Women in Church
Regarding female pastors in the church, is there anything in the Scripture that can see that in a positive light?
I don’t think that there’s Scripture that absolutely forbids women from being
pastors. In the Bible in the Old Testament, we see women that are judges.
Deborah was a judge in the Old Testament. We see women that are prophetesses in
the Old Testament. In the New Testament, we see women that are prophetesses in
the book of Acts. So you would think that if a woman could be a female prophet,
that there is a place where a woman could be a female pastor.
But being a woman does not qualify her to be a pastor just like being a man does
not qualify a man to be a pastor. What qualifies us is the calling of God upon
our lives. There has to be a calling. I think that, in general, the pastoral
role is best utilized if a man is in that role, but I don’t think that we can
forbid women from preaching or teaching.
I think the Scriptures that refer to “women should not teach” are referring to
women should not usurp man’s authority; women should not teach in a way that is
in authority over a man that is their covering. There should always be a
covering. If a woman has a ministry, she should have a husband who is her
covering or she should have a pastor who is her covering.
But in general, I treat it like this: that women are not called by God
originally to be the fathers of their children, but because some men do not take
the responsibility, I think that women can be a single parent and can do a
successful job at it. And I don’t think that a woman who has children absolutely
has to have a husband – if she’s divorced or if her husband has died or
something like that, I think she can be effective at carrying on and leading her
family as a mother if that’s God’s will and that’s something that she desires to
do and that she’s willing to do. In the same way, even though it wasn’t God’s
original intention for that to be the case, I think in the same way, a woman can
lead a church if that’s what she’s called to do and if there’s no man to do it.
So, that would be how I would answer that. I think that the pressure and the
responsibility of being a pastor is enormous and I think that a man is more
equipped for that because of the nature of the responsibility, the fathering
that takes place through a pastoral role. But that doesn’t mean that a woman
who’s an effective leader can’t have a staff of godly male leaders who help
counsel men and pastor men and all of that if she’s the primary preacher. Again,
it’s acceptable, but is it the best? Maybe it’s not the best, but it can be done
and it has been done and there are those who have done a successful job at it.
There are responsibilities and character qualities that need to be in a person
to fulfill a pastoral role or an elder’s role. A person needs to have those
attributes and characteristics if they’re going to be effective and qualified as
a leader. And again, the number one qualification is the calling of God upon
somebody’s life. I think that more common and more appropriate is women who are
teachers. Women have such a great role of teaching in our society. Mothers
teaching their children. Women are usually better school teachers than men; at
least the history demonstrates that. I’m not saying that men can’t do an
effective job at that, but I’m saying that women seem to be more gifted in
teaching and instructing. And I think that that’s good. I think, though, that
running a church requires a lot more than just teaching. And it is a burden that
I don’t wish upon men that aren’t called to it, let alone women that are not
called to it. I hope that helps.
Women in Church
I am confused about what it means to submit to your husband. Could you explain to me what Paul means when he says submit to your husband, and why does Paul say he forbids women to teach or speak in church and yet there are many women preachers?
Well, there were women preachers and women prophetesses in the New Testament.
Paul was referring to the fact that they shouldn’t speak to their husband in a
way that would interrupt the service if they had a question, that they should be
silent if they have a question and reserve that for asking their husbands at
The other thing Paul was teaching was that a woman should not usurp the
authority of a man, and the implication there is nor should a man usurp the
authority of another man. A woman can be in a position of responsibility, but
the Bible says she should have her head covered, or she should be under a
covering, under a spiritual covering. That’s what licenses a woman to be able to
preach and teach that she’s under the covering of a man.
There are many examples in the Bible of people that were prophetesses or
teachers – Deborah in the Old Testament and Agabus’ daughters in the New
Testament. They were prophetesses, which means they preached and proclaimed the
Word of God. But Paul was referring in Corinthians to a practice of women
interrupting the service and all that. He was setting things in order. He was
not saying that women should never be able to preach.