Should women be pastors?


The Bible is very clear on this one, but a lot of folks today are not. There are several places where you can see that this answer is true.

In 1 Tim 2:11-13, Paul told Timothy, “Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve.” The limitation on women in this passage is to “learn in silence” and not to “teach” or to “usurp authority over the man.” That is, she may teach (Tit 2:3-4) but she may not teach men. She has authority (Eph 6:1-2) but not over men.

While pastors aren’t dictators, they do have to rule. Look what Paul said in Heb 13:7, “Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.” Heb 13:17 has a similar command. There is absolutely no way that a woman can teach or rule as a pastor without violating 1 Tim 2:11-13.

Furthermore, Paul gave Timothy the qualifications of a pastor [called a “bishop” Phil 1:1] in 1 Tim 3:1-7. He said, “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,” (1 Tim 3:1-2). Notice that the bishop is to be the husband of one wife. This is not possible if the bishop is a woman; she cannot be a husband.

These prohibitions are given in order to protect the church and keep it in line with God’s established order found in 1 Cor 11:3. Paul said, “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.” This relationship between men and women resulted from the order of creation, “For Adam was first formed, then Eve.” Several women’s organizations have as their principle goal the subversion of God’s order.

Rebellious saints have tried to get around these verses by saying that Paul was a chauvinist. However, his comments about women contradict these unruly saints. Just study what he said about the women who helped him in the ministry. Consider Rom 16, as one example.

Some people cite Huldah the prophetess (2 Ki 22:14) and Deborah, a prophetess (Jud 4:4), as examples of women God used in order to justify women pastors. However, there are several problems with these examples. For one thing, a prophetess is not a pastor. Philip’s daughters, for example, prophesied in the New Testament (Acts 21:8-9). For another thing, while these women were used by the Lord in spiritual matters, they were not in positions of authority over men.

When you want to see how bad things can get when women are in authority over men, just study the reign of Ahab who was married to Jezebel. She used her influence over him to kill an innocent man and steal his inheritance (1 Ki 21). She hired her own prophets to overthrow the counsel of God’s prophets (1 Ki 18:19). She ordered the deaths of the prophets of the Lord (1 Ki 18:4, 13). She attempted to kill Elijah (1 Ki 19). She led the people into fornication and idolatry (Rev 2:20).

Now, things don’t generally get that bad under women pastors. But if you want to cite examples to prove why women should be in authority over men today, you cannot fail to consider the trouble that Jezebel caused in Israel. You are better off to leave things the way that God set them up and the way Paul commanded, than you are to try to prove God wrong.

Hope this helps,

Pastor Bevans Welder