Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The Issue of Women's Ordination

The issue of Women's ordination (As apposed to Mr. Ty Gibson's Article)

    After coming across this post late last week, I decided to study out the topic of ordination for myself. With a KJV study bible and a 1599 Geneva bible with Protestant reformers' genuine foot notes I set out to find what the bible and Ellen White says about this topic. After I had diligently studied from scripture about this and spoken to multiple persons on the subject and with Much prayer, I come to find my understanding of this topic cemented. I thoroughly read and studied the reasoning for and material in the article of Ordination by Ty Gibson. I do strongly disagree with Mr. Ty Gibson on multiple points that he made in the article because, although some of what he wrote is truth, a large portion of the material is based off bible verses and quotes that he has taken out of context and misinterpreted. I believe that the issue of women's ordination is not whether a woman can engage in the gospel work or not, but that the issue is in the place of authority that women wish to be placed in. Women's ordination has been widely misinterpreted even unto the definition of Ordination. The under lying issue is that this movement is politically driven and therefore is leading up to political and moral corruption of the church. In the following material I hope to point out some of the understood errors of Mr. Gibson's article.

   First off, I want to start out in saying, though some may disagree with this reasoning, that Mr. Gibson's uses a varying difference in modern Bible translations. The only thing this mix of modern translations can accomplish is confusion. The Modern translations change the meanings and wordings of so many verses that they actually conflict between the modern and the old translations. This difference in bible translation is greatly responsible for the misinterpretation of verses and out-of-context definitions. The best way to have a complete understanding of this subject is to hold fast to the study of fundamental scripture texts of the un-altered versions. An example of this confusion is showed in the following text taken from Mr. Gibson's Article:

"But there is a second reason we cannot use 1 Timothy 3 as evidence for male-only ordination. Even if we were to concede that Paul’s point is that all pastors and deacons must be males, Paul also says in the same letter that men are to lift up their hands when they pray (2:8), that women are to “learn in silence” and not “teach” (2:11-12), that elders who lead well, especially in word and doctrine, are to be paid double wages (5:17), and that slaves who are under the yoke of bondage are to submit to their masters (6:1). (Ty Gibson)."

If you look up each of these verses mentioned in the above quote in the King James Bible, you will find that half of those verses have different wording. Notice how these mis-quotes could initiate confusion as to what the real meaning of the verses are. This is  a major reason for sticking to the original bible translations so that everyone can be on the same page with the Apostles, Prophets and authors of Scripture.

    Mr. Gibson starts out his article by giving a history of the issue at hand. He uses multiple quotes that would indicate that Ellen White Supported Women's Ordination into Pastoral Positions in the church. However, the details that Ellen white was stressing upon is the need for having gospel workers, both men and women, to labor in bringing the light of truth to those ignorant of it. Now, if a person believes that a person MUST be ordained by the "Structure" church in order to carry out this work, then they are terribly mistaken. God calls all, men and women alike, to His work in the field. All who are faithful unto Him in obedience and Faith and who have wholly consecrated themselves to Christ are qualified for this work; they are, by definition, ordained by God. None should be held back solely because of their lack of membership, certification or gender (as in Men and Women Gender). The Holy Spirit will speak through any who is willing to further the work of Christ. The issue arises when people apply this qualification to positions of authority in the church leadership. The bible does give specific instructions to what the position of being Bishop, Minister and deacon are required of those who are willing to be in such services. Those Requirements are misinterpreted greatly in Mr. Gibson's Article.

   Gibson's says that the argument that all the priests and Church leaders of the old testament were men does not apply to the new testament church. The fact that the Old testament church leaders were all men and how that distinction applies to today's church I am unsure of, but the Quote that Mr. Gibson was using to prove that all faithful men and women will be counted as :"Priests" and "Ministers" in the New testament church was taken out of context. When looking up the quote in Review and Herald, October 15, 190, One can see that she went on to explain the reward of those who engage in the gospel ministry, not the titles of what they will be called. Again, Mrs. White stresses upon the importance and reward of the Heavenly work and not upon the entitlements of those involved. This Example for disproving the leadership roles of only being men in today's church is lacking and does not disprove the detail in any way. One thing to be aware of, though, is that there was women in the roles of Ministerial work and Leadership in the Old testament such as Deborah, Miriam, Esther and many others.

   More disagreeableness is created when Mr. Gibson claims that Paul was Not being Gender specific in the whole chapter of 1 Timothy 3. I do not see how this is true because the roles of the Bishop and Deacons are described after the manner of the leadership of the family is described, further more, the family is described in detail after the manner of how the church is to be patterned. In Ephesians 5:22-33, Paul gives detailed instruction of how the family should be patterned. He says, "(22) Wives, Submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. (23) For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the Church: and He is the savior of the body. (24) Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything." Then Paul Proceeds to tell what the Position of the Husband is: "(25) Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it; (26) That He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, (27) That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. (28) So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself." These specifications of the Husband and wife, as explained by Paul, are definitely Gender Specific. How are these verse related to 1 Timothy 3? Simple, read 1Timothy 3:2, 4 and 5.

(2) A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good  behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
(4) One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (5) (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)

The position of a bishop is described by and illustrated with the husband's position in the family. husband's are, as Paul said, The head of the household and head of the wife. These are the requirements for the Bishop of the church, he is to be able to lead the flock in the same manner as how he is supposed to lead his family. If the bishop cannot lead his family, how can he lead the flock of Christ? He would not be able to do so. Also, if Paul was not being gender specific when he wrote these requirements of the Bishop, why would he need to then give a requirement of what the position of the wives are needed in the Church? (See verse 11).

