Why Women Are Biblically Forbidden to Preach
There is a difference in roles of men and women. Always has been and always will be. There is an equality in our relationship to God.
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christís, then you are Abrahamís seed, and heirs according to the promise.
1 Peter 3:7
Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.
Yet there is a difference in roles God ordained for men and women.
Two Reasons For Different Roles Are Given In 1 Timothy 2:8-15
13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve.
14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.
1. The First Reason Given: The Order Of Creation.
Paul does not go into detail, but enough is given to show that we must consider what is revealed in the first three chapters of Genesis. Male and female relationships are some of the greatest influences in human society and they are based on Creation. This is one of the reasons we must understand the Creation\Evolution controversy. If Evolution is true, we eliminate the foundation of everything the Bible reveals including the relationship men and women have with each other.
From the Creation account in Genesis, we know:
- Both male and female are made in the image of God.
- Both male and female have dominion over the earth
Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth."
In Genesis, Creation is described two times. In chapter one, there is a general account of the creation of everything. In Chapter two, there is more specific account of creation of men and women. The Holy Spirit revealed because of what happened at Creation, there is a difference in the roles of men and women today.
A. In The Creation Account, The Male Is Central In The Narrative
There is evidence of male headship from the fact that the male is the center and the subject of the entire narrative. All the action and events revolve around the man. He is the subject; all else is brought into the story in relation to him. He is the "star" of the story, he occupies center stage.
Everything else, including the woman, has a supporting role.
- The male is the first to be created (2:7). (firstborn)
- The garden is prepared for him, and he is placed within it (2:8).
- The male, not the female, is given the name borne by the human race as a whole: "Man" (1:26-27, 5:2).
- God speaks to the male (2:16); he is the first to receive divine revelation and instruction. (Just as a CEO or General uses a "chain of command")
- The animals are brought for naming to the male, not the female (2:19-20).
- The woman is made from the man, not the man from the woman (2:22).
- The woman is also made for the man and brought to him. the man was not made for the woman (2:18, 22).
- It is the man who speaks and makes a theological comment upon the womanís creation, not vice versa (2:23).
- It is the male who names the female, not the woman naming the man (2:23).
The whole narrative in Genesis 2 is the story of how God created the man and provided in every way for his well-being. The man is the central character through the entire account of the creation of mankind.
When God created the human race, He placed the man squarely in the center of His creative work. The other activities recorded in Genesis 2 are all relative to the manís existence, nature, and needs. This includes the creation of the woman. All of this strongly implies that the man is the one to take the lead in the commands given by God to subdue the earth.
B. The Male Was Created First
The creation order implies male headship. It was not an accident nor was it random chance.
The Holy Spirit revealed that the order of creation of the man and woman was on purpose and it demonstrates the headship of the male.
Feminist Argument: Animals were created before man, but they are not the head of man, therefore, man is not the head of woman.
1 Timothy 2:12-13
And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence.
For Adam was formed first, then Eve.
C. The Woman Was Created From The Man
The fact that the woman was created from the man implies male headship. Man is the source of the woman; the woman is derived from the man.
Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.
The femaleís being derived from the male does not necessarily, in and of itself, confer headship upon the male. We would not know that this is an indicator of male headship except for the revelation of the Spirit in 1 Corinthians 11:3-8. In His decision to bring woman into existence out of the man, God established an appropriate and everlasting symbol of his intention for man to exercise headship over the woman and for the woman to exist in a relationship of dependence upon the man.
Feminist Argument: Man is from the dust of the ground. Dirt is not the head of man, therefore, man is not the head of woman.
1 Corinthians 11:3-9
But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.
7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man. 8 For man is not from woman, but woman from man. Nor was man created for the woman, but woman for the man.
The New Testament commentary is the decisive factor in this argument. We know it is a valid argument because the inspired Apostle Paul himself uses it. When feminists reject it, they are arguing against Paul, and ultimately against the Holy Spirit who inspired him.
C. The Woman Was Created for the Man
Male headship is implied in the fact that the woman was created for the man. Not only was she created from him; she was also created for him. Though the man was created first, he was not intended to exist alone for very long. God declared,
Feminist Argument: God is called manís helper 16x. (Same word, "ezer" is used).
Man is not the head of God, therefore, man is not the head of woman.
Then the Lord God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him." (NASB)
The woman was brought into existence for the express purpose of meeting the needs of the already-existing male, and to enable him to lead a fulfilled life. The woman was created for the man; the man was not created for the woman. This is an indication of the roles of the male being the leader and the woman being the helper for the male.
This is confirmed 1 Corinthians 11:9 and is given as a proof of male headship
1 Corinthians 11:3
But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ.
1 Corinthians 11:9
For indeed man was not created for the womanís sake, but woman for the manís sake.
This New Testament commentary on Genesis 2:18 cannot be ignored or explained away.
That God describes the woman as a helper suitable for or corresponding to the man does reflect the ontological equality between the sexes, but in no way does it require functional equality.
"Ontology" - The branch of metaphysics that deals with the nature of being.
It shows that in her essential being, woman, unlike the animals, is on an equal plane with man; but it does not negate the role of subordination established by God when he created the woman for the man, i.e., for the sake of the man or as a helper for the man.
D. Eve Was Deceived
Does the fact that Satan chose Eve for this first temptation imply that women as such are spiritually weaker than men? Do they have some kind of inherent weakness that makes them more vulnerable to temptation and sin, as some think 1 Peter 3:7 is suggesting? (being the weaker vessel)
Why Did Satan Choose Eve?
