The Basic Premises & Conclusion Stated
- Women have the same salvation as men according to Galatians 3:28.
- Women have the same Holy Spirit baptism as men according to Acts 2:18.
- Women have the same spiritual gifts as men according to 1 Corinthians 12:28.
- Therefore, women must have the same offices as men according to Romans 16:1,7.
The Premises, Explanations, & Conclusion Defended
(a) The verse states, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
(b) Thus, it is clear that women have the same salvation as men- there is no argument here from the opposing view.
(a) The verse states, “Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.”
(b) Thus, it is clear that women have the same Spirit baptism and the same gift to “prophesy.” There is no opposing view to this premise.
(a) The verse states, “And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues.”
(b) It is clear that the common gift for women in the church (secretaries/administrators) is given without gender restriction along with “apostles,” “prophets,” and “teachers.”
(c) Thus, with both Acts 2:18b (they shall prophesy) and 1 Cor. 12:28, it is clear there is no gender distinction in spiritual gifts. Matt Slick offered no argument here, not sure how other opposing views regard this premise.
4. Therefore, women must have the same offices as men according to Romans 16:1,7.
(a) The verse states, v. 1 “I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servantof the church in Cenchrea…” & v. 7, “Greet Andronicus and Junias, my relatives who have been in prison with me. They are outstanding among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was.”
(b) This is the debated issue. However, if the above premises are correct, which in my debate with Matt Slick they were agreed upon, then the conclusion is true regardless of how one feels about it.
(c) The main issues brought by the opposing side come from the gender restrictions found elsewhere in the Bible, mainly 1 Timothy 2:11-12 & 1 Corinthians 14:34-35.
(d) However, in these restrictions the opposing side is not consistent, for other issues are brought up as well that are not taken “literal” in most opposing side churches, (i) no braided hair- 1 Tim. 2:9, (ii) not to allow women to talk at all in church- 1 Tim. 2:11, and (iii) women are saved specifically by the good work of childbearing, 1 Tim. 2:15.
(e) Therefore, both sides have to draw practical applications and conclusions within the biblical culture and other passages to justify and comply with the very awkward commands of Paul to Timothy and the Corinthians to the modern woman. We, who believe in the equality of women in the ministry, simply state that the above restrictions are stated within culture to a specific people and time. Plus, if it can be shown that women in other places at different times did talk and lead men, then the conclusion is once again validated.
(f) In conclusion, Douglas Moo in his commentary on Romans conceded that Phoebe according to the Greek and the context is most assuredly a deacon (Moo, “Encountering Romans,” p. 209). And, Eldon Epp in his book, “Junia the First Women Apostle,” sites that both he and the renowned scholar Richard Bauckham prove vigorously that Junia was an apostle and Daniel Wallace and other dissenters have “serious defects” in their methodology to prove otherwise (Epp, “Junia the First Women Apostle,” Kindle 953). Likewise the church father John Chrysostom wrote, “Greet Andronicus and Junia . . . who are outstanding among the apostles”: To be an apostle is something great. But to be outstanding among the apostles— just think what a wonderful song of praise that is! They were outstanding on the basis of their works and virtuous actions. Indeed, how great the wisdom of this woman must have been that she was even deemed worthy of the title of apostle.” [In Epistolanum ad Romanos 31.2; Patrologiae cursus completus, series Graeca]
Story Behind the Debate: I had received an email forwarded from Matt Slick’s website (www.carm.org) giving a “rebuke” to all churches that ordained women and gave them authority as Elders in the church. Within 48hrs I responded and was on the live internet show with its host and author of the letter, Matt Slick, to debate the subject. The debate is between Christians and serves as a great example of civility with in-house disagreements. Below is the audio debate with Matt Slick and I on his radio show: