Friday, October 8, 2010

Could women be christian ministers?

In the book " Bearing Through Witness" About God's Kingdom, published by Watchtower Society  under the heading " could women be christian ministers" , page 177 we read:

"...Jesus instructed his followers to preach the good news of the Kingdom and to make disciples.( Matt. 28:19, 20; Acts 1:8 ). This commission to be ministers of the good news applies to all Christians, whether men, women, boys or girls. That this is so can be seen from the prophecy found at Joel 2:28, 29, which the apostle Peter showed had a fulfillment at Pentecost 33 C.E.: " In the last days, God says, 'I shall pour out some of my spirit upon every sort of flesh, and your sons and your daughters will prophesy...and even upon my men slaves and upon my women slaves I will pour out some of my spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.' " ( Acts 2:17, 18) As we have noted, the evangelizer Philip had four daughters who prophesied. -Acts 21:8, 9. When it came to teaching within the congregation, however, God's Word limited the appointment of Christian overseers and ministerial servants to men. ( 1 Tim 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9). Paul, in fact, stated: " I do not permit a woman to teach, or to exercise authority over a man, but to be in silence." - 1 Tim. 2:12"
So what is wrong with the above article? After all  Joel did speak this prophecy about women prophesying in the last days , didn't he?
Well, let us look at what was the gift of prophecy in the first century church and how and where was this gift used? Perhaps apostle Paul can answer this question the best.
Watchtower Society quotes Joel's words when approving preaching, or evangelizing of female witnesses in territories, house to house or in informal witnessing. But was the gift of prophecy in the first century  the same as "evangelizing" ?
In his letter to Corinthians apostle Paul told to  his fellow believers:
" On the other hand, the one who prophesies speaks to people for their up building and encouragement and consolation. The one who speaks in a tongue build up himself, but the one who prophesies builds up the church." ( 1.Corinthians 14:3-4), ESV version.
According to Paul, prophesying was not evangelizing, it was a speech given by Christians IN THE CONGREGATION to believers, not to outsiders.  Prophesying was to encourage, up build and console fellow brothers and sisters.
This point is made even stronger by a few verses down in 1 Corinthians 14:22:
"Thus tongues are a sign not for believers but for unbelievers, while prophecy is a sign not for unbelievers but for believers."
I can not help but understand from these verses that prophecy was ( and is) a gift used in the congregations - among believers gathered together for worship, not house to house preaching- evangelizing. Women in the first century congregations were using this gift along with the gift of teaching and leading a prayer in the congregations!
Apostle Paul was encouraging all believers ( women and men) to prophecy- that is to console and up build the fellow believers while they were gathered together for worship ( read 1 Cor 14:39).
So why are Jehovah's Witnesses prohibiting sisters from talks on a platform or even leading prayers in the congregations?


Anonymous said...

Wow. I've never really looked at it that way. This truly is an eyeopener!

Anonymous said...

St Paul forbid a woman to teach or preach or to usurp authority over the men. It was because she was the weaker vessel that fell and was deceived by the hybrid Word teaching of Satan. Adam was not deceived. He took upon himself the sin of Eve knowingly and willingly. He was a type of Christ taking our sins upon Himself knowingly, and willingly. It is a beautiful thing to see all of us keeping our positions and placing in Christ. But we can't compromise because of the spirit of the day.
Just say what the Word says and leave it stand. You'll never convince this age that a women's ministry is with her children. She can speak in tongues and prophesy in the congregation but not during the service of the Word coming forth. The preaching of the Word is not even permitted to a man who is not chosen for this position by Christ Himself, though the man is Spirit filled. We don't just up and decide we're going to go minister. We minister with our very lives. If God calls us to sherperd a flock or evangelize or to be an apostle (missionary) thats where we should be. If the Will of Christ is not for me to preach then I will follow where He does lead.
Look at Israel. What if Judah decided he wanted the land of Manasseh up by the Sea instead of bording the philistine counrty? Thats not where God placed him. His calling is equally important but it isn't where God placed someone else. What if Benjamin decided he could handle the coast better than Asher? He isn't any less in value to God than Asher just because he doesn't border the Sea. Neither is a woman any lesser in value to God because she isn't permitted to preach or teach. Look at what has happened to our country because women refused to keep the Godly placing an heritage as the minister and guider of the home. Children don't have a clue who Jesus Christ is...and neither to parents or grandparents because of the simple error of wanting to take someone else's place.
God richly bless you brother. Love ya, but you're getting off the Word when you try to appeal to the ideas of this modern age and of the misplacing of our precious wives, sisters, and daughters.

Anonymous said...

Right on, Sister Phoebe!!! I'm a guy, and I have to admit: one of the best preachers/teachers of the Word I've EVER heard is Joyce Meyer! She explains her credentials so simply: In Christ, there is "no respect of persons" "nor male or female", as Christ and Paul taught! That does it for me! Many male preachers ought to be neutered and tossed into Gehenna for all the good they are to the kingdom! I spoke with two in the last two days, alerting them of heretics they were allowing to preach in their churches this week. It mattered not to them; they knew these speakers "personally", so I guess, God's truth has to take a back seat now because these males think they have it all together. I reminded them of Mt. 7: 21 ff. It made NO difference! I even directly quoted the heretical Bible passage that they had bastardized...they saw no fault in that! The Bible in question is The Passion Translation (TPT), where it teaches that God HAS TO wear armor when He goes into battle! Check it out: Eph. 6: 13. The Almighty God who spoke the universe into place has to wear armor?! Come on! Who could stand up against Him or cause Him injury? Yep! Not all men know what they're doing...or do they?