Church Government Part 3
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Can women lead the church?


Can a woman be one of the doma gifts? Or can a woman rule the church as an elder or bishop?
  
I discuss what a doma gift is here:  

 Click here

Let's look at some examples of giftings:  

What if she prophesies? Is she a prophet?  

What if she evangelizes? Is she an evangelist?  

What if she teaches? Is she a teacher?  

Prophecy...  

There are 4 New Testament methods to prophesy:  

1. the Doma Prophet - Eph 4:8-11  
2. the charisma of prophecy - Rom 12:6  
3. the manifestation of prophecy - 1 Cor 12:7,10  
4. the spirit of prophecy -  

Rev 19:10: ... thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.  

By saying "Jesus is Lord", one is working by the spirit of prophecy. This is speaking prophetically by revelation (via scripture, inspiration directly from God, inspired by another believer...) of the truth about Christ.  

If I can make duck noises with my hands or with a duck call, doesn't make me a duck. Women have several methods of prophesying but that don't make them prophets. (The same is true about most men!) 

Prophecy alone is not evidence that someone is a prophet because there are 3 other methods to prophesy.  

Evangelize...  

2 Tim 4:5: But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.  

We all are called to do the work of an evangelist, proclaiming the gospel. So this is not the fruit of an evangelist alone.  

Teach...  

Charisma of teacheth:  

Rom 12:
6: Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy ...
7: Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching


Women can certainly teach. They can even teach men at the pulpit, as long as they are not bishoping. (You can learn about the bishop at the link above.) Most teaching is not ruling. Preaching can be considered an act of a bishop. Preaching is not teaching. Most teaching is safe to be done by women.  

Women can certainly rule or guide other women, children, or even household help (male or female servants):  

Titus 2:3: The aged women likewise... teachers of good things;  
4: That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children 

1 Tim 5:14: I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house...


A Sunday School Teacher usually has the gift of teaching by a charisma gift. There is a difference between a Sunday School Teacher and a doma Teacher. So teaching alone does not make someone a doma teacher.  

As you can see, simply manifesting a gift does not equate to having a doma gift.  

In 1 Tim 5:14 we saw women can guide the house. This is important. This equates to rule. (Women can rule the home UNDER the husband.) Why can't a woman guide or rule the church? Because of headship principles.  

1 Tim 2:  
13: For Adam was first formed, then Eve.  
14: And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
 

Adam was created 1st and was not deceived. Adam was given authority over the physical creation. God has given man leadership over the earth.  

Gen 3:  
16: Unto the woman he said...  thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
 

1 Cor 11:  
3: ... the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.  
5: But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head...  
8: For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man.  
9: Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.  

Eph 5:  
22: Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.  
23: For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church...  
24: Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
 

God has placed Jesus over the church and husbands over wives. Because of creation order, the deception of Eve, and the continual problem of women being more easily deceived, God has given men the leadership of the church.  

Scriptures on women's weakness and their being deceived:  

1 Tim 2:14  
2 Tim 3:6  
1 Pet 3:7  

It is argued by some, that this decision was made because of custom. Please note their were no customs when Adam and Eve were created. They were the 1st humans.  

This is a common argument that seeks to negate the literal inspired Word of God. God's word is not made up of customs. It is divinely inspired. If you go down that path, then you can conclude the whole gospel was a custom (which some people do).  

Let's say God is calling a local church to fast. A woman cannot declare this to the church. She would be moving the members in a certain specific direction which is not a generalized scriptural mandate. A woman could teach about fasting, but not order it to happen.  

Some people use Old Testament examples of female prophets or female leadership.  

Judges 4:  
4: And Deborah, a prophetess... she judged Israel at that time.  
6: And she sent and called Barak... and said unto him, Hath not the LORD God of Israel commanded, saying, Go and draw toward mount Tabor, and take with thee ten thousand men of the children of Naphtali and of the children of Zebulun?  
8: And Barak said unto her, If thou wilt go with me, then I will go: but if thou wilt not go with me, then I will not go.  
9: And she said, I will surely go with thee: notwithstanding the journey that thou takest shall not be for thine honour; for the LORD shall sell Sisera into the hand of a woman...
 

