Board index Women

Misogyny, Feminism, and the role of women in the church. Does the Bible treat women as inferior? What is the role, or place of women in the church? A MUCH disagreed-about topic.

Is a woman pastor against the Bible?

Postby Not You » Sun Sep 20, 2020 4:17 pm

Our church believes that a woman shall not be a pastor, they can share the word but they can not be a pastor. They have this mindset because of the verse that says a man shall lead his family.
Not You

Re: Is a woman pastor against the Bible?

Postby jimwalton » Sat Nov 19, 2022 2:35 am

This issue is unclear in the Bible, which is why there is so much discussion and disagreement.

First of all, where does the Bible say a man should be the one to lead the family? 1 Timothy 3.4 says that if a man is worthy to be an elder he must have shown that he can manage his family well, but that doesn't imply that only a man can lead a family.

Genesis 1-2 show that men and women are equal in the eyes of God. They are both in His image, they are both commanded to rule and subdue, and she is his kinship equal (bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh).

The husband ruling over his wife was a consequence of sin (Gn. 3.16).

Jesus, during His ministry, showed a countercultural respect for women, always treating them as valuable as men.

Paul taught that with regard to salvation, male and female are equa.

1 Cor. 11.3-16 is about propriety in worship, not status as males and females. The women are acting is if there are no gender and role distinctions, and they “strut their stuff,” so to speak, by casting off their head-coverings in worship (possibly like the women of the 60s taking off their bras as a symbol of their emancipation)—something the public found disgraceful. Therefore, Paul’s main concern is not head coverings, since that was merely a cultural outworking of an unchanging truth—God created men and women differently (and this distinction is not eliminated when we become Christians).

Paul clearly uses such strong language in this text because the Christian women in Corinth had the reputation of being lewd. Social custom varied in the world then as now, but there was no alternative in Corinth. The behavior of the women of the church was compromising their effective outreach in the city—and that’s the point that matters in the text.

God is the head of Christ, which John 5.18-23 reveals is not a relationship of inferiority but of intimacy and equality. Their thinking and work are of complete and total accord. They never act independently of one another, but instead are totally mutual and interdependent. It’s a relationship of love and collaboration.

1 Cor. 14.34-35. At first the command seems to be absolute and straight-forward—no tricks, no turns. But it’s not so clear. The chapter is unquestionably about disruption, not about position or submission. The summary sentence ends it at verse 40: "But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way." Secondly, as just stated, in v. 28 tongues-speakers were told to be silent, and in v. 30 prophets were told to be silent, but except for those certain conditions, those groups were allowed to speak. It’s likely the same for women, given the context. We know from 1 Cor. 11.5 that women were allowed to speak.

Ephesians 5.21-33. Paul’s teaching continues consistently in Ephesians 5.21-33, which is in perfect tune with Genesis 2: Submission is mutual, and headship is about sacrifice, not authority. There is no place for self-seeking or superiority. All are to renounce their own wills for the sake of others, considering another’s interests as more important than their own.

1 Tim. 2.11-15. The more I study it, and following the teachings of 1 Corinthians and Ephesians 5, the more I’m absolutely convinced there was a problem in that specific church with the women, and that the teaching about silence is because of their behavior, not because they were women. Women are allowed to speak in church in 1 Cor. 11.


As to the question of women in church leadership, Scripture never denies them every right to leadership that a man has. None of the texts exclude women from any spiritual gift or any position of leadership.

Having said that, it’s still obvious that in the Bible, despite what I just wrote, that all elders were men. There were deacons and deaconesses, both of whom seemed to have equal authority. The word “pastor” occurs only once with no reference to gender, and we know it was a spiritual gift, not a position anyway. Women were prophets, women were teachers of men and women, but the elders were always men.

I would add this: Theologically, it doesn’t make any sense that church leaders can only be men. That runs counter to what I read in Scripture about Christianity and the church. Theologically, women are not excluded from any position of leadership. The way they ran their churches in the New Testament was with men only as elders, but theologically, this is not required or commanded.

I was raised with the idea that women had no right to church leadership. But Scripture very possibly says differently, and if that’s the case, then I need to work on my attitude and my thinking. We need to follow Scripture only, regardless of our own comfort and background with it. May we all have the courage to follow Scripture in every way.

Last bumped by Anonymous on Sat Nov 19, 2022 2:35 am.
Site Admin
Posts: 9010
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:28 pm

Return to Women

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest