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Monday, July 29, 2013 | Comments (38)

by John MacArthur

Satan delights in wreaking havoc on the church. He twists the truth on every issue, creating doctrinal confusion wherever he can.

He has been particularly successful in distorting the roles God has designed for men and women. Over the years, the cultural ideal of gender role equality has seeped into many churches—and Christians have bought into it. In many congregations, men sit back and relax while women preach the Word and lead the church. In fact, it is alarming to see how comfortable Christians have become with adopting the standards of the world.

Meanwhile, society gives hearty approval to the trend. In a chapter titled “To Hell with Sexism: Women in Religion” in Megatrends for Women, [1](Fawcett Columbine, 1992) authors Patricia Aburdene and John Naisbitt show how modern culture celebrates feminism:

Women of the late twentieth century are revolutionizing the most sexist institution in history—organized religion. Overturning millennia of tradition, they are challenging authorities, reinterpreting the Bible, creating their own services, crowding into seminaries, winning the right to ordination, purging sexist language in liturgy, reintegrating female values and assuming positions of leadership. [2](p. 119)

It’s safe to say, that trend in the church—noted more than twenty years ago—has become a settled reality, and it is dangerous on many levels. Feminist theology teaches that God is not male, God does not exist in a trinitarian form, Jesus was a feminist, and the true history of women was edited out of the Bible. Aburdene and Naisbitt assert that once women’s perspectives “attain greater power, [that] will signal revolutionary changes in church policies.” [3](ibid, p. 133) And for years now we have seen a surge in attempts to purge male terminology out of Bible translations.

All this is not limited to liberal churches and denominations, however. Aburdene and Naisbitt note that the organization Christians for Biblical Equality believes, “Women as well as men exercise the prophetic, priestly, and royal functions” of the church. [4](ibid, p. 128, quoted from “Women Served as Priests,” Grand Rapids Press, November 9, 1991) Evangelical churches are just as susceptible to the feminist onslaught. The fact is, feminism has already gained a foothold within the evangelical community in recent years.

At stake today is God’s perfect design for His church—a design that reflects the principles of authority and submission that allow both society and the family to function. While there is no disputing the equality of men and women as believers in Christ (Galatians 3:28), God specifically calls qualified men to lead His church. Women have unique opportunities to serve the church and are in many ways its warmth and depth, but God’s basic design for leadership in the church is for men to be in authority. To see how He fleshes out His plan for men and women in the church, we need to turn to the New Testament.

The second and third chapters of 1 Timothy are a good place to start. The entire letter focuses on establishing God’s standard for order in the life of the church. That will be our focus for the next few weeks as we seek to understand God’s design for the church and how we can best glorify God alongside other believers.

But for now, we want to hear from you. Have you ever attended a church that had women in primary leadership roles? Have you ever sat under a female pastor? What leadership roles are available to women in your current congregation? Let us know in the comment thread.

John MacArthur

(Adapted from Divine Design.)


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#1  Posted by Paul Nelson  |  Monday, July 29, 2013at 1:46 AM

I just visited CHBC in Washington, DC yesterday where a woman got up and read the scripture reading from Ephesians 4. I was very surprised a woman was allowed to do so. That would not have happened in my home church.

#2  Posted by Lazar Lazarovski  |  Monday, July 29, 2013at 7:28 AM

Thank you for the post John. I live in New York City and sadly, I see this a lot as I do my best to confront it with God's Word. I believe that the Bible is the only authority that we can and must use to confront sin in the church because it ends the discussion leaving the person with only two options; continue in sin or submit to the authority of Scripture.

One question I have is this: Are women allowed to lead worship?

It is something that goes on at my church and I was wondering if I should confront it. It seems a little at odds since the woman is placed in the position of teaching Scripture publicly before the congregation as we move through service.

Any thoughts?

your servant in Christ our Lord, always

Lazar

#3  Posted by Justin Hayward  |  Monday, July 29, 2013at 9:14 AM

I was recently looking for a local church and was visiting one that was in search of a new pastor. Each week they had someone different and one week they had a guy speak that wanted the job. He mentioned his wife is also a pastor, is also in line for the job, and will be speaking the following week. That was the last time I've been there, but I thought that must be an awkward situation at home.

