Monday, October 25, 2010

GBC To Decide on Women as Pastors

I'm asking people to comment on women as pastors and would love to hear from you. Just reply and I will add to the collection. I will eventually write an article, but I won't use names or personal references. Thanks, Bill

When it came out that the Georgia Baptist Convention was planning to "disfellowship" a Baptist church because its senior pastor is a woman,  I asked my Facebook friends to comment in private about the issue.  That was early April, and now it's about time for the convention to meet (November 15-16).

Here are the responses from Facebook Friends:

Woman #3  (OBEY CHRIST AND HIS WORD) God's Word addresses this and the opinion of man should not be entertained. That is how the fall of man began in the beginning and how "new religions/cults" are the opinions of man. I am to believe and obey Christ and His Word and nothing else added to or taken from.

 Man #2  (GOD GAVE US A BRAIN AND A HEART) Women's lives have changed over the last 40-something years. I would prefer to hear my sermon from a man; however, there are women with complex lives who may be touched by a sermon that comes from a woman who has lived their life. Question: If someone goes to the altar, and accepts Christ in a church led by a woman pastor, and is Baptized by this pastor, does this nullify the whole salvation process? I would think not, as you can be saved anywhere. I do understand, however, the importance of following the Bible, word-for-word, but in some situations outside of the most important ones, I think that God gave us a brain, and a heart to use. If the word of God is being preached, and people are being led to Christ, what's the harm? I (know) a pastor in Alabama. Again, my opinion shouldn't matter as much as someone who has diligently, and thoroughly studied the Bible. I just don't see any harm it it. I believe some women can lead certain people, where some men can't.

Woman #2  (BIBLE IS VERY CLEAR) Women are not called to be pastors. The Bible is very clear that a pastor and/or deacon be the husband of one wife and only that will work! GOD's word is true and very clear!

Man #1  (NO PROBLEM WITH MESSENGER) Reminds me of a posting I made about flag waving,in your face spewing religion. I believe if you practice your faith it will manifest itself. Walk the walk not talk the talk. I personally don't have a problem with the sex of the messenger just the message.

Woman #1  (NO PROBLEM) See no problem with women serving as clergy or as ministers, don't believe the role is for the male gender only. Having known many women led to this through the Methodist & Episcopal Churches and being friends with many know that the path to this role was not always easy. God, in my opinion does not look solely at gender when leading those that serve in His name. my 2 cents worth -

Woman #4  (NOT BIBLICAL) I do not believe women should be main preachers in a church. Women can be lay ministers , teachers , and other offices of the church , but not a main preacher. I don't believe it is Biblical.

Woman #5 (THINK OF DEBORAH) I believe that the Bible teaches that men are to lead the church body. However, It is clear in God's word that women are viewed in high esteem. I once had a conversation with a woman that stated that if her daughter wanted to be a pastor, then she should be. My thoughts on the subject is that if the woman has a heart for God then He will create a place for her in his work that will be just as satisfying as the job of elder or overseer. Think of Deborah, a prophetess and also a Judge that led the Israelites into battle. What a great work she did for the Lord. If all women could be as the woman of proverbs, we wouldn't have time to worry about what we couldn't do because we would be too busy about the work we could do. I have had the opportunity experiencing many things in this life. I can say that I do not feel slighted in the least for not having opportunity to be a pastor. Just because we want somEthing doesn't mean it is what we should do or that it is right. Wishing doesn't make it so. :)

Woman #1  (GOD'S WILL)  I know of two married couples with both husband and wife serving as Episcopal Priests. All serve @ different parishes as our Bishop believes it would be a conflict for husband and wife to serve @ the same parish. Seems to me it would be good for ordained women to serve as well as they may be able to reach some that the men could not or would not think to be available to in the Community. It is difficult for people to think of change being good. I don't believe God's will can be boxed up and rigid no matter what people interpret in the Bible. I learned through a study of Theology primarily that when reading the Bible the time and people scripture was written for is important, as important as what it might say to us today. (And I don't know that all thoughts of God's will should always be based on what Paul wrote and thought.) I am hesitate in quoting scripture to nail my thoughts to so firmly, but have learned through experience that women ordained clergy have a place in the life of those that Believe. And all my experiences with them have been for the good.

