By Ron Graham
“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. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.”1 Timothy 2:12-14.These Bible verses have certainly seen their fair share of controversy over the years. Battles rage over just exactly what Paul meant here and was he just speaking culturally to those folks at that particular time in history? For the answer to that question the Apostle Paul takes us clear back to the book of Genesis.
Many people don’t really have a clue about the deception that took place in the Garden of Eden. “Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” Genesis 3:1. First of all we must ask the question “Why did the serpent (Satan) seek out the women to confront with his lies instead of Adam?” Satan brought his temptation against the woman because he perceived she was more vulnerable to attack. This is because she did not receive the command to not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil directly from God, but through Adam.
“And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”Genesis 2:15-17. God gave the clear command to Adam. Then, when God created Eve, Adam made God’s prohibition of that particular tree and fruit clear to her. But Eve probably didn’t really pay all that much attention to Adam when he passed on God’s command not to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil because when the serpent (Satan) questioned Eve as to whether or not God said they couldn’t eat of the fruit of that tree, she responded with “We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.” Genesis 3:2-3.
We must take notice of the fact that Eve’s knowledge seems to be lacking. She doesn’t name the tree of whose fruit she and Adam were to abstain from eating.
Actually, Eve’s first mistake was in carrying on a discussion with Satan. “The Lord rebuke you” should be our only words as we address Satan. As we can see, Eve’s apparent lack of knowledge makes her all the more vulnerable to deception. She then went from bad to worse as she misquoted the command God gave to Adam. Her words, “Ye shall not eat of it” and “lest ye die” are close enough, but she added to the command and put words in God’s mouth when she said, “neither shall ye touch it.” The major consequence we see that arises from putting words in God’s mouth is we begin to teach the doctrines of men as if they are the commandments of God. “But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” Matthew 15:9. It’s interesting just how many of mans idiosyncrasies have become doctrinal mandates in our Churches today.
Secondly, Eve was deceived but her husband was not deceived “And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression” 1 Timothy 2:14. Satan perceived Eve to be the weaker link in the chain and so he approached her with his lies, sure enough she fell into transgression.
By taking us back to the beginning, Paul precludes any arguments that might arise concerning women teaching or usurping the authority of men as being a cultural issue of that society. Paul’s admonition was not a cultural issue then, nor is it now; it’s God speaking through Paul.
God knew what would happen if women were allowed to teach men and to usurp authority over them. Sure enough, the majority of the cults today were begun by women who have manipulated the scriptures so that they could, without fear of condemnation, rise to positions of authority over men.
Over the past few decades women have become pastors of churches because of a lackadaisical attitude on the part of the Church, not to mention men’s ignorance of scriptures. So what do we see happening today? The completely erroneous rendering of the truth of the scriptures by those who wish to supplant God’s word. “But I suffer not a woman to teach:“ The word “suffer” used by Paul is from the Greek word “epitrepō” and it actually means “permit”. Paul says he does not permit a woman to teach or usurp authority over a man. Women are not free to usurp authority over men nor are they at liberty to become pastors of Churches.
I know that I’ll receive a massive amount of letters disputing Paul’s stance on women in a pastoral position. Many will attack me for even suggesting there’s a problem with women being in a position of authority over men. They’ll march out Debra, Esther, Lydia, and Priscilla. None of whom were priests or pastors of Christian Churches. And knowingly or not they will be attacking God.
“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 Timothy 3:1-2. A bishop must be the husband of one wife. Bishop, Elder, Pastor is what the text refers to. The Greek word for husband is “anēr”, a masculine noun with the following description: of a male, of a husband, of a betrothed or future husband, any male. And the Greek word of wife is “gynē”, a feminine noun. A description of the word “gynē” is: a woman of any age, whether a virgin, or married, or a widow, a wife, a betrothed woman. There can be no doubt as to what Paul was saying: no to women pastors, no to women teaching men. The text is clear.
We are all called to proclaim the Gospel to all nations, men and women alike. This means we explain the Gospel of Christ to anyone who will listen. Jesus Himself told us to do this simple thing. Speaking the truth of the Gospel is witnessing and possibly sharing your testimony with others. This is a far cry from where we see women have advanced to in today’s Christian Churches. Senior pastors, presidents of Christian seminaries and universities usurping authority over men.