#4  Posted by Yohannan Yiseongjoon  |  Monday, July 29, 2013at 9:27 AM

the second sexism is prevalent in South Korea. South Korea has a government organisation called 'female-family department' and has a minister for it. Its yearly expense is tremendous, and majority of Korean men will say they are being discriminated and women are highly favoured in many areas.

At orphanages, it's full of boys because all the girls are being adopted. Parents don't want to raise boys as life for men is tough.

Many women have double standards, they request 'more' rights and rely on men financially but at the same time never thank men for their military services and their hard works. Moreover, they take it for granted and at the same time think women are somewhat superior. They try to rule over husbands and boyfriends.

It's a big problem. For me, I have a lovely wife and she is godly woman and I really appreciate her.

Men don't mind taking more responsibility and doing more works. But never being appreciated and thanked is a big issue for all south korean mens. You may think I making one sided opinion but ask any men in Korea.

Korean men are trying to get rid of that government department as its primary role is elevating women above men.

#5  Posted by Moroti Olowonyo  |  Monday, July 29, 2013at 9:52 AM

Comment deleted by user.
#6  Posted by Dawn Bush  |  Monday, July 29, 2013at 10:21 AM

I'm a woman and I will NEVER be a member of a church that is "pastored" by a woman because it's biblically unscriptural for a woman to be in leadership over men. Personally, I'm even uncomfortable having to attend funerals in other churches that are officiated by women playing the role of pastor. The problem is that so-called "liberal Christians" are preaching another gospel and, therefore, according to Scripture are accursed - see Galatians 1:6-9.

#7  Posted by Desiree Cammardella  |  Monday, July 29, 2013at 11:47 AM

When a new believer, I attended a church pastored by a woman. She was a very nice and godly woman, but misled. This was a Pentecostal church and I was all over the place in my new walk with Christ. The Lord protected me while there, a short 5 months. The church was all about "feeling" the moving of the Holy Spirit, and, the Word was almost absent. I didn't know much, but the Holy Spirit led me away from there, praise God! Sin was ignored, no teaching, it was all about signs and wonders, and the same people doing altar calls over and over again! Since then I am in a solid church, bible-based, Pastor MacArthur's teachings were(are) a huge blessing in opening my eyes to so much falseness in the pulpits right now. I do see that many woman pastors especially focus on the feelings and emotions. But, it is obviously wrong, the Word of God is very direct about this. The enemy is using this tremendously, as the blog states.

#8  Posted by Teri Marceau  |  Monday, July 29, 2013at 12:03 PM

This is a subject I have been discussing with my sisters in Christ for years. Their responses are varied. The younger ones have succumb to the idea that if a woman is gifted in teaching then why shouldn't she teach both men & women, at least the word is reaching people. It saddens me that we can't see the destruction until it is too late. I look forward to the next blog. Thank you, Pastor.

#9  Posted by Lee Dayton  |  Monday, July 29, 2013at 12:41 PM

As a fairly new follower of Christ (saved in 2008), my husband and I (in our early 50's) are very torn on this issue. We've been praying to be led to a church where Christ and the Gospel are preached without being compromised, and are still searching 5 years later. So we found ourselves attending at the Salvation Army corps in our town. It is led by a husband and wife team, and she does preach occasionally, as is the SA's custom, and in the 2 years we've been attending have never heard either of them preach anything false or wrong.

So we've been questioning whether it is better to attend a church with a male pastor who is less than biblically sound in what he preaches, or attend the Army where there might be a woman in the pulpit but at least true theology is being taught? The churches we've attended other than this either are on the verge of closing, have a congregation with an average age of 70+, turned out to be charismatic, or who have bought into the 'new worship' scenario with loud music, light shows, and the suggestion that there is no hell because God loves everyone. We're from a rural area so our choices are limited.

I thank God regularly for John MacArthur, GTY.org, and technology that allows me to attend church at Grace Community even though I'm 3000 miles away.

