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Should Women Be Ordained To Head Churches And Mosques?

Issues are interpreted variously by people who see things differently. There have been concerns as to which could possibly be the right interpretation of a text in various religions. Focusing on just Islam and Christianity at the present, what views would readers offer to the question:

Should Women Be Ordained As Heads/Clerics in Churches and Mosques?

The Bible seems to reserve a not-so-public role for women in ecclesiastical matters, according to such texts as 1 Cor. 14:34 ('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 1 Tim. 2:12 - ('But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.') However, some are persuaded that whatever the texts may imply, women can still be ordained into the Christian ministry with the same roles and functions as the men. This has become a matter of concern in some large Christian churches, as is the case with the present deadlocks in both the Anglican Church and Roman Catholic impassé (an example here from a BBC report).

On the other hand, for women to assume any leading roles in public life seems to generate an equally heated concern among the Muslim community. Some have expressed the view that women are not to share the same roles as the men in public life, and particularly in religious activities - to the extent that in some Muslim quarters, women are not welcome to attend Mosques as do the men. Consequently, one could understand how very controversial was a recent event in the US in which a woman led a mixed-gender Islamic prayer service early last year (click here for a preview).

What do readers think about this issue - should women be ordained as clerics in churches and mosques on the same pedestal as the men?

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34 answers

So, eh. . I guess there are some women who see (and know) all this and yet are celebrated in ordinations to be head of churches, no?

I'm just wondering about a recent one: 'Most Rev. M. E. Benson-Idahosa on her consecration and elevation to the office of the Archbishop, Church of God Mission International Incorporated'. How do these women interpret the verses cited such as blueeye did (1cor 14:34 and35, Tim 2:12 to14)??

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Who made her Apostle of Apostles? The bible is the same yesterday, 2day & 4ever. females are not to be ordained to head the church, the bilble is clear about that! we dont have to twist it. They can only be members of the ministry

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Good point, Darkchild.

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Nairalanders,

I believe the main reason why all this is happening around the world is simply because of the new phenomenum called 'political correctness'.

Infact the oyinbos have taken that 'P.C' to a new level. An e.g. - where I live, a primary school actually tried to change the rhyme, 'black, black black sheep, ' to 'rainbow rainbow rainbow sheep, '. How warped is that and all this in an effort not to offend the black race.

It is stated in the Holy books that women cannot head churches or lead prayers in mosques. Why try to change the 'scriptures' to suite the changing times. I dont think God intended that.

Religions should be able to withstand the test of time.

My 2kobo.

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I don't suppose you have any problem being a pilot?

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nooo,

in the bible it says women shouldn't be pastors,

but it really depends on how u take it,

i'll try to find the bible verse

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God created women with unique characteristics. For those that believe in the teachings of the bible, why support arguments like this one raised by cult members/non-believers/idol worshippers/etc? Head of churches are supposed to be spiritual leaders. Women were created with characteristics that disqualify them from such exalted positions. God has created everything uniquely as it suits him. Birds are created for the sky and snakes for the ground.

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First, let me commend you for your efforts, and I hope that more Muslims would contribute and enlighten the Forum about this issue and the place of women in Islam as in the sister thread to this one. But I must ask: what does it take for a true Muslim community to exist? When you say that no large community or nation exists, what then do you consider in the case of Pkistan, Iran and Saudi Arabia?

Well, in the evaluation of this point from an Islamic perspective, I believe that leadership cannot hindered by the pains or emotional stress a man or woman faces; and therefore should not be used as a yardstick for measuring their capabilities and inputs. Rather, it is how well they can handle such that counts.

Well, I may suppose that is carried as far as Islamic tradition goes. However, we recognise a few women raised as prophetesses among God's people in the Bible - Deborah, the wife of Lappidoth (Judg. 4:4), and Anna, the daughter of Phanuel (Luke 2:36).

Interesting input all same, well done.

