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Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by go2church, Dec 19, 2006.
Thought you might enjoy this
Baptists have more stripes than a zebra.
She and former President Jimmy Carter are no longer part of the Southern Baptist Convention ---- he said so himself!!
For those not interested in links, Mrs Carter was ordained a deacon in her church
Good for her and that congregation!
Do they have a definition of what a 'deacon' is in their church? For some churches (like the Presbyterian church we used to attend), a 'deacon' is a person who deals with the physical needs of the congregation - visiting the sick, providing meals for the congregation who are in need, clothing and food pantry stuff. If that is their 'deacon', I see nothing wrong with that. However, in our church, the deacons do a lot more than that and are leaders in our church. In that case, I do not see that having a woman deacon is Biblical.
I think having a clear description of their role would help.
Does you reservations apply to the ministry? This church also ordained a woman to the ministry -- see linked article.
I'd have to say that I don't see why a woman would have to be ordained, but what is her ministry to? I've heard of some churches ordaining women to minister to the women and children - and not to men. Again, I'm not sure of the purpose of the 'ordination' for that - other than to make them a 'pastor' and I think it gets sketchy after that, but I still think that definitions are important.
In light of Mrs. Carter's ordination is Mr. Carter now her wife?
"Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well." - 1 Timothy 3:12
Again, I think we need to figure out what our terms mean. Although "deacon" means to me what it means to you (I think), in different denominations, the term 'deacon' means something else. A deacon who has no authority over anyone, but takes care of the physical needs of the church is a different story, IMO. Remember that Phoebe is also referred to as a 'deacon' of the church (using the same term "diakonos" as in the 1 Timothy verse), so there must be SOME kind of distinction there.
The word deacon means servant, without reference to gender, it can apply to a man or women. In Romans 16: Phoebe is called a servant, same word as Paul uses for deacon. In some modern translations it is translated deacon.
Believe you are right.
I Timothy 3:11-12, "Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.
12. Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well". These two verses imply to me that the "wife" automatically should become a deaconess for they have been made one by marriage in the sight of God. When the two accomplished the act that God required of them to be married, she became his Mrs. in our worldly society.
In church hierarchy the operating "body" should take on the form set before it. As the "head" of the Church is Christ, and we are the "body", we are part of Him. So then the earthly church having Christ also as its head is "head" over the "man", or the preacher/pastor. Next in the "body" is the deacons. As the deacon is the head of the "wife", they being one, she then becomes deaconess by marriage. A single woman should also be called as to her "gender" a deaconess. I don't believe we can find in the "Body Church" down here other than the man only is to be the "head" of the church.
II. (8-13) The basic qualifications of deacons
A. (8) "Likewise" - deacons are important and must have good character and exemplary qualifications.
B. (8) "serious" - they must be dignified, worthy of respect, having a good character, and honorable.
C. (8) Not double-tongued - double-tongued means to be insincere, indulging in harmful gossip, saying one thing to one person and something entirely different
D. (8) Not addicted to much wine- the emphasis is not on abstinence, but on moderation.
E. (8) Not greedy for gain- deacons were involved in the administration of food and funds to widows and other needy members of the community. There was the temptation to embezzle funds for themselves.
F. (9) They must not be motivated by selfish desires.
They must have a heart clear of wrong motives and continue to believe strongly in the teachings of the Bible. Their heart must be sound and their beliefs must coincide with scripture.
G. (10) They must prove themselves first before becoming deacons.
1. The text doesn't say what the test is or for how long. Certainly the test is long enough for the satisfaction of the congregation.
H. (11) The women have qualifications too
1. Who are the women? Look at the verses before and after.
a. We know that Phoebe in Rom. 16:1- 2 is called a diakonos
Rom. 16:1 2 - "I commend to you our sister Phoebe, who is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea; that you receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints, and that you help her in whatever matter she may have need of you; for she herself has also been a helper of many, and of myself as well."
She obviously was a servant in the church. Paul refers to her as a servant, a diakonos, the same word used for deacon. As we look at Paul's writings he does not emphasize the office, but rather the function.
b. In Hebrew there is no word for wife. The way it was expressed was "the woman of him." This very same expression is used in the NT. In Greek there is only one word for woman and it can mean either woman or wife.
Of the 215 uses of the word for woman, only one seems to be controversial in its translation.
Explain "wife" - the woman of him
- the woman of a man's name
It is clear from the context if it is someone’s wife that is being talked about.
c. In the Greek text there is not a definite article before women or at least a genitive pronoun following the word "woman". This would lead one to translate that word "women" and not "wives"
d. Another point is this: if Paul did mean wives of deacons, then why did he not include a corresponding set of qualifications for the wives of pastors?
e. You might ask "if Paul meant deaconess, why didn't he use that word?" At that time there was not a word for deaconess.
f. There is plenty of evidence that the early church utilized women in ministry. There were women whose responsibility was to work with other women and children. They performed pastoral work with the sick and the poor and helped at baptism. From the earliest times deaconesses visited the sick, acted as door-keepers at the women's entrance to the church, kept order among church women, taught females in preparation for baptism and acted as sponsors for homeless children. They also carried official messages. There was a clearer line drawn between the sexes than there is today. Women deacons were not on the same level as men deacons. They could not teach and minister to mixed groups of people or men, and they were not ordained.
