Unraveling Teachings on Headship & Women in Ministry

Image: Ezer Rising

Since there has been controversy on my author page and other parts of media about women in ministry, I hope to put together teachings on the women in the Bible who were teachers, prophets, evangelists, taught men, shepherding, friends of Jesus, world changers, and commended by Paul for their ministry.

I also hope to cover how Jesus treated women; He even sent Mary to go tell others He had risen in a culture that did not highly value the testimony of a woman. If God wanted the women to be silent, Jesus would not have appeared to a woman and told her to be His witness. God would also not have appointed female prophets, which He did. Prophets speak forth the word of God, teach, mentor, and exercise authority. I will touch on Deborah who was a prophet and judge over ALL of Israel. She exercised authority over men.

I think part of the issue is many people do not hear about women in churches, unless it’s Mother’s Day or talking about Mary mother of Jesus. We need to know all of the Bible, the culture, the context, and most importantly the heart of God.

I also hope to break down what Ezer Kenegdo means. It is the Hebrew word God used for creating woman. It is poorly translated as helper or help meet. Our English language does not do Hebrew justice. Ezer is a word God uses to describe Himself and there is no weakness and inferiority in God.

Eve was created as a warrior, one with divine instinct and she represents a part of God Adam does not. Together as partners they would have dominion on the earth (See Genesis 1:26-28). Before the fall of humanity represents God intentions. Both of them were created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27).

I also hope to touch on the poorly taught doctrine of male headship and female submission. God did not create a hierarchy ladder. He created a triangle. Man+woman would function as equal partners ruling and reigning together both moving towards God.

God also instructed ALL believers (male and female) to submit to one another out of reverence for Christ (Ephesians 5:21). The greatest among you will be your servant (Matthew 23:11), said Jesus. When it is taught the wife must just do what her husband wants, he’s the head (boss), it creates potential for competition. He must be the smartest and most spiritual. In some cases the husband is not or his wife is far more skilled in an area. Or he’s not listening to God and she is. If he has zero accountability, he can lead his family into a ditch. I see clients with husbands who have brought porn in the home, are abusive, the husband is controlling, absolutely destroyed their finances, not responsible, will not listen to anyone’s counsel, and they are stuck being yelled at to submit.

If the husband thinks he’s the last say, he may forgo listening to his wife and feel resentful if her relationship with God is stronger or she’s more skilled than he is in an area. She may be viewed as a subordinate, not a partner. Both parties are called to mutual love, mutual respect, and mutual submission (a willingness to yield to what honors God). It can create problems when the wife treats her husband like he’s her God. God was clear. You shall have no other gods beside me and there is one mediator between God and man-Jesus. We have one high priest, Jesus. If the husband says to do something that is wrong, the wife is not supposed to do that and vice versa.

The role of both parties is to love one another and love is not about lording over others. Marital love is not a boss employee relationship. It’s two partners laying their life down for the benefit of each other. Jesus told the disciples not to be like the people in the world who seek to dominate and lord over others. He told them to take on the position of a servant.

“…Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles have absolute power and lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them[tyrannizing them]. It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant,“~Jesus Matthew 20:25-26.

The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and give His life as a ransom. The way “headship” is sometimes taught is the husband is a god substitute in the home, the boss, the dictator, the final authority, and it’s not biblical. The husband is called to model Jesus in his sacrificial love, unselfishness, empowering his family, purity, etc…God did not create a boss and subordinate relationship, nor establish a system for husbands to have zero accountability. The husband is not a god substitute.

Whether you agree or disagree, I hope to unpack the word of God, the words of Jesus, creation, the Greek and Hebrew. Let’s unpack what God did say.

God willing after the holidays we will dive into the controversy. I think its great to study for ourselves and know what authors of the Bible meant. I also think it’s even better to know God, the character of God and the heart of God. The Pharisees knew the Torah and the law. They could quote it, beat people up with it, but they did not have personal relationship with God. We need both. The Holy Spirit is the best teacher.

