Saturday, March 01, 2008

Women in Ministry

In conservative circles,
the ordination of women into ministry is still a hot topic.
Most of the world’s major religions still exclude women
from serving in this capacity.
If Jesus were here today
how do you suppose he would view the issue?
It seems that there were a lot of women involved in his ministry
here on earth.
Ironic isn’t it?

One of the things that Christ accomplished in his life
was to build a bridge back to God that had been lost
because of man’s fall.
This fall resulted in an imbalance between men and women.
Part of what Christ was doing in his earthly ministry
was to re-establish equality between men and women.
He did this by example.
Women played a major role in his ministry.
It is the subsequent record of scripture that fails to speak
more about the role of women.

The person entrusted with the resurrection story was a woman.
We discover through the Gnostic Gospels
that were written during a similar time period
to the canonical gospels
but were subsequently lost,
that the male disciples still had a difficult time overcoming
their cultural biases towards women
and that they found it difficult to believe that Jesus
had entrusted important truths to a woman.

So, here we are 2000 years later, arguing over the same things.
When are we going to truly listen to the Master’s words
and begin to follow the essence of his teachings?
At the heart of Christ’s teachings
is the theme that each person is a precious child of God.
One is not more important than another.
No gender is superior, no race is better than another,
and every soul is gifted to serve in a unique way.
The heart of Christ’s message is love.
Let’s put the heart back into the body of believers.


  1. I think more problematic than our reluctance in ordaining women is the fact that we still ordain people at all!

    I think Jesus would be the champion of equality for women in ministry. Moreover, considering the state of his kingdom in society today, I think Jesus would also be a champion for the abolishment of ordination as a means towards a hierarchical, institutionalized and political system of doing church.

    It's obvious this practice has prevented many people from being engaged in ministry for thinking they need some special anointing to work for God. In our political SDA ways, pastors can actually earn ordination by baptizing more than fellow pastors. So instead of using ordination to qualify the ministers, we create a competition based on numbers or external factors, on how much work ministers can "show" rather than on the quality of the ministry. That seems to apply across the board to elders and deacons etc.

    If we are looking for a 1st century system of church administration as our continuance of ordination seems to imply, than we need to start sharing our properties, cars and money with our fellow believers, because that is the 1st century model of doing church!

    We need to detoxify the ministry from our narrow-minded, political and hierarchical practices and adopt more fluid views on ministerial vocation and move towards the ministry of all believers.

  2. In reality, it is the Holy Spirit that qualifies us for work. Too often, people in leadership are not qualified by the most elemental ingredient to minister, and that is a vibrant, Spirit-filled relationship with God. This, of course, is not limited to ministers, but to anyone wishing to serve God.

  3. I think Paul, speaking to the church at Ephesus, has the right idea, and I think it fits perfectly with this post and the last one.

    Ephesians 4:11-16 NLT

    11 Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. 12 Their responsibility is to equip God's people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. 13 This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God's Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ. 14 Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won't be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. 15 Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. 16 He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love. (Emphasis added)

  4. Ah, that's my dream for the church--verse 16

    16 He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.