Why doesn’t God want women to preach?

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:

  1. A woman must learn in quietness and full submission.
  2. 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.

I ask you – Why doesn’t God want women to preach?

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About bwebaptistwomenforequality

Shirley Taylor writes with humor and common sense, challenging the church body to reclaim equality for Christian women.
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154 Responses to Why doesn’t God want women to preach?

  1. jay says:

    Someone might just as well ask why God does not want gay people to preach.

    • Mara says:

      The Bible tells us that those who practice homosexuality are in sin. It does not say that a woman preaching is a sin.

      Just as a minister who is practicing adultery is disqualified from ministry so is a gay who is practicing the homosexuality disqualified.

      How is a woman disqualified from ministry for practicing at being a woman.

      Being a woman is not a sin.

      Yet, listening to men like you, one would gather that being a woman IS a sin.

      A woman preaching is also not a sin, no matter how men twist scripture to try to make it so. It is not sin.

      • Susan Johnson says:

        AMEN to you Mara!

      • Welcome! Thanks for joining in. Mara has great insight. I am so glad she shares with us. Hope you keep reading.

      • diane lindsey says:

        please do not put homosexuality into this.. homosexuality is an abomination just as beastiality is an abomination. Women having the desire to preach the gospel is a different matter all together. I am having that problem as well. With so many men bailing out on the children of today. We as women are FORCED TO TEACH..God knows this.

      • Welcome and thank you for joining in. I see that your reply is to Mara, and is not about the content of the blog post. I never link homosexuality and women preachers, even though others do.

        I agree that women having the desire and call to preach the gospel is another matter. I do not agree that women are being forced to do so because men are bailing out. I believe that God is calling women to preach, not as a substitute, but as one of His Children. Women are not in place of men, but alongside of men.

        Thank you for stopping by.

    • Or why he calls men who turn out to be child molesters, adulterers, murderers, and/or gay. Now you tell me why women and gays are always mentioned in one breath by those of you who do not find God’s Word to be for all people, not just men.

      • james says:


      • Welcome James! Glad you stopped by to set us straight. Actually Paul said in one of his letters that women were to prophesy. If women are to keep silence in the church, you would only have men singing, and making a profession of faith, and getting married. Oh, my! I don’t think that is what you meant at all.

    • james says:


    • diane lindsey says:

      any one can answer that…The bible states several times Homosexuality is an abomination. there will be no homosexuals in heaven. homosexuality is an abomination as beastiality is an abomination. God showed his anger of it by destroying Sodom and Gommorah…Bless your heart. Good Grief

      • Diane, we generally believe that Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed because of homosexuality, but the Jews teach that it was because of inhospitality which was a major offense in their day. It was not until the Middle Ages that Christians commonly began teaching that it was homosexuality. The great sin of Lot was that he offered his two daughters (who were no more than property at that time) to be sexually misused. Surely that sexism should be at the top of our lists. Also, the word abomination was used to mean anything that defiled the temple, and if that were so today, women could not enter their church houses during their time of the month. Homosexuality has nothing to do with female equality, but Christians have linked the two, and women suffer because of it. Please read my new book Women Equal-No Buts when it comes directly to Kindle the first week of February. You can begin by reading Dethroning Male Headship. These books are not about homosexuality, but they do explain what preachers are saying about it to link women to homosexuality.

        > Date: Tue, 21 Jan 2014 04:00:35 +0000 > To: bwebaptist.women@live.com >

  2. Mara says:

    Shirley, I can’t answer the question, “Why doesn’t God want women to preach?” Because I know, along with you, that it is a false question.
    The question is based on false assumptions about God.

    The question should be, “Why do men not want women to preach?”
    And though they claim it’s because God doesn’t want women to preach, the truth is, these men do powerful Scripture twisting to make it say what THEY want it to say rather than what God is really saying.

    • diane lindsey says:

      If God decides to rise you to do his will.. do not worry. Many woman are chosen for many things.. God does not want women ruling over men. For men belong to him. Look how easily a woman can deter a man from what he is supposed to be doing for God. Look at how poisonous we as woman can be. But if you are seeking favor of God.. He will bless you and give you a voice to share with others. He will lead you in what to do..do not be afraid..

      • Estelle says:

        I don’t understand how teaching or preaching can be equated with ruling over which is what seems be happening here. Surely, if someone is teaching, you listen to what they say and evaluate for yourself whether or not to accept it?

      • Men have not been given the right to rule over females. To believe any other way is to believe that God has shared his Lordship through Jesus with an earth human man.

        > Date: Tue, 21 Jan 2014 05:04:29 +0000 > To: bwebaptist.women@live.com >

      • Oh, my. I am afraid you are not reading the same Bible I am. Please pick up the New International Version (NIV) and read Matthew, Luke, and John. But first, you need to read my series that I am posting now called Desiring to be God. Do you really think that Christ is sharing his Lordship with a human male?

        > Date: Tue, 21 Jan 2014 04:04:28 +0000 > To: bwebaptist.women@live.com >

  3. Mara says:

    And another thing.

    Because men have decide that God doesn’t want women to preach, they determine that when a woman feels this calling she is being deceived by Satan. And all these men just KNOW, because they keep telling each other this, women are more easily deceived than men.

    Therefore and 16 year old boy’s call is believed and counted holy. A woman’s call is disbelieved and counted unholy.

  4. jay says:

    Mara, I am not sure what you mean by saying “men like you.” I doubt you know much about me or my opinions yet. I did not say God is against women preaching. I am just challenging the writer to be a bit careful with the argument that a subjective “calling” takes precedence over “the instruction of the Bible.” Where you see homosexuality as a sin, so those who oppose women preachers, see verses that prohibit women from teaching men. I know gay ministers who speak about their calling just as a women may speak of her calling by God. You assume that homosexuality is a sin of choice. Those opposing women in church leadership are saying that God created women to be under the authority of men and if they seek to change that they are also sinning, just one who chooses to practice homosexuality.

    • “You assume that homosexuality is a sin of choice.”
      “but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.” James 1:14 NIV 1984.
      “I am just challenging the writer [Mr. Jay] to be a bit careful with the argument that implies sin is not a choice take precedence over “the instruction of the Bible.”

  5. KR Wordgazer says:

    Jay, you’re ignoring the point. Why is it supposedly a sin for women to do something that if men do it, it’s a good thing? If a certain behavior is a sin, then it’s a sin for everyone. And a person who is in sin cannot lead a church. That is a good reason.

    But what is the reason why women can’t preach? If God did, as you say, create women to be under the authority of men, why did God do so? And don’t just say, “because that was His plan.” God is not arbitrary. God doesn’t just do things on a whim. Either there’s something about women where they were designed by God to be subordinate to men– meaning they aren’t equal to men– or there’s something unjust and arbitrary about God just deciding women had to be subordinate. But this idea that women are somehow both equal, and yet permanently subordinate, implies either illogic or injustice. Either it’s human male illogic or injustice, or it’s God’s. I know which one I pick.

  6. jay says:

    I don’t believe I am ignoring the point, I am just trying to ask something in a way to look from another perspective concerning something that you see as sinful, but those who believe they were born “created” that way do not see as sinful.

    “Why is it supposedly a sin for women to do something that if men do it, it’s a good thing? If a certain behavior is a sin, then it’s a sin for everyone.”

    It could be also asked, why is it supposedly a sin for two women to passionately kiss each other, that if a man and women do it, it’s a good thing? Someone will say that it is by nature wrong for two women to passionately kiss and others say it is unnatural for a women to hold a position of authority over a man.

    • Jay, you have done what many others try to do. You bring homosexuality into the conversation when it has no place here. The apostle Paul nor Jesus ever linked women to homosexual activity. Jesus gave the woman at the well the good news that he was the Messiah. He knew exactly what she would do with that information. She started telling everybody, preaching this good news. Jesus appeared to the women at the tomb, and he knew that they would spread the good news that he was risen – you can call it preaching. He told the women to go tell the men where to find him. Isn’t that what the gospel is all about? Finding Jesus. Since Jesus gave the women a message to preach, don’t you think he expects women to preach that message. Get your mind off connecting women with homosexual sin. You do a disservice to a possible wife and daughters and mother when you do that. Allow Jesus to influence you.

      • james says:


      • Sorry, James. I don’t speak for God. Therefore, I don’t have Him doing anything. However, translators of the Bible do contradict themselves.

      • sebata says:

        I believe that this is an ultimate answer. So thank you very much. Those other answers and objections are actually based on thieir chuch rules not the bible rules. And may your knowledge and understanding reach others as it reached me

      • Welcome! I am glad you found us and found the answer to your question. Pastors, denominations, and seminary professors have worked to keep women under control, but the Scriptures do not control women. The Scriptures allow women freedom in the gospel. We know that from Jesus’ words and actions. Jesus saw the woman at the well “run” with the gospel, and Mary at the Tomb was told to go and tell. Nothing changed from one side of the cross to the other. Jesus freed women. You can read more explanation in my book “Dethroning Male Headship.” I am so glad you wrote. Thank you for your words.

  7. KR Wordgazer says:

    Jay, the position that it is “unnatural” for a woman to have authority over a man ignores all of the times that God placed women in authority over men in the Bible. Complementarians like to read 1 Tim 2 as if it were the central book of the Bible, around which everything else is to be interpreted. This is not the way to understand the whole counsel of the Scriptures. Deborah, Huldah, Phoebe, Junia, Eudodia, Syntyche, Nympha, Chloe, Lydia– all had positions of ministry which were not limited only to other women.

    The issue of whether someone should kiss someone of the same sex is another issue. THIS ISSUE needs to be examined on its own merits. “Male and female He created them,” and said to THEM, “have dominion.”

    Peter had a vision that Gentiles were to be allowed full access to the Kingdom of God. God then demonstrated that He was allowing full access, by baptizing Cornelius and his household with the Holy Spirit. The apostles could have said, “your dream and your subjective experiences don’t trump the Scriptures.” Instead, they understood that God was revealing something new. Ever since then, throughout church history, whenever men have gotten out of their sisters’ way (which hasn’t been very often!) the Holy Spirit calls and gifts women, and does great works through them. This is more than just a subjective experience. This is the Holy Spirit bearing witness to the fact that He is poured out on ALL flesh, on His sons and daughters.

  8. jay says:

    I have been here responding to the material in this entry alone. I am very familiar with what Jesus teaches and acted in regards to women. You may have mistaken my questions for my opinion. I totally support women as equal to man in every way and I also totally support women in every possible leadership position. I also reject any idea of male headship in marriage. All I am trying to say is that one needs to be careful about validating their right to be a preacher/leader by a subjective “calling.” I do not really want to make a connection with women and homosexuals, but many on both sides of this argument are doing that. Pardon me for making it sound as if I am in disagreement about women in leadership, I am not, I am just trying to define these arguments so I appreciate all of your opinions.

