieving husband unless she is in fear for her life/bodily harm?..And believing wives are allowed to do less,?, …
    1 Peter 3.

    1. David Lewayne Porter, perhaps it would help to think of source or head as beginning point or origin. So the point of origin from which man sprang forth is Christ (because he is the first born of all creation and was before Adam was. He is the Logos) and the point of origin from which women sprang forth is man but the point of Origin for Christ is God. So, that’s our ancestral history. And since we are joint heirs with Jesus….. That is the argument that I see unfolding in 1 Cor. So far as advice for believing wives to to show respect to unbelieving husbands. I think it is good advice for how a Christian should conduct themselves in any relationship (male or female) – especially if they are intending to be an ambassador for Christ if they are hoping and praying to draw someone into a relationship with Christ. The point made is that submission to God and one another out of reverence to Christ is a way of emulating the example set before us by our Savior and elder brother, Jesus. After all – it was his submission to his mission as the word made flesh that created a way for us to be reconciled to God. How can we humble ourselves and lay down our lives to become the word made flesh to those around us in order to help lay a path for someone else to reconcile with God?

    1. Nice. I would have liked to have seem some discussion about the proposition that head coverings were a symbol of marriage in that culture. I have heard that discussed elsewhere.

    2. Thanks Karen. There’s very little hard evidence about what women wore on their heads in the first century. We have Greek art and Roman art which give us good clues but practically no Jewish art because of the graven image commandment. Veils aren’t mentioned much in literature until the second century, most noticeably in Justin Martyr’s “On the Veiling of Virgins”.

    3. Margaret Mowczko, thanks for the tip off on Justin. It doesn’t seem that the head covering as symbol of marriage argument would work well when we look at what is being said to the men but I do find it an interesting possibility. I like the way the article sets up the outline of the argument in 1 Cor. It’s also good to remember that law students used to study the writings of Paul to learn how to argue a case. It makes sense that he would be setting up the question or item for debate before he would present his “case.”

    4. Justin Martyr is a good resource for Christian scholar or academically inclined people to study. Praise the Lord for this dialog! 😀

  17. In all things have love. The problem is dysfunctional males using scripture to excuse their total wrong step with God and turning scriptures into their own broken image. Yes the husband is not only head as un souce but also has a protective authority. But NOT unless there is first humble submission to God. Otherwise in my mind, it is the worst kind of abuse – because it hides its evil work behind scripture.

  18. Hi John, I agree with some of your comment, but where does it say in the Bible that the husband has a “protective authority”.
    I don’t see that language in the Bible. Many Bible women protected men, and communities. Surely we are meant to protect one another according to our needs and capability.

  19. I think people read waayyy to much in the word “head” which is used in a variety of ways by Paul, and rarely meant “leader” in Classical or early Koine Greek. It almost certainly doesn’t mean “leader” in 1 Corinthians 11:2-16. And I strongly suspect it refers to a head-body metaphor denoting unity in Ephesians 5:22-33. There are no words about leadership or authority in Ephesians 5:22-33, but plenty of words about selfless love, loyalty and unity.

    1. Thank you for bringing up this important point! Head, as stated in the text was never meant to be the hermeneutic equivalent to hierarchy. If Christ is the “head” of the church, the “head” imagery in both the Gospel Narratives and Epistles is more similar to Philippians 2 and Matthew 18:1-5, Mark 9:33-37, and Luke 9:46-48. Thus, it supports my original logic that both man and woman are equally submitted one to another. I am not debating that woman are not different than men. We embody the effeminate nature of God and are made in the image of God. Again, the Pater Familia (head of household) is a carnal, pagan concept and was never the intention of God for us to live that way. Women were never lesser then men. We were subjugated after the fall but have been redeemed by the blood of the lamb. It is the power of the Holy Ghost inside us that makes us partakers in Christ’s divine nature.
      It is culture and carnality that decided to position the salvation of women before the curse. Why is it that a man enjoys the “full” privilege of the Gospel, but yet a woman still remains under the curse?
      Also think of the union of the trinity. The Perichoresis is egalitarian. The Son is submitted to the Father, The Spirit is submitted to the Son and the Father is submitted to the Holy Spirit. Not one member of the Trinity is above the other. They coexist in a divine dance of unity, love and justice.

