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Posts Tagged ‘women’



   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Spiritual Gifts

Continuing his very controversial statements about women keeping silent in the church, Paul explains, “And if they will learn anything, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church” (1 Corinthians 14:35).

In yesterday’s blog post I shared about Paul’s value of keeping peace in the church in light of the culture. A couple of observations can be made from verse 35. First, the role of spiritual leader is clearly upon the husband in a marriage relationship. In today’s society, many men have abdicated this to the wives and eroded the spiritual impact God intended. Men have not given their wives spiritual security or covering. And many wives will not trust their husbands to lead. Guys, be the leader!

But, what does this say to single women or widows who have no husband at home? At first reading this doesn’t seem to make sense to me or fit into the context.

Then he makes this statement about it being “a shame for women to speak in the church.” Sorry, but understanding grace as Paul described in Romans, and the teaching that Paul has given us about all being a part of the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12), I cannot see the scriptural support behind this shame concept.

This leads me to conclude that Paul is clearing referring to a cultural norm of it being shameful for women to take any place in the church. And I do not see a scriptural mandate for church leadership to be “only male”. Wives do, however, still fit under the spiritual principle of being in subjection to their own husbands. If a woman won’t be in submission at home, she’ll never be in submission to spiritual authorities in the church, either.

Agree or disagree?

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Spiritual Gifts

As Paul goes through some rules for ministering spiritual gifts in the assembly of the saints, he steps on troublesome territory in the next verse: “Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted for them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also says the law” (1 Corinthians 14:34).

Now, in the 21st century this is indeed controversial. Some teach that this is to be taken literally and only men should be speaking in the church. Others say that it had to do with Jewish and cultural traditions that no longer apply. But, this is the word of God, and it is the great Apostle Paul speaking. Therefore, we have to take this seriously. Many younger folks have walked away from the faith because they believe this is one of the verses that prove the Bible is really out of touch with the world today and not relevant to their lives. What do we say to all this?

Dr. Paul E. Paino, one of my faith heroes, used to say that whenever we have two opposite opinions in the church world, the truth is usually somewhere in the middle. When Paul said, “it is not permitted“, he doesn’t tell us whether it was God, church leaders, or the culture that made this rule. Because he also says, “as also says the law“, we know that there is a cultural perspective in his teaching, because Jesus fulfilled the law (Matthew 5:17). He also says women are “to be under obedience“. A better translation for the Greek word translated ‘obedience’ is ‘submission’.

What I speak now is my opinion of what Paul was saying. The cultural norm within the Jewish and Gentile culture was for women to be in subjection to their husbands. It would be a stumbling block for many if that cultural norm was violated. Therefore, the Christian women should follow the rules of their local assembly so there will be no confusion and there will be peace (v. 33). This does not disqualify them from speaking a prophetic word individually or in small groups. This interpretation fits with the context of surrounding verses.

I do not believe Paul is teaching here that Christian women are somehow inferior in the church setting. As a matter of fact, thank God for the many women who are spiritual leaders at New Hope. What would we do without them?

OK. This is your opportunity to comment and give me your honest opinion of what Paul means in this verse.

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