Why I Changed Lanes on Women In the Pastorate : Part 3
In other words we see Pauls admonition to women to keep silent in the church, yet he also instructs them how to pray and prophesy…in the church.
Women are not to have authority over men, yet we see one called an apostle, one a deacon, and others doing the work of the kingdom.
The first person to announce the resurrection was a woman.
This is significant…women were not considered reliable witnesses in court and the subversion of a cultural norm is often missed here.
“It is this “doubleness,” therefore, that is the key to the gender model I am offering here. And it is the main difference between my model and the “redemptive trajectory” or “redemptive movement” hermeneutic more typical of biblical feminists. They see a single, upward line in the Bible, a line of progressive amelioration of oppression. This trend, they believe, ought to be extended beyond the end of the apostolic era to our own day so that it will result in full emancipation— of slaves, women, and other victims of sinful hierarchy. To be sure, I see the amelioration that they see in the Bible. The regard for women, children, foreigners, and slaves in the Old Testament law is far better than it is in any other ancient Near Eastern civilization that we know of. But I do not see a single, upward line that would make Jesus and Paul virtual egalitarians. Instead, I see a double message almost from the beginning of the Bible and showing up right through the New Testament.
In regard to slavery, for example, Paul both counsels acquiescence and even enthusiastic service on the part of slaves (Col 3: 22-24) and also barely stops short of ordering Philemon outright to free Onesimus. An even more conspicuous pattern of doubleness is evident in regard to gender, as we have seen, from the Torah through Jesus to Peter and Paul. The New Testament is not a uniformly egalitarian text, and not even a just-on-the-verge-of-egalitarian text, but one that contains numerous instances of these two messages, often side by side.
Why does noticing this pattern matter? Without acknowledging this doubleness, one cannot make sense of the longstanding Christian defenses of slaveholding and patriarchy— unless one believes that all of our fellow Christians who have held slaves or have espoused patriarchy have been guilty of patently bad Bible reading in the interest of some evil agenda. I think it makes more sense of the Scriptures and of church history to acknowledge that there were biblical arguments available to Christians of both of those views. So why prefer the egalitarian reading to the patriarchal one? Because the egalitarian interpretation makes better sense of the presence of both kinds of texts alongside each other in Scripture. The egalitarian reading does not disrespect the traditional reading as if it had no basis in the Bible. It clearly does. But egalitarians see God working through patriarchal structures in Scripture and in church history while also providing the foundation for the removal of those structures when and where the cause of the gospel would be advanced thereby.”
Stackhouse Jr., John G. (2015-11-08). Partners in Christ: A Conservative Case for Egalitarianism (pp. 86-88). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition.
So, there you have it.
This is no more than a thumbnail sketch of very detailed Scriptural arguments laid forth in the book.
Based on these arguments and on others I believe that it within the grounds of orthodoxy to allow for women pastors.
It is also within the grounds of orthodoxy to believe otherwise.
This is where my conscience and the Holy Spirit has led me.
Your mileage may differ…