The Role of Women
On September 12, 2020, the first-ever English language debate between a message pastor (Jesse Smith of Akron, OH) and an ex-message Christian (Rod Bergen from the Off The Shelf podcast) took place. The discussion was moderated by Jay Cox and Tim Kraus.
William Branham taught that a woman's place was in the home, in the kitchen. He discouraged women from actively participating in society, in roles within the churches, and in education. These doctrines suited his life well, as it gave him freedom from responsibility in the home. However, these doctrines are not Biblical.
In the Bible, there are many examples of women were respected as deaconesses, prophetesses, advisors, and were involved in the sale of merchandise and land.
Huldah the prophetess
- So Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam, Achbor, Shaphan, and Asaiah went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvah, the son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe. (She dwelt in Jerusalem in the Second Quarter.) And they spoke with her.
Miriam the prophetess
Exodus 15:20–21 (KJV 1900)
- And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances.
Deborah, a prophetess
Judges 4:4 (KJV 1900)
- And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, she judged Israel at that time.
Noadiah the prophet
Nehemiah 6:14 NLT
- Remember, O my God, all the evil things that Tobiah and Sanballat have done. And remember Noadiah the prophet and all the prophets like her who have tried to intimidate me.
Isaiah’s wife, a prophetess
- And I went unto the prophetess; and she conceived, and bare a son. Then said the LORD to me, Call his name Mahershalalhashbaz.
Anna, a prophetess
- And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity;
The Daughters of Phillip, who prophesied
- On the next day we who were Paul's companions departed and came to Caesarea, and entered the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven, and stayed with him. Now this man had four virgin daughters who prophesied.
Phoebe the Deaconess
- Now I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a deaconess in the church at Cenchrea.
Women could prophesy in NT
1 Corinthians 11: 5
- And every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head--it is just as though her head were shaved
Women to prophesy
- And it shall come to pass afterward, That I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions:
Neither male or female
Galatians 3: 28
- There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
- And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us.
The Economy of a Virtuous Woman
Proverbs 31:13-15, 17-20a, 22, 24, 31
- She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar. She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms. She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night. She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff. She stretcheth out her hand to the poor..she maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple. She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.
The Words of a Virtuous Woman
- She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
Wisdom and rights to buy land, and inherit wealth
Proverbs 31:16, 31
- She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard...Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.
- And it came to pass, when she came to him, that she moved him to ask of her father a field: and she lighted from off her ass; and Caleb said unto her, What wilt thou? And she said unto him, Give me a blessing: for thou hast given me a south land; give me also springs of water. And Caleb gave her the upper springs and the nether springs.
- And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, The daughters of Zelophehad speak right: thou shalt surely give them a possession of an inheritance among their father's brethren; and thou shalt cause the inheritance of their father to pass unto them.