Throwback Thursday: Ordaining Women Bishops to the Ministry – A Discussion on Church of God General Assembly, Nashville 2016

Church of God General Assembly, Nashville 2016
“….all ordained ministers 25 years of age and older and ordained bishops…”

Rationale: “This motion seeks to affirm the value of a new generation of ministers by giving them voice and vote in shaping the future mission, vision, and core values of the Church of God. It also expands the International General Council to include ordained women, whose anointed insights and spiritual discernment are much needed in addressing the growing complexity of fulfilling the Great Commission….”

HISTORICAL NOTES:

2010 Open Letter

GENERAL ASSEMBLY AGENDA 2012: ITEM 15 WOMEN IN MINISTRY

One item that was not fully resolved at the 2012 General Assembly Agenda in Orlando was WOMEN in MINISTRY. Item 15 expressed a general desire to permit women to be fully represented in all roles within the church. It was NOT a gender issue, but rather a leadership one – an issue of ministry and of responsibility, if you will. Coming from a long line of women ministers in the churches, one cannot be impartial to the issues involved in this item. As Bishop Nick Park wrote:

The removal of these outdated and senseless gender restrictions, in my opinion, makes such obvious good sense that there’s not much more I can say on the subject.  Needless to say, I will be voting for this item, even though it comes about 100 years too late!

Dr. Tony Richie: 75th CHURCH OF GOD INTERNATIONAL GENERAL ASSEMBLY: HISTORIC ENCOUNTERS

Another concern of mine is that the entire process of the Church of God International General Assembly is male dominated. One sister, a credentialed minister attending General Assembly for the first time this session, told me that she’d never before fully realized the significance of the current Church of God policy of not allowing women to be bishops. Something about seeing all of those men bunched together down on the General Council floor with the women scattered around the edges on the other side of the short curtained barrier drives home the dividing wall between us. Having Rev. Barnett preach to the General Assembly probably speaks volumes about the fervent desire of the Church of God to find ways to include female ministers at the highest levels. I wholeheartedly applaud this action. However, such measures must not minimize our continuing commitment to free our women to serve without imposing unfair restrictions…. An authentically Pentecostal ecclesiology affirms the divine calling and employs the spiritual gifts of all the members of the body, and the whole body is better off because of it.

Dr. Kenneth J. Archer: A Pentecostal egalitarian view of humanity does not diminish, dilute, or demote maleness or femaleness but instead properly elevates both to mutual dignity, honor and love through mutual submission and service as individual followers of Jesus properly image the Social Trinity relationally in community.

Dr. Donald Dayton: “This church hosted the Seneca Falls Women’s Rights Convention of 1848 (which first called for women’s suffrage), participated in the ordination of Congregationalist Antoinette Brown, the first woman to be ordained (founder Luther Lee preached the ordination sermon) and originally founded Wheaton College-though in recent years the church has been identified as a “holiness church” and since then has been incorporated into the fundamentalist/evangelical tradition.”

Lee Theology Department Statement on… Women in Ministry | “Statement on Women in Ministry”
“The Department of Theology supports the full participation of women in all vocations of the church. We affirm that God the Father incorporates persons into the body of his Son Jesus Christ and pours out the Holy Spirit upon them without discriminating according to their sex. We affirm that God calls women to every activity, office, and level of ordination in the church. We both renounce any restrictions on the ministry of women based solely on their sex and commit ourselves to the removal of any such restrictions. Finally, we strive to provide a learning atmosphere in which women can find their voices and discern, understand, and pursue their many indispensable vocations.”

Christopher Stephenson Before I begin, I want to stress that the following comments are my own. I make no attempt to speak on behalf of any of my departmental colleagues. The Statement speaks for the Department; I now speak only for myself. Thank you to everyone who read the statement. That is the sole reason that I shared it–for it to be read. I see little value in crafting a statement like this if no one knows that it exists. The Statement was adopted by the Department of Theology–not any other department(s), not the entire School of Religion, not Lee as an institution. If the Statement frustrates you, please do not spread your frustration around to others unnecessarily. : ) It is a Department of Theology Statement. This is a theological issue. The Statement neither mentions by name nor is directed to any single denomination or church tradition, including the Church of God. To assume that the statement relates only to the Church of God is to assume that the Church of God is the only church tradition with which the Department is concerned. That would be to assume too much. Such restrictions are undesirable in every church tradition in which they exist, not only the Church of God. At the same time, I choose to believe that the leaders of the Church of God value the insights of the professional theologians at one of its premier academic institutions. While the Statement is not directed to these leaders, I hope that it can somehow be of benefit to them. Perhaps it could encourage those who agree with it and give those who do not agree something to consider further. The Statement speaks about the Department, its stance on this issue, and its commitment to try to bring change. It neither makes demands of anyone else nor calls upon anyone else to do anything nor criticizes anyone for anything done or not done on this front to this point. To the extent that the Statement does apply to the Church of God–for it is one of the churches with such restrictions–the Statement is not a stance against the Church of God but a stance *from within it.* There are twelve full-time members of the Department. By my count: 
–Ten regularly attend a local Church of God congregation–I am one of them. –Nine are members of the Church of God–I am one of them. –Six are credentialed Church of God ministers–I am one of them. (And my monthly reports are up to date. : ) –Five are ordained bishops–I am one of them. (There would be one more if she were eligible!) –One is a career missionary, married to a Church of God national/regional overseer.

“Renounce”–to reject something publicly–is the right word. I publicly reject the idea that these restrictions are adequate or desirable. With respect to the Church of God, the primary restriction in question is a matter of *polity,* not *doctrine.* It does not occur in the Declaration of Faith, Doctrinal Commitments, or Practical Commitments, but rather in the descriptions of the ministerial rank “ordained bishop.”

The International Executive Council, International General Council, and International General Assembly “renounce” aspects of Church of God polity every two years by proposing changes to it. Implicit in the mere creation of an agenda for the International General Council is a rejection of the idea that the polity is already perfect and that revisions do not need to be considered. The Statement renounces restrictions, not persons. It says nothing about the intellect, character, or sincerity of persons who support such restrictions. It refers only to the restrictions themselves.

The Statement does not indicate a refusal to abide by the restrictions as long as they are in place–as if anyone had the ability to “ordain women as bishops anyway” in spite of the restrictions. Of course, I abide by the restrictions. Yet, in the same breath I immediately say that I want the restrictions to disappear completely because they are not funded by what I consider to be the best theological insights on the matter. Remember from the 2014 General Assembly that I am required only to “adhere to” not necessarily “agree with” all matters of polity. : )

Anyone who might feel that renouncing this small set of restrictions amounts to renouncing the Church of God as a movement per se has a significantly narrower view than my own of the essence and significance of the Church of God, which could not possibly be exhausted by any single matter of polity such as this. I do not assume that my own experiences are universal, but most of the young people among the best and brightest in the Church of God with whom I have contact see these kinds of restrictions as an incentive to leave rather than an incentive to stay. Just one more reason that I want the restrictions to disappear yesterday.

As far as the timing of the Statement, the Department finalized it about a month ago. I did not investigate whether it had been publicized elsewhere before I shared it here, but I waited to share it here as long as I did because, frankly, I did not want to prompt some of the kinds of responses in the thread during Lent. I know that this is a contentious issue for some, and there are better ways to prepare to celebrate the Paschal Mystery than contention. I recall no mention whatsoever in our departmental conversations of any attempt to influence anything that may or may not be discussed at the 2016 General Assembly. As for myself, I submitted a formal request for the removal of the ordained bishop restriction to be placed on the 2016 agenda, in response to the International Executive Council’s invitation to make such requests. I hope that we have the opportunity to consider it in Nashville.

While I was typing most of these words, my older daughter (age four) awoke from sleep and came to where I was typing because she had not seen me all day due to my teaching responsibilities. As I hugged her tightly, I cried and prayed that she would have the strength to be faithful to the Church of God and that she would not grow up in a church that keeps her at arm’s length as it currently does her mother, who, along with me, has found the strength to be faithful to the Church of God anyway. I am a fifth-generation member of the Church of God, and I want both of my daughters to be the sixth.

Again, thank you to everyone who took the time to read the Statement. Please remember that this post is my own thoughts. To the extent that they pertain to the Church of God, they are grounded in my commitment to the Church of God. The fact that I want to see change is a sign of my engagement with and concern for the Church of God. I believe that critical commitment is more valuable than apathy or complacency. The Church of God and the Department of Theology need each other, and both are better together than they could ever be if they were apart.

Dr. Skip Jenkins Thanks to everyone who has read the Department of Theology’s (DoT) recently posted statement on women in ministry; I have appreciated reading the responses on the board.

That statement, which was crafted over a month ago during a department meeting wherein all full-time, ranked faculty of the DoT were present, was a revised version of a statement the DoT had adopted back in the fall of 2007. This revision was approved by the DoT on March 03, 2016—without dissenting voice—and it comes at the END of an intentional, three semester engagement with this issue among ourselves, our students and leaders in the Church of God, Lee’s sponsoring denomination. It started with a three part symposium on Women and Authority in the Church back in the Fall 2014. The first symposium investigated the role of women in the New Testament church, the church after the apostles and the medieval church. What we found was an ebb and flow within the history of the church regarding the ministerial freedom or restriction placed on women; that is, in some periods and in some places there were women who had official positions like men. In other places, not so much. The second symposium considered the question for the contemporary church, but was not limited to the Church of God because (a) the student constituency of Lee University spans multiple denominations and (b) the students being trained in the School of Religion are not solely from the Church of God (take, for instance, our Pentecostal students from the Assemblies of God: their denomination has NO restrictions on the ordination of women nor the positions they might hold in the denomination. In fact, a woman sits on the committee that is similar to the COG’s Council of 18!) Our third symposium that semester was specific to the Church of God, and the panel that night consisted of two denominational leaders and a full professor from the COG’s Pentecostal Theological Seminary.

I think that I need to spend a moment to talk about that third symposium because the panel spoke about the ebb and flow of women’s authority, position and credentialing in the COG. A series of decisions were made from 1909-1925 that increasingly circumscribed the role of women, delimiting their functions within the church, specifically in governance AND “sacerdotal” functions (that is, performance of baptisms, communion, marriages, etc). Prior to 1925 women were allowed to do water baptisms, communion, marriages, etc—even if it was not normative—but the 1925 General Assembly (GA) decided to remove “sacerdotal rights” from women’s ministerial duties. This decision was attributed to the influence of A.J. Tomlinson, who was considered the “pastor of the church” as the general overseer. Around 1940, the COG changed the wording of its levels of credentialing so that only men could be called “licensed ministers,” and only licensed and ordained ministers could perform the sacerdotal functions. It remained this way until 1990, when women were permitted to attain the level of “licensed minister,” and thus once again were authorized by the church to perform the ordinances and officiate weddings, but they could not become an “ordained minister.” What did not come out in that symposium or the Q&A following it was this: a) 1992, women were granted the right to speak on the GA floor; (b) 2000, a call was made “from the field” to alter the wording of the credentials such that the second level, licensed minister, became an ordained minister and the third level became ordained bishop, this latter level women were not permitted to attain; (c) 2006, women began to be officially appointed as missionaries rather than simply acting under the “covering” of a husband; (d) 2010, the GA decided women could serve on Pastor’s Councils, which since the 1960s had been limited to only males; (e) and finally, in 2011, Emma Sue Web was appointed as a district overseer in California by the state overseer!

Now, back to the main narrative of the DoT’s three semester engagement on this issue. In November 2015, the SOR invited Sandra Kay Williams to be the keynote speaker at our Homecoming Alum breakfast. In that speech, she told her story (and those of other women she knows) of ministerial marginalization because of womanhood, and she pleaded for a revisiting of the polity that restricts women to full credentialing in the COG. Not 30 minutes later, after a lengthy Skype interview with Margaret Gaines, a long-time COG missionary and this year’s recipient of the SOR’s Alum of the Year award, I—along with over 100 other people—watched as the General Overseer of the COG publicly apologized to Margaret for the way the denomination treated her (and at times hampered her ability to minister). It was a righteous moment, and one that I will never forget—it was when I knew that this denomination was being led by a holy person, Mark Williams.

The construction of the statement was placed on the DoT’s agenda in January 2016, but was tabled until March because of other, institutional responsibilities that took the entirety of the January and February meetings. The delay in its posting to the DoT’s FB page was a miscommunication between me and the department secretary—there was no other reason for its tardiness, nor was there some strategic plan for its posting “on that day.” Now, some responses to the statement see us as “drawing battle lines,” or “being at odds” with the denomination, or even as “renouncing the bible.” Truthfully, those kinds of posts surprised me. First, while I admit that the word “renounce” may sound harsh, we meant it in the strictest, grammatical sense of the word, namely, to reject something publicly. Since statements of the type we posted are often formulated with concise wording, we chose a word (renounce) that could be elongated to this idea: “we announce in public that the DoT rejects, as biblically or theologically necessary, the restrictions still placed on women’s credentialing or judicial functions.” Chris Thomas, an ordained bishop in the COG and a professor at the Pentecostal Theological Seminary, published an essay in the book, Toward a Pentecostal Theology of Preaching (chp 6), in which he explored the biblical texts surrounding this topic, determining that restrictions on women are not biblically necessary. My own colleague in the DoT wrote an essay in that same book wherein she argued that being “Made in the Image of God (Gen 1:26-27),” coupled with Acts 2 and the Day of Pentecost, provide a theological justification for women preachers and the removal of all credentialing restrictions. Thus, our “renouncing” of restrictions is not a rejection of the bible nor its authority in our lives or its foundational place in our theology.

Secondly, we posted a “statement,” not a declaration or a resolution. So, rather than imagine ourselves as “drawing battle lines” for war, we were engaging in a conversation. Think about this: a true conversation between people only occurs when a series of statements are made that illicit response and dialogue. The DoT is talking, we are discussing; we publicized this to invite more conversation partners and to move our talking outside the “ivory tower” of the academic environment. What surprised me the most was the supposition from some respondents that GA decisions are inviolable and unalterable, and therefore undiscussable. But this is not the impression that I get when I read the Minutes of the first few GAs. They did not see themselves as setting up laws that were timelessly binding because only Christ was the Law Giver who had such authority. Rather, they gathered to interpret and apply scriptures in their current, historical setting under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. In fact, a motto of those first GAs was, “Walk in the Light as Light is shed on our path.” Early on, Tomlinson would say things like, “This is what we have done in the past, now let’s see if there is new light from the Holy Spirit for our present.” The idea was this: it is the church’s responsibility to continually return to its judicial or governing decisions to make sure that the Holy Spirit did not have something “new” to say to the Body.

Thirdly, insofar as the above is correct, the DoT does not see itself as “at odds” with the denomination. Our loyalty to the COG does not prohibit us from discussing issues. The faculty of the DoT are indeed loyal to the COG—the Statement is not a stance against the Church of God but a stance from within it. There are twelve full-time members of the Department, ten of whom regularly attend a local Church of God congregation—I am one of them. Nine are members of the Church of God—I am one of them. Six are credentialed Church of God ministers (I am not one of those because the TN board required my wife to be interviewed before I could be credentialed, but she refused to be interviewed because she was not going to subject herself to interrogation by a board that would not ordain her). Five are ordained bishops, and one of us is a career missionary, married to a Church of God national/regional overseer. We love this church, and we work to train students to minister within this church we so dearly love.

I am a fourth generation COG Pentecostal. My great-grandMOTHER was a founding member and first pastor of the Sandy Valley COG in Ohio (she was removed from the position when a man wanted the job, even though the church wanted her to remain pastor!). My great-grandfather was one of 13 charter members of the Canton Temple COG, in which church I was dedicated as a baby by Raymond Crowley—former General Overseer of the COG, and by which church I was sent off into ministry in April 1990. I went to Duke Divinity school after graduating Lee in 1994. At Duke I was forced to intellectually defend my Pentecostal heritage and practice (at least one time receiving a lower grade because of my refusal to recant my belief in the Holy Spirit’s continuing empowerment and present revelation to the church and Christians). And now I spend my days teaching, defending and modeling my Pentecostal spirituality and theology to hundreds of men and women in my classes each week at Lee University. And my DoT colleagues are no different than me, even if their personal stories are not identical to mine. Further, our disagreement over this polity issue is certainly not the same as a rejection of the theological commitments contained in the COG’s declaration of faith, which each of us subscribe to. In fact, 2.5 years ago the DoT sponsored a special service on Baptism in the Spirit where over 90 students came forward for prayer to receive the baptism (view the service athttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vE7oNKaVR98 ), 2 years ago we had a special healing service (view the service at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWKCsjXHcP0 ), last semester we had a special service on the end times (view at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJoU25AazOE ); plus, in the summer of 2015 we had a special service dedicated to sanctification and the pursuit of holiness, and this semester we had a breakfast and prayer service for those seeking spiritual gifts (over 50 students were present, at least half of them were NOT COG).

We are a faithful bunch who love the Lord, are dedicated to prayer and searching the scriptures, and who seek the guidance and power of the Holy Spirit each day for ourselves, our students and our denomination. Come and meet us; let us meet you, and let’s see what the Holy Spirit will do among us!

