8 I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling; 9 likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, 10 but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works. 11 Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve; 14 and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. 15 Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control. (1 Timothy 2:8-15)
The passage above is often at the center of discussion and debate regarding the roles of men and women in the church. Southern Baptists have collectively decided that the aforementioned passage (cited as 1 Timothy 2:9-14 in the Baptist Faith & Message 2000, VI: The Church) teaches, “While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture.” This use of 1 Timothy 2:12 as pertaining to the office of pastor implies that the title of pastor follows the function (teaching/authority) of pastor in the local church. Insofar as the BFM2000 cites 1 Timothy 2:12 as a proof text for limiting the office of pastor to men, the confessional statement ties the title of pastor back to the function of pastor. A woman should not teach or exercise authority over a man. It follows that a woman cannot be a pastor. Unfortunately, some within the Southern Baptist Church are calling this confessional claim into question.