Question: What are your thoughts based on biblical interpretation about men as deacons/pastors versus women?
Answer: Your question is one of the most common debates among Christians or denominations today. I don't think I can give you a detailed answer in an e-mail, but I will try to clarify the situation as much as possible.
First we should ask: Is it possible to have different interpretations when we already have rules of interpretation? To answer this question you should see my website on Chapter One titled "The Goal of Proper Interpretation." Sometimes, using proper interpretation can still results more than one possible explanation. Although only one is the right answer, we are not sure which one.
My personal opinion is this: Since the Bible cannot contradict its own, both men and women can be deacons or pastors. This is the teaching or practice of the Bible as a whole, although individual verses or passages will teach otherwise.
So what are we going to do with those verses that seem to teach women cannot be pastors? Proper exegesis or hermeneutics will allow us to conclude that such instructions are occasional or applicable only to the original recipient when the letter was written.
This is hard for some to figure out or to understand. This is where disagreements among Christians really boils down to. When can we say that a teaching is for a particular situation only and when can we say that a teaching is for the whole church for all time? One clue is to see the teaching of the Bible as a whole. If the Bible seems to conflict on a particular teaching, then more likely that teaching is only for a particular situation and time.
Example: The Bible seems to conflict with itself when it comes to what a woman can do as a ministry, but it is in full agreement that adultery is a sin.
Do you agree or disagree?
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