Woman #2  (A LIVING EXAMPLE)  I grew up with a female minister. She was not only the most amazing woman, but it was HER love of the Lord, that turned me on to Christianity. She could preach like no one's business. Every word that come out of her mouth was meaningful and it felt as if she was speaking directly to you. She showed the "youth" of my church how "cool" being a Christian was. Not only was she the best minister I have ever had the priviledge of knowing, but she turned out to be one of the best family friends we could have asked for. OH, and not only was she the senior minister at my church, but she was also lesbian.
I learned so much from her...Faith, Love, Compassion, Acceptance, and Understanding.

Woman #2  (THIS PRECLUDES WOMEN) The Word of God proclaims, “A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent” (1 Timothy 2:11-12). In the church, God assigns different roles to men and women. This is a result of the way mankind was created and the way in which sin entered the world (1 Timothy 2:13-14). God, through the apostle Paul, restricts women from serving in roles of teaching and/or having spiritual authority over men. This precludes women from serving as pastors, which definitely includes preaching to, teaching, and having spiritual authority over men.

There are many “objections” to this view of women in ministry. A common one is that Paul restricts women from teaching because in the first century, women were typically uneducated. However, 1 Timothy 2:11-14 nowhere mentions educational status. If education were a qualification for ministry, the majority of Jesus' disciples would not have been qualified. A second common objection is that Paul only restricted the women of Ephesus from teaching (1 Timothy was written to Timothy, who was the pastor of the church in Ephesus). The city of Ephesus was known for its temple to Artemis, a false Greek/Roman goddess. Women were the authority in the worship of Artemis. However, the book of 1 Timothy nowhere mentions Artemis, nor does Paul mention Artemis worship as a reason for the restrictions in 1 Timothy 2:11-12.

A third common objection is that Paul is only referring to husbands and wives, not men and women in general. The Greek words in the passage could refer to husbands and wives; however, the basic meaning of the words refers to men and women. Further, the same Greek words are used in verses 8-10. Are only husbands to lift up holy hands in prayer without anger and disputing (verse 8)? Are only wives to dress modestly, have good deeds, and worship God (verses 9-10)? Of course not. Verses 8-10 clearly refer to all men and women, not only husbands and wives. There is nothing in the context that would indicate a switch to husbands and wives in verses 11-14....

Woman #7  (POMPOUS POPPYCOCK) Those who believe the Bible reject women pastors, and those who give in to culture accept women pastors. Such thinking is pompous poppycock. Some have said “I believe the Bible teaches that a woman should not serve as a pastor.” That would have been an statement of their belief, and I would have defended their right to say such. However, when they assert that those who support women pastors do so not on scriptural grounds but rather because they follow the dictates of culture, they go too far. There are people who adamantly support women pastors on biblical grounds. I am one of them and will make what I understand to be the biblical case for women pastors.

Woman #7 quoted extensively from an article by Dr. Rick McClatchy published by Mainstream Baptists of Oklahoma a few years ago

This is one quotation:
In other letters of Paul, one finds references to women praying and prophesizing in public worship (1 Cor. 11:5) and contending at his side in the cause of the gospel (Philip. 4:23).  Also, in his letter to Timothy, Paul gives instructions about women deacons (1 Tim. 3:11).
Coupled with these examples of women in ministry are three basic theological truths, which seem to indicate women should be involved in all aspects of the church’s life.  First, There is no indication that any spiritual gift was limited to men (1 Cor. 12:7-11, 14:31, 1 Peter 4:10).  Second, all God’s people were called his priests without any hierarchy of males (1 Peter 2:9, Rev. 1:6, Rev. 5:10).  Third, all human distinctions were removed in Christ who united them (Gal. 3:28). Paul believed that through faith in Jesus Christ all become God’s children--one family in which those things that separated them were broken down.  Now Jews and Gentiles were of the same family, the Christian master now saw the slave as an equal brother (Philemon 16), and the man now saw the woman as an equal human being and as a sister in Christ.

Man #1  (JUDGING PEOPLE) I just have a big problem with people interpreting scripture and then trying to force feed people their interpretation and judging people accordingly.

Woman #6  (LEADING) Every time I hear this question, I think about something a pastor's wife said to me many years ago . . . "wherever you see a woman in the church leading, there's a man who has not answered his calling."  It's a really strong statement & she wasn't saying women aren't called to serve; it's the "leading" part that the scripture seems clear about. Personally, my strongest Christian influences were all women and I know that I, myself, have been used to lead others to Him - - - all without standing in the pulpit."

