SPF 127: Can Women Be Pastors?

Can I woman be a pastor, or preacher of a church? Let’s go to the good authoritative Word and find out!

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Can Women Be Pastors?

Scriptures:

1 Timothy 2-3

1 Corinthians 14:34-35

Titus 2

Genesis 1-3

Galatians 4:4

Psalm 9:10

Here is controversial verse that has, as Doug Wilson says, “We now come to a passage that has suffered much at the hands of expositors, but the reason the passage has suffered is not because it is one of those parts of the apostle Paul’s writing that is hard to understand. The passage has been greatly abused and twisted because it is easy to understand.”

1 Timothy 2:12-15

12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve; 14 and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. 15 Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.

Women are not to be ordained teacher or pastors in the church.

This is not the only time this is taught in Scripture. We also have this instruction under the same context of orderly worship in 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 (as well as other passages of Scripture that give the specific qualifications for the office of elder (pastor) and it’s always a male).

The context of both of these passages is in public worship. It is clear from Scripture that wom en are not to ordained to the function of teaching in the Church.

Does this mean men can never learn something from a woman? No. Woman are co-labors with men in Christ. Scripture teaches us that women are excluded from two activities in the church - ordained teaching and exercising authority over men.

What about cultural - couldn’t this no woman pastor thing be cultural? No. Paul does not appeal to culture or customs of the Ephesians as the reason behind this rule. He appeals to the story in Genesis of the creation and the fall.

  1. Paul appeals to the creation account where in the Beginning God created - he created man first. There is a creation order. It represents and explains so much about our roles as men and women. And God did the creating. God intentionally made man first and then the women.

  2. The woman was deceived and transgressed first.

  3. Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.

    • Pastor Douglas Wilson interprets this as a Gospel passage about men and women both being saved through the childbirth of Jesus Christ - the Messiah who came into the world, born of a woman, born under the law.

    • Pastor John MacArthur interprets this as a way God has redeemed women under the curse that Eve brought into the world. (Not “redeemed” salvation wise, but redeemed as in the stigma of being deceived doesn’t follow women around for all of history). Women have the opportunity to bring up godly seed in their own home through teaching and instruction.

  4. Can women teach at all in the Christian community?

    • First, we need to remember that Paul is not saying women can’t speak in church - it’s specifically related to teaching as a pastor.

    • Yes. We are called to teach the Word to our children, in Titus older women have the job of teaching younger women very specific things. We can’t shrug these off and say they are not important if God has given them as as a task and means of His name being glorified and people knowing Him. When we deem something as menial or less than, we say that God is wrong. We doubt His goodness and promises.

So why are we given such specific instructions about worship in the Church?

because the Church is important.

After Paul writes Timothy about the qualifications of elders and deacons he writes this:

14 I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these things to you so that, 15 if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth.

There is an order to worship because as we know in 1 Corinthians God is not a God of chaos but of order.

The church is the church of the LIVING God. It is growing to, with living people. It is God’s household where His is Lord and master.

And it is a pillar and buttress of the truth - that doesn’t mean the church has the authority to make changes to Scripture, but that it upholds the truth of the Scriptures and the Gospel so that the world can know Truth. Where will the world see the way the truth and the life? In the church that upholds the truth.

Resources

(amazon links are affiliate links)

Got Questions: What Does the Bible Say About Women Pastors? https://www.gotquestions.org/women-pastors.html

John MacArthur Commentary on 1 Timothy 2:15 https://www.gty.org/library/bibleqnas-library/QA0139/how-are-women-saved-through-childbearing

Sheologians - Women Behind the Pulpit https://www.sheologians.com/women-behind-pulpit-bible-say/

Silent in the Church - Why Women Can’t Preach by Dr. Ligon Duncan https://www.fpcjackson.org/resource-library/sermons/silent-in-the-church-why-women-can-t-preach

SPF 097: The Feminine Design Part 1: God Made http://www.sheprovesfaithful.com/podcast/episode97

SPF 098: The Feminine Design Part 2: Femininism http://www.sheprovesfaithful.com/podcast/episode98

SPF 099: The Feminine Design Part 3: Masculine and Feminine Roles http://www.sheprovesfaithful.com/podcast/episode99