"...under the authority of her husband..."

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Baptist Believer, May 20, 2003.

  1. Baptist Believer

    Baptist Believer
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    This is a request for information and I don't intend to start a debate, but I wouldn't be surprised if it happens...

    In between some massive deadlines at work and a busy church schedule I'm putting together a presentation for an adult Sunday School class this coming Sunday on Paul’s view of the roles of women in ministry - both volunteer ministry and vocational ministry.

    It’s a massive undertaking for me to put it together with my tight schedule and I’m trying to anticipate some of the major lines of interest. I’m also trying to present all sides of the issue as fairly as possible, but that means I have to have an understanding of the positions of others.

    While I have a pretty good handle on most aspects of the issue (I’ve been on both sides and have taken abuse dished out from both sides), I never really understood the view that a woman can teach in a church while she remained “under the authority of her husband” (for instance, Mrs. Criswell’s Sunday School class at First Baptist Dallas – the class is broadcast on the Criswell radio network), yet other women are not allowed teach or preach as “senior pastors”? (This may be a position exclusive to the Southern Baptist Convention.) What prevents a woman from being a “senior pastor” if she is “under the authority of her husband”? And since Dr. Criswell is deceased, how can Mrs. Criswell teach “under the authority of her husband”?

    Does it have to do with being under the “authority” of the pastor? If so, then what kind of “authority” does the pastor have since Baptists believe in soul competency and the priesthood of the believer?
     
  2. Daniel David

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    BB, I will take first stab at this since you undoubtedly knew it was coming...

    1. A woman cannot teach/preach to men "under the authority of her husband" because to do so, she would not be under the authority of Scripture (which is more important).

    2. Pastors do have authority. In Hebrews, we are told to "obey them that have rule of you, for they care for your soul". So, authority does indeed exist, how much is what the debate is about.

    3. Personally, I think Dr. Criswell had this issue as a blind spot.
     
  3. Baptist Believer

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    Actually, I didn’t. You haven’t been active lately.

    Yes, that would be a more consistent view if you interpret 1 Timothy 2 and 1 Corinthians 14 as a prohibition against women as teachers. Do you have a disagreement with the new Baptist Faith and Message regarding this issue where there is merely a prohibition against "senior" pastors - that is, do you think that the Baptist Faith and Message did not go far enough with the prohibition?

    Yes. What is the extent of this pastoral authority in your opinion?

    Yes, I can see that.

    Thanks for your speedy response! :D
     
  4. Johnv

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    What prevents a woman from being a “senior pastor” if she is “under the authority of her husband”?

    If a woman is pastor, then her husband is Christ. I see no problem with a woman being a pastor.
     
  5. Frogman

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    Christ is the husband of the church, not an individual woman.

    Bro. Dallas Eaton
     
  6. Helen

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    As a woman, and as a teacher, and as someone who is respected by the men in her field, I have a great deal of problem with the idea of a woman as a pastor.

    God has given us roles and has equipped us for our roles. That doesn't mean everyone pays attention to that, but it does mean that that is what He has done. The man has been given the leadership position. Men tend to be goal-oriented and more 'naturally' logical than women. We can be trained that way, but women almost always are more relationship-oriented and that can really get in the way in a leadership position.

    Men have an ability to focus on one thing and see it through. Women have an ability to 'fray' their attentions and pay attention to a number of things at once -- but we can have a difficult time following them through!

    So while we are ideal for the support position we have been given, it is men who have been given the role and ability for leadership positions.

    That being said, the men who grasp for that and achieve it by stomping all over others, especially the women, are abusing their role terribly. I really do think most men on earth need a woman to support and encourage and even advise them. We do have insights and wisdom sometimes not given to you men.

    I don't like what I see has happened to the roles established by God in today's society. The women have been masculinized and the men feminized (I have no idea if those are real words...LOL). Men are abusive and women start snarling. It's lovely, isn't it?

    Not!

    There is a joy and a peace in the proper relationships between men and women. A woman as pastor or church authority is disrupting that picture badly, and pictures are important. Moses could not enter the Promised Land because he disobeyed God and struck the Rock instead of speaking only. The wrong picture was presented to Israel and the consequences were severe.

    We do have a picture to present to the world, and obedience to God is central to that.

    All that being said, my husband is more than supportive of my work and accomplishments. He encourages me and takes pride in what I do. That is a wonderful thing for me and one of the things I find myself doing is caring more and more for him and his welfare and his work. I am very happy to follow his lead, for I know he is following where Christ leads, and in the meantime, we are both getting a lot of work done in various areas and life is challenging and full. We have full respect for each other, but that does not take away from him still being the leader in this house and in our lives.

    And I am very much at peace with that.
     
  7. donnA

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    Becasue she is biblically not allowed to teach men, and the bible specifies that a pastor is a man.
    Women can still teach other women.

