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The Ministry of Women

By Roy J. Hearn

religion, articles, christianity

Since the women's liberation movement, efforts are being made to place women in places of authority over men. Such is spilling over into religious bodies; many are appointing women preachers and other officers in [denominational] churches.

It is not surprising, since the denominational world does not respect the authority of the Bible (or they would not exist in the first place). Regrettably, some of our more liberal-minded brethren are advocating the same things.

Limitations God Placed on Women

The Holy Spirit gave instructions about the relationship between men and women:

8. I desire therefore that the men pray in every place, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and disputing.

9. In like manner, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefastness and sobriety; not with braided hair, and gold or pearls or costly raiment;

10. but (which becometh women professing godliness) through good works.

11. Let a woman learn in quietness with all subjection.

12. But I permit not a woman to teach, nor to have dominion over a man, but to be in quietness.

13. For Adam was first formed, then Eve;

14. and Adam was not beguiled, but the woman being beguiled hath fallen into transgression:

15. but she shall be saved through her childbearing, if they continue in 0th and love and sanctification with sobriety ( (1 Tim. 2:8­15).

Observe, (1) men take the lead in prayer, (2) women are instructed about how to dress, (3) women are to learn in silence, with all subjection, (4) women are not to teach nor usurp authority over men, but to be in silence, (5) reasons given in Verses 14­15.

In First Corinthians 14:23­35, when the "whole church be come together," instructions are given concerning women.

Let your women keep silent in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law ... for it a is a shame for women to speak in the church.

Subordination Not a Reflection

For a woman to be in subjection to men in the church is not a reflection upon their ability or intelligence. It is simply the way God arranged things, and we are not at liberty to alter God's Word (Deut. 4:2; 5:32; 12:32; Gal. 3:15; 2 John 9­11).

1 Corinthians 11:3 says: "I would have you to 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."

Since Christ had no resentment at being subordinate to the Father, women should not feel offended at being in subjection to the men in the church.

Observe the Altitude of Christ.

Romans 15:3 says, "Christ pleased not himself." In John 4:34 Christ said: "My meat is to do the will of him that sent me." John 5:30 says Christ could do nothing of himself, "Because I seek not to do mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me." John 8:28­29 has Jesus saying that he can do nothing of himself, but what God had taught him, and "I do always those things that please him".

Therefore, since Christ is subject to God the Father with no resentment, and man is subject to Christ, woman should respect without resentment the scripture that places her in subjection to man.

Remember man has a head also, and that is Jesus Christ who is above all. Man is not degraded because he is subject to Christ, and the woman is not inferior because God placed her in subjection to man.

Some have argued that if the apostle Paul had lived today he would have taught differently. However, Paul did not speak of himself, but the Holy Spirit spoke through him (1 Cor. 2:9­13; 14:37), and these words of God given by the Holy Spirit are for all time, and unchangeable.


Published November 1997