  20. I am in favor of women preachers but for modern women who are distant from the frontier life of our ancestors who protected their wives from the dragons of other men, wild animals and the need to be get things done while resting for breast feeding childbirth pregnancy etc it is absurd to think the mans physical strength and lack of fluctuations of such is not useful to wives.

    “But as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives also be to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself up for it;”
    Ephesians 5:24-25 ASV

  21. Perhaps men need to keep other men in check, and certainly physical strength is useful, but I can truthfully say that my husband has never protected me from a dangerous situation.
    Also, sometimes the things that protect us have nothing to do with physical strength.
    As I mentioned in a previous comment, there were several Bible women who, because of their wisdom, protected or saved men and communities, even the nation of Israel on two occasions.
    Moses would have died on several occasions if it hadn’t been for the actions of six courageous women.
    The Bible just doesn’t say that protecting people is the responsibility of men. Loving one another also means looking out for one another and protecting one another.

  22. John Ruffle David Lewayne Porter It is so interesting to me that you bring dysfunctional (let’s call ’em non-manly) men and the trans-gender issue. Bishop Terry Wiles just posted a great response to current social changes and I have my own theory as related to the discussion on women in ministry if anyone cares to hear about it

    1. How are we going to witness to people who ascirbe to identifying with LGBT”Q”, if we can’t stop Tea Party biases?

  23. Another great resource is the Junia Project is an online community of women and men advocating for the inclusion of women in leadership in the Christian church and for mutuality in marriage. We believe that when interpreted correctly, the Bible teaches that both men and women are called to serve at all levels of leadership, and that leadership should be based primarily on gifting and not on gender.

  24. I thought we were discussing theology and ecclesiology as it pertains to women in ministry, Stan Wayne. I don’t follow. Were you referring to a particular article?

  25. Pentecostals have always (since 1896 or 1901 depending on your preference favored the Methodist, Salvation Army view of women preachers based on Joel 2 and Acts 2 with subsequent passages that are debated seen through the lens of Acts 2 –

    Guneo is seen as wife primarily – not woman. Wives – not single women (virgins, widows, etc) – have a voluntary complementary relationship with husbands.

    Feminism or marital egalitarianism is unknown in the NT

    1. Oh, now I understand the point you wish to make but where is “guneo” coming from? So far as marital egalitarianism in the NT – What about Aquila and Priscilla? How do you see that?

    2. I see Priscilla as more capable than Aquila at bible knowledge accounting for her name coming first (them being childless apparently making her able to be active). And I see Aquila as head of the tiny family accounting for his name listed first at other times.

    3. I see them as co-laborers – leaning on each other’s strengths and honoring each other in their areas of natural leadership.

    4. There is no reason to think they for religious or cultural reasons disagreed with Paul’s exhortation to the Ephesians (where they also sojourned):

      “Wives, be in subjection unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.”
      Ephesians 5:22 ASV

    5. See my comments above. I understand verse 22 and 23 as a continuation of verse 21 – “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” and within the context of the whole chapter and letter. I think it’s also important to realize that Paul was addressing a particular issue with a particular community (Ephesus – a sexualized society in which Women exercised authority through their sexuality) and using it as an opportunity to create a metaphor for Christ and the church. So, I think we should be careful not to draw hard lines from the Ephesians 5 passage alone. We have to consider it with the counsel of the whole scriptures.

    6. I have also done academic study on this like you obviously have done in the context of Christians for Biblical Equality etc but I think it is eisegesis based on preconceived assumptions and desires to be like the western world –

      Colossians has essentially the same exhortation as does Peters epistle (Rome, Jews, Galatia, Bithyniac etc.) where Diana worship or temple prostitution cannot be said to be the cause – it is pretty standard fare – nothing peculiar is presented – the burden to say that the submit passages don’t mean submit is on the person who proposes a hidden or non obvious meaning

    7. If you don’t want to submit to husband don’t get married is the thought – and if wives don’t submit to husbands – then husbands wouldn’t submit to Jesus and Jesus wouldn’t submit to father

