This is part seven 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 #7: “My wife is called ‘pastor’ because I’m the church’s pastor and she shares those pastoral burdens as my wife.”
A Biblical Response: I pastored local churches for 22 years and never called my wife “pastor”. Did she share with me behind the scenes all the joys and heartaches, the stresses and blessings, of my pastoral role? Absolutely. But did she share with me in the performance of those pastoral duties? Not at all. Being married to me, a pastor, did not make her a pastor. Similarly, being married to me, a former pilot and Air Traffic Controller, did not make my wife those things. As one of my sons correctly pointed out, if a woman marries a helicopter pilot, that doesn’t make her a helicopter pilot. My God-given call to teach and lead men did not confer that call upon her, because that would violate the command that a woman is not to teach or have authority over men in the church (1 Timothy 2:12; 3:15). My pastoral ordination in 1980 did not extend pastoral ordination by association to my wife. Nor should it.
•• The New Testament apostles’ wives were never called apostles. There is no New Testament instance of an elder’s wife becoming or being called an elder herself. In fact, one of the qualifications of being an elder is being “the husband of but one wife" (1 Timothy 3:2 and Titus 1:6).
•• The process leading to the ordination of a male pastor involves much training, preparation, and practical experience. This process includes such things as:
• helping him discern that he is indeed called by God
• getting him involved in extensive biblical and practical training
• seeking the wisdom, counsel, and approval of his church elders
• often serving a substantial internship
But then often without his wife having done most or all of these things, some churches will just automatically call them “Pastor Joseph and Pastor Mary”. There is no biblical support for this.