Why Can’t Women Be Pastors?

When you consider how much weight the Bible carries with atheists, this is really what it boils down to when we hear Christians talk about why women can’t hold certain positions within the church:

Sure, some churches have female pastors, but not many that I’ve seen. (I’d love to know the exact percentage if someone could find it.) I wonder what rationale these churches use, because other churches are clearly ignoring or denying it.

I think if you ask most people (both Christians and non-Christians) whether women are given the same opportunities as men within the church, the answer would be no.

David Hayward explains the Bible verse that some Christians use to justify this treatment:

I sometimes wonder if that one verse, 1 Timothy 2: 12, wasn’t written: “I do not allow a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent,” how differently things would play out. Even though the bible was clearly written from a patriarchal point of view, and even though much of the pastoral epistles were written ad hoc, that one proof-text wouldn’t be at the disposal of those who also don’t allow women to teach or even speak in church, never mind have any kind of authority or leadership. And even though it is probable that Paul didn’t even write the pastoral epistles, this verse still carries so much canonical weight that has enormous consequences in the church.

I’m reminded of the Lutheran church in Wisconsin, where the women weren’t allowed to speak or vote on a major issue. It’s not typical of most Christian churches, but I think this is that same Bible verse taken to its extreme.

(via nakedpastor)

  • http://gretachristina.typepad.com/ Greta Christina

    No, no, no. It’s not because we have breasts.

    It’s because we have VAGINAS.

    Very important difference.

  • Hannah C

    At the church I went to, the Children’s pastor was a woman, but the main pastor was a man. They wouldn’t allow women to be head pastors in the adult section of the church, but I guess they saw them fit to teach children. Even the youth (middle school/highschool) sections of the church had male pastors. I don’t know their reasoning behind all this, but it is interesting to think about.
    It was an Evangelical Free church, btw.

  • jemand

    No, no, no. It’s not because of what we HAVE at all, it’s because we LACK dicks.

    Very important difference.

    If there’s a doctrinal difference, you solve it by whippin’ out the dick and seeing which is longer. CLEARLY, women are always wrong.

  • http://thegodlessmonster.com/ The Godless Monster

    Why?
    I think I sum up the reason pretty well here.

    “Submission of women is a cornerstone of any religious fundamentalist worldview. Even the primitives understand that control over the means of reproduction is the ultimate power. Without women, there is no human race to subjugate. Control women, and you control all of mankind. A place for everyone and everyone in their place, both men and women.”

    Like I said…control women and you control all of mankind.

  • http://atheistclimber.wordpress.com atheistclimber

    It’s because religion is a pratriarchical boy’s club.

    I’ve said it before, “The fight for freedom from religion is the fight for equality for women.” Look up Taslima Nisrin and see what being a woman criticising religion can cause. Emotive stuff.

  • Claudia

    I don’t really think that the absence of that one verse would have made much of a difference. There’s quite a bit of anti-woman material in the scriptures and any number of verses could be used as justifications for pre-existing sexism. The story of Ham was used to justify slavery at one time, but I don’t think the non-existence of that story would have prevented the slavery of Africans. You can justify anything, from raping little girls to absolute pacifism using the Bible, as long as you’re willing to pick and choose, which every single Christian, no matter how good or evil, does.

  • beckster

    I grew up with two female pastors. It was a congregational church. When I was older and learned that this was not something commonly allowed I was surprised because it seemed very normal to me.

  • Danny

    I was rather surprised when you posted about that Wisconsin Lutheran church and its attitude towards women. My family (not I; atheist here!) attends a Lutheran church that not only accepts the GLBT community, but has TWO female pastors and ONE male pastor.

  • Samiimas

    Some churches allow women to lead while others make them serve? But… but… the bible’s rules are obvious, objective and eternal! This would mean that the people who constantly lecture me about how my ‘subjective’ morals can never truly decide anything can’t even decide whether or not women should be allowed to be in charge.

  • Dan

    I decided to Google what religious people have to say about this, and I found this:

    Paul was inspired to write [1 Tim. 2:12] as his own policy, not as a command… When Paul wrote to Timothy, he had a policy against women in authority—but God does not seem to have that policy. He gave Deborah authority as a prophetess and judge—and there is no logical reason why the creation priority of man gives males exclusive authority in the religious sphere but not in civil government. The Bible clearly shows that although women rarely had civil authority, God does allow it, and the primary passage that would seem to limit female authority in the church is introduced as a policy rather than a command.

    http://www.gci.org/church/ministry/women10

    So it appears, that they’re saying anything that hasn’t come from God specifically isn’t something a Christian HAS to follow. That includes what Timothy has to say about women. First I’ve heard of that.

