An Easy Question To Answer

There are many issues in the scriptures that are hard to understand.  Some questions call for long prolonged study.  Here is one question that takes very little time to answer and not much study at all to answer.  The question is, “Can or should women be pastors/elders/bishops (same office) of local churches according to the Bible?”

1 Timothy 3:1-7

3 This is a true saying, if a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.

A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

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

One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;

(For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)

Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.

Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

Titus 1:5-9

For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:

If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.

For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;

But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate;

Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.

Hopefully, it is very obvious to anyone reading the two scripture passages above that elders/pastors/bishops in the local church are supposed to be men.  These are the two passages in the Bible which describe the qualifications needed for a person to be an elder in the church.  The first qualification is to be a man.

For those who would say that these qualifications were for the first century Church and their culture, I would like to point you to 1 Timothy 2:8-15 which is immediately before the qualifications for an elder in 1 Timothy 3.

I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.

In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;

10 But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.

11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.

12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.

13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.

14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.

15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.

You see, the cultural context is given in this passage.  This passage and principle are not just for the 1st century Church but are for all time because Paul goes all the way back to creation and Adam and Eve to make his point.  Verse 12 is crystal clear on whether women can hold the office of elder.

Here are a couple of questions to think about if you still want to use the argument that the idea of women being in submission to male authority in the Church is an outdated 1st century cultural thing.  Do children still have to be obedient to their parents in our modern Christianity?  Do husbands still have to love their wives as Christ loved the Church or is that an outdated concept of centuries gone by?

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