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pent05 Is it correct for women preach, teach, or lead?

Women in the Ministry
Is it correct when women preach? (Teach, speak, or lead)

By David Cox
[pent05] v1 ©2005 www.coxtracts.com
This tract may be freely photocopied and given away

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Women Preachers

Women Preachers

Acts 2:17 I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flash, and your sons and daughters shall prophesy… 18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in tose days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy.

(Many use this verse as the basis for women preaching, but the verse says nothing about to whom they will minister, to mixed groups or groups of only women.)

The Assemblies of God have 4,000 ordained and licensed women. The United Methodist Church began ordaining women in 1954, and today has 4,743. The Presbyterian Church (USA) has 2,419 leaders. In 1979 this church made it a requirement of their congregations to ordain women to these leadership positions over the church. Moreover they force the disqualification of any minister among them that opposes the ordination of women. The United Church of Christ has 1803 female leaders. Women today compose a third of seminaries students across the board, and in Harvard and Yale seminaries they are half of the students.

( This data is for groups in the United Status. In all the United Status, women compose about 8% of all in the ministry.)

Clarification #1 – The Bible does not prohibit women from teaching and preaching in all contexts and situations, but the prohibition is only when men are present.

Actually we see that Christian women, especially elderly women should be teachers((Col. 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another. 2 Timothy 1:5 Timothy was taught by his mother and grandmother. Paul apparently saw this as being very exemplary (2 Timothy 3:15).)) Titus 2:3-4 the aged women… (be) teachers of good things ((“Teach” here is not the normal word for teach (didaskalow) but is a sofronizo, that means to make the mind heathly, to discipline, correct, or cause others to have sound minds. The idea is to be prudent, or to cause someone to be prudent, to be reasonable, to control one’s self, to be sensible and serious, to be calm at all times, to think and act in a correct way.)) that they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children. We do not oppose women teaching ((We not should not minimize that the father of the home also is teacher.)), but the biblical objection is that women may not teach a group where there are men present and listening. This also excludes women from officiating public services where men are or may walk in, except in situations where there are no men (such as a women’s prison, a spiritual retreat for women, etc.) We should understand that in churches in the New Testament, those that taught (especially doctrine) were principally men. Equally the leaders of the church were men, no women. The Bible focuses on the fact that the woman should stay in the home, taking care of her husband, taking care of and raising their children, and she should not be out in the world working a normal job.((Titus 2:4, Proverbs 31. It is the responsibility of the husband to treat the wife as “a weaker vessel” 1 Peter 3:7, and not to expose her to the brutality of the world.))

Clarification #2 – We do not deny women in some situations have biblical authority from God to teach and administer a home and children, and other women.

The virtuous women of Proverbs 31 had servants and we see in Titus 2:3-4 that women should teach (are commanded) other women and children. So it is not to say that they do not have or cannot exercise this authority, but they are prohibited by God only when it concerns her own husband, other men in the world or especially over men in the context of the church and religious things, a woman is not to usurp authority over men. ((We presume that singing and other corporate congregational activities are excluded from prohibitions of women speaking in the church when all are to speak at the same time (singing or reciting Scripture together) Eph 5:19; Col 3:16.))

Clarification #3 But the Bible does restrict and prohibit women from preaching and teaching expressly when there are men present.

1 Timothy 2:11 Let the women learn in silence ((“In silence” – (hesuchia) quiet, to stop the activity of speaking.)) with all subjection. 12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over ((“Over” – should be translated “of” here. The woman should not have the man’s authority.)) the man, but to be In silence.

We should also note that this passage is immediately before the 1 Timothy 3:1-7, where the qualifications for a bishop-leader-pastor are given. His principle job is officiating and teaching-preaching. Paul clarifies (remember there were no original chapter divisions) before dealing with the office that women are excluded. This means that one of the requirements for church leaders and people that minister and officiate is that they are not women. Simply put, the woman is disqualified because she is a woman. The reason given is because of the lack of spiritual discernment in Eve, and her deception by Satan.

1 Cointhians 14:34 Let your women keep silence ((1 Corinthians 14 deals with what is correct in church services, and in the church. In this section, we encounter the restriction of women “no speaking”. For those that say that it is correct for the woman at least to direct or officiate a service, How can she do this if she should not speak?)) in the churches; for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience,1 as also saith the law. 35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.

