Sunday, January 24, 2010

I Timothy 2:11-14, The Bible versus Women Preachers

"Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet [i.e., in church]. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor."

I have written before on the ordination of women. To put it briefly, I'm against it! And it's not an issue of the ability or worth of women in general, or of any particular woman, but rather a matter of God's social order. He calls, empowers, and gifts men to proclaim His word (see especially I Timothy 3 and Titus 1).

In the Saturday edition, my local paper, the Charlotte Observer, prints a special religion section, a common practice among daily papers. Yesterday, they printed an article (now no longer online) borrowed from their sister paper in Raleigh regarding the Rev. Sheryl Brady, pastor (but not "spiritual head", an indecipherable distinction) of The River, a predominately-black Pentecostal church in Raleigh, denomination unspecified. Her husband, Joby, is "bishop" of the congregation, but not pastor, also an indecipherable distinction.

Recently, the Rev. Ms. Brady has become a Youtube sensation, with a video of her performing a healing of a brain-damaged infant, who is now described, not as healed, but as "more responsive." Ms. Brady is described as a former singer on T. D. Jakes TV program, and now sporting a "shouting" preaching style.

The Scriptures do not leave us to give honor to just anyone who impresses us, whether by spirited shouting, singing (good or bad), or by making babies more responsive. Rather, we are commanded to "test everything" (I Thessalonians 5:21), and, more specifically, "do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God," (I John 4:1), that is, against God's standards in the Bible. Since the Spirit will never call someone to do something that is forbidden in scripture, I deny that it is that Spirit who empowers Ms. Brady's ministry. The spirit behind Ms. Brady's ministry fails the test of Scripture. To my mind, that leaves only one other possible spirit giving power to her (see Revelation 13:2).

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