God’s Divine Order for the Church delegates men with responsibility for the spiritual health of families and the church. Women pastors aren’t scriptural.Being a follower is to be a disciple, which comes from the root word “discipline”. A “follower” of Christ, a “Christian”, is synonymous with a “disciple”. A disciple learns and employs the disciplines of the faith and lives by them. It’s like learning the disciplines of a new vocation in order to grow into a professional. An apprentice learns his craft under the tutelage of a master. One day he becomes a master and teaches an apprentice. The best athletes have coaches. They learn the basics of their sport and discipline themselves to practice them – over and over and over. Once the basics become second-nature the athlete can move into strategies and tactics of the sport and how to best fit their unique skills and talents to defeat their opponent and experience victory.
Jesus is our Master. Jesus wants disciples. He told His disciples to go into the world and make others disciples. The first churches after Pentecost were all taught about the basics of being a Christ follower and to discipline themselves to grow into maturity in the Faith. Some think obedience to the Word of God is legalism. Rather, it is evidence of being a follower. To bear fruit we need to live in the Vine and do as the Master tells us. A Christian is one who has willfully surrendered his “old nature” to Christ in exchange for a “new nature”, a relationship with God through Jesus Christ and eternal life. We’ve been transferred into a new culture. Now we must learn to live in the new culture. It isn’t automatic. It requires discipline to live by the basics over and over and over. This is what the Bible means by “be in the world but not of the world”, to be “transformed by renewing our minds” in our new nature, to “take off the old clothes and put on the new clothes”, and “who puts old wine in new wine skins?”. We are told in a variety of ways the same thing! Jesus often taught in parables, and the apostles, particularly Paul, often taught using analogies (sports, war, battles).
In Christ we have a NEW NATURE. We are no longer of this natural world which belongs to Satan and his minions. We are of a new world, a spiritual world, that is 180 degrees from our old world. We are aliens and strangers in this world. Our new nature in our new world belongs to God and we do things God’s way while remaining in this world. This is the essence of being salt and light in a dark world. But we need to “actively” pursue this new way of life. We must practice the basics continually because we have worldly muscle memory that wants to bring us back into bondage to our old nature of sinning – fear, pride, envy, insecurity, worldly ways, etc. The world, the flesh (old nature), and the devil are at war with our new nature in Christ. This is the Christian’s battle. We have victory in Christ, but is our responsibility to live it. It is not a passive pursuit.
Together, we are a spiritual body that is designed to reflect this new world while on Earth. Our problems arise when we try to use worldly standards in our new spiritual world – putting old wine into new wine skins. We mistakenly bring our ideals, cultural norms, and progressive thinking (the flesh) into our lives and into God’s Church. It’s not usually malicious intent, but it’s not our role or option to figure out “better ways” of doing things. God is perfect and He isn’t changing His order or His ways.
God’s Divine Order
Before moving on to talk about the Church: if you don’t come to terms with the truth that God is perfectly loving, kind, patient, merciful, holy, and just….then you cannot grasp His ways of organizing the Church – His Army in this world. It’s not of this world. The purpose is to be set apart from this world. God is orderly and His Army is organized.
He created us male and fe-male. Man and wo-man. He made us equal in value yet distinct in purpose, akin to the Godhead. God is neither male nor female. He is Spirit. Yet, God is referred to as masculine in the Bible to show us Divine Order. The whole of creation is divinely ordered. God created Adam first. God determined Adam needed companionship in his own likeness, someone to love and bring new life into the world. So God created Eve from Adam’s side (a rib) denoting equality, yet Adam was the head. Eve was deceived by the serpent and Adam listened to her and also ate. The Fall. God chastised Adam for listening to Eve because Adam was created first, then Eve was created for Adam. His responsibility was to God and Eve. God’s Divine Order for the Church delegates men with responsibility for the spiritual health of families and the church. Remember this as we move into the New Covenant Church. God doesn’t change.
God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit were present in the beginning, but there is hierarchy. God is the head of Jesus. God SENT Jesus to Earth as the perfect sacrifice to make way for us to have relationship with God. Jesus is the Christ, the Head of the Church. After He ascended into Heaven, Jesus SENT the Holy Spirit to be with us and in us. The Holy Spirit is our Comforter, Counselor, and convicts us of sin. There is no insecurity, contention or dissension between God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. They each have a distinct role to reach us and love us and help us. They each do their role perfectly, and in unity and joyfulness. Perfect humility. Jesus was in on the whole thing. He wasn’t whining. Jesus joyfully submitted to God for our salvation, relinquishing His deity, and came to Earth in human form. Jesus submitted everything, always, to His Father, every step of the way to and through death on a cross.
I want you to ponder something: what if, at any time, under the immense pressure and suffering, even to the point of sweating blood, Jesus chose not to submit to His Father and sinned? Even just one small, seemingly insignificant sin? Poof! Another failed Adam. No salvation for you or me.
So God is the Head of Christ and Christ is the Head of the Church. We are ALL to submit to God through Christ. No one comes to the Father except through Christ. God’s plan. God’s way.
So watch this. God’s order continues:
Husbands are the head of their wives. Husbands have a higher calling of responsibility, just as Adam did. Husbands are to love their wives in same way Christ loved the Church and gave Himself up for the Church. What does this mean? There are a lot of husbands who would willingly die a physical death to protect their wives. But this isn’t all this means. Jesus died a physical death, but it’s not the physical death that sanctified the Church (set apart as justified and pure). It was Jesus’ submission to God, teaching the ways of God perfectly without sinning, and then taking on all the sins of the world on the cross of death that sanctified the Church. The Church is purified and made Holy in God’s sight because of Jesus’ humility and sacrificial love for the Church.
