Priscilla in the Pulpit
‘Preaching, Polluting, and Purpose’
There are people that argue that Priscilla Shirer doesn’t preach in churches. This video is just one example showing she does. This takes place at a church called Celebration Church. People have said that Priscilla doesn’t knowingly preach to men but in this video, she addresses those listening and calls them brothers and sisters and she also addresses the pastor and his wife in the church so yes, she knows. Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. 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 2:11-14. I’ll be going through this video and pointing out my concerns with several things she teaches. (Video below)
Right from the start, you will hear Priscilla say: “It’s a privilege to serve you today in these Sunday Services.” and “You need to know, every church ain’t got it this good.” She then encourages the Pastor and his wife to “stay in bed on Sunday” sometime and let her serve. Basically saying she will preach the Sunday service to let them stay home from church to relax. I’m a little taken back by this comment….”Stay home from church?” Well, I’d never encourage the practice of staying home from church just to get a break from church. If you’re sick, yes, but not just because you need to get away or need a break from church. Do you really need a break from learning the Word of God as a congregation one day a week? However, in this case, I’d say they should NOT go to that church because that church allows women to preach to the body of believers. Just go find a church where a man is a pastor obeying God’s Word and doesn’t let women come in and preach for them.
Priscilla starts out talking about the pastors and leaders of the church: “So you got shepherds who love you, they love the church, they love the house of God, they love serving you and on top of all that, they are folks of integrity and character and honesty who love each other…” Yeah, the things that make you go hmmm? First of all, let’s read some verses that teach us about the role of shepherds. 1 Peter 5:2 says: “Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them–not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve;” 1 Timothy 6:20-21 says: “Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, which some have professed and in so doing have departed from the faith.” What should be very obvious to the leaders in every church is it’s not their church and it’s not their flock, it’s Gods. God has entrusted the sheep to the shepherds and if He returns to lost and dying sheep there will be a heavy price to pay so they best be careful. With Priscilla preaching in that church the leaders are guilty of disobedience, neglect, and leading the sheep astray and they will be held accountable for that. I listened to her comment and had to wonder if what she said was true about the leaders of that church? Do the shepherds of that church really love the people? No, not if they have put a counterfeit in the place of a shepherd and pollute the food. God gave specific instructions on how He wanted His sheep treated. If they allow the sheep to get feed by someone that God has already said isn’t to be in charge of the sheep or authority in the church they do not love the people. Do the shepherds love the house of God? Not if they invited the wolves into the house of God. Do the shepherds have integrity and character and honesty? I’d say in this church, no! There is no integrity or no honesty because integrity is being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness as the dictionary describes. What they truly are doing is rebelling and being disobedient by allowing a woman in the church to preach. Also, we should remember the verse we just read before this (1 Peter 5:2) where it describes the shepherd’s character of “not pursuing dishonest gain.” Those church leaders don’t have good character as Priscilla says if this is what they are doing. Priscilla is a popular, well known, woman preacher and more than likely she was invited there to preach and to draw crowds, which also draws money. Those shepherds are not guarding or watching over the flock as God says in His Word because they are not protecting them from danger but instead exposing them to it. The shepherd’s jobs are to feed the sheep, lead the sheep, serve the sheep, protect and care for the sheep. However, in churches that allow women preachers to feed the sheep are neglecting the sheep, losing the sheep, harming the sheep and lying to the sheep. This isn’t loving? For more read here: https://www.gotquestions.org/feed-my-sheep.html “A good shepherd is not known by how well he pets the sheep. A good shepherd is known by how well he protects them and feeds them” ~John MacArthur
Priscilla then says: “He takes one message and He divides it 3, 4 thousand, 5 thousand, different ways that by the time we all leave here we each know we have heard the voice of God.”
