HomeNewsWhat Does The Bible Say About Women Pastors

What Does The Bible Say About Women Pastors

Women Should Dress Modestly

What Does The Bible Say About Women Pastors??

This command isnt specifically related to false teachings in Ephesus, but it underscores how Paul is, again, chiefly concerned with behavior that divides or disrupts. Women, like men, should not be showing off their wealth. Elaborate hairstyles meant you had servants to do your hair, and hours of free time every morning for them to do it.

Is This An Infringement On Human Dignity

Emphasis on human dignity has continued to rise over the past fifty years and rightfully so which has led to positive reform in many areas of society. However, we must humbly ask, does an emphasis on human dignity and gender equality have to rewrite Gods design for gender roles?

We most certainly can fight for human rights while upholding Gods beautiful design for marriage, the home, and the Church. Gender distinctions do not immediately equal human rights abuses or inequality. In fact, one could argue that false victimization can lead us to places we do not want to end up theologically or societally. All people of all colors, genders, and races are to be seen as equal image-bearers of God. None of that changes gender roles in Gods design. There are specific things God has called each sex to fulfill in the fullest sense. We do well to follow His design.

John MacArthur, The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: 1 Timothy , 85

The Words That Start The War

Its not always the fact that Paul penned these words that starts hot debate. Egalitarians dont always take issue with Pauls imperative commands, depending on their interpretation. This debate over women not being allowed to hold the role of pastor or elder can even be docile, as long as interpretations stay within certain parameters. There could be more, but here are a few acceptable arguments for egalitarians:

  • Pauls words were only directed at Ephesus because of the local feministic culture.
  • Pauls words were due to the lack of education opportunities for women back then.
  • Pauls words were referencing women who were using authority negatively.
  • In contrast to those interpretations, there is one interpretation that isnt as widely acceptable as it once was. This is that Pauls words were applicable then, and now. He was laying down a timeless principle for church leadership across all ages, not just at Ephesus.

    Is there a biblical foundation for such a position? To find out, unbiased interpretative steps are key. No matter how a passage makes us feel, we need to submit to what Scripture says.

    Lets answer some basic questions then decide if its biblical for women to be pastors and elders.

    Read Also: Do Unto Others Bible Verse

    Women Pastorswhat Does The Bible Say

    • Shane Idleman

    Let me begin by saying that I know and appreciate many women who have been recognized as pastors. They are diligent, steadfast, and hard-working. Our country has done a great disservice to women over the years by not elevating and supporting women in roles of leadership. Alexander Strauch echoes this same concern, In the minds of contemporary people, excluding women from church eldership is sexist, discriminatory, and one more example of male dominance. But this need not be the case. No one who truly loves people, who is sensitive to Gods Word, and who is aware of the painful dehumanization that women have suffered worldwide would want to discriminate against women.

    Women are one of the greatest gifts that God has given the world. But in our passion to promote women , have we overstepped the Scriptures? Its not uncommon for the church, as a whole, to over-correct itself when abuse occurs.

    First, we must understand that the loving, nurturing role of a woman is vital to the health of the church in the same way that it is vital to the health of a child. God has designed the male-female relationship to complement one another one gender is not better than the other, but we do have different roles. To reject these God-given differences can lead to an unbalanced view.

    But what does the Bible say?

    Does The Bible Address Women’s Rights

    God lifts women in a beautiful way and offers a strong set of rights. In Genesis 3, Eve chose to eat the apple. Hello free choice. The outcome of her resulting action, as well as Adams, proved to be the birthing ground for sinnot such a beautiful thing. However, womens free choice stood as an option from the beginning.

    Females, like males, are made in Gods likeness and image according to Genesis 1:27. In Galatians 3:23-29 there is neither male nor female in Christ. All are heirs to the promise. Not only are women given the right to be children of God, but they are given the right to pray as well as be forgiven, healed, delivered, loved, and counseled by the Holy Spirit. They lead like Deborah and minister and teach like Priscilla. They are mothers, wives, daughters, and more.

    In New Testament parables, the Lord threads stories of women who sought audience with Jesus and received it. Their voices were heard. These women were seen, healed, provided for, and delivered. Often, Jesus interaction with women flowed against the tradition and understanding of society. But man-made rules didnt stop Jesuswomen either.

