December 3, 2012
The Role of Women in the Church
My friend Mary wants to be involved in ministry at her church; before she commits, she had a few questions about the role of women in the church in light of the debate between equalitarianism and complementarianism. When we look at the Elders and Deacons in the Church they have different jobs, Elders according to the New Testament are responsible for the primary leadership and oversight of a Church. Elder’s lead the Church (1Tim 5:7; Tit 1:7), teach and preach the Word (2Tim 3:3-17; 1Tim 4:13), visit the sick and pray (Jam 5:14, Acts 20:35), and judge doctrinal issues if Pastor or Assistant Pastor under him are not available. Elders and Pastors are not considered different offices but one in the same. They are two different words for the same office. First in 1Peter 5:1-2, elders are exhorted to Shepard the flock of God that is in their charge, and in Acts 20:28, Elders are encouraged in the “Pastoral” duties of overseeing. The office of Deacon and their responsibilities are different but similar to those of elders. According to 1Timothy 2:8-13 Deacons are to be worthy of respect, blameless, husband of one wife, grave, not given to wine, not greedy for money, good rules of his house, proven ability to serve and not double tongued. The office of Deacon was created for the purpose of handling the benevolence of ministry (Acts 6:1-3), to free the Apostles (who functioned as the first Pastors) to pray and prepare to minister the Word (Acts 6:2-4). The Word of God is explicit regarding the role of women in society, the home and the Church. “Let your woman keep silent in the Church; for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn anything, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the Church...
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