I’ve been brought up that women were not to serve in positions of authority in the church. Some clear teaching has told me that God designed for a man to be in a position of authority– not because of any inherent quality of man that was better, but because of God’s choice. One only has to look at Paul’s statements regarding the leadership pattern of the family to see God putting the headship of the family (and the responsibility of it) in the father’s hands. Why? Paul states that it’s because Eve was tempted first.
Jill Stanek, however, has some interesting points that at least make me think. I’ve often wondered how the office of Deacon, for example, could only be a position for a man since there were deaconesses in the Bible. Since I don’t base my belief only on the passage about husband of one wife (but usually default to that one because it’s the easiest!), I don’t have to follow her logic to its complete end. For example, though Priscilla may have taught Apollos (one wonders where Aquila was), I don’t think that directly equates to having a female pastor/bishop. It’s one thing to lead a flock, it’s another to train individuals.
I don’t know of any Biblical examples of Paul or someone meeting up with a New Testament church with a female head. One would think that if the Holy Spirit wanted to say that was an acceptable idea, Paul would have sent a female aid somewhere to be the pastor or came into a church with a female leader. The Holy Spirit chose not to give us such an example, which people could interpret many ways.
So, I still wonder about female deacons (especially if their mission is to serve), but I continue to believe that the Lord gave the man the position (one that I’m not sure he should have because he was just as complicit in the fall) and take these things under consideration.