    Read Also: Does Alexa Read The Bible

    So Does The Bible Condone Women In Other Offices Of The Church

    That is a very good question and, once again, the answer to that question is not unanimous. There are some who believe that 1 Timothy 2:12 forbids a woman to be a senior pastor, it does not forbid the ordination of women to the office. Others, feel that a woman can serve as an associate pastor or in another expression of pastoral ministry. There are others still, who believe that the office of deacon is open to women. Usually, those who hold this position point to the great female figure in the New Testament, Phoebe. She most certainly is identified as carrying out diaconal ministry. Others, point to 1 Tim. 3:1-7 ).

    Paul says that “their wives likewise must be dignified, not slanderous, but sober minded, faithful in all things.” Why are deacons given this requirement and not elders? A survey of the New Testament provides further insight to this question. The deacon was required to be involved with the women of the church, for example, the distribution of support to widows, and, obviously, other ministries that are necessary but not mentioned. The elders principal duty is the teaching of the Word of God and the spiritual and doctrinal oversight of the flock. Therefore, the apostle Paul focused his comments on the work of the deacon and the necessity, if he were to be married, of a wife who is trustworthy in dealing with such sensitive, confidential matters within the body of Christ.

    Apostles In The New Testament

    Apostles were not pastors or elders. The word apostle means messenger or sent one. They were traveling missionaries. Mark 3, Matthew 10, and Luke 6 all record Jesus calling twelve of his many disciples, or ones who learn, and appointing them apostles to be sent out to preach and to have authority to drive out demons.

    In Luke 10 the exact same language is used when Jesus sends out the seventy-two. The word apostle is not used specifically, but the language and description of their mission is that of an apostle.

    There were no women among the twelve because the twelve served a different purpose than the rest of the apostles. They were representative of the tribes of Israel, to whom Jesus initially brought his message. On the day of Pentecost, with the pouring out of the Holy Spirit, we see a shift, and Jesus message is now going out to the whole world.

    In the last days, God says,I will pour out my Spirit on all people.Your sons and daughters will prophesy.Your young will see visions.Your elders will dream dreams.Even upon my servants, men and women,I will pour out my Spirit in those days,and they will prophesy.

    From this point on, the number and gender of the apostles are no longer relevant. And after Pentecost, the apostles include , listed as a female apostle in Romans 16:7.

    Recommended Reading: What Does Grace Mean In The Bible

    The Purpose Of 1 Timothy

    The major crisis in 1 Timothy is false teaching. This takes up most of the content of the letter, and 1:3 says that Paul left Timothy in Ephesus to command certain people not to teach falsely or continue in myths and endless genealogies. Some people have turned to meaningless talk. They want to be teachers, but they do not know what they are talking about .

    So, what is false teaching? We know not all the apostles had exactly the same ideas. We also know that Paul didnt want people fighting about less central ideas, because his primary concern was that the one faith be preached . That means that the false teachings referenced here were outside the bounds of Christianity.

    Men And Women Of Good Will Differ On The Response

    What Does the Bible Say About Female Pastors?

    Those who believe in the ordination of women into the pastoral ministry might preface their study of 1 Timothy 2 with another important passage. The Apostle Paul taught, there are no male or female, no slave nor free, no Jew or Greek, but we are all one in Christ. All understand this to be true. However, some interpret this to be not only speaking ontologically that is about personhood but also about role relationships. Others draw the distinction between the equality of personhood and the distinction of role relationships. For instance, the apostle Paul clearly is not overthrowing the role relationship of husbands and wives, parents and children, of employers and employees, of civil authority and citizens who must abide by the law. In speaking to the essential personhood: we are all equal before God. Paul’s statement in 1 Timothy 2:12 appears to be a teaching related to role relationships.

    Read Also: Is Maryland Bible College And Seminary Accredited

    Does Paul Address The Role Of Elders In Other Places

    This is where arguments limiting Pauls words in 1 Timothy 2:11-12 to only Ephesus fall flat on their face. To another church on Crete, Paul instructs Titus in a similar way. If Paul wanted to limit the application of his words on elders to just Ephesus, he would not have provided the same list to Titus who was serving the Church at Crete . Upon closer investigation, one can even see that Paul leaves out the phrase able to teach from the list for Titus but does say these overseers must be able to exhort with sound doctrine . It appears that Paul alters the language of his list somewhat. But does Paul adjust the gender? No. If Paul was only advocating for male leadership at Ephesus, and leaving things open ended in other places, then when he adjusted the language in the list to Titus, why did he still insist that elders be the husband of one wife ?

    Gathering intel from other texts like Titus 1 is helpful, but not exhaustive. The question ultimately begs, is this issue limited to being about women and elders, or is there a larger theme at play?

    Surveying the New Testament landscape, a clear theme emerges: God has ordained male headship as the normative pattern, not only in the church, but in the home as well.

