Question:

The question of women pastors/preachers have been a hot debate among Christians especially the evangelicals.  I do believe that everyone whether man or woman has the freedom to do the work of God, if that work is done with the sincerity of heart.  The gift of the Holy Spirit is given to both men and women in the New Testament. This is what makes the New Testament a New Testament rather than the Old Testament in which women did not have such privileges. As a Christian I personally believe that God can  call anyone to be an instrument in His vineyard whether male or female to bring souls to His kingdom.   God gave women  the same privileges and opportunities as men, given in   the New Testament. Relegating women to second-class citizenship was abolished when Jesus Christ died on the cross.  As it says in Galatians 3:28 “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” In Matthews 28:19, Jesus Christ gave commissions to His followers (i.e. both men and women) “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things, that I have commanded you, and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.Amen.” Are we counting women out of this Great commission?  Do your ministry believe in sending single women out as missionaries or church planters? If they are missionaries in foreign lands and they won souls for the kingdom, will they have to wait for a man comes before they start a church and become the pastor of such a church?   As far as women in the pulpit, in the Book of Acts, you will find that Philip and four of his  daughters were preachers (Acts 21:8-9).   I think we should focus our attention on what is building a strong church rather than what wants to tear the church down by petty arguments.  I am a Christian (born-again), strong Bible believer and my focus is on winning  souls for the kingdom not on whether women are pastors or not.  If God wants to use women to preach His Good News as to bring souls to His kingdom, whom am I to say No.

Answer:

You wrote: “The question of women pastors/preachers have been a hot debate among Christians especially the evangelicals.”

Yes, it has, and that is why they need a clear answer. Romans 12:2 says, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, THAT YE MAY PROVE WHAT IS THAT GOOD, AND ACCEPTABLE, AND PERFECT WILL OF GOD.” There is a way to end the debate, and to prove what God’s will is in this matter. Ephesians 5:17 says, “Wherefore BE YE NOT UNWISE, BUT UNDERSTANDING WHAT THE WILL OF THE LORD IS.”

You wrote: “I do believe that everyone whether man or woman has the freedom to do the work of God, if that work is done with the sincerity of heart.”

We know from the Scriptures that many people try to serve God sincerely, but they are sincerely wrong. The Apostle Paul was one of them. He was astonished when he found out that he was not really serving God, but was persecuting Him and His people. Acts 9:1-6 says, “And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.” If Paul would have gone on in his sincerity, he would have died and went to hell, so God stopped him that day and enlightened him to what he was really doing.

The Jews were also sincerely serving God — sincere, but in ignorance. Romans 10:1-3 says, “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.” They were sincere, but not according to knowledge, so Paul was earnestly trying to reach them with the truth.

You wrote, “God gave women the same privileges and opportunities as men, given in the New Testament.”

The New Testament is very clear that women are not to preach before a congregation where men are assembled. 1 Timothy 2:11-12 says, “Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I SUFFER NOT A WOMAN TO TEACH, NOR TO USURP AUTHORITY OVER THE MAN, BUT TO BE IN SILENCE.” In the next two verses God explains why. “For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.” The first reason is because of the order of creation. The second reason is that because Eve was quickly deceived by the serpent. For those reasons, God very clearly said that women are not to teach or be in authority over men.

You wrote, “Relegating women to second-class citizenship was abolished when Jesus Christ died on the cross.”

God did not abolish women from being second-class citizens when Jesus died on the cross, because God has never considered women as second-class citizens. It is the lost that invented the “concubine system and mentality” — not God. God made one woman for one man to be one with him. Genesis 2:24 says, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” God never made men and women as different “classes.” Men and women have different roles in life — so designed by God, but they were never created to be different classes. We have different roles than our bosses; than police officers; than the President — but no one person is of a different class or “better” than the other. We all just have different roles and responsibilities to which we have been appointed.

