Your View on Women as Deacons

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Zenas, Aug 20, 2009.

  1. Zenas

    Zenas
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    The Baptist Faith and Message (2000) excludes women as pastors, although it leaves open the possibility of women serving as deacons.
    Women are excluded as pastors, although it seems to leave open the possibility of women serving as deacons. The only scripture I know of that could be read to support women deacons is Romans 16:1, where Phoebe is variously described as a deaconess and a servant of the church, depending on your translation.

    However, there is plenty of scripture to the contrary. Husband of one wife, etc. Also you have Acts 6 in which seven men and no women were chosen for the office of deacon.

    So, what say you? Should women serve as deacons or not? Also, do you have women serving as deacons in your church? Maybe someone smarter than I am could put up a poll.
     
  2. Jim1999

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    Because one scripture says a pastor is to be the husband of one wife that all pastors must be married? Justmaybe it was addressing a singular problem at that time.

    The NT was written at a very male dominant society. Could that also be a cultural situation?

    We give women a little more credit to-day!

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  3. Zenas

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    I hear that a lot but if they were concerned about cultural correctness, they would have remained Jews or pagans. Christians of that time were not exactly in the cultural mainstream.
     
  4. Deacon

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    Churches may not call women deacons but the women are there and serving in the role of a deacon none the less.

    In many churches women can be "ministry leaders".

    IMO a ministry leader and deacon perform the same function.

    Rob
     
  5. sag38

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    As it is with women serving as pastors one has to go beyond the black and white and read between the lines to accept women serving as deacons.
     
  6. canadyjd

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    The I Tim. passage, concerning deacons, doesn't say "their wives", it says "women" in the Greek.

    This is unlike the qualifications for pastors where "women" are not mentioned, and the ability to teach is mentioned.

    Therefore, pastors must have the ability to teach and since Paul had just said that women are not allowed to teach or have authority over a man, it follows that "women" would not be mentioned in the qualifications of the pastor.

    However, deacon means "servant". The ability to teach is not mentioned as a qualification of a deacon, and "women" are included in his instructions. Therefore, it follows that women can be "servants" of the church, as long as they do not teach or have authority over a man.

    This also show, IMHO, that deacons were never intended to be the leadership of the church.

    peace to you:praying:
     
  7. SaggyWoman

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    Sure. Why not?
     
  8. ktn4eg

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    Doesn't I Timothy 3:12 ("Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife....") kind of limit that office to men?

    Also, I Timothy 3:11 gives instructions on how a deacon's wife should live. If this office were open to both men and women, why would this verse say "wives" [as opposed to "their spouses" or something similar to that]?

    I thank God for the many women who serve in so many various capacities in our churches. Theirs is definitely a labor of love, and I'm sure that many of them will receive great rewards in heaven for their faithful service. However, I do not see the NT permitting them to hold the office of deacon.
     
  9. Crabtownboy

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    Phoebe was a deaconess.
     
  10. ray Marshall

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    Go to the second chapter of JUDE. I will clear up a lot of questions.
     
  11. gb93433

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    There is a distinct difference between women and men deacons. Both are servants in ministry but serve different roles and does have authority over the other.

    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.

    "wife" - the woman of him
    - the woman of a man's name

    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

    Many countries outside of the U.S. have women deacons in Baptist churches.

    g. The emergence of deaconesses is unclear. But in the third and fourth centuries the office of 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. The relationship between the male and female deacon.
    pastor-deacon-deaconess-female

    If the pastor needed to contact a woman he did it through the channel of a deacon and the deacon contacted the deaconess who contacted the woman.

    A friend of mine who was a missionary not far from where the NT ministry started told me that it is still done much the way now as it was then.
     
  12. Johnv

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    The "husband of one wife" verse, can be taken to limit the office of bishop only to married men, but is cannot be taken to exclude women from being deacons, teachers, or other types of leaders in a church.
     
  13. Timsings

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    We've had women deacons for about twenty years including a few serving as deacon chair. In many cases they put the men to shame.

    Tim Reynolds
     
  14. Johnv

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    It just occurred to me. We haven't had a topic on women keeping their head covered, and on women wearing pants, for a while now. Also, did I miss the annual "Jesus didn't consume alcohol" debate?
     
  15. Marcia

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    I agree with this post.
     
  16. Jerome

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    The ability to rule is mentioned as a qualification of a deacon.
     
  17. gb93433

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    Could you give the reference?
     
  18. Jerome

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    I Tim 3:12B
    ruling their children and their own houses well
     
  19. Jkdbuck76

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    This deacon agrees with you. If we are leaders, then it should only be by example. The NT knows not the "Board of Deacons" leadership style.
     
  20. gb93433

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    Jesus did more than that. His leadership was by both example and what he said.
     

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