What is considered teaching in the sense that women aren’t supposed to in church? With Paul Reid, David Stroud, Andrew Smith, Mark Driscoll

Redeem Cities 2010: Group Q&A
With Paul Reid, David Stroud, Andrew Smith, Mark Driscoll


What is considered teaching in the sense that women aren’t supposed to in church? Loaded question strangely worded. Tick, tick, tick.

Paul Reid, “Yeah I have to say I really appreciated what Mark had to say on most of the issues today. I thought was unfortunate to link complementarianism as one of the fundamentals. I think those of us who are egalitarian have actually done our homework, actually believe that we are biblically centred and that we agree to disagree. But we certainly don’t believe if we don’t have that we won’t make converts, and we won’t make disciples. I would just Mark to maybe elaborate on that for us, one of the four things I think was which was for me way too strong and I think it leaves those of us on a thinking, actually agree mostly with what the other three were Mark. I think that particular one was just outside the box for me and it leaves me thinking can we have fellowship and can we work together? Of course I would say wouldn’t I that there isn’t anything that a man could do in church that a woman can’t do and that includes teaching and pasturing. So for me its pretty clear.”

Mark Driscoll, “Yeah you are wrong (crowd laughs and applauds) and then I will get on a plane tomorrow and you can say whatever you want. I would have to say work with Christians that are egalitarian. I have to and for me I would say that if they love Jesus and are evangelical my general rule is I will work with them. I preach in churches that are egalitarian, I have had people in to train our people that are egalitarian, it is not a salvation issue by any stretch of the imagination. There are people who you know absolutely do love Jesus and bear much fruit that hold an egalitarian position so I am not saying that, and I am saying for the greater good of the cause of the gospel in a city like this the egalitarians and complementarians need to work together as much as far as they can and agree to disagree in a way that is agreeable but is still honest, and so with that is kind of my position.

The way we do it in Acts29 is we only have male elders and that is the way we do it in Mars Hill but who we work with is much broader than that we also work with a lot of Arminians, also work with a lot of Cessationists. So those four boxes for me are not saying this is what a real Christian looks like but this is what I am seeing God do around the world in a lot of different places at the same time which I find to be curious, and as far teaching goes it comes 1 Timothy 2, it says, “I do not permit a woman to teach or have authority over a man.” That is not the typical word for teaching it is used again in 1 Timothy 5 “For the elders who labour in preaching and teaching are worthy of double honour” and so the word is used twice in 1 Timothy and it is not a typical word, it is not an unusual word and it tends to refer to the teaching as an elder that is why 1 Timothy 2, “I do not permit a woman to teach or have authority over a man” it goes right into 1 Timothy 3 the qualifications of an elder, “an elder must be a man above reproach, husband of one wife, able to teach, worthy of respect, good reputation with outsiders” goes through the requirements. So 1 Timothy 2 and 3 go together, the teaching is as an elder and that is why the same word shows up again in 1 Timothy 5 that the elders labour in preaching and teaching. So we have women who teach at Mars Hill but not in the office of elder, do women have the gift of leadership? Yes,
Do women have the gift of teaching? Yes. There is a difference between gifts and offices and I think we all agree with that. There is even people who aren’t elders who have the gift of teaching or what have you. For me though I would say that you can’t look that what has been occurring through Mars Hill and Acts29 without that doctrine and I don’t put it out to be divisive but I tell you without that we do not have the same results and we do not have the same men, and for me I look at the highest office in the Old Testament was the priest – men, the twelve disciples – men, the elders in the church – men, from beginning to end men are in senior leadership. You see women who have gifts and prophesy, you see like Deborah who had gifts in leadership but they are not occupying those spiritual offices, though they are using those spiritual gifts and I know some of you would disagree with me but that is okay I will see you in the kingdom and one of us will be right and one of us will be wrong – I think it is probably you.


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