Articles

Articles

Women Preachers

Women Preachers

by Micky Galloway

On November 30, 2014, Lauren King was introduced as an “intern minister” at the 4th Avenue Church Of Christ in Franklin, TN. See the link [http://vimeo.com/114312987] for a thorough review by Greg Gwin. It has long been argued that, “We need a changing religion to keep up with a changing world.” Some say, “The Bible cannot meet the needs of modern man. It is archaic and outdated. We need a new approach to solve the problems of a scientific age.” Still others say, “The Bible is old-fashioned and steeped in backward, prejudicial ethics. The moral hang-ups and inhibitions of a 2000+ year old book cannot provide the moral standard for a progressive society.” When we disregard Biblical teachings on one subject why not all subjects? The Scriptures teach, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man; But the end thereof are the ways of death” (Proverbs 14:12). I’m not sure we understand just how far this can go.

Miss King, a student at David Lipscomb University, said that the Lord, “made it clear through a lot of discernment and through a lot of prayer that I was supposed to pick up a preaching emphasis …” You might wonder how the Lord “made it clear” to her. She went on to say, “A lot of the ways that I’ve been perceiving the Lord’s voice is through having peace when I walk through open doors. If I have an unpeaceful heart, then that’s not really where I’m supposed to be, but if I’m in a place where I have peace about where I am going, then that’s the Lord telling me, ‘yes’.” This makes the issue more than about women preachers. This focuses attention on how the Lord speaks. Does he guide us by a peaceful feeling? Is it different for different folks? Does he tell you something he hasn’t told the rest of us? Does he tell you something that conflicts with what he has already said upon the pages of sacred Scripture?

Consider how God led in the past. God led Noah to build an ark wherein he and his family were saved from the flood (Hebrews 11:7). God “said unto Noah … Make thee an ark of Gopher wood … and this is the fashion which thou shalt make it” (Genesis 6:13-16). The text continues, “And Noah did according to all that the Lord commanded him” (7:5). How did God lead Noah to build the ark? He spoke to him in a language Noah understood, giving detailed instructions, and Noah followed (did) all that God commanded. God led Abraham out of Ur of the Chaldees, but how? Abraham received instructions from God and his faith resulted in obedience (Hebrews 11:8-9; Romans 10:17; Genesis 12:1-4). God led Abraham by speaking to him and Abraham obeyed. God also led Israel out of Egyptian bondage, and through the wilderness (Deuteronomy 8:14-15; 29:4-5). In doing this he used the instrumentality of Moses and Aaron. “Thou leddest thy people like a flock, by the hand of Moses and Aaron” (Psalms 77:20). God confirmed His leadership and His appointed agents by many miracles. God led Israel by choosing and equipping Moses who spoke God’s will to the people and they obeyed. Consider also, that Christ made disciples by teaching – instruction. He commanded and they obeyed (John 1:43). People became followers of Christ by being taught, hearing, learning, and coming (John 6:44-45). Jesus led people by speaking truth to them (taught in a way they could understand) and they followed him. This is the same way that God led Abraham and Israel in their day.

Those who believe the Bible is inspired of God recognize the teaching of the Bible is God’s word for all of us. What the Scriptures say about women’s role must be taken just as seriously as what the Scriptures teach about redemption. This subject is NOT about the value or equality of women, but it is about different roles. Many women are more intelligent than men. Many are more devoted to the Lord that many of the men. We are not concluding that women are inferior to men.

What do the Scriptures teach? The apostle wrote in I Corinthians 11:3, “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.” In I Corinthians 14:34 he said, “let the women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but let them be in subjection, as also saith the law.” Note that this was not time sensitive or applicable only to certain cultures. In the previous verse Paul said these same things were taught, “in all the churches of the saints” (verse 33; cf. I Corinthians 4:17; 7:17). Paul wrote the same thing to Timothy as he preached in Ephesus, “But I permit not a woman to teach, nor to have dominion over a man, but to be in quietness” (I Timothy 2:12). The New King James version says, “And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence.” Yet, Titus was instructed as he preached in Crete, “These things speak and exhort and reprove with all authority (Titus 2:15). What was the source of Paul’s information? “If any man thinketh himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him take knowledge of the things which I write unto you, that they are the commandment of the Lord (I Corinthians 14:37).

Beloved, do we supplant what God has made clear in the Scriptures with subjective feelings? Do we substitute what the Scriptures teach with what we have peace with? Paul was at peace when he held the garments of those who stoned Stephen. “And I said, Lord, they themselves know that I imprisoned and beat in every synagogue them that believed on thee: and when the blood of Stephen thy witness was shed, I also was standing by, and consenting, and keeping the garments of them that slew him” (Acts 22:19-20; cf. Acts 8:1). Yes, he was at peace, “I verily thought with myself that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. And this I also did in Jerusalem: and I both shut up many of the saints in prisons, having received authority from the chief priests, and when they were put to death I gave my vote against them. And punishing them oftentimes in all the synagogues, I strove to make them blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto foreign cities” (Acts 26:9-11).

Miss King did admit that, “… in the beginning all this would have been really uncomfortable …” Perhaps, it is because of what the Scriptures teach.