Women in Church, Society, Culture, Religion, Leadership, and with God.

I am a retired pastor of the Church of God (Tennessee).
My name is Isaac Livingston. I am from Neyyoor India

Email: Pastor True Gospel


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1. Clarify the position and the roles of women in ministry.

A sister asked me to clarify the position and the roles of women in ministry, and what are their boundaries. She referred "1 Corinthians 14:34 that says, Let your women keep silence in the churches: ..," and 1 Timothy 2:11 "A woman should learn in quietness and full submission," and a few other verses. She wrote that there are many different teachings and she asked me for my view on the subject. It is a sensitive subject and whoever answer this will get in trouble. Anyhow, let me try to answer her question. May God have mercy on me.

Let me summarize the works of God with people, from Genesis to Revelation, in a few sentences. If you are careful to listen, you will understand many important things from the bible, and you may become an expert. In the beginning God created man and woman. God gave them a command and they disobeyed. Then, God gave to Moses and to Israel, commands, circumcision, temple, tabernacle, worship, sacrifices, laws, ceremonies, rituals, ordinances, and such. People were rebellious and disobeyed God. Then, God became a man and died to remove all things and to establish the second. Then God removed his own temple, laws, ordinances, and all things, except his commands. All the rest were taken away by God.  People of the entire world became one by the cross of Jesus in the sight of God; but people are keeping so many divisions for themselves. God divides the entire world of people in only two groups. From these two groups, let me take Christians only for our study. They are about 1/3 of the world population. Jesus Christ gives them commandments. Whoever obeys his commands and follows his doctrine are godly people, they are the body of Christ, and are the Spirit Church. All others are religious Christians. Apostles' doctrine is the doctrine of Jesus Christ, and they also contain ordinances, which will help them to live with their neighbors peaceably, and they are also inspired of the Holy Ghost. And so many theologians, and church leaders have created many creeds and doctrines and given them to churches. So, churches have so many denominations and doctrines. But only the commands and doctrine of Jesus Christ will take people to inherit eternal life, all others help to maintain religious churches in the world. The vast majority in religious churches will not go to heaven. And there is one other very important fact that we must know. It is this: God gives the repented souls a gift, which is the holy Spirit, to lead them in holy life. We need the holy Spirit to inherit eternal life, without which we cannot go to heaven. The Holy Ghost gives people many gifts, for doing spiritual manifestations, like prophesying. These gifts are even given to rebellious people, to do the ministry of God, as in Psalms 68:18. These gifts helps to do the ministry on earth, but this has nothing, either go to heaven or to inherit eternal life. So, the gift of holy Spirit will lead people in holy lives and to heaven, and manifesting gifts like prophesying, and such are just for ministry only. So, the nutshell is that God gives commands, so many laws, ordinances, rituals, and so on. But he removes them all excepts the commands of the Lord Jesus Christ for eternal life. The ordinances in the apostles' doctrine are for us to get along with the society that we are in. Let us continue and pick up a few things and study them in detail.

2. Woman's desire is on her husband; he shall rule over her.

Genesis 1:27 says, "God created man ...; male and female created he them." Then God gave them a command, which they did not obey. So, as the punishment, in "Genesis 3:16 God told, Unto the woman, ... thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee." So, God created people as man and woman, and punished that woman will desire man, and man will dominate woman. It does not say that woman desire woman, or man desire man, and if they do, that is perversion, but not love. Then again the word of God says, "Romans 1:26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet. 28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;" These verses are simple and very easy to understand. Reprobate mind is the mind that is beyond the hope of salvation that is damned forever. It also includes the desire of woman to exhibit themselves like men with short hair and such, and the desire of men to present themselves like women with long hair, and such things. God says that such things are not natural, they are lust, and vile affections, and such are perverse. Instead of being ashamed, they glory in themselves, and appear even as preachers. God's wrath will be upon such perverts.

