Pam Durso, director of Baptist Women in Ministry, felt called to preach the gospel. Other women associated with BWIM know that they are called to preach. Many women have told me that they were called to preach.
We know that women of other denominations feel called to preach and are now pastors of churches in other denominations.
So if God is calling women to preach, why doesn’t he want women to preach? Does God go against His will? Would God go against His Holy Word?
The Danvers Statement on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood in Affirmations # 8 warns men and women “that a heartfelt sense of call to ministry should never be used to set aside Biblical criteria for particular ministries. Rather, Biblical teaching should remain the authority for testing our subjective discernment of God’s will.” (1 Tim 2:11-15, 3:1-13; Tit 1:5-9)
I looked up the scriptures they gave for Biblical criteria. In a nutshell, this is what they want you to consider:
- A woman must learn in quietness and full submission.
- An overseer must have one wife and be good.
One pastor told me that he was 16 years old when he felt called to preach and he started carrying the Bible to school with him. He knew he was called, and is still pastoring a church. He certainly didn’t fit the 1 Timothy 3:1-13 criteria. He wasn’t married, he didn’t have a household or kids to supervise, and his morality had never been tested to see how he would hold up.
One woman I know told me that she felt God was calling her into the pastoral ministry, but the church she was serving let her go so they could use her salary for the new pastor who would be arriving. She was married and they had one child. She and her husband fit the criteria in that the family was practicing their faith.
Now, why did the 16 year old boy get to fulfill his calling when the woman was not allowed, even though she had full seminary training? Where was God in this? Did he actually call the boy to the ministry – and did he mislead the woman by burdening her heart with a desire for pastoral ministry – just so he could test her?
Which brings us to the question – why doesn’t God want women to preach?
If it is because of physical or mental failings, certainly men have the same physical and mental failings. Is it that men were born with favor from God?
Or could it be that we have misinterpreted the scriptures. After all, 1 Timothy 2:15 says that all a woman has to do is have a baby and be good and she will be saved. Since we know that scripture flies in the face of all we know about Jesus’ sacrifice for all, then perhaps the four scriptures above were for certain people at a certain time.