Church

 

 

9. Here in Italy there is a more and more insistent need to establish the female ministry, as a sign of emancipation; what do you think of this?

 

 

 

In my judgement, the fact that also here in Italy in more and more Evangelical Churches (including some Pentecostal Churches) the woman is permitted to become a pastor or a teacher of the Word is a wrong thing because it is contrary to the sound teaching of the Word of God. What does the Word of God say? It says very clearly: “Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. Nevertheless she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control” (1 Timothy 2:11-15 – NKJV).

These words of Paul, as you can see, absolutely do not allow a woman to become a pastor or a teacher. For according to them, she must learn in silence with all submission because she is not allowed to teach. Why isn’t the woman allowed to teach? Because it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. With these words Paul did not mean that Adam did not disobey God, but he meant that it was not Adam who was deceived by the devil, but the woman, for the serpent did not come to Adam, but to the woman because he knew that it would be easier to deceive the woman.

To confirm that it is not for women to preach or teach the Word of God, I remind you that according to the law of Moses those who were commanded to teach the law to the people of Israel were men, for God entrusted the task of teaching to the Levites, as it is written: “And of Levi he said, Let thy Thummim and thy Urim be with thy holy one, whom thou didst prove at Massah, and with whom thou didst strive at the waters of Meribah; Who said unto his father and to his mother, I have not seen him; neither did he acknowledge his brethren, nor knew his own children: for they have observed thy word, and kept thy covenant. They shall teach Jacob thy judgments, and Israel thy law: they shall put incense before thee, and whole burnt sacrifice upon thine altar” (Deuteronomy 33:8-10). Therefore the law also confirms that it is not the woman, but the man, who has to teach the Word of God.

But in order to confirm that the woman is not allowed to preach or to teach, I want to remind you also that Jesus Christ chose twelve men first, and then other seventy men, to send them to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom of God (cf. Matthew 10:1-4; Luke 10:1-12). As far as the preaching of the Gospel is concerned, Jesus did not send any woman to preach the Gospel. Nevertheless the women who followed Jesus did some important things, for they helped to support both Jesus and His disciples out of their own means, as it is written: “After this, Jesus travelled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; Joanna the wife of Cuza, the manager of Herod’s household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means” (Luke 8:1-3 – NIV). Even after Jesus ascended to heaven, women in the midst of the Church did not preach nor teach the Word of God, for it is written that all those who believed “continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine” (Acts 2:42 – NKJV). The only woman about whom it is written in the New Testament that she taught was Jezebel, who lived in the city of Thyatira and called herself a prophetess and taught the servants of Jesus to commit fornication and eat things sacrificed to idols (cf. Revelation 2:20), therefore she taught some heresies. All those who permit the woman to teach should reflect seriously on this.

To sum up, therefore, in the Church of the living God, which is the pillar and ground of the truth, the woman can’t be a pastor nor can she serve as a bishop: let both of these positions be held by men alone. Nevertheless women can serve as deacons in the Church (obviously if they have the biblical qualifications) because deacons, unlike bishops, must not be “able to teach” (1 Timothy 3:2 – NKJV), for the function of the deacons is to assist the pastor and to administer relief to those in need (the poor, the widows, etc.) The Scripture speaks of a woman called Phoebe who was a deaconess of the Church in Cenchrea, as it is written: “I commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is a servant [Greek: diakonia] of the church in Cenchrea, that you may receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints, and assist her in whatever business she has need of you, for indeed she has been a helper of many and of myself also” (Romans 16:1-2 – NKJV).

Now let me say something about the emancipation of women, which has induced the woman to desire to become a pastor or a teacher in the Church. Since this emancipation wants to make women hold these positions which in the Church of God are for men alone, I have come to the conclusion that the emancipation of women is not of God, but of the devil who deceives the whole world.

The purpose of this so called emancipation of women is to create confusion also in the Church, I say ‘also in the Church’ because this emancipation creates confusion and disorder first of all in the family, where the husband must be submitted to the woman, and if he does not become completely submitted to her, surely he begins to obey his wife in many things. ‘We have equal rights, why should you rule over me?’, the woman says to her husband. ‘The order according to which I should submit to you is a pretension which dates back to the ancient times, that order is an out-of-date order, so it is not valid any longer, thus I must not submit to you!’, the ‘emancipated woman’ continues to say to her husband. ‘And I don’t have to submit to you and to any other man, I, too, can become a pastor or a bishop in the Church’, that’s the conclusion the woman comes to.

Woman, you are greatly mistaken, you have become a rebel because you have started to say perverse things which are not proper for women professing godliness. You must repent of your evil thoughts, and you must start to submit again to your husband, who is your head, as it is written: “The husband is the head of the wife” (Ephesians 5:23 – NKJV); as well as to man because it is written: “The head of woman is man” (1 Corinthians 11:3 – NKJV), and as a sign of this submission you must cover your head (with a veil) when you pray or prophesy. Stop exercising authority over your husband, he is your head; and don’t aim at becoming a pastor or a bishop in the Church. Learn in silence with a spirit of submission and reverence toward man. If you behave in this way, you will be a woman who is really emancipated; yes, for you will be set free from the snare of the devil, who has taken you captive to do his will.

To those who permit a woman to preach or teach in the Church, I say this: ‘Stop letting the woman preach and teach because in this way you are creating confusion in the Church, you are encouraging the woman to exercise authority over her husband and all other men, which is something that opposes the truth’.

 

 

 

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