Not a week goes by where I do not read about the errant and apostate teachings in the mainline denominations. They are taught to hate Israel. They are taught that the Word of God in not infallible. They are taught that homosexuality is perfectly fine with God, and even appoint gay pastors in their churches.
As my readers know, I am in no way “Politically Correct.” The statement I am about to make will enrage many women in the mainline churches. I must speak truth, and the truth is this: The mainline churches are filled with female pastors, and I believe that the Word of God is very clear that this is not God’s will. Women should not be in positions of authority over men in the church.
Question: “Women pastors / preachers? Can a woman be a pastor or preacher?”
Answer: There is perhaps no more hotly debated issue in the church today than the issue of women serving as pastors/preachers. As a result, it is very important to not see this issue as men versus women. There are women who believe women should not serve as pastors and that the Bible places restrictions on the ministry of women, and there are men who believe women can serve as preachers and that there are no restrictions on women in ministry. This is not an issue of chauvinism or discrimination. It is an issue of biblical interpretation.
The Word of God proclaims, “A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent” (1 Timothy 2:11–12). In the church, God assigns different roles to men and women. This is a result of the way mankind was created and the way in which sin entered the world (1 Timothy 2:13–14). God, through the apostle Paul, restricts women from serving in roles of teaching and/or having spiritual authority over men. This precludes women from serving as pastors over men, which definitely includes preaching to them, teaching them publicly, and exercising spiritual authority over them.
There are many objections to this view of women in pastoral ministry. A common one is that Paul restricts women from teaching because in the first century, women were typically uneducated. However, 1 Timothy 2:11–14nowhere mentions educational status. If education were a qualification for ministry, then the majority of Jesus’ disciples would not have been qualified. A second common objection is that Paul only restricted the women of Ephesus from teaching men (1 Timothy was written to Timothy, the pastor of the church in Ephesus). Ephesus was known for its temple to Artemis, and women were the authorities in that branch of paganism—therefore, the theory goes, Paul was only reacting against the female-led customs of the Ephesian idolaters, and the church needed to be different. However, the book of 1 Timothy nowhere mentions Artemis, nor does Paul mention the standard practice of Artemis worshipers as a reason for the restrictions in 1 Timothy 2:11–12.
A third objection is that Paul is only referring to husbands and wives, not men and women in general. The Greek words for “woman” and “man” in 1 Timothy 2 could refer to husbands and wives; however, the basic meaning of the words is broader than that. Further, the same Greek words are used in verses 8–10. Are only husbands to lift up holy hands in prayer without anger and disputing (verse 8)? Are only wives to dress modestly, have good deeds, and worship God (verses 9–10)? Of course not. Verses 8–10 clearly refer to all men and women, not just husbands and wives. There is nothing in the context that would indicate a narrowing to husbands and wives in verses 11–14.
Yet another objection to this interpretation of women in pastoral ministry is in relation to women who held positions of leadership in the Bible, specifically Miriam, Deborah, and Huldah in the Old Testament. It is true that these women were chosen by God for special service to Him and that they stand as models of faith, courage, and, yes, leadership. However, the authority of women in the Old Testament is not relevant to the issue of pastors in the church. The New Testament Epistles present a new paradigm for God’s people—the church, the body of Christ—and that paradigm involves an authority structure unique to the church, not for the nation of Israel or any other Old Testament entity.
Similar arguments are made using Priscilla and Phoebe in the New Testament. In Acts 18, Priscilla and Aquila are presented as faithful ministers for Christ. Priscilla’s name is mentioned first, perhaps indicating that she was more prominent in ministry than her husband. Did Priscilla and her husband teach the gospel of Jesus Christ to Apollos? Yes, in their home they “explained to him the way of God more adequately” (Acts 18:26). Does the Bible ever say that Priscilla pastored a church or taught publicly or became the spiritual leader of a congregation of saints? No. As far as we know, Priscilla was not involved in ministry activity in contradiction to 1 Timothy 2:11–14.
