Should Women Serve as Elders, Deacons, or Pastors?

An introduction to a multi-part series.

Here I go. Stepping into the quagmire.

Perhaps one of the most difficult “agree to disagree” type of issues facing the evangelical church today is that of whether or not women should serve as elders, deacons, and/or pastors. Passions run high as Christians debate how to interpret certain biblical passages.

Nevertheless, there are Christians for whom the whole discussion seems pointless, and already settled. Why is this even an “agree to disagree” issue? After all, the Bible is clear on the matter. Some can cite their prooftext, and simply move on.

The objective of this series is to show that while the Bible is clear on many things, the varieties of Scriptural interpretation among godly, Bible-loving believers on this issue actually runs the gamut. It is a lot more difficult than you think to gain a clear idea as to whether or not women can serve as elders, deacons, and/or pastors.

At the same time, getting this issue right is of utmost importance. The consequences of getting this wrong are arguably highly significant, and for some, downright scary, if handled incorrectly. The question of “women in ministry” requires concentrated effort to read and study the Bible, and be in conversation with one another. Trusting in the work of Holy Spirit is crucial. Prayer is paramount. Avoiding extremes is difficult, but necessary. In the words of Robertson McQuilkin“It seems easier to go to a consistent extreme than to stay at the center of biblical tension.”

I will keep this blog page updated as the series moves along. First, here are the additional blog posts in this series::

Also, I will note some previous Veracity blog posts that address particular background issues related to the topic:

By the end of the series, you will get an idea of where I am coming from. So, if you are going to read any of these blog posts, please READ ALL OF THEM BEFORE making a final judgment on what I am saying (I do welcome your comments below). The punch line will come in the last one or two posts, but to get the full sense of it, you should read all of the preceding posts in the series…. and, yes, you might want to keep your Bible handy, as I will be going to God’s Word quite often (or you can just follow the hyperlinks in the blog posts, instead).

I will say up front, that in giving my view, I could be wrong. Utterly wrong. Or more likely, perhaps a few points wrong, here and there. My perspective has shifted over the years, and it could shift again. But what I do hope is that folks can take this seriously, and treat it is an important perspective in the ongoing discussion. It is a plea for unity, but it is also a plea to pursue truth, and never abandon the pursuit of truth.

Expect to see the next post in a few days. To stay on top of this, please follow Veracity, via email or Twitter, by entering your email address, or clicking to follow via Twitter, on the right hand side of this web page. Thanks!

About Clarke Morledge

Clarke Morledge -- Computer Network Engineer, College of William and Mary... I hiked the Mount of the Holy Cross, one of the famous Colorado Fourteeners, with some friends in July, 2012. My buddy, Mike Scott, snapped this photo of me on the summit. View all posts by Clarke Morledge

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