GUEST: TOM ASCOL, Senior Pastor, Grace Baptist Church (Cape Coral, FL)
In 1 Timothy 2, the apostle Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, wrote to the younger pastor Timothy regarding the authority structure God established for the church:
“A woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness. But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve. And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.” (1 Timothy 2:11-14).
This passage of Scripture and others, like the following chapter in 1 Timothy 3 establishes that pastors/elders in the church must be men of exemplary character, are under assault today as an all-out-battering-ram-like push is being made from many directions to integrate women as pastors in professed Bible-believing churches.
Take the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) for example, which is the largest Protestant denomination in America with 47,000 member churches. The SBC recently “disfellowshipped” its most prominent church—Saddleback in southern California—because its former pastor Rick Warren appointed three female pastors and then a husband and wife co-pastor team to replace him.
This may sound like the SBC holding the line on clear biblical teaching…but not so fast. Rick Warren has vowed to appeal the decision at the upcoming SBC Annual Meeting on June 11-12 in New Orleans where many expect the “messengers” (i.e. attendees) to vote on the matter.
Frankly, there is nothing to vote on when God’s word makes it abundantly clear, both in doctrine and historic practice, that pastors are to be men, while there are many other complementary and important roles for women in the church.
To be very clear, the issue of female pastors is not about capability but about trust in and obedience to God’s design for the authority structure he has established in the church and home.
Tom Ascol, pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral, FL and president of Founders Ministries, an organization “committed to encouraging the recovery of the gospel and the biblical reformation of local churches” is our guest this weekend on The Christian Worldview. Tom finished second in last year’s SBC presidential vote and has been a voice of fidelity to God’s word and the gospel.