Thursday, December 19, 2013

Ability Isn't Necessarily Calling

Though I'd rarely admit it, I've always struggled with a desire to preach and teach God's Word. Society makes it difficult for women like me, who have abilities in communication coupled with a passion for the great doctrines of the Bible, to resist the compulsion to seek teaching ministries. Our secular counterparts have broken all kinds of glass ceilings in politics, medicine, academia, law and business, assuring everybody that women can do everything men can do...and probably better.

Christians, I'm sorry to say, have followed the world by opening positions of church leadership to women. Even otherwise conservative churches that would never accept a woman as their senior pastor  make seemingly innocuous compromises. As adamantly as they'd deny it, churches that allow women to take leadership in corporate worship or teaching men prefer  current traditions to the Bible's clear instruction in 1 Timothy 2:11-12.

And Jesus reprimanded the Pharisees, not for obeying God's law, but for replacing it with the traditions of their time.

Now when the Pharisees gathered to him, with some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem, they saw that some of his disciples ate with hands that were defiled, that is, unwashed. (For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands properly, holding to the tradition of the elders, and when they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they wash. And there are many other traditions that they observe, such as the washing of cups and pots and copper vessels and dining couches.) And the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, “Why do your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?” And he said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written,
“‘This people honors me with their lips,
    but their heart is far from me;
in vain do they worship me,
    teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’
You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.”
And he said to them, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition! 10 For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.’ 11 But you say, ‘If a man tells his father or his mother, “Whatever you would have gained from me is Corban”’ (that is, given to God)— 12 then you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or mother, 13 thus making void the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And many such things you do.” ~~Mark 7:1-12 (ESV)
Since Paul wrote 1 Timothy 2:11-12 under the direction of the Holy Spirit, shall 21st Century Christians nullify it to replicate secular culture's new norm of feminism? Or should we humbly accept Paul's prohibition on women exercising ecclesiastical authority, trusting that the Holy Spirit included the prohibition in the canon of Scripture for His purposes? I have made my choice.

1 comment:

  1. If you have the desire to teach scripture, I'm sure that burden hasn't been placed within you for naught. Use it to the best of your abilities, but do so within the confines of scripture.

    You are well suited and equipped to teach other women, to write books, articles, etc, as well as to train children.

    I'm sure I'm not telling you anything you don't already know -- but I do want to encourage you to do what you can and should do!


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