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July 31, 2004

Should Women be allowed to Preach?

1 Timothy 2:11-12 11 A woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness. 12 But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. 13 For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve.

Should a woman be allowed to be a deacon(ess) or an elder in a church?
I would say that it goes against scripture to allow deaconesses or women elders (pastors). While many women out there could clearly teach me a thing or two about God and scripture, that would go against the model of federal headship. Man is the head of the family…

1 Corinthians 11:3 3 But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ.

Ephesians 5:22-24 22 Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. 24 But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.

Why would a woman be allowed to, say, lead a children’s ministry, but not be an administrative pastor of a church?
The key to whether women can teach a children’s ministry is in that they are not teaching men but rather children. These children should still be getting spiritual instruction from their fathers and mothers but are not ready to study on their own. A woman is capable of giving instruction but must submit to God’s authority and instructions.

Titus 2:3-5 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

Would you let a woman be a guest speaker and give a sermon?
This is more difficult because a woman could be a very valuable guest speaker, but is that acceptable. I guess it depends on the context of the situation; is it topical or is it preaching? Does that even matter? I would be uncomfortable to have a woman as a guest speaker or giving a sermon during the service but a separate arena may be preferable – a special “class” or speaking opportunity for example. I have to admit that this is a very slippery slope.

1 Corinthians 14:34-35 34 The women are to keep silent in the churches; for they are not permitted to speak, but are to subject themselves, just as the Law also says. 35 If they desire to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is improper for a woman to speak in church.

This section follows discussion about speaking in tongues and prophesy and so it may be limited to that concept but I suspect that it may be addressing the issue at Corinth where women may not have been turning to their husbands for spiritual leadership. They may have been trying to circumvent their roles and seeking instruction from other men (not elders) or were even trying to teach other men. I may have tried to cover too many ideas for one post but I hope it makes sense. I’ll respond to any clarifications you have or to expand on these ideas if needed.

When posting arguments for or against, please quote scripture. You can find online bible translations at Bible Gateway. Please understand that I have the utmost respect for Godly women and have no doubt they are very capable of teaching/preaching in the church. It’s just that I understand the scriptures to be God-breathed and true in their entirety. I also understand the scriptures to say that women are not to teach or preach in the church. It never says can’t or incapable of teaching.

Finally, what does this mean in regards to evangelism? Are women not to evangelize? Are they not to share the gospel? I don’t think this is the case. Maybe the instructions from God only applied to the church environment. This may allow for outside studies, books, seminars, children’s ministry, etc.

Note: I respond to comments in bold

UPDATE: this has been re-posted at Blogogetics.com and may have different have to follow.

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101 comments

  • At 10:47 am on June 20, 2011, Geri Brewster commented:

    Thank you for adhering to your understanding of scripture.
    We all can live a happier life if we practice what we believe the scriptures mean and interpreted to us by the Holy Spirit.
    I am a woman and do practice in the health industry. We all need spiritual care and both men and women, aided by Scripture, wisdom, and with a heart to help another hurting individual is constructive.
    The Scripture says what it says and that shouldn’t be changed.
    God is good and helps us to evangelise and get the word to hurting hearts.
    Freedom of spirit can make us a happy heart when we obey the creeds, covenants, and directions of scripture.
    Blessings all.

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    Julia Barnett Reply:

    u didnt mention what scripture i never read one were a women couldnt I am a min. its not a matter of having of freedom but doing what i was called to do I have so many peole including men of God try to put us on the back burner an have not caught the revalation of the word . thinkn that because he said women should be quit n the church not realizing that he was talking to one church because of the desturbance that was going on in the church in corinth. so I just gather mor info.

