Can Women Preach Under Elder Authority?

Can Women Preach Under Elder Authority?

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth is a respected Bible teacher among many. She teaches about biblical womanhood but she also teaches other parts of the Bible. In looking at her site to find what she believes about women preaching in church gatherings and to men, this is what I found:

“At the same time, Nancy does not believe that occasional teaching by women in mixed audiences is inappropriate, as long as two things are clear. First, that it is taking place under the headship of male spiritual authority. (The word translated have authority means “to exercise authority on one’s own account; to domineer over—one who acts on his own authority; to have dominion.”) And, second, as long as the woman involved is not put in a position of ongoing responsibility for the spiritual direction of men. (The word translated to teach in 1 Timothy 2:12 is in a tense that indicates ongoing instruction.)”

I am going to have to disagree with her since the Bible is clear that women are not to teach nor be in authority over men and we aren’t given exceptions to this command. What about being quiet in the churches has she missed as well? “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 any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church” (1 Corinthians 14:34, 35).

Women are commanded to “keep silence in the churches; for it is not permitted unto them to speak.” We are also told that “it is a shame for women to speak in the church.” I am not sure how God could have been more clear about this.

I don’t know how the definitions she gives of authority or teach change this command: “But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence” (1 Timothy 2:12). There are zero examples of women preaching/teaching in the churches in the Bible. None. There are no examples of women teaching the Bible to other women either.

On Mother’s Day, Beth Moore, along with other women, preached in churches. The Bible doesn’t give special days that women can preach. It doesn’t say they can preach under the elders’ authority. The ministry of preaching/teaching the Word of God and spiritual authority has been clearly given to men and we can see this throughout the entire Bible.

According to the Bible, women cannot preach under the authority of the elders. The elders of the churches should not allow this to happen. It’s becoming way too common in churches today as they bow to the feminist agenda. There’s nothing wrong with women being quiet in the church services. In fact, it’s good for us to sit quietly and learn, which we are commanded to do. Yes, we can sing and praise the Lord with the congregation but other than this, we are to be in silence. There is nothing wrong with silence, women. It’s an act of submission to His divine will and it is good.

Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.
2 Timothy 2:11

39 thoughts on “Can Women Preach Under Elder Authority?

  1. Totally agree! Seems like people are always trying to find exceptions and ways to justify their actions that aren’t biblical. I’m actually ok with women teaching women (still under male headship of the church of course not just teaching unbiblical doctrine) as the bible doesn’t necessarily prohibit this but teaching over men or better yet speaking during service is clearly not biblical. No exceptions in the church.

  2. Good for you, Lori. Sorry to see this woman going down the heretical path trod by so many.

  3. Sometimes it surprises me how often some women need to be reminded to keep silent in church, eventhough God’s word is very clear about it! It seems there is always someone who is more than willing to take that step outside of HIS clear commands for us!
    This article is a good reminder!
    Thank you! ?

  4. In my experience, women are the church busy bodies. Some of the women in my church remind me of the Aunt in Pollyanna. Remember her? She would slip the Pastor a note about what she thought he should be teaching? As the richest woman in town, he listened. Nowadays, I think Pastors get their ears chewed off by women wanting things and they tire and give in. I can imagine a few women in my church chomping away, I’m sad to say.

  5. I am noticing in our local churches that young women are being hired in the high school ministry to deliver “sermon/talks” to high school youth groups on Sunday mornings. Technically, the talks are for those under 18. I understand women teaching children in Sunday School but the young women talking to a mixed group of high schoolers concerns me. What are your thoughts on this?

  6. Are these “talks” testimonies? I think it is appropriate for young women to give testimonies to teenage men and women. Young men can benefit from hearing the struggles women may face (as long as the talk remains chaste in mixed company) and young women can benefit from listening to role models close to their own age.

