Women's Ordination: A Testimonial Warning
It has been quite a while since I last posted to my blog but it has been a very busy winter.
Last summer, July 2019, I was given the incredible gifted opportunity to attend the International Academy of Apologetics, Evangelism and Human Rights in Strasbourg, France. That trip reinforced my desire to both proclaim the faith and defend it biblically. It definitely fanned the flame of apologetics and evangelism in me. Also, I have been working feverishly to finish up my thesis for this year’s Academy (July 2020) titled:
“This we proclaim” The Objective Gospel Proclamation
Offering Pentecostals a Better Apologetic (Kerygma)
One evening, in Strasbourg, I was sharing with several Lutheran (LCMS) ministers who were also attending the Academy, my own story of how I became Lutheran. One item in particular I shared was that while Pentecostal/Charismatic, we were approached about becoming ordained ministers. We saw it as a way to get out to the public more and did not acknowledge that God’s Word forbids women from serving as an Elder or Pastor. I don’t share this often, but I felt safe with these ministers and told the whole story of the debacle that was. One said he wanted me to write about it so that it would be published. This is that article reprinted for those who do not subscribe to LOGIA: The Journal of Lutheran Theology. (www.logia.org)
I would love to hear from you, so please feel free to ask questions or comment on it.
A Testimonial Warning
Dr. Nancy A. Almodovar, PhD
Growing up in a Holiness-Pentecostal Church we were taught that women could be pastors. The major proof-text was Galatians 3:28, “…here is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” In that particular fellowship, it was not uncommon to find that both husband and wife were co-pastors. They encouraged all of us to seek God as to whether or not we were called to be pastors. However, their incorrect interpretation made this verse about how anyone can be a pastor when it is properly referring to salvation is universal. Such is the power of a single verse taken out of context which then cast a shadow over my life for nearly 20 years.
In early 2004 both my husband and I were neck-deep in the charismatic movement and this error (women’s ordination) was being further propagated. That year a minister from the Assemblies of God International Fellowship (AGIF) heard me preaching at a conference and approached me as to whether or not I had been formally ordained. He then began the process of ordaining both my husband and me as “Ministers of the Gospel”. Later that year we were officially ordained and regrettably, I added “Rev” before my name.
However, God’s grace is quite amazing and He does not let His people remain in error for long. In 2005 I began to attend Trinity College of the Bible and registered for the Greek I course. As I learned more of the original language in which the New Testament was written, the final assignment was to take a specific passage from the Epistles and work on explaining it utilizing the Greek we had learned thus far. Choosing 1 Timothy 3:2 would change the course of my life in a pivotal manner: “Therefore an overseer (Greek: episkopos) must be above reproach, the husband of one wife…” With the words “husband of one wife” my theological world and erroneous teachings that women could be ordained as a pastor, began to unravel quickly.
What was I doing? What had I done? I was clearly in outright disobedience to God’s plainly written Word. I was not a husband I was the wife. I was clearly in sin, disobeying God by having been ordained to the Ministry. As I began to repent and cry I shared this verse with my husband (Bobby), asking him: “What do we do now?”
A long discussion ensued over this passage of scripture and together we realized that this was a serious error. Not long after, the leaders of the AGIF had heard that we left much of the Pentecostal/charismatic theology behind and were becoming more “Calvinistic” (we eventually converted to Lutheranism, see “The Accidental Lutheran”, Wipf & Stock.) It was a mutual decision to remove both of our names from their ordination roles. Praise God!
Recently I shared with various Lutheran pastors how many of these women, under whom I was trained, spread these errors and heresies. In fact, I did the same thing when ordained and spent much time afterward in repentance and apologizing to many. There is an interesting link between the movement in the mid-1800s, which fostered the early Pentecostal teachings based upon errors and lies propagated by women to women, and the development of this serious error. Nevertheless, it is not spread just by liberal churches but also churches that would consider themselves conservative.
As a Christian woman, it pains me to see that many women choose teachers and authors like Joyce Meyers, Beth Moore, Paula White, and Victoria Osteen because that is what is offered them. There are many others who have usurped the Biblical roles of ordination and taken upon themselves the office which belongs to men. Disappointedly, this is what many women in Lutheran circles are left with when looking for books to read or programs to watch.
The Bible is clear that this office is for men alone. This is not popular today, yet, it is the truth. The errors pushed by these women, as well as the men in these particular theological circles who do not stop it, continue to fester daring to encroach upon even Lutheran conservative churches.
As a Christian woman, I stand strongly against any ordination of women and encourage the leaders of conservative Lutheran churches to do the same. The Biblical mandate for women is, “Older women… are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.” (Titus 2:3-5) To do otherwise is to start down a slippery slope into error.