Posted by: Truth and Consequences 101 | September 7, 2013

Shouldn’t We All Preach?

After months of teasers and sound bytes, our brother, Tony Miano, has published his book, “Should She Preach?” Throughout the almost daily postings about his efforts to establish a biblical case against the notion that women could or should preach in the “open air,” lots of men commented on it. And throughout the “biblical evangelism” community (and yes, we are a “community” within the Body of Christ, though we are not the Church) the postings and the eventual publication created quite a stir.

To Tony’s credit, he has written a book, and gotten it published, something many of us would like to do, but which he has done. But I kept waiting for the inevitable outcry of dozens of women who regularly preached in the open air to rise up and dispute his position. And it never happened.

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There’s a reason for that, of course. The reality is that there are very few women who regularly preach in the open air, at least in our camp (that of the essentially Reformed, orthodox, “biblical evangelism” group). And the sadder reality is that there are very few people anywhere, of either gender, preaching the risen Christ in the open air, exalting the name of Jesus, our great God and Savior, throughout the highways and hedges of America, which is stumbling further into the darkness of depravity with ever increasing velocity.

In South Florida (Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach), there are approximately 7 million people. In Palm Beach County alone, there are 1.3 million people. According to a recent survey (http://www.city-data.com/county/religion/Palm-Beach-County-FL.html), 55% of the population, or 630,000 people, claim some type of religious affiliation. Of that number, 300,000 are Roman Catholic, and 167,000 are Jewish. That means that a staggering 74% of people who claim a religious affiliation will likely never hear a gospel presentation in their places of worship!

Now, how many “open air” preachers do we have in Palm Beach County? I know of potentially half a dozen of us, who regularly proclaim the biblical gospel and call on our hearers to repent of their sin and come to faith in Jesus Christ. Our problem, brothers and sisters, isn’t women preaching the gospel. Our problem is that there aren’t nearly enough laborers in the field to sow the seeds of the gospel, so that there might someday be a harvest of revival!

Instead of dithering over the non-issue of women proclaiming Christ in the highways and hedges (not in the pulpits of our churches), shouldn’t we instead by obedient to the LORD’s command that we should “pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest”? Frankly, as our culture spins into the widening gyre of sin and depravity, don’t we really need “all hands on deck”? Do we really fancy the illusion that we can discriminate against our sisters who may be called by God to proclaim Christ in their cities, where no men are apparently willing to do so?

In the city of San Antonio, Texas, the city council voted overwhelmingly to approve a measure sanctioning those who do business with the city who have expressed disapproval of homosexuality. Those who do so are precluded from contracts with the city, nor can they run for elected offices or receive appointments to positions within the city.

Should a woman preach Christ and His resurrection in a city so blinded to sin? I would say, “Absolutely.” Will Jesus be left without a vocal witness where so much darkness is rising up? Who will stand in the gap for the people?

Should a man be preaching Christ and His resurrection in a city so blinded to sin? I would say, “Absolutely.”

Shouldn’t we all be preaching Christ and His resurrection in all our cities? I would say, “Absolutely.”

Perhaps we can revisit this non-issue when it becomes an issue, on that great and glorious day when every street corner is occupied by faithful witnesses for Christ, proclaiming His kingdom to the nations, and when men can’t find an open space to preach the gospel. Then, if women are occupying a prime piece of real estate, perhaps that will be the moment to invoke our “rights” as men, and share Tony’s book with them.

Until then, preach on, sister.

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Responses

  1. Mark, it is sad that you don’t address a single biblical argument for this. It is similar logic that Sarai and Abraham used when they gave Hagar to Abraham instead of doing things God’s way.

    It is this same logic that brings about women “pastors” (as if it were possible). The logic which says, “well, even if it is wrong, I’m going to do it because there aren’t enough men.”

    I would rather encourage people to trust God’s ways and not man’s ways. 700 people, 700,000 people or 1 billion people are nothing for our God to reach with whatever means He wills. He didn’t need a woman preacher to reach Nineveh.

    Don’t be frightened by numbers into pragmatism, brother. Remain faithful. But don’t dismiss what is clearly taught as truth by so many people, please.

    Love you, brother. Keep up your labor for the Lord.

    • Michael, thanks for your comments, which were gracious and encouraging. Frankly, I don’t think the subject warrants a “biblical argument” since there is no biblical issue to address. There are, perhaps, a handful of women preaching publicly. I know of only two; the third recently married and is expecting a child. If there’s a band of women traveling the country preaching Christ and teaching men and establishing churches, I’m unaware of them. It’s a “tempest in a teapot,” in my honest opinion, and not worthy of such distraction.

      Regarding biblical arguments, I will say this. For 500 years, the finest theologians and most godly men in Christendom have debated non-essentials endlessly: paedo- versus credo-baptism, dispensationalism versus covenantalism, and other subjects. Yet, 500 years later, Baptists of good conscience will not baptize infants, and Presbyterians of good conscience wouldn’t let an infant pass by without baptizing him. Tony has made a position statement and offered Scripture to support his beliefs. Good for him. Should we become inundated with women preaching in the streets, perhaps the issue will need to be more thoroughly reviewed, and perhaps then I’ll buy his book to see what he thinks. Frankly, I’d be happy to see it become a real issue, and not a mere contrivance. Perhaps then, more men would be motivated to be obedient to the (non-gender-specific) command to “Go, and preach the gospel to every creature.”

      Love you, too, brother! Hope to see you in Greenville.

      • I am sorry I am going to miss Greenville. I really wanted to go this year, if only for the fellowship, but it will not be possible. Hopefully, we will cross paths again in this world sometime!

    • Withe all due respect Michael, there is no “biblical argument” to made. There are descriptions given to us in the Bible of who can be Pastors, Elders, and Deacons and that they are to all be men; but there is no description for Evangelists. Was Mark, Luke, John and Matthew Evangelists? Was the Apostle Paul an Evangelist? The Apostle Paul, in the Bible, states that woman had been his co-workers or co-laborers. So there is the Biblical argument, the Bible shows that women in the Bible did the work of an Evangelist. “Should she preach?” Well, what is an Evangelist supposed to do? What did the Apostle Paul do, and the other Evangelists? They heralded the Gospel, for which the Apostle Paul stated that women co-labored with him in this task.

      • Thanks Michael. I appreciate that we can be respectful and disagree.

        I never postulated, nor would I, that a woman should not be an evangelist, evangelize or participate in evangelism. I believe women are actually vital to proper evangelism if we are to do it the way we are instructed in the NT.

        I would maintain that women ought not preach or teach men or have authority over men – and I would extend that to the concept of OA preaching, according to the scripture.

        I realize this is not a view everyone holds, and I’m happy to discuss it with my brothers who enjoy having these types of discussions over secondary issues. And I would still gladly co-labor with folks who believe as you and Mark do just as I would with paedobaptists, postmillenials and some charismatics.

    • Brother Michael, I address the Bible passages Tony addresses here:

      http://pastorboy.wordpress.com/2013/09/12/is-the-open-air-preaching-community-in-a-down-grade-a-response-to-tony-miano/

  2. I must ask this question. Have you read Mr. Miano’s book or are you blogging about it before reading it?

    • I’m not reviewing Tony’s book. I’m not persuaded the subject is even an issue, and the unnecessary divisiveness that the book appears to have caused may result in even fewer people (male or female) willing to proclaim the gospel.


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