    • Thank you for your comments and I hope you stop by this blog frequently. We are dedicated to claiming our equality in our churches, and we invite you to join us and also to let others know that there is a group of men and women who are working for Christian women to be equal in their churches.

    • james says:

      According to the bible women are not equal to men

      • Well, Amen to that! You finally hit the nail on the head. Why would women be equal to men? That makes men the standard. There is no gender standard. Men and women are equal. But women are not equal to men. Men are equal to women. Thanks for the comments. You are welcome back here anytime.

        Please read my book “Dethroning Male Headship” (that’s you) when it comes out in the Spring. Take your heart medicine first.

  9. KR Wordgazer says:

    Female ministers and heroines of the faith who led, preached and taught:

    AD 300-400 — Marcella, Paula, Melania the Elder, Melania the Younger.

    Middle Ages: Abbess Hroswitha, Hildegard, Sister Clare, Catherine of Siena.

    Reformation: Ann Askew, Katherine Zell.

    Post-Reformation: Anne Hutchinson, Margaret Fell, Susanna Wesley, Catherine Booth, Phoebe Palmer, Amy Carmichael, Lottie Moon, Mary Slessor, Eliza Davis George, Christiana Tsai, Pandita Ramabi.

    Look up some of these women’s stories.

  10. KR Wordgazer says:

    Jay, we seem to have cross-posted. I appreciate your clarifying your position. I think the way to answer those who want to conflate the two issues, is to firmly state that the Scriptures do not address these issues together at all. The Scriptures talk about the treatment of women in conjunction with the treatment of slaves and Gentiles, but not in conjunction with the issue of homosexuality. They are two separate issues. The only way in which the two are linked is the way in which all humanity is linked– that Christ died for all of us and that we are to do unto others as we would have them do unto us.

  11. KR Wordgazer says:

    PS. I agree that a person may think they have a calling and be mistaken– but a man who feels called is allowed to pursue it, with the understanding that his gifts will clearly show, that the good works the Holy Spirit does through him will be manifest, and that the church leaders and congregation will be able to bear witness to the man’s character and qualifications. But women are squashed from the word go, and on the basis of just two or three proof-texts. “Quench not the Spirit,” the Scriptures say. How can churches be so very sure that the squashing of women is not quenching the Spirit and depriving the Body of blessings He would like to send them?

  12. Lydia says:

    Jay, scripture does teach that homosexuality is sin. Check out Romans 1 for the NT perspective. It is there.

  13. Robin says:

    I am a member of an online Christian forum. The reasons I have seen on the forum that a woman cannot be allowed to pastor a church is this: Women are not to have authority over a man. And, women are not allowed to teach men. (this will happen if she is pastoring a church).

    She is not to preach apparently because women are supposed to be quiet in church. Women must all aspire to have a gentle and quiet spirit.

    I don’t have a gentle and quiet spirit — I have nothing against a woman who does — I just don’t aspire to be a cookie-cutter Stepford female christian.

    • Well, good for you. We don’t want to be Stepford wives either. You have come to the right place. Thanks for joining us.

      When you hear that a woman can not have authority over a man, what they are really saying is that a man must have authority over a woman. The Bible does not teach that.

      There are very few churches that demand that a woman be completely silent in church, so you see they have compromised their belief that women must be silent. I want you to go to my blog called “Better to go to jail than to hear a woman singing’ posted on 2010/06/16. You will find that Jews in Jerusalem still believe that a woman’s voice is too enticing for men (yes, that is why they demanded a woman be quiet in church). They also separate women from the men at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem today because a woman’s voice turns the men’s mind from God while they are praying. It has nothing to do with whether or not a woman is close to God, it is all about sex. It is about the men not being able to control their thoughts. Women are seen as being barriers to their piety.

      God made women with personalities just like he made men with personalities – we are people. Created by God.

      Thank you so much for joining in. May God bless you.

      • pnissila says:

        Thank you for this site and for your work on behalf of the other half of the Body of Christ. Whenever I’m getting a little down about the oppression of Christian women and girls, I remember that the very first person to preach the very first sermon–the most powerful sermon that’s ever been preached–was a woman. “He is alive,” Mary proclaimed, to the men. I think Jesus commissioned her on purpose, don’t you? He could just as easily have waited for a man to come around…

      • I think we all have our times of wondering what is the use? Why are we fighting this battle when most women are getting up this morning and going happily to their church that teaches them that they are to be eternal submission to all and every male simply because they were born a woman. (My husband is ill this morning and I am tending him or I would be in church, also). Tears come to my eyes and a sadness encompasses my heart for the body of Christ as it continues in this sin against women.

        Yes! Mary proclaimed the Gospel “He is alive.” Actually, there were men around. There were guards, and perhaps gardeners as Mary thought Jesus was. But he bypassed those men, and revealed himself to a woman.

      • pnissila says:

        Oh yes, of course, the other men around. That makes it even more powerful :).


    Whatever it is,lets listen to what the holy spirit says.He will guide us right. Bro Chris Egurefa from Nigeria

  15. Mitzi says:

    This is how I handle it. When I’m around men who don’t understand our freedom in Christ, I just go along with them so they don’t get offended. Then I do what I want! I feel women are great ministers to the outcasts and other women because we all know what it’s like to be subjugated to men who think they’re doing God service by controlling others. Now I do believe in God ordained government, and the heirarchy of the church and family as such, but all things in moderation you know? I was a single mother for 10 years and the Lord certainly blessed my children though stats show that’s not a good thing. I remarried and have been miserable ever since(23 yrs), so even if it’s me with the fault that can’t enjoy marriage, I can say that God’s grace is sufficient for me. His strength is made perfect in weakness and when it comes to subjugating myself to men, I’m weak! Jesus still loves me, praise God!

  16. Raymond E. King says:

    I being a christian and studying the scriptures as i have i am amused at the way some people take out and add to to get an excuse to do it their way about headship in the ministry. First Timothy doe’s not say anything about being called he says if a MAN desires the office of a bishop
    he also says if a Man desires the office of a deacon if God had made His headship ministry to both sexes I am sure He would have put it in the bible. Remember God is not the author of confusion. Its true women feel the desire to preach and most of them do a great job at home
    the bible tells the older women to teach the younger, and also tells the older men to teach the younger men. Most women want to be the boss in every aspect of life and do not submit to husbands as godley women are supposed too, neither do the men love their wives as Lord tells them. I know this post will not be received very well that is fine, God bless you who read this.

    • Welcome, Raymond! I appreciate your writing. I understand you feel the way you do, but as you can tell from this blog, we do not agree with you.

      I am confused, however, about your email address. “Walk with Jesus” is your email.

      So I want you to do that just for a minute with me. Walk with Jesus to the woman at the well. Listen as he gives this woman the good news that the Messiah has come, knowing full well that she will go and tell. Listen to his words after the disciples come back. Jesus expresses a joy here after telling this woman that we find nowhere else in the bible. His heart is filled. He has accomplished a mission. He expressed it this way: “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. This was tremendous. Don’t discount this story.

      Walk with Jesus as he tells Mary to sit at his feet, a place reserved for men, and learn from his teaching.

      Walk with Jesus as tells Mary at the tomb – overlooking the male Jewis guards that were there – that he has risen and to go and tell.

      When you walk with Jesus, you are not going to build up males as you do. When you walk with Jesus, you are going to have to stretch your mind beyond what you think you know, and listen to what He says. He told the Jews that they had it wrong. They thought they knew the scriptures. But they got it wrong. Raymond, I believe that you also have it wrong. Walk with Jesus. Open your eyes.

      • Michelle says:

        What I always found confusing is that in other places in Bible translations, we are to read “man” and “men” as applicable to everyone, regardless of sex. How are we supposed to just automatically know when the “man/men” means all of us, and when it applies only to males?

        Talking from translations frustrates me.

        Also interesting is that if I am to be consistent in the understanding indicated by the above commenter, it’s fine for me to covet my neighbor’s husband, since only wife-coveting is mentioned in the ten commandments. Right?

      • You got it right! Was the Bible even written for women?

        > Date: Mon, 13 Aug 2012 16:23:40 +0000 > To: bwebaptist.women@live.com >

    • pnissila says:

      Raymond, I used to work in a cult ministry. My boss, an apologist and chaplain, counseled people out of the cults’ false teachings back into the core tenets of Christianity. A couple of clear markers to look for if you are wondering if such and such a teaching or organization is a cult or cult-like, thus not following the full counsel of Scripture, are 1) does the group pick only certain verses out of context to suggest that this is what the entire Bible teaches, and 2) is there some sort of hierarchy of spirituality. Another marker comes later: the fruit of the cult or cult-like teaching. Does it free people, or in some way “enslave” people or a group of people to the desires of the “spiritually elite,” or self-proclaimed “spiritually superior”? Does it require more “works” of some members than of others? Does it allow for the full manifestation of all of the gifts in the membership “as the Spirit wills,” or do the “elders” take charge of this, allowing the full manifestation of gifts to some members only (the higher-ranked) and only allow a few “gifts” to other members? I could go on and on. There are many excellent sites that detail further markers of cults or cult-like groups, should you wish to pursue the topic further I have posted a few sites on my blog site. As for me, married for over 42 years (and I came to the Lord many years before my husband did) I am daily grateful for a husband who is completely open to whatever I believe the Lord is leading me to do, while I completely support his entirely different ministery. I hope you find your peace with this topic. In the meantime, if you can tolerate it, this is an excellent website on which to be enriched by the various giftings and callings of those who post and comment here, women–and men. Blessing, Phyllis

    • DedicatedToBeingAProverb31Woman says:

      I agree with you Raymond! Thank you for having the words and courage to post what I couldn’t.
      And to @bwebaptistwomenforequality what happened to keeping email addresses private? Just saying…even revealing part of another’s email address is an abuse of your power as the blogger or writer of this article.

      • Welcome! Glad you joined. But please understand one thing. Raymond gave his full name. Apparently, he does not mind if people know who he is. I think that you are more upset with my position than with my using his name. You are going to love my book “Dethroning Male Headship” when it comes out in the spring, because you will really have something to get upset about. Please be sure to reserve a copy. Again, I appreciate you stopping by. Please continue to read.

    • jee frasier says:

      You are absolutely right Raymond!!!!

  17. krwordgazer says:

    Raymond, you said:

    “First Timothy doe’s not say anything about being called he says if a MAN desires the office of a bishop
    he also says if a Man desires the office of a deacon”

    But this simply is not true. Look at this page from the Greek interlinear of 1 Tim 3:


    In verse 1, the word is “tis,” which means “anyone.” If ANYONE desires the office of a bishop” is what Paul actually said in the original text.

    Secondly, if you look through the verses about deacons, none of them saying anything about a man or woman or anyone desiring the office of a deacon. It is implied from verse 1 that the same idea applies to deacons, but it doesn’t say that.

