Monday, April 13, 2009

The Woman's Place

I Corinthians 14:34-35

Do women have the right to preach or pastor the church? This is one of the most controversial issues of our day. Is God prejudiced against women, or was Paul, just writing from that prejudice? Have times changed, and thus the standards?

Before we answer those questions, we need to address some others. Is God the creator, with perfect knowledge and control of every thing? If he is not, then the other questions are pointless and there is no use continuing, If he is God, then he is the final authority, and his decision is absolute, and must be followed.

If he is God, is the Bible his word, or just some men’s opinions about God? According to II Timothy 3:16-17, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” God inspired what was written in order that we could know exactly how to do everything properly.

Peter tells us that we can depend on the scriptures as more dependable than other writings because God directed the writing, and we need to pay attention to them.

"We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (II Peter 1:19-21)

If we believe that the Bible is truly the Word of God, and that God is the ultimate authority on how things are to be done, we must accept his command as the proper way. Since he says he does not change in MalachI 3:6. To ignore it is to imply that God has no right to tell us what to do. So what does the scripture say?

“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.” (I Corinthians 14:34-35)

Paul tells us a little later that this is God’s command. Why does God give such a command? Paul will explain the basis for this position in I Timothy 2:11-15. It has nothing to do with women being inferior, but rather with the responsibility for sin.

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. 1ti 2:15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.” (I Timothy 2:11-15)

It was not Eve’s sin that made mankind sinners, it was Adam’s. The man is responsible for sin in the earth. Eve was deceived because Satan lied to her. No one lied to Adam, he sinned because he chose to. His sin was deliberate, while hers was not. His decision brought sin into the World according to Romans 5:12. “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.”

By taking that authority over the man, the woman is taking responsibility for something she didn’t do. She is also allowing the men to shirk their responsibility, by doing their job for them. As I Corinthians 14:35 says, it is a shame for the women to speak in the church. The men ought to be doing their job. It is shameful when they do not. Paul refuses to allow men to get by without taking responsibility, and God forbids women to let them get by with it. Ladies, don’t do it for them! It doesn’t matter that you can do it better. God knows how men like to avoid taking responsibility.

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