I am conservative in my theology. I believe that the Bible is the inerrant, infallible Word of God. And I believe that God has instructed us to appoint qualified (godly) men to the offices of pastor and elder in the local church. (Even though I have known a lot of godly women I would rather have as elders any day than many of the ungodly men I have had the sad experience to work with!!).
But all of this said, I maintain that it is an error and a perversion of Scripture to base these requirements upon a notion that women are inferior beings. I want to give you an ugly illustration here that I came across recently of the kind of thing that infects the body of Christ so often. This statement was a comment to a social media post which (the post) was pointing out false teachers – and correctly so. The list happened to be 8 women who in fact are false teachers to be avoided. Here is what a man said:
Any, every and ALL women teachers and preachers MUST BE AVOIDED because God NEVERY CHANGES AND HE NEVER GOES AGAINST HIS SOVEREIGN WRITTEN WORD!!!!!!! Thou shalt not SUFFER A WOMAN TO PREACH OR TO HAVE AUTHORITY OVER MEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Those and every woman who does these are ABOMINATIONS UNTO THE LORD GOD AND ARE ACCURSED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Pretty ugly, right? I mean, even if the listed false teachers are in fact accursed by God – is it simply because they are women who are preaching and teaching Scripture? No, the grounds for their condemnation is that they are false teachers – Jezebels who lead God’s people astray.
You can pretty easily pick up on the fact that being married to this guy and his kind would be no picnic. As he walks into church on Sunday mornings carrying his King James Bible (nothing against the KJV by the way), he haughtily misses the log in his own eye while minutely looking for a speck in the other fellow’s.
I still am not crystal clear on the details of Scripture which address husband and wife in marriage, men and women in the church, and I am not ready to conclude that women just as well as men (godly women and godly men) should be pastors or elders. God meant something when He told us that the husband is the head of the wife, the wife is to submit to her husband as to the Lord, and so on. The Scriptures addressing this subject are in our Bibles and we must not ignore them. I cannot conclude that therefore every Bible commentary or theological or devotional book written by a woman must never be read by a man!!! Printed with some disclaimer on the cover – “For women’s eyes only. All men who read this will be seduced and led down Eve’s path to destruction.”
BUT, I can tell you this – whatever the specific applications of those Scriptures are, they do not teach what this evil man is teaching.
He put his name on his comment by the way. He says he is a retired pastor. We can be thankful he is retired. It would be interesting to learn more about his “pastorate.” You can bet that the women in his church were viewed and treated as pawns for the glory of men, brow-beaten into their “place.”
P.S. – Over my 40 years as a pastor, my experience has been that the numbers of faithful, godly, genuine Christian men and women have been quite equal. In fact I think that the numbers of such women may well have been somewhat higher. And I think that a look at the New Testament probably would reveal that the same was true in Jesus and Paul’s day. Think of the cross and who it was that remained there while others fled.