Question answered by Tony Capoccia
Could you elaborate on the ministry of “women evangelists.” I’m thinking now of Billy Graham’s second daughter, Anne Graham Lotz (AGL). She actually is not preaching in a “church” or “worship” setting, so many say it’s okay for her to go out and preach to large crowds (usually made up of “believers,” men and women), because this is not a “church” setting. I’m really having a hard time justifying this in my mind. I see it as usurping the male authority. Perhaps I’m wrong, but I’d like your thoughts (and scripture) on this matter. I do know that AGL purports to be a “preacher.” I don’t know if she’s been ordained. Thanks for any insight you may be able to give me.
Let me say that I believe that Anne Graham Lotz is very wrong in what she is doing and is going against the principles outlined in the Word of God.
In the verses that speak about “women being silent in the churches,” and “not to teach or to have authority over a man” (1 Timothy 2:12), the context and the spiritual principle is that a woman is not to preach or teach in a “Church Ministry” to men, and in most cases women. The Church’s ministry is not confined to a church building or a worship service. The ministry of the Church extends to Evangelists, Missionaries, Revival Meetings, any kind of public ministry of the Word, to include Bible Studies and Sunday School classes.
The very clear reason why God has restricted women from preaching and teaching the Word, in the role of a pastor, elder, teacher, evangelist, missionary, or other public ministry, is given to us in the Bible:
“For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner.” (1 Timothy 2:14)
God formed the man first and the woman is to serve him as a “helper” (Genesis 2:18) and not to teach or lead him. Also, the woman was deceived by Satan, and Adam was not, therefore we see that women, in general, are more easily led into error and deception than are men. I really feel that even when women teach other women, that they have to be very careful about what they are teaching. A woman leading a woman’s Bible study could easily teach false doctrine.
The Bible indicates what areas women are to teach:
“…they (older women) 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.” (Titus 2:4-5)
It appears that a woman’s teaching ministry is to be to other women and focused on domestic matters. I feel it would be a violation of Scripture for a woman to “preach” a worship service consisting only of women, unless the clear purpose of gathering the ladies together was to teach them according to the mandate in Titus 2:4,5.
Now, women are free to share anything from the Word when doing personal discipleship and witnessing. The big difference here being the amount of impact of their teaching. In a one-on-one ministry, any errors taught will have minimal impact, but from the pulpit it could and would have a much greater effect.
Also, women can teach children, but always under the oversight of the husband at home, and the church leaders when in a children’s Sunday School class.
Another thought to bear in mind is that no women were ever chosen to be priests in the Old Testament nor were they chosen as Apostles in the NT. God did use a few women for “special” ministries of His choosing, for example, “a Prophetess” (Exodus 15:20, Judges 4:4, 2 Kings 22:14, Isaiah 8:3, Luke 2:36, Acts 21:9), but these were very limited in scope and are not valid for today. The role of a Prophetess is not listed in the list of “gifts” given to the Church, by Christ, as listed in the Book of Ephesians: “It was he (Jesus) who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.” (Ephesians 4:11-12)