By Ron Halbrook
Women are increasingly taking the roles of evangelists and pastors, but is this the work of God or of people in rebellion against God? The question cannot be answered by human traditions, emotions, or opinions. The Bible is the inspired Word of God which answers every religious question so that we may be “thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Tim. 3:16-17).
The Preacher’s Work
First, the Bible defines each work. An evangelist publicly proclaims the gospel of Jesus Christ. An evangelist is a preacher or minister of the gospel and here is his work: “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; re-prove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry” (see 2 Tim. 4:1-5).
Paul was an Apostle and “a preacher” especially dedicated to teaching the Gentiles (1 Tim. 2:7). An evangelist may travel from place to place at times; he also may remain with the same church for several years, teaching “publicly” and “house to house” (Acts 20:20,31).
The Pastor’s Work
The pastor’s work is entirely different. A pastor is a shepherd of God’s people viewed as sheep. He is also called an elder because of his spiritual maturity and a bishop because he oversees the local church. Pastor (or shepherd), elder (or presbyter), and bishop (or overseer) refer to the same per-son doing the same work (Acts 20:17, 28; Tit. 1:5, 7). This work involves overseeing and managing all the affairs of a local church:
Take heed to yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood (Acts 20:28).
Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind (1 Pet. 5:2).
The unique work of a pastor is not publicly proclaiming the gospel as a preacher. False religions confuse the roles of pastor and preacher. Each local church must have a plurality of pastors, never a one-man pastor (Acts 14:23; M. 1:5).
God’s Word teaches men, not women, to serve as pastors in a local church and as public preachers of the gospel. Christ as head of his church forbad women to take the roles of public leaders in the church. Christ commanded, “Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence” (1 Tim. 2:11-12).
Women are not to preach in assemblies with men present or in any other way to exercise places of authority over men. A pastor must be a male: “the husband of one wife … one that ruleth well his own house” (1 Tim. 3:1-7). No woman can obey God’s word as a public preacher or as one of the pastors in a local church. Any church which tolerates such practices is a false religion. Another mark of false religion is the fear of examining such issues in public de-bate. Are you in a false religion?
How To Escape False Religion
Any person who remains in a church with women evangelists and pastors identifies himself with Satan and false religion, and thus wears the mark of the beast as others have done in the past (Rev. 13:11-18). Another such identifying mark is the substitution of human plans for God’s plan by which men are to receive the remission of their sins. God says, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost” (Acts 2:38). False religions say, “Repent for the remission of sins before and without water baptism. Perhaps you will be baptized later, but not for the remission of sins.” Through the gospel of Christ, God calls men to leave every false religion, to receive the forgiveness of sins by an obedient faith in Christ, and thus to be added to the true church of Christ found in the New Testament (Acts 2:47).
Guardian of Truth XLI: 3 p. 20
February 6, 1997