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Ten Reasons Why Men Should Not Be Pastors

This list has been doing the rounds on the internet at least since 2005. But in case you’ve missed it, here are the top ten reasons why men should not be ordained as ministers. This insightful, and satirical, list was compiled by the late Dr David M. Scholer, a former New Testament professor at Fuller Theological Seminary. Enjoy!

10. A man’s place is in the army.

9. For men who have children, their duties might distract them from the responsibilities of being a parent.

8. Their physical build indicates that men are more suited to tasks such as chopping down trees and wrestling mountain lions. It would be “unnatural” for them to do other forms of work.

7. Man was created before woman. It is therefore obvious that man was a prototype. Thus, they represent an experiment, rather than the crowning achievement of creation.

6. Men are too emotional to be priests or pastors. This is easily demonstrated by their conduct at football games and watching basketball tournaments.

5. Some men are handsome; they will distract women worshippers.

4. An ordained pastor is to nurture the congregation. But this is not a traditional male role. Rather, throughout history, women have been considered to be not only more skilled than men at nurturing, but also more frequently attracted to it. This makes them the obvious choice for ordination.

3. Men are overly prone to violence. No really manly man wants to settle disputes by any means other than by fighting about it. Thus, they would be poor role models, as well as being dangerously unstable in positions of leadership.

2. Men can still be involved in church activities, even without being ordained. They can sweep paths, repair the church roof, and maybe even lead the singing on Father’s Day. By confining themselves to such traditional male roles, they can still be vitally important in the life of the Church.

1. In the New Testament account, the person who betrayed Jesus was a man. Thus, his lack of faith and ensuing punishment stands as a symbol of the subordinated position that all men should take.

If you enjoyed this, you may also enjoy J.M. Taylor’s satirical piece entitled Pastors of a Complementarian God: Welcome to Heaven.

Explore more

Partnering Together: Paul’s Female Coworkers
The Twelve Apostles were all Male
My articles on 1 Timothy 2:12 are here.
My articles on women in ministry are here.
My articles on Paul and women are here.
My articles on Paul’s theology of ministry are here.

18 thoughts on “Ten Reasons Why Men Should Not Be Pastors

  1. I’ve read it before but I think it’s funny every time.

    1. So funny. Do you think if there were no women showing up at church anyone would notice? Or miss us?

      1. Someone wrote about just that! Check out The Strike at Putney.

        1. That someone is the author of Anne of Green Gables, namely Lucy Maud Montgomery.
          The story is read aloud on Youtube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lb9uOTB0IlY

          Sheila Wray Gregoire and her family speak about The Strike at Putney on episode 173 of the Bare Marriage podcast here: https://baremarriage.com/2023/01/podcast-the-strike-at-putney-and-what-would-happen-if-women-just-stopped/

  2. I’m not sure how I missed seeing this satirical piece, but it is hilarious. The one about men’s behavior at football games and b-ball championships as proof of their overly emotional nature–I may have to mention this at my children’s Christian school. Sports is THE thing there! Might at least get their attention, right?!

    1. It’s pretty funny, and insightful.

      A male friend of mine did a talk last weekend about equality and breaking the “stained glass ceiling” of the Sydney Anglican Church. He made this comment about no.2 in the list:

      “When I first read that reason about men still being able to do important things like sweeping footpaths, I felt insulted. I actually did. I felt, just for an instant, what my sisters in Christ have been feeling for years, and still feel.”

      I’m glad that he gets it.

      1. Number 2 jumps out at me too. In fact, it’s not really funny at all that one.

        1. A few of the 10 have a sting, a sting that many women can identify with. 🙁

          1. That’s likely because all of us – men and women alike – still struggle with sin and fall short of perfection. Sadly, this will always be the case this side of Heaven.

            So, the best any of us can really hope to do is to keep striving and growing in our daily obedience to God’s Word and then lean heavily on God’s mercy and grace.

  3. I was surprised at how funny this actually turned out! I literally laughed out loud a few times! God bless this man, he seems very sweet.

    Thank you for sharing , Marg. You don’t realize what a blessing your website has been to me. I used to feel so worthless and like I had nothing good to offer in the body of Christ (or just men in general). Now I realize how untrue that is. All that’s left is for me to let go of bitterness and learn to love the leaders in my church who hold complementarian views. It almost seems impossible to keep unity when it’s so foundational to their beliefs! Lord please help me love them! They are my family in Christ

    1. It’s a clever list! 🙂
      And I love that it annoyed one of my male friends.

  4. Adding to the list:
    11. Men often feel too ashamed and insecure to ask directions if they get lost.
    How can we trust them to ask God for directions for the church?

    12. Men do not like sharing things with others but insist on “his things”. How can we trust them with a church that is not theirs, will they be able to share responsibility with others as per instructions?

    1. 11. Touché! Pure gold.

  5. This one made me fall on the floor three times. The first time b/c it was simply hilarious. The second b/c it so poignantly and cleverly eviscerates patriarchal arguments in favor men. And the third b/c it shamefully reminded me of what I used to swallow w/o argument.

    1. 🙂
      This list really does help us to see how illogical and unkind the restrictions on women as ministers are.

  6. I think a stronger argument would be regarding the religious attire worn by the leaders of the Church as it is quite clear to everyone that the long flowing feminine religious garb that priests, bishops etc wear, are obviously better suited on the fairer sex.

  7. Great list!

    Re: 7. Man was created before woman. It is therefore obvious that man was a prototype. Thus, they represent an experiment, rather than the crowning achievement of creation.

    Is this closer, perhaps subconsciousl,) to “biblical” than appears at first sight?

    All through the Hebrew Bible, starting from Cain & Abel, Jacob & Esau, David and his brothers, etc. there is an overturning of “primogeniture”. Surrounding cultures privilege the first-born over subsequent children; but the Hebrew scriptures overturn that. Now… put “Adam first, Eve second” into that pattern.

    Just a thought!

  8. Hilarious! I’m almost ‘over’ being insulted personally; I’m used to the fact that I get to sweep paths with my seminary and English graduate degrees, while some of my pastors are/have been 23-year-old boys who have two years of Bible school and mothers who are still do their laundry.
    (Been at this for 40 years now.)
    HOWEVER, I am not, nor will I ever be, “over” this unbiblical theology, or the pride and power behind it—God’s kingdom, the church is severely, restricted and hindered by this. Nor will I be “over” seeing my younger daughters and sisters in the Lord, struggling with their education and tremendous giftedness, being put in cages. I’m coming out of the closet as a fierce advocate for women in ministry, for exactly the latter two reasons!

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