pulpitMany Christians have an almost sacramental view of church leaders and of the Sunday morning message.  Even many evangelicals believe that only an ordained, priest-like man can preach a sermon from the “hallowed” pulpit.  This sacramental view – and the tradition and jargon that goes with it – hinders many people from seeing the possibility that godly, gifted women may also teach and preach in congregational settings.

Here are a few previously posted articles which look at arguments commonly used to keep women out of church leadership, in particular, arguments that use the idea of a male-only priesthood or clergy.  [Click on the titles to read more.]

Old Testament Priests and New Testament Ministers

One common argument that is used to support the position that women cannot be church leaders is the fact that in the Old Testament only men were permitted to serve as priests in the Tabernacle, and later in the Temple.  However there are several significant shortcomings in this argument. [1500 words]

Is it only men who can represent Jesus?

Some Christians believe that, because Jesus is a man, only men can represent Jesus. Many of these same Christians also believe that church leaders somehow represent Jesus to the congregation, and so, because Jesus is male, women cannot be church leaders. This article looks at some of the flaws in these beliefs, and it answers the question: Is it only men who can represent Jesus? [1000 words]

The Twelve Apostles were All Male

An argument often brought up in discussions about women in church leadership is that Jesus’ twelve apostles were all male, and, because there were no females among the Twelve, this means that women cannot be church leaders. This article gives several reasons why this argument is not valid. [1500 words]

Gender Division Divides the Church

Revelation 5:9-10 is about the universal and inclusive nature of the Church and the priesthood of believers. Hierarchical complementarians, however, are intent on separating and dividing the Church into two distinct groups, solely on the basis of gender, effectively creating a male priestly class. [500 words]

Ten Reasons Why Men should not be Ordained as Ministers

This list has been doing the rounds on the internet at least since 2005.  But, just in case you’ve missed it, here are the top ten reasons why men should not be ordained as ministers.  This insightful (and satirical) list was compiled by the late Dr David M. Scholer, a former New Testament professor at Fuller Theological Seminary.  [350 words]

Authority in the Church

It seems that many Christians are overly concerned with the issue of who has authority over another person. In particular they are concerned about whether a woman can have authority over a man.  This article answers the question: Who has authority in the church?  [1500 words]

Gender Roles and Speaking Ministries in the Church

I believe that the culture of male primacy and privilege in ministry – a culture that has been pervasive for centuries – is wrong.  It is wrong for the church to be effectively “owned and operated” by men only. It is wrong that the Bible, God’s Word to humanity, is effectively “owned” and interpreted by men only.  Having only men as leaders, teachers and speakers in the church goes beyond any valid understanding of what the Scripture says about women speaking in the New Covenant community of the church. [1300 words]

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