Women Preachers

woman_at_the_well

I saw that God’s order has been reversed, and His special directions disregarded, by those who adopt the American costume. I was referred to Deuteronomy 22:5: “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God.” God would not have His people adopt the so-called reform dress. It is immodest apparel, wholly unfitted for the modest, humble followers of Christ.  {1T 421.2}

There is an increasing tendency to have women in their dress and appearance as near like the other sex as possible, and to fashion their dress very much like that of men, but God pronounces it abomination. “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety.” 1 Timothy 2:9.  {1T 421.3} 

Those who feel called out to join the movement in favor of woman’s rights and the so-called dress reform might as well sever all connection with the third angel’s message. The spirit which attends the one cannot be in harmony with the other. The Scriptures are plain upon the relations and rights of men and women. Spiritualists have, to quite an extent, adopted this singular mode of dress. Seventh-day Adventists, who believe in the restoration of the gifts, are often branded as spiritualists. Let them adopt this costume, and their influence is dead. The people would place them on a level with spiritualists and would refuse to listen to them. {1T 421.4}

From the creation of Adam and Eve, and the history of their Fall and their expulsion from the Garden of Eden. God does not change, nor does His Truth change. Truth is not based on men’s opinions, or women’s opinions, or majority thinking, or popular custom or practice. Everything that is believed and taught and practiced, must be based on a “Thus saith the Lord.” Those who love the Lord will want to know and do God’s will, not their own will, nor the will of others. Even if all the world says that something is right, and God says that it is wrong, then it is wrong and can never be right. In this world we are to stand for the truth, even if we have to stand alone. But there are hundreds of thousands of men – and women particularly – who know what God’s will is on the matter of the ordination of women as preachers or elders, and they humbly take their position upon God’s simple requirements on the matter.

To every earnest and sincere student of the Bible – those who seek to know God’s will in all things relating to His Church – here is one subject upon which there should be no controversy or debate – the matter of the ordination of women as Preachers, or the appointing of women as Elders in the Church. In fact, the matter goes one step further:- When there are men present, should women be allowed to preach or teach in the Church, whether they are ordained, or whether they are not ordained?  In such an important issue as this one is, on the ordination of women, there can be no room given for human speculation, or for worldly opinion, or for the opinion of other Protestant churches, or the opinion of church members themselves, be they men or women. Nor are the opinions of ministers or leading men of any importance in the matter, unless they are based upon a “Thus saith the Lord” – through comparing Scripture with Scripture, and taking the Word of God exactly as God intends His people to take it – just as it reads. In all religious issues, and decisions of importance, the one and only thing to know, or to find out if you do not know, is what does God Himself think on the matter. And the way to find out what God thinks is to search His Word – the Bible.

One Church had been called together by their minister to vote on the issue of whether they should have a woman ordained as an elder of the Church, so that she could share in the preaching plan of that Church from week to week. After the discussion had been well under way for some time, and many opinions had been expressed and put forward for consideration, the minister was about to put the matter to the vote. But before this happened, one brother asked if he could have the floor for a moment. He went up the front, and addressing the minister and the Church members, he asked the following simple question:- “Knowing in advance that this matter of electing a woman as an Elder of the Church was to be voted upon tonight, I wonder if I might see the hands of all those who have studied the matter from the Bible, or even from the Spirit of Prophecy, to find out God’s will and counsel on the matter, before they came here to cast their vote tonight?” Only one hand was raised, beside his own. He then said:- “Brethren and sisters, there are only two people in this room tonight who are qualified and authorized to vote on this issue. Nobody else is eligible to vote, if they have not found out what God thinks on the subject. Your own opinions, even if you have prayed about it first, have no place in this important matter. Don’t become guilty of voting on something unless you know very definitely which side of the matter God Himself stands upon.” That settled the matter. No vote was taken. The meeting was closed.

“The greatest want of the world is the want of men – men who will not be bought or sold, men who in their inmost souls are true and honest, men who do not fear to call sin by its right name, men whose conscience is as true to duty as the needle to the pole, men who will stand for the right though the heavens fall.” Education 57

“Those who search the Scriptures will find explicit instruction as to what God requires of them on points of practical religious life.” Selected Messages Book 2 88

“In the Bible every vital principle is declared, every duty made plain, every obligation made evident.” Fundamentals of Christian Education 187

“God gives evidence, which must be carefully investigated with a humble mind and a teachable spirit, and all should decide from the weight of evidence.” Testimonies Volume Three 255

“We are to accept the Word of God just as it reads.” Bible Commentary Volume 7 919

“Those who do not accept the Word of God JUST AS IT READS, will be snared in Satan’s trap.” Selected Messages Book 2 52

“The Bible, just as it reads, is to be our guide.” Mind. Character, and Personality Volume 1 93

“The Word of God, just as it reads, is the ground of our faith.” Signs of the Times June 2 1898

“Jesus..presented the truth, just as it reads in the Scriptures.” Signs of the Times July 18 1900

“LET THE BIBLE EXPLAIN ITS OWN STATEMENTS. ACCEPT IT JUST AS IT READS, WITHOUT TWISTING THE WORDS TO SUIT HUMAN IDEAS. ‘WHAT IS THE CHAFF TO THE WHEAT?”” Loma Linda Messages 55

From time to time, material has been published on the matter of women preachers, and the ordination of woman as preachers or elders, and much of this material, running into many pages, gives only human opinions, but not all the Bible evidence on the matter. God’s Word is to be our standard – not the opinions of men, or the opinions of the majority.

