Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Should Women Teach Biblical Doctrine?

From the Word, it is clear that women should not teach men or have authority over them in the Church and that all preaching and teaching of the Word is to be done by men since God created them first and it was the woman who was deceived. Even between Ken and me, I tend to be much more gullible than Ken, whereas he is more of a skeptic. This is our God-given nature. I am feminine and trusting and Ken is masculine and protecting.  Women are much more emotional and affected by hormones. We are easier to sway than men {think car salesmen and how they prefer to try to make a sale to a woman and think Eve}. Women tend to be led more by their emotions and feelings than men. 

Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. 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 2:11-14}

The reasons Paul teaches that women should not teach or be in authority of men is due to the authority structure God put into place from the beginning of time and how sin came into the world; the woman being deceived. I have been teaching doctrine on this blog. The majority of doctrine I have taught has been learned from male teachers who have studied the Word for many years. Ken and I have discussed this and researched this after my post last week Be Careful Who You Learn From. One of the men who commented on this post told Ken of a book called Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood published by John Piper and Wayne Grudem with many other male authors. This man's question was if women shouldn't be teaching men because of these reasons, should they be teaching women? What gives them authority to teach other women biblical doctrine? If this applies to the church and when a group of believing women are being taught by another woman, isn't this still the church since the Church isn't a building but consists of believers? He brings up some great points worthy of consideration and something I have already pondered. In this book are some important teachings given in Scripture concerning what women should and shouldn't teach. I have taken a sampling of sections that I thought were relevant to this study and what I teach since I desire more than anything to be obedient to the Word of God. 

In light of these considerations, we argue that the teaching prohibited to women here includes what we would call preaching (note 2 Timothy 4:2: “Preach the word . . . with careful instruction” [teaching, didache¯]), and the teaching of Bible and doctrine in the church, in colleges, and in seminaries. Other activities-leading Bible studies, for instance may be included, depending on how they are done. Still others-evangelistic witnessing, counseling, teaching subjects other than Bible or doctrine-are not, in our opinion, teaching in the sense Paul intends here.

In the area of women's Bible studies, we must be very careful since I have been to some who were not teaching the Word accurately. It seems they should focus more upon Titus 2:3-5 since this is what  God commands older women teach younger women and women need to learn these commands more than almost anything else after they are saved and have heard the Gospel. If we take God's Word seriously, which I do, I want to obey all of it. All of the teachers of Bible and doctrine in the Bible are men. This is clearly God's authority structure. Women need to be taught to be sober, love and obey their husbands, discreet, chaste, good, and keepers at home. Is this all that women should teach other women? These are quotes in the book about this very important topic. 

The ministry of women in the church was notable and significant, but it never supplanted male leadership; instead, it functioned as a support to male leadership. This view does not rule out all ministry for women. Instead, it sees the ministry of women as complementary and supportive.

Women can minister in prayer. Women have advanced the gospel in missions, are advancing it, and will continue to advance it. A wife can aid her husband in innumerable ways in setting up a mission station. And as a wife she can exert, by word and quiet example, a remarkable impact on a godless culture, especially since so many people in that culture will be women and children. And I think women can proclaim the gospel to men in those cultures, for 1 Timothy 2:11-15 prohibits only authoritative teaching to a group of Christians within the church, not evangelism to those outside the church. Such proclamation of the gospel is not limited to men. She should clearly explain, however (as many missionary women have done in history), that men should assume leadership roles in the governance and teaching ministry of the church as soon as it is established.

Titus 2:3-5 indicates that mature women have the responsibility of instructing younger women regarding a life of godliness. There are more women in evangelical churches today than men, and how the church needs godly women who will instruct younger women in the Christian life! Any woman who has a gift for teaching will find great fulfillment in instructing other women in this way. The church is in great need of women who are theologically and Biblically sound to instruct younger women in the matters of the faith.

There are so many ministries today in which a woman can advance the cause of Christ and righteousness! I will list a few here so that one can get some idea of the wide scope available: engaging in personal witnessing and joining campus organizations committed to spreading the gospel, ministering to the sick and elderly, fighting against abortion, fighting against pornography, helping with literacy, writing to government leaders to support the cause of righteousness, helping the disabled, aiding the poor, ministering in prisons, counseling and praying with the troubled and confused, supporting missionaries and the church financially, visiting newcomers to the church, extending hospitality to the lonely, using artistic gifts by ministering in music, the visual arts, drama, and theater, helping in youth ministry, etc. Probably one of the most significant ministry roles for women, although it is not their only role, is their role as wives and mothers. Paul says that mature women are to “train the younger women to love their husbands and children”

Another area in which women can have a powerful ministry is with children in the church. Of course, not all women are intended to work with children. But churches are crying out today for women to work with children, and it is harder and harder to find women who are available. I think part of the reason is that our culture, even in the church, does not think such a ministry is very honorable or significant. Now, we need men to work with children as well, but, as other parts of this book show, women are particularly fitted by God to work with children. How we need women who love children to help mold our children in churches and schools by teaching and example! Of course, other examples of significant ministry by women could be mentioned, but as we noted, the possibilities in a hurting and lost world are endless. God has fitted women for particular ministries for their own fulfillment and satisfaction and for His glory. Such ministry builds up the body of Christ so that the church can truly accomplish its work in the world.

Women absolutely have value in the ministry of the Lord, as these authors state, but they should never do anything that usurps, competes with, or challenges the role of the men. These authors also had a great interpretation of a controversial verse that followed the verses listed above; Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety {1 Timothy 2:15}.

Christian women will experience (work out; cf. Philippians 2:12) their salvation-in maintaining as priorities those key roles that Paul, in keeping with Scripture elsewhere, highlights: being faithful, helpful wives, raising children to love and reverence God, managing the household (cf. 1 Timothy 5:14; Titus 2:3-5).41 This is not to say, of course, that women cannot be saved unless they bear children. The women with whom Paul is concerned in this paragraph are all almost certainly married, so that he can mention one central role-bearing and raising children-as a way of designating appropriate female roles generally. Probably Paul makes this point because the false teachers were claiming that women could really experience what God had for them only if they abandoned the home and became actively involved in teaching and leadership roles in the church. If this interpretation is correct, then verse 15 fits perfectly with the emphasis we have seen in this text throughout. Against the attempt of the false teachers to get the women in Ephesus to adopt “libertarian,” unbiblical attitudes and behavior, Paul reaffirms the Biblical model of the Christian woman adorned with good works rather than with outward, seductive trappings, learning quietly and submissively, refraining from taking positions of authority over men, giving attention to those roles to which God has especially called women.

May we all be very careful to never "adopt libertarian, unbiblical attitudes and behavior." From now on, when I teach things outside of Titus 2:3-5, I am going to have Ken look it over and make any changes he wants to it and then publish it as written by both of us or simply publish a male preacher of the Word's comments and give him credit as I am doing with my Roman's series. I have noticed that women much prefer my posts having to do with Titus 2:3-5 anyways! Young women today hunger to learn their roles in marriage, raising children, and in the home.

Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, 
and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
James 4:17