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Women Must Know Their Role

Posted by Job on March 2, 2007

I Corinthians 14:34-35 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.


Update: See my previous posts here and here as well as earlier essays here (written back when I was still a Word of Faith/prosperity adherent) and here on this very important issue. I have been advised of legitimate alternative translations of  I Corinthians 14:34 and I Corinthians 14:35 stating that it only applies to wives of husbands. However, that still leaves I Timothy 2:9 – 14. See the parallel translations here: Verse 9, Verse 10, Verse 11, Verse 12, Verse 13, and Verse 14. I do agree that it is possible in theory for a woman to be a pastor and comply with all 8 verses, but even under the most liberal possible interpretations, it would impose real restrictions, including forgoing the privilege of being married. Now if God has called you to do this thing, women preachers, then you must fulfill those 8 verses. Even then, it would exclude you from being a head pastor, bishop, elder, etc. or anything else that would place you in authority over a man. But realize this, women pastors: THIS ONLY APPLIES TO THE CHURCH! If you have the gifts of preaching and exhorting, you are welcome to use it outside the walls of the church in a capacity where  you will not be in a position of authority over your husband or any other man. Street preaching, for instance. Internet evangelism and other electronic media is another. So is writing books and training preachers at seminaries. There are lots of ways for you to serve God and use your gifts. The only question is whether you love God more than you love yourself and are hence willing to serve Him in spirit (joyfully and willfully) and in truth (in complete obedience to His Word as given in Scripture).

The passage above is given by many as one of the most revolting examples of sexism in the Bible and in Christianity. It has troubled me greatly, not so much because of any feminist leanings on my part so much as my personal experiences with women with very strong gifts of the Holy Spirit. Because of my said experiences and also of many Bible verses and examples that supported them, I have long felt that the roles imposed on women because of their gender to be restrictive and unfair, and that as a result it harmed not so much individual women, the status of woman, or “womanhood” (again, as I am no feminist) but rather it deprived the Body of Christ the use of their many talents. It was for that reason that I wrote this essay on the topic.  But after writing that essay to deal with my personal experiences and feelings, I began to see current movements in the Body of Christ regarding women preachers that greatly concerned me. After considering what I have been seeing, it served as a powerful reminder to me that our Christian walk CANNOT be determined by our emotions and experiences, no matter how legitimate. Instead, they must be led by the Word of God under the guidance of the Holy Spirit with Jesus Christ alone as the head. In short, all scripture is inspired by the Holy Spirit, and being God the Holy Spirit knows what it speaks and why. It is because of issues such as feminism, economic inequality, racism, slavery, environmentalism, etc. that people decide that the Bible and Christianity are evil, or that they should not be strictly adhered to: that the Bible should be a strong reference but ultimately bow to modern values and thinking, or that the Bible should be viewed strictly as a bunch of allegorical stories to provide a moral framework for society. We must reject these notions unconditionally and continue with faith in what the Bible plainly says and means, no matter how hard it is and no matter what the cost. Why? Because consider the alternative: complete chaos with no truths, no standards, and men and women each doing what is right in his own eyes because they have cast off the true God and set themselves up in His Place. Which is not to say that we cannot be sensitive to the legitimate emotions and experiences of people. I am not a woman who has the gifts and ambitions to be the pastor of a church, who would be very successful if given that opportunity, but has had to deal with that opportunity denied me. But my own experiences as a black man in America in having to deal with the fact that the Bible does not call slavery a sin or in any way condemn it or that it not only does not promise racial or economic equality, but it does not even consider it a GOAL of Christianity gives me some idea of what it must be like, and because of that I can in some fashion be sensitive to what these women may be going through. In a similar fashion, no matter what race, class, station, or group you are in, you will have experienced some loss, heartbreak, or unrealized hopes or expectations that caused you real hurt, and through those injured feelings you can perhaps relate to what such women are going through. We are not to use those experiences, however, to justify people departing from what the Bible says. Rather, we are to use them to encourage people in their trials and temptations, and tell them that the same God that comforted us and brought us through our times of hurt and helped us understand His Plan for us can help women understand why they are not to preach or hold certain offices in certain churches, or indeed certain offices in ANY churches. It is not humbling yourself to some gigantic male conspiracy, but rather humbling yourself to a God who, despite our frequently calling YHWH “Father”, in truth has no gender! God created genders in man because of the needs of man. God created woman because man needed woman, and as a result he created woman in such a way where woman would also need man. It was not because of any need or inadequacy on God’s part that He made man; but all according to His desire alone. And man was no so much a representation of the true being, existence, or nature of God – for were that to be the case MAN WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO SIN! – but rather man is only in God’s IMAGE. So the roles that God has given man and woman to serve His Plan in our exceedingly short walk through time and creation as human beings has NOTHING to do with our value to Him, and it has very little to do with our true existence as created spirit beings that will either live in Heaven or die in the lake of fire forever based on our willingness to submit to God alone and reject ourselves. In other words, the fact that a woman is not allowed to preach is as relevant in the eyes of God and in that woman’s ability to serve God in the capacity that God made and intended for her to and in whatever role that woman’s spirit being will have in the world to come as the fact that some will go through this life rich and others poor. Now we all know that there is going to be no poverty and no lack in Heaven; nor will there be any distinction between races or genders.   Now this is not to say that the limits and barriers imposed upon women by religion throughout the ages have been biblical, or even motivated by a love for God and a desire to serve Him by following the Bible. And no, Christians should not suffer those things. God calls for us to stand up against those who cruelly oppress, especially when the oppressors claim to be followers of God and the oppressed are God’s people. But the question of what office or role a woman who is obviously very gifted through the Holy Spirit and is also mature in the fruits of the Holy Spirit should take is yet another example of why no one should serve as a pastor or church official unless they are called by God and in right standing with God so that they can hear His Instructions directly through the Holy Spirit. If God has raised up a Miriam, Lydia, or Deborah, then that woman should be allowed to rise up to where God has called her. Otherwise, that woman should sit. In other words, she is, indeed, no different from a man. Now this is where religion sets in: there are obviously lots of MEN serving who have not been called to their offices and are not faithful in their offices OR in right standing with God, and none of the religious people say a word about that fact. But let one woman stand up who has been called by God rise up and start preaching, teaching, prophesying, and healing, and that is when the religious people get angry. Of course, those demons of religion and hypocrisy are to be bound, rebuked, and cast from the Body of Christ, and those people who refuse to stop dealing in those demons should be left behind to their tormentors. But in doing so, we are not to replicate their error by creating our own false religions that allow women to serve in roles where God has not called them, or in roles where God called them, found them unsuitable because of some lack in their hearts, and did not choose them. Which, again, is the very same standard that we should hold MEN to but are not!  So, we must deal with the two ways where elevating women to positions where they have not been called is causing all sorts of trouble these days. The first is the most obvious: the liberal so – called churches who have totally rejected the truth of the Bible. They would like to believe that they were the first to elevate women preachers because of their progressive philosophies; they are wrong as charismatics were doing the same decades before (more on them later). The reason why they are elevating women pastors is not out of any true desire to help women themselves or to better society through them. Why? Because the only way to help women or to better society through women is by causing them to graciously lovingly submit to their Lord God through their Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ according to the instructions given to them by their comforter the Holy Spirit. Now of course for this to happen, one must have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Many of these churches were not being led by people who had a personal relationship or salvation through Jesus Christ to begin with, but rather only religion, doctrine, traditions, liturgies, sacraments, dogma, etc. So therefore it was very easy for them to depart from the truth because the truth was never in them. How sad that so many Christians are willing to support those who do not have the truth merely because they are willing to adhere to the APPEARANCE of truth! Many churches and congregations may not be “liberal”, but there is still no love or Holy Spirit within them, and they are not leading people to Jesus Christ. They are just holding onto tradition. But tradition cannot save, people, only Jesus Christ can, and when you have tradition without Jesus Christ, then the tradition makes the sin and separation from God even worse, because it causes people to think that by their tradition they are righteous. That is the same sin as the Pharisees, my people, and from such turn away. So, we should not praise churches merely because they stand against abortion, homosexuality, women preachers, or revisionism and claim to Bible – believing fundamentalists. I have to be honest with you: it is easy to believe in the Bible. The Bible is a book. A tangible object that you can touch, smell, and feel, with words that you can read and interpret. It takes up a definite place in space and time. You can rip it to shreds, burn it, and go out and buy a new one! So yes, it is easy to trust in and love a Bible. All you have to do is decide that you want to. And the same for a preacher, a church, a denomination, a doctrine, or a movement. But none of those can save you. No, the Bible cannot save you, dear friends! Only God can. It is hard to believe in the unseen one who created the universe and who can save you. It is easy to obey words in a book, but very hard to obey in spirit and in truth the God who gives those words life. So yes, the Pharisees believed in and loved the scriptures. They just did not believe in or love the God who wrote them! Without God, a belief in God, and a love for God, those scriptures become just dead words. And that is what religion does: it tells you that if you believe in the Bible, then you believe in God, and ultimately if you believe in and love your religion, then you believe in and love God. None of those are true my friends! For that reason, these “conservative” churches are leading just as many astray as the “liberal” ones are, and the fact that no one is expressing outrage over that fact shows just how bad things are: bad indeed. But still, the liberal churches are merely taking advantage of the feelings of rejection and rebellion of women (and the demons that go along with them) and using them to train said women to be their very effective spokesmen against the true God. But be not mistaken, they do not err so much merely by elevating the women, for the men are doing the same thing in both liberal AND conservative churches. No, the error is these churches being led by those who are not called by God, who do not love God, and as such are not serving God or causing others to. And now we come to the charismatics. At first, there was sound practice in these churches regarding women who had spiritual gifts and were using them to edify the Body of Christ and evangelize sinners in a manner according to sound biblical example and doctrine and with the guide of the Holy Spirit, with the men leading the church and the women doing that which the Holy Spirit commanded the male church leadership to have the women do. But this sound practice quickly departed. I suppose that it began when a man would be the pastor of a church and his wife the co – pastor, and as women generally outlive men, the husband dies. Now in the Bible, all leaders who obeyed God were given well in advance of their passing a succession plan. So, in this case perhaps neither the man or woman were ever following God, or maybe they followed God in the beginning but departed, or they refused to follow whatever succession plan that God gave them. In any event, the result would be the widow running the church. This became more commonplace, and multiplied. You had situations where a woman would assume leadership of a church, and the man had no sons, only daughters. The result? The widow and her daughters are occupying all of the top positions in the ministry. Of course, this is not to say that it is necessarily God’s Will for a ministry to pass from a man to his son’s, and it is mighty revealing that when this DOES happen, when a minister builds a “satellite church” for the sole purpose of allowing his son or son – in – law to run it, for instance, that nothing is said of it. Again, that is those religious demons and worldliness demons at work. It may be appropriate to leave the family home, investments, or business in the hands of your son, wife, or whoever you see fit in the world, but not in God’s affairs. Why? These churches and ministries are not PROPERTIES to be inherited, split, divided, sold, etc. as we see fit. Why? Because they do not belong to us! They do not belong to PEOPLE, they do not belong to DENOMINATIONS or CONVENTIONS, they do not belong to PARISHES, DIOCES, or THE
VATICAN; they belong to GOD!
And then it continued; as divorce became more acceptable and commonplace in the church, the man and the sons went one way with their ministry, and the woman and the daughters went the other way with theirs. And now it has evolved to the point where in the charismatic movement there is this entire subculture run entirely by women. They preach from “a women’s perspective”, talk about “women’s issues”, have “women’s conferences”, “women’s prayer groups”, “women’s revivals”, etc. They produce books, magazines, videos, and even regular TV and radio shows about “Christian womanhood” or “Christian sisterhood.” Now I am not going to name any names, for I do believe that some of these women and their works were done at the direction of God, even if only initially, so I am not going to raise my hand against God’s anointed in this matter. You might ask “How is naming names and speaking against them like striking them?” Simple: life and death is in the power of the tongue, and I am not going to use destructive words against anything that is working the Will of God lest God allow me to be destroyed by the same evil that I am speaking into existence with my words! What I am speaking of is in Psalms and Proverbs, people! But just because I am not naming their names does not mean that YOU do not know who these people are. If you do not know anyone who fits this description, then it means that you have not been exposed to them or your eyes have not been opened to it yet. But now that you are empowered with this knowledge, you should be able to recognize it when you see it. But chances are you DO know someone who fits this description, and if you did not know that it was wrong already, then I am here to tell you that it is. If you were having feelings that it was wrong but have been suppressing them because of your emotions and experiences, now you have all that you need to start rejecting your flesh and following after God’s Spirit as spelled out in His Word: this charismatic women’s subculture is wrong. It is man’s order rather than God’s order.

