I have a question regarding having women as elders and preachers. Is this
biblical? Willow Creek Community Church, led by Bill Hybels believes so.
The answer is clearly that it is "not" Biblical to have women in positions of leadership in the church. A woman as an Elder or a Preacher is a clear violation of Scripture.
In the context of the Church, God says, "I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent." [1 Timothy 2:12]
This is pretty clear, and a person does not need a seminary degree to figure out its meaning. The context is the Church, and it plainly says that women are not to be in any leadership or teaching roles in the church that affect men. It does not prohibit women from teaching other women and children (as prescribed by other Scriptures), for they are commanded to do that.
Now, one might wonder why then would a church like "Willow Creek" openly violate such a clear teaching of Scripture? For one, we need to remember that the church does not live in a vacuum, and that the enemy (Satan and the demons) constantly seek to corrupt God's people and His chosen bride the Church. Church leaders have to remain constantly vigilant against the introduction of error. But Church History reveals that for the majority of churches and denominations, they failed and false doctrine came in and eventually destroyed their effectiveness.
Jesus said, "You nullify the Word of God by your tradition." [Mark 7:13], and this is, in a sense what happens. Man begins to input his ideas and traditions into the teachings and practices of the church, and in time the Word of God has no effect because it is watered-down.
Our society has put a lot of pressure on the churches to expand the roles of women in the churches, and instead of holding true to God's Word, many churches and denominations, having lost discernment, have yielded to the society, by trying to create a more "seeker-friendly" church, therefore hoping to increase attendance and thus bring more souls into the kingdom. However, what they fail to remember is that we must do it God's way, and His way only.
I am a firm believer that if we will just teach and preach the truth of the Word with boldness and courage, always "lifting Christ up," then the Holy Spirit will draw men and women to the cross and bring about plenty of salvations. That is what the great preachers of the past did. Spurgeon, Whitefield, Ryle, Edwards, and Bunyan preached Christ, and they had churches full of people and saw many, many souls come to Christ. God hasn't changed, the saving power of the Gospel hasn't changed, and the unbeliever hasn't changed (still blind and deaf to spiritual things), so the only element that has changed and is preventing the fields from being harvested is the Church. The church no longer preaches a pure gospel and doctrine, therefore they have little impact or growth. Instead of the church turning to God's Word and repenting of their sins, and correcting their doctrines, they instead turn to the world for the answers on how to increase Church growth. They incorporate marketing tools and shows, plays, carnivals, etc., to attract a crowd (I recently saw a "clown" outside a church, standing by the highway on Sunday morning, trying to get people to come to their church service!). These worldly techniques work, as far as increasing numbers, but they never bring in the elect of God. They attract the non-elect, who don't really want Christ, but only to be religious. Spurgeon once said, "If you have to give a carnival to attract people to your church, then you must continue having carnivals to keep them!"
One of the very basic reasons for starting Bible Bulletin Board, many years ago, was to provide the Church exposure to truth, as preached and taught by some of the most godly preachers I was aware of. I chose not only the great preachers of the past, but also John MacArthur, truly God's chosen instrument for this generation. In fact, I even started putting the sermons of the great preachers of the past on tape and CD, to assist even more. My heart grieves over the teachings and doctrines of many churches today.
Also see new sermon posted on "Women Preachers" by R. L. Dabney (1820-1898) with updated English. In addition, this sermon is available on Audio cassette and CD (preached by Tony Capoccia) goto: www.gospelgems.com
Added to Bible Bulletin Board's "Tony Capoccia's Questions and Answers" by:
Bible Bulletin Board
Columbus, New Jersey, USA, 08022
Our websites: www.biblebb.com and www.gospelgems.com
Online since 1986