Are Women Pastors Biblical?

POSITIONAL/FUNCTIONAL GENDER EQUALITY REFUTED

WOMEN PASTORS ARGUMENTS - FOR AND AGAINST

Born-again men and women are both heirs of the grace of life, (1 Peter 3:7) and the church is to harmoniously pray and worship together, (Act 2:14; 4:24) and both will be rewarded according to their own labor. (1Cor. 3:8). Men and women are both given certain spiritual gifts (1Cor. 12), and women can lead women in singing. (Exo. 15:20), and may share what God has revealed, but only in a manner and context which clearly signifies her submission to the male. (see Acts 21:9; 18:24-26; 1Cor. 11:4,5) They can publicly tell others about Christ, (Lk. 2:36-38; Jn. 4:28,29), and support those who work in ministry, (Lk. 8:3; Phil. 4:3). can even help to personally disciple a man, such as in a home, with and under their husband or father. (Acts 18:24-26) Mature Godly women can teach other women, (Titus 2:3-5), and women can also work hard in secular business, (Prov. 31; Acts 16:14) with all propriety, but are never to have authority or rule over men (1Cor. 14:34,35; 1Tim. 2:11-15) except perhaps in instances of extraordinary necessity (Judges 4:1-5).

However, today submission is seen as an unclean thing, yet just as in the Godhead, so in the church and home God has established and upheld positional/functional distinctions between males and females from the beginning:

thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee” (Gn. 3:16).

But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God” (1Cor. 11:3). .

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.

For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it” (Eph. 5:22-25).

Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.* For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety” (1Tim. 2:11-15).

A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)” (1Tim. 3:2-5).

(Isa 3:12) "As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths."

Though Scripture is very clear regarding the issue of gender equality relative to women over men and pastoral authority (functional equivalence), there are always those who, like the sons of Korah (Ex. 16), suppose that those whom God has charged with overseeing the flock of God (men), take too much upon themselves. Below are the principal texts which promoters of what i call Positional Gender Equality (PGE) seek to use, and Scriptural refutations of such misappropriations of Scripture. The spurious nature of the arguments for women pastors (save for the exception clause of Judges ch. 4, 5), with their manifest eisegesis (reading into a text), itself argues against the notion of positional gender equality. The basic premise behind the PGE polemic has no real substance, being built upon silence, or unwarranted interpretations from anecdotal and other texts, and is contrary to the express doctrinal statements to the contrary.

The doctrine of male headship over the women, and over the church, is well substantiated, but it does not to limit women serving God in accordance with their respective role, in which there is holy liberty. And as both genders to live out their born again faith within their respective roles after the Divine order (1Cor. 11:3), it helps enable (along with other obedience) such true holy liberty, and the fulness of the manifestation of God (as much as can be) through the church. All to the glory of God the Father, through our Lord Jesus Christ, and by His Holy Spirit


TABLE OF CONTENTS (click on titles in Web version)

1. Two books of the Bible are named after women.

6. Women first to share good news.

11. Aquilla and Priscilla co-pastors

16. Woman to learn in silence not applicable.

2. Redemption negates these effects of the fall.

7. Old Testament male positional supremacy abolished.

12. Women were fellow preachers with Paul.

17. All Christians exhorted to teach.

3. Male pronoun universal.

8. John ch. 4; Use of women evangelist allows being a pastor.

13. Women in church prophesying/preaching

18. Requirement for female silence not universal.

4. Deborah a womenjudge.

9. God is no respecter of persons.

14. Speech restrictions on women not applicable..

19. Requirements for bishops not gender specific.

5. Female prophets = pastors over men.

10. Women pastored church in Phillippi

15. No difference between male or female.

20. Abigail

21. 1 Cor. 14:34, 35

22. Commentaries

Summation


1. Liberal

Scripture Texts

Refutation:

Two books of the Bible are named after women (Esther Ruth).

Old Testament books of Esther and Ruth

Not a valid argument. Christians are named after Christ in Scripture (Acts 11:26; Ja. 2:7), but that does mean the that they have any higher position than that what the Bible provides them, in which is it explicitly stated that “the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God” (1Cor. 11:3). Like a man and a women, the Son does not have a higher position than (or equal to) the Father (Jn. 14:28; 1Cor. 15:28), though possessing the same supreme Divine nature. And much less does the church possess equality with Christ, nor the women positional equality with the man. It is after the blessed Divine order that the relationship between Christ and His Church and husband and his wife is clearly ordered. TOP

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2. Liberal

Scriptures

Refutation:

Genesis 3:16: The husband will rule over the wife. This role of subordination is part of the curse of sin after the fall, and does not represent God’s original intent for male/female relationships. Since it is not God’s original intent, women should be allowed to be pastors. Jesus death and resurrection released humanity from the curse brought about by sin.

(Gen 3:16) "Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

Genesis 3:6: The headship of the man is not part of the curse of sin, The primacy of the man is stated by the Holy Spirit to be creational, not situational “For Adam was first formed, then Eve” (1Tim. 2:13), which 1Cor 11:1-10 also states, as the women was originally made a help meet for man. It was Adam who named Eve, and after the fall God calls Adam, the head of Eve, and who God held responsible for the fall. (Rm. 5).