(11) Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.

So, Paul has given specifications again for the bishop, that being after his position as head of the family; and the position of the wife, that is to be faithful and obedient unto her husband.
Now that we are sure of the requirements of the position of a Bishop, allow me to point out a difference with the deacons. (See verses 8-12).

(8) Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not  greedy of filthy lucre;
(9) Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.
(10) And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.
(11) Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.
(12) Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.

Notice that the deacons are not considered Leaders of the Flock. We can know that the position of a Bishop is an elder, leader and servant; the position of a deacon is that of a servant. What Mr. Gibson fails to point out is that the position of a Bishop and that of a Deacon are different. This we can understand more fully by looking at the word root origins.

   Mr. Gibson Used the word episkope as the greek word for Bishop in Verse 2 of 1Tim 3. The word ranges in spelling from episkope, to episkopoj and episkoph. In either event that I found, the words meanings are as follows:

Episkoph: 1) investigation, inspection, visitation
1a) that act by which God looks into and searches out the ways, deeds character, of men, in order to adjudge them their lot accordingly, whether joyous or sad
1b) oversight
1b1) overseership, office, charge, the office of an elder
1b2) the overseer or presiding officers of a Christian church

Episkopoj: 1) an overseer
1a) a man charged with the duty of seeing that things to be done by others are done rightly, any curator, guardian or superintendent
1b) the superintendent, elder, or overseer of a Christian church

Anyhow, you get the idea. The root meaning of Bishop from the verse 1Tim 3:2 is that which describes the office of a Leader of God's Church; one who is in a position of authority. Now this is where Mr. Gibson neglected a key definition of the root word definition of "Deacon." The Greek word for Deacon is Diakonoj as Mr. Gibson mentioned. However, the meaning of diakonoj is very different to that of the meaning of Episkope. The definition of Diakonoj is as follows:

1) one who executes the commands of another, esp. of a master, a servant, attendant,   minister
1a) the servant of a king
1b) a deacon, one who, by virtue of the office assigned to him by the church, cares for the poor and has charge of and distributes the money collected for their use

Obviously, there is a big difference in definition of the place of a deacon and that of a bishop. By not revealing this MAJOR detail, Mr. Gibson went about trying to prove the "good report" of women's ordination in all positions.
You might wonder, "why is this so important?" Let's let the word of God show it's importance.
Let's turn to 1Timothy 2:12:

(12)But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.

This is the key verse that shows the reason why women are not to be ordained as a Bishop. They are not to usurp authority over the man. With the earlier definitions of the Bishop, we can see why they are not supposed to be put in such positions, because, in so doing, they would be usurping authority over man. However, the definition of a Deacon does not say that they are in authority, but are in service. This, as the service of the wives are to their families, so is the Deacons to the Church. I believe a woman can very rightly, according to scripture, engage in the work of a deacon. Here are a few examples of women occupying the role of a deacon:

"(Rom. 16:1, 3, 12; Phil. 4:2, 3; 1 Tim. 3:11; 5:9, 10; Titus 2:3, 4)". In these passages it is evident that females were then engaged in various Christian ministrations.

   Do you understand the issue that Mr. Gibson failed to address? He was right about some of the things in his article, but he failed to show these very specific details. From what I see of the SDA Conference church, they do not need to pass an allowance to ordain deaconesses, they are already ordaining deaconesses, and some rightfully so. Women can work in service of the gospel and of the work of Christ as well. So, if the Conference church does not need to pass this into acceptance, then why are they trying to make it "Okay" to ordain a woman into a "Bishops" position? Folks the only explanation of that is because the reason for doing it is politically driven. Everything about politics today is about equality - equality of Gender, women's rights, homosexuals-- these are very dangerous things to be considering to allow into the Church. Notice what Christ did in His time when people approached him wondering about his positions on politics and Legal matters:

"Again and again Christ had been asked to decide legal and political questions. But He refused to interfere in temporal matters. Christ stood in our world as the Head of the great spiritual kingdom that He came to our world to establish—the kingdom of righteousness. His teaching made plain the ennobling, sanctifying principles that govern this kingdom. He showed that justice and mercy and love are the controlling powers in Jehovah’s kingdom.567 {CCh 314.5}"

This is how we should be today. We should not be caught up in all this legal and political stuff. The issue of Womens ordination is political, it is made political because it is society driven and supported by politics. What is the base of women's ordination? The excuse is equality, Tell me that is not political. This is the underlying issue and danger of Women's ordination being passed into acceptance into the church. Once it is in effect, the next thing to go into the church is Homosexuality. Sure, Mr. Gibson says that the bible has enough evidence against homosexuality that it will not be passed into the church. But the bible has evidence against makeup and Jewelry, yet that did not convince the people not to allow it into the church. Learn from the past, History repeats itself. Do Not be deceived into something you are unsure of. "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)." "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. (1 Thess 5:21)."

If I have made a mistake or error in any biblical context in this post, please point out the issue. I would rather recant that which goes against the Word of God than to produce forth error. If not, however, then let the truth be declared.

Work cited:

Gibson, Ty. "A Closer Look At Women’s Ordination." Light Bearers RSS., 05 June 2015. Web. 10 June 2015.