#10  Posted by Joane M.  |  Monday, July 29, 2013at 2:31 PM

I attended the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) for several years and they regularly ordain woman as pastors. RCCG is a Pentecostal church originating out of Africa. It is led by a General Overseer, Pastor E.A. Adeboye, and actually, his wife is also ordained a pastor and so is his daughter. They boost of having church branches all over the world. In fact, they have planted churches all over the U.S., Europe and the Caribbean. I recently left this church where I was a very active member. The Lord began opening my eyes to the many unbiblical practices encouraged by the leadership. The pastor of the local branch where I attended tried, on numerous occasions, to get me to preach a sermon on a Sunday morning. I turned him down, which was unheard of. When I tried to show them that the bible did not support women as pastors and preaching sermons on Sunday mornings, they laughed at me and mockingly began referring to me as "Pastor Joane." I realized then that there was no use in trying to make them see the truth of the bible on this issue. According to them, if the General Overseer approves, there can't be anything wrong with it. Hence, to members of RCCG, the Word of God is irrelevant. The final authority is the General Overseer. Ironically, many of the women in the church do not wear jewelry and always wear hats in church because the General Overseer's wife doesn't wear jewelry and always wears a hat because of 1 Timothy 2:9 and 1 Corinthians 11: 5. Yet they ignore and completely bypass the scriptures regarding the roles of men and women in the church, 1 Timothy 2:11-12. Very hypocritical.

I would appreciate some feedback regarding RCCG since they are now all over the place. This church has been growing like wildfire. The leadership place great emphasis on miracles, signs and wonders, and very little importance on teaching the Word to its followers (in my experience and personal opinion). According to the church's earlier website, God spoke audibly to the founder and entered into a covenant with him "similar to the Abrahamic covenant" regarding forming RCCG.

Thank you Pastor MacArthur for being so courageous and always telling the truth of God's word with such boldness. God bless you and the Grace to You ministry!

#11  Posted by Earlene Lamnek  |  Monday, July 29, 2013at 2:44 PM

I was certainly upset when my daughter-in-law got caught up in the feminism movement and became an ordained pastor by another women pastor from attending a seminar for 4 days. I spoke lovingly to her as I shared what God's Word had to say about the church. After several months passed without any contact from her, even though I tried several times to communicate with her, she finally communicated through my son that she does not want to talk about this subject at all. I do visit my grandchildren and son, but she does not go out of her way to visit specifically with me. All I know to do now is to pray that God will open her eyes to the truth and continue to love her as my daughter-in-law.

#13  Posted by Carole Gulley  |  Monday, July 29, 2013at 5:07 PM

I have been in church all of my life. Women have always served as leaders in the denomination I grew up in. Women opened the service, Were teachers, evangelists, r

an revivals, served on the trustee board and worked together as co-laborers. I know several women pastors that are doing a tremendous job leading God's people. They exhibit respect for their husbands and other men in leadership. They are respected both in the community and in the religious community.

#14  Posted by Hannah Jun  |  Monday, July 29, 2013at 6:44 PM

I am so thankful for Pastor John MacArthur's ministry. How encouraging to see faithful ministers preaching and teaching in the fear of the Lord, and not out of fear of what men might think. God has certainly created men and women as complementary yet distinct, and it's sad to see that beautiful distinction being attacked not only in the home or in society, but in the church as well.

For women and ministry, what I see in Scripture is that God's design is for men to lead as pastors of the church. I don't think this has anything to do with intrinsic ability or worth. Surely, Jesus Christ the Son submitting to the Father does not reflect that the Son submits or follows because He is of less value. Women are also made in the image of God and have been given minds to think and mouths to speak truth, just as men. But I'm challenged to think about why God would have designed it this way in the first place. With Adam and Eve and the fall, work became much harder for men and it's easier to be complacent and allow women (who desire to overpower) to lead. If men are the ones ordained to lead, this forces men to lead in the fear of the Lord. The unity in diversity of the Trinity is so beautiful, but has been distorted in His creation post-fall. If men leading and women submitting to male leadership in the fear of the Lord brings Him glory, I feel the Church should be more excited to encourage godly male leadership and godly female followership(?).

Separately.. regarding South Korea's "second sexism," there are many perspectives on the ministry. Men may see it as reverse discrimination, but the reality is that women are still very much discriminated at the workplace (e.g., wage, promotion, etc.) and the ministry's founding probably had more to do with rectifying past and current discrimination rather than "overtaking" men. Like most places around the world, Korea has become an increasingly expensive place to live in. So there's great pressure for even married women to enter the workforce, at least part time. I think the government has to be careful about excessive preference for females that goes beyond qualifications, but I do not think this is a danger yet.