The fall did strengthen the necessary dominance of the man, but the redemption of Christ does not free one from such necessary subjection in this life, any more then it frees women from the pain of child birth (Gn. 3:16).

The headship of the man enables man and women to enjoy their uniquely compatible and complementary (and somewhat symbiotic) relationship. God the Father and the Son are equal in their essential uncreated nature, and the male and female are also in theirs, but there is a positional distinction which is ordained of God, and thus it is holy, just and good. TOP

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3. Liberal

Scripture

Refutation:

Deuteronomy 24:1-4 with Mark 10:12, etc.

In the absence of other constraints, norms which utilize male oriented terminology ought to be understood as applying to both men and women.

Example: compare Deuteronomy 24:1-4 with Mark 10:12. The verses in Deuteronomy mention men divorcing their wives, but in Mark 10:12 Jesus specifically mentions both sexes.

Another example is Numbers 12:6-8 God refers to a prophet in the masculine. In keeping with standard ancient practice, this job description is mentioning men (“HIM”), but God is addressing the concerns of the prophetess Miriam! Exodus 15:20 states that Miriam is a prophetess, and she is being addressed by God in Numbers 12:6-8. consequently if other biblical texts could be shown to prohibit women from serving in church offices, 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1 would not be in disagreement. If such bible verses do not exist, the language of 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1 cannot be an adequate basis for assuming such a prohibition. 

(Deu 24:1) "When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house."

(Mark 10:12) "And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery."

Mark 10:12: cannot be used to favor women in leadership. Mark was evidently written to the Romans (and slaves in particular), which allowed women to divorce men, and the Lord addresses that allowance due to that allowance, but this does not negate the fact that the original command was for the husband, as Biblically man is the head of the women from the beginning. The reason God almost universally addresses men in delegating responsibility where corporate issues are involved is because man is recognized as the head by God, who is above all, and who always refers to Himself as male.

In Numbers 12:6-8, the situation is that of addressing the rebellion led by both Aaron and Miriam, and the issue of being a valid prophet. And in which God does not validate Miriam's claim, but uniquely punishes her in contrast with Aaron, and established Moses as “the man of God.” As only in an exceedingly rare case in extraordinary situation did a women rule over Israel, and as women ruling over them is a mark of judgment (Isaiah 3:12), the use of the male pronoun in Num. 126 is additionally fitting. neither this, nor other examples where “he” includes women in any way

As for Miriam's charism (gift) of prophecy, such things (or negatively, things like selfish covetousness) do not denote leadership, and as seen in the example of Aaron and Miriam, charisms do not necessarily equate character.

Regarding the specific attempts to negate the express qualifications of 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1 for pastors based upon the fact that the use of the male pronoun can sometimes include women, the problem here is that there are clear constraints., again, every time the issue of who is to be head of the marriage or of a church is clearly addressed the male is “constrained” to assume leadership by the explicit command of God (Gn. 3:16; 1Cor. 11:3).

If we indiscriminately use the hermeneutic the proponents of PGE invoke, then no distinctions could be made between males and females including “a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” (Gn. 2:24). While this also applies to the women in the sense that she also is “leave and cleave” in marriage, it is directed toward the male, as the woman was created for the man” (1Cor. 11:9), and in Scripture it is the man who arranges for the bride (Gn. 24; 1Cor. 7:36, 37).

Thus the express commands of God that make the man the head of his wife, and make males the head of His church is in no way negated by the false feminist foisted hermeneutic upon Scripture, which allows the male pronoun to eliminate positional distinctions between male and female when desired. And despite similar attempts to “wrest” Scriptures as the unlearned and unstable do (2Pet. 3:16), it is clear that Biblical texts do in fact prohibit women from serving in leadership, in authority and teaching, over men TOP

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4. Liberal

Scripture

Refutation:

Judges ch. 4, 5: Deborah was a judge, which was the highest spiritual office of that time. This position would compare to an apostle in the dis-pensation. Proverbs 31:10-31 These verses reject the traditional model of marriage.

(Judg 4:4-9) "And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, she judged Israel at that time. {5} And she dwelt under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in mount Ephraim: and the children of Israel came up to her for judgment. {6} And she sent and called Barak the son of Abinoam out of Kedeshnaphtali, and said unto him, Hath not the LORD God of Israel commanded, saying, Go and draw toward mount Tabor, and take with thee ten thousand men of the children of Naphtali and of the children of Zebulun? {7} And I will draw unto thee to the river Kishon Sisera, the captain of Jabin's army, with his chariots and his multitude; and I will deliver him into thine hand. {8} And Barak said unto her, If thou wilt go with me, then I will go: but if thou wilt not go with me, then I will not go. {9} And she said, I will surely go with thee: notwithstanding the journey that thou takest shall not be for thine honour; for the LORD shall sell Sisera into the hand of a woman. And Deborah arose, and went with Barak to Kedesh."

