I was just wondering why women aren't allowed to give sermonettes and sermons?

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I was just wondering why women aren't allowed to give sermonettes and sermons?

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In many Christian denominations, women preach and are ordained as ministers and pastors. And some of them are quite dynamic and articulate! However, since we get our guidance on such matters from the Scriptures, it is to the Bible that we look for direction on this subject.

Examining the Scriptures, we do find that women held many very important roles in the history of Israel and the Church. Women such as Ruth, Esther and Deborah were important in both leadership and serving within the plan of God. In the New Testament, we find that the older, experienced women (wives and mothers) were to teach the younger women.

Titus 2:3-5 says, "The older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things—that they may admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed."

We also find that many early Christian women taught their families out of the Word of God. Paul reminded Timothy of the things he had learned as a boy from his mother and grandmother. In 2 Timothy 1:5, Paul wrote, "When I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also."

Clearly, Paul was referring to the fact that much of Timothy's faith and understanding came as a result of the example and teaching of his mother and grandmother! Obviously, they were very good teachers. Notice later, in 2 Timothy 3:14-15, that Paul refers to the teaching Timothy received when he was a young boy: "But you must continue in the things which you have learned and have been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus."

All of that said, when it comes to teaching in a Sabbath service, God gave that responsibility to the ordained elders of the Church—which were men. In 1 Timothy 3:1-2 it says, "This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach."

Throughout the New Testament, the ordained elders were to be the primary teachers during a Sabbath or worship service setting. Paul even wrote that women were not to be fulfilling that role within the Church: "Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says. And if they want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is shameful for women to speak in church" (1 Corinthians 14:34-35).

In his letter to Timothy, Paul added, "but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works. Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence" (1 Timothy 2:10-12).

These verses may seem to be a bit harsh or direct today; however, Paul was dealing with a number of issues that were resulting in people not serving or functioning in their respective roles—and there was confusion on this issue. These teachings are not a matter of ability or importance of women—but the teaching role that God defined in the Bible.


  • David L. Nunn

    1 Timothy 2:12-14 NKJV
    And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. [13] For Adam was formed first, then Eve. [14] And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.

    The reason Paul was against women being in authority in the church or teaching men in a formal Church setting was that it repeated the mistakes of the Garden of Eden.