“But God will have a people upon the earth to maintain the Bible, and the Bible only, as the standard of all doctrines, and the basis of all reforms. The opinions of learned men, the deductions of science, the creeds or decisions of ecclesiastical councils [Church committees, Business meetings, Board meetings, Conference committees, or General Conference sessions], as numerous and discordant as are the churches which they represent, THE VOICE OF THE MAJORITY – not one or all of these should be regarded as evidence for or against any point of religious faith. Before accepting any doctrine or precept, we should demand a plain ‘Thus saith the Lord’ in its support.” Review and Herald June 7 1906 Great Controversy 595

“God’s Word is our standard, but how far have His professed people departed from it!” Testimonies Volume Three 528

“THE SIN OF THIS AGE IS DISREGARD OF GOD’S EXPRESS COMMANDS.” Testimonies Volume Three 483

“God requires more of His followers than many realize. If we would not build our hopes of heaven upon a false foundation we must accept the Bible as it reads and believe that the Lord means what He says.” Testimonies Volume Five 171

“He who will study the Bible with a humble and teachable spirit will find it A SURE GUIDE, pointing out the way of life with unfailing accuracy. But what does your study of the Bible avail, brethren and sisters, unless you practice the truths it teaches? THAT HOLY BOOK CONTAINS NOTHING THAT IS NON-ESSENTIAL; nothing is revealed that has not a bearing upon our actual lives. The deeper our love for Jesus, the more highly we shall regard that Word as the voice of God directly to us.” Testimonies Volume Five 303

“He who would serve Christ cannot follow the world’s opinions, or meet the world’s standard.” Mount of Blessing 199

THE NEW TESTAMENT TEACHING ABOUT WOMEN AND THEIR POSITION IN THE CHURCH

“For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. Let your women keep silence 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. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church. What? came the Word of God out from you? or came it unto you only?” 1 Corinthians 14:33-36

“AS IN ALL CONGREGATIONS OF GOD’S PEOPLE, WOMEN SHOULD NOT ADDRESS THE MEETING; THEY HAVE NO LICENCE TO SPEAK; BUT SHOULD KEEP THEIR PLACE AS THE LAW DIRECTS. IF THERE IS SOMETHING THEY WANT TO KNOW, THEY CAN ASK THEIR OWN HUSBANDS AT HOME. IT IS A SHOCKING THING THAT A WOMAN SHOULD ADDRESS THE CONGREGATION.” 1 Corinthians 14:33-36 – New English Translation

“As is the rule IN ALL THE CHURCHES OF THE SAINTS, women must keep quiet at the gatherings of the church. They are not allowed to speak; they must take a subordinate place, as the law enjoins….IT IS DISGRACEFUL FOR A WOMAN TO SPEAK IN CHURCH. YOU CHALLENGE THIS RULE? PRAY, DID GOD’S WORD START WITH YOU? ARE YOU THE ONLY PEOPLE IT HAS REACHED?” 1 Corinthians 14:33-36 – Moffatt’s Translation

You will hear many things put forward by Church members, by ministers, by the wives of ministers, that Paul was only speaking about the women in the early Church at Corinth – that these women were particularly wicked. This is hard to believe when this was one of the many first-established New Testament Churches that grew up under Paul’s inspired ministry. This was at a time when to accept and profess the new Christian teachings was to oftentimes be subjected to ridicule, punishment, and death. Some people have also said that Paul was a woman-hater, and spoke this way against women preaching in the Church because of his own innermost feelings against women. We have personally heard minister’s wives use this as their argument against Paul’s instructions regarding women and their role in the Church. This argument is not a sound or acceptable one either, because Paul had a lot to say about looking after the widows in the Church, and that husbands were to love their wives even as Christ loved the Church and gave His life for it. Paul was certainly not a woman-hater. How could he be, and continue to be an apostle of the gospel of Christ, or have hope of his own personal salvation in God’s kingdom? The opposers of Paul’s writings also conveniently forget that “All Scripture – including Paul’s writings – is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” [2 Timothy 3:16 ]. Paul’s writings are part of the Inspired Word of God – to which all of God’s people are to take heed.

