Per Fidem Intrepidus means "Fearless Through Faith". My courage isn't my own, it comes from the Holy Spirit, it's my faith in God and my personal savior Christ Jesus that calms my fears and allows me to move forward in this fallen world. Personally I'm afraid of a lot of stuff, but having the faith that Jesus adopted me as his little, sin filled, brother keeps me going.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

The Pastrix and Their Supporters - are they Godly?

Pastrix Nadia Bolz-Weber of the
ELCA here in Denver
A Pastrix is a woman acting as a pastor. If you go to New Wineskins Dictionary and look up Pastrix you'll see the word defined as this:
まずは、何を持って行くかを決めなければいけませんが 家具や家電など、現在使っているものは自宅に置
Now I can't fault a Pastrix for her enthusiasm, but I can fault them for their web skills. (In case you're wondering the links go to a Chinese website that instructs young men on how to move out of their parents' basements)

I've had readers (and at least one male pastor) tell me that there's nothing wrong with women preaching, and I've invited them to explain their reasoning and I ended up with this

So after prayerful consideration I have come forward to state my case for women in the church. This is not an article about men vs women, nor is it an article about God vs women, it's an article about biblical interpretation and submitting one self to God's will. There is a great many positions for women in the church, Elder is not one of them, and a Pastor is an Elder.

One of the bible verses that those who defend women in the Pastorage rally around is Galatians 3:28 which states "There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." See? they cry - "There's no difference between men and women!" This is a perfect example of willfully taking a verse out of context. Here it is in context:
23 But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed. 24 Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. 26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise. (Galatians 3:23-29)
This passage has nothing to do with the roles of men and women, it have everything to do with salvation through Jesus Christ. This is a soteriological statement: it speaks to the doctrine of salvation. The teaching is that all believers, without regard to social distinctions, have equal access to God through Christ, and, consequently, are to be unified in the Body of Christ. It is a misuse of Scripture to produce ecclesiastical patterns from soteriological passages!

In his blog Perry Noble uses some commonly cited examples to justify his stance on women preaching, first is Deborah (Judges 4-5) Deborah was not a preacher or a pastor, she was a prophetess and spoke for God, she's the one who got Barak to get his... army in gear and defend Israel. Perry then claims Esther as an example of why women should be in leadership ignoring the fact that Esther was a Persian queen and any leadership authority she had came from her position as wife of the King and not from God (who isn't even mentioned in the book of Esther)

Perry also mentioned that Phillip had four unmarried daughters who prophesied (Acts 21:8-9) which is meaningless because a prophet is not an elder, nor a pastor unless they're a member of the NAR which came about 1,900 years after Phillip had died. Perry also stated that "Paul clearly says in Romans 16:1 that Phoebe is a deacon (leadership position) in the church" Unfortunately for Perry, a deacon is not a leadership position in the church, a deacon is a servant in the church, aiding and assisting the flock, so the elders/leaders can get their own work done (Acts 6:1-6)

Then Perry mentions Priscilla and Aquila a husband and wife team that taught Apollos (Acts 18:24-26) and holds Priscilla up as an example of a woman teaching a man. However it wasn't Priscilla that taught Apollos, it was Priscilla and her husband Aquila that taught Apollos, which is vastly different than Perry's claim that Priscilla did the teaching.

Another very popular argument (one which Perry didn't raise) is "biblical prohibitions against women pastors are given because women were not as well educated as men." This argument doesn't hold water because education for women is not mentioned in Paul's epistles, nor is it mentioned for men. Requirements for eldership are far different from what this weak argument even mentions.

Another argument is that "It is easy for the man to hold to a hierarchical position since men are not required to submit" which shows a complete lack of understanding of Christianity and submission. Yes, a man must submit, slaves must submit to masters (Ephesians 6:5-8) younger men must submit to their elders (1 Peter 5:5), Christians must submit to each other (Ephesians 5:21), people must submit to their government (Romans 13:1) and all must submit to God (James 4:7) which means this argument is invalid.

And my favorite weak argument: "The hierarchical organizational patterns are only necessary because of sin; that is, if people had never sinned, there would be perfect functional equality." If people had never sinned, we'd be living in paradise with God and there'd be no need for a church to preach in, so this argument was shot down before it got off the runway.

As I said, these are all examples for supporting Pastorettes Pastrix in the Pulpit, and there's more out there that I didn't cover. Unfortunately for each argument, even a cursory reading of the Bible reveals three important observations:

  1. there were no known women pastors in New Testament times; 
  2. none of the instructions regarding church order include instructions for women pastors; 
  3. some texts on church order explicitly forbid women to occupy that role. 

