When it comes to the woman’s role at church, many seem to be confused—and for good reason. There seems to be a gap between what is written in the Bible and what we are seeing walked out in churches across America. Does the Bible permit women to be preaching at church gatherings? Does it allow for women to be pastors or elders over a congregation? These are valid questions that must be answered by looking at the Scriptures.
Together, in this episode, Veronica and I present our biblical exposition of the two passages of the New Testament (1 Corinthians 14:33-38 and 1 Timothy 2:8-15) which discuss the role of women in the local church gathering.
Takeaways From This Episode
- Since we’re discussing women’s roles in the church, we must understand that not all Christian gatherings are church gatherings.
- When Scripture is tough on our flesh, we have to be careful to avoid manufacturing a contextual angle of the passage simply to side-step the jurisdiction of the doctrine.
- The book of 1 Corinthians is a universal letter to the Church and it is to be applied locally in your own time in your own church.
- Mature Christians are careful to read the Bible and to discern the difference between prescriptive doctrine and descriptive history. In addition, they must also see the difference between local customs and universal principles.
- We must trust that God’s practices reinforce His purposes.
- We get to conduct God’s meeting God’s way. We don’t get to bring our gifts our way. We get to bring our gifts His way.
- The reason Paul offers for women not teaching or having authority over men is twofold: First, man was not made for woman but woman for man. In terms of the creation order, the man is in the lead. Second, it wasn’t Adam who was deceived but Eve. In other words, Paul is implying that women have a greater possibility to be spiritually deceived than men.
- The descriptions of the Old Covenant women within Israel’s theocracy is not justifiable doctrine to be applied to all women under the New Covenant—especially when the New Covenant offers clear instruction to women that supersede the teachings of the Old Covenant.
“Many women get upset about this passage as if it’s an attack on their value. It’s not. Men and women are equally valuable but different in role in their marriages, in their families, and in the church.” -Veronica Partridge
- 1 Corinthians 1:2: “To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:”
1 Corinthians 14:33-38: (ESV) “As in all the churches of the saints, the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says. If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church. Or was it from you that the word of God came? Or are you the only ones it has reached? If anyone thinks that he is a prophet, or spiritual, he should acknowledge that the things I am writing to you are a command of the Lord. If anyone does not recognize this, he is not recognized.”
- 1 Timothy 3:14-15: “These things I write to you, though I hope to come to you shortly; but if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.”
- 1 Timothy 2:8-15 “I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting; in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works. Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. Nevertheless she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control.”
- James 3:1: “My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.”
- Isaiah 55:8-9: “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.”
Ultimately, this topic demands a yielded heart and a posture to examine Scripture carefully. After watching or listening to this episode, what is your opinion? Do you have any questions or comments? Maybe you have something to add to the discussion? If so, let us know in the comments below.