    The problem I have then is, I thought the Bible was ALL inspired and/or written by God. Even the parts that record man’s rules. But I haven’t yet found a site answering that dilemma.

  • http://thegodlessmonster.com/ The Godless Monster

    This has nothing to do with a god, gods or books. We need to dig deeper than “men are mean because they have dicks” or this holy book says “this and that”.
    I believe it has everything to do with obtaining and maintaining power over others. Men have overwhelmingly dominated all major religious hierarchies throughout history. There had to have been an evolutionary advantage bestowed on our ancestors for having such a consistent arrangement among so many disparate groups going back so many thousands or perhaps even millions of years. There is probably an evolutionary basis for this phenomenon, just as there is likely an evolutionary basis for religious belief in general. Whatever purpose this type of power structure may have served back in our ancestral environment, it is most likely no longer relevant now. In fact, it appears to be extremely harmful.
    Again, it’s (at least to a large degree) about controlling the means of reproduction.

  • Karen

    We had a couple of women on staff at the last (evangelical) church I attended. One was children’s pastor and one was women’s ministries pastor.

    Except that they couldn’t actually be called “pastor.” They did exactly the same job as the men on the same level, but they were called “director” and paid less.

    Unbelievably stupid and insulting, but they couldn’t offend any of the traditionalists!

  • Will

    The way it was explained to me when I asked why women couldn’t be priests in the catholic church is because Jesus didn’t ordain any women as apostles and since the apostles were the first bishops, and the bishops are the ones who stand in the fullness of the priesthood, we couldn’t contradict jesus’s example. Also, they said that priests serve gods priestesses serve goddesses and since Catholics worship god and not a goddess female priests were out of the question. They actually told me this.

  • http://atheistreadsbible.blogspot.com/ Jude

    At the church I grew up in, women participated in church governance and taught Sunday School, but they couldn’t be ministers. I figure that I might have become a minister if they’d allowed it; I would have been an atheist minister, but I would have enjoyed being in charge of the music, giving meaningful sermons, the service, and helping people.

  • Erp

    Well the Society of Friends (Quakers) doesn’t have pastors but women more or less from the beginning (mid 1600s) have been able to speak in public and lead. One of the early leaders, Margaret Fell, wrote “Women’s Speaking Justified, Proved and Allowed of by the Scriptures, All Such as Speak by the Spirit and Power of the Lord Jesus And How Women Were the First That Preached the Tidings of the Resurrection of Jesus, and Were Sent by Christ’s Own Command Before He Ascended to the Father (John 20:17)” in 1660′s (17th century titles tended to be long). Things weren’t completely equal from the beginning (yearly meetings were separate and not equal until much later) but they were well ahead of just about everyone else.

    The Religious Tolerance group has an article on female clergy. Unitarians and Universalists started having them in the late 19th century. The Southern Baptist Convention has gone backwards.

  • Sven

    While I’ve been a semi-open atheist for some time, I still attend church when I visit home from time-to-time. The new pastor is an smart and funny woman whom I actually respect quite a lot.

    She grew up in an ultra-conservative-Christian lifestyle, and broke out of it roughly a decade ago. Now she’s a laid-back semi-liberal friendly Christian who you can sit down with and talk to about pretty much anything, including candid critiques of religion itself (I want to again reiterate how much I respect her).

    She confided to me what when she was ordained as a pastor for the Covenant Church (a laid-back Swedish offshoot of Lutheranism), she recieved threatening and hostile mail from total strangers in a number of states, for no reason other than she was a female member of the clergy. It’s incredible how worked up people will get over such a thing.

  • Stagamancer

    The Anglican Communion began ordaining women in 1976, however, the ability of women to be ordained within said church varies greatly from place to place. The US, Canada, and New Zealand have been the most progressive and in these countries the ratio of female to male priests has rise dramatically over the last 34 years (though it’s not yet equal). The Episcopal Church of the United States was the first to elect a female bishop as their Presiding Bishop (like the Prime Minister of the church), however, Anglican churches of 10 other countries within the Communion do not recognize her as a primate (teehee, such silly nomenclature). In many countries, including the UK, women are ordained as priests but not as bishops.