Here she tried to get Barak to lead but he refused to go alone and made her go with him. Please note verse 9, because Barak was not completely obedient she said "shall sell Sisera into the hand of a woman". A woman ended up killing the enemy leader, because Barak did not obey fully. But look at this:  

Heb 11:  
32: And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets:  

At this point no mention is made of Deborah, but of Barak. God used judges at that time because the people were rebellious and there was no king. Deborah was willing to follow God when men wouldn't. Barak was led by God but did not obey fully when he demanded Deborah go with him. But yet the New Testament credits him with faith and doesn't even mention Deborah.  

Women may prophesy but they cannot be a prophet. The prophet is a doma gift, given when Christ ascended.  

Eph 4:  
8: Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.  
11: And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers
  

There is not one example of a female prophet after His ascension. Nor is there any female bishops or elders.  

The Bible is a blueprint. There are curses set in scripture for adding to God's word. I would not want to add the example of a woman elder to God's word. In fact, in the book of Hebrews (seen above), the great prophetess Deborah isn't even mentioned, but Barak is named. God omitted her to take away the example. If He wanted an example He certainly could have given it or another one.  

Some people would argue God doesn't change. This is completely true, but God does change covenants, giftings, and type of leaderships. He changed leadership from judges to kings. He changed priesthood from the Levitical to the priesthood of the common believer.  

Some people use the following to point towards women being doma ministers/elders:  

Gal:3:28: 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.  

This verse discusses salvation and citizenship in the Kingdom. This does not discuss giftings. Citizenship/salvation into heaven have nothing to do with the spiritual gifts, except the gift of salvation. I discuss citizenship here:  

  Click here

Also, not all men are doma elders either. Does this mean that those men called to be deacons are secondary? (I use this question, as an example because the idea that non-women leadership is often labeled as calling women secondary.) So men who are deacons, and not doma ministers are not secondary, nor women.

I once was in a discussion, and a friend's wife made a comment about her and her husband had a holier calling and thus had a more separated walk. My friend is ordained. I told her that holiness and closeness to Christ has NOTHING to do with the gifts you have.  

That would be pride. God chooses what you have, not us. Gifts and callings have no superiority to them in regards to our relationship to God. This is a common error in the church today.  

God will reward each believer to the faithfulness they have shown in what gift they have. If a wife serves the Lord most faithfully by being a good wife and serving her husband, and a pastor serves poorly by stealing money from the congregation, God will reward the faithful wife to a higher place than the stealing pastor. The wife may actually gain a higher position in the Kingdom than the pastor. Kingdom government is a different matter than church government.  

1 Cor 12:28: And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.

Does that verse say that people who don't have the gifts of healing are secondary citizens? Even though they aren't listed 1st? No! Citizenship has nothing to do with giftings except the gifts of grace and salvation (which are not charisma's, doma's or manifestations).  

Women should not feel ripped off by not having governments available to them. They can have other gifts which come before it (or even after it, note that the gift of government in 1 Cor 12:28 comes after helps!). In God's kingdom he that is least is greatest. Do not seek a high position. In God's church, the gift of governments is near the bottom.  

The gifts are listed in order in 1 Cor 12:28, are some gifts more important? Doesn't that mean there are certain superior people?  

Math 20:  
21: ... Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom.  
22: But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask...  
23: And he saith unto them, ... to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.  
25: But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.  
26: But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;  
27: And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:  
28: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
 

1 Cor 12:  
17: If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?  
18: But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.  
19: And if they were all one member, where were the body?  
22: Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:  
23: And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.  
24: For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked:  
25: That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.  
26: And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.
 

In Math 20 we see that ruling in the church is not a superiority. We also see that despite the honour of being an apostle, they were not guaranteed a similar honour in heaven. In 1 Cor 12, we see that the weakest gifts are the most needed. We also see the church needs all the gifts. He also points to something he discusses elsewhere (1 Cor 4:1-13). That the apostles receive greater condemnation and the other members of the church receive less ridicule. Thus having more honour isn't always best.  

So why can't women become a doma by need, despite 1 Cor 12:18?  

