So for the last few weeks, I’ve Been ranting about an issue that I believe is actually hindering the growth of one my most beloved institutions, the black church. You can read them here:
- What’s Happening Wednesdays: Real Talk
- What’s Happening Wednesday: Woman, Thou Art Loosed
- What’s Happening Wednesday: Woman, Thou Art Loosed Part II
I was brought up in churches that taught that the Bible was the final authority in every matter. So what does the Bible say about women preachers and pastors?
I’m sure some of you will point to Paul’s insistence that an overseer be the husband of one wife in his correspondence to Timothy. Others will point to Paul stating that he did not allow women to exercise authority over men. I don’t argue these points. Paul said these things.
As a Pharisee, Paul would have been familiar with the writing of the prophet Joel, who first wrote that God would pour out his Spirit in all flesh. Paul also wrote about the priesthood of all believers. He penned “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus,” in his letter to the Galatian church. He might have even agreed with Peter who stated that “God is no respecter of persons.” But then he also said he doesn’t allow women to speak in churches. So maybe God isn’t a respecter if persons, but Paul was.
We have to consider that when we read his writing, much of which he clearly says is his opinion, and not that of God, himself.
Speaking of God himself, Genesis 1:27 says that he created both male and female in his image. Ephesians says that he gives gifts to men. (If you think this is exclusive to the male of the species, then I know you haven’t studied any linguistic or foreign language classes and you probably are not a regular reader of my blog! You can stop reading now, because nothing I have ever said has gotten through to you anyway! Thanks for checking in though.) it is ridiculous to think that God gave gifts to anyone that should not be used to edify the body, or glorify His name.
Summarily, Romans 12:6-8 says if you have a gift, use it. So if the Spirit of the Lord is upon you to proclaim good news to the poor, bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives or to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, then do that! There will be people who will tell you you can’t. But don’t worry about that. Your gift will make room for you. Woman, (and Man)Thou Art Loosed!