I have prepared a chart listing both the qualifications of elders or bishops in the church and the qualification of Christians to show that only five are unique to elders. The chart is based on but adapted from an article written by Ancil Jenkins for Sound Doctrine, 12 July 1983. The wording is from the New King James Version. Check it out H-E-R-E.
Source: Bulletin, Highland church of Christ, Dalton, GA
Volume 9, #18, April 23, 2008
Why Doesn’t God Like Women?
by Roger D. Campbell
God does not like women? Who said so? Where did that idea come from? In many cases, the notion that God does not like women is espoused or implied by those that unashamedly let it be known that they do not like God! Is it really true that God does not care for women as much as He does men? Not at all.
Jesus declared that “God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). Since God loved “the world,” then His love is for all of earth’s inhabitants, without regard to their gender. Not only that, but we also see in this passage that God’s plan to save people is for women just as much as it is for men. This is evidenced by the fact that “whosoever” has the opportunity to believe in and have eternal life through the Christ. As clear as these truths are, still there are some who claim that God does not treat women as well as He does the males of the human race.
“If it is true that God likes women, then why did He punish Eve? And why make the rest of the women that came after her suffer because of what she did?” Jehovah punished Eve because she disobeyed His word. Yes, she was beguiled/deceived (2 Corinthians 11:3), but she took action that was a violation of God’s law (1 Timothy 2:14). For that, she was punished (Genesis 3:16). Do not overlook the fact that Adam was punished as well (Genesis 3:17-19). The sorrow and pain in childbearing that women of all generations have endured are a consequence of Eve’s sin. Some mistakes carry longer and more far-reaching consequences. Eve’s was such a mistake. Why do the consequences of her sin continue even today? Because God, Whose wisdom is without measure, and Who does not need human counselors, advisers, or permission to act (Romans 11:33-34), decreed that it shall be so. Yet, that truth does not give a single ounce of support to the false notion that He does not love women.
“If God really likes women, then why does He not allow them to be pastors/elders?” One of the Lord’s requirements for an elder is that such a Christian be “the husband of one wife” (Titus 1:6; 1 Timothy 3:2). Since God’s plan is for “a man” to leave “his” parents to marry a woman (Ephesians 5:31), then the only type of person that can properly be “the husband of one wife” is a male. So, since women cannot meet the criterion of being “the husband,” then they may not serve as pastors. Someone had to decide which people are authorized to serve as the shepherds of local congregations. The Christ, who has all authority (Matthew 28:18), decided the matter. Someone has to lead and rule the flock of God (1 Peter 5:1-3), and the Lord chose faithful brothers, not sisters, for such a task. That does not mean that women cannot serve faithfully and effectively in the Kingdom. Anyone that has been observant knows that a whole lot of the good work that is done in the church is done by faithful sisters in the Lord, and He is not unrighteous to forget their work and labor of love (Hebrews 6:10). In some instances, they may have different roles from their brothers in the Lord, but they are just as valuable and just as loved by the Creator!
“If God really likes women, then why doesn’t He let them teach?” On the contrary–He wants them to teach! Every time Christians lift their voices together to praise God in song, they teach (Colossians 3:16). The Lord wants all of His servants, including women, to be “apt to teach” (2 Timothy 2:24). Sisters in the Lord were part of the group of scattered disciples that went everywhere teaching the word (Acts 8:4). “The aged women … they may teach the young women…” (Titus 2:3-4). The restriction that God has placed on sisters in the Lord is that they are not allowed to teach men in such a way that they have dominion over them: “And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence” (1 Timothy 2:12, NKJV). Why is that the case? Two reasons are given in the verses that follow: “For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.” If God had given only one reason or explanation, or even if He gave no explanation at all, humans must still submit to His will in all things.
Women are often effective communicators of the gospel, but the Lord saw fit to have them teach the gospel in ways that they do not serve as gospel preachers. Simply because a person is not allowed to be a gospel preacher, though, is a far cry from saying that the One who disallows such action does not like them. Every reasonable parent knows that the fact that they do not allow a child to do something does not mean that they do not love the child. So it is with God and women.
