As there is much debate about the role of women in the the mystical teachings of jesus, I believe that we should, as in all circumstances, rely on the Word of God to instruct us as to God’s will. In many religious circles, this is a hot-button subject and everyone will not easily accept this teaching. Nevertheless, because it has become a church dividing issue, it demands an appropriate review.
First, let me say that God is a God of order. In His written word, He has laid out a specific order for all things. In 2 Tim 2:15, Paul instructs us to rightly divide the word of truth. Until we rightly divide ALL of His word, we cannot claim to know the truth.
In the beginning, God created Adam, then the Garden of Eden and placed Adam in the Garden then He created Eve. In Gen. 1:28, God gave them dominion over all the earth. By this passage we can see that God saw Adam and Eve as equals, I do not believe God loved, or held Adam in any higher regard than Eve. God loved them the same but had different functions for each. The fact that God created Adam first is very important because the Apostle Paul refers to this in 1Tim. 2:12-14.
“But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.”
By this passage Paul makes it clear that because Eve was the one that fell to Satan’s temptation, she could not be trusted to make the important decisions regarding the church. Also, in this passage, the word authority comes from the Greek word “authenteo” which means to dominate. One crucial point I’d like to make here is Paul was referring to behaviors inside the church. There is no indication that this premise was to extend in a political or social environment. On the contrary, Judges Chapter 4 talks of Deborah who was a prophetess and judge. Some say that she “usurped authority” over men because she was a judge. This is true in a social climate but not in the church. And as we know, a prophet or prophetess has no known authority in church.
Many believe that there were deaconesses in the early church such as Phoebe mentioned in Romans 16. Paul simply refers to Phoebe as a servant of the church and to read anymore into that would be in error. The word deaconess does not appear in the King James Bible and a woman would not meet the requirements that Paul spelled out in 1 Tim. 3:10-12 and in Titus 1:5-9.
1Tim 3:10-12 – And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless. Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things. Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.
Titus 1:5-9 – For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee: If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate; Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.