Friday, 1 December 2017
And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. 1 Timothy 2:12
There is an emphasis in the Greek of this verse which is given to indicate the set and determined meaning of the words. It begins with the word “teach.” Thus the Greek emphatically reads, “To teach, however, a woman not I do permit, nor to have authority over a man.” The words are clear, they are concise, they are prescriptive, and they are no less the word of God than any other portion of Paul’s writings. Women are not to teach men, nor are they to exercise authority over them.
Paul is writing of church matters in a pastoral epistle which is included in the word of God. It is not “culturally” driven. It is not “time” driven. The letter is for guidance of the church, at all times, and in all cultures. To be sure, both testaments of the Bible speak of women who bore authority, or who prophesied. Among these are Deborah, Hannah, Anna, Huldah, and the seven daughters of Philip. However, context applies in all matters of doctrine. All of these are either under Old Testament times, or they are in the book of Acts. Acts is a book which is descriptive in nature, and which is given to show the progression of the church until the prescriptive writings of Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles, would finally and firmly set church doctrine for this dispensation. Paul’s letter to Timothy is such a prescriptive writing.
Paul will explain, in detail, why he writes these prohibitions, and they have to do with the natural order of things, as ordained by God. To dismiss what he writes is to then ignore what God has ordained. Paul continues with his thought. Not only are women not permitted to teach or have authority over men, but thy are “to be in silence.” This is fully in line with his words of 1 Corinthians 14:34, 35. No exceptions are given, and this is to be the practice of all churches who operate in accord with the word of God.
What this means is that women are not to be ordained to fill any pastoral position, nor any position as a deacon. They are to remain quiet within the church as is fitting with the word of God. In today’s world, one must think this through when evaluating well known female pastors and teachers. Several who are immediately recognizable are Beth Moore, Joyce Meyer, and Paula White. At times, these women will openly preach to congregations, including men in attendance, numbering in the thousands. And each word they speak is in direct disobedience to the word of God.
The question must be, “If their ministries are effective in teaching men about the word of God, then isn’t it acceptable that they continue?” The answer is clear. “No.” The end never justifies the means. God cannot violate His own word when judging such disobedience. In other words, when such a woman stands before the Lord, He will not (and He cannot) say, “What you did was in disobedience to My word, but I will overlook your disobedience because it led to a good end.” This is contrary to the nature of God to even consider. There can be no reward for their disobedience, only loss.
When a challenge to a portion of the word of God arises, one must be firm on their stand that such challenges are not based on personal feelings, but on what God has ordained. For example, when a man or a woman challenges or twists the meaning and intent of this verse, we have the full right to say, “I did not write these words, but I will stand upon them, because they are God’s words.” To challenge or dismiss them is to challenge the apostolic authority of Paul. In so doing, no portion of his writings can then be considered authoritative. All Gentile-led church doctrine becomes up to the church body.
The violation of Paul’s words here, since the first ordination of a woman in a mainstream denomination in 1853, have led to a complete degradation of adherence to the word of God in those churches where such action has taken place. From this springboard of disobedience, the natural next steps are allowing perversion to run amok, ordination of homosexuals, and a total apostasy of the church. And it all starts with ignoring 1 Timothy 1:11, 12. The issue here is that serious, and it is that destructive.
Life application: We are never to base our theology on emotion. Nor are we to base church decisions on our own personal standards or mores. Guidance for church conduct, including ordination to various offices within the church, is to be based solely on the word of God. To depart from the word in one matter will naturally and eventually lead to a total disregard of all of God’s word. Let us never depart from sound theology, even if it conflicts with culture or personal preference.
Lord, Your word is written, and it is to be adhered to. How very sad that the church has turned away from your guidelines for ordination found in the letters of Timothy and Titus. First, women were ordained in violation of Your word and, since that time, churches have quickly turned from sound morality. Now, perversion fills the pulpit. One thing has led to another, and Your word is shunned and ignored in order to promote cultural and political correctness. What a sad day we live in where we justify open sin in disobedience to Your word. Turn our hearts back to Your word, and give us church leaders who are ordained in accord with it alone. Amen.