Women in Ministry? Don’t Submit to a Woman

Even if we read the "do not permit to hold authority over" from 1 Timothy 1 2.12 as literal and universal for all time and places, we still have the situation of the charismatic view of ministry. That view is that the Holy Spirit gives people gifts, calls and empowers. We know from Joel, Luke-Acts and Paul the Holy Spirit will empower men, women, old, young, rich and poor. The Holy Spirit is not interested in (limiting his activity by) the particular state we were born into - gender, class, race, social-status (even past or current sin - the Spirit knows our possibilities in Christ and impact).

When a person is operating in a spiritual gift - even teaching - they are not simply operating in their own authority. But in the servant leadership, power-under, upside-down anointing of the Holy Spirit. You are not "under the authority" of simply a man or women, but under the authority of the Spirit of God working in that person. Dirt and divinity - stop confusing the two and missing the many leadership gifts of women and men. I want to have leaders in my life in the church who are not simply operating out of their natural talent and acquired skill based authority, certainly not authority based on their gender. But first operating out of the authority of the gifting of the Holy Spirit that comes through a living relationship with Jesus, the scriptures and growing in wisdom. (Assuming a level of health, humility and a proper local church to discern in). In that you are not in submission to a mere woman or man - but to the grace of God working in them.

So yes, men do not submit to women in leadership because they are a woman (particularly if they are wrapped up into local politics, covenant-destroying teaching and heretical cults like in Ephesus). Women do not submit to men in leadership simply because they are a man. Rather submit to the grace of God that comes through anointed people in leadership. Submit one to another to honor the Spirit of God in one another and each spiritual gift given.

Be careful then to not grieve the Spirit at work in a man or woman's life. The Pharisees did this. Rather stand back and under the authority of Jesus' spirit (Matthew 7.29 comes to mind here BTW) in your brother or sister. Be concerned about false teaching against the Gospel - discern that well.

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