Is it Biblical for a woman to assume the position of Pastoral leadership? This subject has been presented and discussed in written and verbal forums. The difficulty with these undertakings is that one becomes more confused upon reading and hearing the shrouded answers. We are seeing a continual increase of woman in ministry, not only in teaching, but in Pastoral positioning. When you look over the past decades and see the mass exodus of men from dominating roles in the church, you become immediately thankful for the women that have stepped into the vacated roles. The placement of women in the church has saved many smaller churches from extinction, while at the same time issuing an indictment against men who have failed to assume their responsibility in the local church.
The question is not whether women should have an active part in the church, but rather, should women fill the pulpit as Pastors? Should they in fact lead the flock as a shepherd? Should they assume the oversight of the believers?
The extracting of Scripture to reinforce one’s bias is to convey an interpretation that makes the Word of God uneffective through humanizing the Divine intent. The Corinthian Church was racked with divisions. (I Cor. 1: 10-13) There were followers of personalities rather than of the message they represented. Another area that seemed to cause confusion in that church was the use of tongues within the assembly. (I Cor. 14) Paul implies that a number of women were adding to the confusion by verbalizing their thoughts on the subject of tongues and, by so doing, were raising questions that were more confusing then edifying. So he instructed that the women were to keep silent in the church and if they wanted to learn about the use of tongues within the church, they were to discuss it with their husbands at home. (I Cor. 14:33-35) Interpreters of the Word must realize the context in which a Scripture is given. Paul wrote to Timothy that in a number of churches there were problems with women that were “usurping authority over the man.” (I Tim. 2:12) Here again Paul states that women were raising questions that were causing confusion among the believers. To counter this, Paul said the women were to “learn in silence.” (I Tim. 2: 11, 12) Why was Paul so concerned about women having such an active part in the Church experience? He believed man was formed first and then the woman, but more importantly, it was Eve who was deceived and thus ushered in transgression, not Adam. (I Tim. 2: 13, 14) The implication is if Eve had listened to Adam and not the serpent, they would have had an endless life in the Garden of Eden.
What are the qualifications for the role of a Bishop, Elder, or Deacon? (A Pastor would fall into any of those categories.) I Tim. 3: 1-13 and Titus 1: 5-9 contain the major criteria by which a person could be considered a candidate for ministerial leadership. One reoccurring theme is, “the husband of one wife.” It is also stated that the person “ruleth” his own house. It also says “that their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.” For a woman to meet the qualifications of a Pastor, we would have to stretch the Scripture beyond any justification. There are many wonderful women that are in the role of a Pastor and are doing a fine job in ministering to the people, but to justify success outside the limits of God’s Word is to error.
To say the above observations are beyond discussion and introspection is to miss the intent of this article. This is simply a rhetorical verbalizing of a person who wants to share a possible response to the questing saints who desire to know whether it is Biblical for a woman to serve in a Pastoral capacity.
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