Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Women as Elders?

1 Timothy 3: 1-2 (nasb), “If any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do. An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach.”

Recently Margaret and I spoke in a thriving, growing church in the Seattle area. It was interesting that the young pastor (first pastorate) trained in a liberal seminary.  He did have one professor that emphasized the importance of actually teaching the Word, and if possible to give Bible exposition and to preach through the Word of God consecutively so people can understand it in its context.

Since this was his first pastorate, this pastor thought he would begin preaching, in the book of 1 Timothy since Paul wrote it to Timothy to give guidelines in the overall conduct of the church.

As this pastor began to preach through 1 Timothy, especially the first and second chapter, the church began to grow, people brought their Bibles, and were excited about God’s Word.  

Then the pastor came to the end of the chapter 2 and the first part of chapter 3. He became quite concerned because all the elders of the church were women, and he saw that the Bible taught that only men were to be elders, not women.  Not knowing what to do and not wanting to offend, he called an elders’ meeting and shared his dilemma. He read 1 Timothy, chapters 2 and 3 with the women elders.  He told them that he didn’t want to pick on or offend them, and he wanted their advice as what to do.  

The Board decided to pray about it for a week with each studying the Scripture to see what they as elders and women should do for the church.

That week each of the women elders resigned realizing that they as women, according to Scripture, should not hold the position of an elder in the church.

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