Can Women Baptize People in The Church?
A friend of mine, in Chattanooga, is upset because his Baptist church is starting to allow women to baptize. They have only men as elders and deacons, but he is afraid this could turn into other things. I argue that the New Testament is silent on this, and should not make a difference. But now, I’m second guessing that and would love to know your thoughts!
Excerpt From The Answer
Your local church may / may not have defined (statement of faith or doctrinal statement) roles and functions. Some churches will define the role of pastor-teacher synonymous with elder and also the issue of “authority over” as a definition for who may teach the Scripture in a mixed assembly. Additionally, they may define the two ordinances: the Lord’s Supper and Baptism under the so-called sacerdotal duties of the pastors and/or elders.
If that is the case, then that local church has chosen to have these ministries for male pastor/teacher/elder leaders. There are a lot of nuances when it comes to this issue. Some churches may say women can perform certain ministries “under the authority” of the pastors/elders. This is kind of a modified egalitarian view and you might see this in husband-wife pastorates, and churches that occasionally have women in roles like this. To be clear we have no verse, no passage, no clear text that states: only men can perform baptisms. Some may argue it is implied but that it tethered to the churches’ statement of faith, not a precise passage.
An argument can be made that the pastor/elder/leaders should be the ones officiating over the two ordinances. It makes a clear statement to the church, the individuals in the body, that godly men/pastors/elders are leading the church.
To hear Dr. E’s full answer, listen to the podcast or watch on Youtube!
Find more episodes of Ask Dr. E here.
Call or text us your question at 615-281-9694 or email at email@example.com.