Several years ago I had a conversation with someone who told me about the monthly editorials by J. Lee Grady in Charisma Magazine. I immediately became a fan. In an environment often characterized by excesses, Grady is a balanced Pentecostal. As such, he has my highest respect.
I should say now that this isn’t a book review, but rather a chapter review from his latest, 10 Lies Men Believe: The Truth About Women, Power, Sex and God, and Why It Matters; the final chapter, which is titled “#10 – A Man Should Never Receive Spiritual Ministry from a Woman.”
Grady begins with the story of the famed Southern Baptist event where guest speaker Anne Graham Lotz was met with the commotion of many men turning their chairs in protest so that their backs were to her as she spoke. Class act, huh? He then goes on to present a rather convincing case that this viewpoint, that a woman should never teach the Bible where men are present, not only has no support in scripture, but that the Bible shows the very opposite to be true.
“While they praise mothers in the natural, they leave no room for spiritual mothers.” (p. 171)
Grady is convinced — and convincing — that the admonition against women in the New Testament is an isolated case.
“While Paul once clamped down on a group of women in Ephesus and forbid them to teach; if we look at the women who served with Paul in gospel ministry, it is obvious that he empowered men and women and invited them to be part of his team.” (p. 172)
Then he provides a list of some standout examples:
- Priscilla (Acts – note she is always mentioned before her husband)
- Phoebe (deaconess of Romans 16:2; word is prostatus, which means presiding officer)
- Nympha (Col. 4:15; no other leader mentioned)
- Junia (Romans 16:9; not Junias, the male form, as some translations tried to change it to fit their theology)
- Euodia and Syntyche (who Paul describes as ‘fellow workmen’ in Phil 2:3)
He then refers to Old Testament examples such as Sarah, Deborah, Hannah and Huldah; and then jumping to modern day examples notes that both Bill Bright and Billy Graham cite Henrietta Mears among their greatest spiritual influences.
At the end of the chapter, he concludes that I Tim 2:12, the verse that says,
NIV I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet.
- conflicts with the Old Testament
- conflicts with Paul’s own practices
- conflicts with his writing in other places which encourages women to participate
# # #
Because some of you are no doubt curious, here is the list of the ten lies covered throughout the book:
- God made men superior to women
- A man cannot be close to his son
- A real man is defined by material success
- A man is the ultimate boss of his family
- Sex is primarily for the man’s enjoyment
- It’s OK for a man to hit or abuse a woman
- Real men don’t need close male friends
- A man should never admit his weaknesses
- Real men don’t cry
- A man should never receive spiritual ministry from a woman
10 Lies Men Believe is available in paperback from Charisma House, at 14.99 U.S. and went on sale last month. To learn more about J. Lee Grady’s Mordecai Project, a ministry to empower women around the world, click on the book image above.