Should a woman be able to be a pastor of a Christian Church?
2. The Arguments of Both Sides (No Rebuttals)
3. Rebuttals of Both Sides
4. Closing Statement
This is heavily debated since this culture is a very egalitarianistic one, so this should be an interesting debate, and I look forward to digging into God's Word and trying to resolve this issue biblically.
Your job as the viewer is to vote according to the argument itself and who you think presented this argument better.
As a Christian, we must lay down this foundation.
We believe the Bible to be true. It gives us clear instructions as Christians to live by and we believe that it is God-breathed. Therefore, the Bible is inerrant and shall be for eternity. It is God's Word, and we take it to heart and apply it to our Christian faith. If my opponent believes that the Bible is outdated, then this argument will get nowhere. It is important that the two of us agree that the Bible is inerrant and relative to today and that to disobey its commands is a sin because we are disobeying God if we disobey His Word.
Also... We must define what a pastor is before we dig deep into this argument.
According to "Dictionary.com" (Which is relatively reliable and unbiased), the word pastor means "a minister in charge of a Christian church or congregation." So to really understand this definition, we must analyze the two words in here that deserve a definition... minister and church.
The word MINISTER, according to Merriam - Webster means "a person whose job involves leading church services, performing religious ceremonies (such as marriages), and providing spiritual or religious guidance to other people."
The word CHURCH, according to pathos.com "...comes from the Greek word ecclesia, which means a called out company or assembly." Or otherwise known as a gathering of believers.
To establish some ground before I address the question...
1. An Average church consists of both male and female members... In fact, I would say over 98% are composed of both genders.
2. According to Scripture, women are allowed to teach other women, but a pastor, teaches both genders. So if my opponent is referring to women pastors teaching women, then we are on the same page in beliefs and there is no need to debate. But if my opponent is referring to a woman teacher over males, then the debate shall continue!
So now we must address this question... "Should a woman be able to be a pastor of a Christian Church?"
We are in a culture where the men and women are pretty much equal in every area. In a day and age where feminism has been glorified, people have started saying that a woman pastor could now intertwine the church with the feministic movement. So women pastors have started to be ordained. Even my Aunt has been ordained as a pastor. But what does the Bible really say about women pastors?
Let us look at a 1 Timothy 2:8-15...
"8 I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting lholy hands without anger or quarreling; 9 likewise also mthat 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, rthen 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."
This passage starts off off topic but as we enter to the lower passages we come across to a very interesting verse. Verse 12 says, "I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet." Now whether this verse is referring to the church or everyday life, it is clear what scripture says about women teaching over men. Personally, I believe this passage is referring to spiritual teaching in the church, which will make sense after you see the next scripture reference, which would clearly go against pastoral obligations being given to a woman.
This next scriptural reference is the strongest argument for my case. It is found in 1 Corinthians 14:34-35...
"Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church."
Notice the word "disgraceful". For it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in church. I am very curious to see how my opponent addresses this black and white text.
The frustrating thing I find is that this is one of the only passages you can find in the Bible concerning women pastors, and me being someone who loves LOTS of evidence, there is not much for my side. But the problem for my opponent, which I'm very curious and ready to see, is that there is no evidence for his case concerning Biblical texts that supports that women are able to become pastors of a church.
Thank for the opportunity to debate this topic! I am a Christian, but I would not consider myself a fundamentalist, necessarily. My faith is personal, and I do believe that it is alright and apparent that every Christian has their own view on who God is, what the Bible says, and how we are supposed to live. I will be debating to prove that a woman should be able to be a pastor of a Christian Church. I do not have to prove whether God approves of women pastoring churches or not, but rather I have to prove that a church with a woman pastor can still be a “Christian Church”, and I have to prove that woman should be able to be a pastor. I will do this through various different approaches, and I will follow the rules and not rebuttal in the first round.
As the pro in this debate, it would seem very unlikely that I would see the Bible as a huge beneficiary to my side of the debate, but actually, I think the Bible is on my side. First off, we must take into account that specifically the New Testament has multiple accounts where passages tell women that they may not speak. However, every situation that this occurs in is in letters to specific churches. I understand the 2 Timothy 3:16 passage where it states that “all scripture is God-breathed” (1), but that doesn’t mean it needs to be applied to our modern day life on a word for word basis. Society changes, and culture changes too. It was Jesus who understood that concept the best. In Exodus 20 (2), it talks about how you may not work on the Sabbath. The literalist interpretation of this is simply that. Jesus did work on the Sabbath through his healing, and he admitted to it. This was not because he was a sinner, but it was because he was setting a precedent that the moral the law and the heart of the individual matters rather than the letter of the law.
