Women’s Preaching Affirmed by Scripture
I recently came across a blog article by Pastor Brian Mann who although he is a complementarian, admits that God affirms women’s preaching. Mann writes:
I am not sure we are completely biblical in many circles concerning the way God views women in ministry. And considering this subject, there is much to learn.
Pastor Mann makes an excellent point about the personification of wisdom in Proverbs, and it is a point that I think we should make note of:
“Wisdom shouts in the street, She lifts her voice in the square; At the head of the noisy streets she cries out; At the entrance of the gates in the city, she utters her sayings” (Proverbs 1:20-21 NASB).
Here we have Wisdom personified as a woman. And she is in places like ‘the square’, ‘the noisy streets’, and ‘the entrance of the gates in the city’. These are places that are places of business. It is where the elders gathered in 4:1-2 to decide on the fate of Ruth and Naomi. And it had become a regular place where there elders of the city would gather and men would do business, legal business. And to be known as a man by the elders or to be an elder of the city was indeed a particular privilege (See Prov. 31:22-23).
After giving the account where the women were sent forth as witnesses to the disciples of the good news of the resurrection, Pastor Mann states that the men did not believe the women. Then he writes:
The above account shows the women sharing the good news that Jesus is alive, but it is not received, but disbelieved because of women bringing the news. It says “they had not believed those…” ‘those’ being the women who were telling them that Jesus had risen. And it says that Jesus ‘reproached them for their unbelief and hardness of heart.’ This tells me that if I am not willing to hear the good news of Jesus Christ from a woman that Jesus is saying I have a hard heart and I am unbelieving. I should not be unwilling to hear the good news from anyone. When I came to know Jesus Christ, I just remembered, a woman counseled my wife and I concerning the Gospel.
While I do not agree with Brian Mann that there are “roles” set out in the bible (no such term is ever used in Scripture) or that because of “roles” that women cannot be pastors, I do applaud him for taking the first step to encourage his church to set aside cultural and religious norms in order to listen to women who preach the truth of God’s words.
But, to humble us perhaps, a woman is seen in Proverbs 1 as preaching; why? You answer. It has to at least be to make us see that we need to learn from everyone, and if a woman is preaching in the streets the very truth of God it would do us wise to listen to her and put aside both our cultural and religious norms.
God’s Spirit is indeed working in even some of the churches which have been the strongholds against women in ministry. He has opened the door for His women to be heard. The truth of what Brian Mann has written about Proverbs is an encouraging word. May the Lord Jesus continue to open doors wide open for his women “sons” to minister God’s gifts to the church.