By: Rev Ed Schneider
It wasn’t that long ago I was informed through several national media sources about an elderly woman who was removed from her Sunday school teaching position because her new pastor said the Bible doesn’t allow women to teach within an authentic Christian church structure. The new pastor told the membership, along with every print, radio and television representative who was responding to the happenings of the story, that his congregation would be getting back to what the Bible directs. He went on to add that he would not be apologizing for following what the Bible says is appropriate.
During the next few days following this “grand announcement” other questions began to be asked over about whether the new pastor was right or wrong. Questions came up concerning the feelings of the woman being removed. Comments concerning her age and her faithful service to her church were also brought up. The whole episode turned into one Big mess.
Truthfully, this pastor has done a great disservice to the kingdom of God. He has inappropriately claimed to accurately describe the Bible’s foundational beliefs on this particular subject. This new pastor represents one of the most insipid challenges within the greater Christian Church; local congregational ministers, preachers, and pastor wannabees who are absolutely sincere in their sophomoric and incorrect interpretations of biblical text. These mostly good intended, yet ignorant, men and women, continue to lean on their SINCERITY when attempting to justify a position of doctrine…..when in fact, they are still in error.
Beloved, I am going to spend just the next few paragraphs providing what I a believe is thoughtful and decisive biblical evidence concerning women “preachers.” I will show you that women “preachers” are not only the right thing to do by biblical standards but they are also absolutely in line with God’s word, the Creator’s love, empowerment and inclusive call to all of humanity.
Well, given the space limitations within this format, we’re going to hit the highlights of why women preachers are not only supposed to happen, but should be welcomed with great joy by all true believers of God through Christ and the Bible itself.
There is not one Scripture that forbids women from preaching. This is a fact that cannot be disputed.
It is a fact the vast majority of time when the Bible uses the word “prophet” it refers to “preaching.”
In Hebrew (Nebrah) and also in Greek (Proph), a “prophetess” always means a “female preacher.”
Remember one very important reality of basic biblical interpretation; if the vast majority of scripture suggests one thing, and a few other scriptures seem to suggest the opposite, then one is probably misunderstanding the smaller amount of scripture against the larger amount – or you are simply drawing a conclusion based on a faulty foundation of ignorance. An example would be if 40 scriptural references say one thing and six seem to say the opposite, then it would probably be incorrect to lean heavily on the six instead of the 40.
Let’s take a look at just a few scriptures that speak clearly to the heart of God’s desires and intentions for those men or women who are in covenant with the Creator:
• Numbers 11:29: Then Moses said to him, “Are you zealous for my sake? Oh, that all the LORD’s people were prophets and that the LORD would put His Spirit upon them!”
• Galatians 3:28: There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
• Acts 10:34: Then Peter opened his mouth and said, “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality.”
If one connects the spiritual dots of these scriptures together you could VERY EASILY come to the conclusion that women are in fact the fulfillment Biblical prophecy. Here’s why:
• Joel 2:28 (Old Testament): “And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.
• Acts 2:17-18 (New Testament): And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I (God) will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh, your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams. And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; and they shall prophesy.
Both the Old and the New Testament have more than a few “female preachers” listed who were not only openly called by God for the task of proclaiming His word, but the whole Bible is replete with examples of women leading, teaching and judging men.
• In the book of Judges 4:4-5 and 5:13, it tells us that Deborah was Israel’s chief ruler for over 40 years. The Bible clearly says God gave her authority over the mighty (meaning authoritative) men.
• In the books of Exodus (15:20), Numbers (12:1), and Micah (6:4), it tells us that Miriam was Prophetess and song leader.
• Huldah, who is found in 2 Kings 22:14, spoke to a congregation of MEN concerning the book of the Law. Her message was taken to the nation of Israel and it started a revival.
• Anna, the Prophetess (Luke 2:36-38), made the first public announcement in the Temple of the baby Jesus as being the promised Messiah.
• Phillip had four daughters (Acts 21:9) who prophesied.
• Priscilla, who assisted Paul in revival meetings, taught Apollos (a man) in “the way of the Lord” MORE PERFECTLY.
Let’s just state the profoundly obvious.
The first announcement concerning Jesus being the Christ was given by a Samaritan woman.
The first resurrection announcement was proclaimed by a woman.
Remember, our Bibles tell us that the Church is under the authority of Jesus Christ. Our Bible tells us that wherever two or three believers are gathered in His name that God will be in their midst. If a woman CANNOT speak in church, then logically (since God’s word is consistent in its Holy directives) they should not be able to speak at prayer meetings¸ they should not be able to speak at administrative board meetings¸ youth summits or any other organized gathering under the banner of Jesus Christ.
If all women had to keep silent in church, then logic would lead us to understand that we would be promoting DISOBEDIENCE to God if they were to practice prophecy, prayer, testimony, singing, exhortation, or even become saved.
I pray that I could teach you more on this important subject, but the luxury of space doesn’t exist. Hopefully, I have provided something for you to think about.