Is the existence of the Judge Deborah justification for Female Clergy?

I know we are all familiar with the stance on female leadership in the Church for almost its entire history and how women are prohibited from being a Priest/Bishop/Pastor/Elders over the congregation.

But as I was disputing with one of the proponents of female leadership in the Church he brought up this point:
Deborah, in her role as a judge, exegeted Scripture every day, as she ruled in daily cases. And her rulings–from The Law–carried executive authority. On top of that, she was a prophet.

What's your thoughts on the proponents of this stance citing Deborah to prove that Sex roles were more flexible than we think alongside the Female Prophets of God of the Old Testament lambasting the Men at that time. And that even the prescriptions against female clergy isn't as absolute in its force compared to the doctrine of the Trinity.

And this is the situation among the "conservatives":
At the very least, from her case, I see no reason to preclude a woman from teaching in a seminary.

And in reality, we say we’re against women elders, but functionally they operate in that capacity in many cases, even without the title. And I’m talking in conservative ranks.

Foreign missions, prison ministries, military chaplains, hospital chaplains, they’re doing it.


Perhaps this is not as bad as I think. But I find this very disconcerting instinctively. What like the perspectives of EO and RC brethren on this topic? And fellow Protestants too.
 
Last edited:

Uponthisrock

Sparrow
No it is not.
First let's look at the reality of the roles.
Leader of a people compared to leader of a church. The two are not the same.
That we can find an example of a woman leading somewhere in the Bible isn't support for women leaders.
It's a false equivalence in my view.
The time of Judges was tumultuous.
The way that I have always taken it was that the moral position of Israel was so bad that God couldn't find a righteous man to lead.
This is a condemnation for the people at that time, not support for female leadership.
A man has the benefit of receiving good council from his wife and a church can gain much by hearing from any member, but there is divine order to things.
 
I have to tell, that I admire women like Maria Woodworth-Etter,
Kathryn Kuhlman, Aimee Semple McPherson, Marilyn Hickey, and other Evangelists.

I know about criticism surrounding them or any Christian service, but they were simply capable of reaching millions with God's Word.
And that has value and meaning. Only God knows how many people were saved because someone was willing to tell them about Jesus Christ.
 
I have to tell, that I admire women like Maria Woodworth-Etter,
Kathryn Kuhlman, Aimee Semple McPherson, Marilyn Hickey, and other Evangelists.

I know about criticism surrounding them or any Christian service, but they were simply capable of reaching millions with God's Word.
And that has value and meaning. Only God knows how many people were saved because someone was willing to tell them about Jesus Christ.

Evangelism is no problem. Its being a Preacher/Priest/Elder. Its one thing to share the Gospel its entirely different when it comes to teaching and having Authority over Men.
 

Eusebius Erasmus

Kingfisher
Orthodox
Deborah was a political leader who executed the Law of Moses upon her people. She had no ordained priestly role, though she was a prophet. The only argument you can extract from this is that women can be political leaders and prophets. There is no case here for women to be priests or bishops.

Also, wasn’t Deborah appointed a judge in order to shame a prior judge? I could be wrong here.
 
Deborah was a political leader who executed the Law of Moses upon her people. She had no ordained priestly role, though she was a prophet. The only argument you can extract from this is that women can be political leaders and prophets. There is no case here for women to be priests or bishops.

Also, wasn’t Deborah appointed a judge in order to shame a prior judge? I could be wrong here.

Perhaps. Although the Israelites didn't seemed to have been shamed according to the narrative. And this man also said that She was one of the greatest Judges in the history of Israel. And:
Deborah, in her role as a judge, exegeted Scripture every day, as she ruled in daily cases. And her rulings–from The Law–carried executive authority.

Which is identical to his estimation with what a Church Elder/Bishop would do. Although I do believe that her role was a form of Judgment (Isaiah 3:12).

Anyway what's your thoughts on this?
At the very least, from her case, I see no reason to preclude a woman from teaching in a seminary.

And in reality, we say we’re against women elders, but functionally they operate in that capacity in many cases, even without the title. And I’m talking in conservative ranks.

Foreign missions, prison ministries, military chaplains, hospital chaplains, they’re doing it.
 

Eusebius Erasmus

Kingfisher
Orthodox
Deborah, in her role as a judge, exegeted Scripture every day, as she ruled in daily cases. And her rulings–from The Law–carried executive authority
This is not a priestly role. Political rulers are called upon to interpret (exegete) the law for civil and criminal matters. This is clearly defined.

Deborah was not a priest. She did not perform sacraments or sacrifices in the Temple.
 
What do you mean by chaplains?

Women can participate in those ministries, provided they’re subordinate to a male bishop.

So ministering to a male prisoner and preaching the word of God outside of just sharing the Gospel is fine as long as they are subordinate to a male bishop.

And the argument that their role is functionally identical to the role of Elders isn't an valid argument?
 

