Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Painting Women In A New Light

From the earliest days of our house church gatherings we have always encouraged everyone to share a testimony of what God has done in their life, or to talk about what God is teaching them, or share from scripture what they’re learning in their daily walk with Christ.

Because we’ve rejected the modern practice of elevating a pastor or teacher above the rest of the Body, the issue of women operating within their gifting as members of the priesthood has never been an issue for any of us.

Within the Organic Church movement the emphasis is on Christ being our Leader, therefore everyone else is treated as an equal within the Body. Teaching is not seen as "exercising authority over" anyone, so the question of whether or not a woman can teach in that context has never been a problem for us.

Our goal has been to live out of the reality of the priesthood of every believer found throughout the New Testament. As Peter said at Pentecost, the pouring out of the Holy Spirit was a fulfillment of God’s promise to empower the Church, and that promise was made to “all people,” including “sons and daughters” (Acts 2:17). Quoting from the prophet Joel, Peter went on to say:

“Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.” (Acts 2:18)

From the beginning, God’s intention was that women and men together would equally receive the outpouring and empowering of the Holy Spirit.

Women are included among those who the New Testament authors refer to as “a holy priesthood”:

“You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” ( 1 Peter 2:5)

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” ( 1 Peter 2:9)

“And has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father—to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.” (Revelation 1:6)

“You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.” (Revelation 5:10)

“The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.” (Revelation 20:6)

Therefore, women in the New Testament church are not only allowed to behave as priests, but they are highly encouraged to do so. Why? Because the health and well-being of the Church is dependent upon one very important practice: the mutual sharing and serving of every single person in the Body of Christ. (See 1 Cor.12)

Without this practice of operating as organs that support and strengthen one another, we cannot rightly call ourselves the Body of Christ, can we?
We don’t believe so.



nl said...

Women with giftings and opportunities to use their giftings and to serve...Yes.

But...What do you do with church eldership as in remember those who have the rule over you (1 Timothy 3, Titus 1, Hebrews 13:7)?

What do you do with "But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man" (1 Timothy 2:12). Do you have preachers, teachers, men in authority?

Keith Giles said...

I've written several other articles which deal with the "rule over you" reference which is (short version) a horrible mistranslation. The word is not "rule over". The correct rendering of the verse should be:
"Being persuaded by what is trustworthy by those you esteem and have high regard for, yield yourselves: for they watch over your soul..."

Erik Merksamer said...

This is one of the biggest reasons why my family escaped the institutional hierarchy.