This is not to say that these women are feminists. In a way, it is actually worse, as feminists rose up in response to an actual worldly need. But this Christian women’s subculture did not rise up to meet any need in the church. It rose up because women were unwilling to submit to the leadership that God placed over them. Now of course, men do the same all the time, and I have certainly not spared men in my previous messages. Now there is not anything “especially wrong” with this Christian women’s subculture. No, it is just plain old wrong, and plain old wrong is just bad enough in and of itself!   

Now I could come up with a bunch of examples of the errors that I have heard and seen representatives of this subculture commit, but I shall refrain. Why? It is pointless. What good is preaching from an anecdotal, non – representative basis, and basing sermons on emotional charges? And what would it prove since PLENTY of churches led by men are errors similar and worse? I cannot in good conscience say that the Christian women’s subculture is wrong because it excludes men, because that would be evidence of my being personally offended at not being invited to a women’s conference or to join a women’s prayer group, or that those women’s books, tapes, TV shows, etc. do not deal with my issues or treat them fairly. And I cannot in good conscience say that whenever a bunch of women get together and exclude men that false practices and doctrines are the inevitable result, because men have been perverting the earth with the same from the very beginning. So even though I have seen things that come out of this subculture that are very disturbing, I have seen things that come from “traditional” or “mainstream” Christianity that are no different; indeed they may actually be worse because their errors are the ones that get institutionalized and practiced by most people rather than by the far smaller number of women who are into this subculture.

So, this subculture is not harmed by the lack of the leadership or presence of males: it is harmed by the failure to conform to the perfect Will of God! THAT is the problem, and THAT is the reason why this movement should be opposed and its adherents corrected, and shunned if they refuse correction based upon the Word of God. It is all about who you love. Do you love yourself? Do you love your gifts? Or do you love the God that created you and gave you your gifts? Look, if God gave you those gifts, then He created a way for you to use them! You just need to have faith, submit yourself, and be willing to pay the price so that you can find out how to use those gifts in the manner and in the context that God intended, and that is whether you are the widow or divorcee of a pastor or the son of one, or the pastor himself. It would be so easy for me to jump on one of the many departures from the Bible that has come out of this subculture and use it as an example to justify my position in an area that is extremely sensitive, not only because of the feelings of the women involved, but the many great works that this subculture has brought forth and the many followers – including not a few men! – of the women who participate in this. But that is how the world operates. That is how the world wins arguments, that is how those of the world seek to avoid or minimize conflict and alienating people who would otherwise support them by beating them up while winning an argument against them but doing so in a way that allows them to “feel good.” If you have to demonize person B in order to win the support of person A, then why not? You are not after the support of B, anyway, but A!

But I am not of the world, so I will not use the world’s tactics. So my only stand is this: it is in the Bible. Where is your love? In what is your faith? Remember: we are all going to be judged one day. When I stand before God, I will be able to say that I wrote both this devotional AND the previous one in an attempt to defend and be faithful to God’s Word. Why? Because I love not religion nor doctrine nor tradition but rather God AND His Word. Regardless of your position on the role of women in the church, what will you say?  

Prayer: Father God in the Name of Your Son Jesus Christ, may women know and respect their roles in the church and set aside the flesh and all worldly considerations, and may men do the same. May Your Children turn away from all and any who refuse to keep Your Commandments regarding the church and in any area. In the Name of Y’shua Hamashiach, amen!

Deliverance: The demons that work in this area are rebellion, rejection, bitterness, disobedience, and false religion. Please read the Basic Spiritual Warfare guide to learn more about how to go against these demons to help set captives free and win battles in the name of your God through the power, authority, and victory given to you by his Son Jesus Christ and by his blood shed for you!


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