In my previous post “Who Are Women Allowed to Teach?”, I pointed out that Titus 2:3-5 is very specific as to what kind of women are commanded to teach and what that teaching entails. In short, only older women are commanded to teach, they must only teach young women, and they must specifically teach those young women how to be good wives and mothers.
While most Christians are quite careful to focus on the requirements of a Christian man who wishes to be an elder (husband of one wife, etc.), they’re content to ignore what is required of women who wish to be teachers. In fact, they usually just pass over the topic altogether, even when the passage is brought up. You can see this play out when women are permitted to occupy various teaching positions regardless of their age or their audience.
For example, take a podcast like Sheologians.
We are twenty-something, with backgrounds in English and mansplaining.
Right off the bat we have a violation of Titus 2. Neither Summer Jaeger or Joy the Girl were “older women” when Sheologians was created. Granted, they turned 30 in 2019, but even now in 2021, they’re both turning 32. They aren’t exactly “aged” considering the lifespans of women in the Bible.
Both of us are members in good standing at Reformed Baptist churches. Joy can be found serving in multiple areas of ministry, and Summer leads a weekly women’s study in her home.
So put on your slippers and try not to be offended, cause hardly any subject is off-limits (except baptism–don’t ask us about baptism).
Yet another violation of Titus 2. Even if Summer and Joy were bother older women, there should be a great deal of subjects that are off-limits. The categories for what Titus 2 permits older women to teach is very specific- be a good wife and mom so you don’t revile the word of God. To expand that is to go beyond what was written.
It’s not as if these women are ignorant of Titus 2:3-5. In fact, when Summer wrote “What To Do When the Church Can’t Handle You“, she quoted Titus 2:3-5 from the NASB (the bolding is mine):
It is erroneous to claim that the church doesn’t know “what to do” with women that can teach. Scripture is very plain about what we should be doing with our gifts. Nowhere will you find a call for women to leave their children behind to encourage someone else’s wives or children elsewhere. YOUR family is your first duty. And women are instructed by the Apostle Paul to teach! Check it out:
Titus 2:3 Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, 4 so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.
Notice that there is no recognition of the specificity of Paul’s command to Titus. True, this article wasn’t meant to delve into that subject, so that’s understandable. However, what is also true is that this subject is frequently left unaddressed by the Sheologians even when raised in other contexts. For example, a commenter named Karen said this under the article “Girl, What’s Your Number? (The Enneagram Episode)“:
Karen on May 29, 2019 at 1:13 pm
(…) I am a very busy homeschool mom of 7 trying to keep up with the latest “trends” so I can engage with my older children. I have no time to do much research into things like this. I very much appreciate your leg work. In fact, you two were the ones who first introduced critical theory to me. Very helpful!! (…)I haven’t quite known how to engage the younger women I encounter. Let’s just say I have moved into the Titus 2 “older” woman. I’m praying for wisdom to lead.
Karen’s comment was VERY long, so I just quoted the relevant snippets. Summer replied:
Summer Jaeger on May 31, 2019 at 8:30 am
Thank you so much for your kind words! And that’s a prayer I think we can safely say that God loves to answer—give me wisdom!
Notice how Karen cites Titus 2, but neither she or Summer give any indication that there’s a conflict between Karen, as an older woman, learning from two younger women. Another commenter named Troy had this to say under the post “Red Letter Jesus“:
Troy dillard on February 23, 2017 at 5:44 pm
Summer white praise the lord your teaching women truth Titus 2:3,
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;
4. That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, keep on doing for the lord Jesus have a bless day
Yet another commenter named Jay replied with:
Jay R. Walker on April 12, 2017 at 6:50 am
Hmmm. I’m not sure I’d say that Summer quite qualifies as one of the aged women in Titus 2. In fact, the wisdom of mature women might help take off some of the biting sarcasm that makes me wince when I read some of these posts.
His comment is fairly lengthy, so I’ll end my citation there. Summer replied to Jay and said:
Summer White on April 14, 2017 at 12:27 pm
I don’t choose to outright dismiss the majority of egalitarians just because I don’t think their arguments aren’t great. Their arguments aren’t great, and they should be responded to…which is what this article does. I also never implied that they are the cream of the crop in terms of consistent argumentation.
You can see that when Summer chose to reply, she didn’t address the first thing Jay brought up- namely, that Summer doesn’t meet the qualification of being an “aged” woman. She decided to rebut the other things he said, but not that one. Obviously she wouldn’t dispute that she’s a young woman vs. an older woman, but that’s not the point. The text that one of her fans raised declares that the women who are to teach must be older. Another commenter pointed this out, but it was again left unaddressed.
Perhaps Summer & Joy have thoroughly tackled this particular issue in one of their podcasts. Looking at their archives, there’s over 250 episodes, so listening to each one is out of the question. I was able to search their summaries, but none of them even contain “titus” in any of them. I expect this is an objection they’ve simply decided not to address yet. Whether they do or not, they obviously don’t believe the Bible prohibits them from doing what they’re doing.
I have a question then, for Summer, Joy, or whomever would disagree with my interpretation of Titus 2:3-5: If you’re a Reformed Christian and you affirm the doctrine of Sola Scriptura (as do I), then you believe that the Scriptures are sufficient to equip us for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16). If it is a good work to allow young women to teach; And not only to teach, but to even teach older women, and to teach on any topic of their choosing, then can you please show me where the Bible equips you to teach that? I think that’s a perfectly fair question that should be answered. After 250 episodes, if this question has not been answered yet, I’d say it’s about time. They may even decide to do so in response to this article. We shall see.