    8. I just studied it, period – because I wanted to understand why some passages seem so contradictory and because I wanted to know the heart of God on this since I am a woman and I desire to be pleasing to Him in every way that I can. I have come down on both sides of this before and have practiced both with my husband. We are both under much less stress with an egalitarian approach. We submit to one another according to our gifts, abilities and callings. I do all I can to show him respect and he does all he can to show me love. That pattern is how men and women typically feel most valued…not always – but typically. I see the submit message loud and clear but I see it applied to both partners within the marriage. We tend to think of it as preferring one another. Your last comment completely eludes me. I do not see the logic there at all. How would a wife’s failure to submit to her husband prevent a husband from submitting to Christ or prevent Christ from submitting to the Father? These things are not dependent on the other. We are joint heirs with Jesus and in submission to the Father. Jesus simply showed us how to do it. As in the early church, an educated husband might show his uneducated wife how to do it by washing her with the water of the word.

    9. I understand – there is theory and practice disjunction often – and it has to flow naturally – plus one can speak statistically with large groups of how it works or doesn’t work – and defining success- my wife of 26 years I don’t guess thinks I lord over her and I fear her disapproval often and yet I think the kids would think she defers on spiritual/church type issues

    10. Yeah. It’s the opposite at my house. Everyone defers to me on ministry, spiritual and relational issues but defer to my husband on issues regarding finances and administrative /organizational/planning stuff.

  26. God said his sons and his daughters shall prophesy. Eve was deceived by satan, I believe in many situation women are more easily deceived, although this isn’t always true, many doctrines my parents came to believe were shown to my mother first and my father rejected them because in his mind at the time god would have shown it to him first, he was in a a group that belittled the role of women. But I believe women can minister without a man above them, if they are married as a Christian women they should summit to spiritual things, if he is a Christian man, even if he is wrong because each will reap what they sow, she will will be blessed and him punished if that were the case. But there are separate roles we each play, god made women to do things men couldn’t and men things women couldn’t, that’s why this feminist moment is complete crap, not that women can’t do certain things we can or work or stuff I’m not sexist, but we were simply made with different roles. But a women can be any kind of minister.

    1. 1 Tim 2, end of chapter was written in response to a situation specific to Corinth in the first century. Timothy was confronting the pagan/Jewish cult of Artemis, who taught women to grasp to control their husbands. The theology of this cult said that Eve was created first, and that Adam was deceived. And they taught that women would be kept safe through childbirth if they attended the pagan temple and took part in the rituals.

      Those verses were never intended to create a doctrine that women are more easily deceived than men. Nor that having children somehow saved a woman.

      Also, the preceding verses point to a shift from talking about ‘women” to “A woman”. In the greek this is significant… it seems to siginify that a specific woman had entered the church and was trying to teach others this pagan doctrine… Paul was telling Timothy to have her sit down and “learn in silence with all subjection.” This was a phrase of that day, refering specifically to teachers in training, who were sitting as prime students, and the feet of the rabbi. A teacher in training.

    2. Mary Ellen Nissley
      I am glad you pointed out that “teach” is used instead of “minister or preach”.

      So often ministers and churches that do not allow women in front of the church during the regular service have no problem allowing them to teach in other areas of the church at other times.

      I personally have anyways questioned that and had issues with it as well.

    3. David Lewayne Porter, go back the original Koine Greek and you will find that men and women can minister openly along side one another, but with not without boundaries in place. You should may maybe look into a Christian counselor online or a therapist who is a Christian of the same creed as you. I’m a man and I cannot allow other males to criticize our female clergy. I love your zeal however.

    4. I love you, my brother, David. At any rate, I need clarity on your belief system pertaining to women and ministry. 🙂

    5. Your other point on some of us being transsexual or transgender was kind of thought provoking. There’s a great movement by evangelicals and other similarly minded Protestants and Roman Catholics who do not approve of same-sex marriage or LGBT political rhetoric.

    6. Danny Woods
      If you go read my post(s), and not just this one, you will see I advocate for women.
      My wife is an Ordained Minister and her mother, and grandmother were credentialed ministers.

      So please don’t think you are (not) “allowing” me to openly criticize our female clergy.

      You have not seen my zeal – yet.

      As far as “trans”, it was a poison pill (you do know what a poison pill agruement is don’t you?)?
      Also, if you go back and read I believe I said “trans”spiritual, which seems to say that some people are so confused spiritually (that spiritually speaking) they are not sure of what or who they are.

