The Old Testament character Deborah is a hero to many who want to expand the role of women in the church. In many ways, she has become to feminist groups what Nadab and Abihu are to legalists; each group uses these stories in ways that the Bible doesn’t, just to promote a certain agenda.
The Bible never points back to Deborah, neither for good nor for bad. When her time is remembered, she isn’t mentioned; Barak is. (1 Samuel 12:11; Hebrews 11:32) That’s really, really significant… and never mentioned by those using Deborah for their own means.
There is no evidence that anyone in Bible times saw Deborah as setting a precedent that should be followed. There don’t seem to have been any female judges after this. When the monarchy is established, the female rulers are not selected by God and are uniformly bad. There’s no clamoring in the book of Acts to name a woman to replace Judas. When there is a problem with food distribution regarding women in the church, men are named to oversee the effort; Acts 6 would be the logical time for the church to embrace the “obvious teachings” about women, but it doesn’t happen.
The book of Judges depicts a chaotic time in the history of Israel; the chief description of the atmosphere is “In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.” Judges is full of stories where God works through this chaos, using unlikely people in unlikely ways.
I don’t believe that Balaam’s donkey presents a case for animals participating in our assemblies. I don’t think the witch of Endor appears to lead us to change the Bible’s stance on sorcery. I don’t believe Rahab’s story teaches anything about the acceptability of prostitution, nor does Samson’s frequenting a prostitute justify our doing the same.
If you want to pick out proof texts from the Bible to support a certain agenda, it’s easily done. But just because it’s easy doesn’t make it right.