Various verses egalitarians misuse

Below is a quick list of verses often misused by egalitarians in their attempt to promote women being pastors and elders.

  • Acts 1:8, "but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”
    • Jesus was addressing the disciples saying they would have power to be his witnesses.  Where does it say here that that women can be elders and pastors?  It doesn't.  This verse isn't about church office.  It is about Christians being empowered to proclaim God's word as they go out into the world.
  • Acts 18:26, "and he began to speak out boldly in the synagogue. But when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately."
    • There is nothing wrong with people who are not elders or pastors in the church explaining the doctrines of salvation to someone.  But this is not the same as holding the office of pastor or elder.  1 Tim. 2:11-13 is dealing with how people are to behave inside the church because Paul says so in 1 Tim. 3:15, " . . . I write so that you may know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth."  Acts 18:26 exemplifies the freedom anyone would have to present the gospel.
  • 1 Cor. 16:19, "The churches of Asia greet you. Aquila and Prisca greet you heartily in the Lord, with the church that is in their house."
    • This verse only shows that there was a church meeting in the house of Aquila and Prisca.  It doesn't mean that they were elders were pastors.
  • Gal. 3:28, "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus."
    • This verses dealing with salvation--not church order.  Therefore it is improper to use this verse out of its context and apply to another context elsewhere.
  • Eph. 2:15, "by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace."
    • Egalitarians use this to say that the Law isn't applicable to Christians, so there can't be a law that says women can't be pastors and elders.
    • The problem is that the verse isn't about church office.  It is about escaping the judgment of God through the cross.  Besides, if the Law isn't applicable to Christians, then is it okay to break the 10 Commandments?  Of course not.  The moral law, at least, is still valid.  Likewise, it isn't okay to break the command of God that says the elder is to be the husband of one wife, (Titus 1:5-6).
  • 1 Tim. 3:2-4, "An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, uncontentious, free from the love of money. 4 He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity."
    • Egalitarians sometimes say that these verses are only about polygamy and can't apply to us today.  Saying it doesn't make it so.  Granted the context probably deals with polygamy.  But we must also grant that the verse commands MEN are not to have more than one wife.  He is to be a one-woman man!  How can a woman fit that requirement?  See the article refuting the idea that the term 'husband of one wife' applies to both men and women.

About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.