Don’t Throw Tomatoes!

If you’ve not been following the blog for the past two days, I recommend going back to check out Monday’s post and Tuesday’s before diving in. I’m also asking that you read these and consider the content with a heart of grace. I’m fully aware this is a LOADED topic. MANY will disagree with what I’ve presented, and you know what?

I’m okay with that. I’m not asking you to adopt this position. I’m just asking you to prayerfully consider what I’ve presented with a gracious heart … AND please don’t throw any tomatoes (or messy verbal jabs)! The evangelical world is clearly divided over this issue—and hey, at one time I was fairly neutral on this thing—until I dug into the Word for myself. Here’s all I’m asking: read, consider, pray, and respond graciously.

Yesterday we ended with this verse and question:

“I want women to adorn themselves … as is proper for women making a claim to godliness. A woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness. But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet” (1 Tim. 2:9–12).

What??? Why??? What does he mean … remain quiet?!

The Greek word translated “quiet” here can mean “silence” or “quietness” in the sense of “peaceableness.” We can safely assume the second meaning, because of the allowance for women to speak publicly in prayer and prophecy (truth-telling) in 1 Corinthians 11:5.

Paul’s reasons for the 1 Timothy 2:12 restrictions were NOT:

Cultural—there’s no mention of this. Christianity’s reputation was one of valuing the feminine gender). Biblical illiteracy—education was offered to men and women alike in the New Testament church (Acts 18:26–27; Rom. 16:1–2).

What was Paul’s reason for this prohibition?

He points us back to the created order. God’s order of male leadership—given before the fall of man! “For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve” (1 Tim. 2:13).

You see, the authority structure God implemented at creation, which placed man in the leadership role as husband and father—reflecting Christ’s role of headship over the church (Eph. 5:22–23)—would be negated by placing women in spiritual authority OVER men in the church.

“Whoa! Wait a minute,” some of you may be saying at this point. “Does Scripture back up this claim anywhere else?”
Scriptural examples for women functioning under male leadership in the church:

  • Women are allowed to speak, to pray, and to give prophesy (1 Cor. 11:5) but are restricted from public speaking that would serve in a ruling or governing function over men within the local church (1 Tim. 2:12–13).
  • The passages listing the qualifications for elders (bishops, pastors) assume this office is reserved for the male gender (1 Tim. 3:1–7; Titus 1:5–9).
  • Male leadership is the pattern seen in Scripture:
  • Home structure (husband and father).
  • The 12 apostles were all male (Matt. 19:28; Rev. 21:14).
  • The Head of the eternal church is male—Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 11:3; Eph. 1:22, 4:15, 5:23; Col. 1:18).
  • No female pastors, elders, or leaders functioning in an “elder-type” role are listed in the New Testament.

Okay, so I’ve laid out this messy issue before the blogosphere, and I’m preparing for all kinds of reactions. But please know that I count each one of you as dear to Christ’s heart and dear to me personally—no matter where you land on this issue. If we can agree on who Jesus Christ is, on His atoning work in our lives, and the authority of Scripture, we can have sincere love and fellowship as sisters in Christ—even if we are on opposite sides of this issue.

What do ya think?

Originally posted 06.26.09 at


  • Jenny Lynn Hall

    Bless you, Kim. I appreciate that you so lovingly, but directly approach this loaded subject. It seems to me the Lord addresses it the same way.

  • Rachel

    Thank you for the clear scriptural perspective on this topic! I totally agree & hope to always be an example of this to my daughter.

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Thank you, Jenny. Good to hear from you. Glad you found this website. Please pray for the Lord to work here. I desire for Him to be exalted and women to plunge in fully to passionately pursue Christ.

    Blessings dear friend!

  • Kimberly Wagner

    My precious Rachel,

    So thankful for you and what a great mom you are to my granddaughter! 🙂

    Love you, Mom

  • Vivian

    Wholeheartedly agree! Thankful for your willingness to stand for truth and to teach it to other women. I am thankful for your passion for the Lord and His glory!

  • Lynn Slaughter

    Ok so I’m going to step out on a limb and write something on a blog. I’ve never done this before, but since Rachel was brave enough I guess I will try. 🙂 I totally agree Kim. I’m wondering what this means in regards to women who are worship leaders- music leadrship in the church. The church where I have attended for 3 years now, Southeast Christian, teaches this same Biblical perspective. Elders, Pastors, Worship leaders are all men although women do sing with the worship team. However, the worship team I play with on Thursday evenings, callled ENCOUNTER, has a woman leader. Since it is a small group setting, (not big church), I think it is fine. Just wondered what your take is. She is a gifted speaker and leader, but she doesn’t “preach”… Encounter is a 30 min worship service for people who are struggling with different issues. ie- addictions, grief, abuse, etc. The worship service includes teachings from different counselors or testimonies from people who have allowed Christ to work in their life. Jan, our worship leader, leads the service. Anyway, what about women in that capacity… worship leaders and/or miinisters of music? Just adding to conversation..

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hello Viv,

    I’m thankful for the transformation in your life that attests to the reality of the gospel! Not only is it seen in your life but in the lives of your precious family.

    Blessings, friend!

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Wow, Lynn! I’m honored you would choose to leave your first blog comment here! 🙂

    People will come down on this issue all over the board, but it sounds like what you are describing is more of a lay-led small group type meeting. It doesn’t sound as though Jan is functioning in a pastoral or elder role (especially since you stated that your church teaches the same perspective I’ve given above). I’m glad you are using your gifts on the worship team.

    And on a personal note, just to encourage you . . . the Father cares for you so much, He brought you to mind several times today to pray for you. Lynn, He really loves you and it is a joy to intercede in prayer for you. Keep pressing into Christ.

    So glad you’re joining me on this blog adventure :-)I look forward to seeing you in September.