Coming very soon, I will be releasing a few articles addressing some serious issues within the Protestant Church - the Catholic Church is a given as I am addressing us - including those who have been elevated to pastoral office despite issues which clearly disqualify them. It has affected the body of Christ immensely, and I believe it is what has led to an ongoing judgment toward us. Before I begin addressing these accounts with you, I must begin with what we are told regarding women as leaders in the church.
This is important because, despite agreements I have with those who have talked about certain issues, it states firmly where I stand on the issue of women in certain Biblical leadership positions. Some very intelligent women have taken to crusade against the hidden issues within the church, such as molestation among clergy, but I have disagreements about why some might do it and what they believe is acceptable to allow.
1 Timothy 2:11-15 (NKJV)
Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. Nevertheless she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control.
It is not a popular statement to tell a woman that she must submit to men or to be silent. I do not tell you this because I am a male and I seek to subdue and control women. I address women professing faith in Jesus Christ, not the world of women because we have a different understanding of the commandments required of us to be of the faith. It is Christ through Paul who states this commandment. He also states women are not to be in authority over men in teaching. Why? Verses thirteen and fourteen state the reason. Adam was created by God first then Eve second to help him as he lives (Genesis 2:18, 21-23), equal to him but not the same. Adam was not deceived, but it was the woman (important because she was not named Eve by Adam until after the curse) who was deceived by Satan and transgressed (Genesis 3:1-6). Also mentioned in verse 15 is what she was then made to do, and very well, after God made this curse toward the woman (Genesis 3:16). Also see how they, together, are to continue in faith, love and holiness with self control. Otherwise her childbearing would be in vain.
These verses preface the coming requirements for holding Biblical offices, given to men. Women are not to be disrespected because they are commanded not to hold these offices. Because of the curse – and blessing – upon them we should be holding them in higher regard because of the anguish and difficult tasks they are made to endure after the Fall. Just because man was made the ruling head of his wife, and over other women due to office position, he has no allowance for mistreating or making them of lesser value. Women still have to teach their children who consist of male and female. Therefore she teaches them as that position of leadership. Not many men are better than women at this. If he is instructing and exemplifying for her correctly then she will be leading the household properly (other duties as well which might include authority positions outside of the church).
1 Timothy 3:1-13 (NKJV)
This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?); not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil. Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
Likewise deacons must be reverent, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy for money, holding the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience. But let these also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons, being found blameless. Likewise, their wives must be reverent, not slanderers, temperate, faithful in all things. Let deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a good standing and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.
In all these verses the common requirement addressed is man. He has to be husband, not a new convert or he will fall into pride, a father, etc. They all require that he be able to rule over his own house which includes his wife (woman Genesis 2:22-24), a commandment given by God (Genesis 3:16). None of these say anything about her or being that she will fall into pride or has one husband or a reverent, non-slanderous husband. Each verse falls into line with the prefaced sentences written by Paul in chapter two.
These verses will be revisited in the later articles accounting the troublesome practices by many in the church but the focus here is that women are not to hold these positions. That is not to say that there are women who know far more about Scripture and other spiritual dealings than many of the male leaders in their churches. This is where temperance and the submission comes. We are to be obedient to Christ and to follow His commandments. That means pride must be set aside for obedience and for love (John 14:15).
The fact that we have allowed women to be elevated to filling these positions is more a judgment upon the church. When there are men who do not practice obedience to God’s commandments themselves they are stricken down and women walk over them, being in authority over them. This destroys the church. It does not function properly as it should. Nobody is then in obedience. We see this countless times throughout the Old Testament when women had to take the place of men because of God’s judgment upon a disobedient Jewish nation. This was to shame of the men – not taking care of their callings to be in proper authority. Men and women alike then suffer. Their children suffer. A nation will lie desolate as enemies can then overrun it.
1 Timothy 3:15 (NKJV)
But if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
In verse fifteen we now see why Paul wrote about these requirements. It is not to shame women or to make way for suffrage by overseers. It has nothing to do with culture and nothing to do with misogyny. It is the Truth of God. It is the calling of proper alignment and obedience to Him. In His church we are to follow how he requires our conduct and dealings to be. This is despite our feelings and opinions on the matter. This is how we should view women in offices of the church.
Women can still hold various other important positions in the church. We must have women who lead by service. How many women take care of finances in the church? How many oversee the dealings with children and with other tasks which men must delegate? Many women minister to men by way of service. We would be nothing without their abilities and perfect obedience in Jesus Christ. We are to make sure they are taken care of and well respected. We must stop allowing them to be under-appreciated. We should always should thankfulness and gratitude for what they do.