We have clarified that the letter of law is not what counts, but what does that mean in the context of this situation? Certainly there are situations where Paul explicitly tells churches that women may not teach men. I think the best way to prove that in modern times women should be allowed to be pastors is to look at the evident truth that society changes. Social roles do indeed change, and God accepts that. Obviously, God’s position on whether polygamy is good for society changed, as in the New Testament, God is against polygamy, and in the Old Testament, He is for it. This is not a contradiction, but it is God allowing His message to fit into the times. This idea of culture can be used to explain the two major instances where educated Bible scholars turn to when they say women shouldn’t be pastors. Those are 1 Corinthians 14 (3) and 1 Timothy 2 (4) (I’m not using these passages to rebuttal your arguments, as though I read your argument, I’m not using it in my debate. These are just the only two passages that address this issue.). Just as multi-women households changed to single-women households, women used for childbearing has transitioned to women doing whatever they want. It’s not necessary for women to have kids to fit in society. The 1 Corinthians passage most certainly has the assumption that a woman has had kids, and the 1 Timothy passage does as well. The heart and moral of the passages is that women need to concentrate on their kids, assuming they have kids. Women are naturally better at taking care of kids. This is very practical. Back then, women had no place in society outside of childbearing, and therefore, they needed to stay quiet and focus on their kids. Today, women do have a place outside of childbearing, as it is acceptable to be focused lawyer or doctor or even a pastor. If a woman has kids, it’s important for her focus to be on her kids, and if they get in the way of her work, the Christian thing to do would to be quiet and focus on her kids. Many women quit their jobs when they have kids. Just as God accepted the culture change from David, who had many wives, to Paul’s era, where women were still second class citizens, but polygamy was no long extremely popular, God most certainly accepts our culture that allows women to choose not to have children and do what they want.
Approach Using Logic
There is some logical problems if you say women should not be able to be pastors of Christian churches. It doesn’t matter whether God thinks this practice is right or wrong, although I have just given you my evidence why I don’t think God would think it is wrong. Let me explain.
First off, the idea that people have free will has been accepted because of the Garden of Eden. God gave humans the ability to mess up. Humans messed up. In the same way, if you say it is wrong, immoral, or sinful for a woman to be a pastor, women are certainly able to mess up and be a pastor. God lets women be pastors, and women are pastors. If you say them being pastors is a sin, it is still true that God allows them to do it. He should let them do it, as if God forced everyone to do things the way he wants them to be done, then there would be no sin in the world, but there would also be no goodness or praise to God. In order to do the right thing, we must have a choice, and therefore, women should, and are, able to be pastors. I don’t think it’s sinful, but even if you do, you cannot deny that God should allow them to be able to be pastors. In the same way, I believe you should be able to lie. You are allowed to lie, as God lets you lie. Lying is a sin, but you should be able to do it, and you do. There is a difference between being able to do something and something being moral.
If you say that you mean that “being able” is a legal precedent rather than an ability, then I still say women should be able to be pastors. I believe men and women should have equal rights universally across the globe. No one should make laws against women that don’t apply to men. I believe that legally, men and women should both be able to be pastors regardless of whatever moral argument is in play. I believe men and women should both be allowed to drive, vote, and work as well. Women have biological differences to men, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be able to do something a man can in general. It depends on the person. I do not believe in forced equality through affirmative action, but men and women should be able to be equal under the law, and this includes their right to be pastors.
I am very excited that my opponent has responded so that we can dig deeper into this. My opponent really did well on Pro's argument and I applaud my opponent for that.
I am going to address his argument step by step with my thoughts now!
1. My opponent believes that "all Scripture is God-breathed", but that doesn't mean it needs to be applied to our modern day life on a word for word basis.
The questions I would like to ask my opponent is this?
1. If God changes his mind, as you said he did for polygamy, doesn't that mean he contradicts himself and is not perfect as he says he is? I mean. If he is perfect, why would he say one thing and then turn around and say the other.
2. Is God still relevant to our modern day life? You said that God's Word doesn't need to be applied to our modern day life... So does that mean God doesn't need to be applied? I mean... It's His Word, so you're pretty much saying that God is not needed as well.