Thank you again to Pastor John MacArthur and Grace to You - God bless you!

#15  Posted by Ben Enders  |  Monday, July 29, 2013at 7:27 PM

I became a Christian seven years ago and not knowing anything about denominations or this issue I ended up in an American Baptist church. The first sermon I heard was from a woman. Half of the deacons were women and in this church and there are no elders, so the deacons perform their function. When I became aware of what scripture had to say on the subject, I questioned my pastor and a mature deacon (both males) who was in seminary and had plans to be a pastor after he retired from his current job. Both of them said they would get back to me, neither of them ever did. It was a small church (under 100) so I’m sure he didn’t forget as I told both of them that this issue would be the deciding factor concerning my membership. So I spoke to a couple of mature men who I thought would qualify as elders (if we had them) and both of their responses were that it was a “cultural thing”. Times have changed, they said. Apparently what Paul was writing then has no bearing on us now. I let it go.

In the search for a new church here in upstate NY I found that the vast majority of so called evangelical churches support women in leadership roles. The church I currently attend is a decent biblical model but, to my dismay they are disciples of Bill Hybels and the Willow Creek Association. If you get a chance, read the statement put out by the elder board of WC concerning female elders. I find it interesting that a church which advertises that they are a bible believing church can so easily distort or disregard scripture.

I listen to alot of Christian radio (MacArthur at 10:30 on 97.3) and I didn’t realize at first that Joyce Meyers was a woman. I emailed her organization about this issue and someone emailed me back, only quoting Mathew 7:16. Apparently fruit is worldly success. What a difference it makes when you are diligent in bible study! This issue is now my first test in deciding if a church or a pastor or an author is serious about the bible or not. If they get something this easy wrong, what else are they willing to compromise?

#16  Posted by Kelsey Waters  |  Monday, July 29, 2013at 11:58 PM

Well the Bible mentions prophetess...es. Miriam, Anna, Deborah, and others. There's mention of women prophesying in the early church. Whether this is the same thing as preaching, I don't know. I doubt it. Haven't looked it up.

As for God's gender, well, he doesn't really have one per se, at least not like we do. He is spirit. Jewish belief holds that since both genders came from God, he's kind of a mix of the two. I mean, women are kind of literally half men, chromosome-wise. According to the Bible and science, woman is, literally, man's feminine side.

But I will always refer to God in the male sense since I think that's closer to his nature. Or maybe the male gender was fashioned as reflecting his nature and responsibilities. He refers to himself as father, husband. Anyway, I don't understand people who get all offended by referring to God with male pronouns. I mean, do you have nothing else to be outraged by? Please.

When it comes to the church, women always played a prominent role and were among the most ardent followers of Jesus. The Bible mentions Joanna and other wealthy women actually paying for Jesus' expenses as he traveled and ministered. Women stuck by him as he died and were the first to discover that He had risen.

When it comes to the structure of the church, as far as I'm concerned, women can do everything but be pastor or deacon. Men were given the responsibility to lead. We should encourage them to do so. That doesn't mean women are inferior or something.

I wouldn't want a woman pastor. I wouldn't attend a church that had one. How weird would that be? I don't even like soft-spoken male preachers. I'm a fire and brimstone kinda gal.

#17  Posted by Kelsey Waters  |  Tuesday, July 30, 2013at 12:14 AM

"So we've been questioning whether it is better to attend a church with a male pastor who is less than biblically sound in what he preaches, or attend the Army where there might be a woman in the pulpit but at least true theology is being taught? "

Personally, in that scenario, I'd go with the theologically sound church. Even if a woman in the pulpit does give me a ish feeling in my tummy, I'll take it over false doctrine any day. At least there's a guy there too, kind of a Deborah/Barak situation.

