Women pastor and teachers in the modern church

Say hello…hello

Where are you from?Victoria, bc, canada

What led you to join Connect?looking for GODs’ Truth
I grew up in the Irish catholic church became born again after a Billy Graham conference in Toronto went to the baptist church then was moved by God to a spirit led home church with deliverance ministry I need to be able to defend my faith and God’s Truth in love with people that I meet.One verse in the bible that I cannot explain and from my reading & it is a controversial verse where the Apostle Paul has written to TImothy stating he does not permit a woman to teach men in the church.There are many great women pastors and teachers in the world today and I feel the context is is not applicable to todayI would love to pick Ravi’s brains on this


Hi Michelle @Michele_Cameron congratulations and welcome to RZIM connect.

I am so glad to meet you. You will definitely find anwers to your questions. I think this two links can be helpful to you nevertheless this questions have been answered one way or the other before. Do search for related topic to enjoy more.

Thank you for asking.
God bless you


@Michele_Cameron Nice to meet you!


@Michele_Cameron Not certain exactly how Ravi would interpret that specific passage, but here are some thoughts from some other smart folks as well as some additional resources on this issue :slight_smile:

N. T. Wright and Craig Keener make a strong case that the point of this passage, in its historical context, is not for women to be quiet in Church but rather is a point made in relation to a female led cult in the area. Whether or not this is the ‘right’ explanation, I think the main point we need to take away is that this passage is not easy to interpret - and we should not make strong prohibitions on behavior based on uncertain interpretations.

So I would say that there is no solid argument against women speaking either in Church or in parachurch organizations. However, I think that there may sometimes be cultural reasons that we must take into account - if we are trying to reach a culture we should be a Greek to the Greeks and Jew to the Jews, as Paul himself did.

Now if you were writing a letter to someone in a small, new religious movement with a base in Ephesus, and wanted to say that because of the gospel of Jesus the old ways of organising male and female roles had to be rethought from top to bottom, with one feature of that being that the women were to be encouraged to study and learn and take a leadership role, you might well want to avoid giving the wrong impression. Was the apostle saying, people might wonder, that women should be trained up so that Christianity would gradually become a cult like that of Artemis, where women did the leading and kept the men in line? That, it seems to me, is what verse 12 is denying. The word I’ve translated ‘try to dictate to them’ is unusual, but seems to have the overtones of ‘being bossy’ or ‘seizing control’. Paul is saying, like Jesus in Luke 10, that women must have the space and leisure to study and learn in their own way, not in order that they may muscle in and take over the leadership as in the Artemis-cult, but so that men and women alike can develop whatever gifts of learning, teaching and leadership God is giving them.
Women and Church Leadership


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Thank you for the links and information Sean This is a bone of contention between my son and me. My Church has a woman pastor who is incredibly anointed of God. My son has latched onto this verse I do not permit a woman to teach men as a reason not to come to Church, because he is following the bible.I explained context to him, but he is not buying it.The enemy is working hard in this one. My son want to know the truth and is not a misogynist however any articles he has read are based on opinion. Is there anywhere in the bible that promotes women in leadership roles teaching men in the New Testament ?

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@Michele_Cameron Praying for wisdom in your situation :slight_smile: Well, I think the first thing to understand and perhaps explain to your son if he is not already aware is that there are different levels of doctrine. This particular doctrine is a conviction or opinion; not an absolute, so sincere Christians can disagree.

Assuming your son truly wants to follow Jesus but feels convicted that women should not preach, I might recommend prayerfully considering finding a Church that respects and honors women, but does not offend your son’s conscience in this matter. This would be a case of the weaker brother (1 Cor 8).

Now, if your son is simply using this quibble to duck out of Church, then I think the issue is a bit different, but from what you’ve said I’m hearing that your son is sincere. I wouldn’t want a secondary issue to keep him from growing in Christ and I think it is important to respect his conscience if after explaining the issue he still holds this view.

You might consider having him read a book by Craig Keener: “Paul, Women, and Wives” if he is interested in studying further.

1 Cor 8:9-13 - Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak. 10 For if someone with a weak conscience sees you, with all your knowledge, eating in an idol’s temple, won’t that person be emboldened to eat what is sacrificed to idols? 11 So this weak brother or sister, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. 12 When you sin against them in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. 13 Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall.

Levels of Doctrine

The below article offers a fuller explanation of levels of doctrine and gives a helpful summary list of 4 levels of doctrine.

  1. absolutes define the core beliefs of the Christian faith;
  2. convictions , while not core beliefs, may have significant impact on the health and effectiveness of the church;
  3. opinions are less-clear issues that generally are not worth dividing over; and
  4. questions are currently unsettled issues.

Where an issue falls within these categories should be determined by weighing the cumulative force of at least seven considerations:

  1. biblical clarity;
  2. relevance to the character of God;
  3. relevance to the essence of the gospel;
  4. biblical frequency and significance (how often in Scripture it is taught, and what weight Scripture places upon it);
  5. effect on other doctrines;
  6. consensus among Christians (past and present); and
  7. effect on personal and church life.

@Michele_Cameron Hi!

Great question! Personally, I hold to a complementarian view, and I have listed some resources that would support that view, hopefully it will help!

