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Should Women Be Preaching in Churches?
Should women be preaching in churches? Does 1 Timothy 2:12 say that women cannot be preachers? Or does 1 Timothy 2:12 refer to a different setting or context?
A listener has written in to say that his grandmother was a preacher for fifty years. He tells us that she taught the Word of God and was orthodox in her theology and doctrine. But he has heard this verse from 1 Timothy 2:12 and wonders about it. His thoughts have prompted these questions. So this week on the Straight Truth Podcast, Dr. Richard Caldwell and host Dr. Josh Philpot tackle this very controversial subject of women preachers. They take us to the Word of God, help us look at this text and others in their context, and address what God has said about it and why.
Dr. Caldwell says what we know from Scripture is that women preaching and leading in the church is forbidden. He then shares we all have people we love that have engaged in things, even perhaps sincerely, but they were just sincerely wrong according to Scripture. He says this is where we will all be tested, not just in this question but in every area of our lives. The question is, what is the final authority; is it us, culture, our opinions, the practices we grew up with, or is it the Bible?
He tells us the text Dr. Philpot has read is clear and that we couldn’t have a clearer text. In fact, Paul not only gives the standard, but he ties that standard to creation. In verses 13 and 14 of 1Timothy 2, Paul gives the “cause” for the statements he gave in verses 11 and 12 and makes it perfectly clear. Dr. Caldwell explains this text for us and reminds us of God’s good designs and purposes, saying for us to ignore these is to disregard God.
So what about those who respond saying this text is only speaking about the pastoral office, Dr. Philpot asks? The function, is not implied here. Can a woman preach to a congregation of men and women under the authority of the elders?
Dr. Caldwell says that this line of thinking ignores 1 Corinthians 14:33-35, which he shares. He explains that it is not just about preaching in the pastoral office. It is also about a kind of submission that even reflects God’s design for the home. Returning to 1 Timothy 2, we see that Paul does not even mention the office at all. So what is done in the church must reflect the Creator's design for men and women. This is to show respect for His will for the church. But not for the church only, also for marriage, and for the home. At every point, the church is to remain submissive to the Lord.
Well, ok then says, Dr. Philpot. But, what about Deborah? She was called a prophetess, and she exercised a role of leadership. What about her, how do you explain that?
Dr. Caldwell explains that this is an Old Testament narrative. What we read here is not the norm; Deborah is an anomaly. What we read there is descriptive, not prescriptive. It most likely reflects judgment. Women leading is not prescribed for the New Testament Church. We must look at what is prescribed for the church. We cannot take what is descriptive and make it prescriptive.
About The Straight Truth Podcast
The Straight Truth Podcast: Christian Opinions in an Increasingly Secular World. Join Dr. Richard Caldwell, Dr. Josh Philpot, and their guests as they discuss news events, current affairs, and cultural issues from a Biblical point of view. Find the truth at www.straighttruth.net
The Straight Truth Podcast is a weekly opinion show hosted by Dr. Richard Caldwell and Dr. Josh Philpot. Straight Truth is available as an audio podcast on iTunes or as a video podcast through YouTube or Vimeo. The duration of the podcast is approximately 10 minutes. We release new episodes every Thursday.
The topics discussed in the Straight Truth Podcast are current events, matters that challenge traditional Christian values, and questions submitted by audience members. Dr. Caldwell, Dr. Philpot, and their guests seek to answer these questions with Biblical truths and from a Christian conservative point of view. The Holy Bible is the inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word of God; it alone is and will be the basis and authority of
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