Ask Your Preacher
I have belonged to a church for the past two years that did not have a woman as a preacher. I left a church nine years ago because they ordained several women to be preachers. One month ago, my husband finally joined this church I am speaking of, and I was elated. Approximately one week after he joined, the pastor of the church ordained a woman to be a preacher in the church. I stopped going to that church the first time I saw her in the pulpit and wrote the church a letter to explain why I was stopping my membership. I told him that I did not believe that a woman was supposed to be a preacher based on Scripture, and I no longer trusted him to correctly interpret the Bible. He came to my house, and he, my husband, and I had a long discussion. His feelings were hurt because I said that I no longer trusted him. We were not harsh with each other, and I apologized to him because it was not my intention to hurt his feelings, but I felt like I felt. He even stated that I needed to be at the church with my husband even though I may have reservations regarding this matter. My husband was raised in the Church of the Living God, so he is very used to women preachers. He also does not read the Bible, so he does not know what the Bible says. I am not putting him down, but this is the truth. It does not matter who I talk to; everyone seems to want to make every woman that was ever mentioned in the Bible a preacher. I do not believe that to be so. Please help me with this once and for all. Thank you.
You are right to stand against women being in the pulpit. 1 Cor 14:34-35 makes it clear that women are not supposed to be in leadership positions during the church assembly. Women have a zillion different roles within the church, but leading the public assembly isn’t one of them. Men have the responsibility of preaching, teaching, and leading the worship services (1 Tim 2:12). In today’s politically correct atmosphere, this can be hard for some to swallow, but as Paul said, “We have no other custom” on this topic (1 Cor 11:16). There is simply no biblical precedence for women preachers.
I felt for a long time that God has called me to be a preacher (I have no clue how, why, or where). I have just recently began re-walking with Christ after I fell off the path. I feel I’m getting closer with God as I rid my sinful life, particularly one sin that’s been a huge addiction in my life. As this sin fades, I feel the call more and more. I started a Bible study group about two months ago. Honestly, I put off the call because I knew that particular sin was still very present. Every day I feel a little farther from this sinful life; I think I might be ready to accept the call, but how do I know if I’m ready?
Eager To Speak
Dear Eager To Speak,
If you want to know whether or not you are qualified to preach, read through 1st and 2nd Timothy. These are letters Paul wrote to the young preacher, Timothy, and see if you are doing what a preacher should do. Preaching begins with studying to know what the Bible says and then actively doing it. If you are in a faithful congregation, you can ask them about how to get practice preaching and experience in the pulpit – that is what we do with our young men in our congregation. If you need a faithful congregation (after all, lots of them aren’t following the Bible pattern), we would be happy to help you find one. Simply e-mail us at email@example.com.
Can a preacher who has divorced his wife still preach?
It would depend on a lot of factors. A preacher isn’t expected to be perfect, but at the same time, he should attempt to live a life that models Christian virtue (1 Tim 4:12). It would depend on why he was divorced, what type of life he is living currently, and how he is viewed by the brethren. In short, it is a case-by-case issue, but a divorce in a preacher’s past certainly would be something that should give us pause.
I have a question: is it wrong for churches to sing Christian songs like ‘Hosanna’ (i.e. Christian rock)? Some churches are singing these types of songs, but some people say it’s wrong.
Dear Rock On,
The Scriptures give a few qualifications for the songs that we sing. First of all, they must always be reverent (Heb 12:28). Songs that treat God flippantly or treat worship more as entertainment than reverence to God are wrong. Many churches are more interested in fascinating the people with trendy music than they are with bringing gravity to the minds of young souls that need to be reminded that their Maker is to be treated with fear and awe (Pr 1:7).
Secondly, the songs must be psalms, hymns, or spiritual songs (Col 3:16). The songs must have Bible-based language and doctrinally sound lyrics. They must agree with the teachings of the Bible, and they must be focused on spiritual things. Once again, worship is about God, not us.
Thirdly, they should be songs that are sung from our hearts and by all the members (Eph 5:19). The Bible never authorizes rock bands, choirs, pianos, etc. Instrumental music in worship is an invention that has no biblical foundation to it. The New Testament example is everyone singing from the heart – no more, no less (Rev 22:18-19). If you would like to read more on the subject of instrumental music in worship, we suggest you read “A Cappella”.
I greet you with peace brother(s) in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. My question is: according to the Scriptures, shouldn't we be breaking the bread (off of the loaf) instead of using crackers? Also, should we be sharing one cup as the Word speaks of? I know this is an issue amongst the brotherhood; however, I wanted to know your thoughts. Thank you.
Dear Supper Stumped,
Let’s address the ‘one cup’ issue first. We should only use one cup… unless the Scriptures give us a reason to think that the one cup was an unimportant detail – which they do. Jesus stated that what is in the cup matters, not the cup itself (Matt 26:29). When Jesus took the cup, He gave thanks for the grape juice inside of the cup (Mk 14:23-24). The grape juice represents Christ’s blood; the cup does not. In fact, Jesus told the apostles to divide the juice among themselves (Lk 22:17). We don’t know how the apostles went about doing that. They may very well have poured the juice from Jesus’ cup into twelve other individual cups. When we use multiple cups to distribute the fruit of the vine for the Lord’s Supper, we are doing what Christ did… dividing the juice among all the believers who are going to remember Christ’s death.
As far as breaking the bread, good brethren are divided over whether or not it is an important detail to physically break the unleavened loaf. Unleavened bread is flat because it doesn’t have the yeast to make it rise – like a cracker. Some brethren think it is required to break the bread; other folks point to Scriptures that use the term “break the bread” as a colloquialism to generically refer to any meal. It is best not to be too dogmatic because there is no way to know definitively.