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Women behind Pulpits–Gasp! There are some folks who have no problem with women running businesses, but put a woman behind a pulpit and they cry “heresy!”

What if the Lord visited that woman, called her Himself, anointed her to evangelize the lost?

Those who say women should never minister the gospel to the general assembly usually point out one or two scriptures upon which they formed their women-be-silent-in-the-church theology.

We have to consider context in light of the written Word. Context is extremely important and helpful. These passages are written from a patriarchal worldview. In the culture of the day, women and men were segregated in the temple–women on one side, men on the other side. Women were also considered property. The rape law called for fathers to be paid for damages and the female victim to marry her rapist. Women were honored for how many sons they produced, but little more.

Yet in that culture, God chose to honor women as leaders and speakers and teachers by including them in the Bible–this is remarkable and is a loud message to all of us that God calls whom He calls and He anoints whom He anoints. Period.

Many passages throughout the Bible show women as servant leaders where they are anointed by God to declare His Word. Some were even in positions of authority over women and men.

Let’s take for our first example, Deborah. She was a judge and a prophet–hello–judges ruled Israel in government positions. This means, Deborah (a woman) ruled the nation of Israel–gasp. And since she was a prophet, she also used her mouth to declare God’s word, His wisdom, instruction, and direction.

And there were other women prophets and declarers of God’s Word mentioned in the Bible, Miriam, Hulda, Noadiah, Isaiah’s wife, Anna, and the four daughters of Philip.

Do you need some more names? How about Rachel, Hannah, Abigail, Elisabeth, and Mary? They had prophetic visions and words which they declared through their mouths to men.

One final commentary on women preachers, “Your sons and daughters will prophesy…Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy” (Acts 2:17–18).

(For further study…See: Women as property, Exodus 20:17, Deuteronomy 5:21, Judges 5:30; Paul’s word about women being silent, 1 Timothy 2:11-15; the rape law, Deuteronomy 22:28-29; women leaders / prophets Judges 4 & 5, Micah 6:4, Exodus 15, 2 Kings 22…happy reading.)

The photos included here are published in the US before 1923 and are in the public domain in the US.

Pamela Koefoed

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