We do not believe that women can be pastors because Scripture tells us as much. But let’s be honest, a lot of us hold to this view “because Scripture says so.” Scripture simply saying so is absolutely enough of a reason for us to follow suit, no questions asked. While we believe that wholeheartedly, in the very gender-confused and feminist-saturated culture we live in, it is not enough to know what you believe—you must also know why you believe it. So that is why this week, we are taking a very short amount of time to explain the why’s, and answer some common objections.

 

Remember, being reactionary and irritated is not strength—it’s weakness. No, we don’t believe that women are worth less than than men because they are not called to be pastors. In order to believe that, you must believe that being a pastor makes you worth more in the church, which is a lie, and very possibly exposes idolatry. The reality is that the knee-jerk “you just don’t think women are valuable” argument is intellectually lazy. The church has not held to this view for millennia because it slipped and chose not to have a strong hermeneutic on New Testament passages related to women’s roles, despite having a robust history of being very concerned with handling the text accurately. In fact, Paul appealed to the Creation order laid out in Genesis to make his case in 1 Timothy. As Tom Ascol points out for us:

 

“The order of creation and the order of the fall provide the reason that women are not to exercise authority over men in the church. From the beginning God has intended that men lead in the home and in the church. This is no slight to women. It is God’s wisdom commanding what is best for His people and His world.”

 

Episode Navigation

6:50 This isn’t something we should defend based on tradition only—we should know what the Bible says about women’s roles in the church and why.

10:01 Equal standing before God doesn’t mean there are no distinctions between genders and gender roles.
11:10 What is the context of, “I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet”?
13:50 If you think of eldership as the ultimate occupation, the only and best way to glorify God, there’s a component of idolatry there.
15:29 Why do we have a podcast if we hold to this view?
17:58 No, we don’t believe women are worth less than men.
20:00 Answering common objections to a traditional interpretation of 1 Tim 2 regarding women.
31:28 So, what should women do in the church?
38:10 Stick with us, because although we aren’t Greek scholars, the language of the original text here is rather important. Here’s a quick thing that’s worth noting about it.
41:00 What does, “she will be saved through childbearing” mean?

 

Helpful Resources & Further Commentary

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18 Comments

  1. Ann Jeanette McLemore

    This is a much needed podcast, thank you! Many are taking off on their own selfish roads, leaving the clarity of scripture behind. God said, “No”! I am in my 60’s & have watched many women push thier way into unbiblical authority positions, against God’s good & perfect plan. Many are bullies & there is destruction in their disobedient paths. God has made a beautiful design for us, so the enemy desires to mar it: “Did God really say…”
    Search the scripture to see what is True!

    Reply
  2. Jodie J

    Loves this podcast, a lot! Thank you!

    Reply
  3. Kelly

    You don’t consider your podcast to be “co-opting a pastoral role” because you do not hold spiritual authority over listeners. But, you mention women can only teach other women, or children, in a church setting (distinct from teaching as a pastor/shepherd/elder). So what is the difference between having a podcast and being a teacher in a church setting?

    Reply
    • Summer White

      We answered this in the episode 🙂

      Reply
  4. Kelly

    What is the distinction between having a podcast (which you’ve stated doesn’t have “spiritual authority”) and teaching – not preaching/shepherding – in a church setting, e.g., Sunday school ?

    Reply
    • Julie

      They are just having an open theological conversation and sharing it .

      Reply
    • Summer White

      We answered this in the episode 🙂

      Reply
  5. Deborah

    G-d’s wisdom is best.

    Reply
  6. ozcuas

    If I walk into a bakery owned by a devout Muslim and say “Bake me some wafers for communion. We’re going to use it to worship the Triune God and it will have the Real Presence.” and the response is “That’s polytheism and idolatry, no way” then I’d prefer that they win that one. And how is this really different than, “We don”t serve your kind? If I am a bartender, and become a devout Muslim, can I continue to work at the bar and collect a check while also refusing to touch alcohol in any way? If I am a Jehovah”s Witness and an emergency room doctor, can I refuse a patient a blood transfusion? If my pagan whatever belief does not believe in killing animals, and I work in a public office, can I refuse to grant hunting licenses? Muslims in UK stores have refused to handle any items that have alcohol in them. Is this ok? Can I get a job in a liquor store and refuse to handle alcohol?