Resources:

Ezer Kenegdo

https://godswordtowomen.org/ezerkenegdo.htm

Headship and Paul’s Letters

https://margmowczko.com/kephale-and-male-headship-in-pauls-letters/

It’s A Woman, Not All Women (Paul’s Letters)

https://margmowczko.com/a-woman-not-all-women-1-timothy-212/

Women in Ministry, Pastoral Roles, Submission

https://margmowczko.com/paul-gender-roles-in-marriage-ministry/

I will be doing Facebook lives on these topics. I think as a woman, it’s important I know what God did say. I think for men it’s important to know what God did say. There are so many women being forced into silence that God is calling to SPEAK! There are husbands who are not receiving the full benefit of having a partner because she is seen as a subordinante to be led by the nose.

I hope you join me in the new year for the series! You can follow video posts by going to Facebook.com/erinlambauthor. You can grab copies of the books I have written or audio teachings by going to empowered-free.com!

Lastly, we will not be SILENT!

Love,

Erin Lamb

Empowered-Free.com

EmpoweredandFreeMerch.com

OperationGodisLove.org

When Pastors Abuse

I wish Overcoming Church Hurt & Abuse was not a book I needed to write. Why? I wish “church” was always a place of love, safety, and God’s goodness. I wish the organized “church” looked and loved just like Jesus.

Jesus is perfect theology and God is love. There is no abuse in love. There is no manipulation or dominance in love. There is no control in love. There is nothing perverse, sexually inappropriate, or lustful in love.

I use quotes for the “church” because truly God’s church is not a weekend service or organization, it is a body of people yielded to God. Jesus stated His followers would be known by their agape love (pure, sacrificial, and unselfish love). Abuse is not love and not of God. God will separate His true church from what is false.

Part of what I do is called deep inner healing. It’s not SOZO for those who are in the charismatic church. It’s inviting God into memories throughout a person’s life to interject truth, expose lies, deal with pain, and negative emotions. I do not interject memories. We deal with what God reveals to a person that needs to be healed.

Over the years I have heard the worst of the worst of stories; stories that make Steven King movies appear tame. I deal with people who have been severely damaged and abused to the point of dissociation (they fracture into multiple personalities). I hate to admit that some of the perpetrators claimed to be Christians. Some were pastors or deacons. Some had high levels of influence. They used their status and influence to exploit, manipulate, abuse, or molest others.

Some churches have encouraged hiding the sins of the pastors or the “church”. If anyone knew it could damage the “church” reputation. Holding onto this mindset helped to enable thousands of pastors to continue to abuse people in silence. It is ungodly to enable sin. What you hide, enables abuse to continue. It sends a message, “Please come and abuse people here. We will keep your secrets and forgive. We will pretend that nothing happened.” Some “church” leaders don’t recognize forgiveness is not ENABLING! Forgiveness is supposed to be coupled with repentance. To repent is to change one’s mind, not offer a sloppy sorry because you were caught.

In Overcoming Church Hurt & Abuse I talk about the boundaries churches need in place to prevent a set up for a scandal.

  • Background checks on every leader. If you are a pedophile, you are not qualified to lead. Period.
  • Men should not counsel women in closed door, behind the scenes situations or off hours. And vice versa with women counseling men. “Counseling,” has led numerous people into sexual misconduct. Have a two person system. If you must have a one on one, one pastor I knew had a glass office door and his admin would sit outside. She could not hear, she could see what was going on in the session. I do not do deep inner healing sessions by myself in person. I have an assistant. If it’s through Skype, it’s recorded.
  • Check in on pastors and their mental, spiritual, and emotional health. Some are burnt out and not connecting with God. They serve, yet they are not working on their own relationship with God. Check in and have accountability systems.
  • Set up situations where leaders are never alone with someone else’s child. Children’s ministry should have two people not related caring for kids. They all need background checks too!
  • Teach your children proper boundaries. Just because a person claims to be a Christian does not mean they are safe. Teach your children about inappropriate touch and they can tell you anything. It’s sad, yet many children are threatened with getting in trouble if they tell.
  • Cease trusting people just because they claim to be a Christian or clergy!! This one is big.