With all this in mind, should ITEM 15 be revisited in 2018?
How do you think it will benefit the church worldwide?

Click here to see all comments in #ourCoG Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/mycog

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416 thoughts on “Throwback Thursday: Ordaining Women Bishops to the Ministry – A Discussion on Church of God General Assembly, Nashville 2016

  1. Charles Page says:

    “This issue suffers from the lack of “”reasoned feedback”” of the Church of God media.

    This is an agenda item up for discussion by the general council and passed on to the general assembly for vote.

    Yet the church is seemingly told how to vote rather than be informed about the voting process. Thus three elements are being resisted: the mind of the people, the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and the instruction of scripture.”

  2. Charles Page says:

    “””if you have a dog in this fight..”” is a law they should acknowledge.

    The administrative people need to lead the church not drive the church.”

  3. Melvin Harter says:

    I have been told by several Ordained Bishops that if it is passed at the GA that women can be Ordained Bishops, they are resigning from the CoG and turning in their ministerial credentials.

  4. Link Hudson says:

    Does any of this have anything to do with what ‘bishop’ refers to in the Bible? Isn’t a pastor of a local church a ‘bishop’ in the Biblical sense? Why all the hubub over the title and not the substance?

  5. Gregory Aslan Chopoorian says:

    It has been said that a nation is a group of people united by a common misconception about their racial/ethnic/historic origins….the same could be said about those insisting God has imbued the male gender with the latent mantle of leadership in the church, and calling that “biblical”…it’s “biblical” in that the Bible is being misused in the endeavor, but it’s still a misconception; still a fundamental misunderstanding of why Christ came, lived, died, was raised from the dead, ascended, and gave us all gifts..and it wasn’t for the sake of men and women being ensconced in the patriarchy you envision, Charles! “There is therefore now no male or female in Christ!” We haven’t even begun in any meaningful way to explore what that means, but I cringe at the thought of what awaits those that have thwarted the ministry gifts of God over a person’s genitalia!

  6. Jackson Vaughn Plant says:

    Gregory Aslan Chopoorian I have heard this ad nausium , we did not write the bible but Paul did. Take it up with him. I am tired of the threats from their side about holding women down! “But I cringe at the thought of what awaits those that have thwarted the ministry gifts..” Really!?! The ONLY thing women are restricted from is Senior Church Leadership. They are Pastors,Evangilist, Prophets, praise leaders, teachers! Anything, they Sit on state boards which by the was most men who are not Bishops don’t get to do. In NO WAY AT ALL are women restricted from ministry gifts and it’s a lie and disingenuous to claim otherwise. Why are women wanting what GOD said they should not do? Unless it’s that reason because God said don’t do it? Sounds familiar a little bit. The sanctimonious derision that the so called egalitarian side has for anyone who would DARE disagree is wrong on so many levels. I have read same chapters in the Greek and Hebrew and I know what it says. 62% shot it down and still keeps being brought up again and again! Do you really think that will persuade me to go against what God said? In that case you all have the misconceptions.

  7. Robert Borders says:

    The entire political systems of denominational hierarchy tends to thwart ministries of both male and female who try to please those over them in man-made structures. I find little biblical support for the way the American Church (including the COG) has evolved. This is a problem with essentially all denominations over time.

  8. Wade T. Foster says:

    “Women being Ordained Bishops is not on the agenda for GA 2016. I read through the agenda many times and it is not there. Where are you getting this faulty information.

    There is on the agenda voting for Ordained ministers (used to be called Licensed ministers and definitely not Ordained Bishops) to be part of the General Council at GA.”

  9. David Lewayne Porter says:

    “It is not that the men are threatened.

    I just want a lady to explain how they can discount the verses on male headship and bishops yet still hold firm to other scriptures by the same author.

    Seems double minded to me.”

  10. Melvin Harter says:

    Wade T. Foster, the CoG has many women preachers who are ordained (used to be known as Licensed Minister). The GA agenda, as it has been presented in the past several times, but always voted down, will then permit women to be part of the General Council at the G.A. since they are presently Ordained ministers although not classified as an Ordained Bishop. That is why this forum addresses the issue of women possibly being a part of the General Council, again as I have stated, was voted down in past Assemblies.

  11. Troy Day says:

    I personally know several women than can preach better than most men in this group in general (no one in particular meant). And pls dont post that video that has been circulated all over the internet lately

  12. Matthew West says:

    I’m sorry but when you said holy bible (kjv) are you implying that’s the only version that’s holy or that you want your scriptures from the kjv

  13. Troy Day says:

    Interesting but not Biblical. Man is head of the house but not head of the church. Only Christ is the head of the church. The problem with the church today is namely when men begin thinking they are the head of the church and not Christ Alan N Carla Smith Charles Page Ricky Grimsley

  14. Troy Day says:

    “Scripturally we pull a Grimsley Ephesians 5:23 â–º
    For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church…”

  15. Troy Day says:

    Charles Page You are a living testimony that we have come to a point in history where the men-leaders within the Pentecostal traditions have long lost the answers.Am I right or am I right?

  16. Troy Day says:

    We’ve long establish women can preach. The question argued is if they should be allowed to. But who are we to say if GOD has called a woman to preach, gave her a message and the anointing?

  17. Mary Ellen Nissley says:

    It is important to look at the whole counsel of Scripture in balance, and not to allow two passages to stand on their own, to tell us the opposite of what God did throughout the rest of history, with women.

  18. Ricky Grimsley says:

    How come people that feel women shouldnt preach dont use the same scriptures to say their head must always be covered and they cant speak at all?

  19. Troy Day says:

    Great discussion ya’ll but some of us are in church about this time and haveto listen to our pastor preaching. She is the best preacher in this county 🙂

  20. Peter Ciple says:

    1 Corinthians 14:34-35 has traditionally been linked with 1 Timothy 2:8-15 by leaders in the Church to systematically deny women the right to utilize their God-given gifts in ministry.

  21. Mary Ellen Nissley says:

    “Seriously though.

    I grew up strict Mennonite. Most of you have heard my story.

    We wore long dresses, large head coverings, and never trimmed ONE hair!

    And God called me to preach. Out of a family born and bred in this women-oppressive culture/church… I alone am called to preach. Out of seven sisters, I alone. Out of the 175+ offspring of my mother, I alone have been called to preach.

    it has cost me everything, to obey the call of my God.

    How much have you left, to obey God?”

  22. Troy Day says:

    There’s also this one thing – there are women out there with more theological degrees than half of the preacher men in this group taken together. And they will not keep quote just because …

  23. Peter Ciple says:

    “Phebe had her own church. Romans 16:1-3 (KJV)
    1 I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea:
    2 That ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you: for she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also.”

  24. Jeanny de Calderón says:

    “And how’s it possible for a soman to guide a man? I thought they shouldn’t.
    I don’t think women can’t know as much as men- just the role of a leader is made for men.”

  25. Peter Ciple says:

    Historical evidence reveals that both men and women were active participants in all areas of ministry in the early Christian church. Scripture, the external writings of church leaders, historical and archeological records, and church artifacts testify that women served as ministers, deacons, church leaders, apostles and even bishops

  26. Mary Ellen Nissley says:

    “God does not change.
    God used women to be prophetesses and worship leaders of the congregation of the Lord in the Old Testament.
    Miriam, Deborah, Huldah, etc.

    The word of the Lord came to women, just as it did to men.
    We even have inspired scripture given through women, by the Holy Ghost, in both the New and Old Testaments.

    Priscilla was used by God to teach Apollos (a young male preacher) The Way more perfectly.

    And Phebe was a diakonos of the church.
    That’s the same word used to describe male ministers.

    Funny thing though. When the KJV translators came to the portion describing Phebe, those prejudiced men allowed their “”druthers”” to color their choice of English words. She was given a more lowly designation–only a “”servant.””

    The problematic passages used to cow women into silence are not definitive, by any means. The whole balance of Scripture weighs AGAINST a literal application of those passages!

    Because God does not change!”

  27. Mary Ellen Nissley says:

    “I challenge anyone to show me which passage of the Old Testament was being referenced, in I Cor 14:34.

    “”As also saith the law”” ought to be easy to verify. so, let’s have it.”

  28. Peter Ciple says:

    Some men have denied women the opportunity to utilize the full extent of their gifts for God’s glory. This denial is based on a few highly problematic passages in Scripture, such as 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 and 1 Timothy 2:12.

  29. Mary Ellen Nissley says:

    “And for hundreds of years.
    Just as the Protestant church dared to question the teachings of the Catholic church on infant baptism and Apostolic succession, even so, today’s generation is free to dare to question the self-perpetuation teachings of the male-dominated Protestant church.

    And we are finding massive intellectual holes in their arguments. They just don’t hold up under careful exegetical study.”

  30. Mary Ellen Nissley says:

    “Word-for-word, it says thusly:

    1Co 14:34 Let your women keep silence in the churches; for it is not permitted to them to speak: but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law.

    If you look carefully at Genesis 3:16, it isn’t even a commandment to women to obey their husbands. No more than it was a commandment in verses 17-19, for men to obey ANY of those things spoken to them!

    None of the curse is a command. All it is, is a warning.
    Prediction, not prescription.”

  31. Troy Day says:

    Corey Forsyth have you wondered about the other side of you argument – Which one creates a homosexual (uni/one sex) culture? – The place where only men preach or the place where both women and men minister to raise and mature a new spiritual generation?

  32. Mary Ellen Nissley says:

    “Corey Forsyth, just in case you are wondering what law Paul was referencing in I Corinthians 14:34, He was quoting what became later known as the Mishnah, once it was written down. In Paul’s time, it was only in oral form, as the traditions of the Pharisees.

    You see, God never commanded women to be treated the way the Pharisees treated them. God never said for women to be silent in the assembly. Nor did He ever say they had to absolutely obey their husbands. (After all, wasn’t Abigail seen as a godly women, after disobeying her husband, and calling him a fool?)

    The Pharisees invented the women’s court–a place distant from even the outer court that God prescribed for both genders together.
    The Pharisees invented rules allowing men to divorce their wives for speaking so loudly her voice was heard outside the house.

    The Mishnah says these words:
    “”A woman’s voice is a filthy thing, and should never be heard in public.””
    I’ve read the Mishnah. It’s there.
    It wasn’t written down yet, in Paul’s day.
    But he was a student of Gamaliel, and was a Pharisee of the Pharisees. He knew this law, and this was what he was referencing.

    Does that mean Paul was telling the Corinthian church to obey the Mishnah?
    NO.

    What we must understand, is that I Corinthians is an answer to a letter full of questions the church had written to Paul. We don’t have that original letter. All we have is the letter containing Paul’s answers.

    And it takes a lot of insight and study of the Greek to decipher which are Paul’s words, and which are the questions.

    To be continued…”

  33. Peter Ciple says:

    “In 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 (KJV), these women were women who were married and had no knowledge of the scriptures. They were asked not to SPEAK during the sermon while the preacher was preaching. Likewise men who didn’t know the scriptures were to keep quiet and listen. The congregation go to church to hear the Word of God and learn. The scripture here did not say ALL women. And since the man was head of the home under Jesus he is supposed to know the scripture but as you can see some of you men don’t have a clue. IN THIS SCRIPTURE “”SPEAKING”” IS NOT “”PREACHING””. You cannot be carrying on your own conversation in church while the preaching is going on. The women who would have been preaching would not be the ones who are referred to here. HUSBANDS LET YOUR WIVES LISTEN AND LEARN IF THEY DO NOT KNOW. NOT WOMEN SHUT YOUR MOUTH AND STAY QUIET BECAUSE YOU ARE A WOMAN AND YOU CAN’T READ OR WRITE. This scripture is for all who want to go and disrupt the service. It also applies to children and men. When you go in church there is a way that it is done. You sit down and listen, not open your big mouth and disrupt and behave disorderly – for all – men, women and children.
    1 Corinthians 14:34-35 (KJV)
    34 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.
    35 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.”

  34. Peter Ciple says:

    “About 1 Timothy 2:8-15 (KJV), there was a woman who was promoting false teaching in the church in Ephesus. Paul wants to stop this, and so he commands that this particular woman is to learn quietly, and is not permitted to teach. This is a disciplinary action against a woman who, like the “Jezebel” mentioned in Revelation 2:20, was causing problems by false teaching. Paul had no intention of it being applied to other women, just the one causing turmoil in the church.
    1 Timothy 2:8-15 (KJV)
    8 I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.
    9 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;
    10 But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.
    11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.
    12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
    13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.
    14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
    15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.”

  35. Ricky Grimsley says:

    Feminism is just like any other cause in America. People have real grievances and then once the movement gains enough momentum its gets co-opted by the government and radicalized to destroy family and morality.

  36. David M. Hinsen says:

    “I don’t get into the intricate details of this subject. I understand the emotion behind it as well as the educated arguments. I didn’t write the doctrine I just abide by those over me in the Lord.

    I have a book somewhere that suggests Paul used the same title for Phoebe as he did for himself concerning his title. Maybe do a study…”

  37. Peter Ciple says:

    We don’t really call people elder in Pentecostal church. I never really heard it. If they are aged then even if they are pastor or minister they are an elder.

  38. David Lewayne Porter says:

    “The CoG has 3 levels.
    Exhorted
    Ordained Minister
    Ordained Bishop

    As of now women may go through steps 1 and 2.
    They can minister in most situations and hold certain positions. One of those positions is pastor.”

  39. Michael Green says:

    Pastor is a Hebrew masculine word there is absolutely no feminine to it please stop the theological spin to bring your ideas and prove the lets be exegetical. It was the woman who deceived the man.

  40. David Lewayne Porter says:

    “1 Timothy 2:14
    And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.

    You said Eve did what to Adam?
    My Bible sets the stage as Eve was deceived and Adam just deliberately chose to fall.”

  41. Mary Ellen Nissley says:

    “To use this verse as a basis to put forth a teaching that women are in general more easily deceived, get into a whole host of problems…

    1. If women are more easily deceived than men, then why would it be okay for them to teach each other, in the absence of men?
    Wouldn’t that just be asking for massive deception among the women in the church?

    2. If women are more easily deceived, and yet are allowed to teach children in the absence of men, then you have the next generation of men being trained to think wrongly, by their mothers.

    3. If women are more easily deceived than men, and are allowed to teach each other and to teach children, but not men… why is that okay? Why is okay for women and children to be taught by deceived people?
    Are the souls of women and children of less value than the souls of grown males?

    None of this makes any sense.

    Therefore, I have arrived at the conclusion that Paul wasn’t talking AT ALL about whether women are more easily deceived than men.

    He was correcting a specific false teaching that was coming into the church. A pagan/Jewish cult of Artemis, which taught the moral and spiritual superiority of women over men.

    And it is historically verifiable that there were many cults of Artemis, all of which asserted female spiritual superiority, and all of which urged women to grasp for power over men.”

  42. David Lewayne Porter says:

    “Mary Ellen Nissley
    I was referring to MichaelGreen’s comment.

    But, your (1)
    That is why the aged women are supposed to teach and train the younger women
    (2) that is why the Father’s were instructed to teach their children when they rise up and lay down, in their houses and their fields, etc.
    – just because there is an empty space does not mean we just fill it. We wait and give ourselves to God in prayer for His mind on the topic – since scripture can never contridict itself.
    (3) is a restatement of points 1&2 so it has been dealt with.

    The sad thing is that you said, “”I have arrived at the conclusion””.

    Regardless of your other lines of reasoning you can’t get around that Eve was deceived after she had an understanding of what God had said and what He expected. She usurped authority which is also what we are discussing in the NT.
    I will for the sake of this conversation (for now) accept your historical (facts) as you stated.
    I will ask in light of that if you know what God meant when He stated to Eve in 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.””.
    Thy desire shall be to thy husband?.
    It was not what most people think, it is far deeper.
    And then the last portion, “”Thy husband, and he shall rule over thee””…

    So from Genesis to Paul all under God’s direction we are Biblically (OT and NT) back to what the women (wife) of the house foes is supposed to be under the direction and supervision of the husband. In the church, under the direction of the husband, Pastor, and church leadership. If the husbands, pastors, and church leadership does not do their part, guess who answers for it before God?”

  43. Mary Ellen Nissley says:

    “1) if women are easily deceived, then NO woman should be teaching another woman. Aged or otherwise. (Age does not automatically make a woman wise. I care for the aged. And I have known some very very foolish aged women.)
    I repeat. If the souls of women and children matter, then deceived people should not be teaching them!

    2) Seriously, is that why you think Fathers are supposed to teach their children? Because their mothers are so deceived?
    Why allow women to teach kids Sunday School classes?
    If women are more easily deceived than men, they should ONLY be allowed to teach in the presence of men, so the men could correct them, if necessary!

    3) Number 3 is NOT a reiteration of numbers 1 and 2!
    Number 3 is the ROOT of the problem with numbers 1 and 2! Deal with the question, sir.

    Are the souls of women and children of less value than mature male souls? Because that is the ONLY reason the church would allow deceived people to take charge of teaching them behind closed doors, away from the undeceived males!”

