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Fountain of Grace

A Christian and Missionary Alliance Church

881 McQueen Smith Road South

Prattville, AL 36066

Phone: 334-365-5511     Fax: 334-365-4402



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Women Are Not To Be Pastors and Elders


1 Tim. 2:12-13, “But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man , but 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.”


1 Tim. 5:17, “Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching .”


1 Tim. 2:12-14 is where Paul explicitly states that he does not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet ("quiet" is hesuchia, not complete silence, but respectful quiet) – because Adam was created first. In 1 Tim. 3:15 we are told this is how we are to conduct ourselves in the household of God. When a woman is a pastor and/or elder, she is in a place of authority over men. Paul clearly tells us this authority in the church structure is not the place for a woman because Adam was made first. This is not a cultural issue . Remember, Eve sinned first, but sin entered the world through Adam, not Eve (Rom. 5:12), because Adam was in the position of authority. This is why husbands are the head of the wife even as Christ is head of the church (Eph. 5:23). The place of authority in the church and family is not the place of the woman.


In Titus 1:5-6 it says that the elder must be “the husband of one wife.” The Greek is literally “man of one woman." This same phrase is used of the Bishop in 1 Tim. 3:2 and the Deacon in 1 Tim. 3:12. Remember, Paul is speaking of church officers, not servants (diakonos) in homes (Rom. 16:1,27). So, the pastor/elder is to be a man of one woman.


1 Tim. 5:17 tells us that the elders are to receive honor, especially those who preach and teach. Therefore, the pastor is an elder by definition and the elder is to be a “man of one woman.” The word “elders” here is masculine in the Greek. So, Paul is telling us how the church is to operate (1 Tim. 3:15), and that the place of ecclesiastical authority is based on male eldership because Adam was created first (1 Tim. 2:12-13). This is doctrine, not culture.


Some say that women pastors and elders is not an essential issue so we should not worry about it. If that is the case, then why did God tell us women are not to teach or exercise authority over men (1 Tim. 2:12-13) in the church (1 Tim. 3:15)? Why did he tell us that an elder is to be a “man of one woman” (Titus 1:5-6) if we are not to worry about it?


What about equality and verses with women in leadership?


Gal. 3:28, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” This verse is not about women pastors and elders. It is about salvation in Christ , not church eldership, so it doesn’t apply.


Deborah (Judges 4,5) was an Old Testament Judge, not a New Testament elder.


Prophesying women (Acts 21:8,9) are not elders/pastors.


Priscilla (Rom. 16:3,4), a fellow worker in Christ, is not said to be an elder/pastor.


Phoebe (Rom. 16:1) is a servant (diakonos) of the church, not an elder/pastor. Note that Jesus came not to be served, but to serve (diakonos) (Mark 10:45). The government is called a minister (diakonos) of God (Rom. 13:4). Junia (Rom. 16:7, see www.carm.org/junia) may have been a female apostle (not one of the 12), though this is debated. Still, even if she were, apostles are not for today and an apostle is not a pastor/elder.


The Chosen Lady of 2 John 1 is an honored woman, not a pastor/elder. Basically, the standard verses cited by people to support women being pastors and elders do no such thing.


What about a woman who is called by God to minister as pastors and elders? Essentially, this is making doctrine based on a woman’s experience. Just because a woman “says” she is called by God or feels she is doesn’t mean she is, because it isn't biblical. God’s word is the standard, not our feelings and experiences.


Why is this important? This is important because compromise in one area often leads to compromise in other areas. Even if the biblical position is not popular or politically correct, it is biblically correct. As Christians, we must never let compromise seep into the Christian church and weaken it. If Christians refuse to submit to the teaching of God’s word in this matter, can they be trusted to rightly deliver God’s word to us in other matters?