Summary: Addressing the question of value and roles of women in the church according to a survey of the Biblical record.
THE VALUE OF WOMEN IN THE CHURCH
Rev. Todd G. Leupold, Perth Bible Church, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2008 AM
John Dawson, in his book Healing America’s Wounds, asserts:
“The wounds inflicted by men and women on each other constitute the fundamental fault line running beneath all other human conflict . . . It is the biggest reconciliation issue of all outside of our need to be reconciled to God.”
Florence Nightingale, a women who to this day is remembered as a great embodiment of Christ’s love and who was recognized in her own day as a world authority on the care of the sick, had this to say about the church:
“I would have given her my head, my heart, my hand. She would not have them . . . she told me to go back and do crochet in my mother’s drawing room.”
I’m pretty certain she was neither the first nor last Christian women to feel that way.
In his classic book, Men & Women: Enjoying The Difference, Christian counselor, professor and author Dr. Larry Crab explained:
“...When our identity is legitimately affirmed, we will become more distinctively masculine and feminine in all of our relationships. We will be eager to give what our sexuality equips us to give with the well-being of others in mind rather than that of ourselves.”
This morning, I will be asking us to broach the delicate issue of the role of women in the church and particularly the tremendous and necessary contributions they provide and value that they add to all of our lives and ministry. We must, at the outset, recognize several truths:
1.Men have often hurt women, treated them as inferior, and overlooked or under-appreciated their contributions to the Kingdom.
2.Scripture clearly demonstrates that women have always played a vital role in ministry and that it is God’s desire for them to continue to do so.
3.Women have also hurt men, confusing their own ambitions and hurts as justification to inappropriately question, argue and belittle men and their God-given roles.
4.We live in a society and culture that challenges God’s authority and falsely teaches that human freedom and essential value are absolutely incompatible with any role or gender differentiation.
- Just recently, a NOW spokeswoman has reportedly reflected this attitude towards Sarah Palin when she stated that the Alaska governor is "more a conservative man than she is a woman on women’s issues. Very disappointing."
- According to another report just this Friday,
“Those who wish to be married in California and be called ’bride and groom’ will have to wed in another state. The problem surfaced when a couple who married in the state crossed out ’Party A’ and ’Party B’ on the marriage license and inserted ’bride’ and ’groom.’ Brad Dacus of the Pacific Justice Institute (PJI) picks up the story. ’The state of California refused to recognize this marriage between a bride and a groom, and said [their marriage license] had to be filled out again to [read] only Party A and Party B – that the state of California no longer recognizes a marriage between a bride and a groom or a husband and a wife,’ Dacus explains."
Because this can be such a broad issue with so many areas of emphasis and application, please allow me to begin by clarifying what I am NOT going to attempt to cover in detail in this presentation:
roles of men and women in marriage and in the home roles of Pastor-Elder answer every possible question or objection provide a detailed exegesis of every relevant text in this one message present all of the various theories and arguments that are ’out there’ on this subject
Rather, this message is intended to be an overview, or survey, of the Biblical principles that we have been given from God about His will and design for His church and the role of women as vital parts of that Family.
I. ESTABLISHED AT CREATION & THE IMPACT OF SIN
A. REGARDING INHERENT VALUE - Genesis 1:26-28
According to Scripture, God made both male and female equally in His image, blessed them as a unit and gave them dominion and responsibility over His ’lower’ creation.
BOTH male and female equally display the brilliant glory of God! BOTH male and female are commissioned together to represent and serve Him before all other creation. BOTH male and female share a unique, personal and intimate “I-thou” relationship with the LORD Almighty!
Yet,they are given different and distinct gender names (male and female, man and woman) by God, but as one ’race’ they are given one designation that is the same is the original image - “man.”
C. REGARDING GENDER DISTINCTIVES – Genesis 2:15-25
As clear as the equality of value to God and reflection of His image of both may be, it is just as clear that God created man (male) first, then woman (female). Further, He created man directly from the earth but woman directly from the man.