    Before you start telling us that the Bible says we’re wrong, it’s better to find out what the Bible actually says.

  18. Terri Tippins says:

    The word ‘office’ (though not in the original text) is also added in translations in an attempt to make the overseer/deacon appear to be super authoritative. The word overseer is a job description of a caregiver and one that tends to the needs of others, not an office overlord.

    • jee frasier says:

      You ladies have really twisted scripture to fool yourselves that women can preach/teach in an official church setting, Mary did not preach a sermon, the Bible does not say that, Jesus verified her as a disciple, not apostle as all believers should tell the Good News, Phoebe was no preacher either, read Luke 6 & Matthew 10 to see who Jesus sent out to proclaim & teach the Gospel, Mary or no other woman is listed. We men are not saying Jesus hated women or thought less of them, we are saying that based on scripture & the example He left for us no woman, none not Lydia, Mary Mag, Woman at the well, none we preachers and none of these ladies claimed to be and if Jesus didn’t make his mother Mary the 1st preacher/teacher no woman has the right to make that claim.

      • Welcome! I am glad you joined in this discussion. I like your reasoning. It is the same reasoning that all complementarians use. You are right. Jesus did not put the Marys or Phoebe or any of the women behind a wooden pulpit in a church building and tell them to preach. But, then, neither did he put the men behind a wooden pulpit in a church building and ordain them and tell them to preach.

        Why, with 7 billion people in the world, should the gospel be stifled?

        You might want to be the first to read my book “Dethroning Male Headship- because it doesn’t have a leg to stand on.” It will be out in the Spring and has some scripture you might want to disagree with.

        You might also read my blog post titled “Playing Twister with the Scriptures” which I posted on July 25, 2010. While it doesn’t deal with women preachers, it does deal with pastors twisting the scriptures.

  19. Terri Tippins says:

    Complementarians just simply use two hermenutics. Blue for boys and Pink for girls. Men (are allowed to do everything) that is not specifically forbidden or restriced to them. But women (are not allowed to do anything) that is not specifically spoken of in scripture. By indulging in scripture and using seperate hermenetics (blue and pink) based on gender, they seek to prove male exclusivity without breaking a sweat. That is why it is important that any female in scripture that ‘seems’ to be doing something like teaching or leading has to be swept under the rug and treated as an abberation (second choice or not Gods best) or worst, she is in outright rebellion and sin. They MUST be discounted.

    • Excellent point. Man can do anything unless strictly forbidden and women can do only those things specifically and minutely expressed in scriptures – teach old women and kids.

      > Date: Wed, 26 Dec 2012 14:43:28 +0000 > To: bwebaptist.women@live.com >

      • jee frasier says:

        And remember the Bible told them what to teach and it didn’t tell them to get the Bible and teach them.

      • It didn’t tell the men to get the Bible and teach them, either.

        > Date: Wed, 26 Dec 2012 16:31:38 +0000 > To: bwebaptist.women@live.com >

      • jee frasier says:

        actually it did because they were the Gospel, Jesus instructed His apostles on how he wanted to spread the Gospel.

      • Jee, Read the following from a MALE. It was posted on my blog today called “Twisters in the pulpit.” You ladies have really twisted scripture to fool yourselves that women can preach/teach in an official church setting, Most “official church settings” are so unbiblical that to use that to defend misogyny and patriarchy and gender-restrictionism only displays the selective ignorance of the one using it. I remember Gene Edwards saying this at a conference in Memphis in December 1987: “And forsake not the gathering of yourselves together, as is the manner of some.” That has piled more believers than, I think, any other verse in the New Testament. Boy, listen. If I could have a chance to not forsake the kind of gathering first century Christians had, I wouldn’t forsake them. But to ask me to not forsake the kind of gatherings that Christians have in the twentieth century is to ask me to do one of the worst things on earth I can conceive of doing. I don’t mind telling you all I can’t stand going to church. First of all, the term is, it’s a contradiction in itself. You can’t go to … I can’t go to church. Church is a people. And that ain’t church. Bless your little heart, I’m going to do it again. The pulpit existed long before the Christian faith. It was called an ambo. The choir comes to us by way of the chants of the Greek choirs in the pagan temple. The pastor is a concept invented by Martin Luther. The service itself was invented by John Calvin in the city of Geneva. The pews came into existence soon after the Reformation. The church building was invented by Constantine in 323. The Sunday School was invented by Dwight L. Moody in about 1860. The stained glass window was invented by Bishop Suger … he’s not a bishop, he was an abbot … Suger in the year 1200 A.D. And the sermon that is preached is actually a concept brought into the Christian faith by a guy named John Chrysostom in about the year 400 A.D. when he brought Greek oratory into the Christian faith. The sermon is basically … not preaching, but the sermon as you and I know it basically came from Greek pagan oratory. And that’s everything that you see on Sunday morning. And the reason it is on Sunday morning at 11 a.m. is because Martin Luther got drunk every Saturday night and couldn’t stand to get up at 6 a.m., so he made it 11 a.m. so he could get sober enough to preach. Since in my experience Gene can be given to hyperbole, I can’t vouch for the absolute truth of the above, but Frank Viola, who used to work with Gene, said something similar in his book (co-authored with George Barna) Pagan Christianity? Exploring the Roots of Our Church Practices, IIRC.

        > Date: Wed, 26 Dec 2012 19:19:48 +0000 > To: bwebaptist.women@live.com >

  20. Terri Tippins says:

    I don’t post much here Sis. Shirley but I read everything. I always had a nagging feeling that something was wrong with the way the church treated women. Women were like the invisible majority if you were. It was in the Priscilla Papers were I read of Hermeneutics in Pink and Blue. It was like a light came on, and now I had a name (or phrase) for how the Bible was being read and taught to others (esp. women). Christiane Carlson-Thies states that Complementarians are not consistant and that a fundamental error of traditional interpretation is to transform texts that mention women into texts that define women. Or, more accurately, as texts that redefine women as creatures under authority rather than image-bearers who have authority alongside the man. Just an excellent article all the way around.

    And there is no doubt that it takes a thick skin to keep fighting for the equality of women in the church. Please keep up the good work and God Bless your tough hide! :)

  21. jee frasier says:

    God gave order, He never said men & women were equal, He gave us clear roles & examples to follow. Did you look at the scriptures I left, if so did you see where Jesus sent Mary out anywhere, no you did not. Even back then thru His Divine wisdom Jesus knew if you get a bunch of women together in any authority there would be problems and chaos, read the scripts don’t add don’t takeaway , I see you and all women preachers in 2Tim 3:6.

    • Jee, you have formed a hard, cold Christianity out of the scriptures. The Pharisees and Jewish leaders tried to hold Jesus to such hardness as you subscribe to. Jesus countered every time with love and acceptance whereas they had restrictions and a cold heart. Go to your Bible and re-read the Gospels.. Look closely at Matthew 23. Open your heart and your eyes to the words of Jesus.

      > Date: Wed, 26 Dec 2012 16:27:53 +0000 > To: bwebaptist.women@live.com >

      • jee frasier says:

        It’s simple, Jesus sent no women out to teach/preach in the church setting. Remember womans purpose is to be a helpmeet to man, not his leader, teacher, that’s the reason stated in Timothy 2:11, because of the order of creation, it’s Gods way not mans way. Yes, women are important in spreading the word but not as teachers in the church setting, He didn’t leave an example of it and if it was not his way surely he would have told his Apostles that they had it wrong, allow women to teach or surely he would have commissioned some women apostles.

    • pnissila says:

      I like your directive: “(Believers) must read the Word themselves so they’ll know when they are being deceived, just because the pastor said it, doesnt make it true, read for yourself.” (sic)

      Why don’t you, yourself, simply apply that directive to whomever has written or said (whether by preaching, teaching, or even in a discussion thread) something they claim to be “of the Lord,” without first having to make sure they have what you deem the appropriate (reproductive) body parts? (Seems it would lessen your stress, get right to the salient point, and keep you from having to, you know, discreetly look to see if the preacher/teacher has breasts, or some other obvious indication of gender such as might appear on a man if it’s hard to tell otherwise.)

      Just curious: what do you do if a woman has a by-line such as “Lynn,” “Beverly,” “Dale, “Sandy,” “Pat,” or another of the many names that can be either male or female?

      What do you do if it’s a woman who teaches how you believe? Do you acknowledge her teaching/preaching as valid?

      And another question for which I’ve yet to get a consistent let alone biblical answer from complementarians: Do YOU know the magic age/day/hour/minute a boy becomes a man and his mother or some other woman can no longer teach him or preach to him? (Some say 12, others, 18…)

      It seems we really ought to know this so that a) the boys are not misled at, say, 11:01 a.m., when they reached the magic age at, say 11:00 a.m. b) the woman is not committing some sort of sin by preaching to or teaching the boy once the magic time has been reached c) both of the above.

      And anyway, why do you pay any attention to the women on this blog to begin with? It seems you ought to be accessing only blogs written by men and then making sure they align with the Word of God.


      • jee frasier says:

        Again, the scripture does not support your position. I just posted that in 1 Corinthians 14 33-40 when Paul said let the women be silent in about verse 37 church folk objected and he had to get them straight. I know it’s a tough pill for women to swallow but there were no women teachers/preachers, mothers can teach her sons at home about the Bible but in Church she can’t at all. If I can help just one women get it right, my time is well spent here.

  22. Terri Tippins says:


    Just by the few posts that I have read it seems to me that you have a beef with women in general. God gave order? What does that mean? Are you trying to say that men are superior to woman based soley on the good fortune to be born a man? Like it or not, reading the Bible entails interpretation on the readers part. You have a gender bias so, you view all passages dealing with woman through your blue glasses. You need to take those off and let the Bible speak for itself instead of trying to impose your ideas onto scripture. Where do you find Jesus scolding or shaming women as a gender for being troublemakers or causing chaos? To be quite frank, when it comes to chaos and deception and trouble, men seem to be able to hold thier own without the sisters. Ever pick up a book of cults? I have. Count the number of women led cults compared to men. Ever seen a woman stand up in church and proclaim that ‘she’ was in charge and we are gonna do things her way…………nuff said.

    • jee frasier says:

      I have no beef with women in general, I just hate it when women claim they can be teachers/pastors when the Bible says clearly that they can’t. Yes God gave order, men are the heads, seems you have a problem with authority, guess who else did, Satan. I never said men were superior to women, you said that. Some readers deny the obvious in their interpretation, for one the Bible clearly says that I suffer not a woman to teach NOR have authority over man, what’s hard to interpret about that? It’s straight off the page. Go read the 10 Commandments, you probably take them at face value and don’t try to poke holes as to reason why you can go against them do you? No, you have a problem with Timothy because it tells you that women can’t do what they claim they are called to do. Why don’t women preachers instead say they are called to prophecy, which the Bible say they can do, no they claim a gift not given to them. Preaching and propecy are two different gifts, see Jeremiah 23:28. Didnt say Jesus scolded or shaming women, women with Jesus knew their role in the gospel and was ok with it. Yes, lots of men who claim they are called, clearly are not. How do we know, thru their fruits and the doctrine they teach according to the Bible, I don’t do cults, that’s why I read the word and pray to understand it. Again, if your pastor and church don’t line up with the example set by Christ and his Apostles, its a false church and you should leave it. There are plenty of false churches around so believers must read the word themselves so they’ll know when they are being deceived, just because the pastor said it, doesnt make it true, read for yourself.