    Reply
  7. Julie

    I’m wondering your thoughts on Children’s Church . We attend a PCUSA congregation . The pastor preaches the gospel every time he is behind the pulpit. He has attempted to pull away from the PCUSA .. etc , so despite the lack of young families it’s is where we are fed the strongest . We have kept our children in the service the 3 years we have attended . A few times we have been encouraged to send our children to the Children’s Church . We are kind yet don’t comply . We have been reassured that it’s a lesson and there is no goofing around etc . To which i want to reply “ if we were here for the children’s programs we would seek out the Church right off the interstate .” Lately we have felt some heat in left handed comments about us sheltering our children as we also home educate .
    Which leads me to think that at the heart of the children’s church I’m not talking Sunday School or other extra activities ,is the desire for woman to act as pastor . So they can feel involved , to have something to brag about at family gatherings . Our children are by no means perfect . Yet i feel the power of the Holy Spirit and the gospel proclaimed trumps what they could learn removed from the service .
    ~ i appreciated this podcast ~

    Reply
    • Summer White

      I have personally never understood “children’s church” and see no Biblical examples of separating the kids into their own worship service. We also attend a church that has something similar and our kids stay with us.

      Reply
      • Heather

        My husband is a children’s pastor and was called to that ministry role by God. He believes that too often, he is the only example of Christ some kids see each week. While a lot of families attend church, some practice none of what they learn in church while outside of the church building. He finds that some of these kids need love poured into them in a way they would not get in a service geared towards adults. He provides a safe place for kids to ask questions and learn scripture brought to them in their level of knowledge and understanding, especially for those that have little or no biblical instruction or relationship with Christ outside of the church.

        Reply
  8. Suzanne

    While I agree with you on the position of women in church I would be interested to know what you think of 1 Cor. 11 where the bible talks about how women should wear a head covering. Then a couple chapters later it reiterates the idea that women should not speak in church. Is there a reason why we don’t follow this or should we be covering our heads in church too?

    Reply
  9. Kiley

    Thank you for this! Everything was explained so thoroughly. One question: I’ve heard the opinion that women can TEACH but not pastor men & women together (I guess speakers like Beth Moore might fall into this category). Is this a biblical belief?

    Reply
  10. Autumn Mortenson

    I completely agree with your stance, but I was wondering if you could clear something up for me to help me in discussions with people who lean more towards the egalitarian side:

    True, Paul doesn’t write about the practices of women in Ephesus at the time, but it’s also true that other authors don’t provide commentary on historical happenings. When historical context is added, it changes the interpretation of the passage. For example, a ceremonial law in the Old Testament isn’t taken literally because there is the context of the Jews’ covenant with God.

    I’ve heard many of my friends deem these verses as civil or ceremonial laws due to the cultural context. How can I respond to this?

    Reply
  11. Jenny

    I like to think about the role of men and women to be like a car ride Only one person drives the car, and that person will be reposible if you get to the destination or not. God establishes that the “driver” is the man, and that man is the one held responsible for getting to that end place. What do you think?

    Reply
  12. Chris

    It took me a long time to understand what Paul meant by “SHE shall be saved in childbearing, if THEY continue in faith.” Then the Lord showed me how Paul used Adam and Eve as figures for Christ and the Church and how Paul spoke of travailing in birth himself, of being “a child” and becoming “a man.” Even Jesus likened his disciples (all male) to “a woman” whose hour was come “to be delivered of the child.” The OT uses the same language in Job, Isaiah, the Psalms, Hosea, Micah, and Jeremiah. I suggest some prayerful study, it could prove to be very enlightening.

    Reply

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