    Engaging Views And Analysis From Outside Contributors On The Issues Affecting Society And Faith Today

    CP VOICES do not necessarily reflect the views of The Christian Post. Opinions expressed are solely those of the author.

    Let me begin by saying that I know and appreciate many women who have been recognized as pastors. They are diligent, steadfast, and hard-working. Our country has done a great disservice to women over the years by not elevating and supporting women in roles of leadership. Alexander Strauch echoes this same concern, In the minds of contemporary people, excluding women from church eldership is sexist, discriminatory, and one more example of male dominance. But this need not be the case. No one who truly loves people, who is sensitive to Gods Word, and who is aware of the painful dehumanization that women have suffered worldwide would want to discriminate against women.

    Women are one of the greatest gifts that God has given the world. But in our passion to promote women , have we overstepped the Scriptures? Its not uncommon for the church, as a whole, to over-correct itself when abuse occurs.

    First, we must understand that the loving, nurturing role of a woman is vital to the health of the church in the same way that it is vital to the health of a child. God has designed the male-female relationship to complement one another one gender is not better than the other, but we do have different roles. To reject these God-given differences can lead to an unbalanced view.

    But what does the Bible say?

    Recommended Reading: What Does The Bible Say About Depression

    Take A Look At These Articles And Resources:

    MD

    I hear you, but that is now picking a choosing what you want to believe. Either the word of God is the is sovereign or not. Remember, before Jesus walked the earth Gods spirit guided all the prophets who wrote down the Word of God. In the same way when Jesus ascended into heaven, Gods spirit guided the apostles, Paul included, to write down his words, other instructions and prophesy. The were the mouthpiece of God. Anyone that preaches today preaches what the wrote down. If someone preaches anything else, thats a whole other issue. Now, in no way did God say that a women will can not spread the Gospel and help people find Christ. So, a women acting in the position as an elder or pastor well not cause another to go to hell for sharing the the truth. However, that does not mean that the she is in proper order to the Word of God and Gods will. Remember, anyone can claim that God called them to do something, lying or not. Thats why we have the guide called the Bible to tell who is in order and who is not. So if this is Gods word do you really want to say to him that because of how I felt about what you said I will not follow? If its not the Word of God, then everything you believe is suspect.

    Is It Biblical For Women To Be Pastors Or Elders

    This is a controversial topic that our ministry gets asked about consistently. It tends to incite debate but my encouragement is for Christians on all sides to think Biblically, rather than emotionally. Our aim ought to be to engage Scripture, present truths as best as we can, steer clear of character assaults, and make logical arguments with a generous dose of grace.

    The controversy surrounding women as pastors or elders in a church mostly stems from one specific verse about teaching and authority, and one specific verse about an elders gender. Emphasis has been added in bold below. Here are the controversial passages:

    1 Timothy 2:11-12: A woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness. But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet.

    1 Timothy 3:1-3: It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do. An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife

    When we let the Bible speak authoritatively across all ages, three things are clear:

  • Women are esteemed co-laborers in the faith who share the gospel in many contexts.
  • Men and women are both used by God in powerful ways.
  • Only qualified men can function as pastors and elders.
  • Don’t Miss: Define Love According To The Bible

    What Was A Tentmaker In Biblical Times

    At the time, international mission work was a new and controversial idea in the Church, and tentmaking was the only way for Carey to support his ministry. In the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, the term working clergy is used to denote men who, although assigned or not to a parish, must provide for themselves.

    The Context Of The Verse

    1 Timothy is an open letter from the apostle Paul to Timothy, giving him some public instructions about what Timothy should do in Ephesus . Timothy would not be able to implement these instructions anywhere except in the church, so that is the focus of the letter and its instructions.

    Paul is concerned about what people were teaching in Ephesus , and he urged that believers should pray for everyone, specifically the civil authorities . Paul then gives instructions about how the men should pray: I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling . What does Paul mean by in every place? Taken literally, it would mean that believers should travel throughout the city, to every building and open area, to pray. But we do not take those words literally.

    Additionally, very few Christians believe that men must lift their hands when they pray. Paul may have meant for men to lift their hands, and that is what he said, but we do not take it literally. It was appropriate in his culture, but it is not necessary in ours.

    Then Paul says that women should learn quietly, not teaching the men . But as we have just seen, we do not always take what Paul wrote literally. Therefore, when we come to verse 12, we have to choose: do we take it literally, or do we make allowance for cultural changes? How can we decide?

    Recommended Reading: Troubled Hearts Bible Verses