  • jledbetter07
    This is such a sensitive topic for many even in the Church because our modern culture has departed so far from God's way and instruction including in how we view the roles of men and women both at home and in Church services. Our ability to understand God's reasoning is so very limited. Because of that we MUST always refer to scripture for instruction and not to our own human reasoning, emotion or feelings. God tells us in Isaiah 55:7-9 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. 9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." We have to be careful not to use God's promise of help and guidance from His Holy Spirit as an excuse to go our own way. An absolute truth is that the Holy Spirit will never lead us to contradict God's inspired instruction in the scriptures. So if we feel we are being led by the Holy Spirit in a direction that contradicts scriptural instruction - we need to seriously and humbly question where that influence truly comes from. Hebrews 13:8 says "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." He has not changed but we have. Culture changes radically through the generations but we can always count on the Rock to be there steady and unwavering. If we are willing to submit to His instruction for our lives then we find true fulfillment and purpose. I appreciate the comments and discussion above, especially the ones that use the scriptures in full context to shed light on the topic. I personally choose to accept God's teaching on this topic through the scriptures He inspired and I have not been hindered at all from serving with God's help in the Church as well as in my role as wife and mother but I do not speak in Church services. As a result of my work "behind the scenes", others are more able to perform their roles as teachers during Church services. God has perfect reasoning and as we obey His commandments He begins to open our eyes and we receive more and more of His perfect wisdom, strength and also fulfillment - its beautiful.
  • Norbert Z
    As Kars has commented, that Jesus chose 12 men. By today's standards, non-Christians would accuse Him of discrimination. How much of that mindset has entered into Christianity? Where women and "men" have to give a biblical explanation to make Him look like He isn't discriminatory. There is an inclination in everyone to form God in their own image. Problems occur when a person fails to see it.
  • KARS
    You know what resolved this issue for me? The four gospels; Matthew, Mark, Luke, & John. In each account their were only 12 men and Jesus Christ seated that night for the Passover meal. That is a clear intication that our Lord and Savior chose men to do the preaching. So, do you wish to continue to argue with our Savior who set the rules long ago? It is the role of women to train up a child in the way he should go so that he will never depart from it. We women have a big role to teach our children morality, manners, and respect for our loving creator God our Father and His Only Begotten Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Let the men do the job God gave them to do. Jesus set the example long ago.
  • Berowe
    The Son of God has been, is, and will be forever. The Church is and will be forever with Christ, but the Church did not exist until the world and man were created through Christ. He has been building His Church since creation and will be built and changed from corruptible flesh to an incorruptible spirit when the Church is resurrected at His return. Also, Christ lived perfectly. Satan tried to deceive Him, but did not succeed. We, all humanity including those in the Church, all sin and fall short of the Glory of God. The Church when changed, although part of the God family, will always be in submission to Jesus Christ, even as Christ will always be in submission to His Father. (1 Corinthians 11:3) Also, the Church will have many responsibilities in the kingdom, but Christ will always be the King of Kings, Lord of Lords, and the High Priest. Jesus will be the one who teaches the Church, not the Church teaching Him. He will have the authority over the Church, the Church will not have authority over Him. Women are not put down or treated as less even though they are not to speak in church. In fact, they are "silent" teachers for the men! It is men who preach in church about the roles of women, but it is all to often men who do not submit themselves to Christ. Sometimes they are filled with pride and forget that Christ is the head of the Church making themselves more important to follow than to live peaceably and to fellowship with the brethren. Men may be made in the image of the glory of God, but that does not make men more important. Rather, it compels men to be responsible for the church and for the family; to love as Christ loved and lead as Christ lead. We should all meditate on that women are a shadow of something to come: The Church; the Bride and spiritual body of our Lord Jesus Christ.
  • Berowe
    The reason women are not to speak in church has nothing to do with culture. Are we to say that God is affected by human culture? No. If God did want women to be a part of the religious service, He would have had women serve in the Levitical priesthood. He did not. Women, as seen in Ephesians 5, are the physical representation of the spiritual Church; the bride of Christ. Because men are made in the image of the glory of God, 1 Corinthians 11:7, they represent God and Christ during church services, and also the family. (Head coverings is another great study to understand the man/woman and Christ/Church relationship) What we should do is look towards the kingdom when proving a doctrine or belief. So let's look at one of the main scriptures of women in the church and see how it could paint a picture for us of the kingdom of God. Most people only quote 2 versus in 1 Timothy chapter 2 and then ask "why?". "Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence."  1Ti 2:11-12 The "why" is in the next 2 versus, and it has nothing to do with culture. "For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression."  1Ti 2:13-14 There is the "why". But how can we apply this to the relationship of man/woman and the kingdom of God? First, Christ is the man/husband/Adam. Please refer back to Ephesians 5:22-32. We also can show that Jesus is the second Adam. "And so it is written, "THE FIRST MAN ADAM BECAME A LIVING BEING." The last Adam became a life-giving spirit."  1Co 15:45 Second, the Church is the woman, or Eve; the bride. Again, refer to Ephesians 5. With these two ideas applied we can see 1 Timothy 2:11-14 a little clearer. "Let the Church learn in silence with all submission. And God will not permit the Church to teach or have authority over Jesus Christ, but to be in silence. For Christ was first, then the Church. And Christ was not deceived, but the Church being deceived, fell into transgression."
  • Berowe
    Hello Josiah, God is not a respecter of persons. He does not respect men over women when it comes to ministry. What He is really doing is showing us, through the relationship of men and women, a picture of how it will be in the Kingdom when it is established on earth after Christ's return. To begin, the relationship between men and women is directly related to Christ and the Church, His bride. Ephesians 5:22-32; that passage ends with the summary, "This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church."  Eph 5:32 An understanding of the relationship between men and women in relation to the Kingdom is vital to truly understanding "roles" within the churches of God. The bible never states that women should never speak of something religious, to never have a point of view and then not share it, or not to be able to have responsibilities in church. On the contrary, there are examples of when women did speak, teach, and have responsibilities. The first person to go out and speak of Jesus after He was born was a woman named Anna; she was a prophetess and she spoke of Him to all who were seeking redemption in Israel. Priscilla, along with her husband Aquilla, taught Apollos the Way more clearly since he only knew of the baptism of John and not of the Holy Spirit. Phoebe had duties to perform when the letter of Romans was delivered to the church there and the members of the church were to assist her. Even with these examples, we don't see Anna preaching in a synagogue for all to hear. Aquilla and Priscilla took Apollos to the side, possibly to their home, but it was not a public instruction; and while Phoebe had responsibilities, it is never shown that she or any woman preached publicly. Since Paul had stated that women were to be silent in the churches and not to teach or have authority over men, it is not hard to see that these women had important roles in the church, they did not preach in public.
  • mm2smile
    Please refer to Ivan's comment and references above fitter more in depth studies. While the scripture specifically says that women are not to speak in the church service, women can certainly teach in other settings including Sabbath school. Someone called to minister is someone called to serve, and there are so many ways we can do that without giving a message inn the church service. Even so, God created men and women to be different while equal, and as such having different roles. We all need to be careful to read what the Bible actually. Paul teaches from a similar perspective of roles in Ephesians 5:22-6:9. Each role comes with a lesson to learn for preparation to beer in the family of God.
  • josiah1980
    First of all I agree with Tali. Secondly we must look at this from their perspective in that culture. Women were looked down on. Their testimony was not even valued in court. Also the men and women were separated so if a women didn't understand what was taught and asked her husband, it would cause a disruption. If you read the whole chapter it talks about keeping things in order. But I want to leave you with this question. If a women can't preach but does and someone repents is their repentance valid? Also my mom was a Sunday school teacher for 20+ yrs. so are you telling me she had no business teaching? One final question. If God is no respect of persons, then why is he respecting the man above the female in terms of ministry? Just my .02. Love and God Bless.
  • cjgennaro
    Tali, I fear you are simply using the scriptures to reason around Paul's direct words, "Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak..." In the New Testement church, women were not permitted to speak at services. This is our example to follow
  • Tali

