This is a very heated debate especially as of late with a swell of women in ministry.
There is the standard 1st Timothy 2:12 argument against women ministers and then, of course, the matriarch argument, sighting the plethora of woman in the Bible who were in leadership roles. Some people attempt to rebut that argument saying that it wasn’t the norm but rather an extenuating circumstance and that under normal circumstances those women would not have been in leadership roles. I’ve been studying this out recently and I have a somewhat different take.
In Matthew, there is a story where Jesus and his disciples were walking through a wheat field on the sabbath day. Some of the disciples were sifting heads of wheat with their hands as they walked pasty and rolling the heads of wheat between their fingers. When this news got back to the Pharisees they, of course, confronted Jesus.
The line was just as it always was. How could you allow your followers to break the tradition, the very law itself? Jesus was after all a Jew and he was in charge so he was the one who needed to respond for himself and his group. What they did reflected on him as their teacher after all.
Jesus said to them, don’t you remember the story of King David and his men, when hungry, went into the temple and ate the showbread? The offering itself? He goes on to ask them who among them would not pull one of their own cattle out of a trench because it was the sabbath day? He went even further and said that he, Jesus Christ himself, was lord even of the sabbath day.
So what did all that mean? Jesus was making the point that God had a plan and a purpose and that we sometimes miss the purpose because we are focused on the ceremony. David wasn’t supposed to eat the offering bread. ceremonially speaking it was an offering to the lord and not for human consumption. Realistically speaking however here were the children of God, hungry in a place full of bread which was Gods and God didn’t mind that they eat it.
Who would watch an animal or a person even fall in a hole? injured or just unable to get out and choose to wait for the next day to assist them? No one in their right mind. Those injuries could go from bad to literally fatal if you wait for the next day before you even begin to try and help. Jesus says he is the lord of the sabbath, in the book of Luke chapter 2 verse 49 Jesus renders one of the most powerful sentences in the Bible which is “ did you not know that I must be about my fathers business”? Jesus who is speaking to his parents here who have been searching for him frantically and worried. His answer was that they really ought to have known that where ever he was he was doing the will of the father. It might make them worry and frantic but it is, never the less, just where he should be. We’re we all should be.
Among other ministries, i am very blessed to serve as the men’s ministry leader for my church. In that capacity I’m always attending other churches men’s groups, men’s summits and conferences to take in all I can so that I can be of better service to the men of my own congregation. There are remarkable similarities from church to church and group to group. There are a few very serious issues that have impacted the whole of the body of Christ for sure. Make no mistake the church is under siege by the enemy. One of these concerns that I hear everywhere I go from the men is the revived spirit of reclaiming manhood.
It is true that the character of a man and of a Christian man especially has been sullied. We have had trouble for a while now with men who aren’t being the leader and priests of their homes. They’re not being leaders in their church or their communities and this lack of men who are sold out, who are about their fathers business to quote our Lord Jesus, has left major gaps. Just as we wouldn’t leave a wounded animal or person in a ditch to wait for assistance till the next day, should we ignore this logic when it comes to the church? Should we allow the spiritually hungry to go unfed simply because the men of the church are still trying to reclaim their leadership role?
I think the answer is obvious.
It’s very easy to dismiss a female pastor and even to sight scripture that makes you feel justified in this but are you really just making an excuse? In a perfect world with a community filled with upstanding, discipled, men of God, who are leaders in their home their communities and churches, we might be able to justify this view but today we don’t have that, what we do have are a bunch of anointed woman who are about their fathers business feeding the hungry on the Sabbath and pulling the lost our of holes like Jesus did.
There are extenuating circumstances in our society now. You may see men in your church but I’m sorry to tell you that not as many of them as you might hope for, are actively participating in the ministry of the church. Being a Christian is a bold lifestyle. We cant hide behind anonymity in the church and then get mad and leave when God appoints someone else to fill the positions we as men leave vacant.