A few weeks ago, I wrote an article called “John Piper Gets it All Wrong About Women in Ministry. I knew this article would stir a hornet’s nest, but I never imagined in a million years Jesus would condemn me to hell for writing it.

In the article, one of my lines was: “Look at Aimee Semple McPherson. What about Kathryn Kuhlman? How about Marilyn Hickey and Joyce Meyer? All of these women have been a blessing to the body of Christ, and they have all faced persecution from people who don’t agree that they should speak and teach. Jesus certainly didn’t prevent women from entering ministry so I am unsure as to why there is so much resistance in some camps within the modern church.”

I got a wicked nasty comment on the article from a Richard Tuttle. He didn’t share his credentials or why he thinks God granted him the authority to condemn me to hell in the name of Jesus, but he said plenty more.

“Miss LeClair’s argument regarding women teaching in the Church and/or exercising authority over a man in the Church is unbiblical at best, and heretical at worst,” Tuttle says.

First of all, spell my name right, especially if you are going to argue accuracy and make an accusation of heresy. Can’t you see the enemy is using you to throw a fiery dart with such a serious allegation? Are you really going to call me and the many, many others who believe the same as I do false teachers? Are you not aware that you are claiming I am going to hell? Can’t you disagree without sending me to the devil’s chambers?

Apparently not. It gets worse. He goes on to point out, “What does God have to say about this issue? He states in His Word, ‘I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor” (1 Timothy 2:12-14 – ESV). “Clearly then women are not permitted to teach in the Church, nor are they allowed to exercise authority over men in the Church.”

As Lee Grady so eloquently wrote, “Paul’s first epistle to Timothy seems to limit women’s roles in leadership (see 1 Tim. 2:12). Yet Paul also gushed with praise for the women who served with him as co-laborers—women such as Phoebe (Rom. 16:1-2), Junia (Rom. 16:7) and Priscilla, who helped lay foundations in the early church (see 1 Cor. 16:19). In Phil. 4:2-3, Paul expresses solidarity with two women leaders, Euodia and Syntyche. And he refers to other women who obviously led churches, such as Chloe (1 Cor. 1:11) and Nympha (Col. 4:15), and he does not try to silence or restrict them,” Grady says.

“Traditionalists who insist on barring women from leadership positions always refer to 1 Tim. 2:12 as an ironclad rule—yet they ignore the women who served with Paul. The obvious question is: Why did Paul tell Timothy to clamp down on the women in Ephesus when he allowed Priscilla to teach? The most sensible interpretation is that the Ephesian women were teaching heresy. They had no business teaching the Bible or leading the church, yet Paul encouraged faithful women.”

If Paul didn’t call them heretics, what gives you the boldness to attack women this way?

“Miss LeClair then points to Deborah, the Old Testament judge and prophetess (Judges 4-5), Anna the prophetess (Luke 2:36–38), and Priscilla (Romans 16) as examples of women teaching and exercising authority over men in the Church,” Tuttle writes.

Again, you not only got my name wrong you are twisting what I said. If you can’t rightly divide an article, should you claim to be able to rightly divide the Word of truth? (see 2 Timothy 2:15).

What I actually wrote was this: “Yes, 1 Timothy 2:12-13 says women should not teach or assume authority over a man. Others point to 1 Timothy 3, which lists the qualifications for bishops and deacons as reasons not to allow women in ministry. But what do we do, then, with Deborah, a prophetess and a judge who led Israel into victorious battle when a man would not take charge? What about Anna the prophetess? What about Priscilla, who traveled in ministry with her husband?”

Dr. Michael Brown, who has helped me as a father in the faith, even acknowledges that God can and has used some women in this capacity. He says the Scriptural pattern is along the lines of 1 Timothy 2:12-13 but still leaves room for God to use whomever he wants. After all, there is no Scripture sanctioning donkeys to prophesy or snakes to talk, but it happened. There are many leaders in Scripture and in the world who have made amazing impacts for the glory of God. Are they now rotting in hell? I don’t think so.

“The problem with Miss LeClair’s argument is that not one of these women (nor any others listed in Scripture) are teaching in the Church; nor are they exercising authority over men in the Church. They are not Elders or Bishops in the Church, nor are they listed as such anywhere in Scripture,” Tuttle wrote.

I’m sorry, help me understand where I said that?

Tuttle writes, “God is very clear in His word regarding the positions that women may hold in the Church, and what positions they may not hold in the Church. Miss LeClair’s attempt to dismiss God’s Word (and by extension God Himself) as somehow wrong or old fashioned or whatever, by emphasizing her own personal belief as more authoritative than God and His Word is arrogantly blasphemous, and demonstrates her position as a false teacher. Repent, Miss LeClair. Repent and turn to the Lord God Almighty seeking His forgiveness.”

