This debate seems to be a hot topic among Christians – are women allowed to be pastors? While many might say, “No” unfortunately that’s a common misconception.
In order to truly understand scripture you must also understand the circumstances and situations surrounding it. In addition to this, it’s urgently necessary to pray for revelation as well.
1 Corinthians 14:33-35 “As in all the congregations of the saints, women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.”
First, please know this scripture is from a letter to the church of Corinth where there was extensive sin and division occurring. Hence the need for Paul as a spiritual leader to write the letter and encourage correction and repentance. Paul spent nearly 2 years with the church so he was very aware of who the congregants were and what sins they engaged in. (Its repeated in 1 Timothy 2 in Paul’s letter to Timothy for the purposes of maintaining order in Paul’s absence.)
The church was filled with people from different cultures, each bringing sins into the house of the Lord, that were common to their homelands. Remember these are still relatively new Christians finding their way to Christ just like everyone else today. The church of Corinth was in need of direction, order and strong leadership, and so this is where Paul stepped in.
Paul’s intentions were to bring to their attention the sins within the church, rebuke those sins, and bring the people to settle their differences so that they could be the salt and light of the earth as Christ intended for them (and us) to be, equally and in unity.
Now, understand that there were countless sins occurring in the church of Corinth: sexual immorality, quarreling, and division, were among the worst. He also addressed spiritual doctrine such as marriage, single-hood, spiritual gifts, and much more.
Now, addressing the verse at hand: “Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says.” 1 Corinthians 14:34
This was in direct regard to many women in the church of Corinth who were gossiping and quarreling among one another; these sins were causing division among the members of the church. This verse was written to address that very situation, as God has called us to holiness, peace and unity.
From Paul’s perspective (and rightfully so) in regard to those woman who were causing strife within the church and committing sin openly among the congregation, it was evident that they were not spiritually fit nor spiritually mature enough to handle any positions of leadership at that time, considering their sinful behavior.
Think about that: if your Pastor was involved in extramarital affairs or abusive toward his wife and children, or involved in drug abuse, would you feel that he would still be fit to lead a congregation??
Likely not. It would be in the best interest of those who share leadership responsibilities to assist their brother in Christ, having him temporarily step down from his position, allow a healthy spiritually mature leader to take over in the meantime, and assist this brother in Christ with overcoming his sins. It would be spiritually and morally irresponsible to allow a person who is under the influence of the enemy to continue leading, and ultimately poison the congregation. Intercession was needed and that’s what Paul set out to do in that season.
Sin in the church is called “leaven”. Leaven spreads through dough, just as sin has the ability to spread from one person to another, in and out of church. Paul’s intentions were to prevent the leaven from poising others by having those particular gossiping, quarreling women to be sat down for a season, until they were delivered, as was necessary.
This scripture in NO WAY implies that women are not to preach at all.
Jesus clearly and repeatedly showed everyone the example that women and men are equal. Women were disciples alongside Jesus. They led ministries and preached just as much as men did. In fact, Jesus’ first appearance after His resurrection was to a WOMAN. That alone speaks volumes.
Woman have always played an important role in leadership and ministerial positions, from the Old Testament and all throughout the New Testament. You can research female leaders of the Bible for yourself.
God’s intentions of equality for both men and women alike has been evident since creation, and the following scripture expresses this: “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them” Genesis 1:27.
There will always be those who take scripture out of context, intentional or not. But we have the power of prayer to ask the Lord to bless us with the gift of discernment, and to guide and lead us in the way we should go.
If you believe in your heart and spirit that God has called you to preach, then by all means OBEY the Lord and PREACH! You are speaking words of salvation and life! Do not let the enemy use fallible man against you to prevent you from fulfilling your God-given calling to serve Him by saving souls!
God bless you!
PRAYER: Father God, we ask that You would reveal Your will to us, Lord. Bless us with visions and dreams; confirm to us through scripture and prophetic words from those we trust in You. Lord, lead us and guide us in the way we should go. Help us to fulfill our God-given purpose. DO not allow us to take a step to left or the right if it has not been ordained by You. You thank You for blessing us with gifts and abilities to fulfill our positions in the five-fold ministry. Thank You Father God for having made us equally in Your image. Thank You for all the women You have provided as examples for us to be the ministers You have created us to be! As Your word states, we are all made in the likeness of the Lord, we are His hands and feet, members of the same body, the salt and light of earth! We thank You for blessing us with the opportunity to be serve You by serving others. In Jesus’ mighty and precious name we pray, Amen.
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