Where do the Scriptures say God does this? Does God need to do this and if so, why? This seems a bit confusing because she doesn’t explain what she means here, it’s just not clear. I’ll go ahead and explain how I took it but because I can’t know for sure it’s just a guess that comes from what I know her to believe. My first assumption was that she was suggesting to everyone that the “interpretation” of the message would be different for everyone. The reason I believed this was because she adds, “by the time we all leave here we each know we have heard the voice of God.” Priscilla is well known for talking about hearing God speak to her in audible ways outside the Bible. She believes in personal, new revelations and messages from God, so this was the first thing that came to mind for me. However, if I give her the benefit of the doubt she could have meant the “application” of a passage. This, in a nutshell, means different life situations! Let me explain, when we read any Bible passage to study it we should understand that scripture already has its meaning, already has its interpretation from the author that wrote it and more importantly from the Lord. We will not get different interpretations/meanings from a passage but it can be applied in many different ways only because situations in life can be different. For example, when Priscilla talks about the patience of God in the church service the passage can be applied differently in the life of a married couple struggling than it does in the life of a teenager struggling. When Paul is talking about God’s patience in the Scriptures he explains to Timothy his own experience with God’s patience, and how it applied differently to him, which is his own personal life situation. But again the interpretation is the same, God’s patience is the same for all no matter what the situation is for each individual. So this is why I believe Priscilla should have explained to the congregation what she meant by God dividing up His message 5,000 different ways. Now, if Priscilla did mean the “application” of the passage being divided up to 5,000 different ways then let’s look at how it fits with what she said. She says, “by the time we all leave here we each know we have heard the voice of God.” Do we hear the voice of God through how we apply God’s Word to our own life? No! Do we hear the voice of God in the biblical interpretation of Scriptures? Yes! Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is living and active…” 2 Timothy 3:16, Paul states, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” https://www.gotquestions.org/God-breathed.html
“This is the only use in the Bible of the Greek word theopneustos, which means “God-breathed, inspired by God, due to the inspiration of God,” but other scriptural passages support the basic premise of Scripture being inspired by God. The power of the breath of God in divine inspiration pervades Scripture. God-breathed “the breath of life” into Adam (Genesis 2:7), and Jesus “breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit’” (John 20:22). In 2 Peter 1:21, we are told that “prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” Here we see the truths of Scripture described as coming directly from God, not from the will of the writers He used to record them.” Scripture is God’s voice; it is how God speaks to us. Our application is not the voice of God; it’s just our personal experience. So, her comment doesn’t fit with the idea of “applying” God’s message 5,000 different ways because that is not how we hear the voice of God. Her comment fits more with her belief of hearing God’s voice in different revelations and interpretations outside the Bible. Priscilla is teaching very vaguely here and that’s careless when it comes to the Word and standing in authority in a church. Again, I cannot know for sure what she is talking about here but it makes no sense. I just wanted to point out the different meanings and I wanted to show how careless she is being. She says all this so confidently that people won’t question it, at least, not unless they can stop and think about her statement word for word and in most cases no one does. It sounds as though she has a great amount of knowledge when she talks, which fits with what we read in the scriptures above in 1 Timothy 6:20-21 that says a true shepherd should “turn away from opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge”. Also, notice she says: “when God gives a message He takes that one message and divides it up”. Taking this back to Scriptures, we see God tells us that “WE” are the ones that need to divide it…to “RIGHTLY divide the Word”…which means rightly handle the Word. Nothing is said about God dividing it thousands of ways. The following translations show the example of the word “divide”.
2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV) ~ Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
2 Timothy 2:15(ESV)~Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handlingthe word of truth.
Next problem, Priscilla prays and says: “Lord Jesus thank you so much for the privilege that I have today under the leadership of an incredible church to serve Your people. I pray now that you would do what only you can. That is to take one simple little message, divide it up however many ways you need to so that everybody hears from you. Expecting Lord, that the words from my mouth and meditation of my heart would be accepted.”
Does anyone else see anything wrong with this prayer? Think about what she is saying, “Lord Jesus, thank you so much for the “privilege” that I have today “under the leadership” of an incredible “church“? To a young baby Christian, they may hear these words and think it sounds fine. I know I would have. This is why we study and hopefully, as we grow in God’s Word we are able to discern things and if something isn’t right, red flags should start popping up all over the place. So, I think it’s clear that the Lord did not give her that “privilege”! God speaks against women preaching in a church or being an authority over men biblically as stated in 1 Timothy 2:11-15. Priscilla “thanks the Lord” for letting her serve His people…. but she should know God has already said how she is “to serve” God’s people, and it’s not in place of a pastor or as a religious leader to a body of believers anywhere. This link goes in more detail on what God thinks of women preachers. https://www.gty.org/library/sermons-library/81-56/does-the-bible-permit-a-woman-to-preach
She then says: “Expecting Lord, that the words from my mouth and meditation of my heart would be accepted.”
