Because of these three passages, we pass over women as potential elders and deacons in the church. Titus 1: 5-9, Titus 2: 3 -5, 1 Timothy 3: 1-13
Needless to say, I believe this is a mistake, and for pretty simple reasons.
This morning, I posted a ridiculous comment about the PBR and Ice Dancing. I specifically addressed "Gentlemen," asking them to answer with their opinions on the subject. Knowing, of course, that only Milly knew anything meaningful about bull riding it was a pretty safe assumption that I should get her opinion, but I didn't ask for it. I simply knew I could count on it, and I was glad when she responded with a wink and some solid information.
When I did not forbid women to answer my post, I just assumed that the one who knew the answer would jump in and give it.
Search those three passages all day long, and you will not find any word forbidding women to take the position of elder or deacon. You will infer from the fact that 1 Tim 3:1 says "man" that only a man can desire this position. Of course, the Greek does not say, "man." The Greek says, "any." The same is true in Titus 1. If "any" desire the office of bishop, he desires a good work. If "any" be blameless.
I will cut through a bunch of my usual rambling to make the point directly.
1 Tim 3:10 & 11
And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless. Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.
This is the best verse for "proving" that Paul only meant for men to be deacons and elders. The word for wife here is not the word for "spouse," if such a word exists, so it surely means that only a husband can be a deacon.
The only problem with that argument is Rom 16:1.
I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea:
The word, "servant," in Greek is Diakonos. Yep, exactly the same word as is found in 1 Tim 3:10. So, "Phebe our sister" directly violates this very popular inference.
There is no command in any of these three passages forbidding a woman to lead in the church. These three passages reveal clearly that it was uncommon for a woman to be a leader, but that's small potatoes. It was utterly forbidden for a woman to read the scripture just 60 years prior, when Christ was toddling! In ~20 years to have reached the place that Phebe could be a living challenge to our modern inferences is beyond amazing - it is miraculous.
And we have fallen back from that high water mark.
Shame on us.
There remains only one more passage to discuss, 1 Tim 2:11. I hope to rein it back in Sunday night. Until then!