  44. Mary Ellen Nissley says:

    “Michael Green,
    Look carefully at what God said to Adam and to Eve:

    Gen 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.
    Gen 3:17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow SHALT THOU eat of it all the days of thy life;
    Gen 3:18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and THOU SHALT eat the herb of the field;
    Gen 3:19 In the sweat of thy face SHALT THOU eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust SHALT THOU return.

    To Eve:
    A. Multiplied sorrow.
    B. Multiplied conception.
    C. Childbirth sorrow
    D.Desire toward husband, coupled with “”he shall rule over thee.””

    To Adam:
    A. Cursed ground. (lifted after the Flood. Gen 8:21)
    B. Eating in sorrow.
    C. Thorns and thistles.
    D. Eating the herb of the field.
    E. Eating bread with sweat on face.
    F. Death.

    Now. some simple observations:
    1) Is ANYTHING addressed to Adam, a command?
    Look at the language used: “”THOU SHALT””

    2) Which things said to Eve did God address to her using the words, “”Thou shalt””? Give birth in pain. This is the only one.
    Yet, do you not allow painkillers in childbirth?

    3) That ONE double phrase “”thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee, is the ONLY part of this WHOLE PASSAGE interpreted as a command toward Eve!

    All the THOU SHALTS addressed directly to Adam, are not interpreted as commands at all!
    I don’t hear of any Christians enforcing growing thistle and thorn gardens… nor having an accountability program with the men, to make sure they never eat, unless they work up a sweat first… Nor have I ever heard of a church rule enforcing veganism on the men of the church, exclusive of the women.

    (***********If you interpret that which is said to Eve, as a command, then you must be consistent with how you interpret what is said to Adam. It’s a simple rule of Bible interpretation. Be consistent within a passage.*******)

    4) Yet, look at the language used: “”He shall””. If this was a command, and God was saying ADAM SHALL (as a command) rule over Eve, then God would have been speaking this toward ADAM, not toward Eve!

    The fact that “”he shall”” is addressed to Eve, and not to Adam, is indicative that this was a warning of what Adam would be doing, because of his sinfulness.

    5) This is further borne forth by looking at the next chapter. PRECISELY IDENTICAL Hebrew wording is found in the last line of Genesis 4:7. .
    and it was a warning to Cain.: A very solemn warning.
    That if Cain didn’t stop his direction, he would do harm to Abel, despite the fact that Abel loved him.
    Cain would rise up to dominate his brother, and would hurt him horribly. Even to the point of killing him.

    ******* Conclusion:
    Look at the entire passage. If all the other things listed are nothing but predictions of sad things that would happen as a result of the fall, then the only consistent and logical interpretation of “”he shall rule over thee”” is the same. It is only a prediction of hurtful male domination, despite the fact that women love their husbands.

    The whole passage is predicting, not prescribing.”

  45. David Lewayne Porter says:

    “Mary Ellen Nissley

    Read 2 Tim 2:3, 4, & 5 and then I will continue the thought of women teaching women.
    (Women that have been proven and observed as Spiritually mature and well established in the Faith).

    I hope (rubbing my chin) that not all women are deceived… is that what you are presenting?

    I hope we have some qualified women of God.

    I think fathers are supposed to teach their children because
    Deut 6 &7 (verse 2 enlightens this).
    Also. I find it very symbolic that the last thing said in the Old Testament is one of the main points for the forerunner of the Christ (Jesus)
    Malachi 4:6
    And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
    Luke 1:17
    And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

    That is why my sister.
    Because it is BiBlE.

    I have no issue with women teaching as long as they are scriptural and in line with the vision of the Church, Pastor, and leadership. (As long as it is done biblically).
    The Bible is our first and only standard.

    So you want me to deal with the question…
    Ok
    Copy of your number 3

    3. If women are more easily deceived than men, and are allowed to teach each other and to teach children, but not men… why is that okay? Why is okay for women and children to be taught by deceived people?
    Are the souls of women and children of less value than the souls of grown males?

    3a) if women are more easily deceived… allowed to teach each other… children.. but not men,,,
    Are all women deceived?
    Are all incompetent? Those that are not deceived, and are well grounded are told to teach the younger women/wives. [This was answered in my previous post on #1, so it is a reiteration]

    3b) why is it OK for women and children to be taught by deceived people. …
    [This was answered by me on my previous post under #2]
    Again I ask you, are all the women in church teaching that you know deceived? There is something wrong if you are sticking to this thought with deceived women. (I would have to examine my teachers and leaders if this was going on around me – said in jest).

    3c). Are the souls of women and children of less value than the souls of grown males?……
    You are the one saying their teachers are deceived (you paint the picture that all of their teachers are corrupted). All souls are equal to God. Yet He had recorded for us His guidelines for His ministry and house. I am just wise enough to know the God sees everything and He in the light and weight of eternity said it is to be as He stated it. So are we trying to be like Mrs Eve back in Eden?

    Let’s examine a couple of things…
    1 Corinthians 14:34-35
    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.
    Remain silent. …. learn at home. (The ladies of the day were asking questions of their husbands during service and causing disturbances),, so then don’t let them speak but stay orderly and peaceable (quiet). In this chapter Paul also addresses anyone else that is in error in other ways causing confusion in the Church. (So it is not just the women).

    Also
    1 Timothy 2:11-12
    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.

    Notice the same thought here except for it does not explicitly say, “”in the church”” but does mention silence, subjection, and usurping authority over the man (man better translated as the husband).
    So in my opinion as long as she has been taught the Bible accurately (especially by her husband), and as long as she is not running beyond her husband’s authority or “”boundaries””. She then is not overriding her husband.

    Now I will ask again,
    Are all women deceived in your opinion?
    Do we have any biblically qualified women leaders.

    (By the way,,,, my wife is a very anointed Ordained Minister in the Church of God Cleveland, TN).”

  46. Mary Ellen Nissley says:

    If it is God’s plan that Adam was supposed to rule over Eve, in Genesis 3:16, then it must also be God’s plan for Adam to raise gardens of thistles and thorns… to only ever eat bread if his face was sweaty… and to only ever eat plants.

  47. Michael Green says:

    Solomon had 300 wives does this mean I can have 300 wives too. What your doing is called rationalization of your desire and trying to get scripture to agree.

  48. John Ruffle says:

    I THINK you mean, SHOULD women preach. Obviously they CAN because there is strong evidence that they DO – I guess you are asking if it’s right for them to do so? Question 2 is a non-question, r a highly loaded question to say the least. Why (KJV)? Why not Greek and Hebrew texts?

  49. Ricky Grimsley says:

    “Charles Page how come women shouldnt preach but they are allowed to speak?1 Corinthians 14:34 KJVS
    [34] 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.”

  50. Peter Ciple says:

    What about men who are wolves in sheep’s clothing who have their own “church” but are satan worshipers fooling the people and hurting the women because they did not know. The men had them silenced even in their home. Some women are still treated like garbage and therefore because they do not know better they end up doing foolish things because the man is controlling them because they are stupid, ignorant men who do not know who Jesus is. What a terrible thing! This “man claiming to be a pastor” having “authority” over a “church” needs deliverance. The South African pastor who fed congregation with snakes; Beaten up and Church burnt down https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bCpP1I7JdPc

  51. Peter Ciple says:

    Because the women are still depressed. This is not what God wants at all. They can’t ask questions at home even so they do not know better. Who is going to teach them? Where are the women of God here? What is wrong with this man? He is a liar. Where have you seen anything like this? I think the woman has a medical condition of fibroids or not sure if she was really pregnant. But for God’s sake what is this from a pastor of authority? Obinim praying for a pregnant woman Full Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=psNSAwD6bRQ

  52. Louise Cummings says:

    Yes women can preach. The Churches that says women to keep silent. Their women doesn’t keep silent. They teach , sing. They are not silent. When I use to work at the hospital as nurse aid. A nurse told me that the Bible said women wasn’t suppose to preach. I told her. It’s isn’t in there. Her husband was a pastor of a church. She said let me get a Bible. I knew where she was going in the Bible. So I got a Bible in one of the rooms. They use to keep Bible in hospital rooms. I opened the Bible to the same Scripture. It said I suffer not a women to teach nor to absorb authority over a man. I ash her where was preach. I said the Bible said teach. I said you have women Sunday School teachers at your Church. And the Bible says teach. And besides. When you are ask to preach. You are not taking authority over the men. They ask. They give permission. It also says if you want to know anything ask your husband at home. Well I don’t have to ask what he said if I’m there and hear the same message. You have to go back to Jewish times. When women sit in one place and the men in another. I’ve been told that Jewish history. That was calling out to men. What’s going on , causing disturbance. Paul said the women keep silent. Ask your husband at home. Some says business meetings. What. Ever it was in Joel in the Old Testament And in the Book of acts also. In the last days. He would pour out Sprit ion all flesh. And your sons and your daughters will prophecy. That means four telling. Or preaching.

  53. Sue Elliott says:

    “Some need to do more studying Gods word !! Everyone has opinions and likes and dislikes !
    But you need to believe the word of Almighty God !! Gods does the calling of both he uses whosoever his wills .Becareful what you say !!!”

  54. Mark D Hatley says:

    I hope and pray that does not happen. Im am grateful for the women in this great Church yet I do not favor women becoming Bishop.No were do we find he word where God wanted women over men in the Church. May God bless this church

  55. Tony Richie says:

    The title of this piece is a little misleading. The item on the GA agenda doesnt call for making women bishops but for allowing ordained ministers the right to vote in General Council whether male or female. They would still not be authorized to hold positions open only to bishops.

  56. Tim Campbell says:

    The COG needs to quit kicking this to the next GA and make a complete and positive statement allowing women the full standing of Bishop. If not the COG will be marginalized (or continued to be) by future generations who have embraced a restorative Kingdom of God theology. We need a united and passionate clarion call from our leaders to prophetically speak vision to our GA on this issue. This is not a committee issue or a religion department statement (no disrespect intended). This is the time(Nashville) for a Joshua-like vision that we will “take this land” voice! Pentecostals led racial integration in its birth (and lost it) — lets finlalize this issue once and for all in our movement. I say — YES. Lets lead and not play catch up to the Spirit.

  57. Banjo Man says:

    Actually I must disagree. The collection of the two items is equally divisive. We are presented with an item that attempts to do several things all together without our prior consent. This is not Christ’s way of doing things.

  58. Jack Castro says:

    Where is the original text that the motion author claims to have submitted? Why was it not presented to us for a prior discussion? Why are we given something as divisive as this out of the box motion and expected just to vote over it without any questions?

  59. Marty says:

    Actually Tony, when you put two and two together is all and the same thing. As usual, the motion is not seeking to establish or empower but to mislead the voter to believe one thing while opening the door for another. Does it matter if women are bishops when in the next motion proposes we do away with the bishop title?

  60. Michael Goerge Smith says:

    I wonder how was this preposterousity conceived in the mind of the motion proposer? So in the first motion we accept that women and younger minister could vote on the floor without being bishops. Then, in the next motion we remove the bishops titles – to put it simply these two motions give women and young minister the highest ordination level but not before removing it from the already ordained bishops. Hooray I say unto thee – this is the way we do things…

  61. Daniel C. says:

    There will be lots on unhappy ministers because of these divisive ways to present a motion. I too wonder where’s the original text and who so masterfully crafted the final text of the motion after proposed by the original poster?

  62. Troy Day says:

    Has anyone read this book? Wondering if it has any Pentecostal views in it. It was included over the weekend as a Christian response to a female-president candidature

  63. Ricky L Bagwell says:

    In the church of Corinth I believe women were asked to keep silent do to the culture concerning the evil. Aphrodite the sex goddess had prostitutes interning into the church. Got to stop it some how

  64. John Ruffle says:

    “Straight taking love is required on women in ministry too, brother
    I’d also recommend the new book by William DeArteaga on Agnes Sanford and Her Companions

  65. Aaron Scott says:

    It is a noble sentiment, almost always arising from well-intentioned hearts. Alas, for whatever reason, the Father, appears to have chosen otherwise when it comes, NOT to ministry, but to church-at-large leadership. Having served under highly intelligent and powerful women in Fortune 25 companies, there is little question of their ability to lead well. Having a lovely wife of organizational intensity, I know this truth with even greater clarity. And yet plenty of God’s ways don’t fit mine. Divorce. Why can’t someone make a new choice and become much happier…instead of having to wait for adultery or death? Since only 4% or so of those 25 or older are virgins, the whole fornication prohibition does not at all seem effective. I wouldn’t doubt if more than 70% who marry are not virgins. You get the idea. Plenty of things in God’s plan need adjusting to better fit with the world. The same with women in church-at-large leadership. We all know women of remarkable ability. Women that could almost assuredly do a better job than sitting or hopeful presidents of today. I know I’d vote for them! But for the church, it seems God does not at all consult the human economy. He tells us to GIVE in order to receive…to turn the other cheek…to believe before you see…that works don’t save us…on and on. So many things that the world does so very differently. You would think that as important and as crucial as women are in the secular AND RELIGIOUS arenas, the answer to women in leadership in the church would almost be tautological. But it is anything but clear! We all acknowledge the impossible debt the church owes to our women. No other demographic comes close to their drive and energy. As a pastor, there was a time in my youth when I thought preaching and altar calls were the essentials of it all. Then I became a pastor and found that without my wife (and the other women), very little graciousness remains. No Children’s Church, Sunday School, fellowship opportunities, homecomings, etc. The Father spoke oh, so, true when He spoke of women being a “help meet” to her husband! What glorious harmony is possible because of God’s plan to put us together! And yet…and yet…. Still the Father did not put this supremely talented creature over the sometimes less able husband…. TO BE CONTINUED

  66. Ricky Grimsley says:

    Ok….so i just had a fb conversation about Kari Jobe and how she was heretic because she believes that jesus died on the cross and then went to hell to take the keys to death and hell. That aside. The conversation broke down to how she should not be preach or teach the gospel anyway because she is a woman. So in light of 1 corinthians 14….what does it mean. How far do you take it. Does anyone actually believe that women are supposed to remain silent in the church?

  67. Jim Davis says:

    But until Lee’s religion department has more COG ministers in it then it does liberal theologians who teach stuff we don’t embrace as a denomination, they can keep their opinions to themselves. I don’t give a flying flip what the religion department thinks. Majority of them aren’t even Church of God.

    1. Silas Sham says:

      There are twelve full-time members of the Department, ten of whom regularly attend a local Church of God congregation. Nine are members of the Church of God. Six are credentialed Church of God ministers. Five are ordained bishops, and one is married to a Church of God overseer. They love this church, and they work to train students to minister within this church we so dearly love.

  68. Corey Forsyth says:

    Ricky Grimsley that makes me so much happier about the course of this post… I am growing weary of the modern day theological witch hunters trying to represent Christ by bashing everyone in the name of correct theology…

  69. Jeffry Woolston says:

    The first person to deliver the resurrection message was instructed to do so by an angel and was a woman if I am not mistaken! After all what is a sermon other than delivering a message that God has given to us? Once I was asked why there where so many women preachers. My response was, “Because there are not enough men who will answer the call!” Ezekiel 22:30 And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.

  70. Michael Green says:

    Awesome response. It does say women can be prophetesses. But no authority over a man that is the order God has ordained. He created women as a help mate.

  71. Stan Wayne says:

    I would like to apologize to Kari Jobe for you. Wouldn’t it be better to be sure of 1 C 14 before you bash a woman with it. There is so much conservative pro woman preacher stuff to read on this that it is hard to know where to begin – how about starting with googling be Catherine Booth on a woman’s right to preach. Read slowly 1 Cor 11 and 14 and think about sister Kathryn Sister Aimee etc

  72. Stan Wayne says:

    Fantastic – Pentecostals tend to see 1 C 14 through the lens of Acts 2 (daughters, handmaidens) and 1 COR 11 prophesying women and Philips daughters prophetesses and Junia apostle etc. I actually think guneo usually means Wife rather than Woman and that these ladies were in the childcare section asking questions in a disruptive way

  73. Ricky Grimsley says:

    And that why i asked “what does usurp mean”. Personally i have alway believe that it just means that a woman must always have a man as a covering. As in i dont believe women should be bishops and overseers. That they should ty to take authority in the church but can certainly exercise it when its given in the proper way.

  74. Stan Wayne says:

    Well – I am not Church of God ( episcopalian) so I see 1 Peter 5, Acts 20 etc saying bishops and elders are the same person. Usurp seems to imply if husband is happy wife can teach

  75. Nathan Hellrung says:

    I believe the order of leadership for the church is clearly set out in scripture and that is to be a male is to have authority over a church. This is not a sexist thing, it’s the order set forth. Now, I believe women can be leaders in the church and even teachers in the church, but the main authoritative figure in the church should be a man based on the model and order given us all throughout scripture. God bless!