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In Islam, the formulation of the private and public life of the practitioner has been set during the life time of the Noble Messenger, Muhammad Ibn Abdalla (SAW). You find the conduct of a true muslim and muslima being under the guidelineship of the Qur'an and the sunnah/hadith. Even the the all the derivitives like fatawah and ithjihad; acamedic discussions and its conclisions are all based in the above immensed sources of guidiance. THere was once an occurrence wher a woman led prayer in her own home during the life of the leader of Mankind, Muhammad (SAW). The noble Messenger (SAW), gave a permissssion to a woman of knowledge in lew of the absence of an able bodied male , the woman was to lead prayer, There was the call of the adhan by avery old man, who left immediately afterwards. The woman led the prayer, having in this one time occurance little boys and other women. Further it is a common practise that women can lead each other in a communial prayer. But the case of women is different from Men. Woman can pray in the house and it is equally rewarded as if she has prayed in the Masjid. The case of woman is the case of luxury as long as she meets a required standard, Please bear in mind that a true Muslim community does not presently exist, but you do have pockets of true muslim individuals and family and small community, but no large community or nation.

For the sake of this  topic, if a woman is to be a leader of the community, what happens to the affaairs of the community when she is in her monthly period and she is one of those individuals who experiences a great amount of pain and discomfort even sickness at this time. What happens when she is pregnant and she becomes sick and even can keep anything down in her stomach and she throws up. What happens if she has complications during pregnancies like tiredness, fatigue, sickness and she can even get up. What happens if she is a special case during this time of pregnancy, during the period of labor, delivery and nursing, etc. What if she is emotional, for women are very emotional compared to men. First, God Almighty did not raise any of His Prophets and Messengers (SAW) from the female gender. All of them are men, Adam, Idris, Noah, Ibrahiim, Moses, Jesus, etc and Muhammad the last of them (SAW) are all men. God knows the whole truth why He had done this and we can only know just a very tiny reason, some I have listed above. In all, Islam is not a religion that you can change the core quality of and any derivitives really must have an ancor to that two unchangeable sources; Qur'an and Sunnah/hadith. This is the reason, for example that you can not make salah in any other language and truly the recitation of the Qur'an is in the prestine Fusat Arabiyah language. Every one, inclusing the Arabs have to learn this. My fellow Human beings, Muslims and Non Muslims, Nigerians and Non Nigerians, the males and the females, young and old, Paradise is not cheap, the prerequisite of it is shrouded in sacrificing and deprivations. You must truly believe and worship God in the truest sense of it. On the other hand, Hell fire is very cheap to acquire. You may even buy it with your own money, but surely one goes to it because one has abandoned the true path and therefor God, the Only One who has the right to Punish or forgive is surely displeased.  In Islam, the woman has her place and the man has his place.

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Reverend

I am still waiting,

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tv01,

It's just my personal comfort level with the idea of some other woman over my husband spiritually.

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Rev,

The bible is God's. The manipulation is man's.

The bible also says: Sell what you have and give to the poor.

Your not going to see any of these Mercedes driving preachers, preaching that scripture.

No, the only scriptures they find that are written in stone?

One's against women and ones saying give them cash.

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The more I read these excerpts from the Bible, the more I believe that the Bible is the work of manipulative humans and in no way represents the word of God!

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Lol, damygurl. . . you're asking doctored questions that won't provide the exact answers you pray for. It is like asking "aight, where exactly in the scripture did Jesus Christ say He is not God?" and several other questions formulated that way. I know this is not about the deity of Jesus, but just to point out that your question really ignores what the Scriptures in fact say:

"I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet." - 1 Tim. 2:12.

"The women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission,

as the Law also says." - 1 Cor. 14:34.