Deborah the judge (Jdg. ch. 4, 5): The context here was that Israel was in a backslidden state, in which the law of God was largely forgotten, and Israel wold end up doing what was "right in his own eyes" (17:6; 21:25). It was a judgment against Israel's enemy that the Lord would deliver Sisera into the hand of a woman (4:9), as that was a shameful thing. And it was Barak that the women of faith exhorted to lead the battle (4:14). Yet this was not to be a continual thing, and exceptions borne of necessity do not establish God's perfect will. The days of the apostles were days in which the template for the church was laid, in which Jesus choose no women apostles, and no women were ordained as Bishops/Elders, and which Biblical faithfulness we are to seek.

There are times, such as in the case of a single parent, when one gender may have to assume a role that he/she is not ordained for by nature. Ecclesiastically, a mature born again women pastor would likely be better in many respects than a spiritually dead Catholic priest (as an example), though the Godly women will seek out and quickly accede leadership to the spiritual man. Even though good can result out of abnormal situations, in the end there will be aberrations that would have been avoided if both men and women exercised their respective roles faithfully. We are to seek God's will to be done on earth, as it is in Heaven, from there the distinctions between man and women in regards to leadership flows. TOP

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5. Liberal

Scripture

Refutation:

Joel 2:28-29: God appoints female prophet = female pastors. cf. Acts 2:17-18:

(Joel 2:28) "And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:"

Joel 2:28-29: A gift (or charism) does not equal position (nor even character), and a bishop/elder or pastor is a position. The word prophesying does not necessarily mean preaching (or "forth-telling"), but often means foretelling, which women could do (1 Cor. 12). But again neither forth-telling nor foretelling necessarily entails being in a position of authority (Acts 21:8, 9), nor that one is assured to salvation (Jude 11). Leaders like Samuel were more than simply prophets. TOP

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6. Liberal

Scripture

Refutation:

Matthew 28:5-8: The angel told the 2 women to tell Jesus followers that Jesus has risen from the dead. This Is the 1st expression of the great commission and it was given to women.

(Mat 28:5-8) "And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. {6} He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. {7} And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you. {8} And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word."

Matthew 28:5-8: The headship of the man is not part of the curse of sin. The women was originally made a help meet for man. The primacy of the man is stated by the Holy Spirit to be creational, not situational “For Adam was first formed, then Eve” (1Tim. 2:13). It was Adam who named Eve, and after the fall God calls Adam, the head of Eve, and who God held responsible for the fall. (Rm. 5).

The fall did strengthen the necessary dominance of the man, and enables man and women to enjoy compatible and complementary (being somewhat symbiotic) relationship. .

As God the Father and the Son are equal in essential nature, so are male and female in theirs, but there is a positional distinction which is ordained of God and thus is holy, just and good. TOP

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7. Liberal

Scripture

Refutation:

Luke 23:44-45: The wall that separated the Jewish men from the woman and gentiles was ripped down. This was evidence that the hierarchal system of the old testament had been abolished.

(Luke 23:44-45) "And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. {45} And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst."

Luke 23:44-46: The removal of the middle wall of partition that enables the "one new man" (Eph. 2:15) does not negate creational, positional functional distinctions wrought of God, which are affirmed in both Testaments, and are not negated by spurious hermeneutics by women who disobeyed them! The barrier into the Holy of Holies is opened, giving all beliveers access to God (praise God!) yet parents still have leadership over their children, and pastors over the flock. Scripture makes plain that redemption does not mean there is no leadership to obey in the church, nor criteria which involves gender distinctions reflective of the Divine Order [the Father over Christ, Christ over the church, husbands over their wives, males over females], which the logic of this proposition sinfully seeks to negate. TOP

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8. Liberal

Scripture

Refutation:

John 4:28-29: The woman left her water jar and went back to town and evangelized men for Jesus. Such a role indicates a radical use of women in ministry that is part of being a pastor, that helps establish that women can be a pastor.

(John 4:28-29) "The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men, {29} Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?"

John 4:28-29: Irrelevant to this discussion. Witnessing does not necessarily convey or require authority over men, which is the key issue,. And the Samaritan women exercises or assumes none.

See comment on related text above, Matthew 28:5-7 (and so do)! TOP

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9. Liberal

Scripture

Refutation:

Acts 10:34: To God, every person is the same, thus gender cannot disqualify one from authority.

(Acts 10:34) "Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:"

Acts 10:34: Context: The issue here is not positional distinctions within the body and marriage, which distinctions are easily substantiated by the principal text on the subject of this study, but that of salvific grace being offered to mankind regardless of race (or gender). Though by such grace men and women share an essential equality as souls, this does not translate to gender equality as far as positional roles are concerned, any more than the Son having the same Divine Nature as the Father make them equal in position (1Cor. 11:3; 15:27, 28). Likewise, the "lay" people are spiritually equal to the pastor in essence, but God has given him the pastoral authority over His flock, and for which responsibility the pastor must answer for, while the flock are to be subject to rulers, as in accordance with the Word of God (Heb. 13:17). TOP

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10. Liberal

Scripture

Refutation:

Acts 16:13-15: Paul begins the church in Phillippi with a group of women, in which Lydia was pastor

(Acts 16:13-15) "And on the sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither. {14} And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul. {15} And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us."