Husbands are to love their wives and one day present their wives as an offering to God, sanctified and holy, in the same way Christ will one day present the Church to God. Husbands have the role of covering their wives spiritually and serving them with Christlike love. If you think God’s role for husbands is patriarchy you are missing the heart of God and Jesus Christ’s role to the Church. Patriarchy is not God’s word. It’s mankind’s word projected onto God and His Divine Order. Jesus came to serve not be served (husbands). He is the spiritual covering for the Church (husbands). Yet He is still the Head and He will return as Head of the Church and husbands will be accountable to Christ for their wive’s spiritual condition. Adam, Jesus, husbands, men in general all throughout the Bible are shown to be responsible to God for the spiritual condition of our world. Women are not shown to be held to a similar level of accountability. This is a weighty thing to ponder for husbands and men. And it should cause to women who seek to take on this role of headship to reconsider.
Wives are to respect their husbands as the head (spiritual cover) and submit to their husband’s role given by God because their husband’s are ultimately responsible to God for you. Do you notice God put the wive’s duties first in the Bible (Ephesians 5), and then the husband’s duties? It’s like Paul was speaking to wives as a bridge to lay down the heavy stuff to the husbands. Do you notice God didn’t say love your husbands? Respect is love. It’s the same respect we are to give Christ and God in their headship. It means to honor and provide a willingness to be his help mate. Your husband needs you in the way God designed femininity, not competition or undermining his authority.
Don’t have a box for this?
This is why marriage being a reflection of Christ and the Church is a mystery! These are spiritual roles not cultural norms or ideals to be adjusted. To be a Christian husband or wife in a broken world of pain, anger, envy, lust, sexual perversion, fear, peer pressure, and cultural changes requires faith and obedience to God’s ways. One cannot be a Christian in name only and live this way. It requires being a sold-out disciple of Christ with the power of the Holy Spirit in your life.
The Church is organized in a similar manner
It’s obvious once you see the pattern. Jesus selected 12 men as his disciples to build and head the Church. Eventually they were apostles. Only men were apostles. Only men were leaders in the church. Only men wrote the inspired words of the New Testament Church. Why is this? Is God a misogynist? Don’t God and Jesus like women? It is because God created a Divine Order for the body of Christ in which men (masculinity) are responsible for and to women (femininity), the family, the Church and the world. If you think of it as a military army you can get a glimpse. There has to be order and accountability. Every soldier has a role. If soldiers get out of order the unit is weakened, even dangerous. Lives are at stake. Same in the kingdom of God. God has an Army. It’s called the Church. Satan has army as well. Lives are stake for eternity. So we need to do things God’s way in order to be effective and powerful in our God-ordained roles. The irony is that when God’s people take His Divine Order to heart and live it out in faith, we discover we actually like our roles because we are made for them. God loves women. Jesus loves women. Women are not excluded from serving in the Church or teaching in the church. They are simply not to have spiritual authority over the men by being pastors, preachers, and teaching men. God’s Divine Order for the Church delegates men with responsibility for the spiritual health of families and the church. Women pastors aren’t scriptural.
The examples given in my poll of women in the Bible were not leadership positions in the Church. Deborah was a judge because men would not rise up. She didn’t seek the position. The argument that Mary Magdalene was the first apostle, evangelist, prophet, and teacher in the Church is incorrect. She neither wrote letters, taught in churches, nor was sent as an apostle to start or lead any of the churches. All followers of Jesus are called to speak truth (prophecy) evangelize, teach disciples, go forth and share the Gospel.God’s Divine Order for the Church delegates men with responsibility for the spiritual health of families and the church. Women pastors aren’t scriptural.
In the fall Adam failed to take authority over the serpent and Eve. He was passive. This is still a weakness with men today, along with fear, to protect women and children (spiritually), stand for righteousness, and fight for justice. The women following Jesus during the time of his ministry and eventual persecution seemed to be more courageous than the men. Today, women are generally more courageous in fighting injustice. On the other hand, women, through Eve’s failure, are more easily deceived. The serpent went to Eve, not Adam. He knew her weakness. We see this today with women leading emotionally-charged meetings on healing, prophecy, etc. that lack sound doctrine. Or pastoring churches when the Bible is clear that women are not to be in authority over men or teach men. To be deceived means one is not “seeing” the truth. A deceived person will not come to the truth on their own. Satan knows how to capitalize on our weaknesses.
Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Remember this as you function in churches. There were probably better candidates for the 12 disciples than fishermen and tax collectors. A worldly attitude that is very prevalent in Christianity today is that if you have a gift or skill—the ability to do something in the church that you like, you should just go for it! God isn’t building His kingdom using quantitative analysis of our skills and talents. God is not progressive. He is immutable. He simply wants humble people who will be faithful to His ways and will obey the way Jesus obeyed. Some of us need to repent of unsound theology and beliefs that we have brought into our lives and churches. It may sound good, but it may not be sound. There is a lot of this today. Thankfully, in Christ we have the power, the humility, and grace to admit our weaknesses and failings. We can repent, receive forgiveness, and keep moving toward doing things God’s way.
Finally, be considerate one another’s roles and responsibilities. You will likely find yourself in the position of thinking you can do someone’s role better. It may be true. But this isn’t a reason to get out of order. We don’t know better than God. He works all things out for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purposes. Just do it God’s way. We will all rejoice later as we’re rewarded for our faithfulness.