The attitude of some men who claim that women have no place in leadership and that the Bible is the basis for their view, only shows how selective they are when citing the scriptures. Well, let me tell you some things in the Word of God, they won’t tell you.
King Solomon respected the queen of Sheba (the ruler of a nation).
King Solomon gave unto the queen of Sheba all her desire, whatsoever she asked, beside that which Solomon gave her of his royal bounty. So she turned & went to her own country, she & her servants. ~ 1 Kings 10:13
The queen of Sheba was the head over a nation as a woman, and she was not despised by Solomon. She was honored by Solomon. In the New Testament, Jesus said the queen of Sheba would be a witness on the day of judgment against the unrighteous men of his generation who rejected the gospel. ~ Luke 11:31
In Acts 8, Philip shared the gospel with, and consequently baptized a man who was a eunuch with great authority under Candace, queen of the Ethiopians (Acts 8:27). Candace was in authority over the men in Ethiopia, and Philip did not teach the eunuch to rebel against her. In fact Philip the evangelist had four daughters who had the gift of prophecy (Acts 21:9).
The first people commissioned to preach the gospel after the resurrection of Jesus were Mary Magdalene and the other Mary. They were commissioned by an angel at the empty tomb (Mt 28:5-7), and they were commissioned by Jesus (Mt 28:10). On the day of Pentecost there were women in the Upper Room who were filled with the Spirit and spoke with tongues that those who heard, heard in their own language as they were declaring the wonderful works of God (Acts 1:14; 2:1).
This fulfilled what had been prophesied by the prophet Joel in the Old Testament.
And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy… ~ Acts 2:17
Prophecy is a speaking gift of the Spirit, and this prophecy given by the prophet Joel and fulfilled on the day of Pentecosts certifies that women can be gifted to speak on behalf of God. The attitude that scripture has towards women is not the attitude espoused by some men in the institutionalized church.
The leadership of Deborah who was a leader in ancient Israel is recorded for us, and the triumphs of faith by Sara, Rahab, and other unnamed women are praised in Hebrews 11. Two of the apostle Paul’s close companions in ministry were a husband and wife team, Aquila and Priscilla.
In Acts 18:24-26 Aquila and Priscilla came across a Jew named Apollos whom the Bible describes as an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures. However, he only knew the baptism of John (the baptist). After Aquila and Priscilla heard him, they took him aside and taught him the way of God more perfectly. Apollos became a ministering companion of Paul, after being mentored in part by a woman named Priscilla who taught him the way of God more perfectly.
In his letters to the churches, Paul instructed wives to submit to their own husbands in the Lord. Notice that Paul did not tell the wives to submit to every man. In response Paul instructed the husbands to love their wives as Christ loves the church and gave himself for it. Women are called to submit to their own husbands in the Lord, not to be subservient to all men. The idea that men have a superior status than women is an institutionalized ideology and not taught in scripture. In fact there is more commands given to men that are not obeyed than there are given regarding women.
For instance, men are told explicitly to keep silent in the church with regards to speaking tongues if there is no interpreter present.
If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret. But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God. ~ 1 Corinthians 14: 27-28.
People see what they want to see, and close their eyes to what they don’t want to see. The reality is, God works through women just as he works through men, and there is nothing that those with the male dominance attitude can do about it.
There are general teachings about how women are to conduct themselves in godliness, but there are far more instructions for men, and I’d dare say most of the male preachers who opposed women preachers, don’t obey the commands of scriptures given to men.
If my wife wants to share the gospel, she is free to do so, because Christ is her spiritual head. I am her domestic head with regards to our family. I am not her spiritual head. Christ is. Christ is the head of the church, where there is no distinction between male and female.
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. ~ Galatians 3:28
The husband is to be the leader of the family and the wife is not to usurp his authority in the household, but women can be called by God to share the gospel, prophecy, and teach the Word of God. We have examples of ALL THREE in the New Testament.
There is no scripture that explicitly teaches that women cannot preach or teach God’s word.
Paul’s mention of women being silent in the church has a context, and in that same context men are also instructed as to when they should be silent as well. In fact, Paul tells the whole church at Corinth (men and women), they can all prophesy. In chapter 11 Paul instructs the orderly fashion in which women should pray and prophesy in the church. In the same context, Paul also gives instructions for men.
At the end of the day, we should not forbid anyone from sharing the gospel of Christ. If a woman has received the grace of God, she is free to testify, for the scripture says, “let the redeemed of the Lord say so!”