Acts 16:13-15: The insinuation that Lydia became a pastor is pure imagination, which is cast down by the Word of God (2 Cor. 10:5), and is a prime example of the kind of eisegesis the doctrine of gender equality in regards to authority must depend upon.

Christian hospitality does not a church make, nor does being a host or hostess make one a pastor. The story of Lydia is simply about a (rich) women whose heart is newly opened by the Lord and who thus opens her house for the apostles. Such hospitality is a mark of true faith (1Pet. 4:9), but does not establish a church, and there is no substance that supports that this was a pastored church nor that Lydia was a pastor. Rather Lydia is true example of a fellowhelper to the truth (3 Jn. v. 8). TOP

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11. Liberal

Scripture

Refutation:

Acts 18:26: Aquilla and Priscilla taught Apollos correct doctrine, thus showing that women can be pastors ruling over men.

(Acts 18:24-26) "And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus. {25} This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John. {26} And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly."

Acts 18:26: This a home type discipling situation, not a church in which such things as church discipline would be exercised, and Priscilla would definitely be in submission to her husband.

This supports such an arrangement, but not women ruling over men, which doctrine would be one of the things they instructed Apollos in. TOP

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12. Liberal

Scripture

Refutation:

Rm. 16:1, 2; Phil. 4:3: The apostle Paul includes women as his fellow labourers in the gospel, along with men, indicating the were in positions of leadership.

(Rom 16:1-2) "I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea: {2} That ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you: for she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also."

(Phil 4:3) "And I entreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life."

Rm. 16:1, 2; Phil. 4:3: Phebe was a “succorer of many, which is one that “affords relief; a helper” (Webster). The Bible also notes the devout women helped support Jesus and His apostles in their ministry (Lk. 8:2, 3), and Paul commends those who “addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints” (1Cor. 16:15). Such women (and men) helpers in the ministry of sharing the gospel are to be much appreciated and helped. Like Lydia and Phebe, women can be “fellowhelpers to the truth” (3Jn. v.8) in ministering to those who preach the Word full time, and can — and should — testify of Christ themselves (Lk. 1;46-55; 2:36-38; Jn. 4:6-29). Both functions for women the Bible supports, yet doing either does not make one a pastor, The supposition that Rm. 16:1, 2 and Phil. 4:3 is speaking of women pastoring men is wholly unwarranted, and is contrary to the express doctrinal statements to the contrary. TOP

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13. Liberal

Scripture

Refutation:

1 Corinthians 11:5, 6: Every woman who prays or prophecies with her head uncovered brings shame to her head. Women did participate in praying and prophesying during a church service (vs. 16).

(1 Cor 11:5-6) "But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. {6} For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered."

1 Corinthians 11:5, 6: Women praying or prophesying in the church during a worship type service proves nothing in regard to women being pastors over men. It does help (in this context) to interpret the requirement for women to be silent, to be quiet, non-disruptive, and submissive to men in the church, especially during a preaching type service, while being able to pray or prophecy in a 1 Cor 14 type service. It is also possible the women met separately.

But as for the key issue of female authority (in ruling and in teaching), the attempt to use 1 Cor. 11:5, 6 to justify such is grievous, as the supporters of PGE ignore the plain teaching of the previous verses of this section (and others), which clearly states the headship of the man over the women (v.3). They then seek to use two subsequent verses out of context to negate that very thing! Like women ruling over men itself, the doctrine behind it is out of order. TOP

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14. Liberal

Scripture

Refutation:

1 Corinthians 14:33-35: Women should keep quiet in the church meetings. This verse is referring to women disrupting a church service. They may not have been properly educated. It is Paul’s instructions to women in a particular congregation, but it wasn’t meant to be universally binding on all churches for time immemorial. If it was, Paul would not have said in 1 Corinthians 11:5 that a woman should have her head covered when she prays or prophecies.

(1 Cor 14:33-35) "For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. {34} Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. {35} And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church."

1 Corinthians 14:33-36: Contrary to the supposition that this is a localized situation, and the head covering a cultural consideration, the language makes it clear (again) that this relates to creational distinctions.

"For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man..." (1Cor. 11:7, 8ff).

The attempt to disallow this as an cultural oddity is refuted by the full text of this chapter (among other texts). It has nothing to due with silencing uneducated women, while those with 1st century PHD equivalents could speak, but one in which a general recognition of male leadership is again affirmed, as the women are to keep silent, and quietly listen. If they had questions they were to ask their husbands at home, which helps to make him to be the spiritual leader, and which works to secure the family as an example of Godliness after Christ.

However, in the home, if the husband is without the Spirit of God, being unregenerate, then the women must prayerfully, meekly somewhat assume a role not primarily meant for her, as the spiritual leader in raising children, yet supporting her husband as the authority and giving deference to her him in all things that do not cause her to deny the faith. Submission to male leadership in church and at home is enjoined, as much as possible without real compromise of faith, and without using a husband's failures to justify a rebellious spirit on the wife's part against male authority, which many women tend toward. TOP

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15. Liberal

Scripture

Refutation:

Galatians 3:26-29: In Christ, there is no difference between Jew/Greek, slave/free, male/female. Therefore women can be pastors, ruling over men.

