Pastor “Papa” Bill Ruhl has penned an excellent article regarding a matter of doctrine in the current protestant church.  As you know this is a hot topic. If you would like to share your thoughts in an article here at FGGAM, just email me, Should women in ministry serve as pastors?

Thank you Pastor Bill for sharing with us. Bill, pictured below, is Vice Chairman of FGGAM.

Over my 40 years of walking with the Lord, the question about women in ministry, and especially women serving as pastors, arises over and over again.  I don’t know why so many have sought my opinion, and that is what this is today, but it is my studied opinion on the matter.

My answer is always, yes, and so can men – if that is their ministry gift and particular calling (Ephesians 4:11-16).  You can’t study to be a pastor.  You aren’t elected to be a pastor.  And it’s not a gender issue either.  It is a function in which you operate by the “stirring up of the gift that is within you” (2 Timothy 1:6).

First, let’s examine why God even “gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, pastors and teachers” (Ephesians 4:11).  Oh, here it is:  “[f]or the perfecting of the saints (who are both male and female), for the work of the ministry (that’s all aspects of ministry), for the edifying of the body of Christ (that’s the whole body, rightly fit together, with each member supplying the need to another):  Till we all come in the unity of the faith (not denominational separation), and of the knowledge of the Son of God (notice the purpose and focus is to know Jesus), unto a perfect man (inclusive male and female, not gender based or biased), unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (once again the preaching of the gospel is to bring others into the knowledge of Christ).  That’s all right there in Ephesians 4:12-13, but there’s more to come.

And here it is!  Ephesians 4:14-16 states:  “[t]hat we henceforth be no more children (limited in our understanding), tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine (whatever fits our personal or cultural bias), by the slight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive (distorting the Word to fit their own gender biased interpretation), [b]ut speaking truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things, which is the head, even Christ”:  [f]rom whom the whole body (male, female, young, old) fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplies, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part (male, female, young, old), makes increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love!”  So, are those who pastor, teach, evangelize, prophesy and lead doing so in love, to cause others to grow in Christ?  Yes.  And, that’s the only requirement – not gender, not background, and not man’s credentials!  That’s great stuff right there!

And, it goes on from there, admonishing us to put off the old man, the former conversations (traditions and prejudices), to renew your minds (As Jesus says, “Let he who has ears hear what the Spirit is saying”), don’t give the enemy an opportunity to lie and to divide the Body, edify one another and minister grace, not division, so that we do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God.  Be kind, tenderhearted and forgiving to one another.

Now I know some will read this and say, but Bill, what about Paul’s letters to Timothy and to the Church in Corinth (1 Timothy 2:11-12 and 1 Corinthians 14:34-35)?  My answer is simple:  “[s]tudy, be diligent, to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth” (2 Timothy 2:15)!  Study and research it out yourself.  Always look at the context (the circumstances being addressed), content (how it was being addressed), and conversation (to whom was it being addressed).

Paul was establishing order (peace) in the church services and times of teaching in that day and at a particular church, due to disruption that was taking place in those specific circumstances and due to the cultural divide at that time – because woman were subservient and prior to Christ’s coming, not permitted to be gathered with men to learn.  They were interrupting and asking all kinds of questions and Paul was saying, “[y]ou men need to take on your proper role and teach your wives at home so that when they come into these gatherings to learn they are not constantly interrupting and causing chaos in the house.”  He also spoke out against “a woman” who was causing division, disruption, and false teaching in the Church at Corinth.  He warned the Church to beware of the disruptive spirit that had entered that gathering, “deceiving many.”  Paul brought correction to a church that was wrought with quarreling, divisions, immorality, issues with life and doctrine, lawsuits, questions on singleness and marriage, ORDER in Worship, the proper use of spiritual gifts and more!

If you still have concerns over this, perhaps this will help.  In Galatians 3:28, Paul writes:  “[t]here is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”  I look for the fruit on display in each person’s life.  I look for the calling and gift on display in each person’s life.  And finally, I look for how each person functions.  You see, pastor, teacher, evangelist, prophet, and apostles are not titles we receive based on some doctrine, credential, or gender assignment, but in recognition of how we function as unique parts of the whole body, with Christ as head over ALL!

Referenced scripture:

Ephesians 4:11-16 (NKJV)
“(11) And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, (12) for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, (13) till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; (14) that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, (15) but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—(16) from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.”

2 Timothy 1:6 (NKJV)
“(6) Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.”

1 Timothy 2:11-12 (NKJV)
“(11) Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. (12) And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence.”

1 Corinthians 14:34-35 (NKJV)
“(34) Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says. (35) And if they want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is shameful for women to speak in church.”

2 Timothy 2:15 (NKJV)
“(15) Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

Galatians 3:28 (NKJV)
“(28) There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”


“Papa” Bill Ruhl – Global Destiny Ministry , Albuquerque, New Mexico

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