3. God has set our living, with relationship of men and women.

So, God has set our living in the world, with the relationship of men and women, in the level of a home, village, society, culture, country, and such things. Women are created in such a way to be subjected to love and to please men, and men tend to rule over women; of course, there may be exceptions. God tells us not to commit adultery and fornication, and again it is subjected to the control of their society. If you notice, Paul endorses the civil and social laws of the country where they live in, unless a law of the country is opposite to the law of God. He does not want Christians to be rebellious against the culture, society, country, etc. The purpose is not to fight in the flesh. Even Jesus did not fight against Roman culture or government. "1 Corinthians 11:1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. 2 Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you." Apostle Paul followed Jesus; he tells the church to follow him, and to keep the ordinances. But many verses say that the ordinances of God, which were the laws of Jews, were abolished by the death of Jesus Christ on the cross, to bring Jews and Gentiles together as one. "Ephesians 2:15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; Colossians 2:14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;" If God's ordinances were abolished by God himself, then what are these ordinances, that apostle Paul says?

4. Ordinance is from reflections of laws and culture of a country.

Unless we are barbarians, we all are under some set of rules and laws, to be civilized. An ordinance is a piece of legislation enacted by civil authority. It is an authoritative order by a city or country, all over the world. Apostle Paul tells the church to obey the orders of the country, but not to rebel against it. So, churches must not strive with worldly governments, in a town level or in a national level. Our fights are not with flesh and blood. And so, Corinthian church will follow the ordinances or laws of Corinth as a city, or as a country. The principle is that if a church is in a Muslim country, obey Muslim law; if the church is in America, obey American law, and so on. So, churches will observe entirely different ordinances in different countries because ordinances are from the country. These ordinances are not the laws of God, but the reflection of the laws of the country that we are in, and we must obey them. We must obey the commands of God for eternal life and must obey the country laws to live there. We will see this in the entire eleventh chapter in 1 Corinthians. They are the reflection of the laws and culture in Corinth. Yet, at the end of the chapter, it all merge into the commands of the Lord Jesus Christ, even to observe the Lord's supper and to partake the body and blood of the Lord; and it is sacred ritual. So, even by following worldly ordinances, we may be led to the obeying of the commands of the Lord Jesus Christ. Even though different countries have different laws, we can follow Jesus Christ without breaking their laws. Jesus Christ says to them in "Luke 20:25 ..., Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar's, and unto God the things which be God's." Even though the context is a little different, this is the truth. Obey there laws also, if we live there.

5.  Let your women keep silence in churches: as also says the law.

Please notice this: God has made a set up in creation, and he calls some of our behavior patterns as they are by nature; both are permanent to us, and we must follow them forever. And God gave many laws, regulations, rituals, ordinances, ceremonies, and such things to Jews and to certain people, and then God himself revoked and abolished them, and they do exist no more. So, some are permanent, and some are temporary. Apostle Paul, by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, adds few ordinances to accommodate the culture of the country. And we also know that the ordinances are not permanent, since they were added for a reason. So, it is possible that God may consider it abolished, if the reason for which it was added is no longer there. For an example: A situation of keeping woman in silence was in Corinth; because "1 Corinthians 14:34 says, Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law." And it is in somewhere else also; since 1 Timothy 2:11 says, "A woman should learn in quietness and full submission." So, this ordinance is in place and in full force. But, if the church is in America, where there is no such restriction in the country, there is no need or purpose for this ordinance. However, the church with discretion and discernment, under the guidance of the Holy Ghost, must take the decision. But if the church decides to keep the ordinance, the people must not rebel against the church. But if the people do not want to abide by it, they may find another church of their choice, rather than rebel against the church.

6. We must know the Spirit church from the religious churches.

In order to know the truth of God about churches, we must know the religious churches, as well as the Spirit church that is the body of Christ. "Galatians 3:23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. 24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster." That is, in order to come to godly life, we must learn discipline, grow step by step, and then only we can become Spiritual. If someone gets excited all of a sudden and call themselves as spiritual, they will become fakes. The word of God says that we must be under the law, study and obey the law, before we graduate in the law. After graduation only, we become Spiritual. Then only, we are not under the law, which represents worldly churches. "Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death." Since we are made free, we are not under a church; but we must be under the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus. A simple fact is that we will not attend high school after we are graduated from high school; and we will be in college. But if we attend high school again, we must obey their rules. So also, if we attend a church again, we must abide by their laws and ordinances.