      • Terri Tippins says:


        I have been studying this topic for over 10 years and I have come to different conclusions than you. You say you have no beef with women, I say you do. The condescention in your comments betray you. Most men who come onto egal forums or blogs feel obliged to ‘straighten us women out’ on just ‘who’ has the authority and who does not. They are not open for discussion (even on points of agreement) just ‘fixin’ us women. I know you love that verse in 1 Tim. 2 most men love to quote it. When a woman seems to be forgetting her place, we know how to fix that. That single verse has been universalised and the whole other scope of scripture negated. When so much attention is given to one passage then the Bible is made the servant of agenda and presuppositions will prevail. The problem with most complementarians is that they pack to much into a paragraph and will not deal with one issue at a time. Do many believe that by ‘much speaking’ and quoting X amount of scriptures that us lightheaded women will just BELIEVE your comment? It is a proven fact that you can make the Bible say whatever you want it to say just by proof texting alone. Lets not go down that well traveled road, ok. If you want to talk about 1 Timothy 2:12 that is great but you cannot do it in isolation. It is surrounded by other verses, chapters, etc. that must be a part of the discussion as well. The theme of the letter to Timothy is “how’ he should deal with heretical teachers. They were dividing the church and it is obvious that there was at lease (One) woman involved in false teaching as Paul directs his comments to ( The) woman (singular) in 1 Timothy 2:11 and (A) woman (singular) in verse 12. It is obvious that Paul was talking about ONE woman (apart from the male heretics) in this church that was teaching heresy and Timothy knew who she was. Why else would Paul alone command the woman to learn in silence. The verses sourrounding your favorite verse go from 1 Tim.2:8 including all men (plural) to verse 9 including all women (plural) to verse 10 women (plural) to verse 11 the woman (singular) to verse 12 a woman (singular). Now, i think I will stop here and let you think about what I have said. And if you desire to have a discussion, fine. But, It would be my wish that you stay in the designated area of the letter to 1 Timothy. Unless a scripture demands that we reference another passage to understand what is being taught (as in 13 and 14) it will only muddy the water and we drift off into rabbit trails.

  23. jee frasier says:

    I left out accidentally that I’ll stay off your site, I know you’ll be happy because you can’t stand the truth!

    • Jee, we haven’t actually heard the truth from you.

      > Date: Thu, 27 Dec 2012 20:09:08 +0000 > To: bwebaptist.women@live.com >

    • Terri Tippins says:


      We are not kicking you out but, inviting you to dialoge with us instead. Do you always come onto a site, announce that everyone is ‘wrong’ and blow out? We are familiar with this tactic. If you were really serious and concerned about how ‘wrong’ we were, you would want a discussion. I am sorry that you feel that women cannot have spiritual authority. I am sorry that you feel that women in general cannot be a spiritual resource for you. But, you are wrong, and you don’t know what you are missing. As a woman that has been gifted with prophecy (as was my mother) God gave me the authority that came along with the gift. I have never been rebuked for using my influence, teaching, discernment, only encouraged by others. Let’s face it, in these days we need all the spiritual insight, comfort, edification, encouragement from the Holy Ghost that we can get. The package that it comes in is really of no consequence.

    • Mara says:

      And you are pretty amazing believing that you have some sort of corner on truth. Doesn’t the responsibility of believing that you hold all truth send you over the cuckoo’s edge, oh great keeper and defender of (your own personal version of) the truth?
      Amazing. I stand in awe, dumbfounded at your exceedingly high level of self-delusion and self-righteousness.

      • Mara says:

        sorry, the above reply was to Jee, December 27, 2012, 3:09 pm. i either did something wrong in replying or wordpress is freaking out on me again.

  24. “I [Paul] do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.” 1 Timothy 2:12 NIV 1984. Did anyone catch that the “I” being used is Paul, as in Paul’s personal opinion, and it is not the first time he does this in Scripture. He says elsewhere:
    “Now for the matters you wrote about: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” 1 Corinthians 7:1 NIV 1984. But he says later, “I say this as a concession, not as a command.” 1 Corinthians 7:4 NIV 1984. Ironically this one (about abstaining from sexual relations) is not brought up as much.

    Let’s define preaching: Merriam-Webster defines it as-
    1 : to deliver a sermon
    2: to urge acceptance or abandonment of an idea or course of action; specifically : to exhort in an officious or tiresome manner
    transitive verb
    1: to set forth in a sermon
    2: to advocate earnestly
    3: to deliver (as a sermon) publicly
    4: to bring, put, or affect by preaching

    and sermon as-
    1: a religious discourse delivered in public usually by a clergyman as a part of a worship service
    2: a speech on conduct or duty

    So every time you encourage anyone to do the right thing as defined by God in His Word (whether spouse, children, relatives, ect.) you have preached according to 2,2, and 3 of the definition of preach and 2 of sermon. If you have ever been a teacher, you’ve preached publicly.

    Assuming Paul was speaking of the gospel (although it does not specifically say that, but we’ll use context) we now have to ask what is the gospel? The gospel is the good news. What is the good news? It cannot be just that Christ came and was perfect because that does you and I no good. It cannot even be that Christ died and it just stop there:
    “If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.” 1 Corinthians 15:19 NIV 1984. No, the good news is that Jesus came, died, and rose again.

    Having said this, will someone please tell Jesus that women are not allowed to preach (not literally). Not every miracle is covered in all four Gospels, but Mary and Martha being told to go and tell the disciples that He had risen is in all four Gospels!

    “The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.” Matthew 28:5-7 NIV 1984.

    “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. 7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’” Mark 16:6-7 NIV 1984.

    “He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 7 ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” 8 Then they remembered his words. 9 When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. 10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles.” Luke 24:6-10 NIV 1984.

    “Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” 18 Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.” John 20:17-18 NIV 1984.
    Just in case someone says, it doesn’t say they were told in Luke-
    “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” John 14:26 NIV 1984.

    I could continue with more Scripture, but I will stop because this response is becoming quite lengthy.

    • Welcome! Thank you for joining us. Women preaching and women deacons is what every one of these posts advocates, and I appreciate your comments. The funny thing about preaching is that many women are doing it in blogs and there is no way the SBC can stop that. There is more gospel preaching, such as yours, in the comments under my blog than most people hear in a lifetime, and much of it is by women. Thanks for lending your voice to this struggle.

  25. d turner says:

    He’s the same yesterday today Andy forever God never called woman to Pastor all who do so are gambling with their souls they need to repent or suffer damnation please it’s not Worth loosing your soul

  26. jcorbs says:

    I agree woman were not called to be preachers.. But at the end I feel that for some people will never except that coming from a human being they need an act of God to tell them otherwise.. The devil is is very smart and can have any one thinking what’s right is wrong what’s wrong is right.. Even the very ELITE can or will be fooled.. So why not go straight to the source and quiet ourselves enough to hear his word.. Pray hard with sincerity and ask him to answer the question for you .. Your heart is in the right place you want to help people come to GOD you don’t care about having some position of power because that’s not what it’s about.. We need to make sure ourselves are okay with GOD which is constant work..Sometimes the majority is right and sometimes there wrong.. Me personally I wouldn’t want the responsibility , I can help people in other ways.. Love and patience …

    • Welcome! Thank you for joining the conversation.

      Have you considered the devil may be speaking to you? I have quieted myself and I have listened to the Word of God.

      When a person chooses to deny others the grace they themselves have received, it is because of a love of power. So look closely and you will see who it is that loves power. It is not me, my friend. You might look in the mirror.

  27. jcorbs says:

    Hello .. Wow… That was a general statement. I don’t deny or force anything.. Jesus didn’t either.. I don’t believe he forced anyone to do anything , he spoke and told people how things are and it was up to the individual to listen.. The world calls God a chauvinist.. Feminist groups , push that agenda whatever a man can do a woman can do.. But they can’t.. The bible taken in it’s whole shows that it was man than woman because man was lonely.. It goes all through out the bible that its God , man and than woman.. I’m the last person to bring anyone down but I know a woman shouldn’t be in that role..Sometimes we don’t like to hear things because it interferes with what we want to do . But it’s not about us it’s about what God wants us to do..

    • Mara says:

      I know God isn’t a chauvinist.
      But men in charge make Him look that way. And men in charge make the church a chauvanistic institution. The Kingdom of Heaven suffers violence and the violent take it by force. That’s what a lot of men do. It happened in the catholic church, it happened among southern slaveholders, and now it happens because men presume to think that since woman was taken out of man, that means she is lesser. This is never stated or even implied by the text. It is just the assumption that men make because they WANT it that way so they convince themselves that it must be the way God wants it.

      If first means more important and the leader, why did God chose Jacob over Esau, Ephraim over Menasseh, and David over all his brothers? The first shall be last and the last shall be first.

      Now, I am not implying that men shall be last because they were made first.
      But I am saying that men make far more over “the man was made first” than what they should. The woman was made as a strong help. The same word for help is used for GOD in other places in scripture. Her help is a saving kind of help, not a ‘little helper’ kind of help.

      Women can lead. It is not exclusively a ‘guy’ thing. God chose Deborah so that men would realize that women could lead. She also taught and judged.
      How does this Old Testament woman (and other women like her) have more authority and right to use their leadership gifts than the women in the New Testament Church? Something is terribly askew.

      Speaking of Jesus, why did Jesus give His first message of His Resurrection to the women to give to the men and not directly to the men then scold the men for not listening to the women?
      How come you make sooooooooo much out of the first man and woman and completely IGNORE the very actions of Jesus Himself? He had no trouble sending the women with the authority of His message to the men. And yet, men keep sewing up the temple veil against their sisters, telling them they can’t be kings and priests and apostles and prophets and judges and evangelists.
      Take care about deciding that you know the mind of God with the story of the first man and woman while you ignore the story of the Resurrection and the torn veil.

      • Jee Frasier says:

        God didn’t choose Debroah to lead, the Bible only says Deborah was leading at that time but all the MEN before her the Bible says God put them in position to lead and when Deborah was leading the people were already in captivity. He used Deborah because He knew Barack would listen to her, this is what it means when God can use who he wants to deilver a message but Deborah never said she was a preacher/pastor.

