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Can Elders give women permission to lead in the assembly?

by Dalton Key

First observe this rudimentary principle from scripture: "But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and head of Christ is God" (1 Corinthians 11:3). Paul does not limit these words to the home -- to husbands and wives only -- but rather broadens his base of application to men and women in a general sense. With respect to leadership, "the head of the woman is the man," just as certainly as "the head of Christ is God."

Next, Paul applies this divine principle to Christian gatherings by writing, "I will that the men pray in every place... Let the woman learn in quietness in all subjection. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man but to be in quietness" (1 Timothy 2:8,11,12). From heaven's perspective, and thus from the vantage point of Truth, the matter is forever settled: in assemblies of saints, men are to lead. And to establish that Paul was not merely answering a cultural situation of his day with a temporary solution, as some commentators have suggested, notice that he bases this doctrine on Truths which have been firmly in place since the beginning of time: "For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression." (1 Timothy 2:13-14).

Finally, in view of the foregoing, elders have neither license nor liberty to loose that which God has bound. In Christian assemblies, the men are to take the lead -- period! This may not be popular with everyone, everywhere, but it is Scriptural and right.

"...upon this rock I will build My church..." Matt.16:18

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