When I officed in the Baptist associational office while working for Baptist General Convention of Texas, I often saw the Director of Missions studying his Bible. He always kept the Bible on his desk and many times I would see him pouring over its words.
One time he told us of something he had just found in the Bible. He had read a scripture and found a new truth with that passage. My boss used to do the same thing. Other pastors will tell you that the Bible never gets old for them, that they are always learning new things.
But there are some passages that we refuse to find new or the real meaning.
1 Timothy 3 we find the husband of one wife passage. This passage has harmed more women than any other passage in the Bible. This is the one that has been used to keep women from serving as deacons and pastors and continues to do so.
1 Timothy 3 is not about being male. It is about these two things:
- Christian faith and morality in the person chosen as deacon (v 8-10)
- Compassion – do not burden down a man who has many wives and much responsibility already because he must be able to take care of his own family’s needs.
Doesn’t that make more sense? Isn’t that what the Jesus is about? Love and compassion.
- Why would Paul say that only men could be pastors and deacons when he obviously had many women leaders, (deacons) in the early church?
- Why would Paul say that only men could be deacons and pastors when Jesus Himself never used gender as a requirement for anything.
- Why would Paul say that only men could be deacons and pastors when Paul himself constantly told Christians that they were different, and that they were one – not separated into classifications such as Jew, Greek, slave or free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Gal 3:28)
- “If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (Gal 3:29) Was the Apostle Paul only talking to the men here, or is this a promise that is also for women?
The Apostle Paul says “I am writing you these instructions so that, if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar foundation of the truth.” 1 Timothy 3:15.
Where does being a MALE fit into the instructions?