Sermons

Summary: May all women rise up within the leadership of the church and find their rightful place.

WOMEN IN MINISTRY. WOMEN AS PASTORS. WOMEN LEADING IN THE CHURCH. THESE FEW STATEMENTS HAVE PROBABLY SPARKED MORE DEBATE AND HAVE CAUSED MORE DISSENTION AND TRAUMA WITHIN THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH THAN ANYTHING BEFORE.

I WONDER HOW MANY GREAT AND OUTSTANDING WOMEN THROUGHOUT THE COURSE OF HUMAN HISTORY HAVE GONE UNSEEN AND UNHEARD DUE TO MISINTERPRETATIONS OF SCRIPTURES AND PERSONAL PREJUDICES OF WOMEN IN MINISTRY.

IN FACT, THIS VERY SUBJECT WAS ONE OF THE PINNACLES OF RE-SHAPING MY OWN THEOLOGY BELIEFS. AFTER COMING FROM A BAPTIST COLLEGIATE BACKGROUND INTO THE WESLEYAN – METHODIST TRADITION IN SEMINARY, I HAD TO SERIOUSLY LOOK AT WHERE PREJUDICE HAD THWARTED MY UNDERSTANDING.

WHAT BETTER WAY TO DEAL WITH THE SUBJECT ON WHERE WOMEN STAND IN POSITIONS OF AUTHORITY WITHIN THE CHURCH THAN ON MOTHER’S DAY. IT IS MY PRAYER THAT WOMEN TODAY WILL FIND THEMSELVES MORE WELCOME NOT ONLY WITHIN THE CHURCH, BUT EMPOWERED TO TAKE POSITIONS OF THE CHURCH TO BRING GOD GLORY AND SEE OTHERS COME INTO HIS KINGDOM.

WE CAN LOOK AT BOTH OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS TO FIND MANY WONDERFUL ACCOUNTS OF HOW WOMEN MADE PIVOTAL CONTRIBUTIONS TO GOD’S WORK.

PERHAPS THE GREATEST EXAMPLE OF REVEALING A WOMAN’S STATUS WAS JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF. I BELIEVE JESUS SURPRISED MANY PEOPLE BY THE WAY HE CARED FOR, TALKED TO, AND RESPECTED WOMEN.

IF JESUS IS OUR EXAMPLE, AND THIS IS HOW HE TREATED WOMEN, THEN MAYBE THE CHURCH SHOULD TAKE NOTE OF HOW CHRIST WOULD INVOLVE THEM IN HIS CHURCH’S MINISTRIES.

DESPITE SOME OBVIOUS DENOMINATIONAL PREJUDICES OVER THE LAST FEW CENTURIES, WE CANNOT OVERLOOK HOW MANY WOMEN HAVE ALREADY BEEN USED FOR GOD’S WORK THROUGHOUT THE SCRIPTURES. FOR EXAMPLE:

OLD TESTAMENT

• Deborah: The only judge (ruler) who gave Israel twenty years of peace: Judges 4-5.

• Eve: The first woman created by God: Genesis2:18-4:2; 4:25.

• Esther: Heroine of the Book of Esther: Esther

• Miriam: Moses’ sister: Exodus 2:4, 7-8; 15:20-21; Numbers 12; 20:1.

• Naomi: Ruth’s mother-in-law: Ruth.

• Rachel: Laban’s daughter: Genesis 29-30; 35:18-20.

• Rahab: Prostitute who live in Jericho: Joshua 2; 6:22-25; Matthew 1:5; James 2:25.

• Rebekah: Isaac’s wife: Genesis 24; 25:19-26:16, 27.

• Ruth: Heroine of the Book of Ruth: Ruth.

• Sarah: Abraham’s wife: Genesis 11-12; 16-18:15; 20-21.

NEW TESTAMENT

• Anna: An old prophetess who practically lived in the Temple: Luke 2:36-38.

• Dorcas (Tabitha): Renowned for caring for the poor: Acts 9:36-41.

• Elizabeth: Related to Mary, the mother of Jesus: Luke 1.

• Joanna: Financial supporter and Disciple of Jesus: Luke 8:3.

• Lydia: Successful business woman who was a follower of Jesus: Acts 16:14-15, 40.

• Martha: Sister of Lazarus: Luke 10:38-42; John 11, 12:1-9.

• Mary: Sister of Lazarus: Luke 10:38-42; John 11, 12:1-9.

• Mary: Mother of Jesus: Matthew 1:18-25; 2:11; 13:55; Luke 1-2; John 2:1-11; 19:25-27; Acts 1:14.

• Mary Magdalene: Financial supporter of Jesus’ ministry; First to proclaim the message of Jesus’ resurrection: Luke 8:2-3; John 20:1-18.

• Nympha: Hosted a church gathering in her home: Colossians 4:15.

• Phoebe: A Deacon in the Church in Cenchrea: Romans 16:1.

• Priscilla: Teacher/Instructor of Apollos: Acts 18:26.

• Susanna: Financial supporter and Disciple of Jesus: Luke 8:3.

THIS LIST, IN AND OF ITSELF, CAN BE ALL THE "PROOF" WE NEED TO SUPPORT THE FACT THAT WOMEN CAN BE USED OF GOD IN HIS WORK WHETHER IT IS HOLDING A CHURCH POSITION SUCH AS A DEACON (PHOEBE), HOLDING A GOVERNMENT OFFICE (DEBORAH), DELVING INTO THE WORLD OF BUSINESS (LYDIA), OR HAVING COME OUT OF A LIFE OF PROSTITUTION (RAHAB), GOD HAS PROVEN HE CAN AND WILL USE WOMEN TO FULFILL HIS PURPOSES FOR HIS GLORY. IT BEHOOVES THE CHURCH TO TAKE NOTE OF HOW GOD CHOOSES TO CALL PEOPLE AND NOT A PARTICULAR GENDER TO ADVANCE HIS WORKS.

AFTER ALL, WHO ARE WE TO TELL GOD THAT HE IS "MISTAKEN" BY ALLOWING WOMEN TO FILL ROLES WITHIN OUR SOCIETY THAT SPECIFICALLY PERTAIN TO ADVANCING THE KINGDOM OF GOD?

SO, WHETHER IT BE BY LECTERN, DESK, PULPIT, AUDIO, VIDEO, OR NOW “POD CASTING,” GOD HAS CALLED US…COLLECTIVELY, A PEOPLE. GALATIANS 3:26-29, “FOR YOU ARE ALL CHILDREN OF GOD THROUGH FAITH IN CHRIST JESUS. AND ALL WHO HAVE BEEN UNITED WITH CHRIST IN BAPTISM HAVE PUT ON CHRIST, LIKE PUTTING ON NEW CLOTHES. THERE IS NO LONGER JEW OR GENTILE, SLAVE OR FREE, MALE AND FEMALE. FOR YOU ARE ALL ONE IN CHRIST JESUS. AND NOW THAT YOU BELONG TO CHRIST, YOU ARE THE TRUE CHILDREN OF ABRAHAM. YOU ARE HIS HEIRS, AND GOD’S PROMISE TO ABRAHAM BELONGS TO YOU.”

ALTHOUGH ONE MAY NOT BE THOROUGHLY CONVINCED BY THE IMPRESSIVE LIST OF NAMES OF WOMEN, THERE CAN BE NO DOUBT AFTER ONE OPENS THE HOLY WORD OF GOD. THAT’S WHY I WANT TO LOOK PARTICULARLY TODAY AT 1 TIMOTHY 2:11-12.

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