Can a Woman be a Pastor ?
The Greek nouns gender clearly shows God's command that the pastor must be male and the wife female thus a lady cannot pastor. It also clearly says that a pastor must be or must have been married not always single (It is possible by Scriptural implication a deceased spouse would also be a qualifying factor) . 1 Tim. 2:12, "But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence." 1 Cor. 11:3 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.
Rom. 3:30, "Seeing it is one God,..." Is there more than one God, no, what does God mean by one here? He means one. This is not three Gods that agree as one, it is one God that is three! Rom. 5:18, "Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life." What does one mean in this verse? One man caused it, One man ended it. No other meaning. When the Bible says the pastor must be the husband of one wife it is clear. A pastor must not have been divorced and remarried while the former spouse is alive. To do this according to Scripture is adultery. Luke 16:18, "Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery." 1 Cor. 7:39 The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord. Divorce also breaks many of the other pastoral qualifications listed in the Scriptures. This also clearly does not by Scriptural implication mean a man cannot have a deceased spouse and then remarry and pastor. This is still one wife. A pastor cannot fully understand the love Christ has for His bride the church, if he has not had his own bride. This is not a concept a man that has always been single can understand. The Bible is clear on this and that is why the commandment is given. Some single men quote: 1 Cor 7:7 For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that. Paul is not dealing with men that have never been married in this verse. Paul had been married and is not now. 1 Cor 7:8 I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I. The context of this passage is to those that have lost a spouse for a reason, not to those that have not been married at all.
c. CHILDREN IN SUBJECTION-RULETH WELL-ABLE TO TEACH
By clear implication a pastor must have children, and they must be under his authority, the must have rules, and those rules must be enforced. He must administer teaching, discipline, in both spiritual and physical manners. This is the proof that he can handle a much larger responsibility of counseling married families & their associated problems. 1 Tim. 3:5, "(For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)" Notice, how is he to take care of his house, to RULE. How should he take care of the church of God to RULE as the husband rules in a family. This is not as an apathetic dictator but as a shepherd over the flock, a father over his family: Hebrews 13:7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation. The Bible here is clearly speaking of the role of the pastor. It cannot be the other elders of the church (deacons): Acts 6:2 Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables. 3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. It was not the deacons to rule, it was the missionary starting or the pastor pastoring the church. Titus 1:5 For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee: A pastor is the local authority ordained of God to be the shepherd and fulfill the job of a shepherd among his flock. His authority according to God's Holy Word is that same authority that a Father has in a family. Matthew 12:25 And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: A household does not have two heads, it has one. God is clearly delineating the role of the pastor, and how a church can only have one head pastor. Hebrews 13:7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation. A man cannot prove his rule of the church if he does NOT have the RULE over his family. This is a requirement. Notice the child's requirement (which is actually a PASTORS requirement!): Titus 1:6 If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. Riot is excess without restraint. Unruly is life without rules. The idea here is not the child's character, but how does the man deal with the child. Are there rules set down and enforced? When his child does that which is wrong, how does the pastor handle it? A child cannot disqualify the pastor, a man's actions in dealing with the child can disqualify a man from the pastorate. If he does not display or has not displayed Biblical rule in his home, according to God he should not be a pastor.
The Bible clearly states that the man is to lead in the home and church, and the woman’s role is to submit to the man’s headship. There is widespread rebellion against this divine plan, though, and many women are being appointed to leadership positions in churches. Consider some facts from our files:
In 1984, the Southern Baptist Convention adopted a resolution saying the Bible “excludes women from pastoral leadership.” Like many things adopted by this Convention, the resolution was almost meaningless. In a September 1993 meeting of the SBC Executive Committee, a measure to expel congregations for ordaining women was rejected unanimously. The Fall 1997 edition of Folio, the newsletter of Baptist Women in Ministry, reported that there are 1,225 ordained Southern Baptist women. Roughly 200 of the ordained women serve as pastors and associate pastors. In 1979 there were only 58 ordained Southern Baptist women, but the number has increased rapidly in the 1980s and 1990s, during the same period in which the “conservatives” have dominated the national convention.
The United Methodist Church has ordained women since 1956 and today has 4,743 women “clergy.”
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has 2,419 female leaders. In 1979 the United Presbyterian Church, forerunner of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A., adopted a resolution REQUIRING the congregations to elect women elders. This politically correct denomination also voted to ban the ordination of any man who opposed women clergy and gave such men 10 years to change their minds or get out (EP News Service, June 21, 1980). So much for the supposed broadminded attitude of Modernists.