Does she really expect that the Lord will accept her words and heart in this? How can He when she is doing exactly what God has forbidden her to do? He can’t accept something that He, Himself, has said is wrong. Now, I know she preaches very well and says many things in this video that is true and says many good things I agree with; such as God’s love endures forever, God is patient, His grace is sufficient for us, and God is slow to anger and great in power. She preaches on 1 Timothy 1:16 on how Paul talks about the patience of God and His mercy. The whole message is about God’s patience and how the Holy Spirit sanctifies us. She also talks of how the history of the Bible is like the enemy and God playing chess together. It’s all very intriguing. Nonetheless, just let me bring everyone back to reality for a bit because although her story sounds intriguing and entertaining at best, God and Satan do not play together! Let’s just get that out of the way right now, and they do not have equal minds to where Satan can trick God or “make a move” to outwit God, ever. God was never put in a place where He had to figure out how to win against Satan. This should be good news for everyone to know if they didn’t know this, it is for me. However, just because she tells good stories and says some true things doesn’t mean it’s ok for her to preach in spiritual authority in a church and it doesn’t make what she teaches ok. She is preaching truth along with untruths! She’s already in rebellion by preaching as the authority of a church. I know I keep repeating the same thing but people are so quick to forget what she is doing just because they love her words and storytelling even though they are being polluted by what she teaches.
Then she tells us this: “…And can I tell you that I feel similarly I guess the way Paul does, in that I can’t believe that God might use me for His glory and I don’t even mean in this setting? I enjoy ministry, I love it, it’s my privilege to serve the body of Christ but I don’t even mean as much here. When I say I can’t believe God would use me, I think mostly about the smaller sphere of influence that God has me in. For example: married to a man that God has given me and has given me to him and my goal as his wife is to encourage and to serve this man so that one day when Jerry sees Jesus face to face he gets to hear Jesus say, “Well done”. My job is to help make sure that my man hears a “Well done”. I can’t believe God would entrust me with that.” I have to disagree with her statement here. I nearly missed this one because she speaks so fast and confident that I didn’t catch it the first time I watched this. It wasn’t until I listen to the video again to make sure I wrote things out correctly. When I heard her say this I was like, wait a minute, what did she just say? I was shocked because she really believes God entrusted her with making sure her husband hears “well done” from Jesus. Let me just say this; she’s not that powerful! It’s not up to her! She can’t make sure that her man hears a “Well done” from Jesus. Not only that but she thinks this is a good thing? Yikes! I know I wouldn’t want that responsibility on my shoulders. No thanks, I don’t want to be responsible for my husband’s judgment day. Just because God gave him to her does not mean she is responsible for her husband in that way. It is no one else’s responsibility to make sure others hear those words, but it is the individual’s own heart and fruits that would be the reason for hearing the words, “Well done good and faithful servant.” I would also add that we are responsible to encourage others with the truth of the Gospel and not stumble them.
Priscilla goes on to say:
“We don’t even recognize that God has strategically placed us in that location to be used for His glory. So he (the enemy) wants you to think you’re in that neighborhood by chance. Um-no, He (God) has positioned you between those two neighbors for His Glory. he wants you to think you just happened to get that job cause that’s just the job you have now, He put you in that office for his Glory. The location that you are in my friend is the exact place He has patiently placed you, to be used for His Glory.”
Priscilla is half right when she says this. The Scriptures do say in Proverbs 16:9 “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps”. Ephesians 1:11 “In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will.” Nothing happens to us that is outside of God’s sovereign will because it is God that is the Sovereign Ruler of the universe who ordains all that happens. Although, let me show you why this needs to be explained deeper and why I have a problem with her statement here. When God’s will is for something to happen then it defiantly happens. When God’s will was to create the world, it happened. God’s will was to also permit sin or unpleasant things to happen that He takes no pleasure in. When someone freely chooses to go against God they are in rebellion, God did not place them in a situation that would make them sin or cause them to rebel. They are guilty of their rebellion because they made the choice and they will be punished. God does not create or cause anyone to sin.
From grace church link: https://www.gracechurch.org/about/distinctives/sovereignty-of-god “What about sin? God is not the author of sin, but He certainly allowed it; it is integral to His eternal decree. God has a purpose for allowing it. He cannot be blamed for evil or tainted by its existence (1 Sam. 2:2: “There is no one holy like the Lord.”). But He certainly wasn’t caught off-guard or standing helpless to stop it when sin entered the universe. We do not know His purpose for allowing sin. Clearly, in the general sense, He allowed sin in order to display His glory—attributes that would not be revealed apart from evil—mercy, grace, compassion, forgiveness, and salvation. And God sometimes uses evil to accomplish good (Gen. 45:7–8; 50:20; Rom. 8:28). How can these things be? Scripture does not answer all the questions, but it does teach that God is utterly sovereign, perfectly holy, and absolutely just.”