And there you go. You’ve accused me of blasphemy and being a false teacher. Even if I am wrong, do you truly believe Jesus is condemning me to hell over this point? Who made you a judge?

I discern Tuttle does not know what spirit he’s of (see Luke 9:55). We need to pray for this man and others like him. I won’t return evil for evil by calling him a false teacher, but I know he’s grieved the Holy Spirit and assume he has no idea, much like the religious Pharisees that persecuted Jesus. Praying for you, Mr. Tuttle.

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29 Comments

  1. Jane

    Thank you for your teachings no matter what anyone comments with a religious spirit we will not be deterred learning from you. We did not stumble upon this site by mistake.
    God (YHWH) is raising women in these end times because they are more faithful than men. That is but only one of the many reasons YHWH is raising more
    women now. There are more reasons and your critic does not need to know them. He is honestly not an intercessor.

    Reply
    • Kathy

      Yes and Ahmein Jane! YHWH is calling His people to know Him and His name! I love to see the name of YHWH being used…the beautiful, name of our King!

      Reply
  2. Evangelist Mary Faux

    I praise God for your teachings & prayers. You are on fire with the Holy Spirit! A blazing bonfire with the Sword of the Spirit,proclaiming the Word of God! Keep blazing forth, woman of God! Radical in Christ!!

    Reply
  3. Mitchel Duff

    I would disregard this guy’s comments. Starting for the stand point that he thinks he has the authority to hear God’s voice on someone’s judgement shows that he clearly is not speaking as a Christian or as a Bible Scholar. I know it is easy to get worked up over foolish comments like this but don’t let it get to you. There will always be someone to try to tear you down and they will try to use scripture to do it. I appreciate what you do and keep up the good work. God Bless!

    Reply
    • Pastor Dick Pacheco

      I normally don’t respond to these things. I have been in ministry for forty plus years, and have Pastored the church I am currently in for 18 years. I have benefited much from the teachings and preaching of many women over the years and have been truly blessed by many women in our church as the Spirit speaks to them. There are too many instances to mention here when during certain circumstances in the church God has spoken through a women that has brought clarity and resolution to some circumstances and the whole body was blessed, including me who was faced with trying to resolve some difficult issues. A few years ago a lady from California moved to or city and started attending our church, as she became more acquainted with us, she told me of a special gift God had given her. She has studied the ancient Hebrew language for twenty years and had written some articles on the language and offered them to me to read. As I read them I could truly fill the anointing on her teachings. She now and has been teaching an evening class in our church on Ancient Hebrew language and we have members from other churches who attend. I read your articles Jennifer often and receive many blessings from them and well as some valuable insight. I too over the years have come under attack from many religious spirits, but my teaching and preaching has always been to an audience of “One”. I have discovered over the years that when people are offended by the truth of God’s Word, no matter who speaks it, is really them being convicted of their own lack of wisdom. One of the very elderly ladies, who is an incredible prayer warrior in our church, always says, “who’s ears are you listening through” Jesus says, “those who have ears to hear let them hear” He doesn’t say a man or women. Also in Revelation 3:22 He says; “Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches” So keep on listening, and keep on speaking what the Spirit says to you and God Bless

      Reply
  4. Peggy

    Thank you Jennifer for standing up for what I right. For years, false prophets have tried to silence the daughters of God from operating in the Holy Spirit and His anointing – have dealt with this in our church. Our prayers are with you and your ministry.

    Reply
  5. Sharon G.

    God is using more women because of a lack of available men. In God there is neither male nor female (Gal 3:28). Kathryn Kuhlman testified that God said He passed over five men that refused to be used by God, so when God got to Kathryn, unlike the five men before her, she accepted the call of God. God took the anointing that He was going to give the five men and put it on Kathryn. That is the reason she was used so mightily. Her ministry included teaching and healing, confirmed by many.

    Reply
  6. Allan Guy

    Ms. Jennifer (I have a daughter named Jennifer) let me bring you an encouraging word. I have been in the ministry for nearly 50 years. I have taught Bible prophecy for most of that time. I, like Paul also worked a job in addition to ministry, mostly in a retail setting. No matter how hard you try you’re going to find people that will complain because their ice cream is too cold. I know that’s no news flash to you, but you have done the right thing. You have laid out the situation without name calling or rancor, and now the whole knows what this guy is all about. My best advice is forgive him and move on. He will move to criticize someone else, and you can can continue in this work to which God has called you. Shake the dust off, and move on..

