The voice and the scriptures

I heard it again last week.  “I don’t want to hear a woman preach.”  The person saying it was the daughter of a Baptist minister, and she had just given me a three-minute sermon on how good Jesus was and how we should live like Christ.  It wasn’t that she thought a woman shouldn’t preach. She just didn’t want to hear a woman preach.

I know what I should have said, and you know what I should have said.

“What about your voice?”

You don’t want to hear a woman preach, but you have just ‘preached’ to me. 

“I don’t want to hear a woman’s voice,” but you have listened to a woman’s voice as she sang a solo. You have sent a woman’s voice to the mission field to speak to those of a different color skin and language.

We are hypocrites.

Whenever your church says that you can’t preach, or be a deacon, they are telling you a whole lot more than just that they don’t want to hear a woman preach. Being a pastor and being a deacon are elevated church positions in most of our minds.  But they don’t stop at that. Every church decides what it is going to allow and what it is not going to allow the women to do. They decide what voice they will allow a woman to use.

They tell you that the scriptures say “A woman must be silent, a woman can’t be a deacon because she can’t have a wife, and she can’t have authority over a man.”

So churches apply these scriptures in different ways.  Some don’t want to hear a woman’s voice, but others will as long as it is put to music. Some don’t allow women to take up the offering, or pass out a visitor’s card, or the church attendance sheets, or go to a business meeting.  Catholics allow women to serve the communion, but Baptists won’t. Baptists allow women to be on a pastor search committee, but Catholics don’t. 

Some denominations don’t allow choirs because women would be singing from behind the pulpit.  All women singers must face the pulpit and look neither to the right or left, or behind them.

They are all using the same scriptures. They have the nerve to tell us that these scriptures are as clear as they can be.  (You have my permission to laugh here.  I am.)

Dr. Mohler, Dr Grudem with your silly treatise on what women can do in the church, Dr Patterson, Dr Wright of the SBC, Dr Page of the SBC, Dr Piper, you men are crazy!  What you are teaching is crazy.  It doesn’t make a bit of sense!

Pastor, what you are teaching about women in the church is crazy, and hypocritical, and it doesn’t make a bit of sense.

Women, if you sit in a church that tells you that you can’t be a pastor because the Bible says so, and then that church won’t let you be seen taking up the offering, or passing out a visitor card, or singing when turning around to shake hands, then you are crazy!

These people, and those who do not speak up, perpetuate this trivilization of the scriptures.  Does God really care which way you face when you sing?

Stand up! Speak up! After all, your church is your place of service, and as such, you have a right to speak out.  Of course, they may tell you to ‘get out.’

About bwebaptistwomenforequality

Shirley Taylor writes with humor and common sense, challenging the church body to reclaim equality for Christian women.
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12 Responses to The voice and the scriptures

  1. Mabel says:

    Thanks for writing, Shirley. I agree with you 1000%!! These so called theologians have no idea how crazy their “teachings” are. And the women who are deceived by them have a huge blind spot that blocks their vision of the whole Christian faith: that we are men and women, one in Christ, that we work side by side. Phoebe carried Paul’s letter to Rome and she was logically the one who answered any questions the romans who read Paul’s letter wanted to ask.


  2. Michelle says:

    The people outside of the churches that promote this belief can’t make any *sense* out of this stuff. It takes indoctrination into gender roles and the shaping and application of a specialized sort of “logic” to make any of this crud make any sense.

    So then it’s frustrating when we try to use logic to explain why it doesn’t make sense….they’re trapped inside this closed system…

    I love that–she gave you a small sermon–“What about your voice?” heh.


  3. Kristen says:

    The scriptures say “A woman must be silent, a woman can’t be a deacon because she can’t have a wife, and she can’t have authority over a man.”

    Except, of course, that they don’t. That’s what they are interpreted to say, but the words you have written above cannot be found anywhere in the scriptures. *grin*


    • That is the funny thing about this, isn’t it? What I said is what women are taught, but not what the scriptures teach! And when you corrupt the scriptures, it can be read to mean anything you want it to be and that is what they do.


      • Tom Parker says:

        I 100% agree with this post. Women are going to have to start making an issue about their role in their churchs. It may just have to move to the point of their boycotting serving in certain “traditional roles”.


      • Amen! We;ve kept silent far too long, and have just put up with the situation. At some point we are going to have to start speaking out. Did you know that I am working with a team that is bringing a conference to Houston, sponsored by Christians for Biblical Equality and Fuller, myself and others. It will be in Houston April 27-28, 2012.


  4. Michael Westmoreland-White says:

    My two daughters have had a female pastor their entire lives. It’s a good thing that we sometimes have male guest preachers here at Jeff St. Baptist Community at Liberty (Louisville, KY) or my daughters would have ONLY heard a woman preach. My oldest is 16.


    • Welcome! We are so glad to have you jon us. We are also glad to hear that your church has a woman pastor, and that your daughters are growing up with the knowledge that God calls women. Thank you for letting us know that your church has recognized that women are called by God, and can answer that call. My sister, and many other women tell me that they love to hear a woman preach. Good to hear from you.


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