#18  Posted by Jennifer Mc Farland  |  Tuesday, July 30, 2013at 3:50 AM

I most definitely agree that women should not be pastors or leaders in the church. I agree that women should really concentrate on their families instead of careers (I know this is hard in modern times, but if they can avoid the workplace, I think they should). However, just as much as I don't want to see feminism in the church, I don't want to see sexism either. If everyone would just submit to the WORD OF GOD, there wouldn't be a problem. I have too often seen men treat women as chattel, as baby-makers, as slaves. This was esp. prevalent in the Pentecostal/Assemblies of God churches I grew up in. I understand God's design for men and women - but, please, remember that women are PEOPLE, and should be treated with respect and Christian love. I just fear another push to men "superiority" in the church, instead of proper fulfillment of male/female roles designed by Christ for His church.

#19  Posted by Jennifer Mc Farland  |  Tuesday, July 30, 2013at 4:03 AM

There is one question I forgot to add to my last post. Should single women be missionaries? I've always leaned towards "no" due to many different reasons, but can anyone shed some light?

#20  Posted by John Muriango  |  Tuesday, July 30, 2013at 6:08 AM

In our country, i.e. Kenya, most churches have got ladies in ministry but what has made this to be so is because most of them(churches) are charismatic churches whose theology is very shallow!!!! However, when I began studying the Bible and researching on many issues, by God's grace I was able to get insight about it including this issue about ladies in ministry. But thanks to God, the church where I attend (Karen Baptist Church, Nairobi) is very fundamental in doctrine and only men serve in the ministry.

#21  Posted by Cherie C  |  Tuesday, July 30, 2013at 6:27 AM

It is not surprising to see disobedience in today's churches. It is sad however that we think that only males have egos. Women are so busy trying to "prove" themselves, that they miss all that God has to offer them.

As a woman follower of Christ, I would not attend a church that has women leaders. A church that does not follow God's Word for the structure of a church is taking the broad path, and I'd rather stay on the straight and narrow.

Being the only born again believer in my marriage, I struggle to maintain my role. However, I do not allow myself to be caught up in my husband's idea of Christianity because it is in error. I do try to follow Roman's when it comes to living with an unsaved spouse but I leave the spiritual leadership to the Lord. I do not have a church because where I live heresy is prominent in the churches around here, so I rely upon sites like Grace to You for true Biblical teaching although I do not necessarily agree with the election theory, which is called Calvinism. Pastor MacArthur does teach true Biblical doctrine, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and the correct teaching on the role of women in the Body of Christ. As a women raised in the feminist error (pun intended) , I do not support their ideas as it is anti-christ. Yes, I said anti-christ because it is. Most women in the feminist movement take the books of the Bible like Ruth, Ester, and Judges where women were judges, but they take it out of context. Women have egos too and they have left there God given roles stated in Genesis 2:22-25 and Genesis 3:16. Some of the accountability is put on the man to love his wife as himself and to sacrifice himself for her, which you do not see these days. Men and women are out for themselves. My husband is not saved, but I endeavor to conduct myself accordingly and I am a successful business woman who would love to be all God's Word says I should be but my husband wants me to work. So I do, but I do not hold myself in any high esteem because I have a successful business. I look to Proverbs 31 as a guide. I do not always do the right thing and when I don't I repent and start all over again. Men need to "gird up their loins" and stand up for the truth in a loving way, but still stand for the faith. They don't seem to know the first part of Proverbs 31, king Lemuel's mother's prophecy. Men cave too easily and need to be firm and loving, but stand on the truth. But not surprising, everyone seems to be turning to their own way and away from the Gospel. Sad indeed, but then again we are so close to the end Jesus said this would happen and it has. Isaiah 4:1 is already happening.

Isaiah 4 And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach.

But now they do not worry about reproach. True, Obedient Christian women need to continue to set the example.

#22  Posted by David Wang  |  Tuesday, July 30, 2013at 9:06 AM

Is it biblically appropriate for a woman to teach adult Sunday School or to lead mixed adult fellowship group in the church?

#23  Posted by Earlene Lamnek  |  Tuesday, July 30, 2013at 10:32 AM

In reading the past days comments concerning women leaders in the church it occurred to me that clearly, having women pastors is not God's design for the church and therefore, God may be testing these woman to see if they would be submissive to His Will regarding this subject. I try to know what God's Word says concerning many topics and don't claim to be 100% right - but under Dr. MacArthur's leadership - he sure comes close! Thank you for your steadfastness in preaching the whole truth. God will bless you when you stand on His Word, stepping on others toes or not, if not here but the hereafter. Praise God for godly men and women!

