Disorder In The Pulpit: The Ordination Of Women
by Jackie Alnor (A Lady)
How has the position of women in the church gone from the virtuous Victorian doormat to the liberated female suffragette? Has the church simply followed the secular spirit of this age? Where is the scriptural balance?
These are questions that face every born-again, Spirit-filled, Christian woman as she tries to be all that she can be for the glory of her Lord, Jesus Christ. In today’s world, there is so much for her to have to sort out to come to the biblical balance. If she truly loves the Lord she does not want to look at scriptures just to find a proof-text for her opinion, but she wants to allow the Bible to form her views regardless of how that might affect her.
In my early Christian walk, I determined to know my limits and to be true to God’s word even if it meant wearing a bonnet and taking up knitting. Thank God it didn’t come down to that! I chose to listen to my teacher, the Holy Spirit, who would lead me into all truth. I wanted the mind of Christ (and still do) on everything. Personal ambition had to be stopped dead in its tracks no matter how many people wanted to elevate me to where the Lord would not send me.
I found out soon on that in order to fit into either of the extremes regarding women in ministry, I would be left with haunting questions from God’s Word concerning my position. It was a “Catch-22” situation. I would be under condemnation either way. If I chose to enter seminary and find a group that would ordain me to pastor a church, I would have a big struggle with what the Apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 14:34: “Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak.” But, if I took that to mean that as a woman I had no right to witness to, reprove, or rebuke a man, I would be under heavy conviction from the words of Jesus who told us to “Go, therefore and make disciples of all the nations. . . teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you.” Wow, I thought the Great Commission applied to ALL believers.
After much prayer and Bible study and maturing in Christ, I found that the truth lies somewhere in the middle. In the true body of Christ, God’s order must prevail or confusion follows. Women in charge of men is not in keeping with order. Men need to counsel men and women counsel women. When you mix the order, temptation and stumbling blocks enter in. Women must be biblically literate to serve their roles in the church. Nothing’s worse than to go to women’s retreats to focus on making crafts and overcoming PMS. We too need the meat of the word and how it applies to our lives, as well as studying sound doctrine
What’s happened in the church today is the pendulum effect, responding to an error by running to the opposite extreme, thereby creating an equal error. In an age of women’s liberation, attention was drawn to some of the struggles women have in our society. Some of the conditions needed attention, such as women doing equal work as a man and being paid less money. In many churches, women were not allowed to sit with the men and their views were not welcomed. They were expected to leave theological studies to the men and keep to the milk of the Word, leaving the meat for their men to sort out.
When churches tried to correct their error and open ministry to women as they should under biblical guidelines, feminists rose up having selfish ambition, wanting recognition and full authority. To this day ordained women seek titles for themselves, whereas true women of God will serve the church as their spiritual gifts fill the needs that arise. They are under male authority, but the “Christian” suffragette usurps male leadership and seeks equal positions of authority or in extreme cases, an end to male leadership in exchange for a new spiritual matriarchy.
This problem is not restricted to liberal denominations. It may have begun there, but the spirit of the age has no boundaries. The two extremes exist throughout the church and is rampant in Pentecostal/charismatic circles. Two of the largest Pentecostal denominations, the Assemblies of God and the Church of the Foursquare Gospel, have ordained women-pastors from the start. That has resulted in female domination of some congregations which the scriptures clearly forbid.
The Apostle Paul gives us the proper order of the sexes in the eleventh chapter of first Corinthians. And he starts the chapter with the admonition: “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ. . . remember me in all things and keep the traditions just as I delivered them to you.” He follows with his argument from nature and the order of the creation of man. These clear words of scripture are twisted by feminists and their defenders to be merely cultural opinions of Paul and that they do not apply to our modern age. Paul may have used the symbol of a head covering that women wore in those days as a type of female submission to male leadership, but that does not nullify the truth of what he was trying to convey.
“But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God” (1 Cor. 11:3). Here in one verse is God’s order of the sexes. Women in the church must be under male spiritual authority, which is a place of honor where God can put the woman’s gifts to use in building up the Body of Christ. It is no dishonor to look to men for leadership! Paul reiterates: “For this reason (man created first, woman taken from man) the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels” (vs. 10).
Because of the angels? Now there’s a mystery! And a statement that prevents any honest woman from trying to wriggle out of God’s ordained order of things. We may not know how the angels fit into the “battle of the sexes” but we know they’re watching and are somehow affected by what goes on. This is serious, heavenly, business. And, God’s order of the sexes is His way of building the church and conforming us into the image of His Son, Jesus Christ. The feminists in the church are in rebellion against God and the angels take notice.
Feminist Scripture Twisting
What may seem so clear to an honest woman of God when she reads scripture, can be turned upside-down on its head by feminists with personal ambition determining their interpretation of God’s holy Word. They will use their favorite proof-texts to justify their position, while totally ignoring the scriptures that condemn their views. And when confronted with those scriptures, they many times resort to attacking the Word of God or the Apostle Paul, calling him a chauvinist that started out as a woman-hater but changed his views towards the end of his ministry.