  7. Should women be allowed to read a bible story to young ones (under 10), and do activities based on that?

  8. That’s such a funny observation. It’s ironic but the early church flourished because of rich women, often widows who had enough agency to bring their faith and finances to a growing faith. They didn’t occupy a teaching capacity but certainly I think the esteem the two most ancient Churches, Catholic and Orthodox have stems from the very important role of women in the early Church. These Churches venerate women by way of the Virgin Mary and Saints yet manage to keep women away from the pulpit and content about it! The movements in these Churches on the part of women is small and not nearly as vocal as Pentecostal and Evangelical Churches. I don’t understand how Pentecostals and Evangelicals which are revival churches seeking to go back to Biblical Basics can’t shut their women up. Apologies for the bluntness but it makes no sense. Catholic Choirs are even comprised of boys! They simply do not entertain women at the front of the Church and they condition this from a young age. This over enthusiasm of women to preach and praise is a result of over the theatrical nature of these Churches. They lack solemn reverence for God and his word in theory and practice.

  9. What about women being quiet in the churches and it being shameful for women to speak in them? I see know problem with women giving testimonies to men outside of the church service but Paul is clear that they are to be quiet in the gatherings of believers.

  10. I am confused about your statement, “There are no examples of women teaching the Bible to other women either.”

    What about: Titus 2:3-5? While not an actual example, it is Paul’s instruction (to Titus to teach) to women. What are your thoughts on womens Bible studies?

    “The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; THAT THEY MAY TEACH the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”

  11. In our church women can teach boys unless they are baptized. Once a boy is baptized all their teachers are men. So I’d guess most boys in our churches get baptized between 10-15 so usually 4th or 5th grade on has men teachers.

  12. Kate, I have noticed that some young women come and give their testimonies to the high schoolers in a somewhat volunteer position. But now, in many local churches in my city they are hiring young women as interns and then the young women accept a full-time job within the high school groups division. They appear to give more than testimonies in these talks.

  13. Hmm..women can teach. But only other women and children and only in this context:

    “3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;

    4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children”

    The only example in the scripture that comes to mind of a woman teaching a man was King Lemuel’s mother. She is the woman who taught him what’s written in the famous Proverbs 31. Though, that’s an example of a woman teaching her child even though he’s grown.

  14. God is very specific on what He wants older women to teach younger women, namely biblical womanhood. Most women’s Bible studies never teach biblical womanhood. Most famous female Bible preachers/teachers never teach biblical womanhood. This is what I was referring to, CC, since I write extensively what older women are to teach younger women.

  15. I understand your question, CC. If a woman is teaching other (younger) women, like Paul instructs, there are other books of the Bible that could be used to teach goodness, love, and obedience, etc., which are mandates for women.
    I’ve been reading this blog for a little less than a year, and the same verses and topics come up repeatedly. While we need to be constantly striving to follow the few commands for Biblical womanhood, I would love the opportunity to be taught by an older woman with more spiritual experience, and what better source to use to teach Biblical womanhood than the WHOLE Bible?

  16. I sometimes think this site is a site full of poes. Trolls having a giant laugh. Women are more than capable of teaching others, even, gasp, men. In any capacity on any subject, including how male genitalia works. As women can and do study medicine and can and do have male patients. Such gender boundaries as you suggest suggest the Taliban. Or any highly restrictive religious arena where women are regarded as chattel, livestock, pets, property, punching bags, scapegoats and fragile creatures. Men benefit greatly from hearing from women as do women hearing the honest experiences of men. If there is an actual exchange of information across gender lines, it erases so much of the misunderstandings, the myths, the ignorance and the fear, hatred and savagery. As men who are taught women owe them everything tend to treat women like toilet paper.

    I’m concerned, too. This blog and the commenters are concerning to any person with actual decency, common sense and a grasp of reality.

  17. CVD, excellent points.

    “can’t shut their women up” – Ha, ha! So true!!

  18. Teaching your own children in the home and under your husbands authority is one thing but I definitely do not think that it is acceptable to teach boys once they stop being boys.

  19. You are operating in a mindset based on worldly feelings rather than faith in God’s Word. And you are missing the point. The point was never an issue of capability. I believe that I am very “capable” of delivering a very good sermon. I write well, I am trained in public speaking, and I have a pretty good delivery. BUT….why would I want this thing that God has said is not for me? There are a few reasons. #1- my own sin and pride. Satan has been a liar from the beginning and he Says things to me like, “you are just as good as a man”, “don’t let men run over you”, “fight for your rights”! But God says to lay down my rights, obey Him, and that my worth is not based on me impressing anyone with my skills, but in the One who made me for His purpose. #2- To elevate ME! I don’t need to elevate myself. I need to obey God. I need to submit to Him….and He will reward that. We aren’t rebelling against men when we insist on our way. We are rebelling against God’s design and telling Him that He messed up.