The question of why Satan chose Eve as the object of his temptation is made all the more relevant by Paulís remark that "it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being quite deceived, fell into transgression" (1 Tim. 2:14) This text does mean something.
Does it mean that Eve was chosen because Satan considered her more deceivable, more vulnerable than Adam? Was Eve the "weaker vessel" - emotionally or intellectually?
The Bible does not reveal Satanís motive for beginning with Eve. It just records the fact that Eve was the first to be tempted and deceived, and the first to sin. We are not told whether it was part of a deliberate strategy of Satan, or if his choice was just random. But the fact that we do not know for sure why Satan chose Eve does not negate the force of 1 Timothy 2:14, which says that Eveís being the one who was deceived does have something to do with womenís being prohibited from teaching men and having authority over men in the New Testament church.
The really significant point is that (according to 1 Timothy 2:14) it is not the transgression itself but the deception that is being held against Eve. The fact that Eve was deceived by the Devil is in some way related to the fact that women are not permitted to teach men and have authority over men in the church. We simply cannot deny this connection. The problem, though, is to explain it. Exactly what is the connection?
It is possible that there is something inherent in womenís nature that somehow makes them more vulnerable to deception concerning spiritual matters and therefore less qualified to teach men and have authority over men in the context of the church. This would be consistent with Peterís description of woman as the "weaker vessel" (1 Peter 3:7). Peter does not explain the nature of this "weakness," nor does he suggest that it constitutes some kind of flaw or fault in women. Whatever it is, it would be consistent with the role for which God created woman in the first place. That is to say, the characteristics that make a woman more strongly suited for her intended role in the family and church make her weaker with reference to what is required for duties of headship and leadership. Such characteristics probably have to do more with her emotional rather than her intellectual nature.
Whatever this "weaker" nature may be, it is possible, if not likely, that this is what Paul has in mind as underlying the fact that Eve was deceived by Satan whereas Adam was not, and that this is the very same thing that disqualifies women from teaching men and having authority over men. If this is so, then the reason for this disqualification is not Eveís sin at all. Neither is the disqualification some kind of penalty, either for her sin or for allowing herself to be deceived.
It is simply some inherent, created female characteristic that manifests itself in susceptibility to this kind of deception.
1 Tim. 2:13 gives as the primary reason for the prohibition the fact that Adam was first created, then Eve. In other words, the prohibition is grounded in creation, not in some aspect of the Fall. To say that what is true because of creation is also a part of the penalty for the Fall seems inconsistent. But if the prohibition is related to some inherent female characteristic which itself is related to vulnerability to deception, as the first explanation suggests, then 2:14 is also basing the prohibition on human nature as created, and not on the Fall as such.
E. Adamís Responsibility And Male Headship
One other point must be noted concerning the sin itself, namely, the connection between Adamís responsibility for that sin and the fact of the male headship that was already established in Genesis 2. Both the Genesis context and Biblical teaching as a whole seem to point to the fact that Adam, the male, bears a greater responsibility for the first sin than Eve. This is exactly what we would expect if Adam was already the appointed head of that two-member family.
Following the sin, when God came to confront his human creatures in their guilt, he specifically addressed the male:
Genesis 3:9 Then the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, "Where are you?"
Why does God first of all specifically call Adam into account for the sin? Because he is the appointed head. As the head of the human family he had the greater initial responsibility for righteousness and thus received the greater blame for the sin.
God didnít call both of them together, but he called the head. As the God-appointed head, Adam bore the primary responsibility for their actions. Adam held the position of being responsible for sin entering the human race even though Eve sinned first.
The New Testament confirms this understanding. It reveals that Adam is the one who is singled out and held responsible for the consequences of the Fall for the human race.
Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned.
Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.
But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many. And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned; for on the one hand the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation, but on the other hand the free gift arose from many transgressions resulting in justification. For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. For as through the one manís disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.
1 Corinthians 15:21-22
For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive.
Why is such responsibility laid on Adam? The only thing that can explain the clear teaching concerning Adamís greater responsibility is his immediate headship over Eve and his ultimate and representative headship over the entire human race.
She sinned first, but Adam was held accountable because he was the one ordained by God to be the head. The relationship of men and women are not just for marriage. There is a special relationship within marriage, but the difference in roles are for all men and for all women.
Marriage Is Not In The Context of 1st Timothy 2:8-15!
Verse 15 She shall be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control.
She is not to seek the role of the male, but role for which God created her.
The N.T. teaches a difference in the roles of men and women. The differences of roles are based on Godís choice of creation. God chose to make men and women different and they have different responsibilities as they work together to serve God.
1 Corinthians 11:3-9
But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man... For man is not from woman, but woman from man. Nor was man created for the woman, but woman for the man.
1 Timothy 2:11-14
Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.
1 Corinthians 14:34-35
Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says. And if they want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is shameful for women to speak in church.
Feminism has been one of the most successful social movements in our nation. Although there have been some legitimate goals, one of the results of this movement is to influence our culture to ignore the fact that there is a difference in the roles of men and women.
When we study the Bible, the issue is not one of equality, but of roles.
The Bible teaches an equality of men and women. Both men and women:
- Are made in the image of God
- Have dominion over the earth
- Are joint heirs in Christ.
The Bible clearly teaches a distinction in the roles of men and women.
The early leaders in the feminist movement recognized this.
After their views became more accepted, others have tried to interpret the Bible to fit their views. God likens rebellion to witchcraft in 1st Samuel 15:23. Women who enter the pulpit are disobeying God, openly and shamelessly, which puts them in the same boat as demonic witches.
"In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ." ó2nd Thessalonians 1:8
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