Why Ministers Must Be Men

Since feminism is all of a sudden a hot topic here, I thought I should post a sample from my little book entitled Why Ministers Must Be Men. Since I am waiting for someone at the airport, I will have to include the cover photo and link later on.Why Ministers Must Be Men

Begin with the Background

Any discussion of women’s ordination will obviously revolve around the direct Pauline statements on the subject, and we will certainly spend the lion’s share of our space there. But the Pauline instructions were not delivered in a vacuum, and when he makes his appeals outside his immediate situation, he makes those appeals to the Old Testament, grounding his appeals in both the history recorded there and the law given there. It is a commonplace among feminists that the Bible is a patriarchal book, and this is usually said like it is a bad thing. Value judgments aside, this would seem to be correct. The patriarchs of Israel are Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, all men. Jacob, renamed as Israel, had twelve sons who became the progenitors of the twelve tribes. In the entire history of Israel, there was only one queen who ruled apart from a king, and she was a usurper and a tyrant (2 Kings 11:1). From Aaron, the first high priest in Israel, down to the last priest when the Temple was destroyed in 70 A.D., all were men. There were a number of prophetesses, who will be discussed in detail later, but Deborah was the one who also ruled in a civil capacity, and she appears to have done so in her capacity as a prophetess (Judg. 4:4). The general assumption was that women ruling was a sign of judgment (Is. 3:12).

When Jesus came to establish the new Israel, He did so by gathering twelve disciples around Himself (Luke 6:13), clearly declaring that He was reorganizing Israel, reconstituting it, and He did this by appointing twelve men. This is not because there were no available women—He had influential and talented women that He could have picked, but He did not (Luke 8:3). If it was time to overhaul Israel (and it was), why did Jesus not include women in the company of apostles? So when Jesus set Himself to establish Israel again, gathering a new Israel and organizing it around Himself, He picked twelve apostles, all of them men. Just as Moses had the Tabernacle at the center of the camp, with the tribes encamped around, so the Lord took the place of that Tabernacle and gathered His disciples around. The new twelve tribes had masculine leadership, just as they always had. If the new covenant was going to be the time to make a decided break with the old, outmoded patriarchal ways, this would have been a good time to do it. But Jesus did not—why?

The fact there were no priestesses in Israel (and no women apostles) incidentally answers a common objection on this subject, and does so in passing. It is very easy for objectors to say that the reason Christian women were not allowed to become religious ministers back in the “olden time” was because the position of women in society back then would have made the Christian faith disreputable to outsiders if women were allowed to function in this way. Inside the Church, the truth of emancipation was acknowledged (Gal. 3:27-29), but for the sake of evangelizing outsiders, adjustments were made for the time being. Now that we all know better, it is safe for Christians to come out and say what we really thought all along.

The problem with this argument is that it is actually the reverse of the truth. The Christian Church did not have to exclude women in order to fit right in. Excluding women from the ministry was the odd thing to do. The ancient world was crawling with priestesses, and if the Christians had admitted women into their ministry no one would have raised an eyebrow. But the Church took the counter-cultural route, and did something that made them stand out—which is, incidentally, what we are being called to do. It is not that the early church made an accommodation that we in modern times don’t have to make. Rather, the early church refused to make the same accommodation that we are being pressured to make. In short, the early Church was not blending on this issue, it was standing out.

There will be more on this later, but our neo-pagan age is at home with the Great Mother, just as ancient paganism was. And there is no way to reject this resurgent paganism without rejecting the principal form that it takes, which is that of feminine ministry.

Camille Paglia has a skewed view of a lot of things, but there are some things she sees quite clearly.

“The book of Genesis is a male declaration of independence from the ancient mother-cults. Its challenge to nature, so sexist to modern ears, marks one of the crucial moments in western history . . . The mother-cults, by reconciling man to nature, entrapped him in matter”2

If ancient Israel had priestesses, that would not have proven a stumbling block to others. If Jesus had selected some women for the apostolic ranks, that would have “helped” evangelism, and would not have hindered it at all. And yet He refrained. When the prophet Isaiah predicts the day when the Levitical ministry will be carried over into the new covenant, he does so by assuming continuity in the sexual limitation. Gentiles will become priests, but no Gentile women become priestesses.

“And they shall bring all your brothers from all the nations as an offering to the Lord, on horses and in chariots and in litters and on mules and on dromedaries, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, says the Lord, just as the Israelites bring their grain offering in a clean vessel to the house of the Lord. And some of them also I will take for priests  and for Levites, says the Lord” (Is 66:19-21).