The order God set forth for His church reflects the order that He set forth for family life. Being a God of order and not chaos this only makes beautiful sense. We find in His teaching that man and women are equal is several ways, to start with, when it comes to salvation they are equal in the eyes of God  (Galatians 3:23-29), Men and women have equal responsibility to communicate intimately in marriage relationships, this is seen in God's plan that marriage is to be a companionship of equals (Genesis 2:24), and that it is the equal responsibility of men and women in bringing new life into the world (Genesis 1:28)

Even though marriage is a melding of two equals, God insists on a hierarchy of responsibilities; The wife is to submit to her husband (Ephesians 5:22), even to the point of calling him Lord (1 Peter 3:5-6) and husbands are required to love their wife so much that they are willing to die to protect her (Ephesians 5:25).  The Greek term used for submission (hypotasso) suggests a voluntary submission based on a commitment to proper order, it does not imply inability or inferiority

The organization of the Church is a mirror image of the family, Paul tied the two together in 1 Corinthians 11:2-16.  If a married woman will not proudly wear a symbol of her right relationship to her husband, her familial "head," she forfeits her privileges of praying and prophesying in church fellowships. Her ministry in the church is directly linked to her submission to her husband. Paul was forceful when he stated that married women have no right to participate in the church service if they wish to assume the prerogative of family headship and/or if they wish to act as though they were single rather than married. Here proper family order is a prerequisite to a woman's participation in the church.

Paul addressed men similarly, he argued that no man has the privilege of leading the church as a bishop (pastor) or elder unless he meets specific requirements, and at least one relates to family order: "rule his family well" (1 Timothy 3:4; Titus 1:6). Believe me when I say that I know men who refused to serve as a deacon or elder because their wife had died and they did not meet the biblical standards for eldership. There are very specific qualifications for an elder/pastor/bishop set forth in the bible (emphasis added):
1 It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do. 2 An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money. 4 He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity 5 (but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?), 6 and not a new convert, so that he will not become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil. 7 And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he will not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. (1 Timothy 3:1-7)
When it comes to deacons I believe that 1 Timothy 3:11 might allow women (please correct me if I'm wrong), but when it comes to eldership there's no wiggle room. In fact there's no hint that a woman can be considered to fulfill the office of elder. A denomination may (and has) decided "Well, that's just Paul's opinion" but as Christians we believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God - inspired by God, not the men divinely chosen to record it. If a denomination decides to ignore one section of the bible because they don't like it, what other portions are they willing to ignore?
On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, "Why did you make me like this," will it? (Romans 9:20)
So, are women divinely excluded from teaching all together? A woman at our church is intimately involved with missions and is incredibly knowledgeable about our mission in Brazil. Does our little congregation of Bereans tell her to hold her tongue, she can't teach us men because she's a woman? No, because that's now how the bible is written.

The Ozark Christian College offers a preaching class for women, so what would be the biblical rationale for this class? After all 1 Timothy 2:12 clearly states
But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet.
Ozark Christian College wisely looked at the construction of 1 Timothy 2:12;
...when Paul wrote 1 Timothy 2:12, he chose a very specific Greek grammatical construction. The phrase “to teach” (didaskein in Greek) is a present tense infinitive instead of an aorist tense infinitive. The aorist tense is a close-up photographic snapshot of an action, picturing as little as one particular occurrence. The present tense is a wide-angle movie camera shot of an action, picturing a continuous, habitual, ongoing condition—a state of being.
For example, “to believe” (aorist) means to exercise faith on a given occasion, while “to believe” (present) means to be a believer. “To serve” (aorist) means to perform an act of service, while “to serve” (present) means to be a servant. “To sin” (aorist) means to commit a particular sin, while “to sin” (present) means to be a sinner.
So “to teach” (aorist) means to teach on a given occasion, while “to teach” (present) means to be a teacher. When Paul says in 1 Timothy 2:12 that he does not permit a woman “to teach” (present), he is not saying she can never teach on any given occasion in church. Instead, he is saying that a woman should not be the continuous, ongoing, habitual teacher. That’s the implication of the Greek grammar, and it’s reasonable to believe this is how the original readers would’ve understood it...
This raised a question: who are the continuous, ongoing, habitual teachers for the congregation? The answer is in the immediately following context of 1 Timothy. Just a few verses later, Paul tells us that the elders are the teachers. (Elders are men “able to teach” in 1 Timothy 3:2.) They are the recognized, authoritative, the-buck-stops-here teachers. So from the context, it would seem that when Paul says he “does not allow a woman to teach or have authority over a man,” he is saying that he does not allow women to be elders.
And that's exactly where I stand on this subject - The elders are men, the recognized, authoritative, the-buck-stops-here continuous, ongoing, habitual teachers, the leaders, the shepherds. Woman have an incredibly important role in the spiritual well being of the church just as they do in the God designed family, but God didn't duplicate roles, He didn't create them to homogenize, He created them to harmonize

Contributing source


  1. There really has been no historical demand that women can be pastors until the 20th century when feminism entered the Church and they began twisting Scripture the same way cultists do so as to appear to give support for their positions.

    I highly recommend the book, "Women in the Church: An Interpretation & Application of 1 Timothy 2:9-15" It addresses all the above fallacious claims.

  2. Outstanding summary of the issue! While men can also be guilty of heresies, it is no mere coincidence that denominations with women pastors have many other false beliefs as well.