The Role Of Women In The Church

In churches where the Word of God is the final authority for faith and practice, the answer to this issue needs to be sought in Scripture.

Today, as in the O.T. and N.T. era, the work of God on earth is highly dependent upon women. Miriam (Ex. 15;20, 21), Deborah (Judges 4:4), Hannah (I Sam. 1; 2:1-21), Huldah (II Kings 22:14-22), Anna (Luke 2:36-38), Mary and Martha (Luke 10:38-41), Phoebe, Claudia (II Tim. 4:21), Dorcas (Acts 9:3-43), Lois (II Tim 1:5), Lydia (Acts 16:12-15), and the most honored woman of all, Mary, the mother of our Lord (Matt 1,2; Luke 1,2) are only a few of the many found in Scripture. The list is long in every church today.

The principle of ordination is based on the Greek word KATHISTEMI, which signifies formal introduction into office. It is used twice of church offices (acts 6:3; Titus 1:5). In ordaining the seven men in Acts 6, they laid hands on them. Of the process of laying on of hands, I Tim. 5:22 says, “Lay hands hastily on no man…” By this directive and Biblical example, the process involves the “man.”

The reason many churches do not ordain women is that the Scripture says the pastor is to be “the husband of one wife…” (I Tim 3;2). The word “husband” precludes a woman.” Of the deacons it says, “Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife…” (Vs. 12).

The Greek word rendered “deacon” is DIAKONOS. It can be rendered masculine or feminine. When applied to Phoebe and translated “deaconess,” it is used as an adjective, not a noun, and refers to a role of service, not an office.

In most progressive churches many important leadership roles are appropriately open and occupied by competent and committed women. Many outstanding women serve vital roles on church staffs today.

The issue isn’t equality. Galatians 3:28 says we are all one in Christ. This refers to salvation, not roles. The male who comes to Christ is still a male; the slave still a slave; and the racial Jew still a racial Jew. They are one, though diverse.

Rape And Incest And Abortion

98+% of abortions in America are performed for social reasons. 98+% are done for nonmedical reasons.

Sound studies from incest treatment programs suggest pregnancy is infrequent. Our pregnancy center has seen over 20,000 young women, 8,000 of those who were pregnant changed their minds and gave birth. Not one has regretted it. Of the thousands seen not one was pregnant as a result of rape or incest.

Nationally, studies show less than 1% of pregnancies result from rape or incest. The trauma of sexual assault is likely to prevent ovulation.

Such persons as Ethel Waters and Arthur Rubinstein were children or rape. How many other potentially contributing citizens have been aborted under the same circumstance. The child conceived in such a manner is not a sinner. Scripture notes, “There are six things which the Lord hates…hands that shed innocent blood…” (Proverbs 6: 16-19.) These children are innocent. A child conceived in such a way is in no way entitled to less compassion than any other child.

In an Old Testament passage dealing with Justice it is said, “…do not kill the innocent and righteous. For I will not justify the wicked” (Exodus 23:7).

It is a child involved in abortion not fetal material. Isn’t it interesting Scott Peterson is being tried for a double murder, his wife Lacey and her unborn child.

Studies show that carrying such a child is no less traumatic for the mother than an abortion. Emotional and emotional anguish from rape or incest is often compounded by taking the life of an innocent child. No innocent baby should be killed for the sin of the father. Abortion is not a treatment for incest. It does not solve the problem of abuse.

One does not become unraped by becoming unpregnant (via abortion). It does not solve the problem and often compounds it.

This is not just an academic topic for me. I have ministered to women who were raped and victims of incest. Some, very few, who became pregnant. Not one of them that carried the child to full term regretted it. Rather they had a sense of dignity and self-worth in doing so. Studies confirm my observation on this.

Women subject to rape or incest deserve the most compassionate and capable help in dealing with the situation. A number of very effective organizations are working in this area.

Consider this case. Would your friends suggest an abortion for reasons of health? The mother is pregnant with her fifth child. Her husband has syphilis and she tuberculosis. The first child was born blind. Their second child died. Their third child was born deaf. Their fourth child had tuberculosis. Should the fifth child be aborted? If the answer is “yes,” you just aborted Ludwig Van Beethoven.

You never know who is being aborted under any circumstance.

In the case of saving the life of the mother this is a difficult situation with options determined by the individual incident often at the last moment. It is a medical call to be made by those involved in light of what they know at the moment.


In Ephesians 1:5 the Greek word translated “predestined” is PROORISAS. It means “designated,” “foreordained,” or literally “horizoned us off beforehand.”

It is in the Greek aorist tense and refers to an act in the past once and for all. It happened “before the foundation of the world.” What is referred to here happened in a pre-creation conference between the God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

The verb form for “predestined” is formed from a word meaning to “to survey” as in marking off a boundary.

Before creation, by decree of the Trinity, a boundary was set. It was predetermined that all who came within that boundary would be saved. The boundary is defined as being “in Christ.” Those in Christ shall be saved.

God in His sovereign will DECREED “in Christ.”