Most people who advocate the ordination of women as HEAD of churches rarely address these texts, and some who do just treat them in a liberal manner like whatever God says that don't square with what they want to do, just doesn't matter anymore. This is not about you, damygurl; but I often hear that quip a lot: "it really doesn't matter anymore." We might as well ask doctored questions about other issues: "where exactly in scripture does it say we should not smoke cigars? where exactly in scripture does it say we should not wear miniskirts? where exactly in scripture does it say we should not do this or that or the other?" Some of these questions are legitimate in their contexts, but the point is that most people who just want to do their thing are not paying close attention to what exactly in fact the Scripture says about a subject; and that's why they come to the conclusion that this, and that, and the other doesn't matter anymore. Again, it's not about you: it's more about the general feelings expressed by most people these days about what God says.

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aight where exactly in the scripture did it say women should not lead/ head the church?

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Question:

Opinion:

I hear this a lot - and it seems to me a lot of believers are saying it doesn't matter what the Scriptures say.

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we got lots of female ordained ministers infact they even got there own church and they are doing a very wonderful job so it doesn't really matter anymore.

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Dear reverend,

Can you possibly create a graffitti of a woman leading the congregational prayer in Islam and she's got this big butt and all the guys are staring at that instead of keeping their minds on worship? Or maybe a woman leading the church and all the elders scrambling to have her as a bed mate? These are some of the situations that are surely recipes for disaster if women are allowed to foray into this aspect of life.

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If horses were wishes, or is it if wishes were horses, then shawna will ride.

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Well said gigitte, different roles! That's right.

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i wil as usual speak from a catholic point of view

who ever mentioned that without mary magdalene the ministry of jesus would have been incomplete is completely right but i disagree that it means that women should be ordained. after all, mary magda was not a disciple of christ even though he could have very well chosen her. i think the whole ordination question is like when u tell some naija parents you want to be a nurse and they tell you to be a doctor. y'all feel me that doctors arent really superior to nurses, they may work closely but their work is different and they need each other to make the health care system work, its a symbiotic relationship. i think it is the same way with men and women in the church, men being ordained into the roles of priests and being allowed to say mass and confer sacraments etc etc may have the more 'glamorous' roles, after all they are the ppl we see at mass, as cardinals and as pope but does it mean that women who take holy orders are less important, i think not, their work is just different. but a lot of ppl dont see that they just see as marginalization or patriarchy but they way me i see just like in a marriage, a husband may be the head of the house, but his house will be not be the same without his wife who may not be head but is just as important, and a singer may always be in the limelight but she needs good producers, etc etc etc, are those ppl less important than the singer? i dont think so

and in cases where there is a shortage of priests, nuns can run the parish and just have another priest come say mass.

in summary, men and women for the most part are called to different roles in the church, both of which are equally important

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I've enjoyed the inputs so far and hope that others would give their views as well.

The Islamic perception in this regard is appreciated based on the tenet of that faith. It may be that women are found in so many areas of public life and leadership, even Muslim women making more push for political leadership today; but it may help to elucidate more on the reasons as to why in Islam they CANNOT be political leaders - delineating the consequences otherwise for this.

Since it is an open Forum, I should well consider and appreciate the views of our non-religious bloggers as well. Seun has a very observant point in the "compassion" that women are often associated with; and that's something for our religious leaders to consider. The "entertainment" aspect of it all seems to me a bit facetious, but there again, your say.

There's substance as well in raising the point that all twelve disciples chosen by Jesus Christ were men; although it's clear in reading the Bible that He very well respected and upheld the place and value of women in society and the home. Given that, I also wonder that men were specifically chosen as His apostles in His earthly ministry, and that trend seemed to have been carried over as a matter of course into the Church. It's also significant that women carried the news of His resurrection to the rest of the disciples. Anyone has anything to remark here? (TV01, thanks for your views in the sister thread to this topic - I deliberately separated them as I'd like to see views on how women are valued in both religions as distinct from this one on the question of female ordination specifically).

