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Can Women Teach Sunday School

After 54 years of teaching Sunday School, a woman was told she could no longer be a position of authority in the Church. Should women be allowed to teach Sunday School?

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 ---Leslie on 8/22/06
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Ahh aka, I don't wear stinky perfume. you need to contact God since He inspired His Holy Word. nuf said
---shira4368 on 1/14/13

We have two obediences: God directly and the word of God. You obey God first, face-to-face. If God has anointed you to teach, preach, carry out the garbage, do the books. If He gives you words to speak for Him, what are you gonna do, disobey Him? A direct order? I don't think so, not wise.
---pat on 1/12/13


i am not arguing with scripture. you are not in the church of corinth, but if you want to apply everything from the bible, do not speak in church for it is a shame for a woman to speak (not preach as you said) in church, and don't order ham or shellfish at cracker barrel afterwards.

but, i do want to know...where is the commandment for women to wear stinky perfume at church? it is not commanded, so they should not do it...wouldn't you agree?
---aka on 1/12/13

aka, oh I do understand. the bible is always right and I stand on that. I'll just stick with the old stuff, it works everytime, from genesis to revelation its power divine.
---shira4368 on 1/12/13

1timothy 3:1 this is a true saying, if a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.
2: a bishop must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach.
---shira4369 on 1/12/13

//women are not allowed to preach in church and when you read it in context you will understand too.// shira

laleo - to speak in 1st Corinthians 14:34

kay-roos'-so - to preach

there are so many nuances to that verse, but it says that women should not even speak. it did not say preach

if char or chria teach, i will be in the front row.

and i assume you keep your silence and not speak in church next sunday as written. for it would be a shame.

until you read it in total truth, you will not understand.
---aka on 1/11/13

aka, I didn't write the bible, God did. His Word is a roadmap we should live by. God put all things in the bible and we are getting away from biblical living. God said a woman shouldn't speak in church, I didn't say that. God had a reason for that.
---shira4368 on 1/11/13 you know what the customs and practices were for children's education in synagogue?
---aka on 1/8/13

Derek, where in the scriptures did Christ or the Apostles establish Sunday Schools?

Sunday Schools were never part of the church until the late 1700s. They were not originally intended to be part of the worship service. They were originally intended to teach the poor children who worked during the week to read and write.

It is my belief that Sunday Schools are not scriptural!
---trey on 1/8/13

samuel...teaching scripture is of the highest authority. it is ironic that the leaders of the church that think they have authority don't know stuff from shinola.
---aka on 1/8/13


where did we get the idea that we can learn from each other via the internet. it is not biblical.
---aka on 1/8/13

Where does the idea of having a separate Sunday school or youth group stem from?

It is not Biblical.

---Derek on 1/8/13

How did teaching become a position of authority in the church? Women should be allowed to teach.
---Samuelbb7 on 1/7/13

Sandy, OK I'll use that scripture when I walk into the women's bathroom at your church. Need I say more??? Sorry to be so crude, but I'm trying to make a point!

Let us put Gal 3:28 in context. In the eyes of God, we are all equal. The Jew doesn't have superiority over the Gentile or the man isn't superior to the woman. We are all one in Christ. We are all equal heirs of God's grace.

When it comes to the worship service Christ is head over the church. The man is head over the woman and this is a result of Eve's sin in the garden 1 Tim 2:14-15.
---trey on 1/7/13

"There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ." Gal. 3:28 Need I say more.
---Sandy on 1/5/13

Women do and will always teach in church is it correct well you have to ask the thousands of men who can't be bothered to take up the calling of preaching, before you go shooting down the women for sweeping up the milk that has already been spilled.

A woman cannot be a bishop and that has been ordained in all the British churches last year sometime in September
( I think )
However, The more women take over the less men there is in the churches...
---Carla on 1/4/13

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1938, we are all equal to receive salvation. God has a structure for His Church and it is very clear in His Word what the structure is. 1st Corinthians 14:34..Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak, but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. vs 35...And if they will learn anything, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in church. that does not mean women can't be a witness. women are not allowed to preach in church and when you read it in context you will understand too.
---shira4368 on 1/3/13

In Christ there is no difference: male or female, bond or free, Jew or Gentile, so this whole question is mute. We are all one in Christ and the Holy Spirit gives us gifts according to his own will.
---disciple_1938 on 1/2/13

leslie, yes women can teach children or other women. biblically a woman cannot teach a man's class. ask your friend to show you in the bible where they get a woman can't teach? I would like to know that too but it still depends on who she is teaching.
---shira4368 on 1/2/13

