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Woman serving as Elder or Deaconess?

Dear Brothers and sisters,

Though the bible makes no provision for women to serve as Elder or Bishop, both terms refer to the same office. These spiritual leaders are responsible for leading, feeding, protecting, correcting, and encouraging the flock.

1 Timothy 2:11-12, A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.

In the church women are to be under the authority of the Elders, excluded from teaching men or holding positions of authority over them. I don't believe the teachings of the Paulines was cultural, nor was Paul prejudice.

The Deacon or Deaconess, serves under the Elder but in a capacity of leadership such as bible study teacher, children's ministry, choir director, hospitality, and praise team leader. I believe sister Phoebe, ref Romans 16:1-2 was a deaconess though the term is not used, "I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant of the church in Cenchrea. I ask you to receive her in the Lord in a way worthy of the saints and to give her any help she may need from you, for she has been a great help to many people, including me."

What are your views of what the bible says versus the "here and now times?"

Your servant in Christ Jesus.
I am unsure really because so many have different views on the meaning of this. I can only speak of what the Lord has placed on my heart and that is to " Learn and Serve" ( which both I am trying to do).
Brother Bob,

I say these elude to women not holding positions of the Pastoral. Yes I know a can of worms, but this is what I have found in scripture. I too agree women are able to hold many positions in the church, like Sunday School Teacher, Choir director, and many other postions as long as they are not of the Pastoral duties. God made man to be the Spirtual leader in the Church and in the family, women help the man in most capacities, and are equal to the man in most all things. The Church I attend has recently re-addressed this issue(at the Synod level), and most positions in the Church are open to women, but those of the Pastoral, ie. Pastors/Elders.. and the like are not, because of the scriptures, like the ones you have quoted.

Peace be with you,
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Good job Glory to God on your post.
I have a couple of questions though, I couldn't find the Scriptures that support Pheobe "filling an important position in leadership", or where Aquila and Priscilla were Pastors or leadership in the Church at Ephesus. If you could please post them that would be great.

I found some scriptures that directly deal with leadership in the Church, please read them and let me know what you conclude.

1Timothy CHAPTER 3
Leaders in the Church
1*It is a true saying that if someone wants to be an elder,* he desires an honorable responsibility. 2*For an elder must be a man whose life cannot be spoken against. He must be faithful to his wife.* He must exhibit self-control, live wisely, and have a good reputation. He must enjoy having guests in his home and must be able to teach. 3*He must not be a heavy drinker or be violent. He must be gentle, peace loving, and not one who loves money. 4*He must manage his own family well, with children who respect and obey him. 5*For if a man cannot manage his own household, how can he take care of God’s church?
6*An elder must not be a new Christian, because he might be proud of being chosen so soon, and the Devil will use that pride to make him fall.* 7 Also, people outside the church must speak well of him so that he will not fall into the Devil’s trap and be disgraced.
8*In the same way, deacons must be people who are respected and have integrity. They must not be heavy drinkers and must not be greedy for money. 9*They must be committed to the revealed truths of the Christian faith and must live with a clear conscience. 10*Before they are appointed as deacons, they should be given other responsibilities in the church as a test of their character and ability. If they do well, then they may serve as deacons.
11*In the same way, their wives* must be respected and must not speak evil of others. They must exercise self-control and be faithful in everything they do.
12*A deacon must be faithful to his wife, and he must manage his children and household well. 13*Those who do well as deacons will be rewarded with respect from others and will have increased confidence in their faith in Christ Jesus.

Titus chapter1:5-9
5*I left you on the island of Crete so you could complete our work there and appoint elders in each town as I instructed you. 6*An elder must be well thought of for his good life. He must be faithful to his wife,* and his children must be believers who are not wild or rebellious. 7*An elder* must live a blameless life because he is God’s minister. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered; he must not be a heavy drinker, violent, or greedy for money. 8*He must enjoy having guests in his home and must love all that is good. He must live wisely and be fair. He must live a devout and disciplined life. 9*He must have a strong and steadfast belief in the trustworthy message he was taught; then he will be able to encourage others with right teaching and show those who oppose it where they are wrong.

I love to study God's word and Church history, so any scriptures or writings you can give would be great. God bless
One interesting note about these references to women in the first-century church is historical side. During this time the church was experiencing intense persecution from both the Jews and, later, Neron Caesar. The persecution came to a head at the destruction of Jerusalem (which was somewhat responsible for the explosion of Christianity around the turn of the century), after which the papacy was established.

Even after the first century, Christianity was beset by Islam, Northern European religions, and the conflict between the papacy and orthodox christians. There was great turmoil in those days, even in establishing a particular faith after such a sudden establishment and exponential increase in the Christian body. So, though the organization of a male dominated church institution and leadership had passed (with the destruction of the last vestiges of Judaism), it still had rather imminent application to those early Christians in the protection, preservation, and unification of the church.

Just putting out something mull, I suppose. As for references, Josephus, Tacitus, and various history books are all good sources for first and second century history. I'm not the most knowledgeable guy around, but it's interesting to see what was happening at the time these things were written, as well as for incite as to why they were written and the significance these writings had to the original audience.

