Summary: An expositional study of the basis for male only pastors.
May a Woman Pastor?
The question really is may a woman pastor rather than can a woman pastor. The following quote from U.S. News and World Report shows that they can and do pastor.
More Women Preachers - "Women are admitted to the ministry in about 80 Christian denominations and to the rabbinate in Reform, Conservative, and Reconstructionist Judaism. They account for a third of all students in seminary programs." (Aug 10, USN & WR) Leadership by women is becoming more and more prevalent, even in Southern Baptist churches. The largest church in the world is in Korea, pastored by David Yonggi Cho, a charismatic, and women make up two-thirds of the 700 pastors who help guide this megachurch (1994 Charisma). What the Bible says seems to no longer matter. -Calvary Contender, Huntsville, AL
I have always wondered about folks that call themselves Christians and then proceed to deny or redefine everything the Word has to say. I don’t mean plain folks that sin. We may acknowledge the Word is true, but our flesh may deceive us and our lusts draw us away, but when asked the true believers will acknowledge that what they did was sin. We will not deny it. We will not say the Bible doesn’t say it was sin. We may try to justify our sin and pass the buck like Adam and Eve, but we will not deny what the Word says about sin or our particular act or attitude.
I am talking about theologians that claim to be Christians yet deny Inspiration, Incarnation, Salvation, the Virgin Birth, etc. etc. I am puzzled as to why these people did not become social workers or analysts or whatever instead of preachers and theologians. A Buddhist monk ought to believe in Buddha and his teachings as should a Moslem believe in Mohammed and his teachings. If a person wants to be a Christian then they ought to believe in Christ and His teachings. They ought to be disciples and not masters. They should not think that they could teach Christ a thing or two or second-guess Him. Yet, these enlightened ones feel they can just rip out Scripture and deny the very One they claim to follow. I find it at best hypocritical and at the worse blasphemous. They need to find another line of work. At least leave the ministry and be honest unbelievers rather than wolves in sheep’s clothing. Although, I should not be astonished for these kind were prophesied about in 2 Cor. 11:14, 2 Peter 2:1 and Jude 4. These I expect and can dismiss as liars for so also is their father (John 8:44).
I do get worried though when true believers start hem-hawing around and feel like after 2000 years of Church history and teaching that they have somehow gotten special revelation and will set us on the right path. Not that the Church has never erred or had need of prophets to restore her. Revival is constantly needed. However, when we start leaving the traditional or orthodox teaching in pursuit of what smacks of bowing to cultural pressure then I question the new revelation these folks have received.
I once stopped and challenged two Mormon missionaries to prove to me they were correct and I would convert. As you can see, I am not a Mormon. We discussed many subjects, but one was their revelations. The Mormons once taught that if a black man were saved he would turn white. They also did not allow black men to become Elders. It has been awhile back, but as I recall, about the time the IRS was fixing to pull their tax-exempt status over this issue their prophets received revelation that the black man could now be an Elder. That is just a bit suspect for an old boy like me and I informed the Elder that I was speaking to that if the IRS ever decided that tax-exempt status would withdrawn if the Mormon Church did not ordain women their prophets would get another amazing revelation. He said it would never happen. I hope he remembers the Baptist bible college student that told him that when it happens. Maybe he will wake up and convert.
That is an example of "faith" bowing to social or cultural pressures. I believe that we Bible-believing Christians are doing the same thing in regards to women in the pastorate. We live in an age of women’s liberation and political correctness and we kow-tow to that nonsense.
I just find it hard to believe that for all these years every godly theologian that could parse Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic upside down and backwards just did not see the sexism in the Bible and seek to rectify God’s error. How could they have missed everything that today’s enlightened scholar now sees so clearly? Were they slaves to their culture? The fiery Luther who could not recant because the Word of God held his mind captive could not see the nuances that make it fine for a woman to pastor? I have great doubts that he would have missed that in his search for the truth as he found the liberty of grace and salvation by faith. He dismissed the celibacy of monks and nuns as man’s fabrications. I believe he would have torn down the wall of sexism if he had seen it in the doctrine of men only in the pastorate. Tyndale, Wycliffe, Moody, Torrey, Spurgeon, and many other great saints of God whose oratory, interpretational skills and knowledge of the Scripture make our modern day scribes look like they failed kindergarten did not see what these new kids on the block see. God moved in those men of old in ways that our current batch of theologians can only write about in awe and wonder. May we all soon experience His glory where we can stand in awe and wonder and not just have the hearing of the ear! Then we will be set aright in our theology and write from a fresh fullness of His Spirit and Presence!