Yes she can teach.Everyone should spread the word
---Merlyn on 1/1/13

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Ginger, an unbeliever is self-righteous - justifying his or herself. A Believer trusts in Jesus as He has paid the entire price for one's sin on the cross - exchanging our sin for His righteousness. Christians, having confidence in the Lord, naturally produce fruit, and become mature by resting in Him, and through His pruning us. But any work that we do with the expectation of gaining favor will not satisfy Him. Ecclesiastes 10:1, Malachi 1:7, Matthew 7:17, Romans 1:16-18, 3:20-28, 4:2, 5:1, 6:22-23, 7:4, 2Corinthians 9:10-11, Galatians 2:16, 5:4, 22-26, Ephesians 2:8-9, 5:9, Colossians 1:5-6, 2:13-14, 2Timothy 3:17, Titus 3:7, Hebrews 6:1, 12:11, James 2:4.
---Glenn on 9/18/10

"Seek you first the kingdom..."
"Glorify God in ALL things...."
We are supposed to seek God 1ST and give HIM glory in ALL Things. NOT seek a husband then God.
Are you mad because I said a woman should seek God 1ST?
Im not teaching any women's liberatioin movement.
Its truth! the Bible!
God says woman CAN minister and use there gifts to minister to OTHER WOMEN. In fact the Bible tells Elder women to TEACH younger women.
The Proverbs 31 woman is a WONDERFUL example of what every Christian woman should be.
Im a single parent SO....
Christ gets all the glory and does ALL the leading in MY household, if you don't like that, Then get some other belief because thats all truth and ALL bible.
---ginger on 9/15/10

In Proverbs 31, the woman was primarily concerned with domestic duties. She does help the poor, makes and sells garments, buys and plants a vineyard. She doesn't sit in the gate with her husband v.23. Yours' is not a Biblical argument, you use one from the women's liberation movement, that you can a have a rewarding career, be a good wife, excellent mother, and a have lots of satisfying me-time. You say that you put "God first", "seek God first", and "He comes first in all (you) do". Short of Heaven, only Jesus did that! Perhaps the Pastor(s) in your Church are not feeding you well. 1Corinthians 3:1-3, Hebrews 5:13-14, James 3:1, 1Peter 2:2, 2Peter 3:16.
---Glenn on 9/14/10

But considering that Sunday Schools are not mentioned in the Bible, which says clearly that the spiritual instruction of the children rests with their own parents, what is the justification for having them?
---Cluny on 9/13/10

Why Cluny, you are a critical, denominational anarchist in the making. ha.

Your critical look at this makes perfect sense. From your statement,the children get indoc'd into a labeled brand.
I offer my Children/grandchildren what scripture says to weigh against what the doc's say. They gravitate to scripture. Adults too....but, more slowly.
---Trav on 9/13/10

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Now Glenn,
Have you forgotten the Proverbs 31 woman?
She did it all.
Yes, a woman can teach, preach, minister, be a prophetess....
She can do these things.
She can do these things and be a great mom!
I believe these things help a woman to be a great mother and to raise Godly children.
In fact, I am very active in the church body and my children are very supportive and proud they have mom who puts God first and my children lack for nothing.
Because I seek God first, God has given me ALL that I need for me and my children.
AND my children know that God provides because HE comes first in all I do.
---ginger on 9/13/10

When I was a Baptist before I got saved, starting at age 8, men taught boys and men, and women taught women and girls in Sunday School.

But considering that Sunday Schools are not mentioned in the Bible, which says clearly that the spiritual instruction of the children rests with their own parents, what is the justification for having them?
---Cluny on 9/13/10

1/2 second submission
Catherine: Being a good wife *1, and raising Godly children *2, is better than having a grand 'ministry' in Fenton, Missouri, and being Governor of Alaska at the same time. No "scalp"" pulling *3! "tired of this," "Jesus, I want another job". What would He say? *4.
Francis: The discourse in 1Timothy 2:8-15 concerns public prayer, teaching, and worship. Doing otherwise is disobedient, and rebels against God's order, 1Corinthians 11:3, 14:34. Please see Nuremberg Defense.
1Corinthians 14:33-38 / 1Timothy 2:9-15 "silence" (3), "not ' to speak", "shame ' to speak", "shamefacedness", "with all subjection".
---Glenn on 9/13/10

