Won't this be an interesting post!
From my perspective, I believe we have multiple topics here that should be addressed individually:
Ministry – This isn't some lofty position, but rather, any act of service to another. Giving a glass of water to someone who's thirsty is ministry at that moment.
Culture and Society – Some believe that certain parts of the Bible aren't relevant to us because of cultural differences. Is that what God said? Or did he say, Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. (Matthew 24:35) His Word trumps culture everywhere, every time.
Wives Submitting To Husbands – Back in Genesis, God made man from the dust of the earth. Then he saw that it wasn't good idea for man to be alone, so he made women from the man and for the man. Whether you like how God did things isn't the point; That's how he did it. If you have a problem with that, you have a problem with God.
Now, before you ladies roll your eyes and leave, please hear me out and read this entire post because you may not have heard what I'm about to say before.
Because of disobedience back in the garden of Eden, God cursed the ground, the serpent, women and men. Here's what every woman has Eve to thank for:
Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. (Genesis 3:16)
You've probably noticed that the pain in childbearing hasn't changed...well...neither has that other pain. Now here are the specific verses dealing with women teaching in the church:
1 Corinthians 14:34-35 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.
1 Timothy 2:11-14 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
Remember, culture isn't the point. The curses fell upon men and women long before our unique cultures developed. So what are the real issues here in these verses?
Obedience. Learning. Subjection. Usurping Authority.
Notice how Paul puts it in the second verse. He says, “But I suffer not a woman to teach...” He didn't allow it. That's not the same as “Thus saith the Lord...”
Anyway, here's my take on things: According to the scriptures woman are to be subject to their husbands. If a husband doesn't want their wife to speak or teach in church, they shouldn't. Period. But what does that say about the husband...?
Some of the greatest spiritual truths I've learned have come from women. God has used wonderful women to pray with me, give me godly advice, and to tell me what I've needed to hear - not just in private conversation, but in the church.
Treating others the way I want to be treated should start with my marriage. If I want to be used of God, shouldn't I allow for my wife be used of God too? If obedience and subjection are the key issues, how does that change if a husband gives all the liberty to his wife he allows for himself and others? It changes everything. I'm not talking about asking endless questions - like some of us men can do - but if a woman has the gift of prophecy, teaching or exhortation, why not give her room to edify the church?
"But Pat, you don't know my husband. He's a obstinate jerk."
Then why did you marry him?
If submission to your husband seems difficult, then consider how the Creator of the Universe took on the form of a servant, and humbled himself to his own creation. He submitted to Joseph and Mary, the laws of God and man and even the butchery of crucifixion. He's the example we need to follow.
Wives submitting to husbands is absolutely biblical. So is the command for men to love their wives. I think a man can show great love to both his wife and to the church by allowing her to teach and preach if he sees that God is with her.
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