I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. -- 1Timothy 2:12-14 (ESV)
Here is another one of those thorny subjects most simply go with the crowd on rather than facing the truth about what God says. Instead of dealing with clear, concise, directive scriptures -- with explanations, people would rather engage in scriptural gymnastics, historical/cultural massaging and psychic cold readings of people long since passed to excuse what we all know the bible says. This is a subject that gives me no joy as I know many women who do preach and preach well. The existence of a gift or ability however does not mean that one must operate in that realm. God wanted me to speak for example because He knew I didn't want to do it and that I would need to rely on Him more than at any other point in my life. As we see Mother's Day around the bend we can expect the usual suspects to write articles about the oppressive male dominated church holding women back. The sad thing they never see is the only thing do is encourage women to be disobedient to the Word of God. The above linked article seems to be the first of the season and is written by J. Lee Grady. I have read many things from Grady that are spot on but this is just one area he is simply wrong. I pray we have an open bible as we reason together.
"This past week, I've been in Singapore, a nation known as "the Antioch of Asia" because of its thriving churches. Some Western ministry leaders come to Singapore to learn the secret of their church growth. Is it cell groups? Is it their administrative savvy? Is it their openness to the Holy Spirit? All those things have helped--but many people ignore the fact that women have played a prominent role in the success of churches here. A few days ago, I had lunch with Naomi Dowdy, who came to Singapore as a young Assemblies of God missionary in 1975. She began pastoring a small church, but in four decades, it grew to more than 5,000 members. Today, Trinity Christian Center has more than 8,000 members and is led by Dominic Yao, the man Naomi trained to be her successor. Naomi Dowdy's success is being repeated by younger women in Singapore today. Last weekend, I spent time with Haziel Minoza, a dynamic church planter who leads the Filipino congregation of 5,000-member Cornerstone Church, which is led by Pastor Yang Tuck-Yoong. Haziel has already planted 10 Filipino congregations, and her passion is to train more leaders. I'm so grateful that Naomi Dowdy and Haziel Minoza were given the opportunity to function in their spiritual gifts. Countless people found Jesus Christ as a result. Yet in the United States, many women still feel still resistance if they volunteer to lead anything other than a women's Bible study. Why is this? During the 20 years I've been a vocal proponent of women in ministry, I've observed seven reasons why conservative evangelicals limit women in the church:" -- J. Lee Grady
And for twenty years Grady has been mistaken with the same tired and inaccurate reasons. The sad thing is the buy in to the purpose driven fallacies of church growth. The bible teaches us that God grows the church -- not the pastor, male or female. I am sure these women he speaks of are fine people who lead with diligence and zeal but guess what? That still doesn't change what God has said. Salvation is a work of the Lord not the pastor. Let's examine these seven reasons he thinks the western church is not as liberated as the Asian model.
"We misunderstand Scripture. Conservatives who bar women from leadership typically cite 1 Timothy 2:12 or 1 Corinthians 14:34 (NASB) ("women are to keep silent in the churches"), and yet they ignore verses affirming women's spiritual gifts. Deborah, who served as senior leader of ancient Israel, is ignored, and New Testament women leaders such as Priscilla, Phoebe, Euodia, Syntyche, Junia or the daughters of Philip are dismissed. We also conveniently forget that Peter announced on the day of Pentecost: "Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy" (Acts 2:17b, MEV). Scripture calls certain women to leadership rather than banning them from it." -- J. Lee Grady
Yeah, no. This is the primary mistake Grady and Christo-feminists make. They conflate two different issues. The key verse today is the Timothy verse he cites and it cannot be clearer. This is a directive scripture with no ambiguity. Those who would say they disagree with my interpretation must realize that I am not interpreting it -- I am reading it. I do not permit. That is what it says. I did not write it -- God did. Because God sees all time He knew full well that many would try to excuse disobeying this scripture so He does something He does not do often -- He spells out His thinking right after it! He tells us why He has decreed this as His order! It is because Eve was the one deceived. Ironically I have heard churches preach that both Adam and Eve must have been deceived but that flies in the face of this verse. So what has God prohibited women from? Teaching men and exercising authority over them within His church. That's it beloved. They can move in the gifts of the spirit. They can prophesy. They can do everything else except this one prohibition. Can you see the irony in that Eve's deception was in not believing what God said about the one prohibition in the garden? Do we have spiritual eyes to see anymore or do we just want what our flesh wants? So let's go through the examples Grady uses to excuse ignoring the key verse.