Women Pastors: Rebellion against God—MacArthur

Women pastors and preachers: “Perhaps the most obvious evidence of churches rebelling against the Bible” – MacArthur

In 2019, Bible teacher John Macarthur addressed the issue of female preachers in a sermon and said: “Perhaps women pastors and women preachers are the most obvious evidence of churches rebelling against the Bible.”

  • The apostles were all men.
  • The chief missionary activity was done by men.
  • The writing of the New Testament was all men.
  • Leadership in the churches was entrusted to men.
  • Men are tasked to lead the family.

The role of women is not to lead or preach

No leadership role for women

MacArthur acknowledged that from the very beginning, women fulfilled a vital role in the Christian church (Acts 1:12–14; 9:36–42; 16:13–15; 17:1–4, 10–12; 18:1–2, 18, 24–28; Rom. 16; 1 Cor. 16:19; 2 Tim. 1:5; 4:19). Some women were deacons or a servant who looks after the temporal need of the church.

Those who insist that women were given church leadership roles use Romans 16:7, which refers to Andronicus and Junia (described as
outstanding in the view of the apostles.” Junia is traditionally known to be a woman. However, he could also been a male (Junias).

If Junia is female, she is probably the wife of Andronicus. Regardless of whether it’s a male or female, the word apostle (ἀποστόλοις) also refers to a “messenger,” not necessarily in the same category as the 12 apostles of Christ.

Still, MacArthur was accused mostly by woke Christians of misogyny and toxic masculinity for his apparent literal interpretation of the Bible. The point is that Jesus called only men to be apostles, which does not mean women are less important in ministry.

Women first brought the good news

Jesus let Mary and Magdalene be the first to let others know He has resurrected. It is essentially the Gospel, but it’s not the same as preaching. It would be a stretch to assume it carried with it leadership responsibilities.

the church structure has both males and females as deacons. Yet there are no records of women as overseers of a congregation.

Acts 18:24-26: Priscilla and Aquila’s leadership role

Priscilla, with Aquila, instructs Apollos implying a leadership role.

John MacArthur sees Romans 16:7 differently, suggesting Junia may not be a female apostle but “well-known to the apostles.” His view aligns with a traditional interpretation. Others may have different opinions.


God created woman to be man’s helper

What Pastor John said may sound sexist and unfair, especially to fired-up women, but they have always taken the back seat since the early church. After all, women were created from Adam’s ribs as his helpers (Genesis 2).

It’s also clear that wives should submit to their (loving) husbands, which is a similar pattern we see when it comes to church, that it’s the man who leads.


“Perhaps women pastors and women preachers are the most obvious evidence of churches rebelling against the Bible:” John Macarthur.


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  1. I normally find okay for women pastors to lead churches, but this well written article gives me a very good understanding. Now I agree that church leadership should be for men.


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