• Many protestant denominations have female ministers.
  • The question translated: "Why do Christians follow the rule in the Bible about women not being pastors? Don't they realize that the Bible they follow is obsolete?" *** In the Bible, Paul the Apostle instructs a pastor (paraphrased), "You will not allow a woman to speak." Now...obviously that doesn't mean "You will stop all women from speaking everywhere." I think it obvious, with the realization that the instruction was given to a pastor, that Paul meant "You will not allow a woman to orate in your church [during church services]." There is a related passage from Paul that teaches [paraphrased] "You shall not allow a woman to teach the men of the church." MOST Christians believe that the Bible's teachings are inspired of God, and - so - these rules set down by Paul are equally inspired of God. That is to say: most Christians believe that what the Bible teaches about how Christians should act is, in fact, how Christians should act. AND...that includes not allowing women to orate or teach the men of the church. (Some denominations are even more strict with regard to those rules.) Finally, again from Paul, we have instructions regarding officers of the church: deacons and presbyters. In both passages Paul informs us that these officers should be MEN (interestingly: men with no more than one wife are specified, clearly indicating that at least some Christian men of the time did have more than one wife). *** But note that there is a woman in the Bible who is widely considered by Christian theologians to have been a deacon, and so in some Christian denominations, despite Paul's teaching of choosing only men for this office, women are allowed to become deacons (but still: not pastors). *** Only churches who interpret Paul's instructions as PERSONAL OPINION ***instead of*** INSPIRED TEACHING OF GOD allow women to be pastors. Personally, I believe such an interpretation is bankrupt. (That is: I think the interpretation is adopted specifically for the purpose of allowing women to be pastors, rather than the other way around. The interpretation should dictate doctrine, not vice-versa!)
  • Paul speaks to an unorganised Corinthian church that has a circus for a church gathering. You have people speaking in tongues, prophesying, asking questions and preaching all simultaneously as one. In response to this, Paul puts structure to the gatherings by ordering that tongues be ceased, prophecy be done one by one, and women asked to remain silent to give men the chance to preach. This of course does not mean that women are no longer allowed to preach, prophesy and teach. In fact, 1 Corinthians 11:5 urges that women prophesy in the right settings and conditions. Another context we need to take into consideration was the cultural background of the time and proximity. The church of Corinth is not a congregation that was born two weeks ago. It was a church built by people of a different time and a different culture all together. What may mean something to us will mean something completely different to the people of that time. What was ancient Corinth like? It existed in a day and age and in a culture where it was more beneficial and secure for women to refuse certain cultural and societal roles — and leadership was one of them.

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