Can Women Pastor or Teach Men in the Local Church?

1 Timothy 2:11-15; Titus 2:3-5; 1 Corinthians 14:34-35

What does the Bible teach in regard to women Pastors or teachers in the gathered church? Are women to lead in ministries when men are present? Many denominations allow women pastors and women to take the lead over men in the church, and they back up their practice by certain passages of scripture. They take these passages out of context and fail to rightly divide the Word of Truth. What does the Word of God say?

What Does the Bible Say?

In 1 Tim. 2:11-15 the emphasis is on being silent in regard to teaching the Word of God to men in the gathered church. They are not to speak with authority from God’s Word to men. Paul is not saying they can’t make conversation, but silence is in the context of speaking [expounding] the Word of God, and how we are to do church [1 Tim. 3:14-15]. Women are not to be disturbing or unruly in the church. Remember, That Paul is addressing an issue at Ephesus where women were usurping authority over the men in the church. The reason is explained by God’s created order of the spiritual headship of the man [1 Tim. 2;13], and the deception of the woman first [1 Tim. 2:14]. A woman is not to have authority or dominion over the man, and women are not called to lead the church [1 Tim. 3:3-4]. The word “man” is in the male gender [1 Tim. 3:1], and prohibits women from the office of Pastor, Elder, and Bishop. It is impossible for the woman to be the husband of one wife [1 Tim. 3:2].

In Titus 2:3-5, we note that Paul is again talking about behavior in the gathered church. Paul instructs Titus to teach the older men [Titus 2:2], the older women [Titus 2:3], and the older women are to teach the younger women [Titus 2:4-5]. What are the older women to teach the younger women? They are to teach them to be self-controlled, love their husbands and to love their children. They were to teach them to be pure, modest, and honoring to God. They are to be homemakers [keepers at home], and submissive to their husbands. They are to teach their children and other women [2 Tim. 3:14-15].

In 1 Cor. 14:34-35, Paul addresses the church at Corinth under the context of the misuse of prophecy and tongues. There was mass confusion in the church [1 Cor. 14:26-33], and Paul again gives instructions based on God’s created order [Gen. 3:16; 1 Cor. 11:3]. Again, we see silence in the context of teaching and learning in the gathered church with men present. Paul was not instructing an cultural issue at Corinth, but the whole church for all time [1 Cor. 14:33, 37].

What About These Passages?

Some people use Old Testament passages where women prophesied to allow women pastors and teachers in the N.T. Church. Everywhere you see a woman prophesied, it was not in the local church.

Some people use the example of Aquila and Priscilla teaching Apollos [Acts 18:24-28], to allow women pastors and teachers. Note that “they” took him “aside” and it was not in the gathered church while teaching was going on.

Some people use Galatians 3:28 to teach women pastors and teachers. The context of the verse is equal access to salvation, and not one of role and function [Gal. 3:27].

Some people use 1 Cor. 11:2-16 to teach women pastors and teachers. Note the women were not in the gathered church [1 Cor. 11:2-16], but were beginning in 1 Cor. 11:17 and following.

One will not find in the N.T. a women Pastor, Elder, Evangelist, or anything else in the gathered church. No woman wrote a book of the Bible.

Summary

Women are not to have a public ministry to the whole church, either in leading or teaching if men are present. They have a very important ministry in the local church, but not one of having authority over men in leadership and teaching. Failure to obey this teaching is failure to obey the teaching of our Lord [1 Cor. 14:37-40]. The same principles apply on the mission field as well.

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