(Gal 3:26-29) "For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. {27} For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. {28} There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. {29} And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."

Galatians 3:26-29; See comments on Genesis 3:16; Luke 23:44-46; Acts 10:34.

This again deals with essential equality, not the positional/functional distinctions between men and women as regards position of authority.

Anyone who assumes that essential equality equates positional/functional equality has a problem with the Godhead (1Cor. 11:3), and most likely with submission to Christ Himself, which He distinction He declared and manifested (Jn. 5:19; Phil. 2:8; 1Cor. 15:28).

Yet let no one assume that positional superiority (due to gender or not) necessarily means greater esteem in God's sight in this life, or assures a greater reward in the next. Rather, we are all called tp the same degree of surrender and consecration to Christ, and “every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour” (1Cor. 3:8). TOP

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16. Liberal

Scripture

Refutation:

Ephesians 5:22-33: Paul’s teaching on marriage roles has often been misunderstood as if it offered an unqualified endorsement of the traditional model of marriage, which the bible rejects (Proverbs 31:10-31). There is nothing in Paul’s writings about who is supposed to do housework, or pursue further education.

(Eph 5:22-23) "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. {23} For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body."

Ephesians 5:22-33: There is absolutely no contrast such as feminists vainly imagine, and Prv. 31 does not establish female pastors. Whatever one ascribes to the "traditional model of marriage," the faithful home and (it's) field industriousness commended in Prv. 31 in no way militates against that which the Holy Spirit's command here, but helps describe how a good and submissive wife fulfill her role as help-meet. The Prv. 31 women's work is not even out of the “home” at large, nor independent of the headship of her husband, and easily falls within the basic description of the normal role for women, “I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully” (1Tim. 5:14).

This does not mean women cannot be involved in ministry within their respective role, which precludes pastoral authority over men, and in which deference to the male is to be observed (even for single women). And in addition to generally sharing the gospel, a primary role of women is normally that of being "fellowhelpers to the truth" in ministering to the fellow-soldiers, as women who followed Jesus did (Lk. 8:3; cf. (Rm. 16:2; cf. Phil. 4:3; 1Tim. 5:10). TOP

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17. Liberal

Scripture

Refutation:

Colossians 3:16 Christians are exhorted to use wisdom to teach and instruct each other. Nothing in the context suggests Paul has only men in view.

(Col 3:16) "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord."

Colossians 3:12-16: Nothing in this general exhortation negates the clear and specific commands that prohibit female pastors, and invoking this text to support such is just another manifestation of manner of desperate eisegesis that characterizes those who suppose that are qualified to teach! In addition to normal edifying fellowship, the manner of ministering this exhorts can be accomplished within the primary role of women. For instance, Titus 2:3-5 instructs that the aged women be "teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed." TOP

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18. Liberal

Scripture

Refutation:

1 Timothy 2:11-12: “Women should learn by listening quietly” This verse also is referring to women disrupting a church service. They may not have been properly educated. It is Paul’s instructions to women in a particular congregation, but it wasn’t meant to be universally binding on all churches for time immemorial. If it was, Paul would not have said in 1 Corinthians 11:5 that a woman should have her head covered when she prays or prophecies.

(1 Tim 2:11-12) "Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. {12} But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence."

This is the same vain attempt to negate the Biblical command found in 1 Corinthians 14:33-35 (see above).

In addition, here it is distressing how proponents of PGE can ignore the general substance of passages as they seek to find UFO's (Unidentified Female Ordinations) in a passage. Their reference purposely ignores the proceeding verses 13-15: "For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety" (we are saved by effectual faith. See more under summation concerning the last verse). Here the reasons are quite explicitly laid down why the Holy Spirit inspired, "I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence" (v.12). It is indeed universal, and based on intrinsic differences, and is also part of the inherited judgment against women, just as all are subject to the laws and judgments incurred by the fall (Gn. 3:16- 19; Rm. 8:17-23; 2 Cor. 5:4). And again, 1 Corinthians 11:3 clearly declares, "But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God." The women are thus to have a covering (such as long hair) as a Godly sign of that submission. TOP

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19. Liberal

Scripture

Refutation:

1 Timothy 3:2, 8, 12: “An elder must have only one wife. Deacons must be MEN worthy of respect, and have only one wife”. These verses are not proof that women cannot be senior pastors. The bible commonly expresses legal norms from the male vantage point as a reflection of circumstances which would have been culturally typical. The 10th commandment states: “You must not want your neighbor’s wife”. The fact that this verse mentions your neighbor’s wife and not your neighbor’s husband, and that all the references to “YOU” and “YOUR” are masculine (in Hebrew) rather than feminine, this should not be interpreted to mean this commandment applies only to men.

(1 Tim 3:1-5) "This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. {2} A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; {3} Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; {4} One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; {5} (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)"

(1 Tim 3:8-12) "Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; {9} Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. {10} And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless. {11} Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things. {12} Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well."