“United with Christ, who was the greatest of all teachers, Paul had been enabled to communicate lessons of divine wisdom, which met the necessities of all classes and conditions of men, AND WHICH WERE TO APPLY TO ALL TIMES, ALL PLACES, AND ALL PEOPLE.” Sketches from the Life of Paul 154

So don’t let people deceive you in this matter, and turn you away from Bible truth by their saying derogatory things about God’s chosen servant – the apostle Paul. Remember it was Jesus Himself who, on the Damascus road, chose Paul to be His minister of truth, by bringing about his miraculous conversion to Christianity. Now, why has God given this special instruction about the role of women in the Church? There is a Bible principle here that goes right back to the Garden of Eden, and it has never been changed since God first laid down the situation to Eve after the Fall. The explanation of the principle is found in the Books of 1st Timothy and 1st Corinthians:-

“Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. [WHY?] FOR ADAM WAS FIRST FORMED, THEN EVE, AND ADAM WAS NOT DECEIVED, BUT THE WOMAN BEING DECEIVED WAS IN THE TRANSGRESSION. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.” 1 Timothy 2:11-15

In 1st Corinthians, Paul explains the correct Bible descending authority. This order of authority has never changed, and still remains in force today.

“But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of every woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God….For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.” 1 Corinthians 11:3-9

The correct Bible order, then, is as follows:-

  1.       God the Father
  2.      Jesus Christ the Son
  3.      Man
  4.      Woman

Relating to the position of women as Elders, the Bible makes it plain that only men are to be Elders of the church.

“A bishop [male Elder] then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach.” 1 Timothy 3:2

One of the charges that God brings against His people is that they are willing to allow women to rule over them, and God says the leaders are responsible for this situation.

“Woe unto the wicked! it shall be ill with him: for the reward of his hands shall be given him. As for My people, children are their oppressors, AND WOMEN RULE OVER THEM. O My people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.” Isaiah 3:11,12

“All are in constant danger. I warn the church to beware of those who preach to others the Word of life but do not themselves cherish the spirit of humility and self-denial which it inculcates. Such men cannot be depended on in a crisis. They disregard the voice of God as readily as did Saul, and like him many stand ready to justify their course. When rebuked by the Lord through His prophet, Saul stoutly asserted that he had obeyed the voice of God; but the bleating sheep and lowing oxen testified that he had not. In the same manner do many today assert their loyalty to God, but their concerts and other pleasure gatherings, their worldly associations, their glorifying of self, and their eager desire for popularity all testify that they have NOT obeyed His voice. ‘As for My people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them.’” 5 Testimonies 88

In all matters of religious importance, human opinions are to be put to the test of the Word of God. God’s people must be prepared to sacrifice their own ideas, and surrender their own wills to the Word of God, if they are to retain and maintain their unity with one another, and their continued acceptance with the Lord.

“The Lord designs that our opinions shall be put to the test, that we may see the necessity of closely examining the living oracles to see whether or not we are in the faith.” Counsels to Writers and Editors 36

“THE SACRIFICE OF OUR IDEAS, OUR WILL, IS NECESSARY IF WE WOULD BE ONE WITH CHRIST IN GOD.” Our High Calling 24

“Let those who want the bread of life go to the Scriptures, not to the teaching of finite, erring man. Give the people the bread of life that Christ came from heaven to bring to us. Do not mix with your teaching human suppositions and conjectures.” Selected Messages Book 1 160

“THE WORD OF GOD IS TO BE OUR GUIDE, NOT THE OPINIONS OR IDEAS OF MEN.” Selected Messages Book 3 204

“When some controverted point is presented, are you to go to man to find out his opinion, and then shape your conclusions from his? – NO – GO TO GOD….Take your Bible and search as for hidden treasures.” Selected Messages Book 1 415

“It is not God’s plan that His people shall present something which they have to suppose, which is not taught in the Word.” Selected Messages Book 1 174

What about if all the ministers in a local Conference, or from several Conferences joining together, or even the Church itself in a General Conference session, with ministers from all around the world attending – what if they agreed that the Church can ordain woman as preachers, or have women elected by nominating committees to the position of Elders? – Or what if the government of the land, by passing some special legislation, stated that women were to have totally equal rights with men in all matters, including all matters relating to the church and religion? Would that make the matter right as far as you and I are concerned, or, more importantly, as far as God is concerned?