    Personally, I knew many female priests growing up. I attended the Episcopal cathedral in my home town and there were always a good portion of female priests. The dean of the cathedral has never been female, though. And the church my mother attended growing up had a female priest as rector for a long time.

    All in all the Episcopal church is rather progressive when it comes to female priests (some stats that are kinda old but were all I could find), but there is a lot of division within the US as well as the entire Anglican Communion on the subject. At least without a pope people get to debate and vote on the issue.

  • fritzy

    Just another reason to leave religion and it’s traditions in the past where they belong (*harumph*).

  • Rich Wilson

    What I don’t get is how people can NOT take bible verse to the extreme. If it says “eat no shrimp” then obviously you shouldn’t shrimp, no? But they go and pass on the “no shrimp” thing, and get all huffy about the “man lying with man as with woman” thing. Ok, ok, I know, not all of them. But if you’re going get your rules from a book, then what’s the point of going half way?

    Sorry officer, I only follow half the rules in the Vehicle code. I see the “speeding” one more as a ‘guideline’.

  • Mackrelmint

    A few years ago one of my jobs was to over-see teaching assistants (TA) for a first year university course and I was surprised to find that a senior female TA regularly expected her male junior TA to teach the lab rather than act as support, despite instruction being her job and not his. (-And also completely disregarding her own expertise in the field as a PhD student compared to his knowledge as a senior undergrad.) When I inquired about the situation in response to a complaint from the junior, her rationale was given as explicitly being based on 1 Timothy 2:12. She believed that acting as senior TA while a male TA was also present put her in conflict with this biblical directive. She had no problem lecturing male and female students with a female junior however.

  • Neon Genesis

    “I wonder what rationale these churches use, because other churches are clearly ignoring or denying it.”

    The pastoral epistles weren’t written by Paul but were written long after his death by someone pretending to be Paul. In 1 Corinthians, women are prophets who can speak in tongues. Phoebe is a deacon in Paul’s church who is a woman and Paul commands the men to submit to the authority of Phoebe. In all the authentic letters of Paul, Paul commands women and men to submit to one another and says there is no male or female under Christ but all are equal. It is only in the inauthentic letters of Paul where only women are to submit to men and men aren’t told to submit to anyone. In Romans chapter 16, one of the apostles in Paul’s church is a woman named Junia. Later biblical manuscripts tried to censor it by changing Junia’s name to being a man’s name but it is clear that in the earliest manuscripts, Junia is a woman apostle. All this can be learned in Bart D Ehrman’s book Misquoting Jesus.

  • nathan

    There is a certain difference between men and woman psychologically. It’s not a pixel perfect line, but it is enough to separate women and men on leadership styles.

    It is one of the major reasons that men also are more successful financially by the way, not just because of some glass ceiling. It is also a major reason why classrooms that are predominantly men tend to be far louder than classes 50-50 or predominantly women, or why a female toddler will play with a phone-car as a phone, while a male toddler will play with it as a car.

    Of course it’s not a very good reason (and I’m sure several female leaders are better than the majority of male leaders), but then once a power is given away it is much harder to take back.

  • Laura

    The United Methodist Church ordains women. In fact, I didn’t realize it was considered taboo in other churches until I was much older. One female pastor I knew had a shirt that read “The Unite Methodist Church: We Ordain Men Too.” I think that’s probably why I don’t have a lot of anger toward my family members who are still Christian. Methodists do tend to be more progressive than most protestant denominations. Of course, they are backwards in many other ways, but still much more tolerable than most.

  • http://wildmonky.wordpress.com wildmonky

    I went to a funeral two weeks ago or so at one of the small town churches around the area and the pastor is a woman. I was shocked. I couldn’t help but think the woman was either a fool or a hypocrite to actually teach the doctrine a faith that subjugates women so much.

  • Evan

    The church I grew up in and my parents still attend have had female ministers for as long as I can remember. Presbyterians sort of hover between traditional and liberal values.

  • Sweetredtele

    But it’s ok if a female politician decides to act in a “christian” manner by outlawing things some christians feel to be against god. Double standard, anyone?

  • Jagyr

    Appropo of this, someone just posted this on my Facebook feed:

    http://christianpartynet.com/kayoconnor.htm

    Apparently Kansas state senator Kay O’Connor opposes the 19th amendment – that is, she doesn’t believe women should have the right to vote.

    It’s boggling that anyone could still think that way – but an elected female official, opposing the very progress that her position represents? WTF?