2. My opponent admits that the Bible does say that women aren't allowed to speak in the churches.
My opponent affirms my belief in that Scripture teaches that women aren't allowed to speak in churches, but culture changes and the Lord is ok with that. The question I would like to ask my opponent is this.
You say that culture changes. And you say God is ok with that? Well. Murder... Is God ok with that? Because it is acceptable in our culture to murder (Aka: Abortion). Also. Homosexuality. Clearly expressed in Scripture, men who practice homosexuality is a sin. Also, sex outside of marriage? That is accepted by our culture? Is that ok with God?
Logicaly, my opponent doesn't have a foundation. He says that God is ok with cultural change, yet it goes against His character. The problem here is nitpicking. What right do we have, as Christians, to take the Bible and choose things that contradict with culture and say one is right and one is wrong. Somewhere we have to draw the line.
3. My opponent believes that God was for polygamy in the Old Testament and against it in the New Testament.
This is a false statement. There is not one biblical verse stating that God was in favor of polygamy. He allowed it, but never advocated for it. It was in the New Testament that Jesus established a new law confirming what God declared concerning polygamy.
4. My opponent says that even if women are pastors, it's ok, because we are sinners, and God lets us sin, and that's fine.
This is a whole new level of the debate. Let us dig into Scripture concerning sinful behavior and marks of a true Christian.
“Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 John 2:4)
“No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning” (1 John 3:6-8).
A mark of a true Christian is keeping the Lord's commandments and repenting of sin when we do sin. My opponent "thinks" that a being a woman pastor is not a sin, yet it goes against God's Word. Anything that goes against and is against God's Word and against God, then whatever it is, is wrong.
5. My opponent believes that since women are allowed to have jobs, drive, and vote, that being a pastor runs with that argument.
Remember. We are talking about the church. Jobs, driving, and voting doesn't have to do with the commandments God has given us concerning the church. God has specifically laid out rules for the church and that is separate from the things of the world.
The Bible clearly prohibits women from being pastors as found in 1 Corinthians and 2 Timothy and my opponent affirms that. If we are going by a fundamental truth and foundation, I have already won the argument. The question the viewers and voters must ask, is if the Lord's Word changes and if God changes. If you believe He does, then my opponent will sound better than I, but if you believe that the Word of the Lord Stands FOREVER and is active and still relevant... You have to take my side on this.
It is apparent that con has misinterpreted what I meant by several statements I made, but he also refused to rebuttal a few of my points. I will first address con's grievances:
First off, when it comes to law, it's clear that God's law is meant to be applied at different points in history for different purposes. For example, David practiced polygamy. Today, many Christians would equate polygamy to homosexuality in terms of how much God despises it. If David was gay, what would your opinion of David be? David was polygamous, and that's considered an abhorrent sin today, and I know you would agree with that. David was "a man after God's own heart", but he lived the lifestyle of someone that we as Christians today would consider abhorrently immoral. In fact, David probably wouldn't be allowed to be a member at most American Christian churches, and he certainly wouldn't be allowed to be a pastor at most Christian churches just on his polygamy alone. What I am trying to point out is that different parts of the Bible are used for different situations, and context is important. In David's era, polygamy, although probably not accepted by God, had to remain in order for God's plan to work. Women's role in society was to be basically an animal who made babies for the great and almighty man. God has used His own in different ways throughout history as well. For example, Jesus used God's word differently than God used his word in the Old Testament. Jesus and God are the same because of the trinity, but they did not contradict. God also didn't change, but the circumstances on Earth did change, and He his expectations changed.
2. Cultural Change
I should have been more clear in my opening statement about this, as using the word culture was probably not a good idea because that reminds con of the culture war and homosexuality and abortion which has nothing to do with this topic. I should have used the word "progress". I think God is completely fine with progress. Once again, God went from accepting polygamy to opposing polygamy. Why did he do this? Because the cultures in the B.C. eras practiced polygamy as a method of survival and heredity. The idea was to have as many kids as possible and to increase your population as fast as possible because the standard of living was less and humanity would die out if they didn't do that. Because of progress in technology, women aren't needed in that role all the time anymore, and it seems logical that God, who has said that males and females are equal in His eyes, would be fine with female pastors as long as it doesn't interfere with their role as a mother. I'm not putting words into God's mouth, but I'm analyzing scripture in it's context historically and logically, and I'm taking the motives and heart behind the law and words rather than taking the letter of the law. That's exactly how Jesus interpreted scripture.