“MEN IN AUTHORITY ARE NOT ALWAYS TO BE OBEYED, EVEN THOUGH THEY MAY PROFESS TO BE TEACHERS OF BIBLE DOCTRINE.” Testimonies to Ministers 69

“Christ’s..fearful denunciations of the scribes and Pharisees, and His warnings to the people not to follow these blind leaders, were placed on record as an admonition to future generations.” Great Controversy 596

“Satan is constantly endeavouring to attract attention to man in the place of God. He leads the people to look to bishops, to pastors, to professors of theology, as their guides, instead of searching the Scriptures to learn their duty for themselves. THEN, BY CONTROLLING THE MINDS OF THESE LEADERS, HE CAN INFLUENCE THE MULTITUDES ACCORDING TO HIS WILL.” Great Controversy 595

“None will mistake and lose their way except those who follow their own judgment instead of the plainly revealed will of God.” Testimonies Volume Five 331

“WE ARE TO RECEIVE GOD’S WORD AS SUPREME AUTHORITY….WE MUST OBEY GOD RATHER THAN MEN. GOD’S WORD MUST BE RECOGNIZED AS ABOVE ALL HUMAN LEGISLATION. A ‘THUS SAITH THE LORD’ IS NOT TO BE SET ASIDE FOR A ‘THUS SAITH THE CHURCH’ OR A ‘THUS SAITH THE STATE.’ THE CROWN OF CHRIST IS TO BE LIFTED ABOVE THE DIADEMS OF EARTHLY POTENTATES.” Acts of the Apostles 68

Now, before we go any further, we must state very clearly that God does have a work for women to do in His Church – even in the preaching and teaching of His Word, and in giving Bible studies to those who are in need of the truth.

“When a great and decisive work is to be done, God chooses men and women to do this work, and it will feel the loss if the talents of both are not combined.” Evangelism 469

“The refining, softening influence of Christian women is needed in the great work of preaching the truth.” Review and Herald January 2 1879

“There are women who should labour in the gospel ministry. In many respects they would do more good than the ministers who neglect to visit the flock of God.” Evangelism 472

These statements must not be misapplied by trying to make them support the ordination of women to preach in the Church. The work for women must be in the field of ministry that God has appointed them to do, and that does not include the work of preaching in the Church.

“In many respects a woman can impart knowledge TO HER SISTERS that a man cannot. The cause would suffer great loss without THIS kind of labour by women. Again and again the Lord has shown me that women teachers are just as greatly needed TO DO THE WORK TO WHICH HE HAS APPOINTED THEM as are men.” Evangelism 493

“In the various branches of the work of God’s cause, there is a wide field in which our sisters may do good service for the Master. Many lines of missionary work are neglected. In the different churches, much work which is often left undone or done imperfectly, could be well accomplished by the help that our sisters, if properly instructed, can give. Through various lines of home missionary effort they can reach a class that is not reached by our ministers. Among the noble women who have had the moral courage to decide in favour of the truth for this time are many who have tact, perception, and good ability, and who may make successful workers. The labours of such Christian women are needed.” Evangelism 466

“Let Bible classes be held….Intelligent women, if truly converted, can act a part in this work of holding Bible classes. There is a wide field of service for women as well as for men.” Evangelism 473,474

“We greatly need consecrated women who, as messengers of mercy, shall visit the mothers and the children in their homes, and help them in the everyday household duties, if need be, before beginning to talk to them regarding the truth for this time.” Evangelism 459

“WHEN A WOMAN IS IN TROUBLE, LET HER TAKE HER TROUBLE TO WOMEN.” Letter 164 1902

“WHO CAN REPRESENT THE TRUTH AND THE EXAMPLE OF CHRIST BETTER THAN CHRISTIAN WOMEN WHO THEMSELVES ARE PRACTICING THE TRUTH?” Evangelism 466

“WOMEN CAN DO IN FAMILIES A WORK THAT MEN CANNOT DO, A WORK THAT REACHES THE INNER LIFE. THEY CAN COME CLOSE TO THE HEARTS OF THOSE WHOM MEN CANNOT REACH. THEIR LABOUR IS NEEDED.” Testimonies Volume 6 117,118

“There are women who are especially adapted for the work of giving Bible readings, and they are very successful in presenting the Word of God in its simplicity to others. They become a great blessing in reaching mothers and their daughters. This is a sacred work, and those engaged in it should receive encouragement.” Evangelism 469

Women who are employed to do the special work that God has called them to do can also be paid out of the Lord’s Tithe for their dedicated ministry.

“The tithe should go to those who labour in word and doctrine, be they men or women.” Evangelism 492

“Women, as well as men, are needed in the work that must be done. Those women who give themselves to the service of the Lord, who labour for the salvation of others by doing house-to-house work, which is as taxing as, and more taxing than, standing before a congregation, should receive payment for their labour.” Evangelism 493,494

God originally created men and women equal. And so, in God’s original plan, they were meant to be. But, after the Fall, and because of Eve’s primary role in that Fall, God Himself made her subject to her husband. From that time onwards, the man was to be the priest of the home, and only in the husband’s absence was the mother to take the leading part. That situation has not been changed by God, and cannot be changed by man – until all the redeemed stand on the sea of glass, in God’s kingdom, possessing the sinless perfection of eternal life through Jesus Christ their Lord.

