Question:

This past Sunday something very disturbing happened in our worship service. Our song leader said that he as a man in the church was giving permission to a woman to lead a song. I was very disturbed by this because I don't believe that a man has the authority to usurp what God has put in place as far as the woman's role in worship. Can you please address this for me. Does a man have the authority to allow a woman to lead in the worship service and if so can you show me the scripture that allows this?


Answer:

You know the answer. Man never has been given the right to override God. To give permission to another to break a law of God is a sin. "Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says" (I Corinthians 14:34). It isn't a popular rule, but it is the rule God gave.

What the song leader mistakenly believed is that as long as he gave permission, then the woman would not be usurping authority as Paul taught against in "And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence" (I Timothy 2:12). The King James Version says "usurp authority," but this translation is misleading in modern English. "A recent article (1984) by George Knight ("Authenteo in Reference to Women") throughly analyzes the occurrences of authenteo, and shows that in its earliest uses (First Century B.C. to Second Century A.D.) it means simply "to have authority." "The authority in view in the documents is understood to be a positive concept and is in no way regarded as having any overtones of misuse of position or power, i.e. 'to domineer'" (pp. 150-151). Even as late as Sixth Century A.D., this basic sense still predominated." [The Complete Biblical Library]. However, a second flaw is that just because he gives permission to have a woman over him, it does not imply the entire church gives permission. But the real point is that he cannot give permission where God has not.

What I don't know is why you did not stand up and rebuke this brother for his sin, and if not accepted by the congregation walk out.

Thank you for your prompt and thorough answer to my question. You are absolutely right, I did know the answer. I am meeting with the leadership on this morning to air my disapproval of what was allowed to take place. Depending on the results of my meeting I may be looking for a new church home. Please keep me and my family in your prayers.