    We must stop believing the lies. We have NOTHING that God needs! Yet He chooses to use men and women and He designed how He would do it. And His ways are perfect. Trust what He has said, and don’t fall into the snares of the enemy, who from the beginning has tried to convince us that God is not good.

  20. I get where you’re coming from but you have to keep in mind that God’s ways are not man’s ways. God is counter-intuitive to us. The Jews thought the Messiah would be a mighty earthly king who would restore David’s throne on earth. Instead he came as a meek servant willing to sacrifice his life for us. For that God exalted him. The same is true for us women. The world thinks we ought to exercise earthly power instead we are called to be meek and quiet. God exalts us for that too but not only God. Our men value us too. A woman who is the things taught in scripture and by Lori, meek, quiet, good mother and wife, Proverbs 31 is indeed praised and her value is above rubies.

    I’m still a work in progress but I’ve been trying to live my life according to scripture (not a modern reinterpretation of scripture) for most of my life. It has done me and my family well. My husband calls me wise and the church elders are always kind to me. I’ve never been treated like chattel but even if I had been, God’s word is still true despite man’s flaws.

  21. No one on this site regards women as punching bags, pets, or anything else you said. Many women on this site, including myself, had adopted feminist philosophy, or were feminists themselves, and later CHOSE to obey God instead.

    Men and women do benefit from learning about the other, this is true, but women don’t have to teach men for this information to be spread, they can just talk. There are several guys who frequent this site that we discuss things with all the time!

    Men and women are equally valued in Christ, but that does not mean that they have the same roles: we were created to compliment one another; to glorify God, to keep peace in the marriage, and for the welfare of our children.

  22. Your name is appropriate. Maleficent in ‘Sleeping Beauty’ was malicious, envious, jealous, cruel, and spiteful. As are your words.

    You are simply a mindless drone, I hate to bring it to your attention, but if you insist on attacking that which is good, right, pure, and holy, you will meet a force that you will find to be invincible, and that if you do not yield to, will certainly destroy you, if not this life, then in the next. You have been indoctrinated by the Marxist media and schools, and it’s 80% likely, you’ve gone through one of the indoctrination station colleges.

    You are Exhibit A on why women ought not to be teaching men. Having no idea what you know not, you come on here, and exhibit your ignorance and corruption shamelessly.

    Since the media and schools have deliberately kept you in the dark on history, and the little bit they have taught you, they’ve brainwashed you to hate the past, and love the Marxist, dysfunctional, feudal present, you have no idea that we had beautiful homes, marriages, and fertility rates prior to the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote in 1920, and we were Christian, not Islamic. Funny, how you probably vote Democrat, yet, you think Islam is a bad thing, though your party is in love with that Death Cult, which has murdered 270 million, approximately and conservatively in it’s 1,400 blood-spattered history.

    If we follow your hare-brained ideas, we will soon be Islamic, as Muslim women are having way more children then you and your rebellious feminists, and when that happens, you’ll be beaten and raped with impunity, and then you’ll understand what true bondage is, and you’ll be rudely awakened from the Marxist delusion you currently reside in.

    Likely enough, you were abused by Democrat men, or some libertines, and now think of all men as dangerous and incapable of leadership. Well, that’s not the case. You simply haven’t been around good, Godly, and righteous men, and that is your choice. Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. Just because you choose to be around the degenerate specimens of manhood, kindly do not lump all men together with the men you foolishly choose to represent our gender.

    The only legitimate concern you ought to have, is to be to recognize that we all have two ears and one mouth, so we can listen twice as much as we speak. Also, you are fighting an exhausting and ultimately losing battle against the Creator when you attempt to subvert his natural order. You’d do well to repent. If you do, peace, joy, and prosperity will be yours. If you don’t, anguish, misery, and destruction will be your lot. Choose wisely.

  23. Along the same lines, it says that Timothy knew the scriptures “from infancy” (2 Tim 3:15), and that the same faith dwells in him as in his mother and grandmother (2 Tim 1:5), which implies that his mother and grandmother brought him up in the faith. But mothers have authority over their children, and so there is no contradiction in them teaching their children–quite the opposite, in fact.