God always has an order for the man and woman in the family and in the church. In this order, we return to Genesis 2:18 when God created the woman for the man. Her purpose for existing is to be a perfect helpmate for her husband, to accompany him socially, spiritually, and physically. “Helpmate” (‘ezer) means something that supplies one’s needs, with the idea of surrounding the person with good. Then we conclude with Paul in 1 Corinthians 11:8-9, 11 For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. Neither was the manvoice created for the woman…Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man,  ((Two times (1 Cor. 11:8-11 and 1 Tim 2:11-12) Paul refers to Adam and Eve and the beginning of things to show that this situation between men and women goes back to the garden, and it is the same today. Nothing has changed.)) in the Lord. Paul comments in 1 Tim 2:13-15 that the woman was spiritually deceived by Satan and the man was not. But she “saved in childbearing”. The idea is not saved from sin, but to redeem herself for having introduced sin to her husband and now she takes the place of submission which is what God originally had intended for her.

The feminists have many arguments why we should not accept these passages ((They in general deny the inspiration of the Bible. The Bible does not have mistakes, and this is not a buffet type of thing where you choose what you like and skip what you don’t like.)), but in the end, the interpretation most obvious and simplest is that this prohibition is that women are not to preach, speak, teach, or preside 2 in services where men are present. “When the common sense interpretation makes perfect sense, look for no other sense.” Whatever argument you use to the contrary is a twisting of Scriptures from the obvious and natural interpretation of these passages. There is no problem with this position except that some women reject it from disobedient to God because they don’t want to be submissive to man ((Equally the men permit this because they in disobedience refuse to take the spiritual leadership that God obligates them to take.)).

Again in Genesis 3:16-17, we see that God identified the evil that Adam did not with eating from the tree (which was the actual sin), but God went deeper to the root of the problem, “because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife” (he subjected himself to female leadership), and to the woman God declares very clearly “thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee” (she is to never again take leadership over the man). When a woman is in the pulpit directing or speaking the Bible, she is taking the leadership over those present. This is when the woman leaves her place that God has commanded her, and it is sin when there are men present. There are no exceptions. Everything good that she may be able to do at this point is contaminated by her rebellion to God in taking (usurping) the dominion over the man. If no man desires or submits himself to God into order to enter the leadership, this too is sin. God will not bless one sin to cover another. This restriction was imposed by God, and it was imposed before the fall into sin (Gen. 2:18 “helpmate”). The restriction continues obligatory for everyone today. Do not be deceived, because God has not changed anything.

Objections and Their Answers

There are examples of women prophets, Miriam, Deborah, Hulda, Hannah, and the daughters of Philip

The male prophets were very vocal in their ministries, but we note that the form or model for these women was very distinct from the male ministries. Deborah ((Deborah – Judges 4-5.)) went to Barak in private to rebuke him for not doing what God had told him to do. The point of her action is to show all the shame3 of men not having the valor to obey God. Huldah4 prophecied from her home. Anna5 spoke with the parents of Jesus in private, not in a public service. The daughters of Philip were part of the household where Paul was staying, but even so, God still commanded a male prophet to come to Paul to communicate with Paul bypassing these female prophets for teaching a man (Acts 21:8-9). Miriam was in the company of other women when she spoke in Exodus 15:20.21. We do not deny that there are women ((1 Cor 11:5 “Every woman that prayeth or prophesieth…”)) with the gift of God to teach, preach, or rebuke other women, but that this is only biblical when there are no men present.

Gal. 3:28 “There is neither male nor female”

There were female slaves included here, but just because they are equal before the Lord did not mean that their actual situation in life (slavery) was changed. The same is true for women in general living under the authority of man.

There are no men that want to take leadership

That is exactly the point here that the men are in error. Because men do not take their responsibility seriously does not give others permission to do so. If a president does not do his duty, it does not mean anybody can take his place without going through the qualifications and process obligatory on him. When there are women speaking in a service, it is sin! God is not in that. Get out of that place!

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  1. According to 1 Corinthians 14:37 this is a test of spirituality. Those who refuse to recognize this principle of God are not spiritual. []
  2. We can also add here that preachers are not to use doctrine, or religious instruction like a commentary griten by a woman. []
  3. Always it is a shame when women assume a position of leadership over men. Isaiah 3:12 women rule over them (my people), which here is an insult not a complement. []
  4. Huldah – 2 Kings 22:14; 2 Chronicles 34:22. []
  5. This was not preaching not teaching but recognizing. []
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