Candice: The speech in Matthew 28:18-20 is given to the eleven male disciples, is applicable today, yet doesn't negate the above cited Bible verses.
Carla: In 1Timothy 2:12, not teaching in the first clause is not limited to only (not) teaching men by the second clause. Contentious - Romans 2:7-8, Jude 1:3-4.
*1 Proverbs 31:10-31, 1Timothy 2:15, Titus 2:4-5 "that the word of God be not blasphemed."
*2 Genesis 18:19, Proverbs 22:6, Ephesians 6:4.
*3 Acts 4:19 and 5:29.
*4 Isaiah 29:13, Hosea 4:6, Matthew 15:3, or 7:23.
---Glenn on 9/12/10

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---jerry6593 on 9/12/10

Women can teach women stop being so contentious!
---Carla on 9/10/10

A woman can be a disciple . In the reference dictionary in the back of my bible it says "disciple:see follower~
Follower: a person who is learning from someone else, a "disciple".
*of John Matth 7:24-27, 25:1-13
* of Christ, Matthew 11:1(reference to the 12 disciples), 28:18-20 , John 19:38,Acts 6:1-7, 11:26

Matthew shows this
"So go and make followers(disciples) of ALL people in the world. baptize them in the name of the father and the Son and the holy spirit. 20)teach them to obey everything that I have taught you, and I will be with you always, even until the end of this age."
So you see this can refer to women teaching anyone, NOT preaching, but teaching.
---candice on 9/9/10

Catherine offers a sympathetic albeit fleshly answer for the oft abused gender, however Francis offers the biblical perspective with the distinction between position and God's order that pagans and even some Christians don't understand.

Teaching is not usurping a man.

The scripture on ursurping a man in authority was not a suggestion, however Timothy recieved a great deal of his youthful instruction from women.

In God there is both balance and demand for obedience.

Defiance, particularly by Charismatics to this instruction, is out of God's will.
It doesn't mean women can't become great leaders.
---larry on 9/9/10

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Amen, Catherine! Right on, girl! :)
---Mary on 9/9/10

Should women be allowed to teach Sunday School?

A woman teaching or even preaching does not USURP the authority of a man. many sundayschool teachers male and female do so under the direct authority of a man.

1 Timothy 2:12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.

Acts 18:26 Priscilla along with her husband had helped to "expounded unto him (Apollos) the way of God more perfectly."

Timothy 1:5 When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice, and I am persuaded that in thee also.

Whose Authority did Eunice, Lois, and riscailla USURP?
---francis on 9/9/10

Can women do anything besides have babies, wash the floors, allow husband to pull her around by the skin of her scalp, boss her around all the time, wash the dishes, cut the grass, or sweep the floors? If you are tired of this, tell Jesus. Say, "hello, Jesus, I want another job", PLEASE.
---catherine on 9/9/10

The Watertown N.Y. First Baptist Church board fired Mary Lambert for various unspecified reasons. They may have used 1Timothy 2:11-12 as grounds to dismissed her because they believed that due to her involvement in some internal dispute(s), that she was improperly interfering in Church business. Some congregations believe that women should not formally teach children other than their own, 1Timothy 2:15. While others allow women to instruct small children. Though, for a few illustrious older women, Titus 2:3-5. These verses prohibit women ruling: 1Corinthians 11:1-(16), 14:33-38, 1Timothy 2:8-15. The ministry titles in Mathew 23:10-11, Acts 20:28, Philippians 1:1, 1Timothy 3:1-10, 12-13, Titus 1:7 are masculine nouns.
---Glenn on 9/8/10

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if one was to read pauls position towards women and participation then read equally the recognition that paul gave the several deaconess and female participents then a very good answer will come,or confusion will .
---earl on 5/31/08

Did you know the woman at the well was the Very first Evangelist!
---kathr4453 on 9/15/06

Ephesians: 4:7 But unto ""every one"" of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.

I guess everyone, means just that, everyone!
---kathr4453 on 9/14/06

Ephesians 4:11
And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
ooops! YEP, they are listed as as Gifts. I guess that would mean that Women can be pastors???!!!???
We can read that two different ways, either these gifts are for all, or there was a typo when Paul said women should have their heads covered when they prophesied.
Or...we need to look up what the word "pastor" means.
---kathr4453 on 9/14/06

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Leslie: Don't you just hate the idea that the only gift any men wants are those who cook "them" fried chicken.
---kathr4453 on 9/14/06