For the first 1200 years of Christianity there is loads of evidence of woman deacons in the church. However, the Western Roman Catholic church never had them. Whereas the eastern church did
Almost every country outside of the U.S. has women deacons in Baptist churches.
g. The emergence of deaconesses is unclear. But in the third and fourth centuries the office deaconess developed greatly. In a letter dated 112 A.D. Governor Pliny wrote a letter to the emperor Trajan. 'In it he mentions a couple of deaconesses.
(Book X, XCVI, 8, 289)
h. Explain the relationship between the male and female deacon.
The pastor never talked directly with a woman in the congregation. There was a cultural chain of command
I. (12) Deacons are to excel at home.
J. (13) A promise for performance
Most of the qualifications that deacons and pastors must possess are qualifications that most Christians should possess. I believe that there are two reasons for qualifications of a pastor and deacon. One is that God knows the pain that would be inflicted upon an immature pastor and deacon and the pain the immature pastor or deacon would inflict upon others. Secondly it would be a standard and a warning for those who hold the office of deacon or pastor.
Pastors and deacons must be men of good conduct and sound in their faith. They must be people who prove themselves to be an example, not simply as a position of authority. In the church of God there is only one authority and that is Jesus Christ. He is the head. All of us are merely servants.
I've always admired her as a godly woman. She'll make a good Deacon.
Hello gb93433. Not sure if your post addressed to me, but looks as if some could be. You make some good, and valid points. If you did read mine, thanks for not pointing out my use of the word "stubble", as I used to say as a toddler, and if I don't proof read before and after sending, I still "stumble" over that word. Other's, I just misspell.
Hard not to agree, but as Phoebe is Paul's only reference to a female "deacon" I believe he does point to her office as a deacon, carrying out one of her functions. I make reference to the "single" woman in my previous post, being a deaconess (deacon) on her own. Phoebe is the only woman with all of a deacon's function found in the writings of Paul. Good possibility of more, but just no reference.I do not believe she could hold "full title" of "deacon" if she were married. I look at her as a deacon, but believe deaconess would be the proper name for her today. There are a number of good translation's that give reference to her as deaconess.
Won't argue with that.
Will Mr. & Mrs. work here? A man and his woman.
Wouldn't I Timothy 3:11 qualify? The wife is to be as her husband, i.e. "grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things. But they cannot take the place, or authority held by their husband. They are not to handle money of the church, and do not need to be proved according to Paul. Her husband is to be proved, and that should make her worthy to be his Mrs. Mr. Deacon, and Mrs. Deaconess to my way of thinking.
Verse 12 will identify the one woman in verse 11.
I believe the answer is found in verse 5, "(For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)". The Pastor has the "church of God" plus his own house. I believe the wife of a preacher should put all her effort into helping her husband as he with the help of the Deacons', and Deaconess' take care of the church. God have mercy on the Pastor that has a Hillary Clinton as wife.
In looking at Phoebe's place in the Cenchrea church we find the use of the present participle "ουσαν." This puts forth what we believe to be as a διακονον "servant", a deacon, or minister of that particular church. This noun depicts both man and woman (deacon & deaconess), which word "deacon" is a transliteration of it, which leads us to appoint Phoebe to be a "deacon", or a "minister". Believe you alluded to this earlier. I believe she could handle all the affairs of the church, unlike her married counterparts.
We are a diverse group.
I'm not too impressed with all the "fathers" back there after all the Apostles were gone.
Amen, and hardily agree that Christ is the head of the Church, and man. He chose man to be the head of his church down here, and to be head of the woman. I do believe we agree on this.
So by your logic that when a man becomes a 'deacon' his wife does to...
Does that mean that since I am a Pastor my wife is a Pastor to...
Please note brother that the scriptures make the distinction on both instances...Husband of one wife... This necissitates the office holder be a man and precludes a woman to hold that title as there is no allowance in the scriptures for 'her' place to that position.
There is also NO allowance or mandate a woman can hold either of these functions if Single.
Good for the former First Lady! I applaud her ordination.
When you leave the Authority of Scripture I guess you can do anything your evil heart allows.
Case in point; ordination of women.
My post prohibits a Pastor's wife: gb93433 asked, "Another point is this: if Paul did mean wives of deacons, then why did he not include a corresponding set of qualifications for the wives of pastors?" My answer - Quote I believe the answer is found in verse 5, "(For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)". The Pastor has the "church of God" plus his own house. I believe the wife of a preacher should put all her effort into helping her husband as he with the help of the Deacons', and Deaconess' take care of the church. God have mercy on the Pastor that has a Hillary Clinton as wife.
Agree the married woman in the case of the Pastor is not allowed to be a deaconess. This is the reason Paul makes no reference to the wife of the Preacher along these lines.
Agree single or married women are not to hold the office of the Pastor of a church. Paul say's Phoebe held the office of Deacon in the Cenchrea church. Are you disallowing this particular part of scripture?
Can we give evidence to the view that deacons comprise a group who govern a local church or assembly? Don't they serve? Shouldn't we ask what place the Deacon holds. The Deacon is not an "Elder". Elders according to scripture are to be "ordained". When did the ordination of "Deacons" begin, and by whose authority?
Phoebe served and ministered with the church at Cenchrea, which would make her a "deaconess", and not an "Elder". Is there scripture to be found to "ordain Deacons", or a "Deaconess"?