Like it or not, the Bible is crystal clear:
8 I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling; 9 likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, 10 but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works. 11 Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve; 14 and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. 15 Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control. ~~1 Timothy 2:8-15 (ESV) [Emphasis mine]
God, in His wisdom and for His glory, has assigned specific gender roles to men and women. As we see in 1 Timothy 2:12-14, He inspired the apostle Paul to write that the responsibility for ecclesiastical authority and teaching belongs to men. Older women may teach younger women (Titus 2:3-5), but we may not teach mixed Sunday School classes or preach sermons.
And yes, I’ve read the arguments against applying 1 Timothy 2:12-14 to present-day churches. I’m quite aware of Deborah (after all, I share her name) and the other women in the Bible that liberal Christians point to in defense of allowing women into pulpits. I definitely know the various ways of getting around Scripture’s prohibitions against women preaching, and find them shockingly parallel to the ways of getting around Scripture’s prohibitions against homosexuality.
When a woman stands to preach or teach with men in the audience, she demonstrates, above everything else, that she doesn’t handle the Word of God properly. Now, perhaps this inability comes from immaturity, in which case she shouldn’t even be teaching other women. Most likely, however, she simply disregards the authority of Scripture because she wants to preach.
Either way, a woman who chooses to preach before men shouldn’t be trusted to accurately represent the Bible. If she monkeys with 1 Timothy 2:12-14 in order to get herself into the pulpit, what assurance do we have that she won’t also monkey with the text she presents in her sermon? Actually, it’s more likely than not that she indeed will monkey with the text.
Some of you may wonder if, by blogging, I commit the same error as a woman who delivers a sermon in church. There are a few differing views about this matter, but I don’t believe men ought to read my blog (with the exceptions of my husband and teaching elders of First Baptist Church Weymouth, because these particular men have spiritual authority over me). I’ve begged men not to read The Outspoken TULIP. My header and my Mission Statement clearly state that this blog is exclusively for women. I believe too strongly in the authority of Scripture to risk violating 1 Timothy 2:12-14.
I firmly believe that God established specific gender roles that forbid women from teaching the Bible to men. Therefore, it both grieves and angers me that an increasing number of women presume to step into pulpits in open rebellion against the Word of God. If they willingly violate 1 Timothy 2:12-14, dare we trust them to correctly teach any other part of God’s Word?