      • No, Deborah never said she was a preacher or pastor. That is a ridiculous statement and you know it. They didn’t have church buildings with pastors and staff and a congregation sitting looking up at the preacher/pastor when he preached. So because they didn’t have that, perhaps we can make the statement that “nobody can be a preacher/pastor.” You need to read my book “Dethroning Male Headship” which is an excellent book. If you for no other reason, you should read it just to find other things you disagree with me about. Also, this post that you are commenting on has been my most popular post. You can read more in my new book “Women Equal-No Buts. Powered by the same Source.”

        > Date: Fri, 24 Jan 2014 17:52:37 +0000 > To: bwebaptist.women@live.com >

    • It is all about us, or more specifically all about you. You really must read my book “Dethroning Male Headship” when it comes out May 1, 2013. You think you know what God wants because it is what you want. I don’t think you need to bring Jesus into a conversation that is about male headship. He didn’t mention it, so you can’t quote Jesus here.

      > Date: Mon, 18 Feb 2013 19:10:51 +0000 > To: bwebaptist.women@live.com >

      • mike says:

        I have read through this whole thing and many pointshave been made however one that sticks outthe most. The constant pushing of your book. Everyone needs to go buy your book. Its full of your wisdom. Female or not If annointed your words will be of Godfor it is by his will not ours. I for one know that called or not gifted or not God is not directing you to tell everyone to buy your book. There is but one book in which to live your life. And that’s his word the holy Bible. This is why men and churches have given christianity a bad name and why the chauvinism shows through. Because everyone wants to feel calledto be a pastor or a preacher. You don’t see people proclaiming to the masses God wants me to be a servant. But that truly what he called us to do. To spread his gospel to the world. Not spread the dethroning of man book. The name alone has only focus of knocking down theso called”manliness” of christianmen and how they are wrong. Where is this glorifying God where is this spreading the gospel. Its a womens lib push no worse or better then a male chauventistic push. Everyone here is argueing about translation when things like Agape love are being overlooked and Agape love is asked of all God’s children. If someone is truly called to minister the bible says we must first die to ourselves. Until you do that no debate is valid for all I see here is personal opinion of the word and nothing biblical in the way its done. Promote your book in a Godly way not the worldly way of sparking controversary first then telling everyone it has all the answers. I love you all but have seen nohing in these replies but people with their own agenda on both sides of the issue.

      • You don’t have to buy my book.

      • Kristen says:

        Mike, Shirley didn’t create the controversy in order to sell her book. And there’s nothing wrong with her promoting her own book on her own website. Not even Jesus talked about the gospel every minute– He also preached and taught on all kinds of subjects, including those that God wanted to address in those times, in that culture.

        This is one of the issues that needs to be addressed in our times and our culture. Trying to shame Shirley is not helping anything.

  28. Stan Jacobson says:

    The BIBLE about women in authority in the church is very clear .

    • Stan, how fortunate you wrote today! My book Dethroning Male Headship is now available for online purchasing. When you read it you will find out that the Bible and women in authority IS VERY CLEAR. But, sorry, Stan, not the way you mean. Read the book and you will see. Then contact me to discuss it.

    • Mara says:

      Yep, very clear with Deborah, Miriam, Huldah, Phoebe, Junia, Priscilla, and other powerful examples of great women in authority.

      I’m glad we can agree on the clarity of Scripture like this Stan.

      This what you meant, right?

  29. Rox says:

    This is a very interesting topic. I’ve also been wondering whether women should preach or not. The Bible for me is sometimes confusing because I agree that women are spiritual and prophesy etc but it also says that women should be quiet. I find the scriptures at times vague and open to interpretation. It’s also difficult sometimes to interpret because culturally a lot has changed.

    We can look at all the scriptures and interpret them the way we wish so my rationale on the issue is this: Jesus chose men to be his disciples. Why didn’t he choose a woman or a number of women? One woman I asked about this said: because in those days women were seen as inferior to men and were not respected in the same manner as men (not her exact words – I can’t remember them). To which I thought, but Jesus wasn’t politically correct. He never did anything to please people. For example he threw over the tables in the Temple and made a number of people very angry (although granted they were the religious leaders). He also said it as it is; rebuked people and left when crowds of people started looking for him. He rode in on a donkey and not on a stallion. He had dinner with sinners. He wasn’t apologetic. So why then didn’t he call a woman to be His disciple? He wasn’t scared of what people would think; He was killed because of what He teached. As far as I know the only women who ministered were Martha and Mary and it is only mentioned that they ministered to Him (took care of His needs so that He could do what needed to be done).

    I am not trying to cause upset. I am a woman and I’ve just been pondering this because of the heated debates on the topic. I am not called to preach and admittedly I do like to be led by men. I would appreciate thoughts on this matter.

    • Rox says:

      Let me clarify… Can a woman’s desire and calling to preach be misdirected? For example, could she be called to preach to women (women’s ministry) and children but not to men? I ask this because I get an uncomfortable feeling if we sit in church and my husband is to submit to the preaching of a woman. I think, why should I submit to him if he submits to another women’s authority? It takes away from his “kingship”. But I love women’s conferences and find them very powerful.

      • Hi Rox! Welcome. We are so glad you joined us. I want to respond to your last sentence about your husband submitting to a woman pastor and that would take away his Kingship. Rox, your husband does not have “Kingship” to be taken away. Jesus did not give any man or woman kingship. We are all equal in God’s Kingdom, and we are ALL kingdom children. You must read my book “Dethroning Male Headship” which will help you understand what is actually being taught in churches about male headship, which is “Kingship.” It can be purchased on Amazon. Just published. Please read it.

      • Rox, with regards to this:
        “Why do preachers (men) not want women to preach? My question is, what do they gain from it, besides unpopularity?”
        It seems obvious to me that there are all kinds of things to be gained by men from an exclusive hold on pastoral power in the church, monetary gain being the most obvious. Cronyism is another. In every area of society throughout history, groups in power have surrendered their exclusive hold on power only very reluctantly and with hostility. From aristocrats to Europeans to Southern whites, there are all kinds of benefits to keeping others out of exclusively held positions. Male church leaders are very human in this respect.

    • Rox, again, I am just going to respond to one of your questions. You can find the answers to all the others in my book “Dethroning Male Headship.” 192 pages! What I do want to deal with is your comment that is often used as a “Gotcha” about Jesus choosing only men as disciples. Taken to the logical conclusion we would have to teach that women cannot be members of a church, since all members are Jesus’s disciples. But to answer your question directly, this is what I want to tell you. Jesus chose men as his disciples, but he told 4 women that they were to be HIS VOICE.

      1. The gentile woman who Jesus told that he had come for the Gentiles also, which included her. You KNOW this woman told everybody that Jesus had come to be Lord of the Gentiles. (Gentiles)
      2. Mary of Bethany who Jesus allowed to sit at his feet and learn from the Master because sitting at the feet of the Master meant they would be qualified to TEACH. (Jews)
      3. The Samaritan woman at the well who represented the religion that believed they were the true religion was told by Jesus that he was the Messiah. (Representative of “true religion.”)
      4. Mary at the Tomb was the first to see the resurrected Jesus. (Jesus after his resurrection went first to a woman and told her to go and tell).

      Now, remind me again why preachers preach that women can’t preach?

      • Rox says:

        Thanks for your reply! Interesting to hear a different viewpoint. Why do preachers (men) not want women to preach? My question is, what do they gain from it, besides unpopularity? Could they be trying to uphold a biblical principle?

        “Martha sitting at Jesus feet as an indication that she can teach” is what I mean by being obscure. Nowhere in the Bible does it mention that she DID teach and preach. But Paul is clear when he says that women should not teach and usurp a man’s authority. Also to me there is a difference between proclaiming all the wonderful things God has done for you (your point 1) and revealing a word from God (your point 4) from teaching Biblical truths in a gathering of believers. Another thought just occured to me. Why did Jesus come as a man and not as a woman if God embodies both? Could there be something wonderful and powerful about “man”.

        I’ll have to read your book to understand more of where you come from. Still a very interesting topic! Thank you for your reply :-) I’ll keep following the posts.

      • Rox, Thank you for this discussion. Yes, there is another side to what you have been taught. 1. No, pastors are not trying to uphold a biblical principle. There is no biblical principle for women not to preach. The teaching is manmade. 2. Nowhere in the Bible does it indicate that (Doubting) Thomas preached either. You appear to be operating under the principle that only if the Bible EXPRESSLY tells a woman what she can do, then she can do it or has done it. Is that same standard applied to me? 3. Paul is NOT clear when he says that a woman must not usurp a man’s authority. He apparently is speaking about one woman in one situation, but what he said has been held against all women for all time since then. 4. Oh my! Why did Jesus come as a man and not as a woman? There was a 50/50 biological choice. Would men then be inferior if Jesus had come as a woman? 5. You say men are wonderfully and powerfully made. Did you know that men do not have to have any qualifications except their physical anatomy to be a pastor or a preacher or a deacon? Their first qualification is being male. Spirituality, intellect, behavior – all are secondary. So it is the beard that makes men wonderfully made? Please read my book. I am at work, and I can’t explain all these topics here. My book explains it in and you will be facinated with each page. Shirley

        > Date: Thu, 9 May 2013 17:35:38 +0000 > To: bwebaptist.women@live.com >

    • Rox, you do know that many women traveled with Jesus, right? He actually did consider them His disciples. Look at Matthew 12:48-50. Jesus pointed to His disciples and said “behold My mother and brothers!” — but by the standards of that culture He would never have said “my mother” when pointing to a male disciple. And that’s also why the passage about Mary and Martha said Mary was “sitting at Jesus’ feet.” To “sit at the feet of” a rabbit was to be a disciple to that rabbi. See Acts 22:3.
      But as for why He only called male Apostles, that’s a different issue. Yes, Jesus did what He thought was right without trying to please people– but He also did very practical things (like asking people not to talk about their healings so that the crowds wouldn’t prevent His continuing to minister -see Mark 1:44-45 ). Jesus didn’t care what people thought, but He wouldn’t have said to be “wise as serpents” if He were not so Himself.
      Part of the reason He called a special set of Apostles who were not just male, but Jewish males, and exactly 12 of them, was in fulfillment of an Old Covenant promise. See Matt 19:28 and Luke 22:30. But the other reason He called 12 male Apostles did have to do with the fact that, as He told them, “You will be My witnesses” — and the world at that time simply would not listen to witnesses who were women. Here’s a more in-depth analysis from my own blog, if you’re interested: http://krwordgazer.blogspot.com/2012/02/why-did-jesus-choose-twelve-men.html

      • Whoops, I hope Jesus doesn’t mind that my finger slipped on the keyboard and I called Him a rabbit! lol!

      • Rox says:

        Thanks Kristen!

        I didn’t even notice the rabbit! :-)

        Very well written and comprehensive article on your blog. I’m going to have to consider this awhile. As a side note, if Jesus knew women wouldn’t be listened to in those days and that’s one of the reasons he didn’t choose a woman apostle (and in so doing, put it plainly) then I don’t know how all the cryptic suggestions/verses that women should preach (such as the tomb story and Mary sitting at Jesus feet) would cause the world to listen to them today.