These are "gifts" given to ALL the Body of Christ.Pastors are not listed as a "gift".
Does God say that He only wants to use 1/2 the Body of Christ. Does He specifically say that Women were not given Gifts? I recall him saying if a woman prophesies she is to have her head covered...which would mean women have Gifts.
I was in a SS class where we had a great woman teacher. The class was also all women. She was replaced by a male, who wasn't even saved.
---kathr4453 on 9/14/06

some say Pauls advise in 1Cor14:34 was only Paul's word. If its in God's word, then it is inspired and we should be obedient to what God is saying here. Nowhere in the bible where it says WOMEN MUST PREACH. They can teach kids or anyone outside the sanctuary, yet they cannot preach in His sanctuary. This is our problem today, we rebel against God's word and always question Him. Women can teach but cannot preach.
---jana on 9/14/06

Donna, I'm not too sure that these churches would have offered this lady the positions out of pity at all. They might have heard what an excellent teacher she was and, as Sunday School teachers are in short supply, decided that if one church did not want her skills and gifts they could certainly use them. I'd like to think that that is why they offered anyway.
---f.f. on 9/1/06

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I think what it is talking about when it say's for the women to keep silent some women are so strong willed they try to run the church and tell the pastor what to do there is times people will tell the pastor not to have a certain preacher back
One of my baptist friend stood up in a service and told her pastor don't you tell me i'm not saved i don't know what her pastor said
but it interuped the whole service
---Betty on 9/1/06

greetings,for alan,my point is, if the harvest is great then why prohibit the workers because they are female?there is enough room for all harvesters.since God is not a respector of persons he calls all people not just men to do his will.there are skills that ive seen many women have to harvest but was denied because of long as man is taught woman is not a coequal then this injustice will continue.thanks for reply
---earl on 8/31/06

Earl ... I think the phrasing of Paul's comment supports what you say.
What I wonder happens in a church where no male is prepared to be pastor, or to take responsibility?
---alan8869_of_UK on 8/31/06

greetings ,if you will concordance this ,much of pauls work about women was by "permission and not by commandment"
---earl on 8/31/06

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A faithful woman was the very first to preach the gospel...and she preached it to men! She was directed to do so by an Angel of God and, later, by Christ Himself as He appeared to her first. I hardly think God was mistaken in selecting a woman to carry the good news.

Paul, though directed by God, was still a man and, I'm sure, struggled with social issues of that day. I trust, however, that Christ knew what He was doing when He selected Mary to appear to and instruct first.
---AlwaysOn on 8/31/06

teaching sunday school isn't a position of authority?
---mike on 8/31/06

Was this woman healthy? Did she have alzheimer's disease or dementia? Is there a reason? I think that persons with these type of disorders could and should be removed... for themselves and the children's sake. Women are an integral part of the body of Christ. They can be teachers. Did they treat this woman like she was their mother or did they shame her?
---Amy9384 on 8/31/06

Sad the church and pastor twisted the scripture to play church politics!

Biblical scholars for years have studied those passages and there are many who dispute them- as no other of Paul's writings are similar and of the day, practice was to pass them along and sometimes others added to the context.

Don't forget the real words of Paul
"And we shall live as one..............."
---KC on 8/31/06

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Yes, the pastor was young. He could not have been in the ministry long. He ADMITTED on national TV, that her dismissel was NOT DUE TO HER BEING A WOMAN. He stated that he had said that ONLY OUT OF "CHRISTIAN CHARITY" But he would NOT state the REAL REASON for her not being allowed to teach. In other words he lied. Wonder why some older board member didn't help him handle this better and avoid embarrassment.

Other churches DID offer this 80 y/o woman positions, out of sympathy, I'm sure.
---Donna2277 on 8/24/06

Leslie, teaching Sunday School isn't putting a person in a position of authority. She's not on a pulpit. She's not exercising her authority over men, right? We take that scripture such out of context. When a woman is exercising authority over a man, that's being in authority. Simply teaching children or adults before a service isn't exercising authority.
---Donna9759 on 8/24/06

The minister of this church would not have been born when the lady started her teaching. I've seen a picture of him and he looks about 35. I'm sure that other board members will be older though. I wonder if it is that this young pastor has introduced new ideas to the church members which they havn't considered before, possibly having not seen those scriptures. This could have been handled better though if they felt it needed doing at all.
---Mac on 8/24/06

WHY in the world did this church wait 54 years to decide that this woman can't teach?
---sue on 8/24/06

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2. Although it is being suggested that her age might be partly the reason for this, this idea seems to have only been introduced into the discussion after negative publicity at the decision started coming from OUTSIDE the church. Mary Lambert might now leave the church that she has attended for 60 years, where she was married. She has had 5 offers to teach Sunday school elsewhere. God must be in this somewhere. Nothing happens without a reason.
---M.P. on 8/24/06