“Well, if God likes women, then why does He make her be a servant to her husband?” The Bible nowhere teaches that a wife is her husband’s slave, and a decent husband, rather than treat her as a thing or possession, gives her honor (1 Peter 3:7). Is a wife required to serve her husband? Yes, but it is just as true that he ought to serve her as well. All Christians are charged, “… by love serve one another” (Galatians 5:13). That certainly applies in the husband-wife relationship: love one another, and show that love by serving each other. That being said, there is need for headship in the home, and by God’s decree “the husband is the head of the wife” (Ephesians 5:23). That statement is not a slap in the face to women, nor does it in any way suggest that God considers women to be inferior to men. In many ways, wives “outdo” their men and demonstrate more character, more ability, and wiser judgment. Those facts do not change the truth that the husband is the God-ordained head of the wife and family. In the realm of the home, husbands and wives simply have different roles. Should we conclude, then, that the Lord does not like women? No, no more than we should conclude that because men are not capable of bearing and breastfeeding a baby, then that proves that God does not like men.
Women and men alike have the privilege of obeying the gospel and becoming children of God through His Son. What greater proof of God’s love for women would a person need?! “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ … there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:26-28). Perhaps the next time we hear someone pop off about God not liking women, we will be a bit more prepared to give a scriptural response. May it be so.
Source: International Gospel Teacher, May-June, 1998
Should a lady (a woman) be called a “preacher”?
by Royce Frederick
To teach God’s word accurately, we must use Bible words in the same way God uses them (see 1 Corinthians 2:13; 2 Timothy 1:13; 2:2; 2:15).
The Bible does not use the word “preacher” to refer to a lady. The Bible uses the word “preacher” to refer to a man who proclaims God’s message (1 Timothy 2:7; 2 Peter 2:5). But ladies are never called “preachers” in the Bible.
All Christians, including ladies, should grow in the knowledge of God’s word (2 Peter 3:18). All Christians should teach others about Christ by their words and deeds (Mark 16:15-16; Hebrews 5:12-14; Matthew 5:16). But the Bible sets limits regarding ladies teaching others.
God’s word does not permit ladies to “preach” publicly to men. The Bible often tells about men preaching God’s word to crowds of men and women (Matthew 4:17; 10:7; 14:14; Acts 8:12; 17:2-4, 10-12). But the Bible clearly teaches that a woman must not be the speaker, speaking to men in the assembly of the church: “Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence” (1 Timothy 2:11-12). “Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says. And if they want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is shameful for women to speak in church” (1 Corinthians 14:34-35). The word “church” refers to the people who have been “called out” by the gospel. In the Bible, “church” never means a “physical building.” In verse 34, “in the church” means “in the assembly” of Christians. A woman must not be the speaker, speaking to men “in the church.”
“Preach” means “proclaim” or “declare.” When the Christians were persecuted in Jerusalem, “… those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word” (Acts 8:4). Christian ladies were certainly among “those who were scattered” (see verse 3; Acts 22:4). Ladies should teach and proclaim the gospel to other ladies: “the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed” (Titus 2:3-5). Ladies should also teach children (see 2 Timothy 1:5; 3:14-15). Ladies who teach God’s word to other ladies or children should be called “teachers.” People who hear that a lady calls herself a “preacher” may think she preaches publicly to men, disobeying God’s instructions to ladies.
A lady can privately discuss God’s word with a man and help him understand the truth. Priscilla and her husband talked privately with Apollos: “… he [Apollos] began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Aquila and Priscilla heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately” (Acts 18:26). This verse clearly tells us that both Aquila and Priscilla explained God’s word to Apollos. And notice that they did not shame Apollos in the presence of the Jewish audience while he was speaking. Instead, they “took him aside” to talk privately with him.
We should give thanks to God for the multitudes of Christian ladies who have brought thousands of souls to Christ by their thoughtful teaching and godly lives. May God grant us many more ladies who are willing to live for Christ and teach “the way of God more accurately.”
At North Marshall, we have one Sunday evening per month when we have a good old fashioned SINGING NIGHT. We spend more time singing, but also, on this night, the folks get a break from my preaching and get to hear some of the young men present lessons from the Bible.
On April 29th, David Carmichael did an excellent job challenging us with Paul’s statement to Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:13. You can listen to this sermon by finding the “BigDave” mp3 File in the Box.net BOX on the right side of this page. David is no novice at preaching, but does some preaching from time to time in southern Illinois and fills in for me on occasion when I am out of the country.
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