“When God created Eve, He designed that she should possess neither inferiority nor superiority to the man, but that in all things she should be his equal. The holy pair were to have no interest independent of each other; and yet each had an individuality in thinking and acting. But after Eve’s sin, as she was first in the transgression, the Lord told her that Adam should rule over her. She was to be in subjection to her husband, and this was a part of the curse.” Testimonies Volume Three 484

“Unto the woman He said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.” Genesis 3:16

“Eve was told of the sorrow and pain that must henceforth be her portion. And the Lord said, ‘Thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.’ In the creation God had made her the equal of Adam. Had they remained obedient to God – in harmony with His great law of love – they would ever have been in harmony with each other; but sin had brought discord, and now their union could be maintained and harmony preserved only by submission on the part of the one or the other. Eve had been the first in transgression; and she had fallen into temptation by separating from her companion, contrary to the divine direction. It was by her solicitation that Adam sinned, and she was now placed in subjection to her husband. Had the principles enjoined in the Law of God been cherished by the fallen race, this sentence, though growing out of the results of sin, would have proved a blessing to them; but man’s abuse of the supremacy thus given him has too often rendered the lot of woman very bitter and made her life a burden. Eve had been perfectly happy by her husband’s side in her Eden home; but, like restless modern Eves, she was flattered with the hope of entering a higher sphere than that which God had assigned her. In attempting to rise above her original position, she fell far below it. A SIMILAR RESULT WILL BE REACHED BY ALL WHO ARE UNWILLING TO TAKE UP CHEERFULLY THEIR LIFE DUTIES IN ACCORDANCE WITH GOD’S PLAN.” Patriarchs and Prophets 58,59

“The meaning of ‘husband’ is house-band. All members of the family center in the father. He is the lawmaker, illustrating in his own manly bearing the sterner virtues, energy, integrity, honesty, patience, courage, diligence, and practical usefulness. The father is in one sense the priest of the household, laying upon the altar of God the morning and evening sacrifice. The wife and children should be encouraged to unite in this offering and also to engage in the song of praise. Morning and evening the father, as the priest of the household, should confess to God the sins committed by himself and his children through the day. Those sins which have come to his knowledge, and also those which are secret, of which God’s eye alone has taken cognizance, should be confessed. This rule of action, zealously carried out by the father when he is present, or by the mother when he is absent, will result in blessings to the family.” 2 Testimonies 701

“The father, or, in his absence, the mother, should conduct the worship, selecting a portion of Scripture that is interesting and easily understood.” Testimonies Volume Seven 43

“The husband is the head of the family, as Christ is the head of the church; and any course which the wife may pursue to lessen his influence and lead him to come down from that dignified, responsible position is displeasing to God. It is the duty of the wife to yield her wishes and will to her husband. Both should be yielding, but the Word of God gives preference to the judgment of the husband. And it will not detract from the dignity of the wife to yield to him whom she has chosen to be her counsellor, adviser, and protector. The husband should maintain his position in his family with all meekness, yet with decision.” 1 Testimonies 307,308

In Old Testament times, the man was recognized as the head or priest of the family, and only men were associated with the official work of the sanctuary. Although the godless nations surrounding ancient Israel sometimes had a queen ruling over them, at no time in the history of ancient Israel did God allow a woman to be appointed as a queen to rule over His people. The one exception to the rule laid down by God Himself regarding the place of women in His work, was when He Himself chose a woman to be a special spokesperson for Him. These women were called prophetesses.

“And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances. And Miriam answered them, Sing ye to the LORD, for He hath triumphed gloriously.” Exodus 15:20,21

“And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, she judged Israel at that time. And she dwelt under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in mount Ephraim: and the children of Israel came up to her for judgment.” Judges 4:4,5

“And there was one Anna, a prophetess….And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.” Luke 2:36,37

Where God Himself puts His hand upon a woman, and gives her THE PROPHETIC GIFT – then His people , both men and women, must listen to the person chosen by God as His special messenger, or prophetess. God is the only one who is not bound by His own specified order of things for His Church. The one exception that God Himself has made, in placing His hand upon a woman as a prophetess, does not give license for women to be ordained as ministers or elected as elders. Men or women to whom God has given the prophetic gift will give clear evidence that God has chosen them to be His special messenger. By their fruits ye shall know them. God will give sufficient evidence that He has chosen that person to be His special messenger.