In an official brochure of the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, called “Women in Ordained Leadership Ministry,” the denomination defends their founder, Aimee Semple-McPherson. Their very existence depends upon their justification since without her they would not exist. “Sister McPherson based her right to preach on the prophecy of Joel 2:28-29 and the example of other Bible women,” and they conclude: “This text’s encouragement of women to minister has served as a biblical basis for our own (and many other) denominations to include, rather than exclude, women from leadership ministry.” But does this Old Testament passage in Joel cancel out the clear verses regarding authority in the church? “. . . I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and daughters shall prophesy. . . And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.” This does not even touch the subject of leadership in the church.
Another favorite passage from such ambitious women is Galatians 3:28: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Again, where do they get their assignment to lead men in the church from this? To say this verse gives them their divine orders to undermine God’s male leadership is to pervert God’s Word. Just because we are one in Christ, does not mean that we fail to recognize the order of creation. Remember the angels?
The verses the liberal theologians cite to defend their unbiblical position are the same ones that demonstrate the need for women to participate in the ministry of the church under male leadership. These verses are powerful against the opposite extreme of women being seen as second class heavenly citizens.
Jacob Prasch has pointed out that since the Garden of Eden women have been more sensitive to the evil spiritual realm than men. And they are equally more sensitive than men to the still small voice of the Holy Spirit. Because of their “woman’s intuition” as some would call it, they need good biblical grounding and the help of man’s more cautious and strong emotional natures to help sort out the source of their inspiration. A woman with no male authority is more vulnerable to deceiving spirits due to her own tendencies toward emotionalism
Testing Of The Fruit
The feminist movement in our age has set about to destroy and pervert man’s natural inclination to pamper and protect women. The same attack against our God-given natures is being waged by the homosexual lobbies who often team up with the feminists (both in & out of the church) in a conspiracy to eradicate God-given norms of order of the sexes.
The result is a desensitizing of the consciousness of the masses of people to where they can no longer see clearly how perverted their world-view has become. What an attack on our male-female relationships! The devil has been successful in corrupting our roles in society and he is succeeding in doing the same in the church.
The fruit is men have less and less respect for ladies. Rare now is a man who opens the car door for his date or pays the tab without expecting something in return. Women compete with their husbands instead of supporting them in their work. Women all over are suffering from a disaster that they created by listening to the devil via masculine feminists and wonder why they are treated roughly and never pampered.
The fruit in some denominations is weak men and power hungry women who want to climb the corporate church ladder to success and serve on the boards of their denominations and give a boost to other “marginalized” persons such as homosexuals, lesbians, and trans-gendered perverts.
A prime example of this sort of perversity gaining ground in the church is the ministry of Tony Campolo. Campolo is one of Bill Clinton’s spiritual advisors. He is on the faculty of Eastern College in Pennsylvania, a Christian liberal arts college and he is an ordained American Baptist minister. His wife, Peggy Campolo, is an advocate for the acceptance of homosexual marriage and is a frequent key-note speaker at “Christian” homosexual rallies. She wrote the forward to a book, “From Wounded Hearts,” an anthology written by many gay “Christians” sharing their struggle for acceptance within the church of Jesus Christ. Of course, repentance for their sin of homosexuality will not be found in any of the testimonies.
Even though her husband does not agree with her on the subject of accepting homosexual marriage unions, her perverse world-view has colored his to the point where he, too, will twist the clear passages against homosexuality to say something they don’t say. “There is no question but when Christ came and when Peter preached, purity codes were set aside,” Tony Campolo said at the North Park College Chapel on February 29. 1996, in reference to passages in the 18th and 20th chapters of Leviticus. “We no longer live kosher like our orthodox Jewish friends do. Kosher law, purity laws have been set aside. And those who are scholars, even the most conservative scholars, will argue with you that the statements in Leviticus that have to do with homosexuality fall into the purity code category. As a matter of fact it comes right after the passage that says that to touch the skin of a dead pig is an abomination to God, which puts the whole Super Bowl into question.”
So, now according to Campolo, we can accept homosexuality same as we can now eat sausage or play football. What a perversion of the Word. In reading the Leviticus passages it is very obvious that eating pork and committing homosexual acts are viewed differently by God. The result of touching an unclean animal is that it left you ceremonially unclean until morning after washing with water. On the other hand, homosexual perversion resulted in being cut off from God’s people and the death penalty would apply (see Lev. 20:13). If this is merely a “purity law” that no longer applies, then adultery is now OK as well since that is addressed in Lev. 20:10. Beastiality is now clean too since that is addressed in Lev. 20:16.
But, during that same interview Peggy Campolo revealed the source of her justification for promoting the homosexual agenda. In her argument that the first chapter of Romans does not refer to the practice of homosexuality, but merely deals with the use of sexual orgies in the worship ceremonies to Aphrodite, she says: “Some people…say that those who believe as I do about Romans one are stretching the passage to agree with our own a priori beliefs. They say it is arrogant to declare that 19 hundred years of church history and tradition are in error. I would remind these people that all those years of church tradition supported an interpretation of Timothy 2:11 and 12 that disallowed women from church leadership. We only know what the church fathers said because those who might have been the church mothers had no voice.”