ABC's news website shows a video where the lady, Mary Lambert, and minister Tim LaBouf, are interviewed and the letter is partially shown. The letter, which is from the church board and is a 'unanimous' decision, quotes Paul's letter to Timothy, "I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she is to keep silent." The pastor is a member of the city council, which employs a female manager, and he seems to have no problem with women being in authority outside the church.
---M.P. on 8/24/06

If Leslie has knowledge of this or a case like it, I hope we hear. In the case that was publicized, a pastor told a woman who had taught SS (age group not specified) for 54 years, that she could no longer teach, being a woman. He later admitted that it wasn't "being a woman", but that "Christian charity" prevented him from being more truthful. Eighty y/o women are not often criminal nor "immoral". I think he felt she was no longer capable, but lacked the grace to tell her.
---Donna2277 on 8/23/06

Remember Ray Boltz song "Thank You, you used to teach my sunday school..." My Mom taught SS for 40 years. She's an awesome teacher, parents and kids tell her she's the best. She kept their hands busy with creative projects while she taught. She stayed up all night sometimes getting everything ready. My Mom is a blessed woman and the Lord uses her in a mighty way.
---Raine on 8/23/06

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women can teach as to being pastors or elders the Word of GOD forbids women holding spiritual headship over man or the church.
---willow on 8/23/06

Leslie, do you have a connection with this particular church? If so, I'm sure we would all be grateful for an update on this story in the near future, especially regarding how many men actually come forward to teach in the Sunday School instead of the women. Presumably this lady referred to isn't the only one who has been told that her services are no longer needed.
---emg on 8/23/06

Alan of UK--This was a recent story that was in the news. She was told she could not teach. Period.
---Donna2277 on 8/22/06

MP. I agree. HA! Show me a church that has all male Sunday School teachers! It's not like men are competeing with one another to teach the Primary Dept!
---Donna2277 on 8/22/06

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Yes. God can and will use anyone of his children to teach. We have a older lady to teach the teens and a younger lady that teaches the toddlers and under 13. I think there is a reason as to why they told her this. But it all depends on the reason.
---Rebecca_D on 8/22/06

I agree with John.
But I have a question. In the UK, I would say that the term "Sunday SChool" refers almost exclusively to the teaching of children. BUt I believe in the US Sunday Schools for adults are common.
Leslie was your friend told she could no longer teach children?
---alan8869_of_UK on 8/22/06

In the Baptist church in which I was raised (till I got saved), from age 8 boys were taught by men and girls by women.
---Jack on 8/22/06

Women can hold any ecclesiastical position in the church including Minister of the Word and Sacraments. Those who who contend other wise are Biblically ignorant or just begets.
---Phil_the_Elder on 8/22/06

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I remember a lady by the name of Rose Mary Brian. She would teach scripture and play the piano, while we all sang along. Sometimes it felt like we were in Heaven.
---Jacques on 8/22/06

It's interesting that this denomination has NEVER made a statement re: women as teachers. For 54 yrs it's been fine for her to teach. But now that she's in her 80's, the fact that she's a WOMAN is an issue?

It wasn't "Christian charity" (his words)that caused his dishonesty. Christian INTEGRITY would have him tell her, gently and respectfully, that the job has become too much for her at her age. If he really CARED about HER, he would have. (Public embarrassment is a hard way to learn)
---Donna2277 on 8/22/06

I believe shira's answer is correct.
---mima on 8/22/06

Yes, women can teach women, teens, and children. They can't biblically teach men.
---shira on 8/22/06

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If this was because her lifestyle had become a bad example to the kids then I agree but if this is because the church has taken a literal stand on women being silent then I think it's a mistake. The Bible tells women to teach children.
---john on 8/22/06

I know of very few Sunday schools run by men. Male Sunday school teachers are very thin on the ground and far fewer men than women go to church anyway. This is probably an authority thing. Perhaps a capable man has now emerged in that church and they wish to show that a women must not have a position higher than a man's. I personally think that it is very insulting to the woman but that is just my view, others will disagree I know.
---M.P. on 8/22/06

I believe God will use whomever He will. If His word, His will, His way is being taught, why would He care whose mouth it comes from? Some People are too caught up in the outter apearances, and not concerned enough about what is really important, and that is, the word of God reaching the lost, changed lives,souls being saved, which is suppose to be the ultimate goal of christians.
---Barbara on 8/22/06

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