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    Geri Brewster Reply:

    I just happened to be on the computer and saw this reply. I want to say more later because it is late right now but just for the element of ‘freedom’ that I mentioned above, I mean to ‘feel free in the heart to do and practice what one is called to do.’ When others’ who do not share the scripture in the same view as you this is an expected response. It is bothersome and especially if the door is shut or there are physical nuances of people that try to hinder your ministry. I don’t think there is a scripture that says a woman can evangalize or preach. Paul had companions that he openly said to support in the ministry. I think about the women ministers that helped open for the church ceremony for the current president. It is just some denominations will not except women ministers’ due to the ‘women should be silent in church,’ and not read anything further. What a gift it is when we can do with full freedom of spirit to do what we believe we were called to do. It was Paul himself who prayed for this freedom on his journeys. In the above information I was just saying that souls need help and when we are in a position of ministering in that present capacity and feel the Spirit with us, then we have that personal freedom to witness/evangalize/ and/or minister. Hope that clarifies things. Blessings.
    Geri Brewster

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    Julia Barnett Reply:

    an when he said that women be quit in the churc he was talkn to one church in corinth because of the confusion that they were havn but that does not mean we can preach,teach,evanglize, I no wat im called to do an i am doin that no one can stop it so wen one began to speak agaisnt against it i will delete dem I dont sit in the seat of the scornful people have the wright to thir own oppinion an I dont want to agure about the word fo God so the best thing for me to do is get rid of anything that beseech me i seek God an he speaks to me that lets me no dat you cant get that from school but fresh off the press an we have a friedship an oh how wonderful it is for him to trust me enough to tell me things an they come to pas, an use me to mend marriages,to pray for the sick, to give shelter an food to the needy, to feel the pain of other wen you are in pain youself,show love to others , PRAY for other when they dont no about the thorn in their flesh is just a test of their faith all of is of God some one has to work the harvest an he will use anyone man,women,boy,or girl wen you read you have to ask for understanding an people need to analize the word by using what,when,who,why . be bless thanks.
    julia

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  • At 3:06 pm on June 21, 2011, Michelle commented:

    I am a 42 yr old wife, mother, and Bible student. I do not understand what women are getting so upset about. The Bible NEVER says that women cant teach it only says that woman should not hold leadership positions in the CHURCH. Yes women can lead. I have held the position of supervisor in my life, this has nothing to do with the church. According to scripture I CAN evangelize, I am given this charge, I CAN teach which is what I plan to do when I receive my BSL in Christian Education. Everybody needs to calm down and stop being so jumpy. No one is trying to control anyone, simply relaying Gods WORD. I’d be willing to bet that the majority of woman that have totally freaked out have no desire to be a pastor, they just dont want to be told what they can and can not do by a man. I do understand this position, I was brought up my a very abusive controling man. I have learned to separate the two. What my biological father said was ment to harm me. What my Father God said and says is for my BENEFIT.

    Michelle

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    Julia Barnett Reply:

    im not upset i no my calln but it doesnt hurt to get as much info as u can an woman cam hold leadership as long as she has a bishop over her just like you hold a supervisor position but you still have a boss if you couldnt God qwouldnt have blessed you to be supervisor to be in charge of the other employees no its not church but leadership some one has to do it man or women he will give it to the one that is able to handle the task.

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  • At 9:47 pm on June 25, 2011, Sharise commented:

    I Cor. 14:34 let the woman keep silence in the churches:for it is not permitted unto them to speak, I Tim. 2:11-12 let the woman learn in silence with all subjection but i suffer not a woman to teach,nor unsurp authority over a man,but to be in silence, Rev.2:20 Notwithstanding i have a few things against thee,because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servents to commit fornication…. Clearly it is not Gods intention for a woman to preach or teach or whatever name you want to throw on it to cover up what you are really doing. It says it plain as day. If you go and complete the last scripture i stated in Revelation it even speaks of the punishment for does women who continue to go forth and disobey his will. It you are truly Saved and you go on to study and live as you should the Spiri of the Holy Ghost will lead you on how to live and the things that women are permitted to do and trust it will not lead you to do anything contrary to the Scripture because God don’t contradict himself and his word don’t change. Women who have a problem submitting is full of pride and the Bible states that pride is the path to distruction. It is your pride that makes you want to do something you are not permitted to do, (I dare him tell me), it is your pride that makes you not want to humble and think more of yourself than you ought to (I’m special God called me when i hear of no woman that God called in the bible)it is your pride that lead you to make excuses(well the men aren’t stepping up) and it is your pride that leads you to argue when you have no basis and no scripture to back you instead of repenting and admitting you were wrong. Just being filled with the Spirit of God feeling that undeniable joy should be sufficient enough, knowing that when the things of this world pass away you get to go and be with him should be good enough. Women can’t preach but God does love us enough to give us many more joys and ways to make his word be known and isn’t that what its all about praising and being obedient to him. If thats not what your intentions are about you need to check yourself.

    And Archshrk, you started off strong but you sounded a little waivering in the end about what Paul is really trying to get across. We as Christians must insist upon standing on the word and not changing or doubting because someone else don’t agree, we must say what the spirit leads us to say and if someone dont like or dont study for God to give them the same thing he gave you to give them then they have to answer for themselves, II Tim. 2:12 says if we suffer with him, we shall also reign with him and it also say that the world is not going to like you for standing up for Gods word, so it is a given people are going to get mad but we as Christians must stand strong and remain diligent to what it is God is requiring us to do

    [Reply]

    Michelle Reply:

    Correct women should not preach from the pulpit, but are you actually saying that I cant teach a sunday school class, of women or children. If this is in fact your point, then I would like to invite you to my graduation from Louisville Bible College in 2014. I will recieve my BSL with a focus on Chrisitian Education.

    [Reply]

    Sharise Reply:

    It gives instructions for an older woman teaching younger women in the bible and women do teach children bible study but this is usually done in a classroom or a corner of the church outside of regular service and sometimes even settings outside of the church, when i said teach i meant it for those who try to “teach” in open church and call it that to negate what they are doing and I have been baptiszed in Jesus name filled with the gift of the Holy Ghost, speaking in other tongues as the spirit gave utterance and i speak as the spirit leads me and you dont get that at bible college, I have a degree but my Holy Ghost was free

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    Michelle Reply:

    Last comment and then we will just have to agree to disagree. Regarding your last sentence, He is not YOUR Holy Spirit, He is THE Holy Spirit. Many others like myself have the power of The Holy Spirit within us as well. No Bible college will NOT get many closer to heaven however, it will enable myself to gain the knowledge that I lack inorder evangilize and better answer the questions that the unbeliver will have. It with calmness in my voice that I speak these words, no snippiness. Good bye and have a truley blessed life, your sister in Christ.

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    Julia Barnett Reply:

    thats your oppinion an i have mine i was thought to find out who was he talkn to an why he said it an when did he say it it will really help you a lot if you did that why are you so judgemental about me in no goin to augure about the word fo God. i no who i am in Christ and I asm well please an so is Jesus with me and Tats all that matter I accepted my calling an im doing just that. I pray befor i move an he answers me not only that he sent me a word thru a propsey. You be blessed an do what he have you doo do in these last an evil days

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    Julia Barnett Reply:

    im going to do what i was told to do you have you opppinion an i have mind nothin to be upset about really im at work so if i waiver God no wat i mean an im not goin to repent for doin wat im told to do

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  • At 8:19 pm on June 26, 2011, Michelle commented:

    Preaching from the pulpit and teaching a womens or child sunday school class are not the same thing. Teaching woman and children scripture using the material that obviously had been approved by the senior pastor is not even close to being the same as the false prophetts Jezebel. (REALLY)

    [Reply]

    Sharise Reply:

    Maybe you should read my comment more carefully and thoroughly because i didn’t say it was, i said a woman couldn’t preach and she can’t. the bible gives instructions for an older woman teaching younger women and even with that any woman can’t do it, it gives requirements and guidelines for that duty. even with a woman teaching Sunday school there is an appropriate way to do so and a woman calling herself “teaching” in open church is not that way. God says i am God and i change not and just because so many people refuse to line up with the word and try to twist the word to fit them instead of them changing to fit the word does not mean that its gonna be accepted in the end

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  • At 2:14 am on July 1, 2011, mark commented:

    this is a grt discussion… dear christian let us follow how God wants us to run His church,,,, not our desires and what we think is right… God forbids,,, thats y there is a king and the queen… God designed leadership and He wants man to lead,,, a women cant protect a man,,, man are masculean,,, and it feels so right wen a man is leading…

    [Reply]

    Julia Barnett Reply:

    yes man is the head he created man first but that does not mean a women cannot preach as long as she has a covering she can teach an preach we as women are suppose to follow men as he follow Christ . but that does not mean she cant preach men suppose to have the strenght we are the help mate an we can spread the gosple by preaching teaching are what ever it takes to use what he has given us.

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  • At 10:35 am on July 11, 2011, archshrk commented:

    In the interest of full disclosure I wanted to point out that comments from Julia Barnett were sent to me via email. I manually posted them here to allow for continued discussion. Please note that if you want to respond to a comment that was emailed to you, please return to this site and “REPLY” to the appropriate commenter.

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  • At 5:28 pm on July 12, 2011, Michelle commented:

    Stop it with the “You can’t tell me what to do” attitude. Regardless of what i or anyone else believes it is all between us and God. Yes I believe that it is biblicaly wrong for a women preach at the pulpit.” A woman can do all the marriage mending, teaching, praying and bringing others to Christ without stepping up to the pulpit. Just as man is to lead in the home, they are to lead in the church. Think about it, even if you disagree with the interpertation of scripture, a man is more apt to be led by men.

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    Julia Barnett Reply:

    you cant tell me what to do only God can I dont feel i have a you cant tell me wat to do attitude but wat you cant tell me is I cant do wat God has called me to do you have your revelation of the word an I have what God spoke in my life you do wat work for you an I will do what God told me to do i didnt say anything about a man I no the will of God for men most of the men dont no is the problem you dont have to step in the pulpit to preach you dont have to be the pastor of a church but i can teach. preach,pray, lay hands on the sick, because he give us the power to do it God has used me me in so many arears . other peoples lives has been changes, marriages has been mended. im doing wat he he requires me to do wen he speaks to me i move and do wat im told but I guess he will have to send that thru some man thank God for Jesus whom he tells an he tell me thats the man to lead i follow him as he follow God thank you have a blessed day. an I also hav a wonderful pastor who is the headship of my church which is a man he is my covering

    [Reply]

    archshrk Reply:

    Julia, I want to interject here to ask you a couple things.
    First, I love that you and others are participating in this discussion and I want to encourage that. It’s a blessing to see people wrestling with the Word of God and especially women working through this specific topic.

    Second, in order to facilitate this discussion and to get faster responses, PLEASE do not reply to the emails but return to this page (http://archshrk.com/should-women-be-allowed-to-preach#comments) and add your response directly.

    Thirdly, to help avoid confusion or misunderstanding, I encourage you to take time to review your comments before posting. The lack of punctuation makes it difficult to follow your point and could lead to mixed signals.

    Thank you again for your participation. I look forward to future comments.

    [Reply]

    michelle Reply:

    To quote you, “I was mean as hell but learned me how to humble myself thru my sitiation”. A doctrate degree (REALLY?)

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  • At 7:20 am on July 15, 2011, Michelle commented:

    Amen brother. beyond difficult.

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  • At 8:17 pm on February 17, 2012, K.P commented:

    There is a difference between preaching and teaching for those who think it
    is the same thing.To preach is to send a message forth while to teach is to instruct.
    So I believe a woman can preach,sing,play an instrument but she is not suppose to teach.

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