Laying a false argument to rest

Laying a false argument to rest

One of the arguments that complementarians employ against women in ministry is the argument that God only used women as prophets and leaders in the Bible when there were no men available at the time. Is this really a valid argument? Let’s have a look at two biblical examples.

Elijah thought that he alone was left as a prophet of God because he alone was serving God yet God corrected him by saying that he had seven thousand others who have not bowed the knee to Baal.

Romans 11:3 “Lord, THEY HAVE KILLED YOUR PROPHETS, THEY HAVE TORN DOWN YOUR ALTARS, AND I ALONE AM LEFT, AND THEY ARE SEEKING MY LIFE.”
Romans 11:4 But what is the divine response to him? “I HAVE KEPT for Myself SEVEN THOUSAND MEN WHO HAVE NOT BOWED THE KNEE TO BAAL.”

God has always had a remnant who followed him and thus God has never been without a man to serve him.

Let’s look at another example. Huldah was used by the Lord to bring a message to King Josiah yet God also had men available to be used. The prophet Jeremiah had been prophesying in Judah since the 13th year of the reign of King Josiah (see Jeremiah 1:2) and it was the 18th year of the reign of King Josiah (see 2 Kings 22:3) when Huldah was consulted as a Prophet of God to bring a message to King Josiah. So a woman, Huldah, was used by God even though Jeremiah was available and Jeremiah had already been prophesying in the land for five years. Even though Jeremiah was available, God used Huldah to speak his words to the king.

2 Kings 22:12 Then the king commanded Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam the son of Shaphan, Achbor the son of Micaiah, Shaphan the scribe, and Asaiah the king’s servant saying,
2 Kings 22:13 “Go, inquire of the LORD for me and the people and all Judah concerning the words of this book that has been found, for great is the wrath of the LORD that burns against us, because our fathers have not listened to the words of this book, to do according to all that is written concerning us.”
2 Kings 22:14 So Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam, Achbor, Shaphan, and Asaiah went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvah, the son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe (now she lived in Jerusalem in the Second Quarter); and they spoke to her.
2 Kings 22:15 She said to them, “Thus says the LORD God of Israel, ‘Tell the man who sent you to me,
2 Kings 22:16 thus says the LORD, …

The fact is that God uses women for his own purposes and it is not biblically correct to say that God only uses women when God has no man available. Let’s once and for all lay this false argument to rest. God uses women because it pleases him to use women and God still uses women today for his own glory and honor.

11 thoughts on “Laying a false argument to rest

  1. Excellent, Cheryl.

    I’d never really considered Huldah in this light.

    With a growing understanding of how the patriarchal crowd gets around all of this, I think that they would find some peripheral red herring fact and make Huldah the scapegoat for the cause of all pestilence and and poverty for the next 100 years. As a Scriptural proof, they could site some verse like Proverbs 6:24
    (To keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman). Somehow that would be proof to all under their authority to explain everything without room for doubt. No one would notice the fact that, except for an evil woman who speaks, the association makes no sense.

    If that didn’t work, they would press their belief that there are no modern day people who hold the office of prophet or who prophesy today.

    It’s both funny and sad.

    It’s really pretty sad.

  2. What about the argument that women leaders or prophets were not the ‘norm’ back in the OT and for that reason the few ones were non normative and if God had intended it otherwise we would see much more of it?

    Or that none of the Apostles were women and if God wanted to show that women were not in universal submission He would have had a woman apostle?

    Or about the argument that history proves that all denominations that have ordained women or had women in leadership became liberal in doctrine which started their downfall?

    I keep hearing these same tired arguments.

  3. We will lay all of these false arguments to rest one at a time. The argument that God used a woman because he couldn’t find a man is used in the same breath as God used a donkey when he couldn’t find a man. It is insulting to God and insulting to the women that God chooses to use.

  4. Lin wrote: Or about the argument that history proves that all denominations that have ordained women or had women in leadership became liberal in doctrine which started their downfall?

    Hey it could have been to much spicy food that made them all crazy. We should check the locations of all those churches that became liberal enough to notice they were liberal. 🙂

  5. The “traditionalist” side in any discussion can always say that those that do not follow their lead end include those that do X, where X is something negative. This is a totally spurious argument, it is a scare tactic. It only works on those who are scared, unfortunately, this seems to be significant number of believers.

    Here is a chain demolishing some arguments, this is not original with me.
    1. The Bible says that Miriam was a leader of the Israelites, along with Moses and Aaron, but perhaps she only led women.
    2. But Deborah led men (sat in authority over them), being a judge, but perhaps God used her as their were no suitable men.
    3. But Huldah declared at least Deuteronomy (and perhaps the Pentateuch) to be God’s word, even though there were other male prophets available to consult, including Jeremiah.

