Posted in discernment, theology

Is it OK to have a woman pastor your church? Sarah Stewart thinks so

By Elizabeth Prata

Women have made many contributions to Christianity. Women believers are an incredible resource, and not incidentally, made in God’s likeness and full participants in His faith.

However, it is also a fact that God made an order to things. Men are to lead in holy matters, women are to follow. Women are not to preach the word or be a shepherd. Women are wives, mothers, teachers of children, home-keepers, teachers of other women, missionaries, evangelists, supports to husbands and pastors, song writers, painters, discerners, and many other things. But we are not to be pastors.

Yet, in this millennium, women are. People think it’s about time. People think that’s normal. But it is not.

Sarah Stewart. Source Baptist Global News

In Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, formerly a solid church whose pastor was a two-time Southern Baptist Convention president and professorial theologian, they called a woman to lead them. The First Baptist Church of Oklahoma City released this press about their decision:

On Sunday, October 21, 2018 the First Baptist Church of Oklahoma City voted to call Rev. Sarah Stewart as its senior pastor. Sarah will serve as the 19th pastor of the 128-year-old church and is the first woman to hold the position in the church’s history.

Mrs Stewart had previously held the position at that church of leading the prayer meeting and preaching occasionally on Sunday mornings. So this sin isn’t sudden, and it shouldn’t be surprising that the church chose a woman. The camel has has his nose under the tent for a while. Back in 1983 they began ordaining women as deacons. By 2001 the church voted to sever their affiliation with the conservative Southern Baptist Convention,citing their disagreement with the denomination over women preachers.

[Zurheide] also said First Baptist leaders disagree with the convention’s opposition to women serving as pastors and its requirement that wives “submit graciously” to their husbands.

There you have it, it has been 17 years coming. Or 35 years coming since the first cracks appeared. Not a long time in the face of 7000 years of humankind’s relationship to God, or 2000 years since Paul penned the words to Timothy that-

But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. (1 Timothy 2:12)

The church About Us page with the staff bios. Here is Sarah’s:

Sarah Stewart
Minister for Young Adults, since 2008

Although Sarah was born and raised in Stillwater, Oklahoma, she earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Oklahoma. There she met and fell in love with Brad Stewart. After their marriage, she attended George W. Truett Theological Seminary where she earned her Master’s in Divinity. She has served as the youth minister at FBC Norman, Oklahoma and at FBC Rosebud in Texas. She and Brad have three wonderful sons: Noah, Luke and Griffin.

“I have a hunger to learn and grow closer to God. I enjoy leading the prayer meeting and Adult Bible study on Wednesday nights and preaching occasionally on Sunday mornings.  I have the best job!  I get to work with young people who are eager to learn, ready to debate and wrestle with theological questions, and some of the first ones to roll up their sleeves to serve their community.”

I have written twice this week, at length, about the dangers of women leading men in areas in which God has not ordained. Rebellion of any sort will not be tolerated by the Sovereign Holy One. Repercussions occur. In Thyatira, Jesus promised to kill the metaphorical Jezebel and her spiritual daughters dead. Her crime? Claiming personal revelation from God and teaching things they ought not. He was not impressed with those who disagreed but still tolerated her. Tolerating her sin was a sin. He said “I have this against you.” (Revelation 2:20).

Puritan Wives: Anne Hutchinson- Screeching usurper, or passionate devotee?

Beth Moore has a lot to answer for in normalizing women preaching/teaching to men

Do we in 2018 believe that being in open rebellion is not an affront to God? That tolerating open rebellion is not an affront to God? These people who submit to a woman pastor are either ignorant of the scriptures or tolerating what God has not ordained. There will be repercussions.

For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? (1 Peter 4:17, NASB)

The issues that corrupted churches in the first century are the same threats facing the church today: idolatry, sexual immorality, compromise with the world and its pagan culture, spiritual deadness, and hypocrisy. Over the intervening centuries, the church has not outgrown these familiar pitfalls. Nor has God lowered or softened His righteous standard. Regardless of when and where it exists, He demands a pure church. (Source Judgment Begins at the House of God, by John MacArthur)

I pray that the Spirit convicts Sarah Stewart and she abdicates her position. At First Baptist Church Oklahoma City, they do not have a church, nor do they have a pastor. But Jesus is on His throne.

Further Reading

The Rise in Women Preachers and What You Should Know

Women pastors: What does the Bible say?



Christian writer and Georgia teacher's aide who loves Jesus, a quiet life, art, beauty, and children.

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