On the whole, it would seem that there's a more concerted puch for the ordination of female clerics in churches and mosques in contemporary times. Perhaps we should ask a pertinent question in this regard:

Should it matter at all what the Scriptures (Qur'an and Bible) say about this issue, or the agenda should be carried regardless

of what the holy writs stipulate?

Keep it coming guys.

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Mlks_baby

Islam recognizes women as equal to man in piety, good deeds, and being a person. But Islam also acknowledges the differences in physiology, psychology, and anatomy as well as role, of women and men in society. So, while it is not compulsory for a woman to cook for her husband, feed the children, take care of the house in Islam, they are encouraged to do so to seek the pleasure of God, and their husbands. The husbands are also encouraged to pay them for those services. But Islam clearly stipulates that a woman CANNOT be the political leader of a society, and warns of the severity of the consequences of this happening.

Therefore, a woman cannot be an Imam since she can't be a political leader, and the Imam is both the political and religious leader of a community. I can't speak for christianity, but as regards the Islamic position, I will encourage my wife to get to the top of her career if she is in the education line, health or business, but I will never allow her into politics.

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Whether a woman should be ordained priest or imam is just being discussed because the church and mosque has failed in their duty of giving the word of God. We are in a period of church or mosque business. That is why seun is talking about competition. Competiton in giving God's word and instruction to his people? Competion  for what?

Compassion for people that are living in sin, so that they will perish, lucifer will love this.

In the days of Jeremaiah, Isaiah, Deborah, Esther and Amos, etc. they were chosen by God to deliver his word and Instructions to his people, there was no competition. They were not ordained by man. When God choose them, God gave them the instrument to work for Him. If God choose a man or a woman to deliver his word, the person will do it and people around will know that. There are woman chosen by God; Esther, Deborah, Ruth, etc. They performed their duty crditably.  They were not made leader of the people or Priest in the synagogue just because they are called by God.

If a woman is called by God let her do her duty, God made man the head of the family. A woman can exist without actually being the head of a church or mosque and without being ordained.

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Hi Drusilla,

Following on from your quote above, may I ask why?

God bless

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I think there are female pastors all over now, like pastor Bimbo or is that different, isn't dat ordained? correct me if am wrong.

Well i am sure it is allowed in christianity, but in islam NO it hasn't happened, and it will NEVER happen. a woman cannot lead a congregation in prayer, thus cannot be an imam.

You know muslim women are still very local and submissive, so would rather be un-heard.

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Please see my post in "The Value Of Women In Islam And Christianity" for the essence of my response to this question.

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women should not headed such kind of leadership at all and when such happens we are all dead in terms of everythings,because they created from our left ribs part of our body.

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Rubbish!Women were very much a part of Jesus ministry.Without them,there would've been no ministry of Jesus christ.And who was the Apostle of the apostles?Yeah,MARY MAGDALENE!

I do not know about the muslims,but christians should let women be ordained.

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If you read the bible very well, you will know that Jesus first revealed himself to a WOMAN. According to Luke; Three women.

Mary Magdalene, Mary Mother of Jesus and Mary Mother of James.

There was not Henry at the tomb.

Hell yeah-women should be ordained. Like men are doing such a great job,

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Once upon a time, pastors believed they were messengers of God and their only duty was to deliver commands to their church-members. But as competition increased, pastors decided to add entertainment to the package. This benefits the members because church services are now more interesting. You get more value for your tithes!

If women are allowed to become pastors and Imams, they are likely to bring a new dimension to the practice. Maybe compassion. That compassion will tend to draw people from the churches with male leaders to the churches with female leaders. In order to retain more members, the male pastors will be forced to inculcate that element of compassion in their own ministries. This will benefit the church members: they'll get more value for their tithes.

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i dont think they should be ordained.When Jesus was choosing his disciples,he didnt choose any woman.women were around but i think he had a reason.this question is somehow.but to be on a safer side,i think they should not be ordained

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No women should not be ordained to head churches.

But that is just my personal preference.

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