Q: Is it within scriptural parameters for a woman to teach parenting classes based on Scripture to a church group of both men and women?
A: When it comes to the authoritative teaching of the Word in mixed groups of men and women, the Apostle Paul in 1 Timothy 2:12 clearly points out that God asks spiritually mature men to carry out that kind of teaching of his Word. "I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man." (An even better translation of that verse would read, "I do not permit a woman to teach in such a way as to have authority over a man.") The authoritative teaching of the Word that takes place in a Bible class (including a scriptural parenting class), is not the sharing of opinions. It is teaching with authority what our God has for us to believe and live. Those leading us will be saying to us repeatedly: "This is what the Lord says." I cannot imagine a parenting class in a Lutheran church that did not have at its heart an authoritative sharing of law and gospel as it applies to our calling as Christian fathers and mothers.
However, I have also taught such classes in which, for one of the sessions, I had a female pediatric nurse from the congregation come in to share issues of infant growth and development. I do not believe such sharing of medical expertise violates the principle of head and helper. Everyone in attendance could tell the difference between a session like that, and the typical sessions of that class in which the Word was being studied and shared.
And yet, the Staph Minister at Gunga Don Patterson's Church brags:
"Holy Word Lutheran Church has offered the “Becoming a Love & Logic Parent” seminar approximately every 6 months since March of 2004. We have a team of individuals who help to both coordinate and teach each seminar. That team is made up of an elder and his wife (parents of three teen-agers), a member who is married to a man with terminal cancer (parents of two boys – a teen-ager and a son in elementary school), and Cindy and me (parents of three children – 8 yrs, 6 yrs, and 2 yrs). In addition to the seminars we have given at Holy Word, Cindy and I have also taught the class at Cross of Christ in Universal City, TX, at Lord of Life in Friendswood, TX, and at Christ the Rock in Round Rock, TX."
GJ - WELS has promoted women teaching men and women usurping authority for over 20 years. At St. Paul in Columbus, Mike Nitz set up the same situation for Sunday mornings. I was blasted at the conference for asking about it. Mike pretended not to know.
For those who have never dredged the Fuller and Willow Creek websites, here is a clue. Most of the WELS leadership has been trained at one or the other beehive, many at both. And there is Trinity in Deerfield, alma mater of Larry Oh! (Our Staph Infection) and many others. At Fuller and Willow Creek, they "deal with" people who have trouble with the ordination of women. At Willow Creek in particular, the men who join have to promise to accept spiritual leadership from women. "Blessed are they who make themselves eunuchs for the sake of the Kingdom."
So Willow Creek WELS/LCMS congregations, like St. Mark De Pere, have already pledged this repudiation of the Pastoral Epistles.
Meanwhile, Gunga Don's Holy Word is slipping it in, just as Nitz did decades ago.