Did you know...that God approves of women preachers, and even women pastors? He does. The Scriptures that have been used to silence women in churches have nothing to do with a mandate from God about who is called into pulpit ministry. Rather, those Scriptures are in the context of keeping order in the marriage relationship...that the wife should not usurp authority over her husband. The paramount issue is about the gift of God. It doesn't make sense that God would grace a woman with an anointing to teach and preach, and then tell her not to use it in the church (but allow it in the streets or something). The truth is, the Scriptures that mention "silencing the women" have a mistranslated word.

The key discrepancy revolves around the translation of the New Testament word women. The Greek word for women and woman is "gune" (pronounced goonay). However, the word "gune" is also the same exact Greek word for wife and wives. There is only one Greek word for both woman and wife, and that is where the translators missed it and where some churches miss it still today. Many topics where women were commanded something different than men actually only referred to wives and husbands rather than gender.

The theme of Paul's writings always focused on keeping the husband/wife relationship in tact, with wives submitting to husbands properly. The Bible does not have a theme of taking women out of all leadership roles and suppressing them from speaking in church.

Through the history of the Church, there have been churches who kept certain traditions without knowing the reason why they were keeping them. For instance, 1 Corinthians 11:1-16 mentions that women should not pray with their head uncovered, so they are either to keep their hair long or put something on top of their head when they pray. And there is one particular Christian denomination that still requires their women to put a little handkerchief on their head while in church. It is wrong. And it is not needed. There are some things in the New Testament that Paul addressed that were more cultural for that day than anything else (such as the covering of the head, Paul shaving his body to keeping a vow in front of the Jews, etc.). The mention of women covering their head when they pray (just like the wives speaking in church question) is a husband/wife issue of submission and NOT a male / female issue of all females putting a cloth on their head or forcing all women to have a certain length hair. It is the same logic concerning female preachers. It has nothing to do with the spiritual calling of a female, but only about wives staying humble and submitted under their husbands for the sake of order and honor - both in the home and in the church.

Taking the Bible literally means that we must view each Scripture and each truth in light of other Scriptures and other truths in the Bible. And we must always ask the question of why? Asking why a certain thing is important is the key that leads us to the full truth on the matter, rather than relying on one scripture alone to force women to "cover their heads when praying," for example. Actually, this principle of asking why is how we reconcile 1 Corinthians 14:34 "Let your women (wives) keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak." If we took that portion of Scripture literally without asking why and without the Spirit of the New Testament, we would be forced to keep women totally silent in the church building. But you don't think we should do that, do you?

And why not? Why do all churches allow women to speak in the church, whether in the children's class, the foyer, the fellowship room, in the singing, or even in the preaching, even though that one partial Scripture says don't allow it? Because when we ask the question "why?" it leads us further into the Scriptures - further into the full truth about it. The rest of that Scripture helps us understand. "But they (wives) are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law." Again, the mention of 'wives' and their 'speaking' relates to their role of submission and obedience to their husbands. It is obvious, for we know that not all women are to be under obedience to all men - only wives to husbands (for example, my wife is certainly not required to obey and submit to Mr. Bob down the street - only to me). And that was the only reason for Paul addressing the wives in the church who were trying to speak over and usurp authority over their husbands. Of course, if any female preacher or pastor who overstepped the boundary and acted in a manner unsubmitted to her husband, we would have to forgive her, and she would need to repent to God about it And just the same, if any male pastor or leader in a church usurped authority over the pastor, they would be in error and we would have to forgive them, as well. It's all about order, so that the function of the church is smooth and powerful. And having a female preacher/leader at church does not ruin that.