One of the major issues in the Church today is women in ministry. Both sides have very good observations of the particulars of Scriptures. I stand on the side that says women are allowed in leadership. One charge against my argument is a refusal to take Scriptures seriously. This has been difficult to answer, since sometimes the other person is unaware of certain passages that tell of female leaders or explain how women in certain contexts were leaders. The only way to continue the argument in search of the truth is to ask what does the Bible say?
The Bible has much to say about the leadership model of its time. I could say that we must pay attention to text and context, but that claim is usually met by comments about using learning to stand in the way of the Bible. Let me turn the table on that argument. Read the following texts:
2 Kings 22:14-20
Acts 5:1-10 and 21:9
Romans 16:1, 3, and 7
These verses, among others, pose problems to those who say that women should not be leaders in the Church. The turning of the argument is that complementarians ignore those verses or explain away the egalitarian meaning of the verse in their arguments, so why is the charge of sabotaging Scripture not applied to them? It becomes obvious that there is a double standard in Bible interpretation.
What does this say about our view of Scripture? We need to more fully pursue to understand Scripture on its own terms and not our own. Sometimes, we need to step back, rest our own arguments, and let the Spirit of God show us what it was trying to say almost 2000 years ago. This will take learning and patience. Another important fact to remember is that the Bible has more to say about women acting in ways complementarians think men should than it says about women not being in leadership.
My stance is that these verse show that these women led, which is commentary on verse supposedly prohibiting female leadership. This is an where the importance of letting verses interact comes in. This will look different from a complementarian view, but still needs to happen. So let’s keep talking about this, because the possibilities are good or bad for either side, and the Church only finds God’s truth by interacting with each other under one Spirit.
What is your position on this issue? Why? How are you letting those verses interact with other verses that might call your interpretation into question?