Is It Biblical For Women To Preach In The Church?

First, as far as justification is concerned, there is no distinction between male and female, for all of us are equally sinners, equally justified by faith, and equal heirs in the grace of God (Gen. 1:26-27; Rom. 3:22; Gal 3:28; 1 Pet. 3:7). I believe all of us are in agreement here.

Second, let me state that I agree with Complementarians that 1 Timothy 2:12 and 1 Timothy 3:1-8 clearly teach that the authoritative office of “elder”, “overseer” or “bishop” is reserved only for men, not because they are more godly or gifted, but because this is the functional role God mandated within the assembly. The golden question then becomes: “What exactly does the word overseer ἐπίσκοπος mean and is it strictly equivalent to teaching?

According to Scripture, both males and females have the ability to teach or communicate facts about the gospel. For example, the whole congregation was implored to teach and admonish one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs (Col 3:16). Older women were to teach the younger what was good and pure. (Tit. 2:3). And Philip did not restrain his daughters from prophesying (Acts 21:8-9).

However, the authoritative teaching mentioned in 1 Timothy 3:1-8, and more specifically an elder or male of the church, became the title of one in charge of “guarding” and teaching doctrine, and making sure it was “entrusted” to faithful men (2 Tim 2:2). In this capacity, men are acting more as gatekeepers of the gospel than strictly teaching.

For these reasons, a woman can’t take the role of a pastor or overseer. However, a woman still has every right to pray, prophesy, teach, and even preach in the congregation. If the premise I mentioned above is true, then the concern for elders is “sound doctrine”, preservation of the gospel, and authority over the direction of the church more than it is the right to preach in the pulpit. Apart from the blood of Christ, no fleshly saint, male or female, has the right to preach the glory and splendor of our Heavenly King.

That’s why I would say, “If a woman stands up and boldly preaches the gospel of Christ, a man can surely be convicted by the Holy Spirit and marvelously regenerated. This is because the woman has been taught well by the elders. She knows “sound doctrine.” And therefore, the elders can allow her to use any talents necessary to boldly proclaim the gospel. If it doesn’t align with God’s word or the conviction of the body of believers in the church, whether the preacher is male or female, then that person should be held accountable with the same standards.

I hope this helps. Blessings!

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