    She doesn't have one. But she is accountable to her pastor and church.
     
  8. christine

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    Helen, while I personally don't agree with your assessment of women, I do agree that God said they should be silent in the church.
    God said it and that's enough for me, doesn't matter if she would be competent to do it or not.
    Christine
     
  9. Frogman

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    If only we held women in the esteem that God has, it is through a woman that He brought into the world the manifestation of His Glory in this World.

    This does not warrant the worship of that woman, nor does it warrant the contradiction of scripture. But let's consider the truth of the position God has given to our mothers and our wives. I know personally my wife is indispensable in my ministry. I am thankful for her support. May God continue to Bless her and me through her. Amen.

    Bro. Dallas Eaton [​IMG]
     
  10. Johnv

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    Are you kidding? Do you know how awesome of a pastor you'd be? You speak well, intelligently, and fluently. Your words attract attention. You have a gift for "preaching", though you're currently not in the pulpit. Of course, Baptist congregations generally bar women as pastors. However, if you and I were in another denomination together, I would highly encourage you to consider becoming a pastor. I wouldn't consider this as a woman becoming "masculinized". After all, most of what we men learn, we learn from the greatest pastors in the world, our mothers. ;)
     
  11. Helen

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    Thank you, John, but absolutely not. I am not a bad teacher or editor, but in a position of authority I sway much too much. My kids learned this early on! A pastor has to do much more than teach and counsel. And he should be a man.
     
  12. latterrain77

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    Unforunately, many (most) pastors do not meet the required "must be" standards of 1 Tim. 3. Also, many of them do not meet Johnv's excellent breakdown of a "good preacher" (i.e. "speak well, intelligently, and fluently, words that attract attention, a gift for preaching"). It is a dilemma that can only be resolved in the Bible. latterrain77
     
  13. dianetavegia

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    AMEN HELEN! Well said!

    Diane
     
  14. SaggyWoman

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    As a single, never married woman, I struggle with this Under The Authority of Her Husband.

    I do not have problems with it because he does not exist. The Bible speaks directly to this, saying that we can serve God better as a single person, where I would not have ties to give to my husband. I can give it all to God.

    So, this being the case, I realize that teaching is not my gift. But, administration is. And, under the authority of my pastor, I administrate my little buns off.

    Am I in error?
     
  15. Frogman

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    If scripture teaches a woman should not be in authority over the man, then it is true regardless of the denomination. I am in agreement with Helen. While at the same time I recognize she possesses the qualities of a teacher that you have discussed.

    God Bless.
    Bro. Dallas Eaton
     
  16. Dr. Bob

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    I likewise agree that a woman must not usurp authority over a man. They cannot biblically be a pastor.

    I was at FBC Dallas in the mid-80's. Mrs. C taught a ladies class. So did Mary Kay. Tom Landry and Zig Ziglar taught a mixed-gender class. She never preached and never was presented as a "pastor" by anybody I ever met.
     
  17. Helen

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    Something occurred to me and I had to giggle. It would be very hard for me to be the husband of but one woman.....

    :D :D :D
     
  18. Baptist Believer

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    Interesting... I've only attended worship services at FBC Dallas, not Sunday School, so I haven't been to Mrs. Criswell's class, but I have listened to it on the radio a number of times on the radio and there are always men involved in the administration of the class who's voices were on the radio. Furthermore, I have been told by several FBC Dallas people that the class is enormous and was a mixed gender class.

    Is the class intended for women but allows men if they want to come?
     
  19. dianetavegia

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    Our church has a class for college and career, ages 18-24 that has a college professor (lady) and a man teacher. The man pretty much never shows up. The lady teaches the class as an open discussion type class with her as leader. There are several young men in the class. It bothered me at first but one Sunday our teacher didn't show up. I was the ONLY person out of 45 class members who had studied the lesson. I would NOT teach a mixed class so we sat in with the college and career. I found this to be well done with no authority presented. In fact, this lady seemed to empower the young men, get them to open up and help 'teach' without knowing they were teaching.

    This is a case where God is using the person willing to do the job. However, it bugs me that the man who should be present, is too busy with other church jobs to attend and help teach.

    Still, this bothers me that a woman is listed as teacher over young men. What do the rest of you think about this? Is there an age limit for women teaching men? I've always felt by age 12 boys need men teachers.

    Diane :confused:
     
  20. Karen

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    Dear Diane,
    I often do not agree with you, but you present your points clearly and well. I am interested in the strong view you consistently take on this and yet you don't carry it to posting on the BB. I'm sure there are lots of men who learn from what you post. Is it only inside a church building that you have concern about this?
    Why if so, is there one appropriate behavior in church and another out of it?
    Not trying to pick a fight, just am interested in how you separate the two activities.

    Karen
     

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