  24. Maleficent,
    It’s always a challenge to write with a voice that doesn’t sound angry or impatient when in disagreement, so I hope if you read this response, I can assure you my comments are spoken in gentleness:

    I believe that Lori is referring to women teaching in the church from a Biblical world view. Many female readers and commenters are desiring to live within God’s design, and therefore, want to follow the Bible’s instruction for women’s roles in their families and in the church.

    It is important to understand who the target audience is for this blog: Christian women.

    If you do not identify yourself as a Christ-follower, then the teachings here at Transformed Wife may sound odd and old-fashioned. If this is the case, as a Christian, my concern is for your acceptance of Christ, God’s Son, as payment for your (and my, everyone’s) sins to allow us an eternal destiny of Heaven to be with God, the Father, after our earthly lives are over.

    If you have taken this step of obedience already, I would urge you keep an open mind to the Holy Spirit and how you may be feeling conflicted about the Bible’s instruction on women’s conduct in the church. I am challenged by these scriptural mandates, and at times confused due to seemingly thriving women’s ministries that seem in opposition to Paul’s command for women in Titus.

    Nothing in this blog post can be seen as adding to the Gospel (which should always be a warning) or God’s Holy Word-it’s clear that church gatherings of believers should be led by men.

  25. Forever Grateful,

    The gentleness and compassion that God gave women, was natural, and intended to balance a man’s natural temperament.

    However, God gave man his intellect, which, when ruled by God, is invincible.

    Men are told to ‘Rebuke before all, that all may fear’, and ‘Open rebuke is better than secret love’.

    The church has become severely lukewarm, and many don’t want to call out evil. This lack of discipline leads to the church deteriorating.

    Solomon advised ‘A rod for the back of a fool’.

    He also said there was a time for everything, in Ecclesiastes 3. Understanding and judgement are necessary.

    However, impudence and impertinence need to be dealt with.

  26. Can I ask where you found that God gave man his intellect? I haven’t found that reference in Scripture and as a grad student studying counseling, evidence based research shows that while brain structure between men and women is different, cognitive functioning is not.

  27. Certainly, Kara, God’s giving man his intellect, which is pretty worthless when it’s not subject to God and Christ, and even can be quite dangerous, was in the very beginning, and was why he made Eve to be a helpmeet.

    The genders brains are clearly different.

    And are improved upon uniting, with each assuming their separate sphere.

    I would caution you against empirical studies, as they discredit history and the greatest thinkers in human history, virtually ensuring that those who study this material will end up foolish.

    Also, as you are probably aware of already, the colleges are nearly Marxist in nature. If you’ve not already read Skousen’s marvelous trilogy on Communism and Socialism, which also shows the dangers of capitalism, in ‘The naked Communist’, ‘The naked Socialist’, and ‘The Naked Capitalist’ I would highly recommend them. They are fantastic reads, and will transform the way you view the world and America. You will also learn a great deal of history, and what exactly is behind this push to make men and women ‘equal’. It isn’t any good force, that’s for sure.

    Also, as a young woman, you are severely at risk in America, from the two twins of Marxist indoctrination, the lamestream media, and the schools. You see, from kindergarten on up, a girl tries to do her best to please her parents and teachers, and they generally perform far better, academically and behaviorally, than boys. Of course, there are anecdotal exceptions.

    However, what few girls realize is the education system is rigged, and is full of Marxist nonsense. Sadly, few women actually catch on. As it stands, 70% of single women vote Democrat, and the majority of married women do too, as they are deceived, as Eve was, by ruthless libertines in the Democrat party.

    By your question, I’m pretty confident, that of the 204 American Founders, you’ve not read 5 of their biographies. So, your concept of this nation isn’t based upon actual knowledge, it’s based on what you’ve been fed by malicious and serpentine forces in the media and schools. If you ask any legitimate historian, they’ll tell you that learning about the past is best done through primary sources, and yet, as your comment illustrates, you’ve been deceived into rejecting this in favor of ‘evidence-based’ sources, which is simply code for Sophism.

    Reason, logic, and rational thinking are generally strengths men possess more than women. Affection, emotion, communication, and relationships, are generally traits women excel at better than men.

    Simply look at what America was like before 1920, when the 19th Amendment was passed giving women the right to vote. We banned contraception, abortion, homosexuality, and pornography, and for good reason.