  76. Nathan Hellrung says:

    We must remember that when we go into God’s Word, we must not go in with an agenda and try to make it fit our wants. We must adapt to what the Bible says, not make the Bible adapt to our ways or times. The concept from the beginning has been that the man has the authority. Adam was given Eve as his helper. Paul refers to this concept when he refers to the order of creation in his epistle to Timothy.
    1 Tim. 2:12-14 And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.
    There is an obvious authority structure set up by God. The woman is not to have authority over the man in the church. This is not speaking of the political and economical world, as we see that even Deborah was a judge in Israel over men. This is about the church. Women supported Paul in many areas and have been and are great helpers in the church. In fact, some of the best leaders, singers, musicians, teachers, etc. are women. No one is denying that. Paul is talking about the relationship between men and women in the church structure, not a social or political context. Look at the bishop/overseer in Paul’s teachings. He is to be a husband of one wife, who manages his household well, has a good reputation, etc. Notice in Titus 1:5-7 what Paul says.
    Titus 1:5-7 For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you— 6 if a man is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of dissipation or insubordination. 7 For a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money,
    Paul interchanges the word elder and overseer. Each case shows that an elder, deacon, bishop, or overseer is instructed to be male. We see no command for overseers to be women. Men are obviously singled out. Why? Because it’s the created order of God that Paul references. We see countless mentions of priests in the Old Testament and every one was male. No once do we see a female priest. It just isn’t the job for women.
    All throughout scripture we are shown an order and a balance. Being a pastor or an elder is to be in the place of authority and within the church, for a woman to be a pastor or elder, she would be in authority of men in the church which contradicts what Paul says in 1 Timothy 2:11-14. God’s Word clearly tells us that the elder is to be the husband of one wife and a woman cannot qualify for this position since she is female. It’s not the popular stance today, but it’s the Biblical stance. It has nothing to do with women being less than men, believe me. I’ve seen more women in ministry positions make a bigger impact then men. If anything, men need to step it up, but I digress. Women are equal to men, and vice versa, but when it comes to authority in the church, the template and standard has been given us in scripture and as true Christians, we are to adhere and align our beliefs and practices to God’s Word and the concept of women pastors just doesn’t jive.
    As far as Kari Jobe, I think she’s an incredible singer and worship leader and I have no doubt that she could speak and lead, but as far as being a pastor (Is she even a Pastor?) it would go against the Bible and would be wrong. God bless.

  77. Karen Lucas says:

    So men start out with Exhorter minister too? Is that the same as a licensed minister. Can an exhorter minister pastor or only ordained ministers?

  78. Jeffry Woolston says:

    What is the place of women in ministry and the Church? Woman was created NOT from the skull of man that she might be (rule) over him, nor from his foot that she might be beneath him (as a servant or slave), but she was created from a rib taken from Adam’s side that she might walk, work and worship beside him as an equal partner and co-laborer. When woman (Eve) walked separate from the man (Adam) she encountered the serpent alone and was beguiled and introduced sin into the world. The guilt is not her own for the man (Adam) allowed her to separate herself from his side and walk alone and vulnerable. The result of this separation from one another is that man must now serve as an authority (protecting covering) to woman and for woman to su bmit to this God established authority of man. Even though Paul declares (by the Holy Spirit) in his writings that we are all one in Christ Jesus and that in Christ there is neither male nor female (Galatians 3:28), God still has an order that He has set in place (1 Corinthians 11:1-3) and if His good and perfect will is to be done (on earth as it is in heaven) we must acknowledge, obey and walk in the way that He has set before us until He comes and establishes His kingdom on earth. His will be a new kingdom (to man) on earth that will be as His kingdom in heaven. This new kingdom will have new rules (His). ONLY then will things be different than they are for both man and woman.
    Manmade religions, denominations, movements and churches may make all of the rules, declarations and bylaws they want in an attempt to change things according to their own desire, but that does not change the order which God Himself has established for man and women for as long as we live on this earth in its present state. What this means for ministry and the church is that men and women may serve together in ministry, side by side, but at NO time may a woman rise to a place of spiritual authority over a man. 1 Corinthians 11:5 says that a woman should not even pray without having a covering. To do so brings dishonor to her “head” (covering authority). In other words, together as equals, women and men ministers may discuss reason and debate and make decisions concerning the polity and doctrine of the church. But women may not rise to a position of authority over men in God’s church. This may not be convenient or pleasant for some but THIS IS the will of God as revealed in His Holy Word. Times change, opinions change, cultures change, but the Word of God remains unchanged as the only standard of truth and written revelation of His will for us.

  79. Mary Ellen Nissley says:

    I’m kinda new to COG. But I’m also a newly licensed Exhorter minister. There are three rungs of ministry. Exhorter, Ordained, and Bishop.
    Only Bishop is closed to women.
    But I don’t think it will remain closed very long.
    Thank God.

  80. Aaron Scott says:

    BOTH sides of this issue have good, godly, and sincere folks.
    However, both sides are not equally supported by Scripture…or the Spirit. If we make this change, the Holy Ghost will continue to save and reach those who are lost. The church will not fly off the tracks as soon as the vote is over. Jesus is to gracious for that. But there are always consequences for failing to discern His voice….
    If there are wrong intentions on either side, it might be that those will be visited upon us. I have this suspicion that if women get these rights…but then subsequently do not soon rise to key levels of leadership, we will hear more on this (perhaps a certain percentage of seats will be requested set aside just for women, etc.?).
    Academia does not have the scriptural backing on this that the other side does. That doesn’t mean academia is not filled with sincerity and love. Rather, they are simply coming from a place where more than scripture is being weighed. They are looking at scripture, cultural norms (within Christian boundaries, of course), and so forth.
    The other side (us) tends to focus ONLY on the scriptures…sometimes to our detriment. Consider that if we went ONLY on the scriptures, then it is a “settled,” if contradictory fact, that women are to keep silent in church. In the vast majority of believers, we find a way to at least allow the ladies to teach Sunday School, sing, testify, speak in tongues, etc. It’s a good thing we allowed a little common sense to go along with our scripture, right?
    At the same time, it does sting when, even though we pay–or have paid–many bills to keep Lee going, our views as sincere, Church of God folks is apparently renounced…. Kind of like Mom and Dad laboring for years to put a child through university, only to have the child return after graduation to tell the parents they are really not very bright, that atheism is the only logical path, etc. Just an imperfect analogy, but you get the idea.
    Lastly, while we must take more than just the text into account, we must not give more weight to those non-textual elements. We are a supernatural people. God has us believe and do things that are at odds with everything from science to finance (e.g., five loaves and two fishes will not feed 5000 people…and then have more than you started with…unless God gets in it, as He did in my IRA some years ago). So we best take care that in our well-intentioned efforts to take a holistic view, we do not flaunt the act of faith and obedience that God placed to bless us.

  81. Maria Irene Costas says:

    I’m an obedient to my call as a Bible teacher for the last 15 years. Never have an empty room and the majority are men in my class. Religion has no place with Jesus or His church… I’m doing what the Lord tells me to do, no men. I’m under His authority, under His head and under my husband and Pastor which are my first supporters. tongue emoticon

  82. Stan Wayne says:

    You need to go to John MacArthur’s church or stop the nonsense and read about Acts 2, 1 Cor 11, Priscilla, Phillips daughters, Junia and stop belittling people who are serving God

  83. Johan Paulsson says:

    Maria Irene Costas. Jesus has never told women to usurp authority over men, that is what you have made up in your own false religion, you are not following Christ.

  84. Roger David says:

    LOL @ the John McArthur command. I wouldn’t attend a John MacArthur teaching session if you paid me to…unless it was to offer a rebuke

  85. Amanda Walker says:

    Excellent points on children’s ministry, as women in ministry should extend far and beyond just that to every area of ministry we have in the church and outside the church. Pentecostals were once leaders in doing exactly that.

  86. Tom Torbeyns says:

    I personally am more of a complementarian guy but I grew more open towards egalitarianism, after hearing Dianne Wood speak about this complicated issue. 🙂

  87. Hans Weston says:

    In trying to read the article, all I was able to see was the comments. This is troubling in that on both sides of this argument, people like to point fingers and use words like “heretic” or otherwise condemning language. I do have my concerns when people call into question Biblical authority which in and of itself may be the only real marker of “heresy” but once again we have people from the radical edges getting most of the response rather than loving gracious people wanting to honestly discuss Scripture. I have some strong leanings Biblically speaking in either direction on this issue – this tension is difficult and is certainly not helped by those who would simply use one line to condemn anyone who doesn’t agree with them. I get it, because I know there is my opinion or belief and then all the other wrong ones (tongue firmly in cheek). We have to find a way to discuss these issues without compromise of Scripture or of grace and love for one another.

  88. Karen Lucas says:

    I had no idea that this issue was not already resolved with them but it appears that opinions are pretty divided and so discussion is pretty intense these days. I think the main point of contention is over whether a woman could serve as head bishop (or whatever they call the position in COG). I am IPHC. So, I can relate but only to a certain extent. This was a wonderful compilation. God speed!” We’ve also wondered with with Joe Butler and some others what was the the official IPHC position in light of this great paper the IPHC COUNCIL adopted recently

  89. Tom Bucks says:

    But it does give it a good historical perspective within the Pentecostal tradition. DR. Estrelda Alexander has done a great job researching 20+ key women ministers who contributed to early Pentecostalism and so did Dr. William DeArteaga in his book on Ms. Agnes

    1. Danny Woods says:

      Folks, I believe that this is a very crucial matter best discussed in appropriately succinct, but not pithy manner. God richly bless you all!

    1. Margaret Mowczko says:

      There isn’t a problem with MY article because I fully cited the quotations I used. The authors of those quotations are fully acknowledged. And I didn’t copy and paste any of their entire articles.
      Who looks after the Pentecostal Theology website?

    2. Mary Ellen Nissley says:

      This article where you copied the views Prominent Biblical Scholars on Women in Ministry. I think it was a fine compilation and dont see a problem with it. Cant be sure who has shared it where though. Just thankful we were able to read it and discuss it. Thank you for your effort in compiling it. Keener is still my favorite if it matters http://newlife.id.au/equality-and-gender-issues/prominent-biblical-scholars-on-women-in-ministry/

  90. David Lewayne Porter says:

    My wife is an Ordained Minister, I am an Ordained Bishop. We minister as help-meets. She is not usurping authority over the man (husband as more correctly translated). She does all things at my direction, under my covering, with my approval. That is at home, out (in and around town), at the church, ministry in all areas, as well as the rest of our lives.

    If you want a fiery preacher, you get her,, if you want a Bible teacher that is expository then you get me. We both can do either and we do on occasion, but they are our preferences and individualized callings.

  91. Amanda Walker says:

    David Lewayne Porter do you also do things under her direction, under her covering with her approval? Submission to each other is what the Bible has taught a marriage to be. Your wife is not beneath you. You are beneath each other. There is no hierarchy in Christ. No male, nor female, slave nor free… Complementarianism is a Roman, Pagan idea that has crept into the church. “The man of the house” mentality is carnal and not of God.

    1. David Lewayne Porter says:

      We work together as The Spirit directs and as the situation presents. As far as who decides that, after prayer I decide as to when and how to “submit” to her if need be. The Scripture does say, “submitting yourselves to one another”. It also says, “the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the Church”.

      “Eph 5:21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.
      22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
      23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
      24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
      25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
      26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
      27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
      28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
      29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
      30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
      31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
      32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
      33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.”

      As far as your, “man of the house”,
      I am sorry, I have to listen to ALL of the Scriptures, not just a select few that say what people what them to.

    2. Amanda Walker says:

      Thank you for bringing up this important point! Head, as stated in the text was never meant to be the hermeneutic equivalent to hierarchy. If Christ is the “head” of the church, the “head” imagery in both the Gospel Narratives and Epistles is more similar to Philippians 2 and Matthew 18:1-5, Mark 9:33-37, and Luke 9:46-48. Thus, it supports my original logic that both man and woman are equally submitted one to another. I am not debating that woman are not different than men. We embody the effeminate nature of God and are made in the image of God. Again, the Pater Familia (head of household) is a carnal, pagan concept and was never the intention of God for us to live that way. Women were never lesser then men. We were subjugated after the fall but have been redeemed by the blood of the lamb. It is the power of the Holy Ghost inside us that makes us partakers in Christ’s divine nature.
      It is culture and carnality that decided to position the salvation of women before the curse. Why is it that a man enjoys the “full” privilege of the Gospel, but yet a woman still remains under the curse?
      Also think of the union of the trinity. The Perichoresis is egalitarian. The Son is submitted to the Father, The Spirit is submitted to the Son and the Father is submitted to the Holy Spirit. Not one member of the Trinity is above the other. They coexist in a divine dance of unity, love and justice.

  92. Amanda Walker says:

    Troy Day have you ever heard of the ezer argument? How the word “ezer” in Hebrew is helpmate. It is used in Gen 2:18 to explain the companion role a second human (a woman) would be; and it is used in Psalm 121:1 to describe God. Isn’t it funny that in Genesis, we want to interpret it hierarchically but not in Psalms? I am sure it would be theological incorrect to assume that a male person is “above” God his, Ezer, right?

  93. DeArteaga says:

    You both are raising great questions indeed. In my opinion, there cannot be a complementarian way of ministry i.e. where both spouses minister to compliment each other. In practice, when the Holy Spirit commands authority, He does not do it in a complementarian way. Both man and woman are in spiritual authority when anointed and uttered by the Holy Spirit. In all actuality, even Paul says it – there’s no man, woman, Jew or a gentile. Lots of people get stuck 1 Timothy 2:12 and more specifically on the word “usurp.” But usurp comes only secondary in the structure of the text. It is the authority that Paul is writing about and it is the authority that comes from God – so no man or woman can usurp it.

    1. David Lewayne Porter says:

      So are you people Spiritually Transgendered?
      (Trying to smile).

      You seem to forget that God created the male first, then the female to aid him as a help-meet (not mate). Meet = part of him, his side, but not his head.

      You may want to go check the punishment God handed to Eve and the exact meaning of (your desire shall be unto thy husband).
      (Notice I am not concerned about the – and he shall rule over thee).
      Her “desire” does not mean what most people think it does.

      Also the quote of, “with God there is neither male, female, jew, or gentile”
      Gal 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
      28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
      29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

      One in Christ Jesus, Heirs of the promise;;:: God did not erase all of our differences. He does accept everyone equally on the grounds of salvation because with Him there is no respect of persons (we are told this four times in the New Testament alone).
      God did not remove His divine order (as in) He gave some apostles, some prophets, some evangelist, some pastors and teachers.

      The same writer that wrote, “there is neither male, female, jew, gentile”, is also the one that under the same anointing wrote about order within the marriage, home, ministry, Church, and body of Christ.
      All the verses on the topic must be compared, not just one or two here and there.

    2. Mary Ellen Nissley says:

      David Lewayne Porter If that which is addressed to Eve can be construed as a prescription, then that which is addressed to Adam must also be interpreted by the same rules.

      If Eve is directed in Genesis 3:16 to submit to her husband, then Adam is directed in verses 18-20 to do quite a few things:
      1. Only negative emotions allowed at mealtimes.
      2. Every godly man must grow a garden… of thorns and thistles.
      3. A vegan diet is mandatory for men. (not for women.)
      4. Males MUST work up a sweat before dinner, and the face must not be washed of that sweat, before eating.

      It’s obvious that Christian men feel no compunction about counteracting every aspect of the “curse” that applies to them.

    3. Mary Ellen Nissley says:

      David Lewayne Porter As to the order prescribed by Paul… it was never addressed to men, telling them to get their wives to submit to them.

      In fact, in Genesis 1:28, women were given equal domination alongside men… and man was not given any license or direction to dominate women.
      Read it for yourself.

      Instead, all directives to wives to submit are equally balanced by directives to husbands, to love.

      Perhaps the directives to women to submit were in answer to the natural bent of a wife not to submit to her husband.

      After all, ALL Christians are to submit one to another!

      And perhaps the directives to men to love their wives were in answer to the natural bent of a man not to understand and operate in love toward his wife at all times.

      After all, ALL Christians are supposed to love one another!

      Women tend to understand how to love more than they tend to understand how to honor and submit to a man.
      (Face it–women are more intuitive, and tend to value their intuition more than their husband’s reason-based approach.)

      And men tend to understand honor and respect more than they “get” the whole “love” thing. Men have a code among themselves that women do not have.

      Women need to learn from men how to respect as a man can feel respect.

      And men need to learn from women how to love so that a woman will feel loved.

      Neither gender is superior to the other.
      We are merely different, and should learn from one another, in humility.

    4. Mary Ellen Nissley says:

      David Lewayne Porter I hope I’m not overkilling this…
      God created humankind in His image. God is Trinity. He is plurality-in-unity. Thus, His true image had to also be created as a plurality-in-unity.
      Adam and Eve together were made in God’s image.
      Adam was not created any more perfectly in God’s image than Eve was.

      Just as God the Son was the Word throughout past eternity, and proceeded from the Father,
      Even so, God designed that woman also proceeded from man. It is His perfect image.

      Just as the Son is no less God for coming out of the Father, even so Eve is no less the image of God, for coming out of Adam’s side.

      Eve was made to be a help, meet (or fit) for Adam.
      Did this mean she was less than Adam?