    Furthermore, she says she would vote against the 19th amendment if it was up for vote today. One wonders how she’d contrive to vote against giving herself the ability to vote…

    Edit: just realized that the article is very old…sorry. It’s still disturbing though.

  • SickoftheUS

    Why do we care if churches recognize women pastors? Would that make our reasons for being atheists any less convincing? Should that soften our criticism of religious institutions and their irrationality? Is religious reform, rather than religious diminishment, a worthwhile goal?

    It boggles my mind that embattled adherents – gays, women, whoever – fight to try to change the church, the institution of the religion, rather than just bail completely. It would seem to me that if I were a person in that situation, I would question the very cornerstones of my faith – the validity of the Bible, the people I had been associating with in this project, my religious “reasoning”, etc., and that the fix would just be to get out, like a bad marriage.

  • http://hoverfrog.wordpress.com hoverfrog

    You know I don’t care what a bible verse says. It has no authority over me or indeed anyone who doesn’t let it. As for being pastors I must say that I’m hard pressed to think of a more worthless career path. Imaginary friend story explainer, tsk! So they add to the stupid by inventing a “no girls” rule. Well, that just makes all the difference. Doesn’t it?

  • http://onestdv.blogspot.com OneSTDV

    And now for the purposefully oppositional position:

    A lot of men (and women) simply don’t like being led by a female. Is it illogical? Sure, but that’s just how nature is.

  • http://onestdv.blogspot.com OneSTDV

    @ SickofTheUS:

    I actually agree. The church should be argued against based on its (lack of) merits, not on what social program du jour atheists want to push.

    If the Bible says so, then it says so. Don’t argue against the internally consistent details; argue against the edifice as a whole.

  • Kristin

    The church I grew up in actually had many female priests, including head priests. They even openly defied a diocesan ban on female priests back in the 60s. We also had an openly gay priest, and our church now performs commitment ceremonies for gay couples (and they’ve agreed to officiate gay marriages should it become legal). I always told my mom that, although I am no longer a Christian, I’m glad she at least had the sense to raise us in a progressive church.

  • http://considertheteacosy.wordpress.com/ fraggle

    OneSTDV- Ah, Nature. That immobile, unchanging, unchangeable thing which we should all bow down to. Guess it’s a good thing we’re such an unadaptable species, eh?

  • STh

    Nature, OneSTDV, or society?

  • Kaylya

    The two largest Protestant denominations in Canada (United and Anglican) definitely have female ministers, and I’m sure some of the smaller ones do to, – but neither uses the term “Pastor” for a formal job title to the best of my knowledge.

  • http://www.doubtingtimmy.com Doubting Timmy

    Just to agree with what Will said earlier. As a former Catholic, the way it was explained to me is that Jesus was a man, the apostles were men, therefore no women priests.

  • ash

    @nathan;

    There is a certain difference between men and woman psychologically… [citation needed]

    It is one of the major reasons that…[citation needed]

    It is also a major reason why…[citation needed]

    or why a female toddler…[citation needed]

    Obviously, these are assertions that I don’t agree with; and would love to know your sources if you have them to look at myself. Or were you just talking anecdotally?

  • http://irenedelse.wordpress.com/ Irene

    Interesting how conservative Christians always use scriptural quotes to justify their prejudices about sex (whether it is about women ministers or homosexuality), but seem to forget what’s in the Bible on the subject of money.

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Beth

    @ nathan–I want citations, too. As a female psych major (soon to graduate!), as far as I know within-groups differences between women and men tend to be much larger and diverse than between-groups difference than women and men. That is, women are very different from each other, and men are very different from each other, and those differences are often larger than the differences between the sexes.

    Not only that, but I am fairly willing to bet that these “psychological” differences are due in large part to socialization. For example, parents tend to play differently with toddlers and praise one set of behavior in females and one set of behavior in males, which can certainly account for a large part of the difference in play styles. And (I will have to double check this) I think that male toddlers also particularly enjoy playing with dolls (like females) because they look human, but tend to receive trucks and whatnot instead.

  • Jude

    My aunt is an Anglican priest; interesting that they’re so squeamish about using the term “priestess” – but that’s what a female priest is!

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Beth

    After checking on everything I said, everything is supported by my textbook about sex and gender (except for the toddlers and dolls thing, still need to find that).