The issue of “legal norms” and the fallacy of indiscriminately (or when it floats your boat) allowing the male pronoun to denotes females is refuted above, and that such is not the case here is evident.

Not only is the bishop to be “a husband of one wife (and wife ALWAYS means female in Scripture) thereby making a distinction between genders, but the qualification “not a striker” hardly fits a women (then).

In addition, leadership in the Levitical priesthood was strictly restricted to men (never is there a women priest in the O.T., except in paganism), neither did Christ appoint any female apostles, nor are there any female pastors in the Biblical record. The Holy Spirit is not never in neglect to provide us the substance for doctrines, and nowhere instructs nor gives example of a women pastor, nor a similar situation in a church of men and women sharing equal pastoral authority. There simply is no evidence that Paul is “breaking new ground” here in allowing female pastors,rather he is establishing ecclesiastical male leadership in keeping with the principle of 1Cor. 1:3 which God has abundantly made clear. TOP

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20. Liberal

Scripture

Refutation:

Abigail gave orders to her servants, (1Sam. 25:19) even against her husbands wishes.

In addition, Jesus Himself is under submission to the Father, but as such He gives the word to the church, and thus a women may if she is under a male headship.

(1 Sam 25:18-19) "Then Abigail made haste, and took two hundred loaves, and two bottles of wine, and five sheep ready dressed, and five measures of parched corn, and an hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of figs, and laid them on asses. {19} And she said unto her servants, Go on before me; behold, I come after you. But she told not her husband Nabal."

(1Cor. 11:3b) “the head of Christ is God.”

(Acts 2:36) "Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ."

(Rev 1:1) "The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:" 

As with Deborah, instances wherein female leadership is allowed, due to extra-ordinary circumstances, do not negate the universal and explicit teaching of Scripture which places the women in subjection to men.

As regards Abigail, while, just as in the cause of submission to authority in general, (Rm. 13:1-5; Heb. 13:17) which is enjoined upon both genders, there are exceptions in instances where obedience to humans would clearly be contrary to Scripture, yet these occasions do not negate the general command of submission to authority. In addition, a slave was basically relegated to a position lower than the wife of their owner in terms of obedience.

As regards the analogy to Christ, being under submission does not forbid a Christian women from speaking God's word, but unlike the man Christ Jesus, a position of pastor or teacher over men is not allowed, due to the God-ordained distinction between males and female.

TOC

This section deals with 1 Corinthians 14:34, and 35, which is dealt with more extensively here. This is related to the issue of women pastors, as it best indicates that women are forbidden from giving revelation in the church service, through tongues or prophesying, as well as from asking questions. However, many exegetes who hold to this do not go as far as disallowing women from taking part in singing, or praying quietly in general.

21. Possibly Liberal

Scripture

Conservative argument

A. 1 Cor 11: 5 refers to women publicly praying and prophesying in the church assembly, and therefore confirms that they may do so.

B. In the Old Testament , the sister of Moses, Miriam the prophetess, led the women in singing, (Exodus 15:20)

C. Other women served as prophetesses, even advising men, (Judges 4:4,5; 2 Kings 22:14; Lk. 2:36-38; Acts 21:9)

D. Spiritual gifts are given to both men and women, to be exercised. (1Cor. 12)

E. In 1Cor. 14 the gender-specific word for men is not used in this chapter, and the word for brethren can include women, indicating that the instructions on tongues and prophesying in order are given to both men and women.

F. 1Cor. 14:35 interprets the command in v. 34 as only forbidding women speaking in churches as pertaining to women asking their husbands questions. Let your women keep silence” instructs husbands on how to deal this specific situation.

Truly Liberal

G. Paul was a misogynist (woman hater), and was only writing his biased personal opinion.

H. Verses 34-35 were not written by the apostle Paul, but by a later uninspired writer who placed them in the text (an interpolation).

I. Paul was referring to a specific situation in Corinth, in which an unconverted women “among” the true believers was speaking blasphemies, and it is only such women that Paul is forbidding to speak.

(1 Cor 11:4-6) "Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head. {5} But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. {6} For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered."

(1 Cor 14:27-29) "If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret. {28} But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God. {29} Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge."

(1 Cor 14:29-39) "Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. {30} If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace. {31} For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted.{32} And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. {33} For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

{34} Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. {35} And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.

{36} What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only? {37} If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord. {38} But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant. {39} Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues."

(1 Tim 2:8-11) "I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting. {9} In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; {10} But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works. {11} Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection."

A. 1 Cor 11: 5 does confirm that women publicly prayed and prophesied, but it is not clear that this verse pertains to conduct within the assembly, or is a general instruction, applicable to females praying in a context such as Acts 21:9. If this does reference women praying or prophesying in the church service, it must be understood in the light of the instructions given in 1 Cor. 14, in which women would yet be prohibited from occupying or functioning in a position of authority over men.

B. Are regards the reference to Miriam, this simply shows her leading the women in singing, not men, and does not take place in the temple, but was likely part of spontaneous praising in the camp.