      Please feel free to correct me after you have read my post(s) in this discussion.
      (I will be sure to tell my Female minister friends – especially my wife, that their honor was defended by you, even if in your zeal you were “opposing” a comrade and not a foe.

    7. Danny Woods
      Why gays hate Christians

      I don’t need an article to tell me that.
      Allow me to introduce myself as I enlighten you.

      My brother is a professing and practicing homosexual (flaming – as he puts it).
      We have had more discussions on this topic than you would want to know about – some good, some bad. He also professes to be a christian. (I aint (used intentionally) going into that here or now).

      He is not the only lgbt person I deal with within a very close proximity.

      I think people misunderstand me.
      Let me clarify, I have done and do my homework so that when I speak I am confident and sure as to fulfill;
      1 Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
      16 Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.


      2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
      16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.

      I don’t just speak off the cuff.
      Rest assured that when I speak I know what I believe. I can and will back it up.

      Peace brother.

    8. Danny Woods I have no denomination. I’m evangelical in the since I believe in evangelizing, I’m Pentecostal in the since I believe in the gifts and movement of the Holy Ghost and I’m charismatic. But no denomination

    9. David Lewayne Porter God richly bless and keep you, brother. I did not mean any harm to you. Facebook is a hazardous place at times. Keep the faith. I love this discussion.

    10. That’s funny, Colby Benefield, I’ve heard so many comments in sermons and talked with so many male ministers one on one who remark that they felt their wives had a stronger spirit of discernment than they did for sensing when someone was deceitful or a doctrine was off. Usually, the next thing said is that men should learn the value of seeking the counsel of their Godly wives or mothers or sisters – who has also been made in the image of God. For a Godly woman who is redeemed and has already felt the strike of the serpent’s heel….9 times out of 10, she senses when the serpent is nearby and takes no issue with striking his head….. Writing that makes me think of the time I backed out of the driveway of my house and saw a snake had been under my van as I had loaded my toddlers in. When I saw how close that snake had been to my children, I was not satisfied just to drive away and leave it behind. I got out, walked to the shed, got out a sledge hammer and beat that thing until his head split right in half. The whole time I was thinking of that serpent in the Garden of Eden and how I’d like to split his head right in half too! Woo-hoo! Makes me want to preach! Colby, I’m concerned that you would be in dangerous territory to tell a woman to submit to a man who would lead her astray in spiritual things. A woman who knowingly did such a thing would be responsible for answering to God for it. Here’s an article that might help explain why. You might want to skip down to the “Petrine Passage” part.

    11. Karen Lucas I didn’t mean to offend you, and I do not believe that the above is always the case, god spoke to my mother concerning many doctrines my parents believed before my father, and she is also blessed with prophetic dreams while my father is not, he is still a great man of god. But in my experience I have found that the majority of women depending on there maturity in Christ are more easily deceived, but yet they are usually more devout and devoted were men in my experience have a harder time, resisting temptations and such. But these are not always the case. My father is more devoted to spending time in prayer and bible reading from what I have seen. But I still believe a man and a women have separate but equal roles just as important. And in certain cases the women “as a faithful Christian” must summit to the man. They both summit to each other and put each other first that’s what love is, to give an example, a man married man feels led to get his family out of a church and into a new one, the wife wants to stay, after talking and hearing each other out the mans decision should be final and if the wife has some issues with the new church he should listen and consider them, and pray, and from there I don’t know weather it would be right to leave or stay but I’ll go with leave since married is being one and they should find a place that fits both

    12. I’m not offended Colby. I just think you’re wrong about some things. You can’t be equal and subjugated at the same time. Sometimes a wife needs to stand up and say, “No. I’m not going to church hop with you anymore. The common denominator is you. You’re so conceited that you’re unable to receive any insight or instruction from anyone else. What you need to do is start working on learning how to have healthy relationships instead of believing the delusional lie that you are the only one on the planet who knows how to do church and Christianity right.” Just an example…but I’ve seen it play out plenty of times. Iron sharpens iron. So, sometimes there has to be some friction. Sometimes the greatest form of Love is the word, “No.”

    13. My good friend, Karen, is so right. We all need to stop and rethink our motives before we act on our impulsive feelings.