    Also, a direct quote from my book: “Social learning theory suggests that our identification with either masculine or feminine or a combination thereof (androgyny) results primarily from the social and cultural models and influences that we are exposed to in early development…Gender-role expectations influence the environments in which children are raised, from choice of room color to selection of toys” (57).

    It goes on to detail the difference between sex (biological development and anatomy) and gender (expression and identity).

    Crooks, R., & Baur, K. (2008). Our Sexuality (10th ed.). United States: Thomson-Wadsworth.

    Either way, any difference or perceived difference between the sexes is no excuse to discriminate. If someone is a good leader, let her lead, and if someone is a bad leader, then don’t.

  • blueridgelady

    wouldn’t having to explain your way out of the Bible verses that came out of ancient, more misogynistic times over and over again be a clue that most religions are anti-woman? Shouldn’t that be a clue that the scriptures are not perfect? If I shouldn’t take seriously the verse that tells me to stfu or the one that tells my rapist to pay my dad, then why should I take seriously any other verse?

  • Silent Service

    My first girlfriend went on to become a minister. I’ve always knows a small hand full of female pastors and ministers. That said; the Chaplains that I have known in my 22 years of association with the Air Force have all been men. What’s up with that?

  • Angie

    It blows my mind that in this day and age, the Catholic Church, Mormon Church, and many Protestant denominations still bar women from high-ranking leadership. In an age in which women have proven themselves to be successful leaders in all other fields, several religious institutions still cling to Dark Age gender roles.

    What are these sexist men afraid of? That males will lose their position of privelege in the church? That women might get tired of being submissive sources of labor and start clamoring for more of a voice in the church? That … *gasp* … men might actually have to confront their sexist assumptions? The horror!

  • Silent Service

    In an age in which women have proven themselves to be successful leaders in all other fields, several religious institutions still cling to the Dark Ages gender roles.

    There, fixed it for you.

  • http://thegodlessmonster.com/ The Godless Monster

    @OneSTDV,
    First, I agree with this statement:

    I actually agree. The church should be argued against based on its (lack of) merits, not on what social program du jour atheists want to push.

    If the Bible says so, then it says so. Don’t argue against the internally consistent details; argue against the edifice as a whole.

    Brilliant and succinct. I love it when people cut through the bullshit as you did.
    Now for where I disagree:

    A lot of men (and women) simply don’t like being led by a female. Is it illogical? Sure, but that’s just how nature is.

    Nature isn’t logical or illogical. It just is. Certain physical characteristics, behaviors or traits are either beneficial or they are not. If they are not, they are either neutral in their effect or they are harmful.
    How would you classify misogynistic behavior? My guess (or at least “hope”)is that you would classify it as harmful. But is that to say that such behavior did not serve a function or purpose several million years ago? Otherwise, why would it (or HOW could it) exist at all? As rational thinkers we cannot dispense with certain aspects of our evolutionary past simply because they make a certain demographic uncomfortable.
    But, that being said, can you agree that just because something “is”, does not necessarily mean that it “should be”?
    For example, just because men have strong sex drives and are by nature, polygamists, does this mean we should submit to “nature’s call” and have casual sex with others on a regular basis with no thought to social and personal consequences? To state that we are biological beings and that we are just programmed this way or that way is merely taking the easy way out in order to avoid accountability for our behavior.
    We are more than the sum of our evolutionary parts :-)

  • Aaron

    My nephew got married at a Reformed Christian church, and their policy was that women do not even get to speak in the church.
    Part of their marriage vows was that she had to submit to him like he submits to Jesus.
    Luckily for her, he is a very gentle man.

  • Daniel

    Going to church as a young teenager, I remember a female pastor who came as an occasional guest speaker. She was a very good pastor(if you forget the fact she was preaching from a fictitious book).

    I was really quite sad for her, even as a devout, conservative Christian teenager. She started her sermon off with “I don’t come to you in authority”, which could be expected of all pastors, but it was uncustomary, and I felt sad that she started off by lowering herself.

    Halfway through the sermon, she said something along the lines of”My husband handles the finances, because I’m not smart enough for that kind of thing”

    She said it as a joke, and it did produce laughs, but I could tell she thought it was true, and I could see the pain in her eyes and facial expression.

    I didn’t realize how abusing Christianity is until I got out of it.

    Its child abuse when someone makes many, unreasonable rules for their child, and then punishes them when they fail such rules. Its mental abuse, and its illegal in the U.S, but that’s what Christians go through every day.