  6. I think a lot of this stuff goes back to the old “descriptive” vs “prescriptive” arguments. Wayne Grudem, who is known in some circles as “the godfather of complementarianism”, maintains that since Huldah spoke to just five guys and that it was done privately and not to Israel as a corporate assembly, it was ok in God’s eyes. Grudem also maintains that there is a sharp distinction between the role of prophesying and teaching among God’s people both in the Old and New Testaments. Sharp distinction? How so? As Kevin Giles has pointed out, both scripture and human utterances when under the Holy Spirit are the very words of God, and to elevate one above the other is special pleading. Let’s get down to brass tacks here. What this whole controversy revolves around is Paul’s famous first letter to his protege (Timothy) in Ephesus. If it is a descriptive refutation of false teaching, that is, the Apostle’s response to a specific situation in the Ephesian congregation, then we can move on with confidence that the reformation did not end with Luther and Calvin, and that it is ongoing, with us as an organic unity. To say that it is prescriptive (1 Tim. 2:12) is to say that Paul is now our new Moses, our new law-giver, and that Christ’s efficacy at the cross is only partially fulfilled for women, and that they are only partially enfranchised in the Body of Christ. I for one, flatly reject the prescriptive interpretation.

  7. “To say that it is prescriptive (1 Tim. 2:12) is to say that Paul is now our new Moses, our new law-giver, and that Christ’s efficacy at the cross is only partially fulfilled for women, and that they are only partially enfranchised in the Body of Christ. I for one, flatly reject the prescriptive interpretation.”

    I never thought of it like that before. But when I ask comps if Jesus left earthly priests for women after the cross, they actually equivocate because they do see the husbands role as her priest. they just do not like the way I describe it. They say, “head” ans she submits to the head… but their interpretation of head is really ‘earthly priest’ when you get right down to it.

  8. Jude
    14 Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, 15 to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.”

    Revelation 19

    8It was given to her to clothe herself in (A)fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the (B)righteous acts of the saints.

    14And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in (AT)fine linen, (AU)white and clean, were following Him on white horses.

    1 Corinthians 6:2
    Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? If the world is judged by you, are you not competent to constitute the smallest law courts?

    The point I’m making with these scriptures is this, we come back with Christ at the end of the 7 year Trib.. Notice “The Saints” ” The Bride” are made up of Male and Female Born-Again believes (On white Horses prepared for war!). Christ is treating the body of believes as ONE! We know Christ does the fighting but we are all with Him together as One. Also in the next life The Saints (Male & Female) will judge the world! Just from these passages alone I see no division but biblical equality/unity!

    Also about the OT being only male leaders, we have to remember that God is working “Within” a cursed sinful world! Once there was enough Godly men that rise up the Godly Women would take there Equal rule along side them without hinder. Just like Adam is Made first and then Woman (Eve), then she comes alone side him to take her Equal rule with him! We do know that God does call Women into Leadership and sometime a woman is Gods first and only choice. I do see a pattern in the old testament and in the New.

    The 12 apostles being only male because the 12 apostles represent the 12 son’s of Jacob/12 tribes:

    Revelation 21
    12It had a great and high wall, (AJ)with twelve (AK)gates, and at the gates twelve angels; and names were written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel.

    13There were three gates on the east and three gates on the north and three gates on the south and three gates on the west.

    14And the wall of the city had (AL)twelve foundation stones, and on them were the twelve names of the (AM)twelve apostles of the Lamb.

    He (Jesus) was letting Israel/Jerusalem know he wants to make a New Israel/New Covenant/Bringing Salvation. If Jesus had put a women as one of the 12 it would have been to confusing for the Jews at that time! They needed to look back to scripture to see this! Later we see Junia (Female) as an apostle not of the 12 but never the less an apostle like Paul! In the end it all balances out!

    Also we know God is not done with Little Natural Israel as a Nation.

  9. One of the arguments that complementarians employ against women in ministry is the argument that God only used women as prophets and leaders in the Bible when there were no men available at the time. Is this really a valid argument?

    No, it’s not, because it leads to a reductio ad absurdum (reduces this specific argument to absurdity). Here’s how:

    Premise 1: If some complementarians teach that God only uses women as prophets and spiritual leaders when there are no spiritually qualified men available, then such would apply to the 1st Century NT era as well.

    Premise 2: There were female prophets and bible teachers in the 1st Century, New Testament era (Acts 2:17; 18:26; 21:9; 1 Cor. 11:5; Titus 2:3-5).

    Conclusion: Therefore, there were no spiritually qualified men in the 1st Century NT era.

    Obviously, the above syllogism shows the absurdity of this argument. :-)>

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