You are sitting in the sanctuary of a church. You have just engaged in worship, greeted those around you, and listened to announcements of upcoming events and ministry opportunities. Now it's time for the pastor's sermon. The senior pastor comes to the pulpit, and to your surprise, it's a woman. How do you react? Do you feel uncomfortable at all, and if so, is that discomfort warranted? Before researching the topic extensively, I would have argued yes. However, I have come to change my mind about leadership positions for women in ministry after closely considering the Bible passages those against the ordination of women commonly point to, by looking at examples of Biblical and historical women in ministry, and by coming to an understanding that the gifts of the spirit are imparted to both men and women. Analyzing scripture with an impartial eye will reveal that there is overwhelming Biblical support toward the ordination of women in ministry.
The controversial topic of the role of women in ministry has been an on-going issue of debate within the church since the foundation of Christianity. The interpretations of Scripture for guidance on this issue have only further congested the debates. Those opposed to women in ministry generally reference scripture that they actually misinterpret and take out of context (Dealing). Arguably the most commonly referenced passage is found in 1 Corinthians 14:33-35, and it says,.
As in all the congregations of the saints, women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church (Holy, 958).
At first glance, it seems Paul cannot be more direct in establishing a subsidiary role for women in the church setting, however, the passage must be read in with the book, historical, chapter, and immediate context in mind.