Leadership is male and God has never changed His mind on this distinction. God never intended women to hold positions of leadership in the church, nor in the home. God’s intent in leadership being male is for the purpose of protection and provision of the woman, it always has been and always will be. (Numbers chapter 30; Ephesians 5:21-33; Titus 2:1-8; I Corinthians 14:34, 35; I Timothy 2:9-14; I Peter 3:1-6)
But there are good Christian women and men who are using other verses in the Bible to support their argument that women and men are able to share the same roles of leadership in the church.
The two verses which are often used are Galatians 3:28 and Acts 2:16-21. They use these verses to argue the point that a woman is able to serve in positions of leadership as a pastor of a church, as a preacher or an evangelist preaching the gospel message, or as a teacher of Bible doctrine to men, because (they argue) women and men are equals. However, spiritual equality is not role equivalence and God is gender specific, leadership is male.
They wrongly use: Galatians 3:28 "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus." The rules for understanding scripture always cautions us to not take a verse out of context. The context of this verse is spiritual, not physical. The correct teaching of this verse is referring to a spiritual equality in Christ.
The first illustration of this verse is using Jew and Greek. By their spiritual birth, born again (John 3:1-7), the Jew and the Greek have spiritual equality in Christ with all who are born again. But the Jew is still physically a Jew and the Greek is still physically a Greek, and as such they were still subject to the laws of their day.
The second illustration continues with that of bond and free, or slave and master. Salvation made the slave spiritually free, but it did not make the slave physically free. The slave still served an earthly master.
Then, the third illustration continues with male and female. Spiritual equality is not role equivalency and the role of leadership still remains male, while women are in the place of care, protection, and provision.
They wrongly use: Acts 2:16-21 "But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh sons and your daughters shall prophesy... ...The sun turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day...".
There are also other references for this passage, Joel 2:10, 28-32; Matthew 24:21, 29; Mark 13:24; Luke 21:25; and Revelation 6:12. The correct teaching of this passage in Acts is that this is prophecy still to come. The most notable indication of that is "the sun turned into darkness, and the moon into blood...". These are things still to come in the tribulation and will specifically happen with the Nation of Israel, as the verse 32 in Joel 2 declares; Joel 2:32 "...for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance...".
Restating: Leadership is male and God has never changed Him mind on this distinction. Spiritual equality is not role equivalence.
Thank you for taking the time to read my post.
Jane Coley (June 2011)