In such times, were women to be leaders of the church? It's an interesting question that can't be approached with political correctness.

God bless,
I want to give a quick tought on this subject . In the beggining the man was created , and out of him the woman was taken . Two reasons for this . Man was alone is one . God established every seed be reproduced after its own kind . So also for reproduction . God called them both Adam . Together they were one in the eyes of God . After the fall , the carnal nature took over , and caused disorder . Disorder is not from God but from satan , and carnality . I believe that the reasons for this order in the church , is because of the disorder in our nature which leads to kaos ! When Jesus Christ redeems a man or woman , they are redeemed fully in him . But the carnal nature still exist , and needs to be under Gods order . Marriage is the way back to fullness on earth . Remember now , God took woman out of man . So a man needs woman to be competed in this carnal world . To be restored back to Adam . Therefore a man shall leave his mother and father , and cleave unto his wife , and they shall be one flesh . Or Adam . How can this be true ? How can a man be head over the woman , but the woman be just as full spiritually as the man right ? Jesus was asked , if a man dies , and leaves his wife behind , then the brother should take her as a wife [ so his seed will not pass away ]. And Jesus was asked this same thing up to five brothers . Then Jesus was asked [ who's wife will she be in heaven ] ? Jesus responded , that marriage is for here and is not needed in heaven , for there will be no giving or taking of a wife in heaven . Why ? Because the woman and man will be without the carnal nature , and be complete as God saw them at first . Adam ! So it is the carnal nature that needs this order to be in place . My wife makes me complete in Christ , and I learn much from her . Remember . Adam was angry with his helpmate for his mistake ! That same anger still is in the heart of many men today . Men have a hard time learning from women . But it is the anger deep inside that has caused this . Why is it easy for a man to lust for a woman sexually ? Because by nature he wants to conquor her and take back what was lost in the garden . Why sexually ? Because this is the only way to join as one in spirit with a woman . But lust is unsatisfying and will only corrupt the spirit more . But if a man can overcome sexuall lust , and see not only his wife , but all women as daughters of our Father in heaven , then he will not need to feel in charge . If a man can understand this , and share Holy , prayerfull , and sexuall communion together , then you're wife will be the most influential source of Gods goodness you will ever need . So I will not minimize a womans role in the body of Christ because they are just as full of the spirit as I am ! But I will not go against Gods word here either . But I do believe that this order was given because of sinfull natures , and not because women aren't quallified . Brother Mike
Is it any wonder, that God who set up an order of authority in the family unit, would require that you must be able to function in your position as husband and father properly before He will trust you with His Spiritual Family? We all have a position and job to do, but it must be done as a Family.
I have to agree with Brother in Arms with his post. My husband is the head of our house hold, he is my spiritual leader, I am learning to be more submissive towards him as I am very strong minded. I was single for a long time and enjoyed it. At one time I would have felt that woman can be involved equally in ministry in every capacity however, God's word is clear and I must submit myself first to God's authority.
Good attitude and spirit Mymakersdaughter. You know I usually try to avoid this topic of discussion because it is generally about control instead of position or placement. I think to teach this topic correctly, that authority must be taught and understood first. Many men that are in a so called place of leadership in the body of Christ are self-appointed and should be made to step down. I"m reminded of a scripture in Matthew, where Jesus talked a little about authority.

Matthew 23:1-12

1*Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, 2*“The teachers of religious law and the Pharisees are the official interpreters of the Scriptures. 3*So practice and obey whatever they say to you, but don’t follow their example. For they don’t practice what they teach. 4*They crush you with impossible religious demands and never lift a finger to help ease the burden.
5*“Everything they do is for show. On their arms they wear extra wide prayer boxes with Scripture verses inside,* and they wear extra long tassels on their robes. 6*And how they love to sit at the head table at banquets and in the most prominent seats in the synagogue! 7 They enjoy the attention they get on the streets, and they enjoy being called ‘Rabbi.’* 8 Don’t ever let anyone call you ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one teacher, and all of you are on the same level as brothers and sisters.* 9*And don’t address anyone here on earth as ‘Father,’ for only God in heaven is your spiritual Father. 10*And don’t let anyone call you ‘Master,’ for there is only one master, the Messiah. 11 The greatest among you must be a servant. 12*But those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

I think if we will firstly minister to the Lord and then focus our efforts on just becoming good brothers and sisters, everything else will fall into place. We are all on the same level and God does not favor one over the other, so when we do, we are not imitating God as dear children.
Jesuslovesu said:
I am unsure really because so many have different views on the meaning of this. I can only speak of what the Lord has placed on my heart and that is to " Learn and Serve" ( which both I am trying to do).

Dear Brothers and sisters,

Excellent posts and scriptures to meditate on. I have to admit that Jesuslovesu puts it so simply. Also, as Jiggyfly was sharing, to quote;

I think if we will firstly minister to the Lord and then focus our efforts on just becoming good brothers and sisters, everything else will fall into place. We are all on the same level and God does not favor one over the other, so when we do, we are not imitating God as dear children.