    Hi All,

    I've referenced the verses and viewed the video about women. There are some things that I agree on and somethings that leaves unrest. First, let me start off by saying that I am a firm believer in the Word of God and am also dependent upon His Spirit for understanding and guidance. I'd like to first reference 1 John 2:27 KJV - "But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him." (spoken by John) However, what did Jesus say, I reference John 14:26 KJV - "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." (spoken by Jesus) I think that it is important to take into account of who is doing the speaking with prayer and seeking God for further revelation. I'd also like to go now to Galatians 3:23-28 - "But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus." These verses remind me of those who stated that they followed and were believers of the law given through Moses, but when Jesus had come, they knew him not. In God's Word Jesus says, "and greater things shall you do in my name". (John 14:12) If God even spoke through an ass to Balaam in Numbers 22:28. I'm sure that we can all agree, that we do not call ourselves, He calls us. There are many calling themselves unto prophecy as prophets and the like, but God had not called or sent them. (Jeremiah 23) And, what is the Church (we are the vessels, the body). Ministry is our livelihood, it's who we are, not just what we do. His power by his Spirit is what enables us to do the impossible - even speaking through women during assemblies and yes, even as teachers.

  • Ivan Veller

    Hello, you may be interested in reading an article entitled The Honorable Role of Women, written by a lady from our congregation who opens by talking about the concerns of Elizabeth Cady Stanton: http://www.ucg.org/marriage-and-family/honorable-role-women/

    Here is a frequently asked question of "What does the Bible say about women ministers (pastors or preachers)?" http://www.ucg.org/bible-faq/what-does-bible-say-about-women-ministers-pastors-or-preachers

    A more detailed explanation may be found in a study paper entitled "The Biblical Role of Women": http://members.ucg.org/papers/WomensRole.pdf

    Lastly, here is an article by the president of UCG entitled "The High Calling of Women in the Church": http://www.ucg.org/doctrinal-beliefs/high-calling-women-church/

  • reverendcady

    In todays society, I strongly feel that women are going to play a "very Important role" in the respect to the "gathering together of the masses". As mentioned in the above article Paul was surely doing God's Holy Work! In today's world women sometimes are better able to distinguish differences that men cannot, therefore women, I believe and actually feel that we will be brought up from the days of the past in order to "help" enlighten others unto The Lord our God. As it is noted many times throughout the Bible, that in today's world there will be those of false prophecy, which clearly implicate the role that "man" and "men" will ultimately be the forunners of such a role that is now as we come to understand the "end of times". This being said, I am in no way trying to be disobediant to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! I, too am a sinner, and no better than anyone else on this earth, but I strongly feel a calling, if you will, that God has a purpose for me in such a manner that will eventually involve a ministry.
    So, with that said, am I now a blasphemer of God's Holy Scripture? Surly I could go on for hours about this particular subject, but I also know that I still have so much to learn, and such a short time in which to learn what is necessary before Christ's return!

  • Skip Miller

    Hello again & then again, reverandcady!
    I'm going to approach your last statement first: Amen! We all have less time remaining than we had yesterday. But in regard to your expressed need to learn more, more quickly, have you taken the correspondence course? I suggest it because it proceeds in a methodical way building concept upon concept. God's Word & Way makes excellent long term (& short term too) sense. I wish you well.
    Women? Vitally important! & prominent in both Old & New Testaments.
    I particularly like the teamwork shown by Priscilla & Aquila. Look up their names & it becomes clear that they both were used powerfully.

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