One of the biggest issues our churches face today is the question of gender roles, and specifically the role of women in the home and in the church. As I begin my seminary studies today in the year 2007, the Bible’s teaching on the primary roles and responsibilities of man and woman is being undermined, questioned, if not simply made unclear. If this was 1907 or 1807, this would not be an issue that would bring about such discussion or controversy. Even since God’s inerrant Word has been canonized it is only these last 50 or so years that the feminist movement has risen to undermine biblical manhood and womanhood. We live in a unique era where we face some of the most dangerous attacks on Scripture that have rarely been faced before.The evangelical drift away from Scripture’s complementary view manhood and womanhood towards (wo)man-centered egalitarianism has recently affected me in a most disturbing that is (literally) very close to home. I am deeply saddened right now, hearing earlier this week that it is happening at the church I previously attended back at home in Toronto. While something like this may have previously happened before unbeknownst to me, I regret that that day had finally come on September 30, 2007 and it is something that Satan has seared into my memory and journal. Whereas this elephant in the room was previously invisible and quiet, I can now see it clearly and I hear it speak. (It is pink, and everybody is listening to it talk.)Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on us sinners.I have no doubt in my mind that God gifts and calls women to the ministry for the kingdom; I will not deny that ever. I confess that my own spiritual pilgrimage and call to ministry God has significantly used a woman to remind me of the truth in God’s Word. It was indeed Beth Moore’s sermon Galatians 6:7-9 at Passion06 conference that the Holy Spirit used in my heart to convict me of my calling.However, Scripture is not silent about the roles of man and woman in the home (or the church, for that matter). See Genesis 1-3; Ephesians 5:21-33; Colossians 3:18-19; 1 Timothy 3:4, 12; Titus 2:5; 1 Peter 3:1-7. Scripture is clear that the man (husband) is to model loving, sacrificial leadership of Christ, and the wife is to model the glad submission by honoring and affirming her husband’s leadership. The relationship between husband and wife should biblically model that of Christ and the church. And thus, the roles of man and woman must first be framed in the home. Without a authentically applied biblical gender roles in the homes, there will not be biblical gender roles in the church. This brings us the question of leadership in the church, and the role of women in ministry, which are the issues I am responding to. As a visible and local body of Christ in the New Covenant, we must consider the whole counsel of God throughout Scripture for His instructions on this matter, not neglecting the Old Testament and yet appropriately applying the didactic and narrative teachings on this from the New Testament. For this reason, we must look to 1 Corinthians 14:34-36, 1 Corinthians 11:2-16, and 1 Timothy 2:11-15 for God’s written instructions on what He wants us to know about the role of women in the leading of the church. What we find is that “While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture” (Baptist Faith and Message: VI. The Church). This is not being “conservative”, Calvinistic, or chauvinistic — this affirming what Scripture undeniably says and has said for two thousand years. This is being biblical, and we must be humble in accepting God’s Truth and obeying His Word.I find it very ironic that nowhere in Scripture do find that God commands us not to baptize infants, seeing how we are still to this very day confronted with the credobaptist versus paeodobaptist question ever since Christ returned to heaven. However, we do find that God commands male headship in the church, having provided us with verse that says “I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man”. Just as the The Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood testfies,
We are persuaded that the Bible teaches that only men should be pastors and elders. That is, men should bear primary responsibility for Christlike leadership and teaching in the church. So it is unbiblical, we believe, and therefore detrimental, for women to assume this role.
Thus, gender is directly related to its roles; we cannot appropriately evaluate the meaning of one without the other. And as such, we must consider where many from the egalitarian position blur the gender roles and have created a exegetical fallacy.
To be continued…(I will address that exegetical fallacy of Galatians 3:28 in part 2, from which I am responding to in this blog series)