    Reply
  7. MERRILL RIFE

    if a woman can carry the word in her womb for 9 months she surely can preach the word. PREACH ON SISTER. AMEN!

    Reply
    • Rhonda

      Amen!!! Amen!!! “Say on, Sista!”

      Reply
    • Jim

      Merrill Rife,
      I love your response!!

      Jennifer, the Scripture says, “resist The devil and he will flee (run) from you” .

      Tuttle is just totally INSECURE and needs to learn a lot yet. All insecure babies make a lot of noise before they mature. Some just never mature even though they grow up.

      Reply
  8. Deborah McGinnis

    Based on my studies, in the original Greek, the word for man-woman can also be translated husband-wife. It depends on the translator. To me this verse should be translated a wife is not allowed to teach her husband. Also this verse is taken out of context. If we look at the rest of the chapter leading up to this verse, Paul is referring to how Christians should behave in public. It’s a teaching on social behavior, not religious.

    Reply
  9. Jean

    I stand with God’s authority men are head of the ecclesia as Christ is head of all. I still follow Jennifer and look forward to her writings.

    Reply
  10. Heather Duzan

    This guys grace-less position is typical. I sure wish the Bride was in better shape having been led by men for centuries. Two things. The curse that was spoken over Eve was broken at the cross; now it is not her husband who rules over us, it is Jesus. We are restored to the equal positioning assigned before the Fall. Second, Paul was writing letters to Greek communities in which females were revered as deities. A strong argument can be made with logical inferences that was defining leadership to balance power. The religious man’s fear should be more about his teachings that lack grace and mercy which we know triumphs over judgment, and less about barring the preaching of the Gospel from feminine’s perspective. In fact I propose that had women been given a seat at the table churches would host orphanages and soup kitchens over multi million dollar media/tech equipment.

    Reply
  11. Velma Davies, Prophet

    Father God teaches us to NOT JUDGE another Christian, as that is the duty of the Holy Spirit within each Christian to do that. This man is not judging you, but is judging the God within you, Who has called you to do His work. He definitely needs our prayers, so let’s pray for him. I like the answers you gave to him.

    Reply
  12. ROSALIE

    SAD TO SAY THERE WILL ALWAYS BE THOSE WHO TEAR DOWN THOS TRULY USED OF GOD THE ANNOINTING AND BEING FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT MAKES ALL THE DIFFERANCE,AS LONG AS YOU ARE PLEASING THE LORD AND BEING OBEODENT TO HIM ,HE’S THE ONLY ONE YOU HAVE TO BE CONCERNED ABOUT!!!! PREACH ON MY DEAR

    Reply
  13. Charles

    Jennifer, your articles really minister to me. You seem to have the Holy Spirit anointing in your articles. Keep up the good work and God bless.

    Reply
  14. Deborah Parker

    Once someone is has this prejudice and is indoctrinated into the position that women cannot teach or have certain Authority in the church, seems like it becomes a mental and religious stronghold that is hard to break. Those that hold this position do like to use that one scripture to support what they believe. This is dangerous as they are not considering the whole counsel of God on this subject. J Lee Grady certainly does have accurate insight and teaching on this as you have well outlined. It is always good to be teachable, and if this gentleman would get on his face and really and sincerely seek the Holy Spiriton this matter, asking for absolute truth as only the Lord can give… and be willing to accept whatever the Lord says to him, being willing to set aside any preconceived prejudices, he may most certainly have a different outcome of insight, if he were open to it! It takes the absolute humbling of yourself, utter trust in the Lord…. it takes the willingness to hear the Lord tell you something that you are not accustomed to, that you are not used to, that does not fit your comfortable Doctrine of what you have been taught all those years…. maybe he would be willing to then accept it, if only the Lord himself were to show him.

    Reply
  15. kathy

    Jennifer; you are a mighty warrior filled with His truth and life. I love listening to you teach the word. I have to say…if you are being attacked for teaching the Word of YHWH; you must be doing something right!

    Reply
  16. Roger Marks

    Today we are in the age of interpreting scripture mainly from a denominational perspective, not a biblical one. That means we pick and choose what we understand the scripture to mean.

    As a man with the gift of teaching ( I am a trained teacher and have been given an anointing for teaching four times by prophecy), when I am studying a subject, first I always look at what the scripture says. Until I know that, I cannot advance my study as the scripture is the benchmark for everything I believe.

    Once I know what the scripture says, I can move out from there. One study I did which took me two years consisted of the Word and 60 books on the subject from all perspectives.

    I have studied in depth the role of men and women in church leadership and ministry and would like to make a comment regarding two verses of scripture on the matter.