“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?)”1 Timothy 3:4-5. So we can see plainly that Paul only wants men who are capable of rearing their children in the admonition of the Lord. Not once does Paul include women in the mix of Bishop/Elder/Pastor, or Deacons for that matter. There are probably many well meaning women in leadership roles in churches who only wish to serve God with all their heart. But God’s word is firm and to the point, no women pastor, elders, bishops, or deacons in My Church.
“Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless. Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.”1 Timothy 3:8-11. Women who bypass the clear exegetical rendering of scriptures to pursue and obtain the office of Pastor/Elder/Deacon are in full contradiction to God’s word, and so are the men who’ve allowed this error to escalate.
Here’s a little side note: In this same verse “the husband of one wife” has also been quite controversial in regards to men who’ve been divorced being excluded from holding the position of pastor of a Church or even that of Elder or Deacon. Paul was keenly aware of the pervasiveness of the cultural acceptance of taking in marriage multiple wives. But Paul in no way excluded men who were biblically divorced from entering the ministry or holding the office of elder or deacon. After all it was Jesus Christ (God Almighty) Himself who said that in the case of adultery divorce was acceptable. Who was it acceptable to? To God. Jesus put no restrictions on a man who divorces his wife for infidelity on her part, especially by excluding him from the ministry of preaching, or holding the office of elder, deacon or even a Bible teacher. This exclusion by many denominations has left many capable men who were called by God Himself into the ministry out in the cold. God says go and preach my word, and the Church says no. Makes a lot of sense doesn’t it?
Interestingly too, if the whole counsel of Scripture is bypassed, should we not also exclude Paul (who wasn’t married) and Jesus Christ Himself from being leaders of the Church or teaching? Of course not, what we must do is work within the boundaries of scripture instead of the boundaries of men.
Certainly by now the majority of the readers should see that Paul is quite adamant about the exclusion of women in the preaching ministry. Remember this verse? “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction and instruction in righteousness.” 2 Timothy 3:16. In other words, these verses I’ve included in this commentary are not just written by Paul the Apostle, but they were God breathed. If Paul says he does not allow women to teach or usurp authority over men, then we can be assured those words came from the Creator of the Universe.
If you are in a Church where your pastor is a woman then you are fundamentally standing with her, thus you’re standing against God. Ignoring the scriptures placed above even after looking into the Greek only makes your case weaker. Corrupting and manipulating those same scriptures, twisting them to say what you want them to say, or interpreting them contrarily to the exegetical norm won’t cut any ice with God when you try to explain your disobedience to Him concerning His word.
Lastly, I feel I must address the idea of homosexual pastors. A homosexual bishop/pastor/elder/deacon cannot possibly fulfill the requirement set down by God Almighty in which a man must be the husband of one wife. God sets the parameters, not man. God created male and female for a reason. “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” Genesis 2:24. The word used here in the Hebrew for man is “'iysh” and means male, man, opposite of female. And the Hebrew word for wife is “'ishshah” and the description in the concordance is – woman, female, opposite of male. Absolutely no confusion here.
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it…”Genesis 1:27-28. Homosexuals cannot multiply, they cannot replenish the earth, and they are actually a deterrent to replenishing the earth. Thus they stand diametrically opposed to God Almighty.
The Homosexual lifestyle is an affront to God and His inerrant word, and He would never condone the ordination of a women pastor, let alone a lesbian, to pastor a church. How in the world does a lesbian fulfill the requirement of “the husband of one wife?” It’s impossible. Again, it’s a case of people thinking that the Bible is not to be taken literally. God knew what would happen to His Church if these abominations were allowed to spread, and He tells us of the apostasy in the last days. People, we are there. Now women pastors and even homosexuals are taking over many of the mainstream denominations all because they either misinterpret the scriptures or they dismiss the word of God as simply metaphors and allegories and mostly irrelevant to society today.
Do you really want to be taught the scriptures by someone who avoids those verses that are clearly contrary to their position? Does “be ye not deceived” come to mind? Where’s all this headed? God knows.
“Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” Luke 18:8.
God bless you all,
All scripture is from the KJV