    Now, with women being urged to exercise their voting right’s, pornography, which is the brutal enslavement of emotionally and/or financially vulnerable women for profit is the worst it’s ever been in our nation. So, obviously, women voting hasn’t been good for the fair sex. Further, 30 million female babies have slaughtered in abortion clinics since 1973’s horrendous SCOTUS decision of Roe Vs. Wade.

    A woman was God’s final creation, and his most perfect, but her role was to be a helpmeet. When she attempts to usurp the authority of the man it has never tended to end up well. And, I’m not talking about objecting to men who are criminals or abusing women, just to eliminate the common leftist retorts to a woman assuming the role that nature and nature’s God blessed her with.

  28. I’m sorry but I disagree with you about Nancy Demoss Wolgemuth. I listen to her podcasts frequently and I have even heard her say she can’t teach men. She teaches women and if men are listening to her podcasts that is their choice. I have great admiration for Nancy Demoss Wolgemuth and she doesn’t claim to be a teacher of men but women only.

  29. I think catholics have something to learn from ortodox christians regarding this subject.

  30. Lori and others that may be able to shed some biblical light for me,

    I am a young mother of two at this point in time (2 & 5 months). I just learned of this command to be quiet in church and learn at home with my husband. I wasn’t offended by such a thing as I see God designing certain order to everything & I know His ways are always good and peaceful.

    I am wanting to put this into effect right away and have a few questions. I would love to ask older women in our church congregation for direction but I find many women who aren’t well-versed with Scripture in the areas of womanhood/motherhood…so I thought I may be able to ask you all your opinions on two things I’m pondering.

    One is that my husband and I lead a small group in our home (a focus of our church from Acts 2..a practice of the early church gathering together in homes). We both teach together whilst I focus on the women and him the men. I am not sure how to approach this as women in our group, who I will say are older than me..not by a significant amount, are really craving what I share with them..which is just the Word itself but many of them don’t spend time in it. In fact, I am actually the only stay at home mom in the group, which makes me rather sad. I don’t feel me teaching to both genders feels very natural..and maybe this command is why. Is the structure of small groups where both genders share experiences and what they are learning not biblical?

    Another question of mine is, considering the women around me are very interested and desperate for the Word to be shared with I wrong for gathering women and sharing the Word with them? Highlighting items to apply to their lives and pray about?

    My final question is, am I allowed to pray for men/women & offer guidance through Scripture to women outside of church?

    I am new to this and apologize for my many questions but I want to do the will of God the way He intended and I am figuring this all out. As I do this, I’m finding a major lack of women to discuss these wonderings with. I am praying for God to reveal His Will in this way to me. I appreciate your time and responses!
    God Bless, Katie

  31. Hi Katie,

    Bless you for wanting to follow the Lord’s ways so diligently. I encourage you to not teach where men are present since this is forbidden in the Word of God. Maybe go into another room and go through my new book “Biblical Womanhood: A Study Guide” with the women separately since this is the only thing women are to be teaching other women. Yes, it should be an “aged” woman who has raised children and has the wisdom and experience teaching the younger women but since there are so few of them, whoever is available and willing needs to be sharing the truths of biblical womanhood to them. And of course, share the Gospel and pray with any and everyone you can! Everyone needs Jesus.

  32. Thank you Lori for your Biblically based direction! I appreciate your blog and time you put into it! Many of us Need this as we aren’t learning properly from many directions. Or there’s simply a lack of teachings at all on these topics. Thank you!

  33. I believe you have a mistaken view not only of Christianity but of Christian men especially. The role of men and women in life as well as “church” are CLEARLY defined in Scripture! There is never an issue with Scripture, the issue is ALWAYS with man (as in,men and women as fallen creatures) and his lack of understanding. The problem is they are now the ones parroting Satan and asking “did God REALLY say…” and the answer is unreservedly YES… yes He did! If a woman refuses to submit to her husband… don’t tell me what a wonderful “Christian” she is! If she won’t submit to her husband… she’s NOT submitting to God. By the same token if a “man” treats a woman in the ways you described… I personally wouldn’t call him a man let alone a “Christian”! As a man I strive to be obedient to God and live up to Ephesians 5:22-33. Sadly I don’t always live up to this but I continually ask the good Lord to enable me to do so.

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