The question of what role women can or should take in leadership within the church has been a hot topic for many years. I believe, and I hope, that we are coming to a point of greater consensus on this matter; a consensus that exegetes the scriptures with an appropriately global and historical perspective that reaches beyond our personal preferences, pat answers, and the comfort of our traditionally accepted (and unquestioned) stances. Here is an overview of the position I have come to through much research, prayer, and seeking wise counsel.
The Whole of Scripture
I believe that when the whole of scripture is taken into account, together with an understanding of the culture and the people to whom it was written, the Bible supports the unrestricted ministry of women today (other than the restrictions that would be applied equally to men) and, therefore, I believe women should be allowed to be pastors and worship leaders and even elders.
Klyne Snodgrass, in his article A Case For The Unrestricted Ministry of Women (http://www.covchurch.org/resources), points out the importance of understanding there are a variety of positions on this issue, including “that women should not speak at all, not teach men and boys, not teach from behind a pulpit, not teach authoritatively, not teach except under emergency conditions (as on the mission field or when no qualified male is present), not teach except under the authority of a male senior pastor. Apart from the first two, none of these positions fits a literal reading of 1 Corinthians 14:33-38 and 1 Timothy 2:9-15. Everyone is making hermeneutical moves to deal with these texts, even if they do not admit it.”
A summary of some of the scriptural support for my position: Continue reading