A Question I Was Asked:



What About Women Pastors? What About Conversion?






The Questions:

1...Reading your interview; you said you had always known God all your life, does this mean there was no point in particular that you asked the Lord to be your Saviour?

2. What is your take on a woman minister (pastor)? Does the Bible really forbid this; if so, when the Bible talks about the different gifts for believers did it exclude women from the teaching/pastoring gifts?

3. How about water baptism after ones conversion? Is it truly a baptism into the membership of a local assembly, so that if one who has been baptized by immersion after accepting Jesus as saviour who later relocates to a different country and joins another Bible believing church cannot be accepted as a member unless he/she is rebaptised by that church?


UK Apologetics Reply:

Okay. Let us take your questions one by one:

1. Reading your interview; you said you had always known God all your life, does this mean there was no point in particular that you asked the Lord to be your saviour?

This thing about 'inviting the Lord into your life,' or, 'just say this prayer in your heart after me...' is a modern idea rooted in Finneyism and the more modern form of evangelism which came out of the early 20th century United States. Traditional Christian evangelism had a proper focus on true repentance, a word which is now hardly ever used even though it (repentance) must come before true Christian conversion. There were points (more than one) when I prayed the prayer of repentance and I believe the Lord accepted me. I don't think I ever actually claimed to have "known God all my life" (as you suggest), but I certainly believed in God from a child, and, also from a child, I believed implicitly in Jesus as I learned more about Him. Was there a specific point when I "asked the Lord to be my Saviour"? Yes, but I always asked this, or made this request. People today seem to want to find a specific point when one is "saved," they look for some specific great experience when heaven and earth opened and the angels sang. No - nothing like that. I followed the older path of repentance and conversion, plus, of course, the ongoing repentance necessary for all of us. This too no longer seems to be taught. Yes, I believe that I am 'reborn from above' (or, 'born again' - the original Greek allows either way of expressing it). The good Lord certainly granted me the gift of faith. Later, there was another theologically-fuller repentance stage around 1994-5 when I finally properly grasped justification by faith alone. Before then my understanding had been much too legalistic. It dawned on me that I was denying Christ by my legalism - it had to go! Prior to that, I thought I understood justification by faith alone but I did not fully grasp it until then. From that point, all the residual legalism was kicked into touch.

2. What is your take on a woman minister (pastor)? Does the Bible really forbid this; if so, when the Bible talks about the different gifts for believers did it exclude women from the teaching/pastoring gifts?

I honestly and sincerely believe that the office of pastor is for men. The route to becoming a pastor was always the office of 'elder,' an office only open to more mature men, preferably (though not fully necessarily) married with a child or two. All these beliefs are rooted in Paul and in his advice to Timothy. Today people want to change things in the church because society has changed and because of what is called, 'the emancipation of women.' Sorry - that is not good enough! Let society change anything it wants but - as Christians - we should not be influenced by those things. Of course, women are not excluded from the Gifts - far from it, but there are other areas in which they can serve with their particular gifts.

I know cases in which Christian witness would have entirely vanished from a small village but for the activity of two or three women - that is wholly commendable; such faithful women are to be greatly admired. I recall speaking to such a lady several years ago; she had - effectively - become the Christian leader in her tiny Welsh village, but it was by default, this wonderful little widow longed for a man to come along to take the leadership but no one did. Of course ladies have gifts which they should use, but where there is a Christian congregation of good numbers, a male pastor should - in my opinion - always be sought. I have already written about these matters at length elsewhere. Do a 'search' at the top of our homepage on something like 'elder' and several things should come up.

3. How about water baptism after ones conversion; is it truly a baptism into the membership of a local assembly, so that if one who has been baptized by immersion after accepting Jesus as saviour who later relocates to a different country and joins another Bible believing church cannot be accepted as a member unless he/she is rebaptised by that church?

Baptism is not - absolutely NOT - about joining a new congregation! One is baptized once - and once only - upon becoming a Christian, setting out upon a lifelong path of striving to be faithful and obedient to God and the Lord Jesus Christ! But if one comes to a fuller understanding later, should not one be re-baptized? Absolutely not! Our understanding (hopefully) will always be growing anyway as we remain believers. The idea that one should be baptized into a particular assembly almost certainly came from the cults and sects. It does not matter which country one goes to; a new pastor may well ask if one has already been baptized. he should accept the answer one gives in faith and trust, without seeking to investigate further. Of course, if raised an Anglican/Episcopalian and later becoming a baptist, a pastor will probably insist on one undergoing immersion baptism. Of course, it does not have to be total immersion; some very sick people cannot undergo total immersion baptism. Baptism itself does not save us; let us not magnify it beyond its New Testament position.

Robin A. Brace. June 5th, 2012.


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