Sunday, January 4, 2009

Women in the church

Alright, I have been thinking about this and I would like opinions.

1 Corinthians 14:33-35
....As in all the congregations of the saints, women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.

Ok, so here is what I was thinking about. The Bible clearly says that women should remain quite in the church. That they are not allowed to speak and if they have questions, to ask their husbands.

When it says speak, I think of that as preaching or pastoring. But, if we take this literally, that would also mean that women can not share a prophetic word, for they must remain silent. My argument back to that would be that it is straight from God, and not so much the teaching or words of a woman. Well then arguing back with myself, when a pastor is preaching he is not preaching on his wisdom or opinions, but straight from the Bible which are God's words. Confusing, eh?

I do believe it's ok for women to teach the Word to other woman and children(like in (Titus 2). But what about to anyone if it is outside the context of church like teaching Bible, Theology, World View or Apologetics at a university? That wouldn't be at church, yet you are still teaching from the Bible to men. I think there is a difference between pastoring/preaching and teaching. However, it looks like teaching is wrong as well:

1 Timothy 2:11-14
A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner.

I'm not sure what I think of all of this, but it's been on my mind recently. Particularly because if I couldn't do something with animals, I would love to teach Biblical Theology, but dunno, I was just curious what everyone else though.

I just find it interesting. Thoughts??


Wesley said...

I want to see others' thoughts before I post mine...

Morgan said...

if God gives a woman a prohetic word, should she speak it or remain silent?? i don't think its wrong for a woman to speak prohetic words to the church, but it seems to say so right there... hmmm...

Marissa said...

Ever since we came to CrossWay I have wondered about the prophecy mic in regards to women. The Bible explicitly says we should not speak (publicly) during a service. If we disregard this, then we are basically making a "Jefferson's Bible" by adhering to only the segments we want, while ignoring others. However, some things have changed since then; obviously we don't follow many of the commands in the Old Testament because of the New Covenant. Seems like the New Testament still applies, though, don't you think?

So I don't know. I think it's fine for women to teach other women and children, but God commands us not to teach over men. So does that mean female professors in colleges/universities shouldn't exist (even if they are not specifically teaching Scripture)? I don't know.

And this didn't help at all, I know. Just throwing some ideas out there, I guess.

(Note: I do think men and women are equal in the eyes of God, but they just have different callings.)

Marissa said...

Morgan, in response to your question . . . maybe if she has a prophetic word, she should tell it to her husband (or other male, such as her father or brother), and let them share it. Or else she could share it afterward with the other women. I don't really have a firm "opinion" as of yet; I'm just trying to see what you all think. :-)

Emily said...

Exactly what I was thinking.

When He commands us not to teach men, I have always thought that to only mean when teaching Scripture etc. I always thought that it's 100% fine for a woman to be over a man in the work environment and in public leadership roles like being the Mayor, Governor or even President. Although I believe that God has created men to be a more natural leader, I do believe the women can make good leaders too.

However, if I were to follow this verse literally, I guess that would mean that women can't even teach a man to play guitar or how to cook(random examples, I know, haha). But for some reason I have never thought that way....

And I absolutely agree that men and woman are equal, but we have different roles. And that of course the husbands are to lead their families and the wives are to be submissive. But God also says that the husbands to to listen to their wives and that they are one.

this is confusing. I really want to hear your thoughts, Wesley :)

Wesley said...

Okay... here's my thoughts.

On speaking a prophetic word: speaking a prophetic word is not teaching or preaching. Quoting John Wesley on 1 Corinthians 14:34 "Let your women be silent in the churches - Unless they are under an extraordinary impulse of the Spirit." That is one theologian's opinion. I don't have a firm conviction about this, but this is my opinion: women can speak in the church when prophesying or speaking in tongues. They can also, as y'all said, teach other women or young men and women.

Most people do not object to women prophesying or speaking in tongues because there is not a verse in the Bible that is clearly against it. 1 Corinthians 14:34, however, obviously states that women should be silent in church.

All of this seems to kind of contradict itself, but it seems to be against the laws of nature for a woman to teach men in church.

I hope I didn't confuse you, 'cause I confused myself. =/

Emily said...

No, you didn't confuse me :)

I'm still not sure what I think. But thank you for your input. I guess that sometimes I make things more confusing then they have to be because I'm so black and white about things.

Wesley said...

This is one issue that's dark gray and off-white, instead of black and white... yeah. =)

Emily said...

That is true. I'm gonna get my father's thought on this. I already asked him before, but I want serious answers, lol!

Chelsea said...

This is a very interesting and also controversial topic with-in churches nowadays. And I find it very confusing...
For instance...say it is a sin for a woman to 'teach' a man. But does that mean women like Beth Moore (an oustanding teacher in my opinion--she can really get her point across) are sinning, because they teach both men and women?
Being from a Sovereign Grace church, I am now attending a church that is not as conservative in their views for the roles of men and women in the church...and I am still trying to figure everything out =P
But, no, I do not believe it is wrong for a woman to share a prophetic word from God with her church