Summary: Women are not second class citezens; they’re subject to God’s Word like the rest of us.
Women have never been second class citizens in the Church. They have been honored for their gifts of ministry and served along with men in the early Church and right up to the present. There is some confusion as to the positions women may hold within the Church that have opened the door to disagreement among people. And one thing we need to learn to do more often is not to cave in to popular opinion, but that we should always seek council from God’s word. So, if we search the Scriptures, what do we find?
1. Women among the Hebrews worshipped apart from the men.
A. In the Temple, women were separated from the men as they worshipped God (see Ex. 38:8; 1Sam. 3:22). In modern Orthodox Synagogues you’ll still see this custom observed.
B. Women are forbidden to wear men’s clothing, just as men are forbidden to wear women’s clothing(see Deut. 22:5). This is not just to differentiate between the sexes, but is also an indication of the separate roles of man and woman in society.
C. Women sang in the choir in the midst of the assembly (see 1Chr. 25:5-6), but only priests went into
the holiest places within the Temple.
D. When the men of Israel sang songs of praise for their miraculous deliverance from the pursuing Egyptian army, Miriam led the women in worship outside of the assembly (see Ex. 15:20-21).
2. Women have been called as prophets. Their opinions have always been important to God’s people.
A. Deborah, the wife of Lapidoth (Judges 4:4), and nothing is remembered of him but that his wife foretold the victory over the Canaanites by the hand of a woman, which was fulfilled when Jael, the wife of Heber, drove a tent spike into Sisera’s head (vv. 17-24).
B. Huldah, the wife of Shallum, King Josiah’s valet, who the king consulted when the Torah was found while repairs were being done to the Temple. She prophesied of the penalty God would bring against those who forgot God (see 2Kings 22:8-20).
C. Anna the prophetess was around 100 years old when Jesus was brought to the Temple to be circumcised (see Acts 2:36-38).
3. Women in the New Testament Church.
A. Men and women came together and worshipped God and prayed (see Acts 1:14). The same group of disciples who had returned to Jerusalem after Jesus’ ascension were in that upper room. Each person there was in complete agreement with each other awaiting the fulfillment of Christ’s promise to send the Holy Ghost (see 2:1). Lydia was leading worship at the riverside just outside Philippi when Paul shared the gospel with them (Acts 16:11-15).
B. Women opened their home for prayer meetings. Cornelius and his entire household entered into a
With all that we’ve examined it would be a stretch for us to say that it’s God’s will for a woman to be an Elder or a Pastor. We know that women have been Prophets and have served God faithfully in that office since early times. It’s reasonable for us to acknowledge the prophetic gift in women God calls to that ministry today. Are women sent out as missionaries? Women are part of the Church and Jesus gave the great commission to the entire church. Are women called to be Evangelists? Yes! By the same reasoning. Are women called to be teachers? We know that they were instructed by Paul to teach the younger women (see Titus 2:3-5). Can they lead worship? We know that they can under the authority of the Pastor of the church and its Elders as well as her husband if she is married and her father if she isn’t, and always under God (1Tim. 2:9-15). God set society in the order. He did so, so that humanity could function in accord with His plan and purpose. If society chooses to follow another God. We will continue to serve God and obey His word.