        And if only the Bible included the letters from the churches to which Paul replied. His replies to the churches would be far more understandable and plain (to the average person) if we could read what they wrote – such as the not suffering a woman to teach or usurp a man’s authority being in response to one particular woman, and many other verses. However, the verse about there being no male or female but all the same is a good one.

        Maybe it doesn’t matter whether women preach or not because in the end it is all about Jesus’ glory and His will. If it is right for women to preach He will open the doors and people will start to listen and their hearts will be softened. He will give favour and women won’t need to fight to be heard.

        Going to discuss this all with hubby too and read more up about it. Really appreciate your and Shirley’s responses and referral to your blog. It hasn’t convinced me of anything but has caused me to want to research it more.

        Many thanks!

      • Rox, thank you for your interest. But you are wrong in thinking that if “God wanted women to preach” then churches and people would soften their hearts and “allow” it. God allows human history to work out through people. You know God knew it was wrong for slavery, yet mankind continued and continues to desire to enslave others. You know God knew it was wrong for the Inquisition to last 400 years, but it was allowed to continue until humankind finally brought an end to it through their actions. You know God knew it was wrong for the crusades to “save” people by the threat of killing them. You know God knows it is wrong for cults to enslave people, yet cults continue to do just that. You know God knew it was wrong to kill 6,000,000 Jews but God allowed evil men to do just that. Western governments gave blood and treasure to remove that evil. Again, it was through people that God worked. God gave us freewill, but mankind often uses that freewill to do evil things. Most often they want others to believe that is what God wants. In other words, Religions are created to push us to do what is claimed to be “God’s will.” This is most often said as “the Bible says so.” Subjection of women is one of those evils. I could go on with the wrongs that are allowed. God uses people to do HIs will. That is why I blog and write and speak up for women’s equality. That is why Kristin blogs. We feel God is speaking through us to do His will.

        > Date: Fri, 10 May 2013 08:40:25 +0000 > To: bwebaptist.women@live.com >

      • Rox, you said: “As a side note, if Jesus knew women wouldn’t be listened to in those days and that’s one of the reasons he didn’t choose a woman apostle (and in so doing, put it plainly) then I don’t know how all the cryptic suggestions/verses that women should preach (such as the tomb story and Mary sitting at Jesus feet) would cause the world to listen to them today.”
        In the day and times they happened, these things weren’t “cryptic” at all. They were obvious. Everyone knew that to “sit at the feet” of a rabbi meant “to be a rabbi’s disciple.” And as far as Jesus giving the message “He is Risen!” to the women– well, if a picture is worth a thousand words, how much is a demonstration worth? Jesus didn’t tell the men, “You’ve got to listen to your sisters!” He showed them, which was much more effective.
        The problem isn’t that Jesus made the message cryptic. The problem is that over the years, men allowed themselves to conveniently forget what Jesus had taught, until the original message eventuallybecame obscured by time and cultural differences.

  30. Rox says:

    I’m actually starting to feel if women want to preach, let them preach. There are far more pressing matters to deserve our attention such as human trafficking, drug addiction, sexual immorality etc.

    • Women are first devalued in church by denying them the right to be deacons by wording the by-laws to say “only men can be deacons.” And they are devalued in church by saying “only men can be pastors.” And they are devalued in church by saing “women must submit graciously to their husbands.” Because the church devalues women, society follows. If you want to stop human trafficking, sexual immorality, etc, then help us work for change in the church.

      > Date: Fri, 10 May 2013 10:36:17 +0000 > To: bwebaptist.women@live.com >

    • pnissila says:

      It is always interesting to me that if there are no men available, women are permitted to preach and teach on mission fields. They are permitted by default, you might say, as this line of thought implies. But I have yet to find anywhere Jesus said anything like this, as in “and go ye therefore and teach all nations (but only if you are a man, but if there are no men available at the time a woman may preach and teach…”). And then there is the confusing decision as to when a boy magically becomes a man (some say 12, some say 18, and so on) which renders it a danger of some sort, apparently, for him to be under the teaching of women any longer…

      With regard to any sort of assumed, perceived, or self-selected male superiority in the church, patriarchalists/complementarians like to quote a re-interpreted Genesis 3:16, which details the consequences of sin for the woman. They have decided that the word “desire” (as in “[a woman's] desire will be for [her] husband”) means that wives want to usurp their husband’s perceived authority (that, built on the false premise that he has spiritual authority over his wife) instead of respecting the meaning of the original language as in a woman’s desire (“longing,” in the sense of an abundant, overflowing attraction, affection –Strong’s, 7782) shall be for her husband. Now, this clause does not stand alone but is the second part of a compound sentence that shows a relationship between two independent clauses, the first of which details the curse of pain in childbirth, the second of which ADDS the implied “YET your desire will (still, you might put it) be for your husband” and it doesn’t stop there. Continue the curse: “and he will rule (“take dominion,” “reign,” “to cause to rule,” “to exercise dominion”-Strong’s 4910). Husbands’ “lordship/rulership/reign/dominion” over wives is part of the consequences of sin.

      My question remains: did Jesus take all the curses “on the tree” except for the curse of a husband’s “rule” over his wife?

      And what about single women, widow’s, unmarried young women, etc.?

      In my humble view, Genesis 3:16 is not a mandate for men, it is a warning for women.

      And, as detailed in Kristen’s and Shirley’s posts, what great, great harm has befallen not just the women in the church but the women of the world when men assume (in both sense of the word) such dominion?

      The good news of the Gospel is that women, along with men, are “free indeed” in Christ Jesus.

      And now look what preaching and teaching opportunities God has given women through the invention of the Internet! His Word is, indeed, not bound!

      Blessing to you, sister, as you explore this vital topic further!
      Phyllis Nissila

    • “I’m actually starting to feel if women want to preach, let them preach. There are far more pressing matters to deserve our attention such as human trafficking, drug addiction, sexual immorality etc.”
      Perhaps if women were given more ability to step out in spiritual leadership, they would be allowed to offer new perspectives on how to fight human trafficking, drug addiction and sexual immorality that men have never thought of. How can it be helping the body of Christ fight spiritual evil when half the Body is held immobile?

  31. Mabel says:

    It is not whether ” if women want to preach, let them preach”, it is if God called women to preach, should we tell them: No, you must not. God called all of us to make disciples and teach them everything (Great Commission).

    I personally know many women whom God called to serve (think, SERVE, not so-called usurp someone’s ‘authority’, roll eyes), and the churches they belong to treat them horribly, denigrading their calling ( you are a woman) and bar them from “preaching”. Let’s get into many christian’s mindset here: church means what happens inside a building, preaching means what happens on a stage, on Sunday morning, with many people sitting in the pews, all facing the speaker, and in a program.

    Now think preaching in its true sense: teaching the word of God. It can happen on the internet, on the radio, in a dinner party, through writing a book, publishing magazine’s articles. Are those preaching? or not?

    Does preaching has to be behind a pc. of furniture called pulpit? must be inside a building called church? must have how many people? I assume more than one? since talking to an individual is not preaching? My point is, our mindset is so far away from the biblical times, and we fall into so much following tradition. Even John Piper, the ultimate hierachal teacher, read bible commentary written by a woman. When asked how come he would not listen to a woman preach but would read her bible commentary, said: because she is not standing in front of me, teaching me with “authority”. Roll eyes.

    I have studied this issue since 07(?), and the practical implication of that kind of thinking is just too ridiculous for the logical mind. Think, practical implication. When Wayne Grudem, the father of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, was asked this very very simple question: What can women do in church? Came up with a list of 80+ items, arranged in 3 groups, ranging from the “most authoritative” to the least “authoritative”, and give this directive: women must not do these (preach and teach men), maybe they can do these (administrative work), and they definitely can do these (make coffee, babysit).

    If God had a divine plan that men are to be leaders and women followers, it should apply to the society, not just to the “church” (an organization as people understand it, not the true meaning of the word as found in the bible). No woman in society anywhere should be in any leadership position, over any men. Yet christians who oppose to women as “Ordained pastors” ( whatever that means) will vote for a woman politician. Is it God’s divine ordinance for gender hierarchy or not? Is this hierarchy for spiritual world or for the society in general? Are there male souls and female souls?

    This belief that women must not preach must logically mean that when they preach, they sin, they are going against God. I don’t see how this is not true. Yet, it is proven in history, that many great women evangelists had led many people to God, had established churches, had preached the word of God. So, can anyone claim that those work are the result of sin? are from Satan? Is this not the same as the Pharisees saying when Jesus cast out demons, He was doing the work of Satan? That is called blasphemy.

    Rox, I will give you the following links to further read. These represent just a fraction of what is out there. It is not coincidental that we all meet here for this discussion. God had put us together today for a purpose.


    I joined CBE in 08. Here is CBE’s website, and their free articles. You can read them. CBE is very strict on what they put out. Everything is biblical. Lots of scholarship there.

  32. Rox says:

    Lots of things to think about!

  33. Mabel says:

    Rox, may God bless your Berean spirit.

  34. a says:

    Why dont you all grow up. The bible comes out with silly things thats why christianity is so divided. If it was so good, why have there so many christian organisations.

    • Well, well, well. I have waited a long time to hear this wisdom. Thank you for giving me the heads up on Christianity. I just have one question for you. Who made you so smart?

    • KR Wordgazer says:

      This is a silencing technique. It’s easy to do– when people are talking about a topic you would rather they weren’t talking about, it’s easy to come up with a reason why they should just shut up. But just because you don’t want people talking about it, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be talked about. If you don’t want to join the conversation, at least don’t try to shut it down.

      Here’s my list of 10 basic silencing techniques; you can see where yours fits if you like.

    • pnissila says:

      To onlookers, there do seem to be many divisions within Christianity, as well as in all other faiths, creeds, religions, and philosophies. And yet we persist–me, you, others here and everywhere–in this dogged effort to find meaning. And truth. And real answers.

      Here’s just a thought: why so many variations? If there were not a powerful real “something” there wouldn’t be so many counterfeits, don’t you think?

      Before I settled on Jesus as the Messiah, my Savior, I had even invented my own “way”!

      Anyway, I will pray for you, “a,” in your own quest. I believe there is something worth pursuing in all this for you if just to settle your angst about all of us here who contend for and write endlessly about the freedom Jesus Christ means for all people, equally, independent of gender. Perhaps a closer look at the historical Jesus and the Jesus chronicled in the Bible might be of greater interest to you.

      Don’t settle. :) It’s an adventure like none other.

  35. a says:

    Think of more of an interesting topic to talk about.
    If men were good there have been wars, crimes, rape, abuse of children, curruption in the churches. No wonder man needed a women as he could not cope on his own. Poor love. No one is the best. Men preached but lookwhat happened to Paul etc. They got killed in the process.

