7 responses to “Can Women Be Elders?

  1. Giggs

    I agree with the complementarian view on this issue.

    Even if it was just an ancient cultural issue that didn’t apply today, which I doubt, I think most women, when honest, would prefer men (especially their man) to be loving servant leaders.

  2. Jim,

    I hardly agree with your assessment of Deborah. You leave out crucial details. We see in the beginning of the section that Deborah is judging Israel during this time (vs. 4) and that’s never stated as bad or less than ideal. All of the people would go to her for guidance (vs. 5). She acts as one who has authority over Barak. She summons him and commands him again with the commands of God (vs. 6-7). Your commentary on vs. 9 seems to be a stretch at best; she clearly isn’t saying that Barak should be doing her job. Barak wasn’t commanded by God to be judging Israel, but to lead his army against those abusing the people of Israel.

    I’m in complete agreement with you concerning the purpose and intent of the book of Judges; its hardly prescriptive instruction as to the function of Christ’s church. But its hard to ignore the reality that a woman was “the” leader of Israel, that’s never said to be wrong or less than ideal in the text, and clearly exercises authority over Barak.

    To me, here’s an example that gives complementarians like myself difficulty: female leadership that is never condemned or stated as less than ideal. Not only that, it seems Deborah was successful in the integrity of her heart and in the function of a judge of Israel.

  3. Brian,

    She does tell Barak that he won’t get the glory and that Yahweh will give Sisera into the hand of a woman.

    Often the OT narrators don’t necessarily point out that the things they have recounted are wrong. They expect their readers/hearers to konw that what they are recounting is an indication of either disobedience or God’s judgment.

    For instance, the author of Samuel doesn’t come right out and say that Israel treated the ark like a rabbit’s foot in 1 Sam 4, nor does he point out that Israel hasn’t repented of sin, hasn’t sought Yahweh in prayer, and hasn’t consulted Samuel the prophet when they get the bright idea to take the ark out to battle. But careful readers recognize that all this has been omitted.

    The same kind of thing may be going on in Judges. In this highly patriarchichal society, Israel’s judge is a woman. I doubt the original audience of Judges would have worn that as a badge of honor showing egalitarian credentials. . .

    All the best to you in Christ Jesus,

    JMH

  4. You are right that looking to blogs as the ultimate authority for issues is problematic. However, there are so many blogs these days that it is almost useless to use the internet at all unless you are seeking blogs! I was searching for Rob Bell’s position on this issue and found nothing but blogs (mostly). Anyway, it’s good to stop on yours.

    see ya.

  5. Bezee

    I’m concerned that I have not yet heard acknowledgement of the fact that Paul was a highly educated good Jew! He, along with Peter – had an anti-Gentile, patriarchal attitude towards those excluded from the privileged group – Jewish males. Do you really believe this thinking doesn’t influence Paul’s writing and perspectives – he even killed folks who didn’t agree! God clearly dealt with him concerning Gentiles, so we don’t get biases here; however, there is a thin line between marriage as culture, and marriage as theology. It seems to me that Paul leans more to culture in delineating his position concerning “Christian” norms that relate to a woman’s place in this transitioning “Way” from Judiasm to Christianity! It is real transition here.

    Besides the fact that I’m sure Paul was not intending his letter to Timothy and Titus to become “scripture” for all time! We are left to struggle with what represents norm vs. form. So why would anyone exclude women from doing anything that promotes and blesses the Kingdom? Jesus didn’t! Why would God, who is not at all backwards, clearly give women, and even some children, powerful preaching gifts and not expect them to use them to draw anyone, everyone (“whosever will”) into His kingdom? We are so traditional, that we sacrifice people for issues! Jesus didn’t!

    One of the most clear consequences of the Fall was that men would have a need to dominate – and believe me, they have truly lived this out, even in the text. My last comment is that in the Book of Acts, chapter 15, there is a general assembly concerning conditions by which Gentiles would be accepted into the church; one of those conditions was to abstain from eating food with blood (as offered to idols – culture); why do we not see that appropriate exegesis demands that we locate issues of that day, and not make the text say what it is not saying? As far as I’m concerned, Luke wrote about those Gentiles, not 21st century Gentiles, so have your steak rare and refuse to burn candles while you do! Amen.

  6. Jim

    Paul grounds his comments on an appeal to the pre-fall, edenic created order, not on culture.

    Blessings,

    JMH

  7. Should women be pastors and elders – No? Elders in the church are men – elder women are mothers. Barak was the deliverer while Deborah judge the affairs of the people (Heb. 11:32. She reminded him God had commanded him to deliver Israel but he would not go without her. God didn’t tell him to take her with him and that’s why the honor was given to a woman. Women leaders are messing up the church causing the men and themselves to blashpheme God’s name. WOMEN SHOULD NOT PASTOR OR BE BISHOPS OR PREACHERS- SIT THEM DOWN. God is going to whip a lot of these men with many stripes.

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