Sunday, August 20, 2017

Let Our Sisters Speak

As a young Christian, I devoured numerous teaching tapes and books that God used to help me grow in my knowledge of Him and prepare for ministry. One Bible teacher from who I’ve gleaned a lot is Joyce Meyer. Her “Battlefield of the Mind” is one of the most powerful books I ever read. Joyce’s testimony of overcoming abuse and rejection has inspired millions of hurting people. I appreciate her candor and sense of humor (especially her “What About Me?” robot imitation).

It grieves me when I hear fellow Christians criticizing Joyce Meyer. She is often labeled a “prosperity preacher.” Her website clarifies: “A ‘prosperity gospel’ that solely equates blessing with financial gain is out of balance and could damage a person’s walk with God.”

Another reason Joyce receives flak from religious folk is simply being a woman behind the pulpit. Yet the Bible has numerous examples of women ministering to God’s people. These five prophetesses are mentioned by name:
  • Miriam (Exodus 15:20)
  • Deborah (Judges 4:4)
  • Huldah (2 Kings 22:14, 2 Chronicles 34:22)
  • Noadiah (Nehemiah 6:14)
  • Anna (Luke 2:36)
Joel 2:28 says, “And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy.” That came to pass in Acts 2 on the Day of Pentecost. Women were amongst the 120 in the upper room.

Romans 16 refers to women in ministry. The Apostle Paul wrote in verses 1 and 2, “I commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is a servant 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.” Other female laborers mentioned in this chapter are Priscilla, Mary, Tryphena, Tryphosa, and Persis.

So how does one reconcile Scriptures that supposedly tell women to remain silent in our churches? There’s a simple explanation. 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 and 1 Timothy 2:11-12 deals with church order amongst married couples. The Greek word for women is gynÄ“, which has also been translated as “wives.” Not every woman has a husband. Likewise, the Greek New Testament used the same word aner for “man” and “husband.” In his book “The Woman Question”, Kenneth E. Hagin pointed out, “You must determine from the context whether it is talking about women in general, or specifically about wives…He [Paul] is talking about learning something and asking questions.”

Throughout church history, God has done powerful things through women such as Maria Woodworth-Etter, Aimee Semple McPherson, and Kathryn Kuhlman. Kathryn believed her ministry was originally offered to a couple of men who didn't respond to the call. Current Mozambique missionary Heidi Baker has seen food multiplied and the dead raised! Jesus said in Matthew 7:20, “…by their fruits you will know them.”

It’s obvious God has His stamp of approval on female ministers. If He can talk through a donkey, why not a woman? The Great Commission wasn’t given solely to men. Let our sisters speak!

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” - Galatians 3:28

No comments:

Post a Comment