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Male and female clergy?

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  • Male and female clergy?

    This is something that has come up in looking at local churches and I was curious to get another view on this. When the church accepted female clergy and reverends, one of the arguments was that it was easier for women in the flock to relate to a female minister, and therefore all-male clergy at a church could make it harder for some of the flock to come to them with problems. That I can understand and support. However, surely the same thing should apply to a church with an all-female clergy?

    One of the churches we were looking at has all seven clergy positions and support roles filled by women. I don't know why this bothers me so much, but it doesn't feel quite right. I know they are Reverends called to the church, that they have been through the training and serve their community the best they can. Yet I can think of too many situations where men, particularly young men, would not want to bring up their troubles to a woman any more than a woman would to a man.

    I think my common sense is conflicting with my modern sensibilities, so I'd like to hear another viewpoint.

  • #2
    Having women in the clergy is unbiblical. That is why it doesn't feel right. Paul actually speaks about this in one of his epistles. They try to use the account of Deborah as an excuse to allow woman to be pastors/reverands/priests, but that argument fails as soon as it begins. Any church that has women in leadership roles is one where the men are not stepping up to fill those roles, and the church is worse off for it.
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    • #3
      The world is changing and Women are always fighting for their rights and also for equity. Sometimes men have no choice but to let them even though it doesn't feel right. The point is, it should be balanced, not a clergy full of just Women. When a clergy is only made up of men, they complain, they too should lead by example. However, I personally have no issue with women being in the clergy.
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      • #4
        Originally posted by ChatterBox View Post
        When the church accepted female clergy and reverends, one of the arguments was that it was easier for women in the flock to relate to a female minister, and therefore all-male clergy at a church could make it harder for some of the flock to come to them with problems.
        It may be true that women would feel more comfortable sharing their problems with another woman, but that doesn't mean the woman they share with must be a member of the clergy. It might be helpful for a church to have mature women to serve as counselors for women but such women should not be considered part of the clergy.
        Clyde Herrin's Blog
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        • #5
          Originally posted by ptahm22 View Post
          The world is changing and Women are always fighting for their rights and also for equity. Sometimes men have no choice but to let them even though it doesn't feel right. The point is, it should be balanced, not a clergy full of just Women. When a clergy is only made up of men, they complain, they too should lead by example. However, I personally have no issue with women being in the clergy.
          There is always a choice. And when a church gets to a point where they need to make this choice means there are no longer enough Godly men within that congregation to fill the roles they should, which means that church is heading down a bad road. Including becoming apostate.
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          • #6
            Originally posted by ptahm22 View Post
            The world is changing
            When the world changes, should Christ's Church change along with it? Do we take our lead from those who are in rebellion against our King and His Kingdom?

            Originally posted by ptahm22 View Post
            I personally have no issue with women being in the clergy.
            What would you say to a person who told you that he has "no issue" with the use of temple prostitutes?
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            • #7
              Originally posted by thatbrian View Post

              When the world changes, should Christ's Church change along with it? Do we take our lead from those who are in rebellion against our King and His Kingdom?



              What would you say to a person who told you that he has "no issue" with the use of temple prostitutes?
              I think that you are taking it the wrong way. Maybe we interpret that message the way we shouldn't. If we say women shouldn't lead or shouldn't serve as clergy, we fall into the category of sexists. Do you know why women were prohibited from being in the clergy? If it's because of their sinful nature, we too are sinners and God is the only one who should judge. When Jesus Christ first came, his message was only to the Jews then it became available to everyone. Jesus did not come to change the law of Moses but to improve it. Why is it that the law on Women is interpreted as it is in the Old Testament. If a woman is said to have a calling, it's not our right to choose who should and who shouldn't be in the clergy.
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              • #8
                Originally posted by ptahm22 View Post

                I think that you are taking it the wrong way. Maybe we interpret that message the way we shouldn't. If we say women shouldn't lead or shouldn't serve as clergy, we fall into the category of sexists. Do you know why women were prohibited from being in the clergy? If it's because of their sinful nature, we too are sinners and God is the only one who should judge. When Jesus Christ first came, his message was only to the Jews then it became available to everyone. Jesus did not come to change the law of Moses but to improve it. Why is it that the law on Women is interpreted as it is in the Old Testament. If a woman is said to have a calling, it's not our right to choose who should and who shouldn't be in the clergy.
                Well, we know it is not their sin nature, as then there wouldn't be anyone in the clergy, period. Unless I am mistaken, God did not spell out why he only wanted men as part of the clergy, but I am sure there is a bit we can infer from the bible in that the family is a smaller model of church in that the man is the head of the household, therefore, only men are part of the clergy. We can also look at the example of Jesus being head of the church (a man) and the church is considered His bride (female reference).

                By the way, if you consider only allowing men to be part of the clergy then you could be calling God sexist. Is that really a road you want to go down?
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by ptahm22 View Post
                  If we say women shouldn't lead or shouldn't serve as clergy, we fall into the category of sexists.
                  No, we fall into the category of those who obey God. Here are the qualification Paul gave for an elder in 1 Timothy 3:1-7:

                  [1] The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. [2] Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, [3] not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. [4] He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, [5] for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God's church? [6] He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. [7] Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.

                  God made men and women different and he gave them different roles to play in carrying out his work.
                  Clyde Herrin's Blog
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ptahm22 View Post
                    Do you know why women were prohibited from being in the clergy?
                    Yes. I do know why. There are several biblical texts forbidding it. There is also the example of Christ and His male disciples, and lastly there are both the creation order and marriage which all point in the same direction.


                    Originally posted by ptahm22 View Post
                    Jesus did not come to change the law of Moses but to improve it.
                    Please tell me why you think Jesus came to "improve" on the Law.


                    Originally posted by ptahm22 View Post
                    If a woman is said to have a calling, it's not our right to choose who should and who shouldn't be in the clergy.
                    It's not only our right but our responsibility to keep women from fulfilling their desire to rule over men, whether that be in church or home.
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