This is an expansion of a section I wrote, in A Reader’s Digest of Lamb’s Reign: 2019
First, quoting from myself in the article:
Biblical Qualities of an Elder
- One who is above reproach;
- Has a good reputation;
- Faithful to his wife;
- Not given to heavy drinking;
- Not violent, quarrelsome, or quick-tempered;
- Enjoys having guests;
- One who is able to teach others;
- His children respect and obey him;
- He is not a new believer and has a strong belief;
- Not arrogant;
- Not dishonest with money and does not love money;
- One who exercises discipline and self-control.
Of women being pastors, it is noble and good to consider FIRST the Biblical case. Istoria Ministries gives a great outline here. I will only note that the entire drive of the Bible is the spreading of the Holy Spirit (and its authority) from the few to the many.
SECOND, we also need to see how the Church is growing, and it is growing fast in Iran and China… where almost all the ministers are women. Few or none are seminary-trained, but that’s a good thing.
Where God’s Spirit moves is where we should go, and we should listen when He speaks.
Let the Godly woman talk, so long as she hews close to the Lord God and His Commandments.
You know, just like Phoebe did, who the Apostle Paul commended.
And let the Godless man stay silent.
Just to grab a quote to prove a point:
When we think of rising output in terms of falling prices, this should remind us of the curse of the ground in Genesis 3. By increasing output, men overcome the limits imposed by the curse of the ground. The thorns and weeds that God introduced as a way to make it more difficult for men to earn their daily bread are being overcome by modern technology. This is literally the case in modern agriculture, which is capital intensive and labor efficient. This is the model for economic growth in general. The curse increased the costs of production. Therefore, overcoming the curse has to do with decreased costs of production.Chapter 36: Economic Growth, in Christian Economics: Scholar’s Edition by Gary North
While I am rather confident that North — unlike myself — would ban women as pastors (and support the longstanding-yet-horrible “church as temple” idea), he understands that the curses of Genesis 3 were meant as obstacles to be overcome. Christ came to open the door for us to remove the curse.
For example, the curses on the ground — cursed scarcity — forces men to cooperate and support each other, to treat each other justly to get long-term society-wide benefits, instead of always hating, oppressing and killing each other as ‘autonomous, self-sufficient’ power-seekers.
This is exactly tied to Genesis 3:16 (English Standard Version)…
To the woman he said,
“I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing;
in pain you shall bring forth children.
Your desire shall be contrary to your husband,
but he shall rule over you.”
This is a curse to be overcome.
Already, women suffer far less pain in childbirth than before, and this is a good thing.
And increasingly, wives (and women in general) are not to be commanded and ruled, but respected and honoured and partnered with. This is a good thing.
Phoebe was a ruling elder in Romans 16:1, teaching men and women. In like manner, Godly women, if they are more obedient and faithful to God then the men are, can and should lead both men and women up to the Kingdom of Heaven.
It’s not about blood of the believer, and it’s not about sex of the believer.
It’s about obedience to God.
(An obedience that involves baptism, NOT circumcision!
There are reasons for this…)
And, by increased obedience to God, the removal of the curse, the healing of the world, and the redemption of man, beast, and creation.
And to observe how God is moving this very day, pouring His spirit on preaching and teaching women to expand His Kingdom.
In time, and on earth.
(Blessings on the many Charismatics and Pentecostals who got it right here!)