I believe the verse you’re referring to is 1 Timothy 2:12. Here is an excerpt from the ESV Study Bible on that verse.
“…This statement is given in the context of Paul’s apostolic instructions to the church for the ordering of church practice when the church is assembled together. In that context, two things are prohibited: (1) Women are not permitted to publicly teach Scripture and/or Christian doctrine to men in church (the context implies these topics), and (2) women are not permitted to exercise authority over men in church. (The reference for both “teaching” and “exercise authority” here is within the context of the assembled church.) Women teaching other women, and women teaching children, are not in view here, and both are encouraged elsewhere (on women teaching women, cf. Titus 2:4; on women teaching children, cf. 2 Tim. 1:5)…”

A complementarian view is also held by The Gospel Coalition. They explain their reasons for this in the YouTube video(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jnq-19yoRC4).

Also, when addressing the issue of women pastors in this YouTube video(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MyBe2FKnIoI), Michael Brown concludes that, “…from everything I can see in Scripture, governmental authority is primarily male…”.

Personally, I agree with the sources stated above, and I don’t think the arguments for female pastors are correct or are strong enough to overturn the complementarian understanding of these verses. However, that’s just my perspective!


Welcome to Connect, @Michele_Cameron! We’re glad you’ve joined us, and I pray that this community can be one that enriches you. :slight_smile: I see a couple of folks have taken you up on the question you had, and I just wanted to add that this has been the topic of much discussion already here on Connect. Both Sean and John have pointed you in some good directions, and I wanted to point you in the direction of the reply of one of RZIM fellows in South Africa. (See below.) At the end of his reply, you can follow some other links (:link:) to other people who has asked a similar question. If you still have some questions you’d like to further discuss, do start a new thread of discussion on one of the categories!



Deborah was the 4th Judge in Judges. She instructed, led and prophesied.

Then we have the Proverbs 31 woman.

And then we have Paul’s own words in Gal 3:28, There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

IMHO This verse in Timothy cannot be taken alone, it has to be taken along with all the other verses in the Bible. " I do not permit a woman ", Not God does not permit a woman. Paul may have had his reasons, perhaps in context of that particular church/churches, it definitely could not have been a blanket statement even on Paul’s part since other verses in the Bible are not with it.

Jesus himself seems to have had no issues with the Samaritan woman taking the gospel (the arrival of the Messiah) to men.

So when we look at the whole picture, I feel, women instructing men is not an issue for God.


Personally, I believe the roles between men and women are just representations of Christ and His bride, the church.

Thanks for this age old question that I and many struggled with now and in the past. Many have seen in the bible and I have struggled with many supposed contradictions but I had to admit I was wrong in my interpretation. Scripture says in various places;

John 3:16 NKJV
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Acts 1:14 NKJV
These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.

Acts 10:34‭-‬35 NKJV
Then Peter opened his mouth and said: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him.

Acts 10:44‭-‬48 NKJV
While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God. Then Peter answered, “Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have? ” .

I feel just these few scriptures prove that God uses any and all that are willing to speak His truth.
In conclusion 1 Cor 12 in regards to gifts says

I Corinthians 12:11 NKJV
But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.
Thanks for your question and time in reading this.

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Hi Thanks everyone for your views and information on this subject. That’s very true. In my early christian life I used to listen Joyce meyer sermons in TV besides my pastors sermons in church. That’s helped a lot to learn bible. Just wondering if there is any preaching or Q&A from Ravi Zacharias. Please if so. Thanks

What about the other scripture from Paul? It is true that we are all equal in Christ and it is not a matter of inferiority but of roles.

Hey Jesse good morning, not sure what you meant by this? Could you help me? I do agree we are level, equal at the foot of the cross. Thank you

1 Tim.

The question is one of specifics vs generalities. It is a decision we make between how we order the overall message of the the Bible vs the specifics of what the Bible actually says.

In a sense it is a question of whether we take the rule of thumb over the specific rules about that rule of thumb or not.

Thanks for the clarification Jesse, everyone will agree the overall principle theme of the Bible. God, Jesus is all about.

“ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
Matthew 22:37‭-‬40 NKJV
Love never singles out, separates, anyone one for any reason, hence we are all equal. In light of the umbrella of love thinking Paul was against women teaching doesn’t fit. Did I make it clear enough?

There is much just on the original question.here to show us more about that.


There are instances in the Bible where Paul corrected immoral acts to the point that he forced them out of the congregation.

God has also killed believers as a form of correction.

Most of where my gusto revolves is in my convictions. I find it acceptable and even good sometimes to correct people.

There are many things Paul says that are up for debate, such as the Gifts of the Spirit and whether they stopped for some unknown reason. Most Christians believe the Gifts of the Spirit are for today because it makes Christianity look weak if they don’t exist today. But to be fair to the people that don’t believe they are for today, the Gifts of the Spirit were really more like guidelines rather than taking them to the letter of the law. Paul had a systematic way of interpreting the Hebrew Bible.

We may be getting a little off original topic, question
Those are awesome questions which I have pondered and I think posting all of it as a separate question on ask RZIM would be helpful to everyone else also. Wisdom is found in a multitude of counselors.

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