Ask Pastor Adrienne column: I don’t like lady preachers
Dear Pastor, I do not agree that women should be pastors. How can you go against biblical teaching and assume that title?
A: By God’s grace and his fine sense of humor at such a time as this, I lead two congregations. Your question is the most-often-asked query I receive on a monthly basis. Usually, it comes in the form of an unsigned, unaddressed letter or do-not-reply email where the writer makes sure I receive their unsolicited opinion without fearing accountability or response. These rebukes come from around the world and right here in the Midwest, too. Apparently, there is a lot of errant, church teaching about the evils of lady pastors ... so I periodically respond in my column as I will today.
Most often, if I’ve been given the dignity of a personal encounter, I reply, “See the management” when facing a finger in my face with a hateful mouth behind it hissing “I don’t approve of lady pastors.” (This actually happened once when I was asked to preach a funeral in a Baptist church.) The folly is on them. Their approval is not necessary for me to accomplish my commission. God has approved of me and asked me to step into Kingdom-work in this particular way. I’ve learned not to argue with him.
When God made mankind, he made us both male and female. Why would he do that? Because God is neither gender; he is both. “This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day when God created man, He made him in the likeness of God. He created them male and female, and He blessed them and named them Man in the day when they were created” (Genesis 5:1, 2, NASB1995). We represent equal parts of who God is. This was the original concept; the Plan A. God made people male and female, and thus we were born.
But then came what we in church circles call “The Fall.” Sin was committed by the Plan-A people, Adam and Eve, and they began their journey into a foreign world of strife, problems and issues. Only then was it necessary for the early church to craft a pecking order for marriage and for the organized religion. Mankind had abandoned the original, divine creation order where the sexes were fully equal (The Garden of Eden). Now, struggles of control and domination, imbalance and manipulation entered into the hearts of humans through their sin. As a result, leaders were chosen (men) and subordinates were named (women) so the disordered herd of humanity would be able to craft some kind of post-fall harmony. Yet it was never God’s original plan. Eve was crafted from the rib, not the foot. Not the head either. Women walk beside men.
While numerous scriptures regarding female submission in marriage were stated by Paul, he also proclaimed passionately “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:26-28). Is he confused? No, he simply understood what Jesus alluded to in his personal treatment of women during his ministry years: he saw them as equal to men. The Samaritan woman was commissioned as the first evangelist (John 4); the Syrophoenician woman, he declared of superior faith (Matthew 15); and Mary Magdalene was entrusted with the first news of the empty tomb (John 20). Countless Old Testament women shine as examples of the Edenic ideal as well: Deborah judged the nation of Israel (Judges 4); Miriam shared leadership with Aaron, her brother and high priest (Exodus 15); Esther masterminded a rescue of her race; etc.
I applaud the unique roles of men and women since they promote unity and harmony. Yet when the Lord asked me to step into his pulpits, I answered the call, not the church culture or pecking order. My job is not to make you comfortable, but to make Him known.
Do you have a question or comment for Pastor Adrienne? Send your inquiries to: firstname.lastname@example.org or write to P.O. Box 214, Harrison, OH 45030. For more information, please visit www.adriennewgreene.com or tune into the “Ask Pastor Adrienne” YouTube channel.