    14. Karen Lucas Oh I like it! “Iron sharpens iron. So sometimes there has to be some friction.” May I use this?

  27. Ive never felt I was called to be s pastor. I do have exhorters. I feel thats enough for me.

  28. In my opinion (IMO) the organizations that lessen women in ANY form or position in ministry really need to go back and study all of the scriptures concerning ministry, women, women in the church, men and their attitudes in ministry and in the home, and then check why they personally feel that way.

    They do not understand the setting for any or all of these as they fit together in unity.

  29. David Lewayne Porter Danny Woods Some states are now allowing licensed counselors and therapists to deny care to a client whose goals or behaviors conflict with the counselor’s “sincerely held beliefs–1acSUUkcef6lL6LOj4JRhAH1efLrClSI36lI24gds_-0G8sOuhf3XWaGYEhYlM1e8t2yd_bhPPIG5jeqnYK0bH-Yo7A&_hsmi=29559199

  30. I am not sure I would go that far but it does make us one sided and not well rounded.

  31. At least it makes it look like someone’s afraid of the help God designed for them… and it lends itself to a lot of frustration on the part of women who God has gifted and called to the ministry.

  32. I think some comments here reveal a fear of even considering God’s original intentional order and gender-roles. That maybe because we have become so dysfunctional and some of us may never have witnessed a proper male (or female) role model. M & F have different functionalities; different roles to play in the family and in society, including God’s society, the Church. What is so hard to figure about that I wonder?

  33. I don’t see that at all John Ruffle. I see good healthy debate about biblical interpretation regarding how submission should be employed in marriage. What does that have to do with understanding that we are different and can fulfill different functions in marriage and family life and ministry? When a family is young it is often the man who is primary provider and protector so the wife can nurture little ones. When a couple grows old, that role may shift but it doesn’t always work that way. Sometimes she is provider so he can go to school or do something else. Then it might flip around again later. The bottom line is love and respect through it all, no matter where life may lead and mutual submission to God first and then to one another out of reverence for Christ – women realizing that what a husband desires most is respect and men realizing that what a wife desires most is to be truly loved…

  34. It’s quite surprising how many things women and young girls can do now! I say, let them do it. Some men and I might add some young boys need to stop despising women and girls so much. Bottom line, folks.

  35. A lot of folks on the egalitarian side of things don’t believe that wive should submit to their husbands any more than husbands should submit to their wives.

    Along with the rise of feminism also came a huge rise in the divorce rate. There were other factors like the sexual revolution and other changes in values (thinking of a US context, but it probably applies to Europe and some other regions, too.) But I think it would be foolish to ignore the influence of feminism on the divorce rate and the break down of the family. We are not called to promote American or western ideals of freedom or individualism. We should be more concerned with the specific teachings of the scripture.

    In the context of being heirs of the promise, Paul said there is no Jew nor Greek, male nor female, slave nor free. A male slave no longer had to belong to the household of someone who was circumcised to be circumcised along with him to be part of a covenant with God. The individual slave could be in covenant with God. The Gentile woman no longer had to marry a Jew or be a part of a household where her husband or the head of household was circumcized. She could be in covenant with God.

    But Paul still did not circumcise the Gentile Titus, but circumcised Timothy, son of Jewish mother. He told to circumcised to seek not the be uncircumcised and vice versa. He told slaves to submit to their masters. He told wives to submit to their husbands. Paul’s comment about no male nor female did not do away with all aspects of divine order. Galatians may be his first epistle we have as well, and these other more patriarchal comments may appear in later epistles.

    Biblical teaching on marriage is complementarian. The Bible has plenty of patriarchy all throughout it. Giving land to the male line is patriarchal. Giving men the right to cancel vows of wives and daughters was patriarchal. Giving the right to give divorce certificates (a concession due to the hardness of their hearts) was patriarchal. Fathers giving daughters in marriage, mentioned in both Old and New Testaments is patriarchal. The New Testament command to wives to submit to their husbands, illustrating it with an example of a wife obeying her husband, is patriarchal.