    • You tell me the answer to this question. What affects more than one-half of the population? The answer is Gender discrimination. Now if something affects 3,500,000,000 people, plus all the little boys that are raised by women who are taught they are inferior, wouldn’t you in all your wisdom, think that is an interesting topic?

  36. Shawnele says:

    Obviously, this article is some years old – but, in visiting your homepage, I saw the comment thread and it addressed the question I had been wondering since reading about a book signing you would be doing.

    The question I wanted to ask was how you handle the Scriptures that seem to say, quite clearly, that women are not to teach or exercise authority over a man.

    You also asked a question: “I ask you – Why doesn’t God want women to preach?” If we are certain he doesn’t want women to preach (to men), then I would ask, what does it matter why? “But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’” (Romans 9:20) God is not beholden to me to answer the why. IF He has given the command, then the why behind it is unnecessary (though interesting) information. (I am leaving the IF open, for I do not know your answer to my question.)

    I did want to point out that, in Scripture, a “pastor” is not the same as a “preacher.” You mentioned the young man who became a preacher at 16. We have no reason to believe that a preacher must be married. An elder (sometimes called a bishop in Scripture – and the ONE reference to a pastor in the Word is sometimes assumed to be a pastor) IS to be “the husband of one wife” with “believing children.” However, no such qualification is listed for a preacher/evangelist.

    Finally, in this post, much of your stand seems to be hinged on perceived calling. Do you know that I honestly know of Christians (even preachers and women teachers of the Bible) who believed that God sanctioned their illicit affair? I know of men who claim that their homosexuality is sanctioned by God because He gave them their interest in men. God never gives us a “calling” that violates His revealed word. IF the Scriptures on the roles of women (and the prohibitions on roles for women) are to be taken at face value (and I do not see why not), then God would not “call” a woman (or a man) to violate those. If a woman is gifted in “preaching”, nothing prevents her from preaching to women (at ladies retreats, ladies days, and one on one with one another) – she need not seek to violate the prohibition on teaching to men. (Like I said, I see no reason to believe that these Scriptures should not be taken at face value – but I assume you have a reason for believing as you do, and I am open to the possibility that there is a good reason to understand these Scriptures differently.)

    Thank you for your time and I do look forward to understanding your reasoning.

    • Welcome and thank you for your letter. Sorry that I did not see it until today. I have been busy with my book signing as you mentioned. You ask a lot of questions. Those questions are answered in 192 pages of my book. There is no way that I can answer in just a few minutes. But I do want to ask you this: What does restricting women from leadership roles have to do with the gospel? How is the gospel helped by restricting women to roles?

      My friend, would it be better to err on the side of unlimited spiritual freedom for women than to err on the wrong side? People are hurt by these restrictions. People are not hurt by Christian women preaching, pastoring or deaconing. Open your heart. Read what Jesus said.

      You said that you do not see why the prohibitions on roles for women should not be taken at face value. When you limit roles for women, you have given power and authority to males only – all males. You have made them earthly deities. That is what is wrong, and that is why those scriptures cannot be taken at face value. It is in my book. Read it, then we can talk about it. I’ve read the Bible as you will see in this book.

      • Shawnele says:

        I just wrote it today – so you were not tardy in the least!

        I certainly do not want you to rewrite your book, but do you have a short and sweet answer to what you do with the Scriptures that prohibit women to teach men or to speak in congregational worship?

        You ask, “What does restricting women from leadership roles have to do with the gospel? How is the gospel helped by restricting women to roles?”

        That is something that you would need to ask God. He is infinitely wiser than any man and it was He who designed roles for men and women. (I do not consider women’s roles as reflected in Scripture as I understand it to be “restrictive” – just different for both genders.) If we do not understand it, I do not believe that means it is, then, up for grabs. ” “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,”
        declares the Lord.9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

        You ask, “My friend, would it be better to err on the side of unlimited spiritual freedom for women than to err on the wrong side? >>

        First, there would need to be a plausible reason for ignoring the verses that tell us that women are not to teach men. Without such, then the “wrong side” appears to be the one for which you advocate. Do you remember Nadab and Abihu – who offered to God a sacrifice that He had not requested – while ignoring what He had asked for. They met the same fate as Uzzah, who also ignored God’s directive for how to transport the Ark of the Covenant. God did not seem to appreciate the decision to ignore His word – even if they intended to please Him and even if they did not understand the reason for His directives.

        “People are hurt by these restrictions. People are not hurt by Christian women preaching, pastoring or deaconing. Open your heart. Read what Jesus said. ”

        I disagree that people “are hurt” by God’s design for gender roles in the church. I believe they may choose to be hurt by it. But, some people may be “hurt” by what God says about same sex marriage, or divorce – does that mean we should ignore what God has said?

        You asked me to open my heart and read what Jesus said. I have spent many years reading what Jesus said. What, exactly, were you wanting me to read?

        You wrote, “You said that you do not see why the prohibitions on roles for women should not be taken at face value. When you limit roles for women, you have given power and authority to males only – all males. You have made them earthly deities. That is what is wrong, and that is why those scriptures cannot be taken at face value.”

        I do not see how you could claim that taking the prohibitions on roles for women at face values makes men deities any more than the president of the US or a person’s boss is an “earthly deity.” Having different roles does not make one a deity.

        ” It is in my book. Read it, then we can talk about it. I’ve read the Bible as you will see in this book.”

        I think I understand you to say:
        The Scriptures cannot be taken at face value because doing so hurts people who want to do things that God has prohibited them from doing and elevates men to the level of a deity and God would never do that. I definitely find the idea of ignoring Scripture because some people don’t like it and choose to be hurt by it to be unscriptural. I certainly do not see any evidence for the idea that respecting the Scriptures on this at face value elevates man to a deity. AND, even if *I* found fault with Scripture, I do not believe it is man’s place (or women’s ), to tell God that He must be wrong in what He commanded.

        Thank you for your time. If your stand isn’t what I’ve understood it to be, please say so and I may give your book a read. If it is, then I think I”ll just stick with the Word.

        Thank you again for your time!

      • pnissila says:

        Nice to have your voice here. A few thoughts in response.

        People who engage in this conversation about boys and girls and men and women and who gets to preach and who doesn’t, when and to whom, always seem to focus only on that women are not to preach to men (and some folks say a boy is a man at thirteen, some say he’s a man at eighteen…it seems to vary with interpretation, custom, and tradition.). People rarely if ever talk about the other side of this issue: the apparent danger for men. For what else? Since God is fairly specific in His Word about the wages of sin and He is quite specific about what “sins” are (and they are to be avoided at all costs because of the damage caused by them), then if preaching to men is forbidden to half of the human race, according to this thinking then there must be some danger for men (at whatever age) to be within earshot of a woman preaching. It seems there must be some bad fruit for a man to hear a woman preaching, that he must be engaging in some kind of evil if he hears her, or perhaps some kind of sin. And I wonder if the danger starts the second boy turns into a man (again, whatever age that might be)?

        But curiously, if a woman preaches the same sermon or message to women, girls, and boys younger than the magic age, there seems to be no bad fruit or sin or danger for those in her hearing.

        But more importantly, forbidding one person from preaching to another because she has female genitalia and he has male genitalia doesn’t seem to align with who we now are in Christ Jesus (“neither male nor female, Jew nor Greek, slave nor freeman…”, and “the spirit gives life, the flesh profits nothing”…to cite two well-known Scriptures related to the issue). The fruit of this brand of teaching causes angst for both genders. In my nearly forty years of being a Christian, studying the Word of God, writing for numerous Christian publications, and growing in the Lord, it has been my observation that when the topic comes up, men get easily agitated, some, enraged. Women wonder if they are second class spiritual citizens. But mostly, what I have observed is that women who desire to share God’s Word simply do so, without discriminating on the basis of body parts. If they are forbidden in one church, no worries. There are other churches, Bible studies, print resources, and now the Internet. God’s Word is not bound, particularly these days. If men chose to or feel compelled to limit themselves to the sermons and teachings of only one-half the Body of Christ, for whatever reason, well, so be it. Meanwhile, praise God, the Word of God continues to reach to the ends of the earth, a good deal of it preached and taught by women.

        P.S. And I’ve always thought it might be very difficult for men who will not hear a sermon or teaching from a woman and who access print media when no pictures of authors are available and the authors have names like “Lynn,” or “Pat,” or “Jamie,” or “Jordyn.” ;)…

      • pnissila says:

        Shawnele–Phyllis again, here. I forgot to insert that there are also women who, when forbidden to preach to or teach boys of a certain (variable) age, or men, feel inspired to challenge this restriction. Yes, at “face value,” first glance, there does seem to be this restriction regarding women as noted by Paul in his letters. However, many others on this site and on other sites, women and men alike, have unpacked the contexts of those teachings, which exegeses you might find of interest. I defer to their scholarship, clarity, and knowledge of the original languages and cultural contexts.

        And then there’s Jesus’ practice when He was on earth, how He modeled treatment of women as well as of men, children, one’s enemies, and so forth.

        Although many minimize the equality with which Jesus treated men and women the record is clear. He not only honored women as He did men, He entrusted women with the Good News, indeed, commissioned them with it. For perhaps the most salient example, consider the first sermon ever preached, if the briefest, that was also the basis upon which the entire Christian faith rests: “He is risen.” Jesus chose a woman and not by default, as some believe is acceptable when no men are available (such as on the mission field). Jesus could have brushed past Mary and looked for a man. Of course, she was disbelieved at first by some of the men, but no matter. They soon found out the veracity of her words, her “sermon,” if you will–and her eye witness account. Jesus, however, never doubted her. Of course there is much else to learn “watching” how Jesus interacted with the women of His day and how they responded, though some men, even among His disciples, thought Him quite scandalous to do what He did (consider just the accounts of His interactions with the woman who anointed His feet and the woman at the well.). And I don’t recall a Scripture where Jesus says, to the effect, “and preach this Gospel to all nations (unless you are a woman, or if you are a woman, you can preach to men if there are no men available to preach, and don’t preach to boys of X age, either…”).

        We are all commissioned. On purpose. Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. Praise God.


  37. p.c. says:

    Actually it is a lie that G-d does not want women to preach. Men who say this prove they have no real understanding of scripture. Paul said, “I do not allow…” he never, ever implicated G-d in this opinion. He also said that men should remain celibate and not marry like him, unless of course they could not control themselves. So basically the men who are saying women should not preach are idolaters as they are saying that when Paul says , “I” he is speaking for G-d. They need to repent. Also, they willfully ignore everything else Paul said., So they are also deceived. Either way they need to repent.

