I’ve heard a lot of arguments for why women should or should not be allowed to minister. So I’ve decided to lay down 3 of the simplest arguments I have for women to be in ministry…
1. Jesus never had anything bad to say about women
All the times that Jesus is roasting somebody for being stupid, selfish, or having no faith, He’s talking to men. He never has anything bad to say about the way women are serving Him. The closest we have is when He calls the Syrophonecian woman a dog(which is still hard to explain). But even there, He ends the conversation by saying she has more faith than all the men(Matt. 15:25-28). Then there’s Martha working too hard, but all He says is, “You worry too much.”(Lk. 10:41). He wasn’t out here saying, “Get behind Me, Satan!” or saying she’s not fit because she’s a woman.
If anything, Jesus has nothing but good things to say about women. Like when that woman gives Him a foot massage and He promises she’ll have worldwide fame(Matt. 26:13). Or when Mary wants to have a Bible study with Him and He congratulates her devotion(Lk. 10:42). Or when He has brunch with the Samaritan woman and lets her start a whole revival in her hometown(Jn. 4:7-26, 39).
Jesus didn’t talk down to women in ministry so why do we? Jesus didn’t stop them from ministering so why do we? If Jesus didn’t do this, who’s example are we following?
Even though Jesus never said anything about women in ministry, Paul definitely did(1 Cor. 13:34-36; 1 Tim. 2:11-12). And I’m not about to villainize Paul. He’s great and I love him. But it seems that in the church we arbitrarily pick Paul’s doctrine over Jesus’ teachings. We can argue that since Paul actually spoke about women in ministry and Jesus didn’t, it makes sense to go with him because at least he gives us something.
But the problem is that Paul also gives us other doctrines that the church doesn’t seem to care about as much. For example, Paul is the same person who says that it’s better to not get married(1 Cor. 7:6-8,27). Period. Like, he legit lets us know that singleness is the godlier way of life and that married people worry about “worldly things” and single people worry about being holy(1 Cor. 7:32-34). But nobody’s out here trying to boycott marriage in the church.
So when people say that they don’t support women in ministry because they want to be “true to the Word”, it doesn’t add up. Because if we were being “true to the Word”, most of us wouldn’t be getting married. It seems that we just arbitrarily choose which slices of Pauline doctrine we want to follow. Maybe we’re more influenced by residual misogyny from ancient Rome than by Jesus.
3. Jesus was pissed when people didn’t believe women
This one really sums it up for me. We know the scene well. Jesus is dead, but the women come to His tomb to embalm His body, but when they get there, He’s gone and they’re confused(Mk. 16:1-8). So most of them leave and Mary is sitting there crying. Jesus appears and says hey and this is where things get interesting. First off, where was Jesus this whole time? Was He taking a leak in someone else’s tomb? How does He just happen to come back when everyone else except for Mary is gone? It’s almost like He’s doing this on purpose.
But this is the most important event in the Bible and Jesus is intentionally waiting to just be seen by one woman. According to Jewish law at that time, a woman’s testimony didn’t count for anything. So in a court of law, Mary’s testimony wouldn’t have even mattered. It’s almost like Jesus is saying, “I don’t care about your conventions. I want to be seen by a woman. Take it or leave it.”
So He tells Mary to tell the others and she does, but they don’t believe her. Then, what’s even crazier is that when Jesus shows up later, He goes off on the disciples for not believing Mary(Mk. 16:14). What’s the deal? The disciples could’ve easily been like, “But Jesus, she’s a woman. You know how things work in this society. Her testimony doesn’t even count.” And Jesus could’ve been like, “You right, bro. I can’t even be mad at you.” But instead, He’s ticked at them for not believing her. It’s like He’s saying, “You’ve been with Me for three years. How do you still not get it?”
What if that’s what’s happening in the church today? What if Jesus has shown Himself to women and given them a call? And they’re coming back and telling the church what Jesus told them, but we don’t believe them. And what if when Jesus comes back, He’ll look at us and roast us for it? And we’ll be like, “But Jesus, you know how this society works. And Paul said…” And He’ll say, “How do you still not get it?