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What Does the Bible Say About..Woman Preachers and Culture?

I have been reading your web site and have enjoyed it very much. My question is this. I was raised and saved in a Southern Baptist church. As the years went on my wife and I joined a Presbyterian U.S.A. church. I served as a deacon in this denomination. We are now visiting a Baptist church that we enjoy very much. Our only problem with joining this congregation is the Southern Baptist and other denomination's stand on women deacons and senior pastors. I know what the Bible says about this, but is it not true that in this time in history women were looked on as second class citizens? I know that God does not change but societies do. Folks back then also believed that the earth was flat but we know differently now. One interim pastor that we had at our Presbyterian Church was a fireball for Christ and was winning souls for Him. I would hate, on my judgement day, to have to say to God "yes I know this person was bringing souls to you but she was a woman so we had to remove her from the pulpit". My main question is this, why is it wrong to have women in the pulpit and on the board of deacons and elders? I think that this is a waste of brains, talent and God's will. Your thoughts.


Your question is: why is it wrong to have a woman preacher, elder, or deacon? The simple answer is that the Bible says it is wrong. For instance, one of the qualifications of an elder (also called bishop or pastor in the Bible) is that he be the husband of one wife. (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:6) Likewise, deacons must have a wife. (1 Timothy 3:11-12) Unless one accepts same-gender marriages, this would eliminate women from serving as elders/pastors or deacons.

You bring up the common argument that perhaps this was a cultural issue that can be changed in a different age. There are a few issues in the Bible that seem to have a cultural or time-period limitation. For instance, Paul’s admonition in 1 Corinthians 7 for some to remain single is specifically tied to the persecutions of that era. He even says that it is so limited. Likewise, the prohibition against eating meat offered to idols is, in most places today, a cultural throwback. (Although the principles derived from that practice may still apply today.)

Paul makes it clear, however, that the matter of women taking authority over a man is not cultural, but is from the beginning of human existence. “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. Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.” (1 Timothy 2:11-14) In Ephesians 5:22-33 he talks about the wife being subject to the husband just as the church is subject to Christ. That Christ is head over his church is not a cultural matter. It is an absolute. Anytime the church puts itself in superiority over Christ, that church is no longer Christ’s. It becomes an invention of man. Likewise, any time anyone puts women over men in the church, that is an invention of man, and liable to condemnation.

This does not mean that women are in any way “second-class” citizens in the church. To paraphrase Paul, is an eye any less important because it is not a hand? Women do much in the church. They are the backbone of most congregations. They can still bring souls to Christ. They are just restricted from taking authority or teaching men in the church.