      The same word used for Eve being made a help for Adam, is used many times in the Psalms to tell us God is our help.

      Therefore, “help” does not mean to be less than the one helped.

      instead, look at the word “meet”. It means a counterpart. An exact opposite.
      Which implies equality.

    5. David Lewayne Porter says:

      Mary Ellen Nissley
      Lol
      Show me were Eve was allowed to eat a meat (Biblically).
      Show me were diet was specified as animals (Biblically) before the Noahic Covenant and the fear and dread of man upon animals. (Point being, don’t add to the printed text).

      And I don’t know about you but I work everyday by the sweat of my brow. And I deal with thorns and thistles every time I do yard work and cut the grass at my house or church.

      I have never lessened the role or position of women. My stance is God Directs the God-Head so there is order,
      Jesus directs man so there is order
      Man under God’s direction directs the relationship with his woman so that there is order.
      And if he is smart in his dealings with her he realizes that they are heirs together to the promise,,

      1 Peter 3:7
      Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.

      Notice it says “as unto the weaker Vessel”, , not that she is a weaker vessel but for unity and submission/respect and reverence sake that is her role. That is the way it is Biblically whether we like it or not.

    6. Mary Ellen Nissley says:

      David Lewayne Porter You completely misunderstood what I was saying.
      I was not seriously proposing that men must approach their part of “the curse” as a commandment.
      I was only demonstrating that IF men require women to see even ONE aspect of their part, as a commandment, then according to the rules of Scirptural interpretation, the men must see their part also as a commandment. Which one would you choose?

      Fact is, every single part of what is addressed to both Adam and to Eve must be interpreted by the same rules. It is ALL only predictive, and not prescriptive.

      Sin now exists in the hearts of men, even as sin now exists in the earth. And thus it manifests itself not only in the soil, but also in men’s desire to dominate to the hurt of women.

      You have your thorns, and we have ours.

      You say you can pull yours out…
      but we daren’t.

  94. Karen Lucas says:

    Right, Margaret Mowczko, and the other thing I always think of regarding “covering” is that if a “covering” is necessary, wouldn’t Father God be covering enough for anyone – male or female – slave or free? What about unmarried adult women who are called to ministry? There are some who think they must literally stay in their father’s home and submit to all his ideas if they never marry. What happens when Dad dies? Little brother takes over??? What if there’s no brother? This gets really complicated.

  95. David Lewayne Porter says:

    Margaret Mowczko, Karen Lucas
    So you have never read,
    “Eph 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
    24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
    25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

    So Then I guess if headship and covering does not exist then husbands loving their wives is discounted as well?
    (Poison pill).

    1. Mary Ellen Nissley says:

      This passage does not address “covering, per se. that is another subject, addressed in I Cor. 11.

      As to THIS particular passage, it does tell women to be subject to their husbands. And it is clear.

      However, I find it particularly disturbing that husbands use this as a stick to try to get their wives to submit.

      Does it work, for a wife to try to get her husband to love her, by complaining about it, trying to teach him from the Bible that He ought to love her better?
      NO.

      So… my point is this: READ YOUR OWN MAIL!

      God wrote some stuff addressed to men, and some stuff addressed to women.
      Men should focus on reading that which God addressed to THEM. If a husband truly loves his wife as Christ loves the church, it makes it SO much easier to submit to him!
      …just as much as it helps a man to love his wife, if she submits to him!

      However, let me tell you my own story.
      My husband had a hole in his soul. He was borderline schizophrenic ever since I knew him… besides being a little autistic. He couldn’t hold a job, and couldn’t manage money… and couldn’t understand social interactions in group settings… and he felt despised by the whole world.

      I tried with all I had, to fill up that hole. But it was bigger than anything I could supply to him. And it nearly destroyed me.

      He blamed me for everything bad in our marriage. For years, he used the very verses you quoted, to try to get me to honor him more. To try to get me to submit better.

      i followed him from church to church… we averaged a new church every year or two… and we moved about as often. Eventually, he was sure he was supposed to start a house church, and I submitted to that, too. Eventually, since no one came, we simply didn’t have services at home, nor did we attend anywhere.

      Isolated and severely depressed, I very nearly committed suicide.

      But then he abandoned me and the kids.
      And suddenly, the light came on.

      The reason he accused me (falsely!) of committing adultery, is because that’s where his own heart was.

      And the reason he constantly held it over me that I wasn’t submissive enough, is because his own ego was far too important to him.

      He was trying to apply Ephesians 5:22 to me,
      without first applying verse 21 to himself!

    2. Margaret Mowczko says:

      Hi David Lewayne Porter, the husband being the head of his wife is mentioned in Ephesians 5:23ff, but “covering” isn’t. Nor is it mentioned in any other NT verse, as far as I know (including 1 Corinthians 11:10 which mentions the woman’s own head).
      Christian women/wives have exactly the same access to God as Christian men/husbands. Husbands are not mediators of God’s will, or spirit, or salvation, or whatever you might take “covering” to mean. There is one mediator between God and humanity, the human-being Christ Jesus. We need to take care that no person tries to take on Jesus’ role, or comes *between* Jesus and his wife.
      Furthermore, both Christian men and women have the same Spirit, and the Spirit gives his gifts without apparent regard of gender. The authorisation to serve and minister in any, and every, capacity, is an authority that comes directly from God and is not linked to gender and requires no “covering”.

    3. Danny Woods says:

      @ David Lewayne Porter Head in what sense, my good brother? I hope that all women get the proper respect that they all deserve and need.

    4. David Lewayne Porter says:

      Mary,
      I am sorry that a man that was struggling with his own personal trials and temptations put you through that in the name of Christianity. I am also sorry that the churches he was in and ministers that he was under did not have the discernment to see it and help. (I just lost a couple from my church because I told the husband that he needed to listen to the advice of his wife/help-meet as Pilot was warned by his wife concerning judging Jesus).

      As much as all of that bothers me we still can not discount or over look the scriptures.

      Please understand that I am not your enemy, and I am not against you. I empathize with you, yet I have to give The Scripture precedence, in spite of what I want or anyone else would like for it to say.

      Your quote, “read your own mail”.
      I did. That is where I always start. You see, as you let me into your point of view and why, You do not know why I take much stance – simply. You commented on my comment concerning “covering” so please don’t get upset when I address you individually.

      1) we are to read the entire Bible, not just certain Scriptures (in some way All scripture applies to everyone.
      2) it is not at all easy to submit to spouses all the time, that is,why our walk with Christ is also referred to as carrying our cross. A good example of a wife’s cross is believing wives setting the example for an unbelieving husband. (You are correct that husbands should give first priority in their marriage to loving the wife, supporting her (in ALL ways) not hating his own flesh). But what did Peter say to do if they did not? Please don’t get upset with a minister that simply quotes God’s standards.
      I wonder if it would help this conversation if we reversed it with a believing husband dealing with an unbelieving wife. What if he wanted to work around the verse that tells him to keep trying and love her unconditionally.

      Maybe you are correct – (poison pill) the issue is that each one needs to concentrate on what God said to them and leave the other party to God for conviction.

      3) ? Did you pray over your marriage before you married?
      Did God say to marry or was there an implied Godly allowance to marry? I believe many people marry those that they are not spiritually prepared to. I walked away from 3 engagements. My wife is everything and more than I prayed for. My wife prayed concerning the husband she would receive 6 years before we met and married.

      As a minister after counseling I have refused to do the ceremonies of 4 couples. They married anyway. 3 divorced in under 2 years for reasons I pointed out during the sessions. The fourth told me I was right and they are determined to make it work.

      (I personally believe people should pray more about their spouses BEFORE they marry instead of having to afterwards we would not be having all of the issues in their severity that we are having now.
      (I don’t have time to go into the way my wife and I met and married) – that is my own mail.

    5. Danny Woods says:

      @ David Lewayne Porter I really appreciate your fervor and passion, my brother in Christ, and I would like to talk with you more. God bless you and yours. Love is the greatest way to get points across. The truth in love. I love all of you! 😀

    6. Mary Ellen Nissley says:

      David Lewayne Porter I prayed. but my upbringing was so strictly old-fashioned Mennonite that I was groomed to see myself as nothing more than a help meet for a man.

      We were taught strongly that every woman needed a male “covering… so much so that women had to wear literal fabric “coverings” on our heads. We were trained to be absolutely obedient in all things to our male coverings.

      My Daddy died when I was a baby, and I know that, coupled with such strong teachings, pushed me into marrying the first man who came along, offering to be my covering.

      My mother, my stepfather, and my church were all very much in favor of my marrying the man I did.

      Because if it is bedrock truth that every woman needs to be under such headship, then any headship is better than none.

      I have been set free. Please don’t put women under more bondage than the OT put them under!

    7. David Lewayne Porter says:

      Mary Ellen Nissley
      I have not put women under bondage, yet I can not say the entirety of Scripture does not matter.
      Go back and read my initial post. I have the upmost respect for women, especially ministers, but they have their God Ordained place.

      I believe you are reading the scriptures with bias in light of your situation and that is not what God intended. Yet God still ordained his writers to explain headship and divine order in the home, marriage, ministry, and church.

      Men are not to be domineering.
      Women are not to rebel.
      One is just as wrong as the other,
      Are they not?

      I actually advocate for women to be used in their God called roles in ministry. Yet they have to realize they are not submitting and doing so to a man but as until The Lord.

      Any submission by man or woman that does not line up with the totality of Scripture is not from God.

      Be blessed.
      I am praying for your scars, for more, complete, deeper healing.

    8. Mary Ellen Nissley says:

      David Lewayne Porter I am suggesting to you that your view of Scripture influences your ability to see outside your box.

      Throughout the Bible, women were used by God as prophetesses. Nowhere in the Old Testament was a woman commanded to sit down and shut up.

      Yet, we have these two verses in I Cor 14: 34,35… that seem to contradict all that. They say women should keep silence, as also saith the law.

      And I have seen these verses applied all kinds of ways except literally, by the churches who claim they are to be applied to the church.

      Fact is, these verses do not flow with the context, unless you see them as what they are: a question Paul is quoting from the lost, original letter from Corinth. The law being referred to is not the OT, but the Mishnah! (Of course the Mishnah was only in oral form yet, at the time.)

      I have read the Mishnah. Have you?
      It’s what was being “said by them of old time” that Jesus rebuked so strongly. And in that Mishnah, you will find the precise words: a woman’s voice is not to be heard in the assembly–it is a vile thing.

      The OT holds no such concept. This is why there was no such thing as a women’s court in the Tabernacle, or in Solomon’s temple. But under the influence of those women-oppressing rabbis, the women were separated from the congregation of the Lord, and place behind screens, both in the Temple, and in synagogues. This is not anything God ever commanded.

      Instead, in the OT, you see Miriam set alongside Moses and Aaron, as a leader of the people. (Micah 6:4) You see Huldah consulted to verify to the king and the priest, what exactly was the Word of God… and she prophesied directives to them.

      Even in the NT, we have Scriptures inspired through Elizabeth and Mary.

      “What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only?” 1Co 14:36

      No. It came to and through women also.

      Now, go back and look at the preceeding context of those two verses… It’s all about how ALL may speak. ALL may contribute equally to the services in the church.

      If not ALL are allowed to contribute equally, then not ALL can be comforted.

      Because being allowed to contribute equally is an integral part of being comforted.

      May I share a bit more of my story?
      I was part of a church that literally applied these verses.
      The adult Sunday School class was integrated. (The men wanted their wives by their sides.) As a woman divorced against my will, I had no male representative to speak for me. I was held in strict silence, only allowed to listen, and not speak in the “open” discussion.
      I came to a crossroad. Either I was going to sit down and shut up, and die inside, (I felt it happening) or else I was going to leave that church. I didn’t want to leave! About 50 people of that church were my extended family! We were very close! If I left that church, I was literally forsaking my family for the Lord.

      I tried to settle down and just be silent.
      But God sent me a strong warning through a dream– I dreamed I was standing before Christ, and He was placing people on His right and on His left. I was pretty sure I would be placed on THAT side– and I was! then I turned around, and realized I had seen it wrongly! I thought I was right, but I was LEFT!

      I cried and screamed for mercy, but Jesus ignored me.
      I felt the lostness of a soul facing hellfire for eternity.

      I woke, and flailed to find my Bible, gasping, “Oh Lord, Please help me know I have eternal life!”

      And the Bible fell open to Luke 10:25.
      God was telling me I had to love Him with ALL my heart, soul, mind, and strength… otherwise, I was not fit for Heaven.

      That was the turnaround. That’s why I had to leave my family, my security, and my culture.

      God led me miraculously to the church I am in, and has set me into the ministry. Every day, as I pray, I hear His voice: I have called you to preach.

      To disobey would be spiritual death. To pull back would be to cut off my oxygen. He is all I have left.

      I do not want any authority over men. I do not long for a place to be recognized or given power. All I want is to serve my Lord with all I have to give.

      My pastor, and everyone else in my church, tells me that I have a powerful anointing on my ministry. But that doesn’t really matter to me… I don’t want recognition. All I want is to do everything God has called me to do. There is SO much to be done!

    9. David Lewayne Porter says:

      You missed the forest for the trees.
      I never lessened the role of a woman. I never said she was to sit down and shut up (as you put it).
      You are trying to convince me of a point that I already adhere to. But and yet in God’s order the wife is still under the husband as far as submission and headship (just as Jesus did, does, and will do all He does at the directing of the Father).

      You referenced Miriam, when was she allowed into the Holy place?
      When did she see God’s face, face to face?
      What happened when she exalted herself and came against Moses (she received a more swift judgement from God himself than did Aaron) and Moses whom she was set alongside of – as you state it – had to intercede for her healing, not even Aaron could do that.
      If they were set along side each other, where was Miriam while Aaron was forming a calf, why was she not a spiritual enough leader to stop it? Where was she while Joshua accompanied Moses as close to God’s presence as possible? How about when God called Moses to the tent of meeting and when Moses returned to the camp Joshua stayed in the door of the tent?

      But any way, enough of the speculation.

      Sister I love your testimony.
      The same way you said that you don’t want authority over the man, I don’t want authority over the woman, yet that is God’s Plan.
      If we remove women from church history then we truly have no church because the women have carried the church throughout much of it’s history.
      Being the head of the wife, church, any other person or situation gives us a chance of more harsh judgement.

      Sister be blessed, I just hate that a man hurt you so bad that you are (afraid) of the true biblical meaning of Holy, Spiritual, God submission.
      I hate that a church has treated you like this.
      I think I would have loved to have been able to have you in my congregation.

      I am praying for you.

      Truly be blessed in Jesus name, by the healing of the Holy Spirit.

    10. Mary Ellen Nissley says:

      David Lewayne Porter Can you please show me the command in Scripture addressing you to take the initiative to bring your wife under your domination?

      And I don’t think your theology is quite correct in how you view the eternal submission of the Son to the Father, within the Trinity, in eternity past.

      Jesus learned obedience by the things he suffered. He never had to obey the Father before.

      The Eternal Godhead exists in perfect unity. the Son flowed from the Father, as the Word, and thus was in perfect unity, without the need for domination or submission.

      The only reason one ever needs to be dominating, is when there is a clash of wills.

      In the Garden, Jesus prayed “Not My will, but Thine.”
      This was a new thing. Jesus’s natural will was different from the Father’s will. And thus, he learned obedience.

      Within the body of Christ, all Christians are to submit one to another. We are to dwell together in the unity of Love. What kind of love? The kind that flowed within the Trinity in eternity past. The kind that seeks not her own. The kind that vaunteth not itself.

      And when that kind of love exists in a marriage between Christians, there is no clash of wills. There is no need of domination.

    11. David Lewayne Porter says:

      Sister, there is not a verse for a man to dominate his wife, [or anyone else]. I have not stated nor impied any of that in any of my posts.
      I wonder if you have read my posts, you could not have read them all, totally.
      If my wife had not displayed the character of a Biblical and Godly Spiritual lady, I would not have married her (I walked away from 3 engagements for that reason).

      My wife had displayed her ability to minister with a confident yet submissive gifting and Spirit in the ministry before we ever met and discussed marriage.
      I use women in my church to minister (when I will not use men) due to the peaceable Spirit the ladies possess (that the men lack).

      To disagree with you again, show me where a Christian is to dominate others even if/when there is a clash of wills..?…

      Sister
      Please go reread my posts before you try to place words in my mouth or opinions in my head that are not there.

      Be blessed (as long as you follow and obey God).

    12. Mary Ellen Nissley says:

      David Lewayne Porter Actually, I had read all of your posts in their entirety, but I went and re read them just now…
      I can see how we weren’t really communicating as well as we could have been.

      I guess you aren’t nearly as strict as I thought you were.
      My main concern is that I know what it looks like when a church tries to literally enforce the Scriptures that seem to teach that women need a male “covering.”

      i grew up under it. And God had to bring me out, to be able to use me in the calling he created me for.

