WOMEN PRIESTHOOD, ITS SCRIPTURAL POSITION AND ITS RESULT. By Bishop Timotheus Nasir

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"For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ." (GALATIANS 1:10)

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I have always held women in high esteem. Women have always been an integral part of the Church from the very beginning yet priesthood is one of the field in which women have not been given any role by both the Old and New Testaments. Whether it be the ancient Biblical languages or any modern language of the day. Even the most controversial version of the Holy Bible (R.S.V) does not mention priesthood of women in Christian Church.
Lord God has blessed women with prophethood Deborah & Huldah (Judges 4 : 4, 2-Kings 22 : 14, 2-Chronocles 34 : 22). Yet according to "Exodus", "Leviticus", priesthood has been given to men. In Old Testament, the priesthood was not held by women as an offence or sign of inferiority, but for the biological limitations of the women. In New Testament, we read about many noble women, the holiest of them Mother Mary mother of our Lord. In all four Gospels we read about other women who were very close to the Lord Jesus Christ and some of them are seen with the Holy Mary at Golgotha where Jesus Christ was crucified. Yet again we see women at the gravesite early Sunday morning at the day of Resurrection and we read Jesus speaking to Mary Magdalene and commanding her to go and tell His disciples that He has risen. In Acts of Apostles we come to know about the women and early Church and even their names are mentioned "Phebe & Priscilla" in Roman Chapter 16 and in the Pauline Epistles and Epistles by Peter, John, we find more women who were devotedly busy in serving the early Church. We also see that "II John" is exclusively written to Martha sister of Lazarus. Women have always been an integral part of the Church from the very beginning and every woman must be held in high esteem. Yet priesthood is one of the field in which women have not been given any role by both the Old and New Testaments. Whether it be the ancient Biblical languages or any modern language of the day. Even the most controversial version of the Holy Bible (R.S.V) does not mention priesthood of women in Christian Church.
While reading through Old Testament and the New Testament, the fact can be seen that no women has been given the office of priesthood and in New Testament no women has ever been elected to the office of a Presbyter. Before going into further argument on the issue, you must remember that if a woman was to be given the office of a Presbyter of the Church, Holy Mary would have been given the leadership of the Church after the excention of our Lord.
What we see in the Gospels, the crucified Lord called upon his disciple John and gave His mother in John's care. We see Holy Marry present with other disciples before the Pentecost and here again we see that the responsibility of preaching the risen Lord lyes with His male disciples.
The advocates of "women priesthood" give various references from the New Testament to justify the presence of women presbyter or priest. In that they claim:

(1). The risen Lord spoke to Mary Magdalene and as such she can be called an apostle.
There is a very simple answer to this claim that the risen Lord only told her to go and tell my brotheren. After this, Mary Magdalene is not mentioned anywhere in the early Church or the Church history as a presbyter. She was given a specific command for a very limited time. Thus this claim cannot be justified.
(2). "Phebe & Priscilla" both were very pious women and were deeply involved in serving the early Church through charity and hospitality. Although recommended by the Apostle Paul for acceptance of Prisiclla, we find no authority or proof that she was ever given the office of presbyter. Fhebe was a co-worker like Lois, Eunice, Claudia etc. They were neither proclaimed apostles in the Apostolic age or appointed presbyter in early Church. Therefore there is no justification to name these women in order to give the office of priesthood or presbyter to the women of late 19th century by the Methodist Church and during 20th century by other "so called main line Churches".

(3). The reference of Galatians 3:28 is given to justify the priesthood of women as the verse reads

"There is neither Jew or Greek, there is neither bond or free, there is neither male or female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus."