I have addressed this, and I think it is quite clear that God held different standards on polygamy in different times in history, and this isn't because he changes. It's because He's a wise God and understands how society works and how technology progresses. I have explained this previously.
4. Free Will
You misinterpreted my argument on free will. It wasn't a take on what we should do, it was a take on what we should be able to do. Like I said previously, it doesn't matter if it's right and wrong, God gives us the ability to do anything. God gives us the ability to kill. I agree with God (you should too); we should be able to kill. I think it's immoral to kill, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't be able to. This debate is about ability instead of morality, and you're trying to put the focus on morality. I'm arguing on both the morality and ability front, but you simply didn't grasp what I was saying. You are, and should be, able to lie. If you lied, would that make it a sin? Yes. But you are still able to lie. A female is, and should be, able to become a pastor. If she becomes a pastor, would that make that a sin? I would say it depends on her family life and priorities, as I think it depends completely on their heart, and you would say it would be a sin. Regardless of whether it's a sin or not, they should be able to do it. God has given us all the ability to sin and to not sin, and it's up to each of us to personally read the Bible and look at the context historically and logically and choose to sin or not to sin for ourselves.
5. Women's Rights
I do think women should be allowed to choose to not be used for just childbearing. In the era that the Bible was written, every Christian would've disagreed with me. I don't know whether you think women should work, but Paul definitely wouldn't have advocated for it. God wasn't trying to liberate women right then and there. Society wasn't ready for it. Women were needed still to make as many children as possible. That's not me being sexist or anything, and God isn't being sexist either. Over time, I believe God has intentionally put godly and secular women in place to advocate for women's rights. His message about women not speaking to the churches of Paul's era should be looked at from the perspective that the letter of the law isn't what matters, but it's the heart of the law. If a woman has kids, her primary role should be raising the kids, and if becoming a pastor or arguing with a man about the Bible hurts her ability to do so, then as a Christian, she should probably pray about it and not be a pastor and focus on ministering to her kids.
You are interpreting scripture just like the Pharisees in Jesus' times. You are trying to be legalistic, and you are assuming that society will never change or improve. God's word is perfect, but that doesn't mean it has the same meaning for every generation of Christians. My proof is still standing, and it's that God accepted polygamy with David, a great man of God, but he doesn't today. There's a reason for that, and I have clarified that.
Also, your legalistic approach to the Bible can fall apart quickly with one verse: Leviticus 19:19.
"Keep my decrees.
Do not mate different kinds of animals.
Do not plant your field with two kinds of seed.
Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material." (1)
1. (Read my opponent's thoughts on polygamy and David)
In the OT, polygamy was not considered a sin, so it would have been perfectly fine for David to have been a polygamist. God never addressed the issue of polygamy, so you can't equate the "homosexual analogy" with the polygamist one. Then, as I said, Jesus set a new standard concerning polygamy in his ministry. It would be important for Christians to know that before reading Pro's first argument.
2. My opponent's claim that women were basically animals is very false.
Read the book of Proverbs man. Women are actually very important in Biblical times and were cherished by men who were after God's own heart such as David. Sure, there role was different than from today, but God never put women down, in fact, he uplifted them in many times in the Bible, and the Lord is most certainly not happy, I would think, with what a lot of women are doing today in society according to His Word.
3. My opponent says that God's expectations change. God's expectations never change. You give me a reference saying that God changes in any way and then we'll talk.
In the mean time, I'll give you some verses to think about.
James 1:17 tells us, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. GotQuestions.org
Malachi 3:6 "I am Jehovah. I do not change."
One part of God can't change. He is constant. He does not waiver. He never fluctuates. His expectations then are the same now.
4. My opponent says that in order for a woman pastoral position to be wrong, it would depend on the heart motive.
According to Sola Scriptura, it is wrong, and you cannot disprove.
So far. My opponent has not been able to give me one Bible reference to disprove my point of a woman pastor. He has merely used history and culture and biased view of God to disprove me, which is ultimately inaccurate.
5. Concerning your rebuttal using Leviticus...
Let us dig deeper into that passage...
Who is God talking to in Leviticus?
If you don't know, he is talking to the Israelites. The book of Leviticus is a set Cultural mandate for the Israelites.
I AM A GENTILE. Plus. Christ came to fulfill the law so that we are not bound by that set of laws as well. I regret to inform you that that argument is invalid.