Now this comes from a lady who is a preacher’s kid but according to her own testimony did not come to the Lord until she discovered that Jesus lives in all people, Christian and non-Christian alike, and she discovered this God within while comforting a lady on her death bed. The Bible verse that comes to mind when reading Peggy Campolo’s words is: “For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Tim. 3:6-7). We’ll never know what Tony Campolo would be today had he not yoked himself to an imposter.
The power struggle in the church over authority is obviously the same fleshly struggle that goes on in the world. But when the church is worldly it’s bound to have worldly problems.
A couple of decades ago, before I was saved, I used to be a police dispatcher. In the 1970s, feminists were just beginning to assert themselves onto the police force in the manner of Cagney & Lacy. The days of the Police Woman, Angie Dickinson (Sgt. Pepper) were over. Women now wanted to do patrol duty and not merely work undercover in the Vice Squad. Police women historically were needed, though they used to be called “matrons” to deal with female convicts for strip searches and such. Then they were utilized in crime investigations as shills and decoys with heavy armed back-up. They were qualified also as radio dispatchers and there was much work they could do in the police station. But out on patrol? Wouldn’t they be vulnerable there?
The answer to that is a definite Yes! Just as if women were to be put in the front-lines of combat duty. I had many conversations with policemen about it and to a man they felt unsafe with a female partner in the field. One told me that it added an extra burden in that he felt that he not only had to watch his own back but he had to protect her as well. With a fellow man by his side they were expected to watch each others backs and served as a safety net. The inborn protective instinct God gave men for us ladies prevented the policeman from ignoring his partner’s gender. That would be totally against nature.
As hard as it is on a man’s ego to take orders from women in the case of police officers (until they have been desensitized) it is unnatural and for a Spirit-filled man of God, impossible to submit to female authority in the church. To overcompensate for this, the female pastor will falsely attribute this to chauvinism and react by taking on male characteristics on herself and lose her own precious femininity
And in the denominations when a female replaces a male pastor, a great percentage of the members are lost and the women pastors simply lie to themselves thinking the scattered sheep are just chauvinists. They have blinded themselves to the damage they inflict upon these congregations. They believe a lie and then base their lives and ministry upon the lie. The female pastors try to act tough to overcome their own femininity. This is an abomination to the Lord.
One United Methodist leader, who serves on a New Jersey denominational board, told me in an interview that his denomination let the camel’s nose in the tent by allowing female pastors and now they are reaping the whirlwind with homosexual lobbies wanting their place in the sun. The strength of the homo-feminist lobbies in various mainline denominations has caused an exodus of good bible-centered male leaders out of their churches. They are then replaced by women pastors and the flocks are scattered. The conservative remnant loses ground every year at their annual conventions as their votes for moral decency lose more and more ground. Eventually the religious liberals take over and their denominations apostacize. This can be seen to the extreme in denominations such as the United Church of Christ (UCC) and the United Church of Canada who openly ordain homosexuals. This did not happen overnight. The process is long and painful for the men who once headed up these groups.
This evil is so obvious to true born-again believers (unless they have quenched the Holy Spirit’s warnings) that some have overreacted and have closed all doors of ministry to women except for teaching children and having craft fairs. This is an equal insult to the Lord who has poured out His Spirit on women as well as men. We must have the proper biblical balance or we cannot function properly as the Body of Christ..
And just as we are joint-heirs in Christ we are equal in the eyes of God. Jesus loves me too. His warning to husbands in treating their wives right is a principle that no doubt applies to men’s treatment of women in the church as well. “Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered” (1 Pet. 3:7).
To suppress a woman from speaking her view on spiritual matters is tantamount to quenching the Holy Spirit. Especially if she is given a word of knowledge, word of wisdom, or word of prophecy. What if she has a gift of discerning of spirits and a legion enters the assembly? Is she supposed to sit there and shut up? Of course not! She must respect order and go to the man in authority or have her husband bring it to his attention.
We women must look to strong Christian men for leadership. If we cannot find such a man (they are scarce nowadays) we can pray that God would raise some up. We can raise our sons to respect women and be bold in their faith. Teaching them to study the word of God as Lois & Eunice did, we too can raise Timothys. The hand that rocks the cradle, and all that! When the Lord brings such a leader into our lives, either a pastor or a husband or both, we can literally team up with them and be willing to help out under their authority and make a difference for God’s kingdom in partnership, not striking out on our own. Those who do so get into trouble.
In a prophetic sense, what is happening today in both the nation and the church is a judgment from God. Consider God’s rebuke of the root of the tree, knowing that He deals likewise with the grafted branches: “For Jerusalem stumbled, And Judah is fallen, because their tongue and their doings are against the Lord, to provoke the eyes of His glory. The look on their countenance witnesses against them, and they declare their sin as Sodom: They do not hide it. Woe to their soul! For they have brought evil upon themselves. . . .As for My people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O My people! Those who lead you cause you to err, and destroy the way of your paths” (Isaiah 3:8,9,12).