Contributed by Bernadine E.C
In order to get to the position that women can be pastors and elders, people must ignore and/or reinterpret a lot of Scripture. The problem with this is that once accomplished, the same method used to justify the woman’s pastor/elder position can also be used to undermine other areas of biblical truth.
Now, there is no exact correlation between believing in women elders/pastors and apostasy. But we can see a general sequence of doctrinal positions that lead away from biblical fidelity, and women pastors is one of them. In fact, women ordination seems to be a precursor to apostasy. We see that denominations that hold to women pastors later overwhelmingly come to support abortion, homosexuality, and deny the inerrancy of scripture. Of course, not all egalitarians hold to all three of these serious errors; but the pattern is there, and you can see it in the article Denominations, women ordination, and other errors where I have documented various denominations that hold to women ordination in other important issues.
The cluster of errors listed above is not all there is. Here are some other errors I’ve found with many egalitarians as they backtrack and reinterpret other topics in their attempt to maintain their position against biblical orthodoxy.
- saying Gen. 1 is a separate creation than Gen. 2
- saying that there is no hierarchical structure in the Trinity, thereby, denying the economic trinity
- denying authoritative headship in marriage
- denying Christ’s authoritative headship in the church
- saying sin entered the world through Adam and not Eve because he knew better and she was deceived
- denying Adam’s representative position over mankind, thereby, denying Federal Headship.
Time and people
If you want to mess something up, all you need is two things: people and time. It is our tendency to rebel against God and to fall into error and to become more liberal. Adam and Eve messed up in the Garden of Eden. Are we any better than they? The early church began to have problems quickly which is why many of the epistles of the New Testament were written–to correct error. We are sinners, and we look for ways to justify our desires and to make our journey through life easier. But truth does not make that journey easy and so we tend to dull its edges so it doesn’t cut as deeply into our wants.
To summarize, the problem with justifying women pastors is two-fold. First, it’s not what the Scriptures teach. Second, it opens the door up to other errors.
What does the scripture say?
- 1 Tim. 2:12-13, “But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. 13 For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve.”
- Titus 1:5, 6, “For this reason I left you in Crete, that you might set in order what remains, and appoint elders in every city as I directed you, 6 namely, if any man be above reproach, the husband of one wife, having children who believe, not accused of dissipation or rebellion.”
The verses clearly teach a woman is not to teach or exercise authority over a man because Adam was created first thereby making it a doctrinal mandate and not a cultural one. In the second verse, Paul tells Titus to appoint men as elders. So, we can clearly see that the Bible teaches it is the men who are to be an authority in the Church; but, in order to justify having women be in authority and teaching men, the texts are deconstructed and reinterpreted. In the case of first Timothy “a woman” means a “wife of a particular man”; or, Adam being created first means that “he is more responsible for his sin than Eve”; or, that “husband of one wife” really is a phrase used of women as well.
I could go on listing some of the particulars held by egalitarians in their denial of Scripture; I hope you already have the point. It is simple. Error leads to error; and unless we adhere to the clear teaching of Scripture, we will drift further and further away from God’s revelation.
Does this seem overblown? It should not. If you compromise in one area, it is easier to compromise in another. We must then ask the same question Jesus asked, ” . . . when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8).