One of my favorite christian ministers, Kenneth Hagin, speaks about ordaining women. Of which he does. He said in one of his books that if God didn't want him ordaining women, God would forgive him of that sin just like any other sin. (Hagin has since died.) 

Here, one of my favorite teachers is condoning a sin. He knows that there is no scriptural basis for it, but is motivated by need, not God. God speaks about many people doing work and mighty deeds in His name, but He will not claim them.  

Math 7:  
22: Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? and in your name have cast out devils? and in your name done many wonderful works?  
23: And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity.


I discuss this in more detail here:  

 Click here

I do not judge that such sin brings one to hell, but I believe such a sin could remove someone's place in the kingdom.  

There is a difference between kingdom positioning and salvation. The above link discusses this. It also talks about ministering for God, but God not recognizing it, if we don't do it His way. Here is an prime example:  

In Gen 16, Abraham went ahead of God to try to get God's promise. God had promised him a son, yet he didn't have one. Therefore he slept with his wife's servant and she birthed Ishmael. Ishmael ended up being a curse to Abraham's promised child which God finally gave him. 

Spiritual need will not motivate for sin. We need to trust in God to supply the answer. Don't birth an Ishmael!  

Here are some scriptures people use to try and make women into doma/elders:  

Rom 16:1 Paul refers to Phoebe as a minister (diakonos) of the church at Cenchrea.  

Scripture has no problem with women being deacons. Deacons are not church governments. (To learn about deacons go to the link at the start of this article.) They are descension gifted by the Holy Spirit, not ascension gifted by Jesus. Deacons do NOT rule the church, they serve the church.  

Acts 9:36-40 A woman disciple.  

Jesus wants everyone to be a disciple. Just because the first 12 disciples became apostles, doesn't mean all disciples are apostles!  

  Click here to learn about Discipleship

Acts 21:9 Philip the evangelist had four unmarried daughters who were prophets.  

I am sorry to say but the statement above is error. I have already shown prophesying does not equate to being a prophet (more below as well). They were NOT prophetess's. I don't care if you get everyone in the world to say they were. The Bible does not make that claim. This is what the Bible says:  

Acts 21:9 And the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy.

Philippians 4:2 Paul refers to two women, Euodia and Syntyche, as coworkers who were active evangelicals, spreading the gospel.  

I already shown women can evangelize (we are all called to evangelize), but they can't be evangelists.  

Rom 16:3 Paul refers to Priscilla as another of his "fellow workers in Christ Jesus" (NIV) Other translations refer to her as a "co-worker". But other translations attempt to downgrade her status by calling her a "helper". The original Greek word is "synergoi", which literally means "fellow worker" or "colleague."  

None of that refers to church government. Using descension gifts can easily be a "fellow worker".  

Some would say: Wherever the church exists, the Holy Spirit pours out His gifts "and he gives them to each one, just as he determines" (1 Corinthians 12:11).  

That verse is in regards to the descension gifts. Those given by the Holy Spirit. It is not in regards to the doma gifts, given by Christ.  

Now to the toughest scripture on the subject:  

Rom 16:7 Paul refers to a male apostle, Andronicus, and a female apostle, Junia, as "outstanding among the apostles" (NIV) The Amplified Bible translates this passage as "They are men held in high esteem among the apostles" The Revised Standard Version shows it as "they are men of note among the apostles". The reference to them both being men does not appear in the original Greek text. The word "men" was simply inserted by the translators, apparently because the translators' minds recoiled from the concept of a female apostle. Many translations, including the Amplified Bible, Rheims New Testament, New American Standard Bible, and the New International Version simply picked the letter "s" out of thin air, and converted the original "Junia" (a woman) into "Junias" (a man). 

I discuss translation issues here (though the translations listed above are poor, the problem is not fully a translation issue):

Which Translations are best? 
 
As a more accurate but partial technical response I give this link:  

http://bible.org/article/junia-among-apostles-double-identification-problem-romans-167

The page can be summarized as this; most likely the greek name Junia is female, but most likely the greek is saying that she was not an apostle but was known to the apostles.  

But here is my answer to this problem... 