    The first one is 1 Cor 16:19 where it says the church met in the house of Priscilla and Aquilla. The fact that the church met in their house could be because they had a house big enough for the church to meet in. They had a gift of hospitality. They were the local leaders of a church that met in their house.

    In those days, the church was everyone in the town that were believers. They were not divided into denominations or warring factions and everyone met in someone’s house for fellowship. I do not read that Aqullia or Pricilla were Elders in the Corinthian church or had the gift of teaching. To say either is to suppose that was the case as there is no corroborating evidence for it.

    In Colossians 4:15, six out of the seven translations I referred to said that Nympha was a male. This makes the gender indeterminate so it is unwise to build a case based on that verse.

    When you don’t have an axe to grind or a position to push, you can approach a subject without bias and determine the true position that is stated I scripture.

    In addition, these verses show very clearly that the church met in homes, not public buildings. Anyone keen to advance such an idea and abandon their religious observance held in ornate and expensive buildings?

    Being a male, I am a Daniel in a lion’s den here so don’t eat me all at once.

    Reply
  17. Mark Biondolillo

    I remember reading years ago a book by Charles Trombley titled “Who Said Women Can’t Teach?”. He knocked over every “sacred
    Cow” verse that Fundamentalists use to silence
    women.

    One example- when Paul stated that women
    were to be “silent in church, as also says the Law”, he was quoting Jewish ORAL law and tradition. There is not one verse in the Old Testament that silences women! To the contrary,
    we see great women of God mightily used by Him to accomplish great things, throughout both
    Testaments.

    Who was the first preacher after the Resurrection of Christ? Jesus sent MARY to His
    disciples.

    The sticky phrase in Timothy about “usurping
    authority” is the one time that the Greek word
    “authentein” is used in the NT. Sorry Fundamentalists, but the 1611 translation of “usurrp authority” was a poor one. It has to do with “sexual license”…then again, “I suffer not a woman to teach” would better read “I am NOT NOW permitting a woman to teach ..” the Holy
    Spirit through Paul was correcting a situation
    in the church that had to do with improper behavior from a certain woman!

    That’s why we are commanded to “study to show ourselves approved”. Seeming contadictions in the Word can be laid to rest when we just dig a little deeper!

    Jennifer, keep preaching the Word! I’ve been blessed by your prophetic ministry. What a blessing women of God are to the Body of Christ! I know, for I married one with such a prophetic gift!

    May God bring this man to repentance, so that
    he may see that the “letter kills, but the Spirit
    brings life”.

    In Christ,
    Mark Biondolillo

    Reply
  18. Ken Smith

    Actually we are sharing concerning a Eldership servant Consensus that in today’s modern church I have yet to see, Eph.4:11-16 If we had that kind of John 17:20-26 Unity, this kind of an emotional discussion would not exist. Simple it takes a Godly man to mentor another man into being Godly. Men run on a different fuel than do women. A sanctified and holy woman can certainly bring a man under convection 1 Peter 3. But to help a man fine tune his carburetor it take a man with the same kind of a car. Our Lord Jesus has given us the victory and now we need to learn how to use it. To mentor a young man going though the hormone storms take a man who has been there and has the victory. If a woman take charge the boy may stay a boy and sometimes worse. So give Moses some credit for his account in Gen.3:16 and St. Paul in Eph.5:21-25… If we are to produce the example of Christ and HIS Church in our Christian Marriages it seems to me the we will need a lot of practice and also need to see that same example of Unity when we take our families to Church. So enough of this emotional grand standing… The Husband and Wife is a ONE!! And needs help to dynamically show Christ and HIS Church to the so called church and the world. Out of Love,Holiness,Truth and Obedience comes the Power of the Holy Spirit to heal the world. Most churches that I am aware of live in Laodicea Land and are on the way back into pagan Egypt for the leaks and onions. We need to let go of the Emotional Logic and Fine Tune the Word of God in our hearts. And as far as I know we are yet to develop an Eldership that is 100% totally sensitive to the Holy Spirit as called for by our LORD. And yet, there is even another issue. Men have a very difficult time in being rock bottom honest and truthful when women are around. You can not win an argument with a woman even when you are right. You always come away feeling bombed, regardless. How would that work in a consensus of servant Biblical Elders??? Women were created to help men but not to be in competition with men.