In Romans 16:1, Phoebe is called a “deacon” (or “servant”) in the church and is highly commended by Paul. But, as with Priscilla, there is nothing in Scripture to indicate that Phoebe was a pastor or a teacher of men in the church. “Able to teach” is given as a qualification for elders, but not for deacons (1 Timothy 3:1–13; Titus 1:6–9).
The structure of 1 Timothy 2:11–14 makes the reason why women cannot be pastors perfectly clear. Verse 13 begins with “for,” giving the “cause” of Paul’s statement in verses 11–12. Why should women not teach or have authority over men? Because “Adam was created first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived” (verses 13–14). God created Adam first and then created Eve to be a “helper” for Adam. The order of creation has universal application in the family (Ephesians 5:22–33) and in the church.
The fact that Eve was deceived is also given in 1 Timothy 2:14 as a reason for women not serving as pastors or having spiritual authority over men. This does not mean that women are gullible or that they are all more easily deceived than men. If all women are more easily deceived, why would they be allowed to teach children (who are easily deceived) and other women (who are supposedly more easily deceived)? The text simply says that women are not to teach men or have spiritual authority over men because Eve was deceived. God has chosen to give men the primary teaching authority in the church.
Many women excel in gifts of hospitality, mercy, teaching, evangelism, and helps. Much of the ministry of the local church depends on women. Women in the church are not restricted from public praying or prophesying (1 Corinthians 11:5), only from having spiritual teaching authority over men. The Bible nowhere restricts women from exercising the gifts of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12). Women, just as much as men, are called to minister to others, to demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22–23), and to proclaim the gospel to the lost (Matthew 28:18–20; Acts 1:8; 1 Peter 3:15).
God has ordained that only men are to serve in positions of spiritual teaching authority in the church. This is not because men are necessarily better teachers or because women are inferior or less intelligent (which is not the case). It is simply the way God designed the church to function. Men are to set the example in spiritual leadership—in their lives and through their words. Women are to take a less authoritative role. Women are encouraged to teach other women (Titus 2:3–5). The Bible also does not restrict women from teaching children. The only activity women are restricted from is teaching or having spiritual authority over men. This precludes women from serving as pastors to men. This does not make women less important, by any means, but rather gives them a ministry focus more in agreement with God’s plan and His gifting of them. – source
My husband and I went to a Baptist church one time a couple of years ago. We had met the main pastor and really liked him. The only thing holding us back was that the pastor ordained women as pastors and the head of the elders was a woman.
We finally went to the church. During a baby dedication, a woman pastor gave “Jesus Calling” to the parents as a gift from the church. I could hardly sit in my seat. I wanted to jump up and say NO!! My husband held my hand tightly. He was thinking the same thing as I was, but has a cooler head than I do most of the time.
We Must Follow the Word of God
God does not change. His Word does not change. Times may change, but that does not mean that we are to attempt to make things more in “tune” with the times. Actually, as things change for the worse, we are to impact our society with the unchanging Word of God! This is why “seeker” churches are so very dangerous.
The Role of Women in the Church
It is clear that women should teach other women in the church. The older women are to teach the younger to love their husbands. Women are not restricted from teaching children in church.
We are Equal in God’s eyes but we have different roles
God is not demeaning women with these teachings from the Word. He is clearly giving instruction about how He wants His church to function. Just like in marriage, the Word says that the woman’s covering is the man, and the man’s covering is Jesus. The Word instructs men to love their wives as Jesus loves the Church. The Word instructs women to respect their husbands.
God knows best. He is God and we are NOT.
11 thoughts on “Women Pastors In the Body of Christ? The Word of God Clearly Says NO”
Excellent teaching. All Christians need to get back to scripture. Trying to be a “culturally relevant” church is absolutely no excuse and it shows a profound lack of faith in our Father.
Fantastic, for a woman to write truthfully on this sensitive topic, I lift off my hat to you! Well done! The church needs more women line you!