The United Church of Christ has 1,803 female leaders.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has 1,358 ordained women.
As of 1994, 16 of the 30 independent Anglican communions around the world have approved ordination of women priests. The Episcopal Church in the United States, which approved women's ordination in 1976, has more than 1,000. The Episcopalians ordained the first Anglican female bishop in 1989. The General Synod of the "mother church" in England endorsed the concept of female priests in 1993. In 1991 Queen Elizabeth showed her approval of all this by appointing a woman as one of her royal chaplains in Scotland.
The Church of Scotland approved the ordination of women in 1968 and now has 100 female ministers.
The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, though more conservative than other Lutheran bodies, is beginning to allow women to preach in regular worship services. A survey showed that about 1,000 LCMS clergymen maintain that the Bible is not opposed to the ordination of women (Christian News, Feb. 13, 1989).
“Women now comprise at least a third of the student population at the leading interdenominational divinity schools; at Yale and Harvard, they’re more than half” (Ibid.).
“U.S. women ordained to full-time ministry in 1986 increased to 20,730 from 10,470 in 1977, and represented 7.9% of all U.S. clergy, according to a recent study by the National Council of Churches. ... The survey showed that 84 of 166 denominations ordain women to full ministry... (National & International Religion Report, March 13, 1989).
These facts are evidence of the apostasy of the hour. Men and women in the world, having rejected Bible truth, are confused about the most basic things. Many men are trying to be like women in dress and manner, while many women are demanding the right to be like men, to dress like men, to do the same work as men, to play the same sports as men, to fight in armies like men. They want more than equal pay for equal work; they are demanding a man’s place in the home, church, and state.
Sadly, the church is always affected by society. Thus the rebellion of women in the world is causing similar problems in the churches, and we find women demanding leadership roles in many Christian groups.
The Bible speaks too clearly on this subject for there to be any confusion. The problem is that churches too often are looking to sources other than the Bible for guidance. God loves women as much as He does men. Women are as important to the home, church, and society as men are. In Jesus Christ, women enjoy the same spiritual position and blessings before God as men do. This does not mean, though, there is to be no difference in men and women in their appearance and roles. There is a basic truth which needs to be restated in the church and society today: Men and women are different!
Men and women were made for different roles. The New Testament affirms that men are to be the leaders in the home, church, and state. Women were not created to rule these divine institutions; men were. The prophet Isaiah was condemning Israel when he said women ruled over them (Isa. 3:12). In the church, according to the Bible, no woman is qualified to be a pastor or a deacon or in any other leadership position over men. Who says? God says!
“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” (1 Tim. 2:11-14).
“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. 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. What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only? 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” (1 Cor. 14:34-37).
How could a woman possibly be a pastor when she is forbidden to teach or to have any authority over men? Women can only be pastors if they openly disobey the Bible’s teaching.
Further, the Lord Jesus Christ appointed no female apostles. All of them were men. The standards for pastors apply strictly to men. Only a man can be the “husband of one wife” and can “rule his own house well” (1 Tim. 3:2,4; Titus 1:6).
WERE PAUL’S INSTRUCTIONS FOR ALL CHURCHES OF ALL CENTURIES?
Some are saying that the commands quoted above were meant only for first century Christians, or were only for the particular situation at Corinth. This cannot be true for many reasons. Consider:
First, Paul said that his instructions in 1 Corinthians 14 are the commandments of the Lord (verse 37). As such they must be obeyed by all Christians and by every church.
Second, the Apostle said that the instructions of 1 Corinthians 14 are a test of spirituality. He said that those who are truly spiritual must acknowledge that the instructions are the very commandments of God. “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” (1 Cor. 14:37). Those who are rejecting the teaching of 1 Corinthians 14 concerning a woman’s role in the church are proving themselves to be unspiritual.
Third, in 1 Timothy the Apostle gives the very same instructions concerning women, and this epistle was said to have been written to teach the proper order for churches in general. “But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Tim. 3:15). The things contained in 1 Timothy are general instructions about church order to be obeyed by all churches in every century; and it is in this book, the book which contains standards for church leaders, that God has forbidden women from taking authority over or teaching men.
Fourth, in giving the instructions about women in the church, the Holy Spirit referred back to the original order of creation--Adam first, then Eve. The Holy Spirit, in guiding Paul’s pen, used this order of creation to prove that women must not take authority over men. Therefore, since the order of creation has not changed since 1 Timothy was written, and since it does not change in our culture or century, we know that the instructions of the New Testament about the woman’s role in the church apply to us today.