    You can’t hate someone no matter what they’ve done, you can’t look at porn, you can’t masturbate, you can’t be gay, you can’t use profanity, you have to forgive everyone for anything, you have to go to church at least once a week to be subjected to self-esteem destruction, etc.

    Ask any Christian, and they’ll tell you, they “sin” multiple times a day.

    All of their accomplishments are the result of blessing. It doesn’t matter if you worked and sacrificed your ass off going through medical school, if you’re a doctor, its because of God’s blessing.

    People say “I feel sorry for Christians” as an insult sometimes, but I TRULY feel sorry for Christians. I feel empathy and compassion when I see people looking for how to overcome their porn “addiction”.

    As a Christian, I WAS addicted to porn. 5 or 6 times a day I would look at it, and I’d mentally flog myself every time.

    As soon as I became an atheist, I had no problem with it. I occasionally go to redtube or whatever when I’m feeling stressed, but its far from an addiction.

  • Angie

    Daniel — First, your assessment of the darker side of Christian churches is spot on. The fear, guilt, and repression that some churches can instill are definitely familiar to many ex-Christians.

    Second, it was very brave of you to talk about your struggle with porn. I’ve known some Christians with similar struggles, who were taught that sexuality is dirty and should be repressed. The result is that they have trouble exploring and expressing their sexuality in positive ways, and without a healthy outlet, their sexuality mutates into things like porn addiction. Kudos for escaping religion and taking your sexuality back.

  • Angie

    A lot of men (and women) simply don’t like being led by a female. Is it illogical? Sure, but that’s just how nature is.

    So what? Just because someone doesn’t like being led by a member of Group X doesn’t mean that qualified members of Group X should be barred from leadership. If someone has issues with a female leader (or gay leader, or hispanic leader, or disabled leader), it’s THEIR problem, not the leader’s problem.

  • Aj

    Beth,

    Men and women may be more different to each other than either group is to each other. However, this does not mean that these two groups can’t have specific differences. You’re right of course that these differences within these groups can be so large that research on a group does not say much about an individual. Nathan didn’t suggest a reason for his assertion of a psychological difference, so he could agree with you that it is socialization. I would be interested in reading the studies mentioned about the phonecar toy, and male preference to dolls.

    What a textbook says is not evidence if it’s just an opinion. I don’t think their is strong evidence for whether the toy preference is socialization or nature. A documentary I watched recreated an experiment from a study that had shown adults encouraging playing with gender typical toys, and more strongly discouraging playing with gender atypical toys, when a toddler was dressed to appear as the opposite gender [citation needed]. This doesn’t go against the other explanation, that the sexes are naturally different in this way suggested in the Hassett, Siebert, & Wallen study with rhesus monkeys, it only shows that if this difference exists it’s strongly re-enforced by society. As for boys playing with dolls, it could be that boys show equal preference to dolls and trucks and females show unequal preference, as in the Alexander and Wilcox (2008) study, although this study is flawed in that the colours of the toys were pink and blue which may only show colour preference.

    Alexander, G., Wilcox, T., & Woods, R. (2008). Sex Differences in Infants’ Visual Interest in Toys Archives of Sexual Behavior, 38 (3), 427-433 DOI: 10.1007/s10508-008-9430-1

    Hassett JM, Siebert ER, Wallen K. Sex differences in rhesus monkey toy preferences parallel those of children. Hormones and Behavior. 2008;54:359–364.

  • Alexis

    “For while Eve was fooled by the serpent, but man was not fooled” god cursed billions of people who had no say in the matter, and weren’t even born yet!

  • Dan

    SickoftheUS said

    It boggles my mind that embattled adherents – gays, women, whoever – fight to try to change the church, the institution of the religion, rather than just bail completely. It would seem to me that if I were a person in that situation, I would question the very cornerstones of my faith…

    Well, I think it’s because people don’t want to feel like they’ve been wrong their entire lives, lied to their entire lives. So instead of giving it all up, which is a very hard thing to do, they decide to look at their religion in the context that they are most comfortable with.

    They do the good old cherry picking of verses in the bible, or perhaps they go so far as to change Churches, to one that preaches what they want to hear. Church shopping as it were.

    But to give it all up completely, no matter how bad a situation is, takes a lot. When they have other intermediate options to try instead, I feel they’ll go for that first and foremost.