God tells women in the New Testament to submit to their own husbands just like the godly women did in the Old Testament — nothing has changed. And God tells the men likewise to honor their wives. 1 Peter 3:1-7 says, “Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. FOR AFTER THIS MANNER IN THE OLD TIME THE HOLY WOMEN ALSO, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, BEING IN SUBJECTION UNTO THEIR OWN HUSBANDS: EVEN AS SARA OBEYED ABRAHAM, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement. LIKEWISE, YE HUSBANDS, dwell with them according to knowledge, GIVING HONOUR UNTO THE WIFE, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.” God has never looked at women as being second-class, and has never condoned men treating them like that. It is women that are rebellious to the role that God ordained for them, who accuse God and men of making them second-class citizens, because they cannot preach.

You wrote, “As far as women in the pulpit, in the Book of Acts, you will find that Philip and four of his daughters were preachers (Acts 21:8-9).”

Acts 21:8-9 says, “And the next day we that were of Paul’s company departed, and came unto Caesarea: and we entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, which was one of the seven; and abode with him. And the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy.” You will notice that it never says that Philip’s daughters preached in any pulpit or church, or before men. They could have prophesied without disobeying those instructions.

You wrote, “I think we should focus our attention on what is building a strong church rather than what wants to tear the church down by petty arguments.”

What makes a church strong? Following the Word of God — not man and his ideas. It is from the Bible that we get faith. Romans 10:17 says, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” It is only from the Bible that we know what pleases God. Hebrews 11:6 says, “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” It is only from the Bible that we know that God wants His church on earth. Matthew 16:18 says, “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” And God has made it very clear that He does not want women teaching men and being in authority over them. That is not debating “petty” things — that is obeying what God has clearly stated is His will.

What more does God have to say before we acknowledge what He wants? 1 Timothy 2:11-14 says, “Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I SUFFER NOT A WOMAN TO TEACH, NOR TO USURP AUTHORITY OVER THE MAN, BUT TO BE IN SILENCE. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.”

Your question about Philip’s daughters is also answered in 1 Corinthians 14:34-38, where it deals with tongues and prophesying. “LET YOUR WOMEN KEEP SILENCE IN THE CHURCHES: FOR IT IS NOT PERMITTED UNTO THEM TO SPEAK; BUT THEY ARE COMMANDED TO BE UNDER OBEDIENCE, AS ALSO SAITH THE LAW. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: FOR IT IS A SHAME FOR WOMEN TO SPEAK IN THE CHURCH. What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only? IF ANY MAN THINK HIMSELF TO BE A PROPHET, OR SPIRITUAL, LET HIM ACKNOWLEDGE THAT THE THINGS THAT I WRITE UNTO YOU ARE THE COMMANDMENTS OF THE LORD. But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.” The women were not even permitted to ask questions publicly about what was being prophesied. They were told to wait until they got home, and to ask their husbands about it there. The Bible makes it clear that a spiritual man will acknowledge that these are not just the ideas of a male chauvinist (Paul), or just instructions for another culture in another day — but the clear commands of God Almighty.

You wrote, “If God wants to use women to preach His Good News as to bring souls to His kingdom, whom am I to say No.”

It is clear that God has said “No” to women preachers. Who are we to say “Yes,” when God has so clearly said “No”? It is but another sign of the End Times. We see women preaching in the churches in the Book of Revelation, and we see God’s condemnation of it. Revelation 2:20 says, “Notwithstanding I HAVE A FEW THINGS AGAINST THEE, BECAUSE THOU SUFFEREST THAT WOMEN JEZEBEL, WHICH CALLETH HERSELF A PROPHETESS, TO TEACH AND TO SEDUCE MY SERVANTS to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.” That is one of the reasons that God forbid women to preach and teach, because Eve was quickly deceived. Isaiah 3:12 says, “As for my people, children are their oppressors, and WOMEN RULE OVER THEM. O my people, THEY WHICH LEAD THEE CAUSE THEE TO ERR, and destroy the way of thy paths.”

The subject of women preaching is a hot debate, because people are either ignorant of what God has said, or else they know and are acting in rebellion toward what He has so clearly said.