Thursday, August 16, 2012

On Sunday night at CFBC, I received the following question during our Q&A [which I followed up with an email containing the response below] and I thought it'd be helpful for some to read it & understand this most important issue.

I want to take just a minute and follow up with your very good question that you asked me last Sunday night at CFBC.   You asked: what do you do if your church/a church you're attending has a woman preaching/teaching publicly?

Let me seek to answer that here in writing for you:

There are many in our day that affirm & encourage churches to have BOTH men and women pastors. This way they can relate to all people, show all that men & women are equal, etc.  But does the Word of God allow for this?

The issue is this: can both men & women occupy the public teaching/preaching role IN the local church when the entire assembly is gathered? Can a woman occupy that position of elder/pastor/teacher?

The feminist movement & the egalitarian (all roles of men & women are equal in every sense) movement are shouting at the Church that men & women are equal in every sense not only in person but in function & role. The world knows this, the political world affirms this, the feminist movement advocates this, and many churches are buying into this kind of thinking.

There are a few texts most pertinent.

1 Cor 14.35 - Paul says that if a woman has a question in the church, she should ask her husband at home because it is improper for a woman to speak in the Church. Paul says that a woman is NOT to speak publically in the local church in the assembly. *NOTE* this is in the context of prophesying/teaching in the local church. Paul here is saying that it's improper for a woman to take the teaching role in the PUBLIC gathering of the entire assembly.

1 Tim 2.11-15 - Paul shows that a woman is NOT to exercise authority or to preach over a man but to remain quiet (v.13). This is MOST pertinent because it's most clearly in the context of public worship (1 Tim 2.1-8 & especially 3:1-15). Paul's obviously talking about the life of the local church assembly here.

There are two reasons Paul gives as to why a woman cannot have this leadership (=teaching) role in the assembly:

1. God's created order shows that man has authority (man created first and THEN woman -- v.13). THIS proves that it's NOT only a cultural thing but that Paul traces the headship/leadership of the man all the way back to PRE-FALL (God's created order!).

2. The woman was deceived & fell into transgression -- not the man. Thus, because of woman's fall in the Garden, she is prone to temptation & transgression (*this is not to suggest that man cannot fall as well!! He most certainly can). Paul's argument goes back to the Fall & how the woman fell into sin.

Indeed, when Christ chose His 12 apostles, they were ALL men. Those who carried on the work of the ministry in the early church were all MEN.

Thus, I believe that the biblical teaching is that men only can teach/preach when the entire assembly is gathered. **Note-- women can (and should!) teach other women! But when the entire church is there (men & women), the elder/teacher/pastor should be a man (1 Tim 3.1 - if any man aspires ...)

If a particular Church does not hold this position, I would encourage you to lovingly, graciously and humbly approach the pastor/leadership and ask them their position on this issue such as women in leadership.

If they will not submit to God's Word on this issue, then I would see that as a very serious red flag in a particular ministry. It shows that allegiance is more to cultural receptivity rather than glorifying God & His authoritative & sufficient Word. But this conversation should be done with utmost graciousness, love, tenderness & humility!!


Parker said...

Two Questions.
1. What happens in the case where there is no richious man that will stand up and take on the roll of Pastor?
2. In Genesis it says the man was with the woman when she was deceived Gen 3:6 it says he was with her. I see that the serpent only talks to the woman but it seem in the text that the man is there also.
I would like you opinion on these questions? I am of the persuasion that no woman should hold these positions, but I was asked about these two instances.

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