#24  Posted by Elaine Bittencourt  |  Tuesday, July 30, 2013at 11:18 AM

# 9 - " it is better to attend a church with a male pastor who is less than biblically sound in what he preaches, or attend the Army where there might be a woman in the pulpit but at least true theology is being taught?"

# 17 - "Personally, in that scenario, I'd go with the theologically sound church. Even if a woman in the pulpit does give me a ish feeling in my tummy, I'll take it over false doctrine any day.

How can a female pastor teach true theology if she is a pastor? That makes no sense, right? That is, if you believe in what the bible teaches.

By the way, ordaining of female pastors is not the only problem with the Salvation Army. You should look into their teachings and what they believe more closely.

#25  Posted by Ben Enders  |  Tuesday, July 30, 2013at 11:59 AM

David,

Read it for yourself. We live in a culture that tells us women are our equals, and they are, we just have different biblical roles! God has a plan and we don't need to understand it fully, we just need to obey. So if you read all the scripture that confirms this truth, you will be in a better position to defend it. My experience is that it will come up.

#26  Posted by David Smith  |  Tuesday, July 30, 2013at 2:20 PM

I'm probably in a minority here, but I go to a church where men and women preach, teach, and hold leadership positions at all levels. We view men and women as equal in God's sight, not just in creation and redemption, but also in calling and service. But men and women need each other and must love and respect each other. This approach is not feminism but egalitarianism. We are evangelicals and believe that this is the correct understanding of the teaching of the Bible.

I'm not expecting people to agree with me, but simply to respect the fact that there are differences of Biblical interpretation within evangelical Christianity, and realise that the 99% we agree on is more important than the 1% we disagree on.

#29  Posted by Josh Kittinger  |  Tuesday, July 30, 2013at 8:43 PM

I attend a traditional bible centered church where this phenomenon has taken root. There is a woman whose title is children's minister, and of course, women are permitted to teach children and other women. However, the "children's minister" also regularly speaks during service, leads meetings, and offers long, emotive, flowery prayers during service. Because I have only seriously started studying the bible in the past several years, I was very alarmed when I realized how wrong this was and immediately went to the head pastor who dismissed the notion entirely. People always have some red herring style excuse in these situations. "The only pastor I can find who accurately preaches the word is a woman," is a self defeating statement..."Women prophesied in the New Testament"--yeah, cause that's obviously equivalent to leading corporate worship...If you've read the bible then you know what it says. You either care or you don't.

#30  Posted by Matthew Ens  |  Tuesday, July 30, 2013at 10:52 PM

Hello John, the GTY staff, and those reading this message.

I praise God for the timeliness of this article. I have wrestled through this subject a few months ago with a few other Godly men. Basically everyone here that read this post should also read B.B. Warfield's article on "Paul on Women Speaking in Church". Google search that article and prepare for an exposition of what the Bible says about the issue. It is a staple for this topic.

Now my question has already been asked by another above yet I want to ask it again so that it hopefully will not get overlooked and unanswered.

QUESTION - Is it unlawful for a woman to lead the congregation in worship, lead the congregation to the throne room of God in prayer, and share her insight on Scripture during "worship" time?

I have spoken with others about this and nothing has changed in the congregation my wife and I attend.

Please, please, please address the role of a women during the worship service; especially where some view the time of singing a "gray area" if you know what I mean. With your response maybe this will be a push in a Reformation in our Church.

Thank you so much for everything you men and women do for believers resting in the finished work of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.

Matthew Ens

Merced, Ca.

#31  Posted by Sandeep Sharma  |  Wednesday, July 31, 2013at 11:20 AM

I am a converted believer from Hinduism and this is important discussion at the right time. I posted to new location at Jalandhar, India, and found a mature biblical group (of different denominations) after 2 years search. But alas, out of three bible teachers, there are two women!

I studied for myself. I fully agree about Women must not be in leadership position in Church. But what about a small group?

In 1 Cor 14 as well as in 1 Timothy, Church is the context. Paul speaking to Church gathering. While nothing about Church is the context in 1 Cor 11:5. (apology if wrong)

So, leading men in scripture or worship is only restricted to Church leadership OR It must be applied to home bible groups, or as we have here as different denomination gathering in bible study?

