I once received an email from a male reader who rebuked me for not having a big, bold banner across the top of my website that announced that I was a female. The implication was that, since I was discussing biblical truth and “teaching,” I was in sin if a man visited my site, read, and learned.
As you can see, that banner never did find its way to this homepage, but the issue raised is one that has never gone away. What is the role of the female blogger? Is she being disobedient to the Lord by using a venue such as this blog to discuss biblical truths?
My fellow female laborer in the Lord, Michelle Lesley, recently asked the question of several women bloggers, and has compiled their answers in her post, “In Case You Were Wondering: Are Female Bloggers Violating Scripture By ‘Teaching’ Men?“
I was honored to be asked by Michelle to contribute to that post, and my complete answer to her question is below. I encourage you to visit Michelle’s blog, however, to read the responses shared by other sisters in Christ.
Everyday on my commute, I pass a small church. It appears rather quaint, looks very traditional, and boasts one of those infamous “church signs” in its front yard. Recently, I noticed a new message on the sign: “Welcome, Pastor Rita!” Sigh.
This church, for all of its pseudo-traditional Americana quaintness, does not have a pastor. And in fact, it is not a church. Why? Because it has deliberately and overtly disobeyed the Word of God (1 Timothy 2:11-14).
Scripture is clear as to the role of women within the body of Christ and within the context of the local church. Women are not to be in roles of authority, leadership, or teaching over men; they are not to usurp the God-ordained, distinct role that God has reserved for men of His choosing. The Scriptures do not stutter on this point.
But, what about a more ambiguous ministry? What about a book or a blog or a podcast? What if a woman is teaching the Scriptures or speaking theologically in one of these forums and a man happens to stumble upon it? Has the woman sinned?
A semi-formal ministry such as a blog, book, or podcast must be approached with the biblical mindset of seeking to teach and equip fellow women as per Titus 2. At the same time, a woman blogger cannot know who is reading her blog. Nor can an author control who reads her book, or a podcaster supervise who hits “play.” Might the woman see it as necessary to make clear that she is, in fact, a woman and that her ministry is directed toward fellow sisters in Christ? Of course, this seems a logical and simple safeguard and is in fact my own approach.
The issue does not end there, however. What is the role of women in casual conversation? What if a woman finds herself around a table of men, engaged in a theological conversation? Further still, what if one of those men takes a theological wrong turn? Is the woman stepping outside of the proverbial boundaries to offer correction, particularly if the other men present are failing to do so?
My answer to this would be no, she is not. Of course, there are multiple reasons why deferring to another man who is present in the conversation is the wisest choice. If there is no other man present, or if there is and he is remaining silent in the face of error, the woman can follow confidently in the footsteps of Priscilla (Acts 18) in offering her theological thoughts as based in Scripture.
The issue of authority within the church is not threatened by casual water-cooler conversation. All believers are called to contend for the faith (Jude 3) and to proclaim repentance and forgiveness of sins in Jesus’ name (Luke 24:47). All believers sit, stand, walk, and talk under the authority of Scripture. Too many women are affected by a distorted view of submission that leads to inappropriate silence in the face of error, and a mindset that tells them that they are not worthy of diving into deep theological waters. Dear sisters, do not let the errors of feminism cause you to shrink away from the commands and truths of Christ.