Short Essay #3
Short Essay on The Role of Women in the Church
Mary has brought a very tough predicament to the table, one that is definitely not easy to solve. I do not know if I will be able to give her the correct advice, but I will share with her what I know. The accepted role of women in the church has been a highly debated argument for centuries. Acceptable roles have changed quite a few times, usually with the denomination. Even the Scriptures can lead to different interpretations that cause the debate to continue. The debates include women being elders or deacons, and whether or not they can be ordained and hold leadership positions in the church.
In the New Testament, the elders were wise teachers and leaders and generally oversaw the duties of the pastor. Qualifications for elders are found in 1 Timothy 3:2-7 and include being above reproach, having only one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach and not addicted to wine. The most important qualification, in my opinion, is that he must know how to manage his own household. In Acts 20:28, the elders are given instruction to keep watch over the flock, this gave the elders a great responsibility to keep the people of the church pure and stable. 1 Peter 5:1-4 goes on to urge the elders to be humble in their duties and set good examples at all times, for this they will receive “the crown of glory that will never fade away.” A deacon is a servant of Christ which is first found in Acts 6. The Bible gives clear qualifications for deacons in 1 Timothy 3:8-9 “Deacons likewise must be men of dignity, not double-tongued, or addicted to much wine or fond of sordid gain, but holding to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience”
In order to accurately determine whether or not women can hold the position of elder or deacon, one must discern between cultural statements in Scripture and those that are doctrinal. Based on 1 Tim 2:11-15, a statement...
Bibliography: Elwell, Walter A. Evangelical Dictionary of Theology. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House Company, 1984.
The Holy Bible NIV.
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