By Elizabeth Prata
The issue in large scale perspective
Let’s start by being very clear with the basis: Women are not biblically qualified to preach or teach in authority over men in church. This means women are unqualified to be ordained or as layperson to serve in church as bishops, deacons, pastors (senior pastor, youth pastor, lead pastor, worship pastor, whatever you want to call the office), elders, and so on. Please read through this first part first. It’s the foundation.
But I do not allow a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. (1 Timothy 2:12).
Women are to be silent in the churches. They are not permitted to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says. (1 Corinthians 14:34). In 1 Corinthians 14:35 we learn that it is improper for a woman to preach. The word ‘improper’ in the Greek means shameful, disgraceful. (Source)
This standard of men-only preaching does not exist because God thinks the lesser of women. It’s not because of misogyny. It’s not because the Bible is old and we’ve ‘evolved’ in gender roles by now. God is the same, there is no shadow of turning in Him and He has always held to the same standards. (James 1:17).
It is because of the creation order. It’s because someone has to be the boss and make the decisions, and someone has to be the helpmeet/supporter. (1 Timothy 2:12-14). The creation order has implications for those serving in the church and in the family. (Ephesians 5:22-33)
Not even all men are qualified to be an elder/pastor. Recent converts, men who have fallen below reproach, men given to drunkenness or anger, or greedy, are all disqualified. He must be able to teach or he is not qualified. He must not be a divorced Christian or he is not qualified (with 2 exceptions). So, does God hate men, too? No, it’s because He set out standards and order for his people, and we are expected to obey.
Above, Haley Lerner, from a photo from Coffee & Queeries, a gay affirming organization of the Presbyterian Student Center at UGA which Lerner led, prior to her installation as minister on campus. BTW her pronouns are she/her.
The Walls of Jericho thing was weird, but they obeyed
When God makes a command we must obey. It must have sounded silly to the Israelites who were entering the Promised Land to conquer Jericho in the way that God said. The people were to march silently around Jericho for six days, and after seven times around on the seventh day, they were to shout. What if they decided that was old-fashioned, that God didn’t know what He was talking about, that we’re more modern now? And they decided to use a more reasonable approach of a siege ramp? Do we know better than God? Of course not. We are to obey, to the letter.
However, a great many people, organizations, parachurches, and denominations are NOT obeying. I know we’ve been seeing women preach for years and years, in some denominations, since the 1800s. But frequency, quantity, or longevity of women preaching still does not make it biblical. It’s still wrong.
Denominations are disobeying in a great swathe of areas, but no more so than in ordaining women to positions and offices they are biblically unqualified to hold. If there is one way to quickly detect whether a church or denomination has “jumped the shark” so to speak, it’s whether they ordain women. Pentecostals, Presbyterians, Lutherans, Methodists, Baptists, Assemblies of God, and Anglicans all ordain women. (Note: Not ALL segments of each of those denominations ordain women, there are branches and split-offs too complicated to go into).
We can quickly detect is because a woman preaching is so visibly a rebellion. The scriptures are clear and unequivocal against women preaching, so if you see a church or religious organization with a female leading the service or preaching, it’s not a matter of muddy interpretation, it’s a matter of clear rebellion.
Bringing the issue down to local
There are many women “out there” who are ordained and function unconcernedly in a role forbidden to them. This section of the essay today is about one particular woman ‘in here’, in my own area. She was given much newspaper ink in a long article in my local daily this week about the fallout from the overturning of Roe vs. Wade. The article was behind a paywall so I won’t link to it, but I’ll highlight some statements and quotes from it, then discuss. The article opens with this sentence:
The Rev. Haley Lerner serves as a campus minister for the University of Georgia Presbyterian Student Center in Athens.
Right away you notice the ‘Reverend’ and the female name. She is a minister. So much wrong from the start.
Lerner is part of a campus ministry in the nearby University which is part of the Presbyterian USA denomination, one of the branches of a denomination that ordains women. The Center in which she ministers is a combo of United Church of Christ and Presbyterian USA. The Center installed their first women as minister in 2004. Lerner is not the first.
Female preachers are in rebellion against God. With rebellion there are always other rebellions. One sin feels lonely. So you can bet if there is a woman minister there is more rebellion present in her heart and in her actions.
There is NO church, organization, or parachurch with women preaching in them or ordained by them that doesn’t have false doctrine. Women preaching always comes with false teaching. Always.
“While she disagrees with anti-abortion Christians, she can still sympathize”.
Lerner disagrees with Christians who say it is wrong to torture and kill babies in the womb. Let that sink in.
Can you be a Christian and pro-abortion? No.
“Pro-choice advocates state that the Bible does not address abortion, so the decision should be the individual’s. While it is true that the term “abortion” does not appear in the Bible, the principles about the value of life are there. In Exodus 21:22-23, God wrote into His Law protection for the unborn. If a pregnant woman was injured, causing her to lose her child, then the one who caused the injury was to be executed: “a life for a life.” The phrase “life for a life” says a lot. God considers the life of the unborn just as valuable as that of a grown man.” Source GotQuestions
Lerner’s family belonged to an evangelical church growing up. Her church family, she remembered, was vehemently anti-abortion, which in turn drove her to be anti-abortion.
An aside here: your family credentials, generational Christianity, or having grown up around Christianity does not make you a Christian. You enter heaven through a very small turnstile, one that is all your own. Your sins must be atoned for in repentance to Jesus, not your family’s. You’re not ‘covered’ by a family pedigree.
But when Lerner went to college, she began to explore a different worldview. As she studied theology, she found that the evangelical anti-abortion movement did not have the answers to her increasingly complex questions.