    • Welcome! Glad you joined us. For some reason, “Why doesn’t God want women to preach?” has been one of my most often read and commented on blogposts. You are right. Paul did not say that God does not allow women to preach (how could he say that when women were commissioned to preach by Jesus?). Paul said he, Paul, did not all allow it. Probably the most telling of all the scriptures with the use of “I.” Of course I don’t know the Greek or Hebrew in using the word, but nobody seems to say that it was not Paul referring to himself when he said that. But the weight of God has been given to what Paul said, instead of the weight of Paul. Thanks again. Please continue reading. There are 388 more posts, most of them excellent (but not all).

  38. jimmyj says:

    All true believers are preachers.What Paul is talking about is that a women’s place is not behind the pulpit.No where in the bible will you find a women preaching from scripture.God does not change,people do.

    • Welcome! Thanks for joining us. Of course you are wrong. So you want a 2000 year old Paul tell women that they can preach behind a pulpit? To enlighten you, Paul did not tell MALE preachers that they could preach behind a pulpit, so why are you holding a woman to a standard that you don’t hold men to? Of course women did not preach from scripture in the Bible! Men didn’t either. BUT Mary of Bethany was learning at the feet of the Master, which is how Peter and John also learned. They went to the same “school,” so to speak. I can see that you discount all that Jesus did, in favor of Paul. That is too bad. We are Christians, not Paulians. As to God changing? Of course God changed. He sent his Son as Jesus – and Jesus was not the harsh God we find in the Old Testament. Jesus never told us to go and smite thousands of people.

      Open your heart and your mind. Examine what it is that gives you such pleasure to tell women they can’t preach. You have a mean spirit. Look to Jesus. Be like Christ. Retrieve your old bracelet WWJD and really think of what Jesus would do.

      • I guess people will always side step the truth, If you can stop long enough and desire to know the truth you will very carefully read !st Tim 1 through 3 and reading the salutation
        you will find that Paul was speaking to Timothy by the commandment of God. You can say what you want too about Gods word but He didn’t change it, so remember you will
        have to explain to Him why you changed it. Remember to add too or to take away has some strong consequences. Be careful, Follow Him.

      • Hi! Welcome back. It is always good to hear from you. It reminds us of why we are working so hard, and who and what we are up against. You might want to read my book Dethroning Male Headship so you can write and tell me what you think about that!

    • pnissila says:

      Consider the first “New Testament” message ever preached, the location, the preacher, and the circumstances: a woman, fresh from a grave site, with the news that rocked the world and formed the basis of everything we believe: “Jesus is alive!”

      Without the truth of this announcement, this “sermon,” this “preaching” we would not be the church, as in the living, breathing, spirit-filled believers who are really “the Body of Christ” not buildings or organizations or any other man-made structures.

      As Shirley notes in her response to you and to which I will add, preaching and teaching is not restricted to a pulpit in a building or to any one given person, be he male or be she female, Jew or Greek, young or old. The Holy Spirit, compared in Scripture with the wind that “blows whithersoever it will” (see John 3:8, for example) just continues to defy our efforts to codify and corral, and, shall I add, control, the word of God and how it is disseminated.

      And reams more can be said of “non-verbal” preaching, teaching, exampling, mentoring, inspiring, and so on, that is equally effective in communicating the length, depth, and breadth of God’s love for us entirely apart from and aside from the many limitations of how we think “church” ought to transpire in this era, though the message be good, to whit: a single man behind a single pulpit on a single day of the week during a single hour.

      Forsake old grudges and enjoy fresh breezes scented with eternal truths, today

  39. Mabel says:

    jimmyj: there has never been a “pulpit” in the bible. It is the message, not the piece of furniture. Great commission is for everyone, not men behind a “pulpit”, on Sunday mornings, inside a box called the “local church”, up on a stage, one man facing a congregation, etc. This is never found in the bible, nor in the Great Commission. Do not let tradition and men’s teaching blind you so totally to the living word of God. Since when is spreading the gospel and bringing people closer to God with the message from God only for men behind a piece of furniture? Have you read any church history where brave women went overseas and many are saved because of the message they brought? What is preaching? isn’t it bringing the word of God to people? and that is only for men? only when they are behind a sacred pc. of furniture? The Holy Spirit worked with women, so never call the Holy Spirit’s work Satan’s work. That is blasphemy. Be very careful.

  40. Retha says:

    To my friends here: Jesus never seemed to discuss scripture interpretation with Pharisees. He never went into details of how this verse in Deuteronomy should actually be understood. (“The original 3500 BC Hebrew meant this when using that word…”)

    Perhaps that should give us a clue how to treat people who “know” they are right – from the Bible. Jesus did not give extra texts to read through their legalistic lenses. He told them that they forget the most important things. Giving people more texts to read with blue and pink lenses may be, as Lewis Wells suggested, like drinking with an alcoholic.

    • Personally, I think that we have argued those scriptures far too much. We should move on to “what part about loving your neighbor don’t you understand?” It is not love when books, marriage seminars, sermons, blogs preach implied and all but said, inferiority of women. One commenter asked me “What new scripture do you have to prove that women can be preachers (leaders)? I told him I was going to disappoint him, but there was no new scripture, just the same Genesis through Revelation scripture.

      > Date: Fri, 16 Aug 2013 16:04:06 +0000 > To: bwebaptist.women@live.com >

      • Michelle says:

        Thank you for making me smile. I don’t know how you do the advocacy you do and still have your sense of humor. Your book is on my list to buy in September.

        People who have been taught to see one thing in scripture find it hard to see anything other than what they’ve been taught and then created a rut out of by studying with (in books or in person) people who hold the same opinion. Can we get them a ladder so they can climb out? But there is a lot of fear there…

        Ah, and I see that Retha quoted Lewis Wells. Nice! Good quote.

      • I loved hearing that I make you smile. Sometimes this struggle gets to me. Right now I am working through what I see happening in the Methodist churches and it really disturbs me. They are teaching Baptist marriage seminars, and that can’t be good. So I struggle with this. I am thanking you in advance for buying my book. Several have contacted me personally and I have sent them info on how to get a signed copy directly from me. If you would like that, please contact me via the contact me menu on my blog and I will give you information on PayPal or my address. The book has humor in it, but it also has intense passion. It is a call to action. Thank you so much for being a faithful supporter. Shirley

        > Date: Tue, 20 Aug 2013 23:24:29 +0000 > To: bwebaptist.women@live.com >

  41. Michelle says:

    Thank you! I may do that. A signed copy would be wonderful.

    After a brief conversation with a PCA minister who attended a more liberal seminary, I suspect that part of the problem may be a lack of grounded education in some institutions on why women are equal (according to scripture). It seems to be that views that women are not equal (which complementarianism is, as we know) are just “poo poo-ed” as not making any sense, and look what those silly/poor/misguided/uninformed/naive/old-fashioned people believe. But they don’t get into the deeper theological (“biblical” much as I dislike that word) arguments, the sort that Retha says maybe should be avoided in a different situation/with a different audience.

    So they graduate, they get out in the world, and don’t have a satisfactory response to the issue (or to comp pastors or laypeople), and in fact additionally may be taken in by the softer, gentler language that hierarchical comps have started using (which of course is WHY they’re using that language).

    Bottom line=complementarianism gives men authority over women. Period. But some people don’t see through the language…it could sound fairly innocuous, I guess.

    That’s a huge oversight by at least one fairly liberal school of theology.

  42. Michelle says:

    ps. The seminary I reference is affiliated with the UMC.

    • I am worried about their soft stance on complementarianism. I wasn’t aware of it until recently.

      > Date: Thu, 22 Aug 2013 02:42:38 +0000 > To: bwebaptist.women@live.com >

      • Michelle says:

        Me, either! It’s not good news, but hardly surprising if the issue is not discussed in their seminaries and/or churches. They can be very different environments…where “gender roles”, aka sex/gender stereotypes, may not be discussed: much less enforced. This is a good thing, I think, but I have more thoughts. I don’t expect any to be new to you: I’m thinking out loud, as it were….

        The word “complementarian” may be unknown to them, and we know “complementary”–a word they may be familiar with–has no hint of hierarchy in its meaning.

        “Egalitarian” means something pretty different to them, too, having not been involved in the dispute at hand. “Gender egalitarianism” might be closer, but still. “Feminism” may not be a bad word to some of them, and may not connote a lack of God or faith.

        We really do speak a foreign language that is difficult for those outside of the struggle against christian gender hierarchy to understand.

        Gender hierarchy, on the other hand, borrows largely from U.S. (and perhaps others, I don’t know) culture and popular culture:
        the poorly researched “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” book (I’ve a great book to recommend on that book, if anyone is interested)

        men are to take initiative and women are to receive–How many times has the issue of whether and when a woman should contact a man/ask a man out been hashed out in popular culture, usually starting out with the understanding that the man should be responsible for initiating dates?

        Movies, books, advertisements, TV shows–most of them play to stereotypes of girls and boys, women and men. Most horribly so-called “romantic comedies”, but it’s everywhere in our popular culture.

        You get the point, and this is *nothing* new for you.

        The subtle “complementarian” is SO much more dangerous than the obvious “patriarchal”. The language sounds soft, gentle, pleasing maybe to some/in some circumstances. Add to that the fit with the culture’s general ideas about what it means to be female and what it means to be male…and having started with a lack of Bible-based education from the perspective of evangelicals about the issues involved, and it’s easy to see how someone could be taken in.

  43. Julie says:

    Whenever I hear the word “complementarian”, I think of a paraphrase of that famous line from George Orwell’s “Animal Farm”:

    All Christians are created equal,
    But some are more equal than others.

    • Welcome! This has been the most commented on blog that I have ever written. I am glad you found it and joined in. In all the comments, nobody has answered the question “Why” doesn’t God want women to preach. Many have given scriptures to support their stance that God doesn’t want women to preach, and many have written in support of women preachers. But none have answered the question.

  44. David says:

    According to covenental theology, God has a hierarchy of authority. The woman is under the man’s authority. The man is under God’s authority. For a woman to teach men us to userp his authority. It has nothing to do with ability. There are many ways for a woman to fulfill her ministry gifts without being a pastor.

  45. Mabel says:

    If doing ministry has nothing to do with ability, would you have a man with zero ability be your pastor? Think “gift”. All our abilities are from God. If God gives women the gift of pastoring, he meant for them to pastor. Those who are given 1000 talents should grow them and reap 2000 when the master comes back. Woe to those who stand in the way of women using the gifts that God gave them. Why would God pours his spirit on men and women alike? Why would God chose Deborah to be the supreme leader of Israel? It is true that not all women want to be pastors or are gifted to be pastors, but likewise, there are many ways for a man to fulfill his ministry gifts without being a pastor too.
    The conventional tradition is full of double standard and ill logic. Sexism and racism are twins. Would you ever say: there are many ways for blacks to fulfill their ministry gifts without being pastors? Does that make any sense to you? That is racism. Apply the same logic to women, and you have sesism. Remember, women are made in the image of God. THis obsession of creating a division between the genders leads to throwing away the rest of the bible except those few proof texts. Worse, it leads to all kinds of illogical arguments and making God into a fool.

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