Should women teach men? Yes, I will be seeking to answer that question this Sunday at Redeemer. But is that really the issue or does the debate go much deeper? It is so much easier to hold the Bible above our heads and declare that it is our sole guide for all things, than to actually carefully try to understand and obey what it says.
Paul has thus far been addressing false teaching in Ephesus and encouraging Timothy to fight the good fight. There is an important connection between “fighting” and sound doctrine. Remember the purpose of 1 Timothy found in chapter 3?
I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these things to you so that, 15 if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of truth. –1 Timothy 3:14-15
Think about the idea of “knowing how to behave.” In order to fight well, we must know what the Bible says and submit to it. Is this your common reaction when you come across texts that seem to be unpopular? Do you try to avoid things in God’s Word that directly contradict your current practice? Following Christ is no popularity contest. Often times the reaction people have to God’s Word is defensive and even accusatory. If you don’t believe this, briefly survey the life of Jesus, Paul and the disciples.
But, if the church is going to be the pillar and buttress of the truth, we must not shy away from the clear teaching of the Scriptures. The sermon title this week is Women’s Ministry in the Local Church, from 1 Timothy 2:9-15 (download the devotional guide here).
It is okay for women to teach men if the elders give permission? What about Sunday school? Isn’t this just a cultural thing that should not be applied to our current situation? I do not claim to have all the answers. In fact, I remind myself often that I stand on the shoulders of giants.
One of those giants, I have been given the privilege to pastor with. Jim Hamilton has “fought the good fight” on this issue on multiple occasions. I highly recommend his essay, WHAT WOMEN CAN DO IN MINISTRY:FULL PARTICIPATION WITHIN BIBLICAL BOUNDARIES, presented at the Wheaton Theology Conference. I will be reading it again as I prepare for this week’s message. Also, check out this blog entitled Unity, Liberty, and Charity: Does This Mean Women can Teach Men?
If you are interested, check back soon for audio from this message.
May God’s Glory be lifted High in the local Church!