The specific background of Paul’s teaching leads us to conclude that women may not be ministers. It is possible to marshal general texts in order to make your own specific applications, but this will not do either. For example, take the common tries to argue from the position that women have as full members of the body of Christ.

“For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise” (Gal. 3:27-29).

This glorious statement is not addressing the question of church government at all, or social relations within the Church, or marital, but is rather addressing the question of salvation in Christ. At issue is baptism, not ordination. There are no barriers that will keep a man from Christ, or a woman. Slaves can come to be baptized, as can their masters. Jews and Gentiles together rejoice that the middle wall of partition has been torn down. We all have fellowship in Christ Jesus, and are heirs of the promise given to Abraham, the promise of salvation. So if this passage is taken, as it frequently is, and made to apply to a question like women’s ordination, we find that it proves far too much.

Not only may we have women preaching, but we may also have women marrying women and men marrying men (so long as they are in Christ) because in Christ all such distinctions are abolished, and we are required to ignore those distinctions whenever somebody tries to bring them up in any setting. Now we live in difficult times, and I am hesitant to argue a reductio like this for fear that somebody is going to think it a grand argument and cite me in a footnote. So before we can let that happen, we should move on to make our position absolutely clear.

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BooneCtyBeek
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BooneCtyBeek

Don’t post
from

the airport
again.

jigawatt
Guest
jigawatt

the position of women in society back then would have made the Christian faith disreputable to outsiders if women were allowed to function in this way Or you could respond thusly: Oh yeah, those early Christians were all about being reputable in their culture. “Hi I’d like to tell you about Jesus. Now if you believe in him you’ll probably be ostracised by your family, spat upon by strangers, and quite possibly be fed to lions for the amusement of your former friends. But hey, on the plus side, we don’t allow women to be leaders. Heh heh heh, pretty… Read more »

Benjamin Bowman
Guest

Wisdom needs no special claim to authority because it already has it, and wisdom is a woman.

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

I’ve recently discovered I haven’t had to pay a dime for this wonderful blog.

I’m going to start buying Doug’s books as a way to follow up and to say thank you.

Is there a mechanism / way to request signed copies, anybody know?

Kevin Bratcher
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My method involves going to the Grace Agenda Conference and remembering to bring said books with me

insanitybytes22
Member

I agree that ministers should be men. Women have a huge role within faith, within the church, and it seems rather reasonable and fair to have one need, one calling that is to be filled by men. While women are certainly capable of being ministers or of leading in multiple ways, in the larger picture we want what is good for all, what will draw men into the church, what will help them aspire to leadership. Men are half the human race, fathers, sons, brothers, so as women we already have a connection to them, a relationship. It’s somewhat ironic,… Read more »

Laura
Guest
Laura

It almost seems like you are saying that if we don’t let men keep the visible leadership roles reserved for themselves they’ll go home. Women will keep going to church either way, but we have to bribe and placate men.

insanitybytes22
Member

Most of the pastors I know are barely earning a living, working all hours of the day and night, and dealing with the endless suffering of humanity, and yet you refer to this as placating and bribing men??

The very fact that leadership within the church is being perceived as a status symbol, as a position of desired power one must envy and compete for, bothers me.

Laura
Guest
Laura

It bothers me too. I suppose I misunderstood your comment. I thought you meant that if we didn’t let men have this visible leadership position to themselves, they’d take their marbles and go home, and that that was the reason why we shouldn’t have women ministers, not that women couldn’t be good ministers.

BDash76
Guest
BDash76

really?
most complementarian Pastors I know
send their wives to work
and run the home while writing their sermons
rebuking men for not being domestic enough
and supporting their wife’s interests….

day and night, please….

BDash76
Guest
BDash76

the only reason women go to church is because churches cater to them
rarely call out their sin
if anything they affirm it…

Laura
Guest
Laura

That’s the only reason women go to church?

Leslie
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Leslie

Other than certain obvious characteristics , what makes a man a man?

RFB
Guest
RFB

The Lord says that there are readily understood and apparent attributes that are “manly”, which not the least of are: Job 38:3 Dress for action like a man;I will question you, and you make it known to me. Job 40:7 Dress for action like a man;I will question you, and you make it known to me. 1 Corinthians 16:13 Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. The created order did not seem to be a puzzle during the reformation period. I doubt that Mr. Ridley replied “Oh heavens Hugh, what do you mean…”.… Read more »

timothy
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timothy

OFF TOPIC: the resignation of Boehner represents an opportunity to get a pro-life congress critter in place to defund the murderous, genocidal feminists of Planned Parenthood. Webster of Florida states he is pro-life. He attends a large Baptist church in Orlando, will his pastor speak to this?