I have read pastor John, in Different by Design about this subject but could not clearly understood about this. I am really appreciate John's ministry and it has brought wonderful impact in my walk with the Lord.

#32  Posted by Alan Thompson  |  Thursday, August 01, 2013at 2:54 AM

Greeting from New Zealand! Basically not having woman in leadership makes no sense. We have had a woman Prime Minister for 6 years (Helen Clarke) who now runs part of the UN. My mother ran a large department at the local hospital. My wife has been a Clinical Midwife Manager of a ward that has 5000 births a year. So it's not a question of leadership skills or knowledge lacking. Fiona (wife) and I have been effectively going through out own strange fire detox for 3 years coming out of the extreme Pentecostals. Our observation from the inside of a church with woman pastors and elders is it works quite well. But we are coming to the conclusion this is pragmatism and are reluctantly coming to the conclusion that God just tells us how it is and we have to accept this by faith. ie the Trinity, Predestination and free will. Men only elders and pastors is the way God made it. Why? im not sure

#33  Posted by Connie Langan  |  Thursday, August 01, 2013at 9:33 PM

After reading 29 comments I am struck with gratitude. My own local church in a suburb of the San Francisco Bay area has stayed biblical in its teaching and preaching. Women teach women's bible studies and conferences. Men are the elders, pastors and teachers. God's word is read and preached every Sunday.

We do have a web ministry. Our sermons are available online, many on video. Our website is www.graceforus.org. The sermons are found under "media." Our main pastor graduated from the Masters College.

As a potential flounderer, I am eternally grateful that God has implanted much of his word in my heart. Much of that implanting has taken place through my fellow believers here at Grace Bible Church.

2 weeks ago I attended a memorial service at another church. I was taken aback by the hollow, repetitious words of the female "pastor" and the other helpers who were all female. It was an Episcopal church. It was quite disappointing and weird to hear God's word being mouthed by people who were at the same time openly disobeying it.

We are all sinners but sin is not something to be proud of or to institutionalize.

I sincerely hope that those commenters fruitlessly seeking a biblical local church can find one. And I am more grateful than ever to have ours. It is not to be taken for granted.

#34  Posted by P B  |  Friday, August 02, 2013at 7:43 AM

I've been in a church that had a woman pastor and at that time I was more open to it because of being influenced by feminism. However, despite the fact that she was a nice and sincere lady, the whole thing just fell flat. It just always felt odd, and continually gave me the impression of something akin to a building that lacked a roof. And she always struck me as neither male nor female even though she wore ladies' suits with skirts. Odd!

I've always wondered about the missionary question as well as a few related questions. The majority of missionaries today are women although I wonder if that's because women have stepped up to the forefront and men have stepped back and abdicated. Is it really right for a woman to go into an area and establish a church and then teach men and women until a man arrives to take over? Priscilla helped Aquilla but she didn't take over.

One pastor of a more conservative denomination I attended, championed a movement to allow female elders and leaders because of this; he concluded that if it was alright to send out ladies and let them do the work in missions then it wasn't fair to disallow them to become leaders either, since they were doing the work of pastors and leaders already. This pastor fell into adultery soon after this, and left the ministry. As a result of this change in policy, there were female elders, teachers of both men and women, and chairpersons put in place. The next pastor in line at this church became attracted to one of the female elders whom he worked in close proximity with due to her position on the board, left his wife and stole her from her husband, and they both divorced and married each other. He has also left the ministry. This pastor had also bought into "dream theology", you know, God wants you to realize your dreams kind of stuff.

What conclusion can I draw from this but that removing God's guardrails is a foolish thing to do that leads to a slippery slope of error, sin, delusion and confusion? And that putting men and women in positions that God didn't intend puts them on spiritually unprotected grounds? Don't we endanger ourselves when we willfully choose to ignore what God has said? Yet there is this silly idea that spiritual maturity means the "usual rules and safegaurds can be waived". The apostle Paul didn't think we were homefree and safe from sin when he wrote " But because of immoralities".....It can be quite the long road back to spiritual sanity to recover from such a fall into sin and error and some don't make it back. I have seen nothing but bad stuff come treating clear teaching on male/female roles as if its a debatable issue open to interpretation when it is not.

