Women Of Worth

A good friend posted this great quote from Wesley on Facebook yesterday with this scripture from 2 Timothy 1:5 - “I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also”.

There is so much truth contained in there and when one considers how the Word teaches us that we should instruct a child in the ways of the Lord it makes infinite sense.

Then another friend commented with another scripture and finished with a great question: "Now add that to 2 Tim 3:14-15, “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it, and how from childhood you have known the sacred writings that are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” Lois and Eunice were Timothy’s first theological teachers. They were not particularly Jewish, as Eunice had married a Greek and had not had Timothy circumcised. So that means when they became Christians they sought to educate Timothy appropriately in the Christian faith. Discipleship and biblical training begins at home.

The more radical question then emerges, if these women are commended for teaching Timothy, why won’t we let women teach us men now?".

Now that's a great question which deserves to be answered!

I'm no theologian, but I am passionate about local church and I have absolutely no problem with women leading, preaching and teaching in church. After all, if we're happy for women to be teaching and leading in the church's most important internal ministry of children's work on Sundays, why are we not happy with them teaching adults? It doesn't add up.

Cut then to Paul's final greetings in Romans 16:7 in which he praises Junia: "Greet Andronicus and Junia, my fellow Jews who have been in prison with me. They are outstanding among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was". Junia wasn't outstanding among the apostles because she made the best cake and coffee, she was outstanding among the apostles because she was an apostle and was clearly very gifted and able in that role.

The Reformed theological perspective holds the view that women should not be preaching - "All of us have been blessed by mothers, women missionaries and Sunday school teachers, and other females who have taught us the Word without being elders. Let us thank God for the many godly women in our lives"*. How patronising is that?!?

What this position does is miss the point by a mile. As my friend commented a second time: "..it doesn't really explain 2 Tim 2:1-2. In these verses, Timothy is commended to entrust to faithful "people" what he has learned and gained from Paul so that they will be able to teach others. Notice, it doesn't say "men" but "people" (ἀνθρώποι). Secondly, to return to my main point, why are women allowed to theologically train men who enter public ministry but they can't do public ministry? If we're concerned about the age of Timothy, one could easily point to the example of Pricilla who instructs a theologian like Apollos privately. So why can't we have a women instruct the church publicly? The logic of women being allowed to train men who preach but they can't preach themselves seems absurd. Of course, 1 Cor 14:26 and Col 3:16 allows those who have a teaching, to teach. It's got nothing to do with one's gender. So the problem for the response you note is significant."

I have no issue with women teaching in church on a Sunday and at The Gathering I actively encourage it, after all, Paula & I co-pastor the church.

Please feel free to discuss this further in the comments section.

* Female Authority - https://www.ligonier.org/learn/devotionals/female-authority/

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