  96. Karen Lucas says:

    Quite to the contrary, David Lewayne Porter. I am very aware of it and also very thankful for it. It’s a beautiful passage. However, I think it would be important to do a word study on the word “head” in this scripture. The interpretation Westerners tend to assign to it in the hierarchial sense may not be the most appropriate choice. The word is probably more accurately interpreted as “source,” which is more in keeping with the general concept of the word “husband” as in husbandry. Verse 23 is, I believe, a further explanation or evidence for the purpose and value of adhering to the instruction given in verse 21 to engage in the mutual submission that you so wisely pointed out was described in verse 21.

  97. John Ruffle says:

    Karen I like your comment regarding head as “source”. We speak of the “head” ir a river, being the source from which the river springs. I think your observation about the hierarchical western mindset is very valid, because if we believe in “healing and wholeness” as a central focus of Gospel activity then by definition, we should be seeking a holistic view of life and human interaction. Often the inner wholeness must begin to emerge and this enables physical healing and the eradication of dysfunctional behaviours that so often plague us.

    Conversion is a journey. A danger is we often see ut as an end in itself, but it is much more than that. Many religious people wave their salvation ticket Sunday by Sunday but fail to ever jump on the train for the life journey. This of course was what the “deeper life” message was all about – living our faith, knowing the truth, and allowing the truth to destroy self mis-conceptions and setting us free in Jesus Name.

  98. David Lewayne Porter says:

    Exactly Karen, and where is your river without the source? There is not one is there.
    I am not belittling the woman, on the contrary. By the woman being created the fact is shown that man could not do it alone. But looking to 1 Cor 11, man is the head of the wife, 1 Corinthians 11:3
    But I would have you 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.

    Who directed Christ’s earthly ministry He Himself or the Father. How did Christ end up on the cross
    Phil 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
    6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
    7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
    8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
    9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

    There are too many other Scriptures that keep us from just discounting that the head of the home is the male (under Christ, under God The Father).
    If not, then I submit, that the woman not doing so is not fully nor completely submitting to God.

    What do you do with believing wives being told to reverence her unbelieving husband unless she is in fear for her life/bodily harm?..And believing wives are allowed to do less,?, …
    1 Peter 3.

    1. Karen Lucas says:

      David Lewayne Porter, perhaps it would help to think of source or head as beginning point or origin. So the point of origin from which man sprang forth is Christ (because he is the first born of all creation and was before Adam was. He is the Logos) and the point of origin from which women sprang forth is man but the point of Origin for Christ is God. So, that’s our ancestral history. And since we are joint heirs with Jesus….. That is the argument that I see unfolding in 1 Cor. So far as advice for believing wives to to show respect to unbelieving husbands. I think it is good advice for how a Christian should conduct themselves in any relationship (male or female) – especially if they are intending to be an ambassador for Christ if they are hoping and praying to draw someone into a relationship with Christ. The point made is that submission to God and one another out of reverence to Christ is a way of emulating the example set before us by our Savior and elder brother, Jesus. After all – it was his submission to his mission as the word made flesh that created a way for us to be reconciled to God. How can we humble ourselves and lay down our lives to become the word made flesh to those around us in order to help lay a path for someone else to reconcile with God?

    1. Karen Lucas says:

      Nice. I would have liked to have seem some discussion about the proposition that head coverings were a symbol of marriage in that culture. I have heard that discussed elsewhere.

    2. Margaret Mowczko says:

      Thanks Karen. There’s very little hard evidence about what women wore on their heads in the first century. We have Greek art and Roman art which give us good clues but practically no Jewish art because of the graven image commandment. Veils aren’t mentioned much in literature until the second century, most noticeably in Justin Martyr’s “On the Veiling of Virgins”.

    3. Karen Lucas says:

      Margaret Mowczko, thanks for the tip off on Justin. It doesn’t seem that the head covering as symbol of marriage argument would work well when we look at what is being said to the men but I do find it an interesting possibility. I like the way the article sets up the outline of the argument in 1 Cor. It’s also good to remember that law students used to study the writings of Paul to learn how to argue a case. It makes sense that he would be setting up the question or item for debate before he would present his “case.”

  99. John Ruffle says:

    In all things have love. The problem is dysfunctional males using scripture to excuse their total wrong step with God and turning scriptures into their own broken image. Yes the husband is not only head as un souce but also has a protective authority. But NOT unless there is first humble submission to God. Otherwise in my mind, it is the worst kind of abuse – because it hides its evil work behind scripture.

  100. Margaret Mowczko says:

    Hi John, I agree with some of your comment, but where does it say in the Bible that the husband has a “protective authority”.
    I don’t see that language in the Bible. Many Bible women protected men, and communities. Surely we are meant to protect one another according to our needs and capability.

  101. Margaret Mowczko says:

    I think people read waayyy to much in the word “head” which is used in a variety of ways by Paul, and rarely meant “leader” in Classical or early Koine Greek. It almost certainly doesn’t mean “leader” in 1 Corinthians 11:2-16. And I strongly suspect it refers to a head-body metaphor denoting unity in Ephesians 5:22-33. There are no words about leadership or authority in Ephesians 5:22-33, but plenty of words about selfless love, loyalty and unity.

    1. Amanda Walker says:

      Thank you for bringing up this important point! Head, as stated in the text was never meant to be the hermeneutic equivalent to hierarchy. If Christ is the “head” of the church, the “head” imagery in both the Gospel Narratives and Epistles is more similar to Philippians 2 and Matthew 18:1-5, Mark 9:33-37, and Luke 9:46-48. Thus, it supports my original logic that both man and woman are equally submitted one to another. I am not debating that woman are not different than men. We embody the effeminate nature of God and are made in the image of God. Again, the Pater Familia (head of household) is a carnal, pagan concept and was never the intention of God for us to live that way. Women were never lesser then men. We were subjugated after the fall but have been redeemed by the blood of the lamb. It is the power of the Holy Ghost inside us that makes us partakers in Christ’s divine nature.
      It is culture and carnality that decided to position the salvation of women before the curse. Why is it that a man enjoys the “full” privilege of the Gospel, but yet a woman still remains under the curse?
      Also think of the union of the trinity. The Perichoresis is egalitarian. The Son is submitted to the Father, The Spirit is submitted to the Son and the Father is submitted to the Holy Spirit. Not one member of the Trinity is above the other. They coexist in a divine dance of unity, love and justice.

  102. Stan Wayne says:

    I am in favor of women preachers but for modern women who are distant from the frontier life of our ancestors who protected their wives from the dragons of other men, wild animals and the need to be get things done while resting for breast feeding childbirth pregnancy etc it is absurd to think the mans physical strength and lack of fluctuations of such is not useful to wives.

    “But as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives also be to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself up for it;”
    Ephesians 5:24-25 ASV

  103. Margaret Mowczko says:

    Perhaps men need to keep other men in check, and certainly physical strength is useful, but I can truthfully say that my husband has never protected me from a dangerous situation.
    Also, sometimes the things that protect us have nothing to do with physical strength.
    As I mentioned in a previous comment, there were several Bible women who, because of their wisdom, protected or saved men and communities, even the nation of Israel on two occasions.
    Moses would have died on several occasions if it hadn’t been for the actions of six courageous women.
    The Bible just doesn’t say that protecting people is the responsibility of men. Loving one another also means looking out for one another and protecting one another.

  104. John Ruffle says:

    It is so interesting to me that you bring dysfunctional (let’s call ’em non-manly) men and the trans-gender issue. Bishop Terry Wiles just posted a great response to current social changes and I have my own theory as related to the discussion on women in ministry if anyone cares to hear about it

  105. Troy Day says:

    Another great resource is the Junia Project is an online community of women and men advocating for the inclusion of women in leadership in the Christian church and for mutuality in marriage. We believe that when interpreted correctly, the Bible teaches that both men and women are called to serve at all levels of leadership, and that leadership should be based primarily on gifting and not on gender. http://juniaproject.com/

  106. Karen Lucas says:

    I thought we were discussing theology and ecclesiology as it pertains to women in ministry, Stan Wayne. I don’t follow. Were you referring to a particular article?

  107. Stan Wayne says:

    Pentecostals have always (since 1896 or 1901 depending on your preference favored the Methodist, Salvation Army view of women preachers based on Joel 2 and Acts 2 with subsequent passages that are debated seen through the lens of Acts 2 –

    Guneo is seen as wife primarily – not woman. Wives – not single women (virgins, widows, etc) – have a voluntary complementary relationship with husbands.

    Feminism or marital egalitarianism is unknown in the NT

    1. Karen Lucas says:

      Oh, now I understand the point you wish to make but where is “guneo” coming from? So far as marital egalitarianism in the NT – What about Aquila and Priscilla? How do you see that?

    2. Stan Wayne says:

      I see Priscilla as more capable than Aquila at bible knowledge accounting for her name coming first (them being childless apparently making her able to be active). And I see Aquila as head of the tiny family accounting for his name listed first at other times.

    3. Stan Wayne says:

      There is no reason to think they for religious or cultural reasons disagreed with Paul’s exhortation to the Ephesians (where they also sojourned):

      “Wives, be in subjection unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.”
      Ephesians 5:22 ASV

    4. Karen Lucas says:

      See my comments above. I understand verse 22 and 23 as a continuation of verse 21 – “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” and within the context of the whole chapter and letter. I think it’s also important to realize that Paul was addressing a particular issue with a particular community (Ephesus – a sexualized society in which Women exercised authority through their sexuality) and using it as an opportunity to create a metaphor for Christ and the church. So, I think we should be careful not to draw hard lines from the Ephesians 5 passage alone. We have to consider it with the counsel of the whole scriptures.

    5. Stan Wayne says:

      I have also done academic study on this like you obviously have done in the context of Christians for Biblical Equality etc but I think it is eisegesis based on preconceived assumptions and desires to be like the western world –

      Colossians has essentially the same exhortation as does Peters epistle (Rome, Jews, Galatia, Bithyniac etc.) where Diana worship or temple prostitution cannot be said to be the cause – it is pretty standard fare – nothing peculiar is presented – the burden to say that the submit passages don’t mean submit is on the person who proposes a hidden or non obvious meaning

    6. Stan Wayne says:

      If you don’t want to submit to husband don’t get married is the thought – and if wives don’t submit to husbands – then husbands wouldn’t submit to Jesus and Jesus wouldn’t submit to father

    7. Karen Lucas says:

      I just studied it, period – because I wanted to understand why some passages seem so contradictory and because I wanted to know the heart of God on this since I am a woman and I desire to be pleasing to Him in every way that I can. I have come down on both sides of this before and have practiced both with my husband. We are both under much less stress with an egalitarian approach. We submit to one another according to our gifts, abilities and callings. I do all I can to show him respect and he does all he can to show me love. That pattern is how men and women typically feel most valued…not always – but typically. I see the submit message loud and clear but I see it applied to both partners within the marriage. We tend to think of it as preferring one another. Your last comment completely eludes me. I do not see the logic there at all. How would a wife’s failure to submit to her husband prevent a husband from submitting to Christ or prevent Christ from submitting to the Father? These things are not dependent on the other. We are joint heirs with Jesus and in submission to the Father. Jesus simply showed us how to do it. As in the early church, an educated husband might show his uneducated wife how to do it by washing her with the water of the word.

    8. Stan Wayne says:

      I understand – there is theory and practice disjunction often – and it has to flow naturally – plus one can speak statistically with large groups of how it works or doesn’t work – and defining success- my wife of 26 years I don’t guess thinks I lord over her and I fear her disapproval often and yet I think the kids would think she defers on spiritual/church type issues

    9. Karen Lucas says:

      Yeah. It’s the opposite at my house. Everyone defers to me on ministry, spiritual and relational issues but defer to my husband on issues regarding finances and administrative /organizational/planning stuff.

  108. Mary Ellen Nissley says:

    Great conversation on women in ministry. So grateful for everyone who took the time to contribute and express their Biblical conviction

  109. Colby Benefield says:

    God said his sons and his daughters shall prophesy. Eve was deceived by satan, I believe in many situation women are more easily deceived, although this isn’t always true, many doctrines my parents came to believe were shown to my mother first and my father rejected them because in his mind at the time god would have shown it to him first, he was in a a group that belittled the role of women. But I believe women can minister without a man above them, if they are married as a Christian women they should summit to spiritual things, if he is a Christian man, even if he is wrong because each will reap what they sow, she will will be blessed and him punished if that were the case. But there are separate roles we each play, god made women to do things men couldn’t and men things women couldn’t, that’s why this feminist moment is complete crap, not that women can’t do certain things we can or work or stuff I’m not sexist, but we were simply made with different roles. But a women can be any kind of minister.

    1. Mary Ellen Nissley says:

      1 Tim 2, end of chapter was written in response to a situation specific to Corinth in the first century. Timothy was confronting the pagan/Jewish cult of Artemis, who taught women to grasp to control their husbands. The theology of this cult said that Eve was created first, and that Adam was deceived. And they taught that women would be kept safe through childbirth if they attended the pagan temple and took part in the rituals.

      Those verses were never intended to create a doctrine that women are more easily deceived than men. Nor that having children somehow saved a woman.

      Also, the preceding verses point to a shift from talking about ‘women” to “A woman”. In the greek this is significant… it seems to siginify that a specific woman had entered the church and was trying to teach others this pagan doctrine… Paul was telling Timothy to have her sit down and “learn in silence with all subjection.” This was a phrase of that day, refering specifically to teachers in training, who were sitting as prime students, and the feet of the rabbi. A teacher in training.

    2. David Lewayne Porter says:

      Mary Ellen Nissley
      I am glad you pointed out that “teach” is used instead of “minister or preach”.

      So often ministers and churches that do not allow women in front of the church during the regular service have no problem allowing them to teach in other areas of the church at other times.

      I personally have anyways questioned that and had issues with it as well.

    3. Danny Woods says:

      David Lewayne Porter, go back the original Koine Greek and you will find that men and women can minister openly along side one another, but with not without boundaries in place. You should may maybe look into a Christian counselor online or a therapist who is a Christian of the same creed as you. I’m a man and I cannot allow other males to criticize our female clergy. I love your zeal however.

    4. Danny Woods says:

      Your other point on some of us being transsexual or transgender was kind of thought provoking. There’s a great movement by evangelicals and other similarly minded Protestants and Roman Catholics who do not approve of same-sex marriage or LGBT political rhetoric.

    5. David Lewayne Porter says:

      Danny Woods
      If you go read my post(s), and not just this one, you will see I advocate for women.
      My wife is an Ordained Minister and her mother, and grandmother were credentialed ministers.

      So please don’t think you are (not) “allowing” me to openly criticize our female clergy.

      You have not seen my zeal – yet.

      As far as “trans”, it was a poison pill (you do know what a poison pill agruement is don’t you?)?
      Also, if you go back and read I believe I said “trans”spiritual, which seems to say that some people are so confused spiritually (that spiritually speaking) they are not sure of what or who they are.

      Please feel free to correct me after you have read my post(s) in this discussion.
      (I will be sure to tell my Female minister friends – especially my wife, that their honor was defended by you, even if in your zeal you were “opposing” a comrade and not a foe.

    6. David Lewayne Porter says:

      Danny Woods
      Why gays hate Christians

      I don’t need an article to tell me that.
      Allow me to introduce myself as I enlighten you.
      (LoL)

      My brother is a professing and practicing homosexual (flaming – as he puts it).
      We have had more discussions on this topic than you would want to know about – some good, some bad. He also professes to be a christian. (I aint (used intentionally) going into that here or now).

      He is not the only lgbt person I deal with within a very close proximity.

      Danny
      I think people misunderstand me.
      Let me clarify, I have done and do my homework so that when I speak I am confident and sure as to fulfill;
      1 Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
      16 Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.

      And

      2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
      16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.

      I don’t just speak off the cuff.
      Rest assured that when I speak I know what I believe. I can and will back it up.

      Peace brother.

    7. Colby Benefield says:

      Danny Woods I have no denomination. I’m evangelical in the since I believe in evangelizing, I’m Pentecostal in the since I believe in the gifts and movement of the Holy Ghost and I’m charismatic. But no denomination

    8. Danny Woods says:

      David Lewayne Porter God richly bless and keep you, brother. I did not mean any harm to you. Facebook is a hazardous place at times. Keep the faith. I love this discussion.

