Can Women Be Pastors or Elders?
In order to answer this hotly contested question we need to make sure a few biblical pieces are in place.
- Men and women are created in the image of God and possess equal dignity and status in God’s sight (Genesis 1:26-28).
- God built creation different roles for men and women into the fabric of creation itself. He created Adam to be the head, leader, and authority, and created Eve to be a helper suitable for him (Genesis 2:18; 1 Corinthians 11:3-9 . While these distinct roles were corrupted by the fall, they were created before the fall, which means they are meant to be a pattern for us today.
- These roles are primarily enacted in the home and the church. In the home, men are to lead their wives by loving them as Christ loved the church while wives submit to their husbands as the church submits to Christ (Ephesians 5:22-33). In the church, only men are to teach the gathered church and exercise authoritative leadership (1 Corinthians 14:34; 1 Timothy 2:12).
- This means that no women should be elders or pastors. Women should exercise whatever gifts God has given them to build up the body as a whole, which rightly includes thousands of possibilities for ministry. Women should not, however, seek to occupy the authoritative leading and teaching office that the Bible calls “elder” or “pastor.”
For more great resources from Mark Dever and 9Marks Ministries, visit www.9marks.org