On ordaining women

This is a post I have written in response to one written by Dave Christison which you can read here, with a follow up here. Dave did a great job in pointing out many questions that arise when considering this issue of whether women can and should be elders in a church or ordained as pastors. He even phoned me after I left a comment on his post and we had a wonderful conversation, and I was greatly encouraged to respond to his post by writing this.

I am very sensitive of the fact that this can be a heated issue, and as a long-time elder and recently ordained pastor in my church I obviously have strong feelings of my own. More important than feelings, however, is what the Word of God says, and I believe scripture is fully consistent with this calling. In fact, the church I attend is very conservative in reading, interpreting and applying God’s word in our lives. Our practice of ordaining men and women who are called is based on this word and not on worldly notions of what is “fair” or politically correct. Yet if scripture is our guide, aren’t there verses (especially in 2 Timothy and I Corinthians 11 and 14) that clearly take a contrary position?

The short answer is no. Even better, the longer answer doesn’t require a lot of linguistic gymnastics or stretched rationalizations. In order to make this more interesting and enlightening I will rely heavily on a small tome that was given to me by sister at my ordination last December. The author puts it clearly and succinctly, in a way I could hardly hope to. The book is entitled Ordaining Women, by Rev. B.T. Roberts, A.M., written in 1891 (yes, that was 1891), well before what might be recognized as secular feminism. The book does an excellent job of presenting the biblical case for women in leadership.

4 thoughts on “On ordaining women

  1. Reverend Mother,

    I’ve been patiently waiting to read your post since reading your comment at Surly Dave’s. There is nothing more important than finding out what God’s will is for our lives and obeying joyfully. Thank you for bringing your insight to an issue that is so muddied.

  2. Reverand Mother,

    Over the last few years, some of the best Holy Spirit inspired teachings and sermons I’ve heard have been by female pastors. I believe as well that all of the callings that Paul refers to are meant for women as well as men. Wisdom and understanding are gifts of God that anyone can seek and find. I pray God uses you mightily in your ministry.

  3. Sorry it took me a while to respond to your posting. Of course, we personaly talked at length about the topic, so much of the encouragement I have has already been shared. I wanted you to know that as our church has been concidering and discussing the roles of women in church leadership, I have been including a link to this post in all my correspondence. I hope that people have been stopping by to read your take on the issue. Thanks for taking your time to share.

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