If we understand this principle, we will not have any problem regarding this matter. Let me say it in a deferent way. If you are led by flesh, you will be in a religious church, and you will be under religious ordinances, rules, and laws. So, attend a church of your choice, but you must obey their rules as long as you are there. If you are graduated in the word of God, and are led by the holy Spirit, you will get out of there, and you will begin to obey the Lord Jesus Christ. Now you are a child of God, and you are Spiritual. Let me summarize this very quickly by repeating what I have said and get to one more very important point. By the inspiration of God, the apostles wrote the word of God with instructions, laws, and regulations. Probably, you may not understand them all, but do not reject them. However, they are not the commands of the Lord Jesus Christ. But they are the schoolmaster, and they will bring you to Jesus Christ. Until then, you have no other choice, but to obey them. So, obey them until you graduate. If you got out before you are graduated, you will be in troubled waters. Army training is not the war, but in order to fight in a war, we must be trained in the army. When the training is over, we may fight in the war.

7. Ordinances are culture, religion, rules, and laws; Nature is truth.

In 1 Corinthians 11:2, apostle Paul tells them to keep the ordinances, as he delivered to them. As I have mentioned before, these were not taken from old testament scriptures, but it could be adopted to fit with Corinthians culture, but not to intimidate them, since our fight is not with flesh and blood. Further, the apostles spoke such words and instructions, as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. So, they are the word of God. Now verses 3-7 talks about whose head is who, and about the covering of heads. In the old testament, the covering of the head is different. In India, we have woman cover their heads in Hindu culture, and Christian women do that in churches, prayer meetings, etc. I do not know what culture the Corinthians had about head covering. Even though it is inspired by the Holy Ghost, it is not a command of God for eternal life, but it is just an ordinance, which is the reflection of city culture. Please notice the next two verses. "14 Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? 15 But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering." It begins with, doth not even the nature teaches you? Here it is not the city, but it is the nature. So, it is not to fit a culture, but it is from the nature of God, and so it is permanent from God. It condemns long hair of men and glory in long hair of women. But we have men with long hair and women with hair cropped; to make it worse, some of them are preachers and witnesses for God. One more ridiculous thing is that supposedly pictures of Jesus have long hair, and the Holy Ghost calls it as shame. I could not accept it. Scripture says, "Doth not even nature itself teach you." Yes, my nature hates long hair in men and cropped hair of women.

8. There is neither male nor female: for all are one in Christ Jesus.

"Galatians 3:28 says, There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus." That is, even though men and women are created differently for the purpose to live and to multiply, they are created the same with no difference, in Christ Jesus, for eternal life and for inheritance in the kingdom of God. So, men and women are different for worldly matters, but they are same for heavenly matters. That is, even though God has created their bodies differently, God has created their souls alike for eternity.

When Jesus was living as a man, people were wondering whether he was the Messiah. Jesus was the Messiah in the first phase, who will be cut off, that is, he will be killed as a man, according to Daniel 9:26. Jesus did not tell this to anyone openly and he told this first to a woman. "John 4:25 The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. 26 Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he." First, Jesus told a woman that he was the Messiah, which was one of the most important mysteries. By that he honored a woman.

The resurrection account of Jesus Christ is in Mark 16. "16:9 says, Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene ..." Again, Jesus Christ told the greatest announcement of his resurrection, first to Mary, a woman. So, Jesus honors a woman, even above all his disciples.

"Galatians 3:28 says, ..., there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus." Men and women have the same Soul in Christ Jesus for the kingdom of God in heaven; bodies are different, but they will become dust. But both men and women are the same, as souls with the glorified Spirit bodies, that looks like Jesus Christ, and will be joint heirs with him. So, women are the same as men for eternal life.

If any point needs explanation, OR, if you find an error according to scripture,
Please write to me in the 'Mail Box' below. I will respond promptly.

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What is the true gospel and what are false gospels?

Matthew 28:20, & Mark 16:15. Jesus Christ preached his commandments to obey, as his Gospel; it is the true Gospel to inherit Eternal life. Genesis 3:1-4 & 2 Corinth 11:2-4. But Preachers, who are Serpents of Satan, preach the life of man Jesus just to believe, but not to live as a chaste virgin, as the gospel; it is another gospel, which cannot and will not give Eternal life.

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The true gospel will convert evil people to do good and thereby they will inherit the kingdom in heaven. John 3:19-21 say that people are two kinds, evil and true. Evil doers will not come to the Light, who is God; but people of truth come to God for their deeds to be made manifest. We have good and evil people by our standard of our society or culture. These evil people may be converted to be doers of truth by the power of God, and they may inherit the kingdom of God in heaven.

Email: Pastor True Gospel

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