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Female Pastors & Bible Teachers

Discussion in 'Singles (Only*)' started by JasperJackson, Jan 20, 2011.

  1. JasperJackson

    JasperJackson Sinner and Saint

    +96
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    OK, controversy time...

    Disclaimer: I just want to preface this by reminding everyone to remain civil and to realise that (even if we might want to) we're probably not going to change someone's theological position with a single post.

    So, my question is: what is everyone's stance on female pastors? Biblical or not? Also, what about female teachers at Bible College/Seminary? Is it the same? Or because its not a church does your position change?

    FWIW I believe the Bible is clear that women should not be in authority over men in the church. But the reason I'm asking this is that I'm considering enrolling at a Bible College where I would be taught by a woman. I'm sure she's totally capable and knows the material etc. But I'm not sure if its theologically ok.
    I really hope I don't sound sexist or misogynistic by even asking this. I just want to make sure I wouldn't be going against God's word. This area (gender roles) has been an area I've had a lot of trouble coming to terms with since I became a Christian (partly due to my upbringing).

    Thanks,
    JJ
     
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  2. Amber.ly

    Amber.ly Predictably eccentric and honestly hypocritical

    +1,484
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    My personal belief is that women are not supposed to have spiritual authority in a church.

    I think there is a difference between teaching and spiritual authority though and I see no Biblical reason why a women can't be a teacher at a Bible college. After all, teaching is a spiritual gift that either gender can be given and it is meant to be used within the Church- which would include Bible college =)

    *I will not be debating this with anyone on here, so if you want to quote me and tell me all the reasons why I am wrong, narrow minded and sexist- feel free but I won't be responding*
     
  3. Inkachu

    Inkachu Bursting with fruit flavor!

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    I don't believe a woman should be in a position of spiritual authority over a man. Definitely a "no" for the question of female pastors. I'm still figuring out what I believe about female Bible teachers, though.
     
  4. Inkachu

    Inkachu Bursting with fruit flavor!

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    And FWIW I don't think you need to feel conflicted or offensive about your beliefs. Men and women are different, created differently, function differently, and serve different roles in God's creation. Rallying against that is causing the downfall of society IMHO. Don't let anyone make you feel guilty about being a man.

    /sidenote
     
  5. Wren

    Wren Well-Known Member

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    I hope Tamara posts in here because I will just agree with what she says. :D I could say that I have no problems with women being teachers or spiritual authorities, but she says that sort of thing so much better than me. Of course, if she doesn't post in this thread at all, that will not work out too well.
     
  6. Amber.ly

    Amber.ly Predictably eccentric and honestly hypocritical

    +1,484
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    CHEATER! ^_^

    LOL, yeah, I don't agree with her on this topic but I love when she gets involved in a discussion because I always feel challenged but charged with information at the same time :D

    She doesn't change my view points but I certainly respect her passion when she posts.
     
  7. Keri

    Keri Well-Known Member

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    The way that the Bible College I went to did it, is that when a book of the Bible was being taught, such as Matthew, Genesis, Romans, Acts, etc., a male would teach. If it was a book about a woman such as Ruth or Esther and it was a class that is usually only taken by females, then there would be a female teacher. The female teachers were not pastors, but women that worked at the bible college and sometimes taught. The one class that there was a female teacher over men and women was for the Church History class. They felt that since she wasn't teaching the Word directly, it was appropriate.

    I believe women should teach the Word, to other women. But not over a congregation of men and women. Teaching a class such as Church History though is fine.
     
  8. BranwenUerchLlyr

    BranwenUerchLlyr Veteran

    +303
    Other Religion
    The problem I have with "men should this, women should do that" is that it completely ignores the relative competencies and abilities of individuals. The behavior and abilities of men and women overlap significantly in just about every realm you can think of beside a very small few. You can make the argument that the mean leadership skill is higher for men than women as a group, but to use that as evidence to say that only men should lead ignores the proportion of women whose leadership skills surpass the mean leadership skill of men.

    Of course, this says nothing in terms of religious edicts about what women and men are allowed to do. I think its a good thing you're experiencing some cognitive dissonance over the issue of restrictive gender roles within your religious tradition.
     
  9. Nomarga

    Nomarga Newbie

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    In regards to the pastorate, there's a passage in the Timothys or Titus where one of the qualifications of pastor is being "the husband of one wife." If you're a biblical literalist, that seems pretty straightforward as to the intended sex of the pastor.

    As far as teaching goes, if women didn't teach in the local church, there often wouldn't be any teachers, because many churches have a serious lack of male leadership that doesn't show any signs of being solved via revival or the like.

    When I was at bible college, I don't recall them ever specifically saying women couldn't teach spiritual things to men, but the only woman teacher I had was in Speech class, so perhaps they just keep it on the down low.

    From what I remember, I was never bothered by the idea of being taught by women teachers at bible college. If they're qualified, let 'em teach. However, in my former denomination (and in most of evangelical Christianity) women theologians were very rare, so I don't see their bible colleges being inundated with women professors any time soon.
     
  10. AlexBP

    AlexBP Newbie

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    If Paul actually did say that he never wanted women to teach or hold authority over men, then he contradicted himself, because on other occasions he praised women precisely for teaching, prophecying, and other important roles in the spreading of God's truth. Furthermore, women are shown in leadership roles in a positive light at many points throught both the Old and New Testaments. A blanket prohibition on female pastors would deprive churches of useful contributions from thousands of talented women.

