It Started As An E-Mail To C.B. Scott....
But my feeble idea took root and started flowering. Since I don't get much of that any more, I figured I'd post it, instead.
I'd made a remark on Bart Barber's Blog and I referred to the possibility of his daughter preaching one day. That sparked a stream of consciousness which generated a thought: there's a big difference between Preaching, and filling the office of Pastor. Hence, I'd imagine there'd be a difference in the qualifications, too.
First, I don't buy the idea that the prohibition against women teaching men, in the Bible, is an absolute. I'm personally not comfortable in that setting, but I'm not all that dogmatic about it. And I do not deny that women can and and do have the gift of teaching.
OR preaching (Anybody who's been to church in Jamaica, feel free to say "amen!")!
But let's assume there are good reasons for not allowing women to "usurp authority" over men. That would preclude their holding the Office of Elder/Bishop/Pastor, of course. But that Office carries a lot more stuff with it than just preaching.
I confess I've confused preaching TO me, with having authority OVER me. I think the two are separate.
When I examine the Preamble to the Baptist Faith & Message, and focus on the section on Priesthood of (the) (all) believer(s) (choose your own option), I get the impression that I'm responsible before God for ALL that I believe.
Now, as our pastor Mike Shaw has said frequently, we're not to take him simply at his word, but we're to check him out in scripture, for ourselves. Thus, IMHO, the authority over me is scripture (and we know Who breathed THAT), and not he in his own self. In other areas than preaching, he DOES have the authority that his office gives him, again from scripture.
Incidentally, Brother Mike also says that anyone who stands behind our pulpit, whether preaching, teaching, or praying, or testifying, does so under his authority as Pastor, and thus not under their own authority.
Hence, for me, I do not view listening to a woman teach or preach as her "exercising authority" over me. She'd be using a gift that God gave her. Or perhaps NOT, but that's for me to discern for myself, regardless of whether the preacher is man or woman!
So, again, I may not be comfortable in listening to a woman teach or preach. But church is not about my comfort or happiness, but rather about holiness. And God can use anyone to work that into my stubborn life, that He chooses. That thought can be summarized in a teaching I heard over 40 years ago, but I've never forgotten: "Never let what someone is not get in the way of what God has in them, for me."
If God has a message for me, I dare not disregard it, or ignore it, simply because the messenger is not a man.