Even the issue of women worship leaders means that women have authority over men. My husband dislikes being forced to submit to a female he hardly knows, and frankly I think its kind of unseemly too. Yet its the common practice in even so called conservative churches.

#36  Posted by David Smith  |  Monday, August 05, 2013at 12:05 PM

I feel I must respond to some of the recent comments... I hope the moderators will have the grace to publish this .

Yes, there are women pastors who may not be particularly gifted for their roles. But there are also plenty of male pastors in the same category.

Likewise, I don't think we can say that women pastors (or the men who support them) are more prone to error. When Luther nailed his theses to the door, the church led by men. The founders of liberal theology were all men. History gives a very mixed view of male leadership.

I would encourage people here to get a copy of "What's with Paul and Women" by Jon Zens (a reformed pastor). Zens shows, through careful and contextual study, that the traditional view of male leadership is not something that the scriptures actually support.

#37  Posted by Jeremiah Johnson  |  Monday, August 05, 2013at 1:49 PM

David (#36),

How does the existence of flawed and unbiblical male leaders in the history of the church make a compelling case for female leadership?

#38  Posted by David Smith  |  Monday, August 05, 2013at 2:22 PM

Jeremiah (#37)

It doesn't, and I said nothing of the sort.

I simply think it's taking a highly selective view of history to say that men are not prone to error but women are. Male church leaders have done some very bad things over the years.

My view is egalitarianism (not feminism) - church leadership and ministry (at all levels) should open to men and women without restriction. I find the biblical case for this to be compelling.

#39  Posted by Jeremiah Johnson  |  Monday, August 05, 2013at 3:00 PM

Apologies, David--it seems I misidentified your straw man.

#40  Posted by Ben Enders  |  Monday, August 05, 2013at 4:55 PM

David,

Only a so called Scholar could take something so simple and make it so complicated in an effort to support his opinion. He claims 1 Tim 2:11-12 is just for the folks at Ephesus, what’s that based on? Will Zens now be kind enough to condense the scriptures into a short pamphlet so we all know what is only relevant for us today? His grammatical analysis of the word suffer in the KJV is just downright silly as a defense of his position. He takes the argument to a place that no one I know wants to go, which is men dominating women. I don’t see much careful and contextual study. What I see is some overeducated academic with a bias, who implies that we minimally educated people need someone like him to explain what God is really saying.

You can read Zens all you want, I’ll stick with MacArthur.

#41  Posted by Daniel Wilson  |  Monday, August 19, 2013at 6:07 PM

I can't stand it when women are speaking during church. I don't see many men are biblical sound in my church. but a few are... I am afraid the pastor is not as bold in God's Word cause He seems don't want to offend anyone... Pray for me that I will continue to encourage my pastor and others in church.... God is showing in my heart step by step to encourage not to tear down....

#42  Posted by Michael Larkin  |  Wednesday, August 28, 2013at 2:59 PM

Greeting in the name of our soon coming King,

Hi my name is Michael Larkin and I live in the republic of Ireland.

I have been a believer since 1989 and the changes that I have witnessed in those few years is shocking, in the very small country of mine the church is under constant attack from such theology it is now difficult to find a church where feminism has not raised it's head.

Things are so bad that in the past ten years my wife and I have had to leave 4 assemblies because of the weakness of men to stand for the truth of God's holy word, at present we are meeting in a hotel on the Lords day to celebrate the Lord's supper and in homes to have our bible studies, thankfully we have some faithful saints who meet with us and are holding to biblical principles and truths.

We are small in number (10 adults and 4 children) but big in faith, Amen, Our prayers are that The King would soon come and take His bride home.

We shall uphold our brothers and sisters all over the world in our prayers and we would ask that you remember us as we strive to be obedient to His word in the face of much opposition.

Brother John I want you to know just how much of a gift that you and your ministry are to me and my wife, there is not one morning that we fail to mention you to our God, we pray for you, your good wife, your children and your grand children that our God would continue to protect and provide for you all. Greetings to all the saints meeting with you at Grace, From the saints in Dublin, Southern Ireland. Michael & Ann Larkin.