Barnabas
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Barnabas

I see a fair amount of debate over whether feminists are physically ugly. Of course they are ugly. Beautiful women have always been able to do quite well for themselves under the system of traditional marriage. They traded on their beauty to gain the commitment of strong, resource-rich men. Ugly women were the losers under this system, only able to gain the commitment of a lesser man or no man at all. Ugly women were the first to rebel against this system, lobbying for greater opportunities to labor like men or gain resources from the state. Since feminism has now… Read more »

Laura
Guest
Laura

Yes, feminism has been a real boon to us women who have something to contribute and want to contribute it, and aren’t decorative enough to beguile y’all into giving us things because we are cute and sexy.

adad0
Member

Barnabas and BJ, by virtue of not mentioning it, do bring into high contrast, a hornets’ nest that is in desparate need of whacking, and that is:

“How “attractive” are feminist men?” Hmmmmm, let’s see……

Bill Clinton?
Eliot Spitzer?

John Edwards?
Fill in the blank Kennedy?

Yes, there are non-femist men who are not “attractive”, but perhaps there needs to be a gender balanced discussion re: male and female feminists and what that “utopia” is like. Is there a more feminist couple than Bill and Hillary? Are they not the best? (and brightest?) How “attractive” is that?

timothy
Guest
timothy

Bruce Jenner is HOT.

Barnabas
Guest
Barnabas

I wouldn’t call any of those men feminists. Giving lip service to a large constituency doesn’t qualify.
Male attractiveness is more complex than female attractiveness, less dependent on looks and more dependent on personality traits. Male feminists are likely to be less attractive both physically and in terms of personality. Being less attractive leads to an attempt to opt out of traditional mating competition by embracing feminism. Such signalling of weakness has the effect of making them even less attractive than before.
For what its worth, I don’t get the impression that the Clintons are particularly ideological, just rather ruthless.

timothy
Guest
timothy

Male attractiveness is more complex than female attractiveness
Alex I will take “Henry Kissinger pickup lines.” for 500.

BDash76
Guest
BDash76

lip service does qualify…
lip service = refusing to take a stand
that is not manly

adad0
Member

Barney, “those men” aka, lounge lizzards, are one of the types that cause feminism, becuase of what they “preach”, “I feel your pain”, as opposed to how they treat the women in their lives. (I am your pain.)
In any case, those men, feminist or psuedo feminist, are not all that attractive, because, as the initial post says, they are men of “the neo-pagan age”.
(And not one of them could hold a candle to Richard Simmons! ; -)

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Your first sentence is so true that I winced.

adad0
Member

Poor girls, they are like sheep without a shepherd, consorting with wolves, or those lizzards.
Good thing there is a Good Shepherd, He is out looking for all of his lost sheep!
The Good Shepherd is so good in fact, that He can even shepherd lounge lizzards back into being sheep, sometimes even rams!

BDash76
Guest
BDash76

but but but
The famous move War room has a female preacher acting as the lead
who works full time
while her house husband manages their home…

or
we also have Christine Caine?!!
who also has a house husband so she can preach…

if we consider these people as Christians, then we really should not have a problem with disobeying other commands of the bible…

Spike Pittard
Guest
Spike Pittard

Actually, this post could have been a lot shorter. All you had to say was, “Because I want it that way.”

Barnabas
Guest
Barnabas

A bit off topic but evidence continues to mount that the “one flesh” joining of man and wife is not exclusively a spiritual process.
http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/32678/title/Swapping-DNA-in-the-Womb/

adad0
Member

Dang, they found my secret plan for world domination!

Charlie Zulu
Guest

How about “Ministers Must be Lawfully Ordained”? In Doug’s world there is no real distinction between a minister and regular church members, so what does it matter who is in the pulpit? In Scripture there is first a distinction between a minister and the people; the gender thing is, albeit important, a bit later. Doug’s church is built on the premise that a minister is anyone who can take charge, write a few books and get people to submit to them, regardless of the lawfulness of it.

https://greenbaggins.wordpress.com/2007/11/18/answer-to-doug-wilson-on-pca-polity/