I am persuaded that the translation of these words into different meanings will not change doctrine in such instances. God would not leave us to such deep schooling knowledge for truth. God never requires us to have master degrees to know His ways. He has us interpret scripture with scripture. Since that verse can possibly be understood both ways, then we must turn to other evidences. But there is no scriptural evidence that a woman can be an apostle elsewhere in the New Testament. God would not hang it on such a small translation problem.  

This is connected to my belief that God desires us to know Him and His word, and that He will make such things accessible to us. I discuss this here:  

  Click here

or here:  

  Click here

Some people would ask me to prove that a person who prophesies is not a prophet. Here is an even greater study it:  

Acts 2:17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy...  
18: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:  

1 Cor 14:1 ... desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.  

1 Cor 14:39 Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy...
 

These verses give strong audience to the fact everyone can prophesy, but yet not everyone is a prophet:  

1 Cor 12:29 Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?

In Acts:19:1-6, we can read a story about 12 men who get baptized and all of them prophesy.  

Also we see this:  

1 Cor 14:  
23: If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?  
24: But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all
 

Do see the picture here? It is VERY possible a whole congregation can prophesy. But they are not all prophets. This is very much implied here:  

1Cor:12:29: Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?  

Someone may say: Both the didactic teachings and the historical examples of the New Testament show that women and men of various ethnic backgrounds were granted spiritual gifts for the ministry of the church.  

There are no clear Biblical examples of female doma's. Lots of women who have ministered, but none whom were doma's or elders of the church. There are no Biblical examples of a woman leading the church. None. 

Yes women can minister or speak in churches. They can teach, prophesy, evangelize. But they cannot lead a church or pastor a church. This is the difference between ascension workings and descension workings.  

The descension gifts are very spread out, but not as universal as salvation. For example, not everyone has the same gift, and many christians don't even manifest the charisma's.  

The likelihood of a woman being a doma hangs only on the thread of Junia in Rom 16:7, being a woman and an apostle. Both points are uncertain by the greek. If by chance both points are true, then there is no Biblical example of a woman being an elder or bishop of the church. That line is secure. The idea that a woman being an apostle or other doma is highly unlikely. But the idea of a woman being an elder or bishop is nil. There is a difference between having a doma gift and being in church government, because not all those with doma gifts are in church government. I discuss this at length here:

Click Here 

Remember this:  

Mat 18:16 ... in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.

2 Co 13:1 ... In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.  

To build a doctrine one should have 2 or 3 scriptural witnesses. The witness of a woman doma existing in the Bible doesn't come close to this standard. So am I 100% sure that women can not have the doma gifts?  

1 Cor 13:12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.  

1 Cor 2:2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
 

No, I stand in faith, not in certainty. This is why I am taking this stance. Unless someone has the witness of 2 or 3 scriptures as an example, they may face Christ in deficit. The Bible speaks about teachers having a stricter judgment. Does that mean I think I am perfect? By no means. I am simply trying to advocate a standard here. One should have 2 or 3 scriptural examples before making a doctrine.  

There may be female doma's, but there is clearly not enough scripture to make it a doctrine nor to believe it is so.  

It would be dangerous for a woman to claim to be a doma. If she is one, let her do the work God has called her to do, but I would advise her not to teach female domaship nor to label herself as one. And she should certainly NOT be involved in church eldership and bishoping.  

Taking the road of caution is best in this area. I do not think the danger of female ministers is overly dangerous, because the following scriptures show ministering out of order still bears fruit:  

Luke 9:
49: And John answered and said, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we forbad him, because he followeth not with us.
50: And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us.


Philp 1:
15: Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will:
16: The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds:
18: What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.


Yet Christ will speak of such work as not being from and of Him, even though it was done in His name and bore fruit. He will separate such folk. They will not have place in the government of the Kingdom even though they are attempting to gain access to church government, but they will still retain their salvation.  

Math 7:  
22: Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? and in your name have cast out devils? and in your name done many wonderful works?  
23: And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity.  

This is discussed here:  

  Click here

To see the 1st page discussing ascension & descension giftings go here:  

 Click here

How do elders rule? What about the shepherding movement? More details on who can rule the church:

 Click here

Has the church failed?  

 Click here




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