I knew a lady who’s pastor invited her out to a bar then began to sexually proposition her. Well, first thing is this-I am not meeting my pastor alone anywhere!! Let alone a bar. Secondly, the moment he propositioned me for sex he would have been rebuked and then turned into the church board. This pastor had a history of hitting on women at the church, sleeping with them, then getting up preaching on Sunday. He would also remove parts of scripture that talked about sexual immorality.

What we permit, we promote! Let me repeat that, “What we permit, we promote.” This woman wanted to love, forgive, and pray for her pastor. Awesome! Yes, forgive. Also rebuke the sexual advances and let someone know so he cannot prey on anyone else. Some women have been so brainwashed with false teachings on submitting to authority that they easily give in to what is ungodly. He’s my pastor, I have to do this. NO!!!! You are sinning and God still hold you accountable. “My pastor told me,” does not fly in heaven.

What are you and I going to do to help stop abuse in the church? We cannot change other people. We can ask God for our part! Writing this book and helping victims of abuse is part of my part. It’s also my part to say something if I see something inappropriate.

I regret not listening to my instincts years ago. I noticed a male minister always playing with the little girls. He was in his 50s. They were 7 to 14 years old. I did not wish to judge him. I thought I was being overly suspicious. I looked the other way though it bugged me. Later it was revealed he was grooming young teen girls for sex. He eventually married a teenage girl in an impoverished nation by grooming her parents as well. He was eventually removed from ministry. Could I have helped if I said something early on? I don’t know. I had no proof. It just creeped me out. I wish I had said something.

My encouragement is this, “Please don’t turn a blind eye to abuse, control, manipulation, or sexual sin.” God is loving, gracious, kind, and forgiving. God also highly values people. If we allow abuse we violate God’s love. Being passive is easy. Being passive is not godly.

I see the aftermath in sessions with people. I see how the abuse wounded their views of themselves, of God, of the church. I see the horror and the agony the victims of abuse carry.

Let’s have honest conversations about abuse in the church. Let’s have boundaries that keep people safe. Let’s stop teaching that submission is doing whatever is asked of you. It’s not! Godly submission is being willing to yield to what honors God. It does not mean obey. Let’s teach young children and teens about appropriate and inappropriate touch. Let’s teach everyone about healthy boundaries. No I am not meeting a man alone in his home for ministry. I do not have them come to my house either. Why? I have no desire to be a victim of rape nor to appear to be doing something inappropriate. I don’t meet men at bars to talk about ministry. I don’t sin with them.

Several stories came out this week of men in Christian leadership exposed for sexual misconduct. Those women could have helped themselves by saying, “No I am not sinning with you. No I am not meeting you somewhere alone with no witnesses.” I am not trying to blame them. I feel compassion for them. I am saying in this day and age, we must use wisdom. I am not traveling to my pastors house alone. I will meet you in a public place with witnesses. No I am not sinning with you and submitting to what dishonors me or my relationship with Jesus. Boundaries help protect what has value. It’s far more difficult for sexual assault to happen in a public place with loads of witnesses.

If you have been abused sexually, physically, emotionally, spiritually (spiritual abuse is another one that is high in clients I see), manipulated, controlled, or mistreated by clergy or professing Christians, I am so sorry! It is not the heart of God and He hates abused. I pray your heart is healed and restored. God loves you! I can also confidently say that God gives beauty for ashes and binds up the wounds of the broken hearted! You are greatly loved.

Warmly,

Erin Lamb

Empowered-Free.com

EmpoweredandFreeMerch.com

OperationGodisLove.org

Which Jesus Are You Following?

I love Jesus. I hope to follow Him all the days of my life, even if it cost me my life.

Following Jesus has cost me “friendships” and invited persecution. Most of the persecution coming from people who claim to know Him. They have called me names (heretic, demonized, weird, another colorful b-word), slandered my name, a few threatened violence, I was struck once by a woman who called me a liar and I was not lying (she claimed to be a Spirit-filled Christian. I refused to hit her back out of love and she was far older than me/over twice my age), cursed my ministry, cursed me, cussed me out, boycotted things I was doing for Jesus, cursed me from pulpits, mocked me, tried to shame me, publically set me up to be humiliated, talked badly about me, stopped talking to me if I disagreed with their understanding of scripture, tried to turn entire groups against me, posted hateful or disrespectful comments on my blogs or social media, tried to debate me for hours and talked down to me like I was stupid, written me nasty notes, called me a bad Christian and untrustworthy, called my ministry for God illegitimate, etc…all in the name of Jesus.