C. It is also true that some women served as prophetesses, even advising men, but such does not sanction or example women exercising authority over men. Only married Deborah acting as a judge/adviser in Israel might be understood as allowing some positional authority over men, yet the context is only a historical example, and that extraordinary times, and which allowance does not establish the norm, nor negate the explicit commands and commands which establish male leadership. .

D. Spiritual gifts in general are given to both genders in 1 Cor. 12, but not all have the same gifts, nor are service gifts given to both genders. All are not apostles, and only males were apostles, and likewise those that rule. (Rm. 12:8; 1 Tim. 5:17)

E. While the gender-specific word for men in this chapter is absent (in contrast to 1Tim. 2:8), yet the general address word translated “any” in 1 Cor. 14:37 is sometimes used specifically in reference to a male(s), (Mt. 22:24; Lk. 11:11; 20:28; 1Cor. 7:18,36; etc.) A general address to the church does not prevent men from being the more specific subject of instructions on how to publicly address the congregation, through tongues or prophecy, while in contrast those who are restricted from such are specifically women (goo-nay'), which word includes women in general. (Lk. 10:38; Jn. 4:17)

The word for “brethren” (“adelphos”) is used here in vs. 20,26.39, and it must be understood to generally include women in many or most texts, (Mt. 5:47; 25:30; etc.) and this letter is for the church in general, though men can be addressed more specifically. “Brethren” is sometimes used when only males (singular or plural) are the subject, (Mt. 4:18; 10:12; 22:25; Lk. 15:32; etc.) while “brethren” never is specifically used for females, and a distinction is made between “brethren” and “sisters” or “women”, in certain texts. (Mt. 19:29; Mk. 10:29,30; Acts 1:14; etc.) Men with brethren are listed together (the “and” is not in the Greek) in Acts 1:16; 2:29,37; 7:2; 13:15,26,38; 28:17; etc.). The word (ei tis) translated “if any man” [G1536] is a word for “any” and can be used for both genders, to things, etc.

F. The injunction against female speaking in vs. 34,35 is often understood as only being directed toward women causing disruption by asking questions. The previous verses are given for establishing decency and order. However, men asking questions would also have been disruptive, and that only women are targeted may indicate that not only were they more prone to do so, but that only they were not allowed to do ask questions. And if so, that they were yet allowed to give the word of God to the congregation seems incongruous.

G. The rational that Paul was expressing his own chauvinistic attitude is a desperate and untenable one, and effectively negates the Bible from being an authority for those who put forh this argument. Those who penned Holy Write need not know that they they were writing it in order for it to be inspired of God.

H. That versus 34 and 35 are an interpolation, a text added by later editors, has insufficient warrant, and which idea is a slippery slope, and is often used in attempts to negate unwanted portions of Scripture. Some manuscripts do place vs. 34,35 after v. 40, which is of doubtful help to the more liberal position.

I. That Paul is targeting an unconverted women “among” the true believers who was speaking blasphemies is an utterly fallacious attempt, as v. 34 addresses all the churches, nothing is contextually inferred here as that being the problem.

For more examination of this issue as dealt with by many traditional Bible scholars, see here:


SUMMATION

Women pastors are contrary to Scripture in principal and by precept. Adam was made first, and out of him came the women to his help meet. Man was given the responsibility for naming the animals, and even the generic name for his wife, over whom the man was given headship (Gn. 2:18-20; 3:16). This is confirmed throughout both Testaments, with the New Testament explicitly establishing that such headship is after the Divine order, “that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God (1Cor. 11:3). The submission of women is commanded as consistent with the submission of the church to Christ, and Christ to the Father.

Overall, we must always interpret obscure texts in the light of the main and plain ones, and as Scripture explicitly teaches the positional primacy of man over women, it is grievous how certain souls insist on doctrinally reading into texts things that are just not there, especially when this is such an important doctrine. By so doing they not only militate against one of their presumptions (that women can be Bible teaching pastors), but worse, by resorting to extrapolating their desired doctrine out texts that do not teach such, they implicitly charge the Lord, who has commanded us to live by His every Word (Mt. 4:4:), with neglect. Would the Holy Spirit fail to make it clear that, after eons of time to the contrary, women are now to rule over men as the feminist tribe strives to do through their "eisegesis?" Rather, the contrary is clear. While a women under direct submission to a man might give instructions to servants (1Sam. 25:19; Jn. 2:5), like the government with the "sword" (Rm. 13:1-4), they have no real authority apart from the man. Apart from the “Deborah exception” in the extra-ordinary context of Israel's near constant rebellion, the Bible knows nothing of women properly ruling over His people. And under the New Testament, rather than doing away with male positional primacy, the only persons ever ordained into positions of authority in the N.T. were males. Where do we find a women apostle chosen by the Lord, or the ordination or Biblical record of a women pastor? Nowhere in Scripture, and such a major change in doctrine would require clear teaching and examples. Instead we clearly see the affirmation of male positional primacy, after the manner of the Divine Order and example of Christ Himself. And it is He we are to follow, according to His unchanging word, doing His will on earth as it is in Heaven, from whence the Divine order comes, and not societal fashions. To the glory of God the Father. Amen.

