Modern thought tends to ignore old ideas. Some Christians think some of the biblical commands are antiquated and should be overruled or tweaked, especially when it comes to women in the ministry.
Some commands can become culturally complicated to practice, like this one.
In Greek culture, Aristotle severely limited women’s activities, which was the popular view. When Paul wrote that women could “learn,” or “be disciples,” women were elated to be able to study God’s word. This was an unheard–of liberty for Christian women.
They were to learn “quietly”—-that is, “without disturbance, implying voluntary restraint.” The phrase “with all submissiveness” means “submission to the highest degree,” which indicated Paul’s concern that their learning might overthrow the leadership roles of men in the church.
Paul then adds, “I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence” (1 Tim 2:12). Having said this, Paul described several women who were “coworkers” with him (Rom 16:1–-3) and “who labored with [him] in the gospel” (Phil 4:2–-3).
Women can be disciples, evangelists of women (e.g., in cultures where men cannot speak to women), teachers of women, prayer leaders (1 Cor 11:4), worship leaders, musicians, and helpers in hundreds of ways, but God’s word must be respected.
It is apparent that it was God’s choice to make men the ones accountable to Him for the church’s health and well–being. A pastor was to be the “husband of one wife” who “rules his house well” (1 Tim 3:2, 4).
Only with a considerable twist of the meaning of these passages could women biblically be considered as pastors. It is a question not of who could fulfill this role the best but of to whom God gave the authority and responsibility.
Elisabeth Elliot, wife of missionary martyr Jim Elliot and well–known author, wrote, “The woman who accepts the limitations of womanhood finds in those very limitations her gifts, her special callings . . . , which bear her up into perfect freedom, into the will of God.”
“Lord, grant that all husbands will be learners and teachers of the word to meet the needs of their wives for understanding the word of God. May the priority of peace among the church encourage us to follow Your instructions.”