This claim can be easily rejected as the very nature of this verse reveals that all are one including male or female. When we come under the grace, love, mercy and salvation through our faith in Lord Jesus Christ, and human beings are justified and sanctified for the eternal life in the very presence of God. The fruits of faith are not limited to any nation, profession (bond or free) or gender. All get equal blessings yet as long as we live, we still keep our national identity, our professional identity and our gender identity and a such every faithful individual has been assigned a specific task which are mentioned as gifts in "Romans -Chapter 12". Individual tasks must not be confused with spiritual blessings. If all Christians are one in Christ and according to Gal 3:28, there is no Greek or Jew, no bound or free and especially male or female. Then there should not have been any American or Pakistani, Indian or Afghanistani, British or Nigerian. We are all one, without any national, professional or gender distinction or identity. We are not justified to use words such as "father or mother, brother or sister or husband and wife. (same sex marriages are direct result of "Women Priesthood". (Mr. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire is a living example) It must be remembered that all believers are not required to perform just one task and forget the other. All believers are the part of the body off Christ. Each part has an entirely different job to do. What right hand can do, left hand is unable to do and vise versa. Eyes can see but cannot walk. Feet do not talk. Heart does not make blood and nose cannot hold the limbs. The body of Christ has to be perfect. Imagine having lips in place of eyes, nose in place of ears and eyes under the chin. What a dreadful scene will it be. The body of Christ becomes dreadful when the parts of the body try to change their task, role and place.

Unfortunately, by ordaining women for pulpit ministry the "so called main line Churches" have ruined the beauty of a perfect face and a perfect body into a dreadful monster which has no resemblance to the Church or the Body of Christ. Same is the case with the working of the body of Christ by giving the task of eyes to lips and of ears to nose, the function of body is dangerously effected. Yet the so called modern and main line churches in their eagerness to please women folks, have disfigured, destroyed and distorted the face, figure and working of the body of Christ (Church). The Body of Christ is terribly disfigured, destroyed and crippled and we have seen and we will see the result of this distortion, crippling, and disfiguring. Today the UN-Repented sinners are dominating the "so called main line churches". The sin of "homosexuality" is ruining every Christian home. The so called rights of gays and lesbians have made the Church Sodom and Gomorrah. The institution of "family" that was ordained by Lord God Himself is diminishing every where. The Divorce rate is growing terribly, the birth rate of children out of sacred bond of marriage has gone out of proportion. Nudity made woman a "commodity" that gave birth to pornography and open sex. Disrespect for elders, lack of affection for young and freedom without any bound has brought strange unbiblical and satanic teachings resulting in racial discrimination, disregard and disrespect for the poor and less privileged people, domination of rich Churches and discriminatory attitude of so called main line churches towards the third wold Churches and Christians presents an "ugly" body. Who can call it Body of Christ?

Women have a very important task in building a perfect church or Body of Christ. It is said that the lap of a mother is the first school that a child attends. A good father can look after the needs of his children but only a good mother can raise a good Christian family, (the very foundation of the Body of Christ). Good Christian families will make a good church and good church will be able to represent a "Perfect Body of Christ". Yet Christian women are not interested in raising a good Christian family. They are too busy in "Pulpit and Sacramental Ministry". They have forsaken their primary task and have taken up a task that has been denied to them by the Holy Scripture.

The Holy Bible very clearly states "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 if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church". (1-Coranthians 14 : 34-35) "Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence". (1-Timothy 2 : 11, 12) "A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife". (1-Timothy 3:2) "Likewise must the deacons be grave, not double tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless. Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things. Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well". (1-Timothy 8-12)

According to the passages of the Holy Bible a Bishop (a pastor) and a deacon must be "husband of one wife". How can some one justify a woman priest? No woman can be husband of "One Wife". There is only one way, "Same Sex holy Union". Can or would women go that far? Though some have gone that far too. What did the church get? A bad name all over the world.

The problem lays with men. They have failed to fulfill their duties as pastors, husbands and fathers. They encouraged women to take up "their" job and once the women took up the men's task, they fell in the trap of Satan. The women right movements and these days the "Radical Feminist Movement", the "Re-Imagining God" type of Satanic organizations used the women folks mercilessly.

The women priesthood was tried in Pakistan but the United Presbyterian Church after failing to convince a bishop of Church of Pakistan decided to go to civil court. An order of restrain was issued by the court of Lahore Pakistan on 21st November 2000. The court case is pending in Lahore High Court. This act has held back all women eager to be ordained as Deacons (not Deaconesses) did not dare to go ahead with their intentions. We have stopped this un-Biblical practice in Pakistan. (for detailed news please search "Timotheus Nasir" in www.google.com ).

We the Christian of Pakistan very much hope that the Pakistani community in the United States and else where in the world will strive hard to stop and abolish "Women Priesthood" to save the church in year 2004 and on words. In the end I would like to quote two verses from the Holy Bible. "But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God". (1-Coranthians 11:16) and "What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only? If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord. But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant (1-Coranthians 14:36-38)

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