    Reply
  19. Mr. Lynne Whelden

    I agree with “Jane” that women are more faithful than men. I might express that differently, that women tend to be more sensitive to spiritual matters.
    Perhaps another way of looking at this….where there’s a woman in ministry, a man somewhere did not respond to God’s calling. Kathryn Kuhlman felt that was true in her case.
    The OT example of Deborah and Barak (Judges 4) seems to suggest that. Barak didn’t want to be the leader so she stepped up to the task and ended up getting a lot of the praise. Count how many times her name is mentioned in the song (Judges 5) vs. Barak’s name.
    It’s a sad commentary/blueprint of where we are right now in the Church. Men have abdicated, putting the world before the Kingdom. Women stepped up.

    Reply
    • lynne whelden

      PS (as I don’t see where I can edit my posts after submitting) The dark side of people seem to emerge in the “comments” section. The classic image I hold in my mind is some guy sitting in his underwear in his parent’s basement, furiously pounding out a hot-headed reply to some poor victim. I doubt even he believes half of what he’s typing….but he’s getting stuff “off his chest.”
      Really, he’s just revealing the ugly side of his heart that’s never taken to the Cross.

      Reply
  20. Gosh Jennifer your heard from a lot of women are very few men. I wonder why?

    Gosh Jennifer your heard from a lot of women are very few men. I wonder why?

    Reply
  21. Gina

    Our church would be closed if we believed as he does. Our church board has 5 women and one man for the simple reason that most of our men don’t qualify. God’s goal is that ‘not one be lost’. Are we really going to condemn anyone who shares Christ and sees lives transformed? Seems like a pride issue to me.

    Reply
  22. Deborah

    We sometimes forget that we don’t have the letter or correspondence to read, to which Paul was responding. We only have his response, not their questions. Sometimes we also have to remember that not everything that we read can be taken literally without understanding what was happening in THEIR culture at the time, which was often what Paul was having to address, just like we still have to do today.

    A MAJOR problem in the church at Ephesus was the great cult of Artemis (Diana). This was a cult which elevated the dominance of women. Women who came into the church during that time still had this elevated mindset of women, whether intentional or ignorance based on the natural everyday influence of Artemis worship. It would obviously present a problem in the church, so it makes most sense of all that Paul was having to address this local, cultural (and spiritual) problem in order to bring order to this church. It wasn’t for the subordination of women, it was to bring balance and order to the church. These former Artemis-worshiping women coming into the church needed to re-learn, be taught that women were not “higher” than men and balance was needed to be attained. Dealing with a local problem makes so much sense when we see Paul exonerating women and allowing them in leadership positions elsewhere in his other letters.

    In Acts, when it says that your sons and daughters will prophesy, it doesn’t say your sons will prophesy and your daughters will prophesy only to women and children. There was no such decree. So then, the prophesying would go out into the ears of both men and women. Oh, there is so much that could be continued to be said on this subject!

    And, I can’t imagine a greater example of a godly woman prophetess exercising “authority” over a man than in the story of the Prophetess Deborah and Barak, contrary to the assertion made by Ms. LeClaire’s criticizer. At the COMMAND of Deborah to Barak- “UP!” – and when Barak obeyed, God gave him victory. — Judges 4:14 And Deborah said to Barak, “Up! For this is the day in which the Lord has given Sisera into your hand. Does not the Lord go out before you?” So Barak went down from Mount Tabor with 10,000 men following him. 15 And the Lord routed Sisera and all his chariots and all his army before Barak by the edge of the sword. And Sisera got down from his chariot and fled away on foot. 16 And Barak pursued the chariots and the army to Harosheth-hagoyim, and all the army of Sisera fell by the edge of the sword; not a man was left. — No matter how one tries to twist and turn this to fit their bias, the Scripture says exactly what is says and Deborah commanded Barak. She didn’t gloat over this position, she simply operated in the gift God gave her, which was never specified in Scripture that it was only to women. When she was a judge, she was a judge for all – men and women.

    I could go on, but must stop. A truly humble Christian man or woman before the Lord would be willing to reexamine their teachings or beliefs, without hindering filters of past teachings over their eyes, to sincerely and opening seek the truth and see what God shows them. I have been there and done that and have been excited over the things God has been able to show me where I have been previously mistaken. I hope this for this man, also.

    Reply
  23. Wm Baxley

    Always resistance because of a certain deafness.
    “Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says . . . “
    The river which rises up from within you can’t be stopped. Go for it, Ms LeClaire!

    Reply
  24. Prophet Steve

    See you at the Leaders and Watchmens conference next week in Florida. The religious spirit always attacks those moving in the realm of the Spirit because they operate out of the natural mind and not the mind of Christ. The pharisaical spirit flows out of information without revelation and does not do anything for Transformation. There are more that are for you than those that are against you. Abundant blessings in your life and ministry.

    Reply

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