A warning here to parents and youths: public universities are not a Christian’s friend. Impressionable professing teens of 18 and 19 who launch off into the world away from parents are vulnerable to the intended agenda of liberals to make them doubt what they think they know. The first recorded words of satan were “Did God really say…?” and it worked then with Eve and it still works.
Studying theology at a public university is asking satan to help you with your homework.Tweet
As for the Bible not giving her answers to the complex questions she had, this is a sad shame. Because the Bible answers everything. It is THE answer. Young person, if you find yourself empty and wondering after reading God’s word, I put it to you to examine yourself (2 Corinthians 13:5,2 Peter 1:10-11). You may have walked an aisle or said a prayer, but do you possess the Spirit? Because the Spirit guides you into all truth. His ministry IS to make things clear. It’s called the Doctrine of Illumination.
Not that believers understand all that is in the Bible, even at the end of our life, but the Spirit’s existence inside of us is to make us increasingly understand it. If you are unclear to the degree that you begin to doubt God’s word and don’t have enough faith to cover the gaps in understanding until comprehension comes, you may not be an actual Christian. Certainly Haley Lerner has proven she is not. If you’re sure that you’re sure, then praise God, and be patient as the Spirit weaves understanding into your constantly renewing mind.
“What made me really stop in my tracks and realize that what I thought and what I believed and acted towards was incredibly harmful was that [the movement] did not take into account a single human being’s life after they were born,” Lerner said.
Lerner’s statement is a red herring. Discount it. GotQuestions ministry states, “Pro-choice advocates often state that their position is “compassionate” and that pro-lifers don’t care about the woman or her child. This argument is a red herring. Whether pro-lifers “care” or not is irrelevant, just as it is irrelevant whether those opposed to robbery “care” about the banks being robbed. Robbery is against God’s moral law. So is abortion. And that’s the issue.” Source GotQuestions
The wise of heart will receive commands, But a babbling fool will come to ruin. (Proverbs 10:8)
And here comes the worst blasphemy. Not just disobedience, not just biblical ignorance, not just Lerner’s rebellion against the clear teaching of scripture, but blasphemy and denial of Christ.
“Our entire religion is based on a woman who made a choice. Mary had a choice to conceive; then comes Jesus, and all the rest. It started with a woman who made a choice.”
Let’s take this apart. First, Mary did not choose to conceive. I know this age is all girl power and so on but women don’t have the power to tell their egg to descend in order to meet the sperm coming up their way, or not to descend. We can’t choose conception, that is in God’s hands. (Jeremiah 1:5, Psalm 139:13-16). Mary was a virgin, so even that is off the table. Mary chose nothing, God chose her. Mary accepted her part in the plan of the Messiah’s arrival. (Luke 1:38).
Lerner is huge into the abortion movement, calling it reproductive health etc. So if Lerner is saying that Mary chose not to have an abortion, that is an even worse statement. Let’s not even go there.
Thirdly, Haley Lerner’s assertion about what our religion is founded on is heartbreaking, because she ultimately denies Jesus as the founder and finisher of our faith. Denying Jesus doesn’t only mean like if you’re being tied to the stake and the match is lit, and you recant saying “Jesus isn’t Messiah, I was wrong!” It doesn’t mean solely an outright denial. Denying Jesus can be done in a variety of ways. See commentary quotes below. One of the ways Haley Lerner denied Jesus is by moving the object of our worship from the sole worthiness of Jesus as Savior, to another object, this time, Mary. From God, to a human.
Our entire religion in fact is based on the plan from the before the foundation of the world set by God – the three Persons of the Trinity: that God made the plan, that Jesus executed it on the cross, and that the Spirit would draw all men to Himself. That Jesus lived a perfectly holy life for 33 years, died on the cross after personally absorbing and exhausting all God’s wrath for elect sinners, was buried, rose again to ascend to the Father. That He has all authority now and will judge the living and the dead.
Matthew 10:33 says But whoever denies Me before people, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.
Who is the liar except the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. (1 John 2:22)
Barnes’ Notes says of the Matthew 10:33 verse, “It means to acknowledge the Lord Jesus Christ, and our dependence on him for salvation, and our attachment to him, in every proper manner. This profession may be made in uniting with a church, at the communion, in conversation, and in conduct.”
Gill’s Exposition says, “to deny Christ, is to drop, or oppose any of those truths which regard his person, office, and grace; or to hide and conceal them from men, through fear, shame, or cowardice of mind: and even not to confess him, through fear of men, is interpreted, by Christ, a denial of him; and such who deny him in any form and shape, either by words or deeds,“
Haley Lerner’s words and deeds illustrate that she, according to biblical standards laid out above, is an antichrist. She is a blasphemer, an idolater, and a false convert who has no biblical authority to preach or say the things she does.
Wrapping it all up
My words here today may seem harsh. I’ve used terms like idolater, blasphemer, false convert, and antichrist. Worse, I’ve applied them to an actual, local person. Worst of all, I know she is dearly loved by many students. But those are biblical terms. They are meant to be harsh, because God feels harshly about those things. Young person, reader, listener, if you are still here, please understand that what you say and do matters. Who you align yourself with is important. Who you allow to feed into your soul is a weighty decision with eternal consequences.
If you are a local person under the teaching or influence of Haley Lerner, please reconsider your choice of spiritual authority. You are being led astray. The good news is that if you fall under conviction for having followed Haley Lerner, you can repent to Jesus, He WILL forgive. You can ask the Spirit to illuminate the wondrous truths to your mind and train yourself in discernment. (Hebrews 5:14).
If you have questions, email me. My email is on the About page. I can help and I can point you to a solid church and some good counselors to help you navigate the confusing waters of life and godliness. Please.
Why are women’s Bible Studies filled with false teachers? Video discussion between Doreen Virtue and Susan Heck
There’s no such thing as women ‘pastors’, G3 Ministries
The Doctrine of Illumination, from GotQuestions