6. Concerning your statement saying that I am legalistic...
I would say that in this culture, people see me as legalistic. But I need to tell ya somethin brother. I take God's Word for what it is. I don't make loopholes and I don't work my way around to try and make a point. I see God's Word and I read it and I take it for what it says. Clearly in Scripture, women aren't allowed to be pastors... There's just proof right there in God's Word and you can't deny it.
7. My opponent states that a woman's primary role if she has kids is to watch over her kids. What does that idea come from?
I am very curious about this one, because our culture no longer believes that a woman should stay home and watch over her kids and that that should be her primary role... And you believe that... Yet you believe that women can be pastors of a church?
I am going to be honest here. The nitpicking is getting very legit here. You're compromising the Bible because of quote and quote, progress, which is unbiblical and wrong. Revelation 22:19 man.
My brother... I do not understand your logic here. But I really appreciate you debating this with me. It has been interesting to get your viewpoint.
I want all the viewers to know how grateful I am that they chose to watch this debate. It was a great one and I learned a lot from my opponent and his viewpoint. Now it is up to you to decide who the winner is. I want to point out some key things that I think run in my favor concerning this debate.
1. My opponent affirmed that the Bible prohibits Women teachers.
2. My opponent stated that God changes in "expectations" or in other words "changes" when we clearly know that the Lord does not change from Scripture. He is constant and never changes.
3. My opponent based all of his arguments purely from historical context and logic, which is faulty due to the fact that he is a person and not God, and I based my argument on Scripture, which is perfect and has nothing wrong with it.
I encourage you voters to vote for me, because of these three things. Will we compromise the Bible, or will it stand forever and remain pure and holy and perfect and relevant?
Thanks, and God Bless!
In con’s closing remarks, we see him twist my words and contradict himself.
You just said that the standards for whether polygamy was a sin or not changed based on what? Oh, that’s right, because Jesus came and a new perspective on the topic was given. That backs my side of the debate.
I never said that God treated women like animals, as I said that society treated women like animals. Today, women, through God’s power, have been uplifted to the point where their role is not just childbearing. I never said God put women down.
You misinterpreted what I said about expectations (probably on purpose), and you contradicted yourself. You just said earlier that God changed his mind on whether polygamy was a sin. That would mean that either God does change, or it would mean that historical context and logic do matter. I would say that historical context and logic do matter, and I would say that you are helping me prove my point.
4. Heart Motivation
Again, what I am pointing out is that the idea behind women pastoring is about the heart like any other decision. Jesus advocated for caring about the heart rather than the letter of the law. The heart is the central issue to God (1). I think just like the issue of polygamy, historical context and culture do matter, and today, in certain situations, women pastors are okay. But like I have continuously stated and you have never addressed, it doesn’t matter whether it’s moral or not. God has given people the ability to do bad things. This is an argument on ability rather than morality.
You fell directly into my trap. I was worried that you thought it was wrong of me to use historical context and not just blindly point to Bible verses without looking at context. Here, I took your approach in Leviticus, and I didn’t take context into account. I did so on purpose, and you pointed out another contradiction to your argument. You say that culture doesn’t matter, but then you say Leviticus’ culture does matter, and you say it was only important to the Israelites. I agree with that, but you don’t apply that objective standard to other parts of the Bible when using logic hurts your argument.
7. Watching over Kids
It’s evident that the Bible says that women need to minister to their kids. If a woman has kids, it would be moral for her to share the word of God with her kids. I don’t think that’s hard to understand. Depending on the cultural and historical context, women don’t necessarily need to have kids, and today if they do, they should minister to them.
I’m not nitpicking, as I’m treating the Bible, a book I find to be true, like I would any other book. If the Bible is true, we should have the ability to apply logic and context to it just like any other book.
You also made some false and half-true accusations about me at the end of your argument, and I will address those:
1. No, I did not affirm that specifically. The idea is that Corinthians was sent to Corinth, and Timothy was sent to Timothy and his church, and just as you don’t have to change your clothing because you’re not a gentile, my church doesn’t have to necessarily abide by Corinth’s standards. You have to look at historical context and analyze the passage rather than blindly pointing at it.
2. You pointed out that God’s standards for sin do change, and I can point out that context matters and expectations do change.
3. My opponent just criticized me for using historical context and logic. That alone should win me the debate.
Please vote pro because I have used more adequate grammar and spelling, I have interpreted the Bible while taking into account historical context, and I have used logic in my argument. My opponent has contradicted himself, and he has failed to address some of my main arguments, while I have addressed all of his arguments.
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