Did Christianity Liberate Women

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Debate #2 Have women been excluded from leadership roles in the Christian Church from the beginning? Yes. Kelly Sebrell In 1 Timothy 2:9-15 it states that he is not “giving permission for a woman to teach or to tell a man what to do,” (Mitchell 2000) because of Eve women were wicked and inferior and that they would be saved if they produced a child and “lived a modest life.” (Mitchell 2000) Women were allowed to join groups called the widows or deaconesses but they were excluded from becoming either bishops or priests. “Women should be silent in all the churches.” (Clark 1998) By the end of the second century, roles that women may have had before no longer had them because the Orthodox Church would not allow them to continue to have those roles. Such roles did not include being a bishop or priest but as a deaconess and widow. The role of “deaconess did not develop until the third century” (Torjesen 1988) and only in the East. “The office of widow” (Torjesen 1988) was never a real office; it was “only a way of life sanctioned by the church for those dependent on her benevolence.” (Torjesen 1988) According to Didascalia XV Jesus excluded women from church offices. According to the church order Didache, the offices were for “apostle, prophet, and teacher.” (Torjesen 1988) Although the Didache does not specifically say woman or man, other church orders do “restrict women to certain roles.” (Torjesen 1988) In the Apostolic Tradition is where it is first found that restrictions were placed on women. Widows were not ordained because they do not “exercise a Eucharistic ministry.” (Torjesen 1988) Sub deacons, readers, and virgins were also excluded from being ordained. Didascalia, was another church order written in the mid thirteenth century, and is the first order that “reflects a major controversy” (Torjesen 1988) on women’s leadership. Widows restrictions
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