    I am not in total disagreement with those denominations that disagree. The Catholic Church, for instance, often operates in areas where being a clergyman might mean be fined, arrested, or otherwise persecuted. In that respect keeping women out of the priesthood can serve as a means of protection.
     
  11. JasperJackson

    JasperJackson Sinner and Saint

    +96
    Calvinist
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    Thank you all for your replies. I've spent the past couple of hours reading my Bible and commentaries and have concluded female Bible college teachers are theologically ok. The credentials of a pastor in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1 definitely seem specific to pastors. Other more "challenging" passages in 1 Tim. 2 (women not to have authority over men) and 1 Cor. 14 (women to be silent in church) seem to be specific to church congregational settings.

    But the clearest passage that helped was Acts 18:26 ("He [Apollos] began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately.") Apollos needed teaching in a certain area so two more knowledgeable Christians (including a woman) taught him what he needed to know, and they didn't do it in the middle of church, hence didn't break any rules set out elsewhere in scripture. Praise God for the insight!

    Cool. Looks like I'm off to Bible College!
     
  12. Inkachu

    Inkachu Bursting with fruit flavor!

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    I thought about this, too. I'm still working out what I really believe about it, though.
     
  13. K9_Trainer

    K9_Trainer Unusually unusual, absolutely unpredictable

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    I basically agree with this.

    Also, if a person, regardless of gender, is able and willing to hold a specific position in society, they should have the option to hold that position and to deny them is discriminatory. I think most people would agree with me there.

    I don't see why a church should be a special exception to that general train of thought. Women are both able and willing to hold such positions in a church and teach/mentor the attendees, and the Bible was written during a time when women were, to be quite frank, viewed as inferior and treated as property. To suggest that such views enforced by the Bible in certain places and by Paul apply today and were enforced by God is pretty demeaning. I don't think God would ever enforce discrimination.
     
  14. Dent

    Dent I am the man your man looks like.

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    ...
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2011
  15. Inkachu

    Inkachu Bursting with fruit flavor!

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    Definitely not trying to argue your point, I just want to clarify my own in response to what you said :) I have no problem with women being LEADERS (gov't officials, teachers, CEO's). My problem is with a woman being in a position of spiritual authority over a man, which would mean that she is responsible to God for that man's spiritual state, to a certain extent (the Bible states that people in such positions are accountable and held to a higher standard). I don't believe God intends for that. But as far as women rocking the world with their brains and abilities and talents, I say go for it.

    Hope that made sense!
     
  16. JasperJackson

    JasperJackson Sinner and Saint

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    More truth from the wonderful and wise Vicky. :thumbsup:
     
  17. Allen1901

    Allen1901 King's Knight

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    Ha Ha! You fail! :p

    Women are welcome to speak at, teach, or even pastor Word of Faith Churches. :)

    Welcome to 2011 :)
     
  18. Andrew12

    Andrew12 A Knight of the Lord

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    well, as i always do, I will give the Biblical references to the topic at hand. My opinion does no exist because I believe the Bible is the ultimate authority on any issue as it God's opinion that truly matters.


    In 1 Timothy 3:1-5 (KJV) it states:
    1This is a true saying, if a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.
    - Note the masculine here. not man in the universal sense but specifically "a man" indicating a person of the male gender.

    2A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
    - Here we see the first criterion listed for a Bishop (aka Pastor), The focus here should be on the statement "Husband of one wife" now in order to have a wife one must be married, an ordained biblical institution between a man and a woman. In this relationship there is one husband and one wife. How can a woman in this relationship be the "husband of one wife"? It is not possible, for she IS the wife.

    3Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;
    -more criterion


    4One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;
    - The bible teaches us that the man is the head of the household, and that the wife should be in subjection to him, as the church is unto Christ. (see Ephesians 5:22,23 )




    5(For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)
    - The man that is in charge of and responsible for his family has a further responsibility as a bishop to lead his church in like manner as his household.
    (see 1 Timothy 2:11)

    ________________________________________________________________

    On the subject of teachers in religious education and sunday school and the like, (provided of course the people referred to here are over the age of say 16.)

    1 Timothy 2:11&12:

    11Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.
    - Not to say that a woman may not participate in a class or sunday school as a student being able to speak and discuss, this silence is in reference to the next verse that speaks of usurping authority from the teacher.


    12But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
    - A woman should not hold spiritual authority over men nor should a woman be looked to as the leader of a class. This is in direct correlation to the verses in 1 Timothy 3:1-5, It is Men whom God has given responsibility of Domestic & Church Leadership.







    Hope this was informative & helpful! :)

    ~God Bless~
     
  19. Inkachu

    Inkachu Bursting with fruit flavor!

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    I hope that everyone here who has opposing views will pause, and not just jump on each other, and really think about other points of view and give them respect, even if you don't agree with them. More than anything, though, take a look at God's Word, and be willing to consider what it says, regardless of what your emotions or your comfort zone want to say. God is not PC :)
     
  20. Andrew12

    Andrew12 A Knight of the Lord

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    ^ Absolutely!
     
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