In 2013, I wrote a book titled: Should She Preach–Biblical Evangelism for Women (One Million Tracts). The description of the book for the Kindle version includes this plea from me:
“The question I believe I biblically answer in ‘Should she preach?’ is should a Christian woman preach the gospel in the open air, in the public square? If not, to what extent should a Christian woman involve herself in public evangelism? If your answer to the questions is, ‘What difference does it make? Whether a Christian is a man or woman shouldn’t matter,’ then you are not thinking biblically. If your answer to the questions is, ‘Evangelizing on the streets, in any manner, is no place for a Christian woman,’ then you are not thinking biblically. To my sisters in Christ who will read this book: I love you. I want God’s very best for you. I want you to serve Christ Jesus our King to the best of your ability, through the unique Holy Spirit-enabled gifting He has assigned to you. And I want you to evangelistically serve Him—in the church, at home, at work, at school, and on the streets—with great joy. And I want to help you in this last area, your evangelistic service to Him, with my whole heart. I ask that you not judge this book by its cover. At the same time, I ask that you do not, please do not, read this book with an open mind. Read this book with an open Bible. I hope the presupposition you bring to this book and everything else you read is a simple one: ‘The Bible is true regardless of what I think or believe. I can be wrong; Tony can be wrong; but the Word of God is never wrong.’ So, read this book to the very end with an eye on the Scriptures, with humility of mind, with a prayerful heart, while desiring to be conformed to the image of God’s Son—Jesus Christ, the Lord.”
Some read the book with the above in mind and came to the same conclusions I did regarding women preaching in the open-air. Others read the book and vehemently disagreed. Some have challenged me to debate the topic, thinking I somehow owe them a further explanation beyond the case I made in the book. They should write their own books. Still others had negative, visceral feelings about the book and determined the work was of the devil, before the book was written. I doubt some of these folks ever read the book.
In the book, I make the biblical case that women preaching in the open-air is contrary to God’s intended design for women, is contrary to God’s intended roles for women within the Body of Christ, and is the antithesis of God’s desired demeanor for women–a gentle and quiet spirit.
I decided to post the following video because I believe it is a striking illustration of my argument.
Some, in an effort to dismiss my argument, might say, “Tony, you went and found the worst possible example of a woman preaching in the open-air in order to poison the well in favor of your argument.” Not true. First: I didn’t have to search for this video. In a sense, the lady and her group came to me. And, for the record, there are worse examples than what you are about to see. Second: I personally know Christian women, dear sisters in Christ, who would not preach like this woman. I understand this woman is a caricature of a female open-air preacher. Just as there are many men on the streets today who are bad representations of male open-air preachers–men like this, and this, and this, and this. So, I’m not saying that every woman who preaches in the open-air behaves like the woman in the following video.
I do not know the woman in the video. I do not know her name. She stated she has been married for 17 years, so I know that about her. I do not know if her husband was part of the team. I do not know if the woman subscribes to any of the false doctrines that have shipwrecked the faith of so many errant open-air preachers these days. I do not know her personal testimony of salvation. I do not know if she is or isn’t my sister in Christ. I know virtually nothing about her.
However, I don’t need to know anything beyond what I heard her say and how she said it to know with biblical certainty that she should not be preaching in the open-air. I don’t need to know anything beyond the fact that she was a woman preaching in the open-air to assert she should not be engaged in the activity.
Again, my argument against women preaching in the open-air is that it is contrary to God’s intended design for women, it is contrary to God’s intended role for women within the Body of Christ, and it is antithetical to God’s desired demeanor for women–a gentle and quiet spirit.
Even if one disagrees with the first two points in my argument, I challenge any Christian to explain how what you’re about to see is in keeping with what God tells us in 1 Peter 3:4, which reads:
“But let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.”
It simply cannot be done.