“Knowledge is not all that we need; we must follow the light. We are not left to choose for ourselves and to obey that which is agreeable to us, and to disobey when it best suits our convenience. Obedience is better than sacrifice.” Testimonies Volume Three 116

“Have Adventist attitudes to Bible directives changed since the days of the pioneers? IF WE AGREE TO THE ORDINATION OF WOMEN, WE MUST ADMIT THAT THEY HAVE.” R. W. Taylor – Australasian Record February 18 1989

“If you seek to turn aside the counsel of God to suit yourselves, you are rebelling against God as certainly as were Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.” Testimonies Volume Five 66

“God’s requirements should be sacredly obeyed.” Sanctified Life 20

When “God has spoken, His word must be obeyed.” Testimonies Volume Four 144

See also https://sabbathsermons.com/2011/08/24/the-role-of-male-and-female-in-the-love-of-god/

 

Posted on September 15, 2009, in Women Preachers and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.

  1. Interesting. Just a few issues with what is said:

    “1 Peter 3:7 …When God says the woman is the weaker vessel He means what He says and you had better agree with Him.”

    But what did Peter mean by ‘weaker’? Could Peter not have meant ‘delicate’, in the same way men probably are big ugly earthen jars, but women fine Ming vases or fine crystal?

    I don’t think anyone would deny men are physically stronger than women, because we have thousands of years of physical and emotional abuse by men on their wives to prove it! Does the fact that men are physically stronger than women suggest men can use that physical dominance in an evil way over their wives?

    “Genesis 3:16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire [shall be] to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee… The woman would be in sorrow for the rest of her life.”

    Do you note that the fact men will rule over women is a result of sin? As such, do you note by consequence it was never part of the original plan, the way it was meant to be in the beginning? And as Christians under the New Covenant, should we not live according to the way it was in the beginning, as Jesus made clear in His teachings on divorce (Matt 19:8). Thus, shouldn’t there be equality between the sexes, as God originally intended?

    “Although there is no difference in the mind, there is a big difference in the body. We already understand from our past studies that our flesh is to be placed under the control of the mind.”

    So in the Church, should we have roles and responsibilities defined by reference to our flesh, which are different, or our minds and spirit, which are equal? Is not the message of Christianity that outside the Church, even in our homes, the sinful ways continue; however, in the Church, as the precursor to the new kingdom of heaven, such distinctions of the flesh are now irrelevant?

    Was it not the same with matters of class, where slaves likewise were told to obey their masters, and yet in the mind and spirit matters of slavery had no place inside the Church (Gal 3:28)? Is that not the message the Ethiopian Eunuch baptised by Phillip discovered Acts 8:26-40), in fulfilment of the prophesy of Isaiah, that despite being a ‘non-man’, the Eunuch now could come right into the Temple that is Christ Jesus (Is 56:4-8)?

    “1 Timothy 2:12 ‘But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence’. As a consequence of that, there is to be a behaviour pattern that works according to the wisdom of God.”

    Do you allow women to teach in the SDA Reform Church? Was there any cultural context to Paul’s point?

    What about Ellen White, didn’t she preach and teach in Churches? Was she silent?

    Or is there an exception to this when a women is teaching in accordance with the spiritual gift? What about women with the gift of teaching (Eph 4:11), as Ellen White clearly had in addition to other spiritual gifts including prophecy, apostleship (literally meaning a missionary), evangelism (especially as a medical missionary, but also a great evangelist speaker) and pastoralship (think of her many, many letters of counsel)?

    “Acts 21:8 ‘And the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy.’ That does not mean that the woman is to be silent if she is doing it under the direction of someone in higher position.”

    I think you have answered your own question. There is clearly then a place for women to preach and teach in Church, to not be silent, when they do so under the command of the Holy Spirit. Would you agree?

    “She speaks about women’s call to the work. Sr White under inspiration makes it very clear that there is a role for the woman in the church.”

    And were there not other female preachers and teachers in her own day, who held ministerial licences? Some women “are recognized by God as being as necessary to the work of ministry as their husbands” (5MR 323). Elsewhere the SOP said, “When a great and decisive work is to be done, God chooses men and women to do this work, and it will see the loss if the talents of both are not combined.” —Evangelism, 469.

    “Did you know the first woman that became a prime minister in England? What was her nickname? The iron lady. Is that a lady? The men are to be like that and the woman is to suffer the iron man. That is what happens.”

    Wasn’t Ellen White herself a bit of an iron lady? She seemed to be hardly soft, as her poor husband James long knew.

    What about Deborah? You mention the softness of Abigail, but not the military leader Deborah, who went on to become Judge (i.e. God-appointed dictator) of Israel.

    “Follow Jesus footsteps. Brethren, the same thing goes for us. Look at the beautiful thing that Jesus did by taking that role which he created the woman to take.”

    This is all perhaps well and good, but this whole essay is a little one-sided. What about the duties of men then, as husbands and protectors? Don’t they have a doubly-important obligation?
    “The women who are like the iron lady who are in executive positions medically have many parts missing. The part that is missing most is the womb.”

    This is a somewhat bizarre statement. What medical evidence do you have that women in leadership positions are ‘missing parts.’ You do know Margaret Thatcher did have children – her womb didn’t shrivel up or anything?