    9. Karen Lucas says:

      That’s funny, Colby Benefield, I’ve heard so many comments in sermons and talked with so many male ministers one on one who remark that they felt their wives had a stronger spirit of discernment than they did for sensing when someone was deceitful or a doctrine was off. Usually, the next thing said is that men should learn the value of seeking the counsel of their Godly wives or mothers or sisters – who has also been made in the image of God. For a Godly woman who is redeemed and has already felt the strike of the serpent’s heel….9 times out of 10, she senses when the serpent is nearby and takes no issue with striking his head….. Writing that makes me think of the time I backed out of the driveway of my house and saw a snake had been under my van as I had loaded my toddlers in. When I saw how close that snake had been to my children, I was not satisfied just to drive away and leave it behind. I got out, walked to the shed, got out a sledge hammer and beat that thing until his head split right in half. The whole time I was thinking of that serpent in the Garden of Eden and how I’d like to split his head right in half too! Woo-hoo! Makes me want to preach! Colby, I’m concerned that you would be in dangerous territory to tell a woman to submit to a man who would lead her astray in spiritual things. A woman who knowingly did such a thing would be responsible for answering to God for it. Here’s an article that might help explain why. You might want to skip down to the “Petrine Passage” part. http://christianthinktank.com/not2obey.html

    10. Colby Benefield says:

      Karen Lucas I didn’t mean to offend you, and I do not believe that the above is always the case, god spoke to my mother concerning many doctrines my parents believed before my father, and she is also blessed with prophetic dreams while my father is not, he is still a great man of god. But in my experience I have found that the majority of women depending on there maturity in Christ are more easily deceived, but yet they are usually more devout and devoted were men in my experience have a harder time, resisting temptations and such. But these are not always the case. My father is more devoted to spending time in prayer and bible reading from what I have seen. But I still believe a man and a women have separate but equal roles just as important. And in certain cases the women “as a faithful Christian” must summit to the man. They both summit to each other and put each other first that’s what love is, to give an example, a man married man feels led to get his family out of a church and into a new one, the wife wants to stay, after talking and hearing each other out the mans decision should be final and if the wife has some issues with the new church he should listen and consider them, and pray, and from there I don’t know weather it would be right to leave or stay but I’ll go with leave since married is being one and they should find a place that fits both

    11. Karen Lucas says:

      I’m not offended Colby. I just think you’re wrong about some things. You can’t be equal and subjugated at the same time. Sometimes a wife needs to stand up and say, “No. I’m not going to church hop with you anymore. The common denominator is you. You’re so conceited that you’re unable to receive any insight or instruction from anyone else. What you need to do is start working on learning how to have healthy relationships instead of believing the delusional lie that you are the only one on the planet who knows how to do church and Christianity right.” Just an example…but I’ve seen it play out plenty of times. Iron sharpens iron. So, sometimes there has to be some friction. Sometimes the greatest form of Love is the word, “No.”

  110. Jeffrey Madison says:

    The Corinthians were Gentiles, they did not take Nazarite vows. Paul’s mention of hair was part of their culture; in that in the Roman and Greek world, women had long hair, and men had short hair (and shaved faces).

  111. David Lewayne Porter says:

    In my opinion (IMO) the organizations that lessen women in ANY form or position in ministry really need to go back and study all of the scriptures concerning ministry, women, women in the church, men and their attitudes in ministry and in the home, and then check why they personally feel that way.

    They do not understand the setting for any or all of these as they fit together in unity.

  112. Mary Ellen Nissley says:

    At least it makes it look like someone’s afraid of the help God designed for them… and it lends itself to a lot of frustration on the part of women who God has gifted and called to the ministry.

  113. John Ruffle says:

    I think some comments here reveal a fear of even considering God’s original intentional order and gender-roles. That maybe because we have become so dysfunctional and some of us may never have witnessed a proper male (or female) role model. M & F have different functionalities; different roles to play in the family and in society, including God’s society, the Church. What is so hard to figure about that I wonder?

  114. Karen Lucas says:

    I don’t see that at all John Ruffle. I see good healthy debate about biblical interpretation regarding how submission should be employed in marriage. What does that have to do with understanding that we are different and can fulfill different functions in marriage and family life and ministry? When a family is young it is often the man who is primary provider and protector so the wife can nurture little ones. When a couple grows old, that role may shift but it doesn’t always work that way. Sometimes she is provider so he can go to school or do something else. Then it might flip around again later. The bottom line is love and respect through it all, no matter where life may lead and mutual submission to God first and then to one another out of reverence for Christ – women realizing that what a husband desires most is respect and men realizing that what a wife desires most is to be truly loved…

  115. Danny Woods says:

    It’s quite surprising how many things women and young girls can do now! I say, let them do it. Some men and I might add some young boys need to stop despising women and girls so much. Bottom line, folks.

  116. Brother James says:

    Here is an article from the AG Enrichment magazine http://enrichmentjournal.ag.org/199904/060_women.cfm that has a short list of some of the influential women of Pentecost includes Maria Woodworth Etter and Kathryn Kuhlman to name just two. THere is a woman named Dr. (earned from AG seminary OTCP) Maria Kahleel in Pembrook Fl who is one of the most dynamic, powerful preachers of the Full GOospel I have ever heard. Here is a short bio of her (Maria Khaleel is senior pastor of New Life Assembly, Pembroke, Florida. She started the church in 1992.It is a multicultural congregation, with over 30 nationalities represented, and over 700 in attendance, 80 percent of which are first-time converts. She was ordained in 1988, and became the first woman to be elected as presbyter in the Peninsular Florida District of the Assemblies of God in 1998, a position that she served in until 2006. She has also served on the National Evangelism Committee and on the National Women in Ministry Task Force.)

  117. Ricky Grimsley says:

    Revelation 19:10 KJVS. [10] And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

  118. Mary Ellen Nissley says:

    God created women equally in His image. There were women used by God to prophesy in the OT and in the NT. There is even SCRIPTURE inspired through women. And we are quibbling over who gets to be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? Jesus said, “It shall not be so among you.” What part of “it shall not be so” do we not understand?

  119. Jeffrey Madison says:

    I would tend to agree that it had to do with the culture of the Greek/Roman world “IF” Paul hadn’t referenced the created order by God all the way back from the beginning at creation. Why do this if it was just a matter of “culture?”

  120. Ricky Grimsley says:

    How far do we go with this. Women have to dress moderately and must keep silent?. Is amazing how people look at the bible and see different stuff.

  121. Maria Irene Costas says:

    Kari Jobe is an anointing woman of God. God called her to bring the good news of Jesus Christ. If you are called (woman or man) to the body of Christ and to bring the good news you better do what Mark 16:15 said.

  122. Johan Paulsson says:

    Feminism it is called. A feminist spirit is it when a woman usurp authority over a man. where are women with a humble, meek and quiet spirit?

  123. Ricky Grimsley says:

    Paul doesn’t command for the election of female overseers because it was contrary to the culture of the Greek/ Roman world. However, the Bible plainly states that there is no male or female in Christ Jesus, all are equal.

  124. Jeffrey Madison says:

    I am not sure if you are saying that you do not believe that Jesus descended into hell. If that is the case. There is scriptural and historical teaching that substantiates this doctrine.

  125. Stan Wayne says:

    You Amish fundamentalists haven’t explained 1 COR 11, Acts 2, Priscilla teaching Appolos, Phillips prophet daughters, Apostle Junia, women prophesying teaching discerning in 1 Cor 14 and the role of widows and Phoebe, the role of single women (not wives) etc etc

  126. James Craig says:

    Although the bible does say for women to keep silent in church, if you study the history of that you will find that it has to do with church business. Women in the ministry yes I believe they can preach and there are some that I love to hear.

  127. Nathan Hellrung says:

    It’s the biblical standard but it’s not popular today, that’s for sure. Is there not a difference between prophesying and pastoring a church?

  128. James Craig says:

    Acts 2/17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams

  129. Nathan Hellrung says:

    There’s most definitely a difference my friend. The difference is the church structure, which Paul was clearly talking about in 1 Timothy 2

  130. Jeffrey Madison says:

    No there isn’t, I am sorry you are wrong. The Bible clearly says that it is the same Spirit that produces the anointing for the office of the Prophet and the Pastor. Here your perception of pastoring falls under the same anointing of being a Prophet.

  131. James Craig says:

    Joel 2/28 And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:

  132. Ricky Grimsley says:

    It was a matter of culture just like hair was a about culture. Nature may have taught that men with long hair was a sham but didnt the Nazarites have long hair?

  133. Jeffrey Madison says:

    There is no difference, the anointing is the same. The only difference is the cultural aspect, and that is what you’re missing here.

  134. Al Green says:

    Women can be pastors as well as prophetesses, teachers and any other leadership position you can name. Whatever God leads you to do whether you are a man or a woman do it with boldness in the power of the holy spirit.

  135. Jeffry Woolston says:

    I don’t know who started the “women can not be a pastor” talk but as far as I recollect in the COG they may be a pastor but can not lead business meetings. I grew up years ago and had a friend whose mother was a COG pastor and her husband had to lead all of the business meetings. Women are only “limited” when it comes to business matters. Is that not still the case?

  136. Al Green says:

    I think its ridiculous that women can’t run business meetings in the cog come on people Deborah was a judge and that was in old testament times

  137. Jeffrey Madison says:

    Nathan Hellrung The subject of female preaching/teaching/leading, and head coverings has everything to do with culture.
    In the Greco-Roman world a woman’s hair was an object of lust. Due to this, those who wished to remain single shaved their heads. What does hair got to do with preaching the Gospel of the Living GOD, anyway?

  138. Stan Wayne says:

    it is connected in 1 C 11 is why but I agree – the determining interpretive factor is that this kind of behavior was present in Corinth before Paul ever got there

  139. Jeffrey Madison says:

    I think it’s because of the fundamentalist view that sees Biblical Inspiration as Dictation (i.e. God verbally spoke each word in the Bible), or it’s because they have to high of a view of Plenary Verbal Inspiration (i.e. the Holy Spirit through special revelation guided the writers in the selection of each word). Due to this, they cannot get over the fact that some things in the Bible do not apply to us today.

  140. Stan Wayne says:

    The word guneo can mean “wife” or “woman” – if he was asking the mothers in the children’s area not to interrupt with questions till after the service while minding kids and getting distracted it would make some sense – since other women were prophesying in the service 3 chapters earlier

  141. Dennis Purvis says:

    I too support the opening of all ranks and offices of ministry in the Church of God to women. Like and/or share if you agree and add your name to the list.

  142. Jeffrey Madison says:

    Yep, it’s definitely because they hold to a heretical view of Biblical inspiration. Because of this, these Christians miss the more important parts of Scripture, it’s like Jesus said “they will strain out a gnat and swallow a camel,” (ff). We have the lost to save, and these fundamentalist are worried about who can preach and teach. The last time I checked Jesus “ask the Lord of the harvest for harvesters.” Jesus did say what the gender of the harvester had to be. Furthermore, Paul states in Romans that no one can believe unless they hear the gospel. It shouldn’t matter who teachers or preachers, as long as the gospel is being preached, and people are being saved. The Junia Project JUNIAPROJECT.COM

  143. Stan Wayne says:

    Do you think history is the right approach? Do you mean Deborah and other historical figures or do you mean exegeting the passage from a literal historical perspective?

  144. Spot on from Russia says:

    Spot on with this write-up, I seriously think this site needs much more attention. I’ll probably be back again to read through more, thanks for the advice!

  145. Mary Ellen Nissley says:

    This year’s General Assembly (Church of God, TN) will be held in Nashville, in July.
    On the agenda is whether or not to open the International General Council to “ordained ministers” instead of only “ordained bishops.”
    This move is not only to open the doors to a more congregational approach (in allowing all ordained ministers to vote in the Council) but also in allowing ordained women into a very highly prized “men-only” group.

    You can bet I am doing all I can to attend, and to vote on this.
    My pastor, however, is of the old-school variety, bless his heart.
    I love my pastor, and would never get into an argument with him over anything. However, he isn’t well-educated, and frankly, leans on tradition for safety, instead of on the Lord alone. It’s very hard for him to think outside of the box…outside of what he was always taught in the Church of God.

    I really feel like the scriptures cited for keeping men in total control of the business end of church matters is so unrelated, that it feels like they’re grasping at straws to preserve their hierarchy

    .1Co 14:34 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.
    1Co 14:35 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.

    Does this passage (or its context) say anything about who’s supposed to run the business of the church? does it say anything about finances? Does it say anything about church policy or agendas?

    No. It very clearly is a directive to make the women shut up and sit down, every time the church comes together. It’s talking about women taking part in what the whole chapter is about: exercise of spiritual gifts.
    It’s abusing Scripture to use this passage to try to make it say something else.

    But of course, to the uneducated, this passage looks like Paul is giving a command, and it just doesn’t fit with the Day of Pentecost, or even with what Paul just said in I Cor 11, about women prophesying.

    So they have to find SOME way of applying it, even if it isn’t what it actually says.

    But its about time we straightened out our understanding and application of Scripture. This generation is educated enough to understand this was a question (quoted from the letter we no longer have, from Corinth to Paul) and his answer is found in the verse immediately following:

    1Co 14:36 What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only?

    Of course the word of God didn’t come out from men only. Nor did the word of God come only TO men. The word down through the ages came to and through both men and women.

    It’s high time we got this done in the Church of God, and laid down some of this struggle for hierarchy. That’s a problem too. Jesus said we weren’t supposed to struggle to rule each other. It’s a carry-over from their Baptist heritage… and it’s time they stepped out of that fleshly approach.

  146. Nathan Hellrung says:

    A heretical view of Biblical inspiration? No one’s saying that women can’t evangelize and make a difference, just pointing out the order in the church structure as shown in scripture since the beginning of time. Biblically, it’s incorrect to have a woman pastor, who holds authority. If you don’t agree with it, that’s fine, but calling others views of it heretical is ignorant in my opinion.

  147. Ricky Grimsley says:

    Im ok with the idea of it but i have never met a lady pastor so i am unfamiliar with the application of it. I don see why we should stand in the way unless we impose the whole scripture (i feel out of context) for women to keep silent in the church. It isnt something i have studied really though.

  148. Charles Fake says:

    Ricky Grimsley, you will be hard pressed to find support that women have to remain completely silent in church. If you exegete enough you’ll find the scripture.

  149. Brody Pope says:

    I do not agree with making women Ordained Bishops. Ordained Licenced Ministers, fine. But not Bishops. I also do not agree with women pastoring a church. I have no problem with women preaching or evangelizing. But I do not agree with a woman pastoring a church. I suppose I should get ready for my thrashing now.

  150. Kerry Collins says:

    I think the GA floor should be opened upped to ordained and Bishop’s, I am a Bishop myself, we need to include in my opinion the ordained and woman can get to that level. Doing this would solve multiple problems at once.

  151. Corey Forsyth says:

    Okay so to be devil’s advocate here, since Paul gave specific instruction for women NOT to override a man’s authority, where does that line get drawn? Or do we ignore this verse because it’s an outdated school of thought?

  152. Kerry Collins says:

    The Bible says Bishop’s should be the Husband of one Wife. It’s the word, the order is set. My option includes those who are not in the conversation now, if the women in the COG that are minister’s want to push the Bishop status thing, then to me they are going down the wrong path to get involved and have the chance to be in the big conversation.

  153. Corey Forsyth says:

    I had always heard (haven’t dove into historical research personally) that the sanctuary was divided with men on one side and women on the other, thus requiring women to remain silent until service was dismissed. I see this as being a topic that causes division in many ways because there are arguments on either side of the fence that appear great but I just have to read Scripture and see that an order was placed for the offices of the church and go with that.

  154. Jeffry Woolston says:

    I think they should be a part of the General Council and be able to speak and debate, etc. but I too believe they should not be Bishops.

  155. Corey Forsyth says:

    Voddie Baucham has an interesting commentary. He was asked “What if a woman feels she is gifted to preach or teach?” His answer was that not everyone gets to do everything they feel gifted in. We have abilities that will not be used, at least in the context we may think.

  156. Mary Ellen Nissley says:

    Charles, you asked about I Corinthians 14: 34, 35. If you were to apply these two verses precisely as they are written, you would forbid all singing by women. Silence means silence. Yet, both the OT and the NT have women leading the congregation in singing, prophesying, and speaking inspired Scriptures, besides telling men how to view Scripture! (Deborah, Huldah, Mary, Elizabeth, Priscilla, Phillip’s daughters…) Obviously, something about this Scripture in 1 Cor 14 is out of sync with the rest of Scripture! Paul had just given instructions for women prophesying in chapter 11, and now, does he turn right around and tell them they can’t after all??! Fact is, I Cor 14:34 and 35 are part of the discussion of operation in the gifts… Paul had just finished telling them that they ALL may prophesy, one by one. And then, verse 36 again speaks of the word of God coming to them… Look carefully at verse 36. SOMEONE was trying to shut someone up. SOMEONE who thought the word of God was coming ONLY to them, or only through them. Verse 36 begins with a Greek disjunctive conjunction. Translated literally into our vernacular, Paul was saying “No way!” or “NOT!” So, what was going on here? We have to remember why the book of 1 Corinthians was written. It was Paul’s response to a letter full of questions, written from Corinth. Throughout this letter, there are questions, and Paul is responding to these questions. It can be a bit tricky to interpret this book, if you aren’t looking for the signs that indicate which parts are questions Paul is quoting from their letters, and which parts are his answers. For instance, in chapter 6: 1Co 6:18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. 1Co 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? Paul seems to say every sin a man does, is outside of his body. But is that true? No. There are many sins committed in (and against) our bodies. (Gluttony, drunkeness, etc.) The clue is that little word “but.” (it’s the same word found at the beginning of I Cor. 14:36.) Paul commands, “flee fornication.” then Paul quotes from their letter, “every sin … is without the body.” And then Paul objects to that quote: “BUT, he that committeth fornication…!) And then, Paul uses that little word again, “What?” …and (just like in chapter 14:36) he then gives the REASON he is protesting their heretical idea. Now, back to chapter14. verses 34&35 are quotes from that lost letter. Paul did not command those verses. Instead, he objects to those ideas, in verse 36. … In fact, the words, “as also saith the law” prove it. These ideas are NOWHERE found in the OT. Instead, they are found in the MISHNAH–which was at the time of Paul only in oral form, as the traditions of the elders–the rabbis whose teachings the Pharisees followed… who Jesus worked so hard against! The law referred to here, is not God’s law, but the extra laws of the Pharisees… the folks who invented the “women’s court” of the Temple. That was never prescribed by God, either. In 1 Cor 14, 34,35, it was the men, who were trying to shut the women up. But Paul said, “What? did the word of God come to you only? or did it come through you only?” No. the word of God has come to women also. And through women, too.