  • http://www.thatpinkmouse.com/bloggy Jenny Bliss

    @Alexis
    the moral of that story of course being.. DONT STEAL APPLES! :P lol oh and dont listen to talking snakes i suppose and if you see 1 worry about your sanity or ask yourself what was really in those apples? hmm can you get apples laced with LSD? sillynis aside theres somthing about this whole issue which i find annoying becuase samanticly its actualy correct >.< 1 of the many arguments against SSM, is that allowing it would destroy the institution of marriage which sounds silly (and they're using it in a context that isnt correct) however samanticly speaking that is very correct, any change to an institution is classed as destruction of the old to make way for the new, course as i said its taken in a negitive context which is hardly the case buuuut just a technicality and im a bit of a sucker for those :D hehe

  • Fundie Troll

    I sometimes wonder if that one verse, 1 Timothy 2: 12, wasn’t written: “I do not allow a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent,” how differently things would play out.

    Hmmm…I’m gonna go out on a limb and say NOTHING would be different:

    1Corinthians 14:34 the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says.

  • http://mattstone.blogs.com Matt Stone

    Women can be pastors. I know a number of women pastors personally. If you’d said, “Why can’t more women be pastors” I’d say, ok, legitimate question. But to ask, “Why can’t women be pastors”, given you later admit some are, is simply disingenous. Let’s stick to real issues rather than trumped up ones please.

  • Neil

    The answer to your question is one the verse from 1 Timothy is major. Paul wrote that because he was living in a Greco-Roman world where there were in deed women priests. Paul does indeed say that women are not to be pastors. In fact he draws back to the example of Eve in the garden in defense of it.

    The question is why? Is it to control woman? Far from it. It is preserve order. God created men and women differently. That is the simplest of reasons. The bodies of men and women are different as are the brains. Ask Psychologists and Biologists and they will affirm this truth.

    The argument is not that women are inferior or superior to men. The argument is that they are genuinely different. They are created differently. Men have a penis, women do not. There is biological difference. A mother has a stronger emotional connection to offspring than men do. There is an abundance of evidence that men and women are different.

    The truth is that we want women to be women. We want men to be men. We are sick of women trying to be men and men trying to be women. Be what you were created to be. Should women vote in church, yes. There are indeed many things that women and men can both do. However, a man cannot be a mother. A woman can not be a father. The genetic make up of men and women incline them to act and think differently. It is the man’s more objective nature that makes him a good father or pastor. It is the woman’s protective and nurturing instinct that makes her better fit to serve in other means.

    It doesn’t belittle women or puts them down. On the contrary, it glorifies women for being women.

  • http://hoverfrog.wordpress.com hoverfrog

    Neil, ‘to preserve order’ eh? ‘Cos you let them thar women get high fallutin’ ideas above their station an’ the whole shebang’ll come tumblin’ down.

    Granted that there are biological differences between men and women but so what, there is a biological difference between you and I unless you’re also a 6’4″, long haired god of a man with a pirate hat (last part not biological). Men and women deserve equal treatment regardless of their biological differences in exactly the same way that people who are white skinned or brown skinned or black or red or yellow deserve to be treated equally. In the same way that gay and straight people deserve equal treatment or tall or short people or any other arbitrary biological difference that you can think of.

    The truth is that we want women to be women. We want men to be men. We are sick of women trying to be men and men trying to be women.

    Bollocks! I want people to be people because that is what we are. What is between our legs or behind our nipples is secondary to the way we treat others and think of ourselves.

    a man cannot be a mother. A woman can not be a father.

    A man or a woman can be a parent. Isn’t that the important thing to consider when it comes to parenting? Stereotypical gender roles don’t make a mother or a father a better parent and trying to adhere to them will only limit their ability to be a good parent.

    It doesn’t belittle women or puts them down. On the contrary, it glorifies women for being women.

    Well I’m not a woman but it comes across as pretty belittling to me. We’re not living in the Middle East in the first century. It is way past time for Christians to catch up.

  • Aj

    I’m sorry I appear to have made a wrong turn somewhere and ended up in the 19th century.

  • Doug

    It’s because Eve was deceived and not Adam.

  • Seth

    Women are not allowed to hold authority in the Church, this is very clearly written in multiple scriptures in the bible. The first one that comes to mind is First Corinthians chapter 14, which says let not your women speak in the Church. If she has a question, let her ask it to her husband at home.

    There are multiple scriptures which clearly say that woman is under man. So, churches should not allow women to be pastors, to do so is to deny the truth and accuracy of the bible.


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