Fifth, Paul referred to the Fall for support of his teaching regarding the Christian woman’s subjection to the man. “And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression” (1 Tim. 2:14). Again this shows that the Apostle’s teaching about the woman transcends any one culture or generation. Though we have been saved from the eternal consequences of the Fall when we receive the Lord Jesus Christ, we are still living under the abiding consequences and conditions of the Fall as long as we remain in this world.
Redemption has three aspects that must never be confused--past, present, and future. The three are seen in Romans chapter eight. Romans 8:1-10 speaks of the past aspect of our salvation--we have been saved from the eternal consequences of sin. Because of what Jesus Christ has done for us on the Cross we have been made eternally free from any fear of the wrath of God or punishment for our sin by God’s holy law. Hallelujah! Romans 8:11-17 speaks of the present aspect of our salvation--we are being saved from the power of sin in our daily lives by the Spirit of God who indwells us. Romans 8:18-25 speaks of the future aspect of salvation--we will be saved from the very presence of sin when Christ gives us our resurrection body and comes to renew this fallen creation. We have eternal redemption right now as a present possession, yet we still “groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body” (Romans 8:23).
Likewise, the woman who trusts Christ receives eternal freedom in Him from the wages of sin, but she is not yet free from some of the consequences of Eve’s rebellion in the Garden of Eden. She still is to be in subjection to the man.
Sixth, Paul referred to human nature to support his teaching regarding women. “And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression” (1 Tim. 2:14). The woman has a different makeup than the man. She was designed for a different role in life--that of a wife and mother. Her emotional, psychological, and rational makeup are geared perfectly for this, but she was not designed for leadership. In the garden of Eden the devil deceived her. This was not true for Adam. He sinned, but he was not deceived. Eve had allowed herself to be thrust into a position of decision making she was not supposed to occupy. It is no coincidence that women have been responsible for starting many of the false Christian movements and have played key roles in spiritism, new age, mind science cults, and such. Human nature has not changed and neither has God’s restrictions against women preachers.
Seventh, Paul commanded that his instructions were to be kept until Christ’s coming. “That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Tim. 6:14). This command is given at the end of the epistle in which the Apostle had so clearly required that women be in subjection to men in the church (1 Tim. 2:9-15). Since Jesus has not yet appeared, we are to continue to maintain these restrictions.
Eighth, Paul’s letter to Corinth, in which he spoke of women being in subjection to men, was for all Christians, not just those in Corinth. In his introduction to this epistle the Apostle tells us plainly to whom he is speaking: “Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, WITH ALL THAT IN EVERY PLACE CALL UPON THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD, both their’s and our’s” (1 Cor. 1:2). It is clear that Paul’s instructions were not intended merely for some peculiar situation at Corinth.
Ninth, while Galatians 3:28 says there is neither bond nor free in Christ, other passages teach that this does not mean there are no servant/master relationships. The Christian servant is free in Christ--free from the eternal wages of sin--but he is not free from his earthly position and responsibilities of servitude toward his master (Eph. 6:5-8; Col. 3:22-25; 1 Tim. 6:1,2; Tit. 2:9-10; 1 Pet. 2:18-25). In fact, anyone who teaches against these instructions regarding submission of servants to masters is labeled proud and evil:
“Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed. And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren; but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort. IF ANY MAN TEACH OTHERWISE, AND CONSENT NOT TO WHOLESOME WORDS, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; HE IS PROUD, KNOWING NOTHING, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, perverse disputings of men of CORRUPT MINDS, AND DESTITUTE OF THE TRUTH, supposing that gain is godliness: FROM SUCH WITHDRAW THYSELF” (1 Timothy 6:1-5).
These are strong words, and they refer directly to those who try to contradict the Apostle’s teaching requiring subjection of servants to masters, such as those who promote communistic “liberation theology,” and those who stir up all sorts of strife between workers and business. These words also apply to those who are trying to throw off the apostolic teaching referring to woman’s subjection to man in the church and home. Such are proud, ungodly, and destitute of the truth, and are to be separated from! We can see how serious this matter is.
Galatians 3:28 says there are no servants and no freemen in Christ, yet other New Testament passages teach there are indeed Christians who are servants and Christians who are masters. Galatians 3:28 also says there is neither male nor female in Christ, but other passages show us that this does not mean all distinction between the sexes are done away in this world, nor does it mean that the original order of creation has been dissolved in Christianity.