Eusebius Erasmus

Kingfisher
Orthodox
And the argument that their role is functionally identical to the role of Elders isn't an valid argument?

Not, because it is not 'functionally' identical. That would be like claiming that The President of the United States (POTUS) is also the Metropolitan of the Orthodox Church of America.

The POTUS performs political duties, while the Metropolitan performs religious ones.

Judges performed political duties in Israel, while priests performed religious rites. Also, there are zero 'elders' in the Bible who are women.

Finally, this 'functional equivalency' argument is a form of casuistry, and you should run far away from whoever makes it -- they are purposely twisting the Gospel.
 
Last edited:
Not, because it is not 'functionally' identical. That would be like claiming that The President of the United States (POTUS) is also the Metropolitan of the Orthodox Church of America.

The POTUS performs political duties, while the Metropolitan performs religious ones.

Judges performed political duties in Israel, while priests performed religious rites. Also, there are zero 'elders' in the Bible who are women.

Finally, this 'functional equivalency' argument is a form of casuistry, and you should run far away from whoever makes it -- they are purposely twisting the Gospel.
I guess my instincts about this was right.

And I would think the fact that she was a Prophetess too was cited as proof as to Deborah's religious leadership too not just political. I as if she were a leader like Moses.

Handing down God's word from on high in her own right. Is in addition to what you said earlier is also causistry.
 
Last edited:

Eusebius Erasmus

Kingfisher
Orthodox
I guess my instincts about this was right.

And I would think the fact that she was a Prophetess too was cited as proof as to Deborah's religious leadership too not just political. I as if she were a leader like Moses.

Handing down God's word from on high in her own right. Is in addition to what you said earlier is also causistry.
A prophetess is not a ‘leader’ in the sense you’re thinking of. She provided prophecies, but how does that make her a leader, exactly?
 
I know we are all familiar with the stance on female leadership in the Church for almost its entire history and how women are prohibited from being a Priest/Bishop/Pastor/Elders over the congregation.

But as I was disputing with one of the proponents of female leadership in the Church he brought up this point:


What's your thoughts on the proponents of this stance citing Deborah to prove that Sex roles were more flexible than we think alongside the Female Prophets of God of the Old Testament lambasting the Men at that time. And that even the prescriptions against female clergy isn't as absolute in its force compared to the doctrine of the Trinity.

And this is the situation among the "conservatives":



Perhaps this is not as bad as I think. But I find this very disconcerting instinctively. What like the perspectives of EO and RC brethren on this topic? And fellow Protestants too.
All you need to do is look how quickly the Protestant demoniations fell into sin after allowing female clergy. Abortion, contraception, homosexuality all normalized. Political pundits instead of priests.
No on female clergy. No on deaconesses
 
There's no specific rule in the bible against fire-bombing entire cities, but does that mean it's ok?

Same thing with women in charge, although Japan and Germany survived the fire-bombings.

In fact, part of a curse Isaiah passed on from God was:

My people—infants are their oppressors,
and women rule over them.
--Isaiah 3:12

Deborah seems to be a one-off, an exception that proves the rule. Why? Hard to know, but it's not a norm. Every time someone brings up Deborah I say, "sure, Deborah and .....?" (crickets)
 
Last edited:

The Penitent Man

Woodpecker
There's no specific rule in the bible against fire-bombing entire cities, but does that mean it's ok?

Same thing with women in charge, although Japan and Germany survived the fire-bombings.

In fact, part of a curse Isaiah passed on from God was:


--Isaiah 3:12

Deborah seems to be a one-off, an exception that proves the rule. Why? Hard to know, but it's not a norm. Every time someone brings up Deborah I say, "sure, Deborah and .....?" (crickets)
I’m in agreement women have no place in leadership roles in the same capacity as is reserved for men per scriptures. However, there is another that should be mentioned as food for thought. In Romans 16, Paul refers to Phoebe, described as a deacon. I don’t know exactly what role that entails. I’m not Catholic and without further researching the role in that timeframe, I took it to be a nun-type capacity. Any thoughts?
 

DanielH

Pelican
Orthodox
I’m in agreement women have no place in leadership roles in the same capacity as is reserved for men per scriptures. However, there is another that should be mentioned as food for thought. In Romans 16, Paul refers to Phoebe, described as a deacon. I don’t know exactly what role that entails. I’m not Catholic and without further researching the role in that timeframe, I took it to be a nun-type capacity. Any thoughts?
As far as I'm aware, the only role deaconesses had was to assist in baptizing females so the priests and bishops wouldn't have to look at naked women. Adults don't need to be naked when baptized now so there isn't a use for female deacons. Keep in mind, women were commanded to be silent in church, so they couldn't fulfill the role of a male deacon. There could have been other jobs, but not liturgically, and if there were at any point Paul rebuked that (1 Timothy 2:12).
 
Top