Man in his free will DECIDES whether or nor to be “in Christ.” It is an option open to the “whosoever” of John 3:16.

For “Christ gave Himself a ransom for all” (I Timothy 2:6).

Jesus said, “No man comes to me, except the Father… draws him” (John 6:44).

He further stated, “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself” (John 12:32).

“As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become the child of God” (John 1:12).

“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”  (II Peter 3:9)

“And whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely” (Revelation 22: 17).

Predestination is never used of unbelievers.


From the Greek word often translated “chose” comes our word elect or election (Ephesians 1:4).

Election basically means God has taken the initiative in His purpose to save. It means He picked out for Himself all who are “in Christ.”

Election is not coercive, we many freely respond positively or negatively. However, if God had not chosen us we could not choose Him.

He did not chose us because of our good but in order that through us He might do good.

Apart from God’s initiative no one can be saved. However, it does not imply fatalism.

It does not imply God desires to save as few as possible but as many. It must be understood in light of John 3: 16 and Revelation 22: 17.

It always stems from a God who is loving and who relates to man who is morally responsible.

Jesus said, “No man can come to me except the Father draw him.” “Draw” is God’s initiative. “Come” is man’s response.


Predestination and election are basically the same thing.

Election expressed God’s will.

Predestination explains how He accomplishes it.

Election refers to people.

Predestination refers to purpose.

Election points backwards “before the foundation of the world.”

Predestination points forward, that we might be “acceptable.”

Prayer Restraints

Persons sometimes say, “It seems my prayers go no further that the ceiling.” That may be true. If it is the reason is on this end of the line. Make certain none of the following are hindering your prayer life.

“Whatever you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive” MATTHEW 21: 22

“You ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasure” JAMES 4: 2,3

“If I regard iniquity in my heart the Lord will not hear” PSALM 66: 18

“Whoever shuts his ears to the cry of the poor will also cry himself and not be heard” PROVERBS 21: 13

“Likewise you husbands, dwell with them with understanding, give honor to your wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered” I PETER 3: 7C

“They cry out, but He does not answer, because of the pride of evil men” JOB 35: 12, 13
“God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble” JAMES 4: 6

“Whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in His sight” I JOHN 3: 22

“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit” EPHESIANS 6: 18

“If we ask anything according to His will He hears us” I JOHN 5: 14, 15


“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” I JOHN 1: 9


Many people have a deep dark secret which if known publicly would be embarrassing. Only one other know of it but what a memory that source has!

The secret is a fascination with pornography. The one keeping a record of it is the computer. It is an epidemic destroying relations. Persons engaged in it are absorbed in a fantasy world while they ought to be building personal relations in the real world. “The Centerfold Syndrome” results in a person staring at bodies not developing a relationship. In reality it destroys relationships. Few wives or girl friends can compete with an airbrush image.

The sources of it as reported by “The New York Times” is surprising. They reported that General Motors “sells more graphic sex films every year than does Larry Flynt, owner of the “Hustler” empire. The same source reported that AT&T, NewsCorp, and AOL Time Warner make more profit peddling porn that “Playboy” does. Marriot, Hilton, and other famous named motels are in pornography in a large way.

Pornographic web sites are the third largest source of revenue on the Internet. Overall “U.S. News and World Report” indicates porn is an $8 billion a year industry.

Pornography is a trap. Traps are always baited with what appeals to the prey. It may not be addictive but it is habituating and progressive. The sooner a person gets out the more misery they spare themselves and potentially others. It begins with fantasizing and progresses to acting out the fantasy often on some unwilling victim.

Dr. Victor Cline, a researcher at the University of Utah, lists four progressive steps involved. The progression starts with simple exposure. Escalation is the next step. Harder and more shocking material is needed to get the same sexual buzz. Desensitization follows. What was once shocking becomes, in time, acceptable and normal. The fourth step is acting out. There is an increased tendency to act out what has been viewed on a victim.

I spoke on this recently and after the talk a person urged me to speak on it more often saying her cousin was one of those eaten by Jeffery Dormer whose perversion started with porn addiction. He did not start out to be the beast he became but devolved into it.

An interesting conclusion can be reached regarding porn based on a remark by the late British author G.K. Chesterton. Chesterton’s statement suggests that every person looking for pornography is actually engaged in a search for God. I can hear the responses, “That is ludicrous. The last thing a person viewing porn is looking for is God. They are looking for naked bodies; sex kicks.” Naturally it is not a conscious effort but it is based on a need to fill a hole in the soul.

A 12 year old absorbed in porn hinted at this principle when she said, “I was risking part of myself to entertain the other part of myself.”

Make a covenant with your eyes not to set any evil things before them.

For more information on this subject check these addresses:

SBC Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission
901 Commerce Street
Suite 550
Nashville, Tennessee 37203 or phone: 615-244-2495 or

“Fatal Addiction: Pornography and Sexual Addiction
Focus on the Family Ministries
Colorado Springs, Colorado 80995 or phone 719-531-5181 or

American Family Association
P.O. Box Drawer 2440
Tupelo, Mississippi 38803 or 601-844-5036 or