Mike Seaver and Cheryl Schatz discuss/debate women in ministry 7

Mike Seaver and Cheryl Schatz discuss/debate women in ministry 7

What authority do men have to restrict women's gifts? Mike Seaver and Cheryl Schatz debate women in ministry

Women in Ministry Debate: What authority do men have to restrict women’s gifts?

This is question #4 of a 10 question discussion/debate between Mike Seaverand Cheryl Schatz on the issue of women in ministry.  The discussion will take the form of five questions posed by Cheryl Schatz with answers by Mike Seaver and then five questions posed by Mike Seaver with answers by Cheryl Schatz.  Each question and answer session will be followed up in the next post by one response each from both Mike and Cheryl.  Links to the questions and the responses will be at the bottom of this post.  Mike’s corresponding post on his blog is here.

#4 Question by Cheryl Schatz:

God has given us the authority to use our gifts for the benefit of the body of Christ in 1 Peter 4:10, 11:

1 Peter 4:10  As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

1 Peter 4:11  Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

If God has gifted a woman with the gift of speaking “the utterances of God” in the strength of service that God supplies, by what authority does man have to forbid a woman from using that authority for speaking the utterances of God?  Please show a verse that instructs all pastors, elders, leaders to single women out and stop them from using their utterance gifts?

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#4 Answer by Mike Seaver:

I don’t think there is a verse.  I think that woman who have a speaking gift are to use it for God’s glory in the way God designed them to.  If God gives the gifts, I think that it is okay for him to set parameters on the gift though.  Just like He does with tongues and prophesy (1 Cor. 14).  1 Timothy 3:2 says that an overseer is the “husband of one wife/woman.”  He is the teacher of the church (or one of the teachers) and in the qualifications it speaks to men.  So, I think gifted women should use their gifts, but I just don’t think they should teach men (1 Tim. 2:12).  They are to teach other women (Titus 2:4-5).

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Cheryl’s response and Mike’s rejoinder will follow on August 26th, 2009.

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Links to all segments of the debate:

Question #1 and Mike’s answers

Responses to Question #1

Question #2 and Mike’s answers

Responses to Question #2

Question #3 by Cheryl and Mike’s answers

Responses to Question #3

Question #4 by Cheryl and Mike’s answers

Responses to Question #4

Question #5 by Cheryl and Mike’s answers

Responses to Question #5

One thought on “Mike Seaver and Cheryl Schatz discuss/debate women in ministry 7

  1. In the first churches, an overseer was not necessarily more of a teacher than the rest of the congregation. The instructions on speaking turns and teaching in 1 Corinthians 14 make that pretty clear. The overseer merely keeps order in the church so that everyone gets their say without a shouting match starting.

    The real teachers of whole congregations were actually the apostles. This could be Paul or Peter; but there was also Apollos and Cephas (1 Corinthians 1:12). But, even more shockingly, especially to the translators who decided to change her to a man, there was Junia (Romans 16:7) mentioned with Andronicus.

    Also, the fact that 1 Timothy 3:11 actually translates to “the women”, rather than “their wives” gives indication that there was provision made for, at least, deaconesses, if not female overseers. As is the case today, most women don’t have as much of an interest in managing the church. They are too busy with children and the house to have time or energy for that. Most women don’t even care to have “leadership” positions.
    Most likely, the women of that age also had less interest than the men. So you were going to get more male applicants than female. So Paul is writing on the qualifications; and, as he is getting through the qualifications for deacon, he suddenly realizes that he forgot the qualifications for the women. So he throws in that the women are to have the same qualifications and continues on with the rest of the qualifications of a deacon.
    There is, at least, provision for deaconesses if not overseers since there is no verse prohibiting women from holding that role, as well. Not even the “silence” verses apply since overseers merely keep order and call on people to stand up to speak.

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