Just as “the powers that be are ordained of God,”(Rm. 13:1), and rebellion to such is rebellion against God, so women who presume leadership over men or rebel against the order God has established (and modeled by the Son) are in rebellion against God Himself, and shall suffer for it. The only real exceptions in regards to submission are in instances wherein it is sufficiently clear that submission to authority would be contrary to God's word, and the intent thereof, such as in Acts 4:1-20, and one must be very careful and prayerful about such instances, as they are not the norm.

Rebellion against God's Divine order as stated in 1Cor. 11:3 is injurious to both genders, whom God has ordained to work together within their respective positions. It is the failure of the man to both “hold and to cherish” as well as to exercise strong and mature leadership, and the desire of certain women to dominate men, that is the part of the fall which we need to do away with in this regard. By dying to self in surrender to the Lord, such passive and active rebellion (of both genders) is to be overcome in Christ. As souls who are “heirs together of the grace of life” (1Pt. 3:7), may we all abide in Christ, finding Him to be our life, and “stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel” (Phil. 1:27). May we lay self aside and magnify the Lord in spirit and in truth.

Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and for ever. Amen. (Jude 24, 25). Praise ye the Lord! TOP

*1Tim. 2:12-15: Teaching here is speaking of one holding the authoritative position of a teacher of doctrine, which authority was especially critical within the early church when New Covenantal Theology was being revealed, though it extends beyond that. It excludes women from occupying such an authoritative teaching office, not only because this conveys authority over men and or doctrine, but because women are excluded by nature the fall from occupying that office, as “Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression." A factor that may be a part of the reason for this exclusion is that the teaching office requires not simply explaining basic doctrines, or insights one might have, but being able to discern, reason and judge impartially, without being led along by emotions, or sensitivities more typical among women, which have their place on a relational level, but often interfere with sound principled exegesis and exercise of authority.

This does not mean however, that they cannot teach at all, for both men and women are called to “teach” the gospel, and women are to instruct their children in the faith. Timothy himself evidently benefited from instruction in the faith from his grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice (2Tim. 1:5). Nor does it mean that women cannot be as good a teacher or even better than as some men in explaining the faith she has been instructed in, in accordance with her role. And along with her husband and under his headship a women can help disciple a person, such as Priscilla did with her husband Aquila (to whom she was subject) in regards to Apollos. However, such an example does not justify women pastors, and while there may be exceptional circumstances in which a women might give a basic teaching or testimony as the pastor sees fit, i do not see this as allowing women as co-pastors under their husbands headship, as Scripture makes no provision for such in formally stating the gender restrictions (1Tim. 2:11-15). And such an office, Biblically performed, would usually require direct authority over men and over doctrine.

Finally, God "is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he" (Deu 32:4), and it is He who choose to refer to Himself in the masculine, and inspired the Bible to be more masculine in general, who created man and women distinctively different (yet uniquely compatible and complimentary), and established their positional distinctions. And the more effeminate the church becomes, the more it seeks to make God into it's own image, rather than the opposite. Therefore we who seek to be Christ-like will do well to heed the exhortation, “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong. Let all your things be done with charity” (1Cor. 16:13).

Be Silent

While silence can mean general quietness, the key word is subjection, which goes along with general quietness. Adam Clarke comments, “But to be in silence - It was lawful for men in public assemblies to ask questions, or even interrupt the speaker when there was any matter in his speech which they did not understand; but this liberty was not granted to women. See the note on 1Co_14:34, 1Co_14:35) . Also Albert Barnes, Jamieson, Fausset, Brown, and John Gill and People's New Testament, Robertson's Word Pictures Note that the basis for this restriction is not cultural but creational, and also due to the effects of the Fall.

Saved by child bearing

As for the last verse (15), this is not teaching salvation BY works, anymore than Heb. 5:9 is (“He became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him).” Rather, we are saved by faith alone but not by a faith which is alone, but a faith which as a result of trusting the Lord Jesus follows Him as Lord (Jn. 10:27, 28). We can say one is saved by works in the sense that works justifies, or evidences that we possess saving faith (2Cor. 13:5; Ja. 2), yet, as in the case of Abraham, God sees such saving faith before one does any works, and declares one justified with imputed righteousness (Rm. 3:25-5:1). Both Paul and James quote Gn. 15:6, which righteousness was before Abraham “proved” his faith in being willing to offer up Issac). Praise ye the Lord.

1 Timothy 2:15 is affirming that the women (general term) will be saved by an obedient faith, as one that walks in her respective role. Child bearing denotes what that role basically, normally is, that of motherhood, while continuing “in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.” Certainly the latter applies to all, and to childless and single women who do manifest a valid faith like as their married counterparts. But the Bible places a preeminence upon families under God. As the church goes, so goes the family, and as the family goes, so the nation.

May we all, married and single, worship God in Spirit and in Truth (Jn. 4:24), rightly dividing the Word of Truth (2Tim. 2:15), and rightly “holding the Head” (Col. 2:19), and so give “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2Cor. 4:6). Praise ye the Lord. Amen


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