Should a Woman Be Allowed to Preach?

This is an article of clarification, not one for argumentation.

I am simply, as the pastor, answering a sincere question we occasionally receive. If, after reading, you do not have the same conclusion as me on this issue then I am perfectly fine with that, and hope you will be as well.

As Augustine once said, ““In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.”

I do not have a problem with women preaching the Gospel because Jesus did not have a problem with them doing so.

It was women that were first commissioned by Jesus to preach that He was alive after His resurrection.

When the Holy Spirit fell on the believers in Acts 2:1-4, Scripture clearly says He filled everyone in the room, and they all began to declare the Gospel.

If your blood is beginning to boil and you are screaming, “What about what Paul said?”

I would ask you the same thing.

If we take the totality of everything Paul said in all of his letters, and then also look at the fact that he mentioned women and their actions/behavior in the church—we would find that he speaks about the issue five times (at the most, depending upon interpretation).

One of the things I am learning when reading the Scriptures is, even though I believe every word of it is true and can be fully trusted, there are passages that had more relevancy at the time they were written than they do today.

(For example—Deuteronomy 25:11-12 speaks to the issue of how to deal with women when it comes to an incredibly sensitive issue; however, that’s not a verse we quote or put on coffee mugs today!)

So while I acknowledge Paul addressed the issue on a limited basis, I really do believe that to base our view of women on these few passages means we have to ignore an enormous portion of Scripture that validates the preaching, teaching and leadership of women.

Deborah (Judges 4-5—if God allowed her words to speak to us, can we not allow women to speak as well?).

Esther was clearly put in a position of leadership (and had a whole book named after her!).

In Acts 21:8-9 we see that Phillip had four unmarried daughters who prophesied.

Paul clearly says in Romans 16:1 that Phoebe is a deacon (leadership position) in the church.

Then there was the amazing husband and wife team of Priscilla and Aquila. (If women were always supposed to be silent in every situation, then why does Paul mention her name specifically on three separate occasions in his writings? If it was all about the men then why not just leave her name out altogether?

I’ve often heard people call these ladies “exceptions”—but I see them as examples as I honestly do not believe women are forbidden to preach the Gospel.

(And, just a side note, so many of the people who hold the anti-woman preacher viewpoint grew up in church where the Sunday school teachers were mostly … wait for it … WOMEN! Good gosh, if it were not for women there might not even be a church!!!)

Bottom line—there are over 7 BILLION people on the planet and over half of them do not know Jesus. I think our focus should be on the fact that someone is trying to reach them rather than telling them they can’t because they do not have the proper body parts!

Let me conclude this article by once again saying I will not debate this, nor will I allow a theological cesspool to form on my FB page. This is simply my statement, and my focus at this point is NEXT SUNDAY.

Once again, you do not have to agree with me on this. This is an open-handed issue that I love to discuss but refuse to end a friendship over.  

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Perry Noble
Perry Noble is the founding and senior pastor of NewSpring Church in South Carolina. The church averages 26,000 people during weekend services at multiple campuses throughout the state. You can read all of Perry’s unfiltered thoughts about life and leadership at PerryNoble.com. Don’t worry, he holds nothing back.