Each semester my theology classes have a debate. Sometimes the debate concerns topics such as the nature of tongues or the age of the earth. This semester, the motion for debate was “A consecrated female Christian is eligible to be considered for all avenues of ministry, including preaching, teaching, and the role of senior pastor.” Harry Hawk gave the opening argument for the side arguing against the motion. He did such a good job I would like to share his argument with you below: We are arguing against the view that women are eligible to be senior pastors.
We view the Bible as the inerrant and infallible word of God. We affirm that God created women and men equal and they each have equal value and worth in God’s eyes. The Bible clearly shows that there are differing roles within the creation between God, the creator, and his creation. It is also clear that there are differing roles within the Trinity between God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. These differing roles are also reflected in the roles set forth by God for the family and the Church. Therefore, we affirm that women and men have been given distinct roles within the church, designated by God, in His Word.
1. God created men and women equal.
a. Throughout the Old and New Testament scripture has made it clear that men and women have equal value and dignity before God.
i. Genesis 1:26-27 says, “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them
have dominion. over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’ So God created man in his own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them
.” It is clear in this passage that man and woman were created equal in God’s eyes. God created man and woman in his image. Wayne Grudem said it best when he said; “Nowhere does the Bible say that men are more in God’s image than women.”
ii. This fact is also demonstrated by Paul in the New Testament in Galatians 3:26-29 where he writes, “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” In Galatians 3 Paul affirms that all those in Christ are equal in value and dignity.
2. God has created men and women as equals but he uses his creation to paint a picture of the relationship that he has with his creation. This picture involves men and women having differing roles within the family relationship.
a. Men and women within a marriage relationship have differing roles according to creation.
i. Genesis 2:7, 20b-22 states, “But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him. And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the LORD God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.” This section clearly states that Adam was created first and then Eve.
ii. 1 Corinthians 15:22 states, “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.” This shows that Adam had a special role in representing the human race.
iii. Genesis 2:23 states, “And Adam said: ‘This is now bone of my bones And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.’” In this text Adam was given authority over the woman because he named her.
iv. Genesis 3:9 states, “Then the LORD God called to Adam and said to him, ‘Where are you?’” This indicates that God held Adam accountable for the sin. Therefore, God called to Adam after the fall, not Eve.
3. Distinct roles do not imply inequality.
a. Within the Trinity there are distinct roles and persons without inequality of essence.
i. 1 Corinthians 11:3 states, “But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.” This text shows that there are definitely distinct roles within the Trinity between the Father and the Son.
ii. In John 3:16 it states that the father gave
his only son.
iii. In John 3:17 it states that the father sent
his son into the world.
iv. Romans 8:29 states, “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.” This verse tells us that there is a distinct role relationship within the Trinity where Christ submits to the will of the Father.
4. The distinct roles within the household and the Trinity are both pictures of the distinct roles within the Church.
a. The good order in which God ordained marriage and the order, which is seen within the Trinity, are carried thematically into the distinction of roles within the church specifically regarding gender specific roles.
i. In the Old Testament Priests were responsible for teaching
the people of God and all
of the priests were men. This is attested to in Leviticus 10:11, and Malachi 2:6-7.
ii. 1 Timothy 2:12-13 says, “And I do not permit a woman to teach or have authority over a man, but to be in silence. For Adam was formed first, then Eve.” It should be noted that this passage is in the context of a local, assembled church. Wayne Grudem said, “The conclusion is that Paul did not allow women to do Bible teaching or have governing authority over the assembled church.”
iii. In the qualifications for Elder in 1Timothy 3:2-4 Paul says that He must be the husband of one wife and he must be able to rule his house well. These are both roles that are specific to men.
iv. In Titus 1:5-6 Paul says, “For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you—if a man is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of dissipation or insubordination.” Paul is restating his qualifications for Elder which gives the idea that these qualifications are not aimed at one local body of believers but to all of the local bodies of believers.
v. Jesus also appointed 12 male apostles. If the church were supposed to have female leadership, He would have chosen 6 male and 6 female apostles.
In conclusion, the entire theme of the Scriptures shows that though women and men are created with equal value as persons there are clear distinctions between men and women that are put there by God. God uses these distinctions in a complimentary way to strengthen the bond within the marriage, the family, and the Trinity. These roles are carried over into the church. This is why we affirm that “A consecrated female Christian is not eligible to be considered for all avenues of ministry; specifically preaching, teaching men, and the role of senior pastor in the context of the local congregation.” 
Evangelical Feminism and Biblical Truth, 26. 
Evangelical Feminism and Biblical Truth, 26.