Man #3  (NOT BE HEAD OF A CHURCH) I don't think that women should pastor a church. I thought about it and went to scripture. Scripture tells me Women should not. I think that they can speak as motivational speakers but not be head of a church. I don't think of women being less than but God designed us for purpose not to be equal.  Not that I'm saying there not equal but not in God's design of Men and Women. I think thats why we have so many divorces.I know I probably sound like a pig but this how I feel. I think in a lot of areas women are stronger than us because of how they stayed by Jesus's side. Women tend to serve more in church, a lot of women go by their self and wish that there husband was there, you never see a husband without there wife. I think the reason is that man was designed to be head and if he wants to go the wife will follow but not the other way around. 

Woman #6  (QUESTION) Scripture says that men who are ordained should have only "one wife". Does that mean that any man who has been divorced should not serve as a pastor or even a deacon?

Woman #8  (SONS AND DAUGHTERS) Do you know who the first evangelist of the risen Lord was?
Did you know that Deborah was a woman-- She was Judge and Leader of Israel? Did you know that there were women who helped repair the walls in Nehemiah. Did you know that it was prophesied that both the sons and daughters would prophesy-(speak the oracles of God).
Did you know that two hundred years ago that the only proper place for a woman was in the home and though she was well able to raise the great men who would become leaders- playing a vital role in society--that she was not allowed to vote for who would lead.
Did you know that in Isaih it is a profound mystery that in the last days it says that a woman will surround a man.
Do you realize that the promise of a savior comes thru the seed of a woman--Genesis

Woman #7 (LIVING EXAMPLES) I have had two of the greatest examples any girl could have. My grandmother (named) was one of most kind loving honest woman that has ever walked the face of this earth. She helped so many people in her walk with Jesus. He was all she could talk about . Now, My Mother , (named) the sweetest most caring woman in all the world. She have ministered to so many, stood in the gap in prayer. I have seen people healed through her pray, lost souls saved . I could go on and on. 
The question was... “What do you think of Woman being Pastors” ...My answer is...of the two examples I have had , there is no way anyone could convince me that it is not of God. Too many lives have been touched by God thru these woman and the lives they have lived for Jesus. 

Woman # 8  (GOD TALKED ME INTO MINISTRY) Did you know that in the spirit realm there is no difference between male and female---but in the physical realm, man has kept the law on his side because he is the stronger vessel.
Do you realize that if Christ is truly our head and authority we will do as He does and say what He says and we shall lay down our life for another and we shall sacrifice ourselves for the Church--that is the body--the Bride of Christ.
Did you know that though cutting the grass and taking out the trash and painting the house and repairing the roof is a man's job--there are many women who had to do it-and with pleasure because there was none available, willing and able to do the job for their parents. This was how God talked me into following Him into the ministry.
He had to really work on me because of the notion that women were not allowed to preach.

My comments:

Although there are sources that are more current, which you can Google, the website containing the article which Woman #7 used, also offers volumes of information for those who want to look into the "SBC Takeover" and resulting changes. 

 The Southern Baptist Convention has gone through dramatic changes during the past two decades. Not necessarily better or worse, but far different from the denomination that existed before 1975.  

Georgia Baptist Convention leadership has followed the SBC model in recent years, and the move to disfellowship a church for having a woman as senior pastor is the latest example in Georgia.

Baptist churches and their associations are autonomous.  Just as Baptists espoused individual freedom in their leadership to put the religious clause in the Constitutional Bill of Rights, each church is independent.  Baptist churches work together in Associations, such as Daniell Association containing cooperating Baptist churches in Toombs, Treutlen, Montgomery, and Wheeler Counties.  Then there are the state conventions, such as GBC, and the SBC itself.

A Baptist congregation has freedom to call a woman pastor if the majority agrees.  The GBC cannot stop that, but if their plans for next month's convention go through, the church with the woman pastor will no longer have ties with the GBC.  Ties with the SBC or an Association must be decided by those bodies separately.

One of my friends of another nomination says that the Catholics are becoming more like Baptists, and Baptists are becoming more Catholic.  He said it; not me.

William A. Ricks 
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