  157. Brody Pope says:

    Ok, so here’s a question: what made Paul say that women should remain silent?
    What was the reasoning behind it? Did a woman make him mad while he was preaching because she wouldn’t stop interrupting him?

  158. Jimmy Humphrey says:

    There are a lot of people out there who have experience… but its’ bad experience. We need people who have both, education and experience. One must be a “practitioner”

  159. Brandon Bohannon says:

    I would approach this proposed by-law change as I would any other. I would pray and then listen to the collective opinion and wisdom of the General Assembly. With that being said:

    Today, I would vote FOR the proposed change.

    1) This would still mean that every PERSON (regardless of age*, gender, race, nationality, ethnicity, etc) would have been screened by their state/regional credentialing committee, state bishop, and state council to be on the General Council floor.

    2) Every PERSON would have either passed through CAMS&MIP or the Lead Institute and have successfully passed TWO Examinations and an oral interview on Doctrine, Polity and Scripture.

    3) Every PERSON would have been current on their Ministerial Reporting.

    4) Every PERSON would still have the collective benefit of the Ordained Bishops in the room and discussion with them.

    This doesn’t change the Leadership structure in any way but it does change the Leadership paradigm by including the voices of another generation and of course the ordained women serving among and with us.

    Consider me in. What are your thoughts brothers?

  160. Terry Wiles says:

    AoG Ordination recognition, for many decades, was based on evidence of “divine calling” and they heavily relied on a term “congregational proclamational” which declared their intention that ordination was primarily a recognition for those with a recognized pulpit ministry involving preaching the Word.
    This excluded non pulpit ministries from ordination. But that has changed.
    There is a booklet called “Ordination” that was commissioned by former General Supt. Thomas Zimmerman that is a classic dealing with the process and purpose of Ordination from their perspective which makes a clear contrast between liturgical and non liturgical ordinations.
    From a distance it does seem that today Ordination is more about Degree than calling and about Position than gifting. But that may not
    Be a fair observation.
    I thank God for their pursuit of Excellence in Education while at the same time cling strongly to the affirmation of “calling” as being an equal criteria for the certificate of Ordination.

  161. Jackson Plant says:

    That is a blatant attack on every one who does not bow down to the alter of political correctness in the church! This tone is reason I never see this idea passing because it is un Christian in tone and content.

  162. Sandra E. Inman, M.Div. says:

    Can we debate without name-calling or rancor? I don’t know. But I pray that both men and women focus on our calling to GO and not be caught up in church politics. There is a world to be won. The fulfillment of Joel 2:28 and on pretty much answers the question of what God wants to do through His Spirit. Men, women, old and young. The New Testament is clear that the walls of separation are removed by the Gospel. It seems only right that women at the assembly should not be regulated to “the court of women.” Personally, I think the larger question should be – how can there be more participation by the lay delegates – we basically have one afternoon to pass or deny the resolutions, etc., and even then the bishops who have debated during the week take time away in that final afternoon to repeat their arguments. So- women in leadership? Yes. Women as bishops? Is this decided on an ecclesiastical standpoint or cultural? Can it be both? Looking forward to the debate – hoping for a reasoned debate.

  163. Patrick Ballington says:

    I sincerely question the character of whoever is responsible for this article. It is obviously intended to be inflammatory and deceptive in order to stir controversy and bias rather be misrepresenting the motion and the rationale. It is playing to the fears of some of and seeking to create greater division than already exists and should be categorized as “tabloid journalism”.

    AS THE AUTHOR of the motion and rationale IN ITS ORIGINAL FORM (it was amended slightly but the motions committee by adding the age qualification) I am amused, and frusrated, at those who are arguing my intent to be something other than it is.

    Let me state as clearly as a I can: This motion is an effort to bring women ministers and young ministers into the forum where matters are debated and ratified for recommendation to the General Assembly while RESPECTING AND HONORING the Scriptural viewpoint that women are to serve in ministry under a male covering.

    Since this motion IN PART (women ministers are not the ONLY ones included in the motion) attempts to reconcile both sides of the “women in ministry” debate by giving women greater participation in our organizational process, it seems to me that those who are against women being allowed to advance to the rank of ‘bishop’ or allowed to serve in the highest offices of leadership are now only left to argue for women in ministry to ‘REMAIN SILENT IN THE CHURCH’ since this motion only seeks to give them a voice in deliberation and not office of authority that some consider to be scripturally restricted to men.

    The debate over this motion should not be about ministerial rank or position AT ALL since those concerns and restrictions have been addressed by the motion. The debate over this motion should over giving women ministers a voice or not. The Scripture(s) I foresee us debating or deliberating over when considering this motion pertain to women ‘remaining silent’ in the church. And we have definitively decided that issue long ago. Therefore NOT passing this motion based on that argument would be regressive.

    1. Bishop Jackson Plant says:

      I will vote against this because you say all rank is handeled but it’s not. You left out Exhorters from process. They are a level of licensing in the CoG as such should be in discussion. If this is what it’s billed as then add this group. However what’s the need for the GC then? Will all be given a vote or only Bishops?

  164. Burnie Farlow says:

    The article itself does not seek to represent the motion, but rather the historical steps that had led to it. It is true that this motion may be considered divisive for trying to combine two historical debates on church ordination i.e. the ordination of young ministers and the ordination of women into the ministry. For the sake of continuity with church policies, it may be best to split the motion in two parts as it was offered above. This way, there will be no confusion coming from either feministic or sexists sides attempting to discredit the motion by itself.

  165. Bishop Jackson Plant says:

    This needs to stop! This is a one sided propaganda campaign to overthrow the will of the majority of the Church of God! Sad for so called Christian leaders to act! I will never support such blatant insurrection and rebellion! Pure spirit of Jezebel in the church!

  166. Buck McCormick says:

    Brother, women in ministry are a must. Anyone who claims the opposite does not truly desire that the soon coming of the Kingdom of God and limits the modernity of God Almighty in the church!

  167. Janice Green says:

    Actually, none of us have seen the original motion text so before hijacking the discussion toward something else that is not part of the OP it may be best that the original motion text is published here for all to read and understand. This is the way to deal with that if we want to avoid confusion. I also find the article to be a great chronological accumulation of historical data. It is very informative and must be circulated until all ordained ministers have read it and fully understand the steps the church has taken to lead us into the 21st century ministry.

  168. Tim Yverson says:

    I too agree that the motion represents two older motions but only partially. The older items from 2010 and 2012 assemblies were perfected to the purpose of the organization. Combined into this current motion they simply do not meet the common ground criteria. I cannot determine if the item should be split as per previous question, but it will be great to see the original. Perhaps, the so called divisiveness of the item comes from artificial combining of both previous items which was never meant to happen.

  169. William S. Wallace says:

    There is no ambiguity in scripture. Woman are not to be Bishops (or elders of deacons for that matter). The Church of God is using the worlds arguments to push this issue. in the consistency of scripture there has never been women in Spiritual Leadership over the Church. From OT to NT. The SON’S of Aaron were the High Priests, and the SON’S of Levi were the Priesthood. The Only Priestesses were Temple Prostitutes in Pagan Temples. When Judas died the remaining Apostles choose his replacement and were very specific who was qualified, no women were considered, Jesus had many women among His Disciples, but He chose none of them as Apostles. The first Deacons were to be “Men of God full of the Holy Ghost and Wisdom. Bishops are to be the Husband of one wife, governing their household well. It goes on to say that if they can not govern their own house they could not govern the Church of God. Why is it that this great Church wants to be like the weak worldly Churches around us by compromising scripture? I grew up in the Presbyterian Church in the 1970’s. They faced this same argument, they made their decision based on their view that scripture was not authoritative. They accepted that there are restrictions on women’s ministry in scripture, but they rejected the scripture saying that it was not reliant today. That is where I see the Church of God going, and it sickens me.

  170. Michael Sparow says:

    Having known the intention of the posters, I too resent the statement that the item is divisive, though I see how some may interpret it to be that way. Any name calling in this discussion amongst ordained ministers is completely out of order. Posting the original text may help little as this article is more than thorough in representing all related previous items voted at GA. The statements of various scholars further prove its theological cause. In a peaceful manner and tone, they have honestly and openly contributed to this current item, which represent a great leading majority within the denomination of voices that must be finally heard on the voting floor.

  171. following John Kissinger’s link, I found an interview with the author of this book. In that interview, he says this:
    “I regularly teach that in previous generations I think it was much more common for men to devalue the importance of their wives and their great wisdom and insight in every life situation…”

    Now, how can you say that, and also believe the literal interpretation of I Timothy 2:12-14?

    This passage seems to say that women are easily deceived, and that is the reason they must be under male leadership.
    Yet, if that position is true, then how can a husband value his wife’s “great wisdom and insight in every life situation”?

    1. Gen 2:20 does not contain the singular word “helpmeet”.
      Instead, it uses two separate words, “help” and “meet.”

      “Help” is “ezer” in Hebrew. It is used also in Psalm 46:5, speaking of God being a help to Israel.

      “Meet for him” is translated from one Hebrew word: “neged.”
      “Neged” means a counterpart. It carries the idea of a mirror-image–an opposite.

      Nowhere in the Hebrew does the idea of a “helpmeet” occur as it is traditionally thought of–as if the “help” a woman is supposed to supply to a man is smaller than the man himself.

      In fact, the words chosen by God to describe her, He uses to describe HIMSELF, as a help from above, to Israel.

      Now, I am not saying that women are superior to men. Not at all. I am only asserting that we are precisely what the Word says we are. We are a help to men, as God is a help to Israel. And we are “meet for men” as the opposite and equal force, to balance him.

      As to your word “helpmate”… it’s not in the Bible at all.

    2. So… let me try to understand your reasoning…
      You seem to be saying that if a woman chooses to be a “helpmeet” then she is NOT claiming to be equal to her husband.
      Can you tell me why, in light of the meaning of the Hebrew words translated “help” and “meet”?

    3. Charles Page says:

      I “feel” that equality means whatever is the relationship of Christ to his Father. He came to do his Father’s will. He was submissive to his will. That reflects in his role toward the church and the role of a wife to her husband.

      Christ performs a complementary role to the Father, I “feel” and “imagine” according to the recorded conversations of Christ and his Father in the Gospels.

      The role of a wife to her husband is complimentary. She is bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh, they are one.

    4. Isn’t it interesting that Christ never had to obey the will of the Father, before Christ became flesh?
      (Heb. 5:8)

      Therefore, before the incarnation, there was no need for submission and dominance. There was only perfect unity…equality. One was not dominant over the other. There was no need for it.

      It was only in the context of the will of Christ’s flesh, in opposition to the will of the Father, that He had to learn obedience.

    5. I’m not going to argue that subject…

      How do you feel about the actual Greek words of Gal. 3:26-28?
      In verse 26, the word translated “children” is actually specifically male in the Greek. It should read, “ye are all SONS of God…”
      And if you read verse 28 in that light, it is clear. I am a son of God, equal with you.
      Just as in Christ, blacks are equals with whites, and Jews equal alongside Gentiles, even so women are equal alongside men.
      Because spirits do not have gender.

      And that’s why God pours out his Spirit equally on men and women, and sons and daughters prophesy alike.

      Just as blacks and Jews, and slaves should never be relegated to a different place in the church, even so women should not, either.

    6. Charles Page says:

      Mary Ellen Nissley they meant all men (not women and blacks) were created equal. Blacks won equal rights and women won after that. Now all men are created equal as an American concept.

      Mary, you seem to be a feminist, are you?

  172. To the original poster says:

    What this ITEM is NOT?

    It is not a gender issue, but clearly a leadership one
    It is not a theological issue – even conservative theologians agree with women ministers in the church
    It is not a liberal issue – historically, some of our most conservative ministers have been women
    It is not a cultural issue – although many would like to take it there
    It is an issue of choice – the right the make choice and the right to give choice to others.

    With all this in mind, should ITEM 15 be revisited in 2016?
    How do you think it will benefit the church worldwide?

  173. With the dogmatic responses from Pastors to Christians on Tithes being only mentioned in the Old Testament (although untrue) and therefore not a command for the Church. This is in the New and we want to throw out the Holy Spirits instruction because He only said that for that time. Be honest, just say we disagree with the Scripture. It is a fluid document, it’s truths are not timeless and very situational. BE COLD!

  174. Expound….no. 1 Timothy 3:1-7 KJVS
    [1] This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. [2] A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; [3] Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; [4] One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; [5] (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) [6] Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. [7] Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

  175. Our Cog Our Cog says:

    Ricky Grimsley The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified…. But ye go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.” According to Matthew ch. 28

      1. B. W. Hedgecock says:

        I do not pretend to speak for God, His word is sufficient. When you leave the clear word of God you leave Gods way.
        There is a natural order in Gods Word but for what ever reason it seems to be disregarded. 1Cor. 11:1-3, Eph. 5:23, Col 1:18, Col. 2:19. Please do not go off track on these verse they are only in for reference to Gods order. Gods references have a particular order. This is not to say women can not preach only to preserve the order in the Church the body of Christ. To often scripture is taken out of context and miss used.
        1Timothy 3:2-5 A bishop then must be blameless,….. the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; One that.. ruleth well his own house…., having… his children… in subjection with all gravity; (For if… a man…. know not how to rule… his… own house, how shall…. he…. take care of the church of God?) KJV
        If the this is not specific in scripture what is? A Bishop is not a woman therefore it would be in direct violation of truth to ordain women as Bishops. Unless you can change every he, his, man, and husband in this scripture, meaning the words you can not reasonably see this other wise.

        1. B. W. Hedgecock says:

          Remember this is not about women preaching or pastoring this is about ordaining bishops, you can twist scripture all you want but scripture is clear on this subject. I find nothing that’s says a woman can not preach in scripture, but not as an ordain bishop. This is not about the benefits of the Church of God in Tenn. I am more concerned with Gods church than an organization
          because this has repercussions that effect the world wide body of Christ.
          Sorry to be so blunt.

    1. Randy Poole Randy Poole says:

      The bible is very clear on this subject and the church needs not to give into social peer pressure this is NOT about equality of men or women its all about Gods written word.1Ti 2:11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.
      1Ti 2:12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
      1Ti 2:13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.
      1Ti 2:14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
      This here below should clear up any question on women being ordained bishop or deacons again the bible is very clear:
      1Ti 3:1 This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.
      1Ti 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
      1Ti 3:3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;
      1Ti 3:4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;
      1Ti 3:5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)
      1Ti 3:6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.
      1Ti 3:7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
      Qualifications for Deacons
      1Ti 3:8 Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;
      1Ti 3:9 Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.
      1Ti 3:10 And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.
      1Ti 3:11 Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.
      1Ti 3:12 Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.
      1Ti 3:13 For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.

    2. Randy Poole Randy Poole says:

      Our Cog The women did not become apostles as well
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_the_Apostle_and_women

      Paul praises Junia as a prominent apostle[13] who had been imprisoned for her labour. Junia is “the only female apostle named in the New Testament”.[14] Ian Elmer states that Junia and Andronicus are the only “apostles” associated with Rome that were greeted by Paul in his letter to the Romans.[15] [Rom 16:7] Steven Finlan says Paul greets this couple as “kinspersons and fellow prisoners” and says that “they are outstanding amongst the apostles”.[16] According to Ian Elmer, the fact that Andronicus and Junia are named as apostles suggests a priori that they were evangelists and church-planters like Paul.[15] Some translators have rendered the name as the masculine “Junias”, but Chrysostom seems clear: “Indeed, how great the wisdom of this woman must have been that she was even deemed worthy of the title apostle

    3. Our Cog Our Cog says:

      Randy your post is random ourCOG’s AJ Tomlinson did not recognize modern day apostolic ministry period. So there was no way for ourCOG women (or men) to be called apostles. Not so in Biblical times when women bishops and apostles were abandoned Just follow what Chrysostom himself said in your own post His information was more accurate than today’s random logical exploration

    4. Randy Poole Randy Poole says:

      Our Cog, I must have not been thinking I know that there was a lot of debate on this issue but after reading it again for myself it is very clear to me that these two individuals were indeed NOT apostles however they were well known among those that were apostles Romans 16:7 reads, “Greet Andronicus and Junias, my relatives who have been in prison with me. They are outstanding among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was.” sorry for the misinformation

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