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Is My Pastor An Oxymoron?

By Michael Shoesmith

I’ve been friends with an old-school evangelist for almost thirty years now. Recently he decided he shouldn’t hang out with me because I have a, dare I say it, woman pastor. Some people might call the term “woman pastor” an oxymoron. I know my friend would. It is becoming increasingly obvious that he hasn’t been much of a friend, really. He has, as I reflect on the influence he’s had on my life, been quite a stumbling block in my marriage and personal walk with the Lord. So, I rejoice in my freedom and hope that the evangelist friend of mine finds like understanding. I have surpassed him in the area of Biblical comprehension (by the grace of God) and so the Lord has vindicated me with respect to the position I hold and am about to share with the rest of you. Here goes

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

Galatians 3:28

So, there you have it. The ultimate conclusion every believer must come to. But in order to be a good Bible student, rightly dividing the word of truth, we really should dig into this a little deeper. Let’s go all the way back to the beginning, because in the beginning

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

Genesis 1:27

Notice the reference to the creation of “man” and then notice what God calls the “man”: “male and female”. So, we can safely conclude that God, before the fall, considered “man” (male and female) to be equal; without distinction. Again, this is before the fall. But that brings us full circle back around to Gal3:28, doesn’t it? Now that we are in the New Covenant, there is a return to the original intent of the equality of the sexes, making Jesus the ultimate “women’s libber”. The book of Galations is the enemy of everything legalistic, including the male supremacy doctrine.

There are certain existential paradigms that just simply are. Like time, for example. When we are born we are essentially placed inside time as a kind of cage. Time is, in reference to eternity, like a bubble that personalities outside of time are able to observe. When we die, we exit the bubble and re-enter eternity, where there is no time. This is a reality that we, as human beings, all experience. It just is, like it or not.

Another reality that, well, simply is, is that husbands are the spiritual head over the wife. Not the head over every woman. He is the spiritual head of his wife; the leader in the area of spiritual growth, experience, etc. He simply is. It’s not something he should aspire to or fight for. It is just one of those things. This can be good or bad for the women, as you can understand. That is why Paul said this

1 Corinthians 7:14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.

15 But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.

16 For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?

Notice that the sactification comes from either the faith of the believing husband or wife. There is no distinction. God allows for the covenant to end if the unbelieving spouse leaves as a form of mercy on the other, and especially for women because of this reality

But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.

1 Corinthians 11:3

Notice that there’s no beating around the bush here. Paul uses strong language. He says it simply “IS”. Period. This, however, is strictly a spiritual reality alone. It does not relate to household authority or authority in the assembly or any other temporal authority including the five-fold ministry. If you read Proverbs 31 you will realize that the household is the responsibility of the woman and not the man. It, the Bible says, is “her household”. We also know that it is a spiritual reality, or line of headship in the spirit realm, from the next verses where it gives us the context of prayer, solidifying the doctrinal stance opposing the notion that this reference backs up those who hold the macro male supremacy doctrine.

So, there are a few Biblical references that are used to back up the controlling, male oriented social clubs out there. Here’s one

1 Timothy 2:11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.

12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.

13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.

14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.

15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.

There are three words every Bible teacher must know in order to have a proper grasp of scripture. Those words are “context, context, context”. One of the aspects of context is culture. Let’s face it. If you don’t understand the Bible culturally then you simply don’t understand the Bible. Timothy was the pastor to the church in Ephesus. It was an enormous assembly. Jesus had liberated women and made them equal under God in the kingdom. It was mayhem in the church. Women who were not permitted to worship with men were suddenly allowed into the same room to experience the glory. Order was established in verse 13 with reference to the order of the creation of “man”; Adam first, then Eve.

One of the rules of Bible study is to never use outside sources to interpret scripture. The Bible is an inspired, supernatural text. It is unique and therefore there are no other writings capable of interpreting it. Always use scripture to interpret scripture. Bible study guides can be helpful to explain the various interpretations but should never be used to interpret. So, we must be careful to never contradict a verse of scripture by inserting opinions gathered by outside reason. When the Bible says, “there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus”, we should not accept any contradiction what so ever. When Paul was admonishing Timothy about the role of men and women it was the culturally acceptable way to produce order until the Holy Spirit brought about the physical manifestation of the spiritual reality; that men and women are equal in the kingdom. Any other interpretation makes the Bible out to be contradictory and subject to scorn and ridicule.

Verse 15 of 1Tim2 explains the progressive nature of the chapter. Have you ever really heard a satisfactory explanation of the childbirth reference in that verse? Well, it simply means that as the various generations came forth out of the women (men with wombs), the Holy Spirit brought about the manifestation of the equality between the sexes to the point we are at today. The Holy Spirit is now ordaining women to be members of the five-fold ministry including the office of pastor. Now, we are truly witnessing the fulfilment of Joels prophecy wherein he states that God will pour out His Spirit upon “all flesh”.

There are numerous examples in the Old Testament where a woman broke through the curse. From Deborah (Judges 4:4) back to Rahab (Joshua 2) . Now that we have a new and better covenant and the curse has been dealt with we should not say to women, “thou art cursed” but rather “thou art loosed”. It was part of the curse of the fall that women were made subject to men. Jesus took that and every curse on the cross.

To forbid a woman to pastor is to say that the freedom purchased on the cross to redeem us from the curse only applies to men. The truth is it only applies to “man” which includes both genders. Taking the Bible out of context and using it to keep one gender in bondage to the curse of the law is an abomination. Another rule governing Bible study is that it must always be conducted from a platform of freedom. Not bondage.

Bible teachers, according to scripture, will be subject to greater accountability in the eternal sense. It is unclear what the outcome will be of that accountability but I don’t think I want to be on the negative side of righteousness for the things I have taught the thousands of people reading my books and articles. I especially don’t want to be guilty of undermining the freedom purchased on the cross. How about you? Would you tell Joyce Meyer or Gloria Copeland or Mary Jane Story or Bonnie Shoesmith or Patricia King to be keep quiet because of their gender? That’s pretty risky, friend. Especially when you’re so wrong. Embrace freedom. Embrace the cross. Embrace Christ.

My name is Michael D. Shoesmith and I am the Internet Pastor. I have written and published five books. I own and regularly contribute to two blogs. I also own several YouTube properties including internetpastortv and educatingtheatheists. Feel free to join me at http://www.prosperousindividual.com

Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.comCHRISTIAN WRITERSMAKE A WEBSITE

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