I don’t know the Jesus who acts like that. Jesus said you will know my true disciples by their agape (sacrificial, unselfish) love. Jesus also stated you would know a tree by its fruit. The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentlenesses, and self-control. Against such things, there is no law (Gal 5:22-23). Love fulfills the law because it does no harm to its neighbor (Romans 13:10).

Why share these things, and I promise I am not complaining? Because if our picture of Jesus is violent, hateful, nasty, rude, unkind, mean spirited, argumentative, proud, hostile, etc…it’s not Jesus of Nazareth. The spirits behind the behaviors in paragraph one are demons. Mockery is a demon. An accusatory spirit is a demon. Pride is a demon. These are the chief characteristics of Satan. It’s easy to build an image of God that is not God at all. Cursing people is the language of demons. Slander and gossip, are demons.

God invites us to know Him, who He really is. Even in my highest levels of ignorance or rebellion God never responded to me in a hateful way. Never. The conviction of God never pushed my face in the dirt and stepped on my neck. The Pharisees partnered with the devil and wanted to stone people for not following their understanding of the law. Jesus did not.

If you feel compelled to violence or mean-spiritedness against people, that is not the Holy Spirit. If you feel compelled to send nasty notes, leave rude and hateful comments, that is not the Holy Spirit. If you feel led to mock people and curse their ministry, that is not the Holy Spirit. A genuine Spirit of God will go gently and speak privately with someone in great love. The Bible tells us to go first privately and to make sure we don’t have a plank in our eye. See Galatians 6:1, Matthew 7:4-5, 1 Timothy 5:1-2, Matthew 18:15-17. If you behave in these ways, I encourage repentance.

I truly believe once we (collectively who claim Jesus) get the love thing right, everything else will fall into place. I am not bitter over the behavior of other people. I forgive them, pray, and move forward. I am deeply saddened by the misrepresentation of Jesus. Why? The world is watching those who claim Jesus to find out who God is. If our actions do not align with the heart of God, why on earth would anyone want to know Jesus? The devil never tells people how their actions will impact others. He pushes humanity to pride.

My prayer is we choose the way of Jesus. I am still being refined and having my heart tended by God. I am still learning from Jesus. I am still yielding myself to God. My hopes are no one will be able to say I brutalized them in the name of Jesus or made a mockery of who He is. Why? I love Jesus. How I behave is a reflection of our intimacy.

My greatest prayer this morning is for those who claim Jesus to truly know Him. Jesus said if we abide in Him, we will bear good fruit (John 15:4-5).

I do not desire to worship a Jesus made in mankind’s image. I want Jesus of Nazareth, the humble king who washed feet and chose nails even for His enemies. My urgent plea is seek to know the real Jesus. The Holy Spirit promises to be our teacher and guide. If we ask God, He will reveal Himself to us.

Before I went to sleep last night I deleted a nasty comment off my author page. I wrote about women in ministry which created a firestorm. The defenders of their version of the law came out with Bibles raised to beat me with their level of understanding. What they do not realize is I spent years studying the Bible. I read through it almost every year, and I am not ignorant. I have been pursuing knowing Jesus for most of my life. I do not speak about things I do not study with God. I bless them, forgive them, delete their hatefulness, pray for them, and move along.

If you have been beaten up by professing Christians, I am sorry. Jesus is sorry. God is not mean nor cruel. God loves you! God is patient and kind. God is good and merciful. God is not hateful. God is love. I wrote my third book Overcoming Church Hurt & Abuse this year because we have way too many Christians in bad shape because of the treatment and abuse of other Christians. If you are hurting, grab it. It has 5 star reviews and has helped numerous people step out of pain and into healing. You can grab off Amazon.com or Empowered-Free.com/shop.

I hope something written here blesses you! Praying for you, me, the global church. Let’s choose love!

Love in Christ,

Erin Lamb

Photo Source: Pinterest