    I would have thought the most stressful thing for a woman is not her day-job, but a husband who runs out and abandons her? I would think the stress would be even more if such a women doesn’t have a day job!

    “You don’t hear of hospitals totally devoted to men but you hear and know there women’s hospitals. Why?”

    Um, because men don’t have babies perhaps? They aren’t ‘women’s hospitals’ as much as maternity hospitals (i.e. ‘baby hospitals’).

    “The manly powers are to be exercised to give themselves the benefit of the ladies.”

    If men are to have authority, will not God hold them to a higher standard of Christian behaviour, if they are to be as Christ is for the Church? The NT only says women have to respect their husbands, whereas, husbands must go beyond that and love their wives.

    What of the man who leaves his wife and seven children? Is that not a far worse sin than the woman who dares to usurp the authority of her husband by speaking in Church? Is not this whole sermon as very odd topic to be given by this particular speaker?

  2. Well then, they could not address the congregation. The fact of the matter is, when you read 1 Corinthians 14:34 in context, no exception is made for prophetesses at all. Therefore women cannot even prophesy in church, and furthermore I can prove on the authority of the same precept that the precept would deny women the right to even participate vocally and audibly in Sabbath School classes whenever the ENTIRE CONGREGATION performs the Sabbath School lesson as ONE SINGLE CLASS instead of dividing it up into smaller classes! And also it would forbid women to TEACH Sabbath School classes whenever the ENTIRE CONGREGATION performs the Sabbath School lesson as ONE SINGLE CLASS instead of dividing it up into smaller classes.

    Therefore your exception in favor of Ellen G White is anti-Biblical! Furthermore, I can prove that it would also deny them the right to speak AT ALL in midweek prayer-meetings!

    [quote] The places, then, where these Corinthian women were exhorted to keep silence were all meetings of their church called for religious service. IT MATTERED NOT WHAT MIGHT BE THE CHARACTER OR EXTENT OF THE ATTENDANCE; IF THE MEETING WAS ASSEMBLED IN RESPONSE TO A CALL ADDRESSED TO THE CONGREGATION, IT WAS A CHURCH IN THE SENSE INTENDED BY THE APOSTLE. HIS LANGUAGE INCLUDES ABSOLUTELY ALL KINDS OF CHURCH GATHERINGS, SPECIALLY, AS THE CONTEXT SHOWS, THOSE CONVENED FOR RELIGIOUS SERVICE. IF THEY ARE COVERED BY SCRIPTURE WORDS, AND EMBRACED IN PRIMITIVE USAGES AT ALL, OUR MODERN SABBATH SCHOOL, PRAYER-MEETING, MISSIONARY MEETINGS, AND ALL OTHER SOCIAL RELIGIOUS GATHERINGS ARE INCLUDED IN THE TERM.[/quote]

    D. F. BONNER, THE ECCLESIASTICAL POSITION AND WORK OF WOMAN, 1878.

    [quote] Admitting that the prohibitions under consideration are still in full force, it is said that they apply to the more public meetings of the church, and not to social prayer-meetings. We think they apply to all the meetings of the church, and to all mixed assemblies of men and women. Our reasons are these:

    (1) The context. Does the context describe a religious assembly to which the prohibition was applied? If so, then the prohibition applies to all similar meetings; for, unless it be applied to the kind of meetings described, we have no right to apply it to any meeting whatever. If we can determine the kind of meeting referred to in the context, the extent of the prohibition is found. In 1 Cor. xiv. 26-38, a Christian assembly is described, from which we learn: (a) That men and women and probably unbelievers were present, (b) That the control of the meeting seemed to be in the hands of the membership, and not in the hands of a pastor, no elder or bishop being mentioned, (c) That many, even all males, might take an active part in carrying on the meeting, (d) That women only were forbidden to speak, or prophesy, or teach in it. The meeting here described has no likeness of manner to our church services on the Lord’s Day, but is, instead, an exact representation of a modern prayer and conference meeting, save that miraculous gifts have ceased, and that our social meetings are more formal than the ones here described. It was to such informal, social meetings that Paul referred when he said, “It is a shame for women to speak”; and we contend that it is to such-like meetings that the command of silence now applies.

    (2) The circumstances of the early churches. They had no church edifices. They met where they could; in private houses, as well as in more public places. Some of these churches must have been very small. Their meetings resembled our social meetings in private houses in size as in the order of worship. Now these small churches, meeting in private houses, and frequently without a pastor, observed the rule of silence enjoined upon women in their assemblies, as fully as did the larger churches meeting in more public places; for Paul referring to them, says to the Corinthians: “as in all churches of the saints, let your women keep silence in the churches.”

