Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
January 7, 1954
NUMBER 34, PAGE 6,10c

New Study Of An Old Question - Women Teachers

W. O. Flatt, Fort Worth, Texas

I am persuaded that women teachers, and not Bible classes, is the primary reason our anti-brethren object to Bible School (or Sunday School). I know the church is not divided when it is separated into groups or classes to be taught the Word of God, but it is divided when it divides over classes, preachers, women teachers or any other thing that causes division in the Body of Christ. This is the kind of division that the apostle Paul condemns in 1 Corinthians 1:10-13.

If it is a sin for the church, in its work of teaching the Word of God, to have separate classes, and in some of these classes have women teachers, then the person or persons who introduce classes and women teachers — and contend for the same, are the ones that are guilty of "causing division and offences contrary to the doctrine of Christ." They should be "marked" and "avoided." (Rom. 16:17,18; Titus 3:9-11; Gal. 1:6-9; 2 John 9,10; Rev. 22:18, 19) On the other hand, our anti-brethren are guilty of causing division and dividing the church when they condemn teaching in classes and using women teachers; if we are doing it in ways not in violation to 1 Timothy 2:11,12 and 1 Corinthians 4:34,35. They will have to answer for this at the day of judgment, as is true of all that teach a false doctrine.

Women Teaching — Where, How And When

Where? Just anywhere, as long as in their teaching they do not usurp authority over men.

How? Just anyway, as long as they do not usurp authority over men.

When? Just at anytime they have opportunity and their teaching does not usurp authority over men.

Yes, my friends that is how simple this question of classes and women teachers is. We must prove all things by the Word of God, and if women may teach we must prove that they may and did teach. We must also find the reason women are not allowed to teach at certain times and places.

I am sure that all who read this are familiar with the scriptures that teach regarding women's work in the church. Although we do not know all the different kinds of work they did, from such scriptures as Romans 6:1-7; Philippians 4:3; Acts 9:36-39, we find it not reasonable to think these good women did all these good deeds and yet did not teach the good news of Jesus Christ, especially since we know some women did teach — and that on baptism!

The Teachers

First I want to use Acts 18:26. It will be well for you to read verse two, also 24 through 26, "and he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of the Lord more perfectly." Will you note: the place was public — the where; the teaching was private — the how; the first opportunity — the time. Also, note that the teachers were "a man and his wife." Observe the they' and them' in the above verse. Do you realize that we have learned from the scripture that a woman has helped her husband teach a man (not a child or another woman but a man)? Do you really mean the scriptures teach that? Yes, I surely do — read it again! Priscilla helped her husband teach a man and the man was a preacher. Yes, and a very good preacher at that. I am sure any good gospel preacher would be happy to learn from a good Christian woman. We know she did not usurp authority over her husband, or over the preacher. Now, let us suppose there had been a dozen preachers in need of the same instruction. Would that alter the case? No, of course not, the woman was teaching by the authority of her head (her husband). If a dozen — then a class.

This reminds me of a time when Brother C. R. Nichol was in a meeting at Olney, Texas, twenty-five or twenty-six years ago. After the Sunday morning service (he had taught on the subject we are discussing) a sister came to him and began to try and teach him that he was wrong on the whole thing. Brother Nichol, in his typical C. R. Nichol way, reminded her that he was a man and she was a woman, and that she was trying to teach him in a public place. Yes, in the church building.

Acts 21:9 reads "and the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy." Who did these four virgin daughters of Phillip teach? (One cannot prophesy without teaching.) I do not know, and you do not know for neither where nor whom they taught has been revealed. We know who and what they did not teach — they did not teach "the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children." (Titus 2:4) No, for that was the job of the aged women who could speak from experience. (verse 3) They did not teach the aged women and the young married women about these things; they may have taught them other things, we do not know. We do know that they taught someone. We know what they taught for they were inspired, therefore we know they taught the Word of God, and if they taught the Word of God, we know they taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 1:23, 25) Who would ever have thought that single girls were allowed to teach?

So far, in this study, we have learned that a married woman with her husband may teach the Gospel, that young women, not married (single girls) may teach the Gospel of Christ.

Titus 2:3-5

Verse 3. "The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things:

Verse 4. "That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children.

Verse 5. "To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, obedient to their own husbands, that the Word of God be not blasphemed."

Some would like to have Paul say in the three above verses, that the only teaching the aged women can do, is to teach the young married women, also to have him say that it means young married women are not to teach. Paul did not say that nor did he teach it, he tells some specific things that the aged women are to teach to the young married women. In fact we have learned from what we have already studied that women, yes women, both old and young, married and single are to teach the Word of God. I had as soon add the word "only" to faith as to add it to Titus 2:4. Aged women are commanded to teach, after they have reared their families, they have both experience is raised with Christ. It is at baptism that one becomes a Christian. He is not a Christian before being taught. He is not a Christian before believing. He is not a Christian before obedience. The obedience required of the alien sinner is baptism for the remission of sins. Let us not forget that baptism is the beginning, and not the end of the obedience required by Christ. Being a Christian requires a beginning point. That beginning point is baptism.