So before we can address this issue in the "here and now" times and stay consistent with what God says, we must establish other areas as good stewards of the Lord, establish good grounding in our families, marriages, community first, which is what eventually leads us into leadership, especially the anointing of woman in deaconship.

I have associated with woman who are Pastors or Reverends, but never heard serving as an Elder yet in these times.

Your servant in Christ Jesus.
Glory to God said:
Jiggyfly here are the scriptures you asked for.

Phebe, Romans 16;1-2

Priscilla, Aquilla Romans 16;3 1Corinthians 16;19

Anna Luke 2;36

Romans 16:1&2
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.

suc·cor (sukÆÃr), n.
1. help; relief; aid; assistance.
2. a person or thing that gives help, relief, aid, etc.
3. to help or relieve.
Also, esp. Brit., sucÆcour.
[1250–1300; (v.) ME sucuren < OF suc(c)urre, socorre < L succurrere to go beneath, run to help, equiv. to suc- SUC- + currere to run (see CURRENT); (n.) ME soc(o)ur, back formation from sucurs (taken as pl.) < OF < ML succursus, equiv. to L succur(rere) + -sus, var of -tus suffix of v. action]

I'm sorry but I do not see in this verse that Phebe is in a position of leadership in the Church. Maybe I'm missing it.

Romans 16:3
3*Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus: 4*who have for my life laid down their own necks: unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles. 5*Likewise greet the church that is in their house.
1Corinthians 16:19
19* The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.

The same here, I do see that they allowed the gathering of the believers to meet in their house, but no mention of either of them being in leadership.

Luke 2:36
36*And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity;

once again no evidence of a leadership position( the new testiment Church had not been birthed at the time Anna was recorded here).

If I am missing something please point it out.
Titles don't mean anything if you don't know what you are talking about ! Whats the big deal ? Better seats in church . Brother Mike :thumbs_do
This is very similar to the other thread going on at the same time.In Psalm 68v11 it tells us "that the women telling the good news are a large army".I believe from the posts i have now read on both threads that we all have a part to play in Gods plan but the roles are different,i really cant see a problem with that.As a rule there is big differences between the sexes,both of us having qualities that are particular to our own gender.For instance men by nature are more practical and able to distance themselves from situations,always looking for solutions.Women on the other hand often have more of a tender approach and are more forth-coming in their emotions.A man coming home from work asks his wife how her day has gone,she may launch into a tirade "of this happened and that happened"and a man will automaticaly think how he can"fix"everything,when really all the woman wants is to talk about it.These very same differences can be applied to different roles within the christian faith.Perhaps a situation occurs where someone is in need of discipline?You may have to discern between tears of self-pity and tears of repentance.Who would be more suitable?Someone who can emotionally distance themselves or someone who has a propensity to become emotionally involved.Perhaps it is for this reason why so many world leaders are men?An exception to the rule being Margret Thatcher who was dubbed "the iron lady"because of her man-like approach.

The only thing that bothers me about these threads is the constant use of the word"leader" as if its some sort of position.In any christian community the "higher" you go in reality you are taking a more subservient position to your congregation and in front of God.Jesus washed the feet of his disciples he never had any "airs and graces".You look at organised religion and the finery which distinguishes their leaders and it makes you want to vomit.Leadership is about humility and service nothing else.We are all valued children in Gods eyes and if that includes having different roles and duties what does it really matter?
You go Sparky ! Again , whats the big deal ! As long as the truth is being preached it makes no difference ! I would rather have an honest woman than a lying elder ! Brother Mike
"In any christian community the "higher" you go in reality you are taking a more subservient position to your congregation and in front of God." Amen Sparky!

"what does it really matter?"

It matters because Christs last will and testament cannot be discarded as yesterdays news.

A bishop...the husband of one wife...1Ti 3:2
Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife...1Ti 3:12
Elder,... intreat [him] as a father; 1Ti 5:1

1Ti 5:21 I charge [thee] before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality.

1Ti 4:16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.
I have one thing to say about this. There is no compromizing with the word of God. What His word says is true, and we should all submit to it! Women do have a place in ministry, and men do as well. But women do not have a place to preach. I should not have said that, some one may have been offended, I am sorry, but that is how I feel. I feel that if women were to preach, then they would have no one to be submissive to. Correction; I believe women can preach (minister) but cannot be pastors. A pastor is the head of a church, and in my opinion (stricktly opinion) women have no place being a pastor.

Like I said, I am sorry if I have offended any of you, I did not mean to, but that is how I feel, and what I belive from the Word of God.
No need to apologize . Move as the Spirit leads . I will not put limits on women and how the Father wishes to use them . The Holy Spirit always agrees with the word , and so the word has final authority ! Weather a woman can preach or not is a topic with many opinion's . But on the day of judgement , the Father will hold the men accountable for not stepping into their position , before he will rebuke a woman for trying to fill a position ! Be ye doer's of the word , and not just hearer's of the word . Mike