A letter to the Body of Christ: Women in Ministry over Men

2 Aug 2011
1815 Skyline Dr.
Russellville, AR 72802

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

It has come to my attention that the Lord Jesus wants to address an issue in the Body of Christ. I waded off into this issue earlier this year unprepared and was quickly attacked, beaten, and repelled online by Brothers and Sisters of the opposing camp. I have enjoyed the safety of retreat, and muted myself. Needless to say God is not happy with me and even this past week has goaded me into confronting this issue once again. I’m not stupid, nothing has changed on the other side so why bring it up again and get beat upon? It’s simple, they are not the Boss, Jesus is. Nor are they the enemy, they are brothers and sisters who have accepted a false outlook as being from God, therefore I am compelled to revisit this issue. Oh, what is the issue? Must I, should I, well, okay here we go: the issue is women in ministry over men. Can you imagine that it bothers God that clear directives have gone unheeded and error has entered the church? First we will touch on some scripture from the Apostle Paul in Corinthians, Timothy, and Titus. No, first it’s off to Genesis.

Rembrandt's Adam and Eve 1638Adam and Eve

We all know this familiar story of creation and the beginnings of man. In Genesis 3:16 God meets out the results of Eve’s involvement in eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil: To the woman he said, I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing: with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband and he will rule over you. Already I can hear the groans from my readers. I didn’t write this stuff, I’m simply your reporter and reminder. Adam also got his come-up-ance as well, he was told that the ground was Cursed because of him and through painful toil “you will eat of it all the days of your life. So begins the course of human events at Creation, and the woman, created by God to be a helpmate to Adam, and so he would not be alone. Gen. 2:18 At this juncture it would be a good reminder that Adam is not complete without Eve his wife, and neither is Eve complete without Adam, they are one flesh.

Now we head over to Timothy, 1 Tim.2, Paul is sharing some details with Timothy about men and women. He talks briefly about men and various prayers, his own credentials and calling, and women and what is appropriate for them. Then he drops the bombshell in verse 11 and 12: A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man. He then proceeds to tell us why, two reasons, in verse 13 and 14: For Adam was formed first, then Eve, and… Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. He offers redemption as a consolation in verse 15: But women will be saved through childbearing – if they continue in faith , love and holiness with propriety. (NIV version)

Okay, here is where I pull my sword and hoist my shield not to do battle, but to protect myself. I had no idea those things were necessary in dealing with Christian brothers and sisters, the ones who would rip these verses apart and explain them away citing the Apostle Paul as a chauvinist or worse yet as a misogynist and anti-feminist. These were the words I heard as I ran for cover back in the Spring of this year during an online discussion, headed by none other than a woman, a sister in the faith whom I otherwise respect and love. She was pretty adept at refraining from the battle herself, rather allowing her “friends in the faith” to do battle in her stead, and battle they did. I was dazed and lonely finding solace from only one soul in a distant country. Thank God for him, he was my Good Samaritan but then, he was gone, and it felt quite lonesome. I wondered if I could be wrong about it? I had no desire to continue to engage, and here now months later, back on my feet, I seek the solace of scripture and the blessing of a God who requires I seek truth and speak it boldly. This is exactly what Paul was doing with Timothy, he was charging him with the truth and telling him not to back down one bit in the face of adversity.

Your bro in Christ, Bruce Dickey

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About Bruce Dickey

Guitarmaker and follower of Christ. Luthier since 1996. Christ follower since 1957. dickeyguitars.com Russellville, Arkansas, USA. James 1:27 Visit the widow and the fatherless. They might just need you.
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