Reblogged this on Truth2Freedom's Blog.
BRAVO and AMEN! Geri, you are so very accurate on our roles as men and women in the church and at home. It is so refreshing to hear another woman proclaiming scriptural truths! I so enjoy all of your posts. Blessings!
have to agree to disagree on this. There ARE cultural and language applications to the verses that you mentioned.
We absolutely MUST agree to disagree. My only source is the Word of God. We are equal in the eyes of God, but we have different roles.
Good, Godly, reaffirming teaching.
Going to have to agree to disagree here.
I take the scriptures at face value and literally. I’m not debating woman are effective leaders over men as Heads of State, Managers, supervisors, and whatnot. Just not over a man in regards to spiritual matters. Look at the church in Iran. It is led mostly by women who are very ferocious. In many regards they are the strength of the church there. Yet they still will submit to their husbands (who are also believers) as well as have only men in pastoral positions. (for the most part) There are exceptions to be sure. I myself would not be in a church under a woman pastor. The scriptures convict me not to be. Deborah was a judge indeed, but not a Levite priest. She could not do the functions of a priest. In-fact she would have been put to death had she tried.
And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. 1 Timothy 2:12
This is one of many scriptures as you well know, I’m sure. Go through them in the original Greek using Greek grammatical logic. Not just a Strong’s for root word definitions, but break out a few lexicons and dig deeply in. The points conveyed by Paul are quite literal. All this despite being of a first century mindset, it nevertheless is inspired scripture and not subject to modification because of modern standards.
Actually, going back to the original Greek & grammar of 1 Timothy 2:12 reveals a very different picture. Grammatically, he switches from speaking to people in general to addressing a single woman (whereas “women” and “men” are used in earlier verses, here “woman” and “man” are used). The word “teach” is grammatically unconnected to the word “man”; Paul is forbidding this woman from teaching period, gender has no part in it. The Greek word translated as “authority” originally meant murder, and came to mean dominant/domineering authority in a negative sense. For example, Polycarp used the same word when telling husbands how NOT to treat their wives.
And “silence” means “calm or relaxed”.
Another interesting thing is that there were a small number of instances where Paul stated that the opinion he just espoused – such as the virtues of celibacy – were entirely his own opinion, and not actually a commandment. And he prefaces 1 Timothy 2:12 with “I do not permit”.
ἐν ἡσυχίᾳ Stephanus 1550 Yes correct, Stillness as in not making noise at all. It most definitely has meaning to audible sound. Quiet (not total silence) is the best English word here I think.
As far as Paul (in this particular passage) laying command or opinion that is very inconclusive to either point of view to be honest. Also to better support your point of view the usage in the Greek could mean I do not [now] allow OR I do not [ever] allow. However here it is also inconclusive.
In my interpenetration, I’m using the overall arch of scripture to determine the point of view which I hold as truth as I read. There are many scriptures that convey why women should not be pastors. I’ll give you this. It is a very complicated issue and point of contention withing some of the body. This is one of those issues that I would love to sit with you face to face, hours on with lexicons and pencils out. However, in the confines of the text based internet it’s next to impossible to do as there are not enough hours in the day for me to give it attention.
Keep in mind the most ardent supporters of why women should not have spiritual authority over men, are women. My wife, who I’ll add knows scripture probably better than I will defend this passionately herself. In fact by my wife submitting to me in quietness (stillness) in a round about way she is teaching me of the order of God by example. And as I type this My wife Marie chimed in Here is her direct quote:
” When I submit to you I am submitting to the Lord. The more I love Jesus the more I can love others. I am being obedient to Him not to my flesh”
This has been accepted Christian doctrine for 2000 years throughout eastern and western cultures. Why now all of the sudden (last 50 years or so) must we conform the Word of God to man and not conform man to the Word of God? If I had doubts (I don’t) about my view point I would err on the side of caution and accept the historic interpretations.
God be with you!
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