In Matthew 25:14-30, Jesus teaches the parable of the talents. Their master gave three servants talents. The first two go and trade and increase their talents, but the third servant in the parable, knowing what is expected of him, still goes and buries his talent because he is afraid. When the master returns to settle accounts with his servants, the first two are praised, but the third servant is reprimanded. This well-known parable teaches us that as servants of God we are responsible to use the gifts and abilities that the Lord has given us, not to bury them.Why do some in the church place restrictions on women that prevent them from utilizing the gifts and abilities given to them by God? Since God instructs us to use our talent, why are some in the church telling us that we have to go bury it?
I am a woman who has been called to preach. Others have affirmed my calling, yet I am frequently confronted with the question of whether or not women should preach. I have to admit that the resistance to allow called women of God the opportunity to proclaim the word in the church baffles me. I’ve heard the arguments that are presented from scripture that claim that women are to be silent and submissive, and that only men are called upon to be senior pastors (a term that is not used in the Bible, I might add). Would those that hold to these doctrinal teachings also proclaim that women are saved by childbirth? The reasoning goes that if men are to be the head of the household, then a man must also be the person who is in the key leadership position in the church, ergo women are not as equipped as men for leadership. Yet, Paul teaches that we are all (men and women) members of the body for which Christ is the head. This implies that there is no hierarchy within the church that places men above women. When one reads of the gifting of the Holy Spirit, there is no mention of gifts being determined by gender, so how can there be claims that women are not called or equipped to preach? God has called women and gifted them to preach. Therefore, why is it that women are denied the opportunity to do so? Why is a woman’s call less important than that of a man? If God does not consider women inferior, then how can it be biblically acceptable for the church to view women as less than? Did not Peter proclaim at Pentecost that both your sons and daughters would prophesy (Acts 2:17)? Did not God create both man and woman in His image? Did not God bless them both and ask them both to rule over his creation (Gen. 1:27, 28)?