1 Timothy 2:11-12 11 A woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness. 12 But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. 13 For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve.
Should a woman be allowed to be a deacon(ess) or an elder in a church?
I would say that it goes against scripture to allow deaconesses or women elders (pastors). While many women out there could clearly teach me a thing or two about God and scripture, that would go against the model of federal headship. Man is the head of the family…
1 Corinthians 11:3 3 But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ.
Ephesians 5:22-24 22 Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. 24 But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.
Why would a woman be allowed to, say, lead a children’s ministry, but not be an administrative pastor of a church?
The key to whether women can teach a children’s ministry is in that they are not teaching men but rather children. These children should still be getting spiritual instruction from their fathers and mothers but are not ready to study on their own. A woman is capable of giving instruction but must submit to God’s authority and instructions.
Titus 2:3-5 3 Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, 4 so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored
Would you let a woman be a guest speaker and give a sermon?
This is more difficult because a woman could be a very valuable guest speaker, but is that acceptable. I guess it depends on the context of the situation; is it topical or is it preaching? Does that even matter? I would be uncomfortable to have a woman as a guest speaker or giving a sermon during the service but a separate arena may be preferable – a special “class” or speaking opportunity for example. I have to admit that this is a very slippery slope.
1 Corinthians 14:34-35 34 The women are to keep silent in the churches; for they are not permitted to speak, but are to subject themselves, just as the Law also says. 35 If they desire to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is improper for a woman to speak in church.
This section follows discussion about speaking in tongues and prophesy and so it may be limited to that concept but I suspect that it may be addressing the issue at Corinth where women may not have been turning to their husbands for spiritual leadership. They may have been trying to circumvent their roles and seeking instruction from other men (not elders) or were even trying to teach other men. I may have tried to cover too many ideas for one post but I hope it makes sense. I’ll respond to any clarifications you have or to expand on these ideas if needed.
When posting arguments for or against, please quote scripture. You can find online bible translations at Bible Gateway. Please understand that I have the utmost respect for Godly women and have no doubt they are very capable of teaching/preaching in the church. It’s just that I understand the scriptures to be God-breathed and true in their entirety. I also understand the scriptures to say that women are not to teach or preach in the church. It never says can’t or incapable of teaching.
Finally, what does this mean in regards to evangelism? Are women not to evangelize? Are they not to share the gospel? I don’t think this is the case. Maybe the instructions from God only applied to the church environment. This may allow for outside studies, books, seminars, children’s ministry, etc.
Note: I respond to comments in bold
UPDATE: this has been re-posted at Blogogetics.com and may have different have to follow.