“Scripture affirms both divine sovereignty and human responsibility. We must accept both sides of the truth, though we may not understand how they correspond to one another. People are responsible for what they do with the gospel—or with whatever light they have (Rom. 2:19-20) so that punishment is just if they reject the light. And those who reject do so voluntarily. Jesus lamented, “You are unwilling to come to Me, that you may have life” (John 5:40). He told unbelievers, “Unless you believe that I am [God], you shall die in your sins” (John 8:24). In John 6, our Lord combined both divine sovereignty and human responsibility when He said, “All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out” (v. 37) “Nothing that I do or don’t do will alter the end of the plan, but everything I do and everything you do will have an effect on our blessing, our joy, our obedience, our usefulness now and forever. So it’s important to me to know God’s will. I want to do it, I don’t want to be in the dark. ”- John MacArthur
This from https://www.gotquestions.org/Gods-will.html.“We are obligated to obey God’s revealed or preceptive will; however, we have the ability to disobey. God’s revealed will for Adam and Eve was to be fruitful and multiply, tend the garden, subdue the earth, and not eat of a certain tree (Genesis 1–2). Unfortunately, they rebelled against God’s revealed will (Genesis 3). The consequences they suffered show that they could not excuse their sin. Neither can we claim that our sin simply fulfills God’s sovereign will, as if that absolves us from guilt. It was God’s will that Jesus suffer and die, but those responsible for His death were still held accountable (Mark 14:21).” So my problem with her statement here is although she’s right about God being in control and doing His will for His Glory, at the same time, she is standing in rebellion against God by standing in a church preaching Scriptures. God is clear that women are not to be doing this. When she says, “the location that you are in my friend is the exact place He has patiently placed you, to be used for His Glory,” does this mean we are supposed to believe God put “HER” in the place she is in, a pastoral role, an authority in the church, for God’s Glory? I mean seriously look at where she is and what she’s doing. Does that glorify God? How can it? She is contradicting and compromising God’s Word. She is not being obedient; she is being defiant and therefore insulting God’s authority. God did not place her in the lead role as a pastor or as a religious leader in the gathering body of believers. She placed herself there, her husband placed her there. Any church leader that has allowed her to preach in their church, to their congregation, has placed her there. To be under God’s authority means we follow His law. Most people that are there listening to Priscilla are not educated in God’s Word or they wouldn’t be there. However, God does use bad situations and disobedient people and evil to accomplish good for His own glory. Ex: Joseph, “you meant evil…but God meant it for good (Genesis 50:20)”, God used Judas a man that betrayed Jesus for money (Luke 22). Maybe there are people there newly saved and just don’t know yet, maybe someone is in that church listening to Priscilla that is growing and being tested as said in these following verses. Deuteronomy 8:2 “Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands.”
Deuteronomy 13:1-3 “If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or wonder that he tells you comes to pass, and if he says, ‘Let us go after other gods,’ which you have not known, ‘and let us serve them,’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams. For the Lord your God is testing you, to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.”As a saved Christian I use to sit and read books and listen to many false teachers I thought were biblically sound. I was young in the faith and didn’t know about what God said about women teaching in the churches yet. So I wasn’t passing any test if it was given me but as I continued to read God’s Word and heeded the warnings from other discerning Christians and woke up to the dangers. Once I understood the seriousness of it I stopped following them and tested everything from then on out. That is how God worked and drew me out of false teachings. God can use any situation to draw His children and if it’s a bad situation or a false religion He can still work in that. Someone that is truly saved and honestly seeking truth will continue to seek and hunger for God’s Truth. They will not stay in a false religion but eventually be drawn out. His Word will be held up through reading it or through someone pointing Scriptures out. His Word will cause those red flags to pop up against that false teaching. Now, not all will be drawn out as we know. God says that many will take the wide path to destruction (Matthew 7:13-14) and not be saved, they will hunger for the ear-tickling and not hunger for His Word.
At the end of the video, she prays and talks of how many others are watching online and calls them “brothers and sisters”. She knows she is preaching to a co-ed audience of believers or she wouldn’t say that. We know that Christians don’t call unbelievers ‘brothers and sisters’ but we call those that are true believers in Christ ‘brothers and sisters’ so this means that she believes that the people listening and attending are a “gathering body of believers” which means she is teaching the Word of God to men and women both that are presumed to be believers in the church. It’s my prayer that this helps others learn how important it is to test all things as Scriptures says.
Above is an article written by Tami Dykes, Gina and Tami write Through the Narrow here at Tulips & Honey Hub. They’ll be posting articles every other Tuesday. Both are published authors, and you can find Tami’s book here, and Gina’s book here. We’re blessed to have them apart of our team, and pray their writing will be as edifying to you as it is to us. – Lauren Hereford