  36. Irrelevant to the discussion. Comment seems copy and re-pasted from somewhere else. There’s no Biblical feminism and therefore to mix it up with an ongoing Pentecostal discussion on Egalitarian vs Complementarian Views on women in (pls note here) MINISTRY seems absolutely out of the question? What’s the point in mentioning feminism Link

  37. That’s not a copy-paste. My point is a move toward egalitarian theology also affects marriage. And it is not motivated purely by internal Biblical evidence. Egalitarian versus complementarianism is a more core issue in marriage than in ministry ordination, IMO.

    Many who call themselves feminists believe about the same as egalitarians. There is also a form of feminism that is basically Marxism that changes the working class to women and the rich class that oppresses the poor to ‘the patriarchy.’ This version pits the sexes against each other in class warfare, makes women perpetual vicitms of men, and posits a form of social justice standards that contradict scripture. It is more damaging. But milder forms of gender egalitarianism can also be harmful to marriage.

    And the trend toward gender-role sameness has also laid the foundation for the LGBT movement. I suspect you will not find a society where the majority considers it good and right for a wife to submit to her husband where the majority also thinks it is just as good to be ‘gay married’ as married to someone of the opposite gender.

    As far as ordination goes, New Testament elders kind of carry over from the Old Testament practice of having elders without introduction or explanation. They just show up on the scene in Acts collecting an offering delivered from Paul and Barnabas. In the Old Testament, elders are zaqenim, the bearded ones. It’s a very male word. Two passages in the New Testament specify that the bishop should be a man, using two separate words that mean man (or husband in certain contexts.) If you try to make an exception and say the celibate also qualifies in addition to the one woman man, how do you justify making a man not a man?

  38. Sure looks like it. What’s the point in mentioning feminism? Especially in a Pentecostal Theology ministry talk about Egalitarian vs Complementarian Views? How do you feel that it affects theology, ministry or any aspect of Pentecostalism? Are you saying Egalitarianism = feminism?

    1. No one in particular. The page just had a quote or two against complementarianism, and it is alarming to me if Pentecostals go for egalitarianism (a more liberal view) over complementarian.

  39. Having not even one example brings unnecessary generalization to a very important issue in ministry and church today. If of course you are just not deeply convinced no woman should ever be in lead ministry of the church

  40. Troy Day, when I follow this link, as usual, on the page, I get word salad. I get a bunch of quotes from different posters, not a real article. I was responding to my concerns raised by comments from the posters. I don’t see how what I said could be off topic.

    As far as I can tell, historically, Pentecostals are complementarian when it comes to marriage, which is where the debate is usually focused.

    I’m not against all ‘women in ministry.’ I do believe a bishop should be a man as the Bible says twice.

  41. Link Hudson It only archives what posters post while discussing. You are welcome to create a better one for all to enjoy. Now pass the cheap shot and back to the discussion at hand. There is very little connection to my knowledge between the classic movement you mention and Pentecostal theology. Actually I cannot recall a single Pentecostal theologian arguing all for it. The Egalitarian view also cannot be classified as liberal except of course if you believe that Egalitarianism leads to homosexual ministers – I’ll credit you for not taking that stand. So when all said and done in Pentecostal theology we have an approach of involving women in ministry. This is not a new move within Pentecostalism. On the contrary, there has always been a Bible centered concern for the disenfranchised and the weak – poor, women, 3rd world ethnoses, races and so on with just about any social group out there. If you argue that women in ministry is liberal you are agreeing that non-whites in ministry is liberal or non-rich in ministry is liberal. There have been of course such beliefs within the evangelical protestant tradition but they have never been much concerned with what the Bible is saying or who the Spirit wants to use in the ministry.Thank God the Bible and the Spirit have been on focus in Pentecostalism and so have women in ministry. Therefore, not recognizing women in ministry does not make one conservative or strong – but rather weak and afraid that the Spirit may chose to do greater works through women. Guess what – the Spirit has already done that in the Bible. Mary did you know…

    1. I am thinking of egalitarianism in marriage as liberal. Pentecostals historically have believed that wives should submit to their husbands. A literal reading of passages on this subject are ‘complementarian’.

      How is it possible to separate egalitarian philosophy in terms of gender from the issue of marriage?

  42. I am both–an egalitarian complementarian and a complementarian egalitarian–both are in Scripture without conflict between the two when all of Scripture is understood fully. Not an oxymoron.

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