I don’t think she should teach the Bible to assembled groups of men. I think she’s doing what 1 Timothy 2:12 says not to do.
What sort of negative consequences might result from Joyce Meyer teaching a large auditorium of men and women?
Well, I have no doubt when a woman teaches God’s word and prays and trusts God that there are some positive results, because God’s word itself has power. It’s truth, and he blesses his word.
But I still think that a woman who serves as a pastor, preaching to both men and women, is disobeying the word of God. There are always negative consequences to that. First, there will be an erosion of trust in the Bible and obedience to the Bible, generally in the congregation, because the methods of interpretation used to justify what she is doing often involve misinterpretation of scripture or eroding of the authority of scripture. In more liberal churches [where women are ordained] there’s been an amazing decline in membership. It hasn’t been the path to blessing.
Also, there will be an erosion of male leadership in the family because the modeling of female leadership in the pastorate will be reflected in a lessening of male leadership in the home. There will be a resulting increase in gender identity confusion among boys and girls growing up in the church. I think also that anyone who lives in a pattern of constant disobedience to the word of God--if a woman does this, she is opening herself up to the danger of the withdrawal of God’s hand of protection and blessing on her life.
Could you give an example?
Judy Brown is one example that I mention. [She] contributed a chapter to [the book] Discovering Biblical Equality. She was an Assemblies of God pastor or maybe Foursquare, I’m not sure. And she actually, sadly, is in prison in Virginia for attempted murder. It’s tragic.
You think perhaps her situation is related to her views about women preaching?
It’s a whole decade or more of strongly promoting women’s ordination. Someone could say, “Haven’t there been a lot of men pastors who have fallen into very harmful and destructive sin?” And I agree there have. Often, in those cases, there are other things in their lives that people who knew them can point to, such as pride or untruthfulness or misuse of money. But in this case it seems to me there’s an area of disobedience to the command of scripture regarding male leadership and teaching in the church.
What do you think the church in America would be like if everyone followed the guidelines in this book?
Healthier, stronger. Both men and women would have a greater sense of joy in fulfilling the roles that God has described for us in his word. Whenever there’s obedience to the word of God, he brings blessing. Throughout the history of the church and even today, the vast majority of large, growing, successful churches are pastored by men. When I visit churches that follow these guidelines, I see a wholesomeness, a joy, a sense of wholeness in being who God has made us to be as men and women. God brings blessing when we obey all of his word.