    (3) The difficulty of applying the rules of silence to any kind of meetings, if not applied to the kind described. If women may now speak in meetings similar in all respects … to those in which they were once commanded to keep silence, who can prevent their preaching? If, by our interpretation, we open to the voice of women meeting exactly similar to those respecting which Paul enjoined silence upon them, how can we close to them meetings unlike those described? It will be found impossible to apply the prohibition anywhere, unless we begin, where the apostle did, with informal, social meetings. We must apply the command to the kind of meetings, i.e. every sort of church service where both men and women are present, respecting with the prohibition was originally given, or to none at all. Women permitted to speak in social meetings will ask for the pulpit; and on what ground can they be denied? [/quote] Bibliotheca Sacra, Volume 27, pages 743 / 744.

    [quote] Others lay stress on the word “church“ or “churches,“ and hold that the Apostle means a formal public meeting, as distinguished from what we call a social meeting, such as a prayer-meeting or the like. Applying a purely modern distinction, they say that a woman is forbidden to speak “in church,“ but that does not forbid her speaking in prayer-meeting. The answer is that the New Testament knows no such distinction. In fact, the very abuses in public worship which the Apostle seeks in 1 Cor. chap. 12 and chap. 14 to correct, are such as could only have arisen in an informal meeting, where every one thought himself at liberty to rise and speak. Moreover, the same word “church“ (the Greek meaning an assembly) is applied to meetings in private houses, as that of Aquila and Priscilla, or that of Philemon and Apphia. So this distinction also fails.[/quote] – John A. Broadus, Should Women Speak in Mixed Public Assemblies

    http://books.google.com/books?id=f7k-AAAAIAAJ&pg=PA295&dq=Priscilla+and+Aquila+small+meeting+silence&hl=en&ei=IzfqTe3hFIyftwfqz_S_AQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CC4Q6AEwAA:

    [quote]L. S. This passage speaks of the church. It does not say any thing of the small meeting in a private house.
    Th. In the days of the apostles, no such distinction was made between small and large meetings. Every meeting called together, was a church, in the scripture sense of the word When Paul wrote to the Romans, he sent his salutations to Priscilla and Aquila, and to the church in their house. This was, doubtless, a small meeting in a private house. But in such meetings the women were to keep silence.[/quote]

    Therefore even Ellen G White would incur the very same guilt as those women who speak out at all in formal worship services on Sabbath morning!!!!

  3. This gives the reason why Obama does not like St. Paul.Off course his likes & dislikes are politically motivated , except it be in the order of the Beast.

  4. Here is a way to see how dumb the people have gotten.

    Ask a crowd of people in church to write down what..”gospel”, “grace”, and “salvation” mean.

  5. Good comprehensive article.

    Most SDA preachers are inept and don’t usually preach much bible or EG White and so the church audience is dumbed down.
    The pastor usually preaches a topic not a bible text. He will choose a topic and then gather texts that support his view. It is already pathetic. Very few pastors will preach through books or chapters. It takes twice as much work to do so. Since SDA women go to SDA seminaries, they will repeat the same dumb homiletics.
    Look at GW p 196-199 especially p 197 where EG WHite mentions that pastors who don’t get their people to work will be fired.. The whole system is broke with untrained pastors leading volunteers in a sermon therapy session.
    The real way for preaching is NEH 8:8

  6. Going through old sermons, I came across this. I knew that we are not to ordain women, and understand about women being chosen spefically by God as prophets. Yet I have seen people asking various women to preach during devine swervice as special guest speakers on topics like health. Once the Voice of Prophecy principle came to give a service, sharing with us the outcome of a very successful Prison Rally. Would these occasions then be classified wrong. They also ordained a women Elder in our church here in Dublin.

    • a woman’s place is in the home keeping silence in church.

    • you guys are right on huh?asi me gusta! 🙂 people who are filled with Bible knowledge,if you want to save a soul here ,I;m up for grabs, but seriously you guys have helped me alot, not only do I want to obey the Lord’s commandments,its quite enjoyful,I see that it keeps me from the path of death,before i thought it was just a strain but its the contrary,its for my own good. I believe the Saviour is coming back soon,i have so much to learn and unlearn ,that it could be so overwhelming,but at the same I enjoy it lol,and the overwhelmingness (if that’s a word)starts dying off,and im stuck to the Bible and the computer trying to read ALL the SOP books(alot!).

  7. Just wanting to know how we are to respond to someone when they say that the person that you are quoting to support women not speaking in church, in fact spoke in church frequently…E G White….I totally agree that women should not be ordained to ministry but we have to keep a context of who was being addressed.

    If I was to only listen to my husband and let him teach me,i would be lost eternally…yet I am told to follow the bible EXACTLY as it is written

    I would love to have someone explain this
    🙂

  8. Whee! wow , well at least i am not crazy or alone…..Thank you so much.

    for a time i thought i was standing alone …And that God had Change His mind but did’nt put the new principle in the bible.

  9. Even ‘better’ thank you for this link!

  10. Should be shortened .

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