by Gene Shaparenko 1/5/05


The modern feminist movement has caused the role of Christian women in the church to be brought into sharp focus. Many mainline Protestant churches have women pastors preaching from pulpits which traditionally have been occupied only by men. Some also employ women in adult Sunday school classes where both adult men and women are present.

Is this biblical...or is it simply man’s(and woman’s) attempts at forcing the bible to conform to worldly modern thinking?

Is it a denial of the role of women in today’s Christian outreach or a matter of re-interpretation of the passages that deal with women to give these scriptures a meaning in line with the feminist movement?

When Paul was defining the role of women in the church in 1 Corinthians 14: 34-45 and 1 Timothy 2: 11-12, was he simply opining and perhaps discriminating against women as many modern feminists claim...or was he writing precisely what the Holy Spirit directed him to say?

Paul has consistently been a favorite target of both feminists and homosexuals as he provided a very clear description of those movements and their illicit as well as personal and societal-degrading activities.

On a larger scale, perhaps the issue is whether or not the Bible text loses its authority as time progresses or as “progressive” societal changes occur. Another view might be that when society progressively and repeatedly breaks Biblical mandates or directives, churches become increasingly intolerant or immune to what scripture specifically teaches.

Still another view is that scripture(and Paul) was speaking only of culteral restrictions that applied to his era. Certainly there are selected statements in the OT which were culturally instituted and applied only to those to whom it was written in their day. Such was the case of certain Mosaic laws which clearly were applicable to the Israelities in OT days but not of consequence after the Cross.

As one would imagine, the issue of women pastors draws considerable support from liberal theologians and those who believe the Bible was never meant to be interpreted literally. One such individual is Tony Campolo who has publicly stated that

“...anyone who resists the notion of women preachers is functioning as a tool of the devil”.

Address at Cooperative Baptist Fellowship General assembly meeting June 26, 2003.

Campolo consistently panders to the Charismatic, Roman Catholic and New Age Movements and his overall theological viewpoint in recent years has progressively become strongly anti-orthodox Christianity, including his stance on the acceptability of homosexual behavior.

The extent to which Campolo has consistently distorted and mis-stated Christian theology can be seen at

His comment above can be then evaluated in the proper context.

Another unabashed apologist for women preachers has been Dr. Jean Pruett, the first woman head Pastor of the South Carolina Baptist Convention who has stated that:

“the scriptures were never meant to be taken literally”.

To prove her point, she is quick to add:

“ many sassy children have been stoned at city hall”.

One would think that with a Doctoral degree in theology she would know OT history better. Presumably, we are to deduce from Dr. Pruett’s comments that when it comes to women’s “rights” in the modern church, it is ok to allegorize or spiritualize such direct texts as Corinthians and Timothy shown below. Where does one start or stop this private interpretation process?


1 Corinthians 14:34-35 says:

“...let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak: but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn anything, let them ask their husbands at home, for it is a shame for women to speak in the Church.”(KJV).

Many who quote this verse forget that it was immediately prefaced by the statement:

“...God is not the author of confusion”.

1 Corinthinans 14:33.

Paul was obviously pointing out that at Corinth there was theological confusion caused by allowing women to take a public role of church leadership. The confusion arose due to a disobedience to God’s instructions elsewhere in both in the OT and NT regarding man’s role in the church and in the home and the relationship and roles of both men and women in a Godly manner.

1 Timothy 2:11-12 says:

“...let the women learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, not to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.”

This is NOT Old Testament Mosaic Law. Intended to separate the Israelites from the heathen in their new Caanan this is New Testament instruction given by God for the proper construction and operation of churches which were to carry out the Great Commission.

Paul was giving instruction first to Timothy to correct the problems at the Church of Ephesus(including women teaching scripture) where these types of compromises had been introduced by Hymenaeus, Alexander and perhaps others, and secondly, transculturally for the construction and operation of churches in the future.

One can view this NT instruction as analagous to that of a homebuilder who has to follow certain civil, mechanical and electrical engineering building codes in order for the structure to be safe and sound in design and capable of withstanding the wind, rain and snow.

Without these guidelines, the church(as with the house) has no firm foundation and will blow or float away with the first inclement weather or changing societal conditions.

We see the results of these poor theological foundations throughout society today where compromises have been made in the structure and operation of the church, leading to openly homosexual church leaders, the conduct of same-sex marriages, and so forth. Does the term "religiously correct" apply? Perhaps.

This is not to say that all churches who ignore the scriptures above will end up conducting marriage ceremonies for individuals of the same sex. It simply means that the camel now has its nose under the tent and a significant compromise has been made in one critical aspect of church structure or operation.

It would therefore not be surprising to see compromises or structural instabilities occurring elsewhere, such as in church music, sermons, dress and conduct etc, all of which are carefully addressed in NT scripture.

When God’s principles are ignored, the results will always be destructive and will bring confusion and heartache.

It should be abundantly clear by now that the Bible is NOT the basis of faith and practice for those who hold unscriptural views such as women preachers or adult Sunday School teachers. Individuals who disagree with this are not disagreeing with this memo - they are disagreeing with God’s direct instructions on church operation!


A thorough discussion of all of the highly important roles that God has assigned women to play in society, home and church would take several volumes to cover. In the last few generations, scripturally defined roles for men and women have been torn apart by both the homosexual and feminist movements, each using arguments not from scripture but from laws instituted by highly liberal, activist judges and modernistic and backsliding church organizations.

In a real way, the feminist movement has stripped women of their place of high standing in both the Christian and non-Christian family and succeeded instead in degrading their position throughout society by placing them in positions where God has not ordained their occupancy.

Women in general have suffered greatly at the hands of a few activitist lesbian-oriented feminists who wish to dislodge the patriarchial home and church structure God established for us.

This upside down orientation of home, church and societal values is addressed by Isaiah:

“...woe unto them who call evil, good, and good, evil...”
Isaiah 5:20.

It is truly difficult to imagine the type of punishment that God will hand down to those who have ignored clear scriptural advise and instead turned both church and societal values upside down.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 tells us that:

“...all scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man(and woman) of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

If the bible sits in the pulpit or lecturn when the pastor is preaching, as a professing Christian, he is obligated to follow this directive. “Cafeteria Christianity”, combined with liberal translations of verses that condemn specific societal practices has greatly diminished the effectiveness of today’s churches and given the laity a false sense of security in this world and the world to come.


1 Timothy 2:9-15 and 1 Peter 3:1-7 provide clear and unmistakable directives for women and their highly important places in society, home and church. I find it highly suspect that in churches whose preachers(male or female) consider the reverence of the moment and subject at hand, ask the congregational to stand while scripture is read, that the verses noted at the beginning of this memo are never read.

I challenge you as a pastor or member of a congregation to take the whole counsel of God and not be guilty of “Cafeteria Christianity” when you appear at the Judgement Seat of Christ for an evaluation and rewards for those works done in this life.


1 Corinthians 14:34-35 says:

...let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak: but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn anything, let them ask their husbands at home, for it is a shame for women to speak in the Church.”(KJV).