Monday, September 10

so rude of me

Okay, I know I'm really really behind in blogging. And reading blogs. But I'd still love ya to pieces if you could share your thoughts on something for me. I'm researching my little heart out and would like to know how you interpret the Bible's stance on women teaching in the church. And no pressure or anything, but I'd love to hear your thoughts before 5:00 p.m. Tuesday. Thanks :D


Jennie C. said...

I think it depends on who you are teaching. Other women? Children? I think women are fine teaching in these roles, but it has been my observation that men don't really take to leadership by women very well. It has also been my observation that women don't understand men's issues very well. Why are you asking?

Jennie C. said...

The women are nevertheless free to teach in many ways. Outside the church, women instruct men in many ways, such as in a profession. Also, believing women are commanded to explain the gospel to all, including lost men (cf. Acts 18:26). Within the church, women may teach women and children. With men in the church, women should discuss spiritual matters in a manner that informs, but should not instruct men in a manner that carries the expectation of application. This does not mean that a man cannot learn from a woman’s conduct or from a conversation with a woman and apply what he learns to his life; instead what it means is that the
woman’s purpose in talking with a man is not to instruct him in this way.

I found this in a pdf document here.

It seems most of the biblical teachings on teaching are in 1 Timothy and Titus. I'll have to read them later, but in the meanwhile, it seems consistent to me that women should not be in this particular position of authority over men. We should not be trying to usurp their authority. I understand that many men are unwilling to fulfill their roles within the church, and that leaves a void which women are willing to fill. Though there are short term gains in taking that course, I think the long term effect is only to make that void bigger.

Jenni said...

The only place I can think of that might be used to say women should not teach in church is in I Corinthians 14. In fact, I have heard it used this way, but if you read it in its context, it is speaking of the wives of the prophets.

Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge.

1Cr 14:30 If [any thing] be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace.

I Co. 14:32-35:
And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.

For God is not [the author] of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

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.

This is addressing where a prophet would be teaching or prophesying in the church and his wife would pipe up and say, "What about this, honey? I don't think you got it quite right here" or something along those lines. Since the passage also addresses obedience of the wife to her husband, it sounds like there may have been wives *contradicting* their husbands in front of the church. That would cause confusion (something else the passage addresses) in the church. Any questions the wife has for her husband could easily be asked at home and asking them in front of the assembly would seem a point of pride on her part and be a hindrance to others.

That's the only place I can think of that says women should keep silent in the church, not teach, or anything like that. The priests of the Old and New Testaments were men, but with what Christ accomplished, we are no longer in that same administration. (Most of us don't offer animal sacrifices, either!)

Moses' sister Marian was reproved by God for speaking against Moses and lauding herself up to the same position of being able to speak with God. The reproof doesn't seem to have anything to do with the fact that she was a woman since Aaron was reproved at the same time for the same offense. I don't know why Marian was cursed with leprosy and made unclean for seven days before God healed her and she was allowed back into the camp and Aaron was not. However, Aaron did seem to have some position given to him by God since he was the first high priest and Moses' mouthpiece in Egypt. We also don't know exactly what Marian and Aaron said or what was in their hearts. Perhaps Marian was more prideful or God knew specifically what it would take for her to become meek and humble.

There are women in the Bible who held positions of leadership and such. Perhaps there are not as many mentioned (or there weren't as many) because of the culture.

Deborah was a judge.

Luke 2 speaks of a prophetess named Anna who thanked God and spoke of Jesus (when he was still a child)"to all them that looked for redemtion in Jerusalem."

Aquila and Priscilla were a husband and wife who were *both* spoken of as "expounding the way of God more perfectly" to Apollos, being Paul's helpers in Christ, and having a church in their house.

There are several women in the New Testament that are mentioned as having churches in their homes. Their names along with or independent of (I haven't checked the verses this morning.) are mentioned specifically.

The Bible does say that God is no respecter of persons. God has poured out his spirit equally, though some are called to different things such as leadership in the church.

Jessica said...

i'm muddling my way through this, too. i've got dan's commentaries at home and will bring them, as well as his comments on the subject, to the study tonight. i'm looking forward to hearing other's takes on it.

Classical Circus said...

11A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. 12I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. -1 Timothy 2:11-12

I think this is pretty clear that women are not to teach men in the church. There is a system of order that God has set up for the church: Christ, Man, Woman (this doesn't mean that Woman is less than Man, just different).

3For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. 15But women[a] will be saved[b] through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety -1 Timothy 2:13-15

The punishment for Woman (one of them) after Eve sinned was a desire for her husband['s position of authority] (Genesis 3). However, Mary did bear Jesus, the Savior. But since we are still sinners, even if we are redeemed, some Women will desire to have authority over Man. I think Paul is pretty clear that we are not supposed to have authority oven men through teaching in church, and before the Fall it wasn't an issue.

3Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. 4Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.-Titus 2:3-5

However, women are told to train younger women in Titus, so women aren't forbidden from teaching, they're just told not to teach men.

1Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, 2when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. 3Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. 4Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight. 5For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands, 6like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.-1 Peter 3:1-6

Here we are told to be submissive to our husbands to win them over to Christ (or if they believe in Christ, we can influence them more by showing them the purity and reverence in our lives to stop a sin that might be going on rather than nagging them). This suggests that Men are not hardwired to take instruction from Woman.

So, to sum it up, Woman teaching Man in church isn't permitted. Just because it's not mentioned often (maybe just this one time? I'm not sure and you've given me a tight deadline ;o)) doesn't make it any less valid than had it been specifically mentioned more than it is.

Christy said...

My views on this are simple-Women should only teach other women and children. We are not to be in any leadership position other than in women's and children's ministry. For example, I do not think women should be pastors, music ministers, deacons, youth ministers, ect...

BgArt said...

I know I missed the 5:00 deadline, but I have given this some thought.

Don't forget the historical context for verses like 1 Timothy 2:11-12. Also don't forget the three daughters who were prophets (I can't remember who's daughters they were). And throw in there "your sons and your daughters...". If a prophet has a word, he/she should share.

Most importantly though, the entire Gospel is based on freedom from legalism. The whole argument of if women should teach/preach in church is based on the idea of whether or not God will speak through them. Who are we to say He wouldn't? And for us to say that He would not is to introduce a law we must keep that's separate from His grace.

On personal experience alone, some of the greatest truths I've heard expressed have been from women preachers.

And let us not forget who first brought the Gospel of Jesus to the world. Mary.

Jennie C. said...

Women do have wonderful insights to share, and often we can be more in touch with the spiritual than our menfolk are, but that doesn't mean we should be in a position of teaching authority over them. Even Mary, though she is the Mother of God, was subject to her husband's leadership as head of the family. She did not presume to educate him in matters of faith. She just quietly watched her Son and pondered his words and deeds in her heart.

BgArt said...

Did she though? Don't forget it was Mary who more or less told Jesus to do His first miracle (the water/wine thing). Also, we can't at all presume what her role, except historically, was with Joseph as we have no text for it at all. Not to mention Joseph isn't mentioned after Jesus' birth (that I'm aware of) except as "isn't that Jesus, the son of Joseph the carpenter?".

When we talk about the role of women having authority over men, do we mean wives over their husbands or women in general over men in general?

And if women do have insights to share and can be more in touch with the spiritual than the menfolk, why *can't* you be in a position of teaching? That's my big question. What, besides traditional, Western teaching, prevents women from feeling they have any voice in the church? That's my big question.

And again I point to Mary (Magdalene this time) and the other women that Jesus fresh from three days in the tomb told to tell the disciples.

And, yes, I am trying to stir up the hornets nest.

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