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Wordwise Insight, Issue #114
February 14, 2014


BIBLE INSIGHTS (and Reader Q & A): Should women be allowed to teach a mixed group of men and women?

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Women Teaching Men

(Should women be permitted to teach a mixed group of men and women?)

QUESTION: [Referring to First Timothy 2:12] Is it biblically correct for a woman to "facilitate" a Sunday School discussion group of mixed male and female attendants? Is there really a difference between teaching and facilitating, or is it just renaming sin to make compromise more attractive?

ANSWER: It sounds like a semantical attempt to have one's cake and eat it too--like describing a woman speaker in a church service as "sharing," rather than preaching.

However, having said that, I'm not sure I would object too strenuously--though some feel much more strongly about it than I do. The key is whether or not the one "facilitating" is understood (by her, and the membership) to be under the authority of the elders. Then, it might be possible to allow it, though I don't feel it's ideal.

I commend you for your zeal, and for your desire to do what's right. But perhaps it will be helpful to take a closer look at the Scriptures involved, and at the nature of your personal stand. I realize there are many who would agree with you. But there are also many who would not. That suggests it may not be quite the "black and white" issue you suppose. Here are a few thoughts.

I believe the church should adhere to the fundamental (foundational) doctrines of the apostolic faith. We are to "contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints" (Jude 1:3). As to what those fundamentals are, they certainly include: the divine inspiration of the Scriptures; the deity and virgin birth of Christ; His death for our sins and His bodily resurrection; and salvation by the grace of God, through faith in Christ, apart from any works.

I would not feel right identifying myself with or supporting a church that denies the doctrines of the Word of God at this level. To do so would, I believe, violate the principle of separation given to us in Second Corinthians 6:14. The question is whether having a woman teach a mixed Sunday School class is an issue of the same ...

(To read the remainder of the article, click on Women Teaching Men.


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I have developed a blog that is called Wordwise Hymns. As the title suggests, it is about hymns, and church music in general.

But as many of you will know, a blog is especially designed to facilitate a conversation on its particular subject. Readers can easily post comments about what they see, and I'm able to reply. I hope you will take part in the discussion!

Through 2010, almanac entries dealt with what happened in hymn history on each day of the year. Beginning in 2011, I hope to analyze hymns from a biblical standpoint, linking to the material that has come before.

My hope is that the blog will add to the value of the website and this newsletter, and promote some profitable exchanges on the subject of sacred music.

What happened on this day in hymnology? To find out, click Wordwise Hymns.

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