Ordination of women in the Anglican and Episcopalian churches has become increasingly common over the last few decades. The Anglican Church has been ordaining women since the 1970s. And in 2006 the U.S. based Episcopalian Church appointed a woman as their 26th Presiding Bishop. Now, the Seventh Day Adventist church may be following suit.
More than 18 million SDA members around the world are waiting and watching to see if SDA delegates will decide, at their July 2015, San Antonio General Conference Session, whether to permit the ordination of women into their ministry. But what does Scripture teach on the ordination of women into the ministry in the Church? Frankly, Scripture is quite clear on the subject.
First, let us remember that women were also created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). Women can be strong, righteous and wise. Many Scriptures ranging from Deuteronomy 6:7, Proverbs 1:8; 6:20; 10:1 and Proverbs 31 make this clear. Scripture even reveals that women have had the gift of prophecy—and will again! In the Old Testament, Deborah was a prophetess who briefly led ancient Israel into battle (Judges 4:1–10)! And as Peter preached on Pentecost, “…it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy” (Acts 2:16–18).
And although she was not in the ministry, the New Testament Church example of Priscilla and Aquila who were both “fellow workers in Christ Jesus” (Romans 16:3–4) illustrates that women can be valued and active members in the Church! And in Romans 16:1, 15 and 1 Timothy 3:11, women are recorded as being deaconesses in the New Testament Church—a position of honor but of physical service (Acts 6:2). But most importantly, women can inherit eternal life at the resurrection of the saints (Revelation 20:5–6)!
However, women are not to be ordained into positions of ministry, authority, or teaching within the Church.
So why are so many supposed Christian denominations ordaining women? Again, the answer is quite simple. They are rejecting Scripture, and as Jeremiah prophesied, they are teaching lies! Jeremiah 23:1–26 condemns the “shepherds” (priests and ministers) of false churches “who destroy and scatter the sheep” who “prophesy lies” and who lead the people astray!
God loves and gives high regard to women. But, Scripture is also quite clear that women are not to be ordained as elders, ministers or preachers with spiritual authority in the Church. No matter how much people want to argue against God otherwise, Scripture commands that if a married woman wants to learn something spiritual, she should first ask her own husband at home, “for it is shameful for women to speak in church” (1 Corinthians 14:34–35). If married, then a woman is to be under the spiritual authority of her husband. The wife is to be submissive to the husband—not to be in spiritual authority over him (1 Peter 3:1–6)! Furthermore, 1 Timothy 2:11–12 again instructs that a woman is not to teach or to have authority over a man, but is to “be in silence.”
When Scripture gives instructions regarding ordination into the ministry, those instructions are for men—not for women. 1 Timothy 3:2–5 records that, “A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife… one who rules his own house well.” One who rules his own house; not one who rules her own house!
And Titus 1:5–6 instructs that elders are appointed in every city. These elders are senior men. They are to be blameless “men” and to be “the husband of one wife” (which coincidentally completely contradicts the Catholic false doctrine of an unmarried, celibate priesthood).
For more on the matter of women ordination into the ministry, read “London Calling—Mary’s Dowry.” And for more about how God’s faithful Church should really function, please order your free copy of Where is God’s True Church Today? It will be interesting to see what the SDA church does at their July 2015 convention.