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1 Timothy

May 30, 2021 | Randy Gunter

Should Women Be Pastors?

Should Women Be Pastors?
1 Timothy 2:8-15

Does it matter that churches ordain women to serve as pastors? According to the Bible, it does.

According to the Bible, the church should be full of men who pray, live righteously, and are gracious.

 According to the Bible, the church should be full of women who do not attempt to draw attention to themselves but rather to Christ Jesus.

Choose your clothes and what you do well because what you do and how you present yourself communicates your heart about Jesus. As we come together for corporate worship, dress like someone who will be before the Lord and worship him.

The perfectly dressed woman considers how she wants to present herself with godliness and the good works prescribed in the Bible and for which the Holy Spirit has gifted and empowered her.

 1 Timothy 2:11-15

There is controversy to this text, but the debate is less than fifty years old. Since ‘69, progressive revisionists, motivated by the feminist movements, interpreted these verses creatively or denounced them altogether.

Mainline denominations jumped on board quickly and opened their pulpits to their newly ordained women. However, in the year 2000, the Baptist Faith and Message included the following statement: “While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture.”

That statement describes complementarianism, a theological view that men and women have equal worth with complementary roles and responsibilities within church and family life.

We need to understand why God limits the pastoral position to qualified men.

Let me first state the obvious. This passage will not be popular with the world, but the passage is for the church, not the world.

We are a people who are committed to the Bible. As the world progresses into ever-liberating expressions of sin, we stand with God, for in him, there is no variation or shadow due to change (James 1:17).

My friends, unless the church remains anchored to the Bible, it will drift away with the currents of culture.

What 1 Timothy 2 does not say?

 What 1 Timothy 2 does say?

  • This passage commands pastors to teach the Bible to women.
  • This passage brings order in the church, designating qualified men to positions such as pastors-teachers-elders.

Why does the Bible make a specific demand for pastors to be men?

Paul made it clear that the leadership roles of the church are not based on opinions or biases (certainly not sexism); he grounds them in God’s creative order and roles established in Genesis.

 God’s Creative Order: Man  God’s Command  Woman (helper)  One flesh  Stewards  Serpent

God gave his word to Adam, who was to communicate it to Eve, and together they were to exercise stewardship (rule creation).

Sin’s Disruptive Order: A creature ruled over Eve when she listened to the serpent, hoping to be like God  She exercised authority over her husband by leading him to eat the forbidden fruit  Disengaged and failing to lead, Adam listened and submitted himself to Eve’s words.

Rather than communicating and leading Eve to follow God's instructions, Adam heeded the woman's voice, coming under her authority.

Concluding thoughts:

The culture pulls society like a rip current, and unless the church remains anchored to the Bible, we will be pulled dangerously away from God’s word and will.

The command is not about male or female superiority. (Kent Hughes)

The command is not about suitability for leadership.

The command about leaders is not about men having power over women—it is about dying to self and humbly serving others well.

The command is about having a more significant gospel impact. Paul understood that the church would have a greater gospel impact if it followed God’s creative order.  In other words, doing things in God’s way brings the results that God intends.

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