This is part five in a series on what the Bible says in regards to the ordination of women in the church. Again, instead of rewriting what I believe has already been well laid out, I am sharing Dr. Jim Feeney’s writings on the subject for your edification. You may disagree, and that is your right, but please be able to point to the Bible for your reasons and not the culture.
Argument #5: “Modern Christian women need to be ‘liberated’ from past gender restrictions, since the New Testament says, ‘There is neither male nor female’ (Galatians 3:28). Therefore we can surely have women pastors and elders, and even women apostles and prophets. The former inequalities are gone, and now there is neither male nor female.”
A Biblical Response: We have a problem here. Either (1) we have a clear contradiction in the Bible, or (2) ordained women ministers and their supporters are misinterpreting this key verse in Galatians. Of course, the only biblical choice can be number two (that is, they are misinterpreting), because Jesus Himself unequivocally said, “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female’?" (Matthew 19:4). So how do we resolve Galatians 3:28’s apparent conflict with Jesus’ words? Simply reading the full context of the Galatians verse things clear up immediately.
Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
•• Are there Jew and Greeks? Of course. Were there at that time slaves and free? Certainly. Male and female? Jesus said that there were. The key to the entire verse is “...in Christ Jesus”. In our earthly relationships to each other, of course there are Jews and Greeks, slaves and free, male and female. But in our relationship directly to Jesus Christ, those distinctions are irrelevant. So the key to understanding this often-misinterpreted verse is to read the “in Christ” context.
• “There is neither ... male nor female ... in Christ Jesus”.
• But in our relationships with one another — for example, in marriage — it is quite obvious, as Jesus said, that “God made them male and female ... a man ... [and] his wife” (Mark 10:6-7).
• “In Christ”, in our direct relationship one-on-one with Him, the gender distinctions are irrelevant.
• But on earth, in our relationships with each other, God has not blurred the gender distinctions. So an erroneous feminist view of Galatians 3:28 must not be permitted to do violence to the clear statement of the New Testament that “I do not permit a woman to teach or have authority over a man” (1 Timothy 2:12) in the ongoing functioning of the churches.