The few obscure verses that conventional Christianity has as the foundation for their belief system that ‘women ought to be silent in the churches’ Is hardly enough evidence to convict women teachers and preachers. Are church leaders truly drawing from the sum of God’s word or the sum of church traditions and outsourced interpretations of scripture? Why are we relying on church fathers who had less information then we have today? We rely on men who led crusades when we ought to be compelled to search scripture with the spirit of God who has created the universe.
Caleb had a different spirit. And was willing to do different things. No doubt his spirit was in sync with the spirit of Messiah, Christ Jesus the one who built a woman. Caleb followed the Lord fully. In all that he did in all his decisions including giving his daughter land and a blessing before and after she was married.
What do you want for yourself daughter? I hear God saying. Ask seek and knock, Are there gender restrictions on the promises of God?
Those who use Corinthians 13 as a model for their belief system ought to consider who the Corinthians were and what kinds of peoples Paul was preaching to. Why does this matter so much? it matters because these people were, as Paul described them heathens, immoral, homosexuals, idolaters, revilers, drunkards, swindlers and unrighteous. Not the typical description of any female preacher or teacher I know presently? in 1 Corinthians 6, Paul tells us exactly the kinds of peoples he was trying to reach. These were not the local 3rd generation Baptists and furthermore, they were not the chosen people who God had been interacting with, shaping and teaching for thousands of years before hand. This was not a godly community that Paul was writing to, so then why are we comparing godly women preachers to them today? That is unfair. Paul by the inspiration of the holy spirit is writing letters to brand new converts. New church plants were not in Paul’s day what they are today. Churches that he planted were filled with heathens. These were depraved people who wanted to understand and learn more about this Jesus. Historically it was women who took the lead on spiritual matters, but they had no idea what truth looked like. So they were asking they were being obnoxious interrupting the sermons and teachings. They were under educated as Too much learning, was deemed unattractive in a Roman woman. Roman girls typically learned to read and write but most of their education was finished by the age of 12.
scripture speaks of and to the heart, not the outward appearance. If Paul called out women specifically it’s because he was speaking to a specific issue. We have to have a working knowledge of Corinth if we are to understand Paul’s sentiments here. And the women of Corinth in particular. If we are going to judge or label someone let it be because of their different spirit. Their unique behaviors – not the color of their skin, not their sex organs, or their race or their status. Paul did not exclude women from ministering. With his small numbers of leadership, it is hard to imagine he was not permitting mature Christian women to teach all peoples in church like settings. Paul permitted and relied on women to have significant roles in early Christianity. “The leadership of Priscilla, alongside her husband Aquila, and Chloe in Corinth itself, as well as that of Phoebe in nearby Cenchreae – all attested in New Testament texts – demonstrate the vitality of women’s witness in early Christianity.”
Paul preaches that the law is for sinners. Isn’t that why church and Christians don’t acknowledge the Law of Moses today. God is not ambiguous when he writes Do not eat pork, yet I know many Christians who eat pork daily. IN fact, there are 613 laws that we have in the first part of our bible that Christians don’t practice or believe apply to the church today because we are not “Jewish”. We are under a different law, the law of liberty the law of Christ. Could women claim the same thing about Paul’s statement to the Corinthian women to be silent. We are not under the law set forth in Corinthians, we are under the law of liberty. The law of Christ. They were not yet. They were still adhering to the letter of the law. Some parts of the new testament were written exclusively for the cities and audience to whom it was written. Or people like them. We are not Corinthian sinners living a life apart from Christ, we have a different spirit. Christians are not “subject” to all the Jewish laws because now we have a different spirit, the holy spirit, not only teaching us all things, but we have the living law written on their hearts. Paul was confronting female deities in Corinth; he was establishing an order that they didn’t have nor understand. Of course he was going to address some difficult issues.
Corinthians was a Greek city, one of the largest in the roman empire. A major trade route, a mixed multitude of peoples, one of the richest cities in the world at the time, and more importantly it was full of sin. One of the most wicked cities of ancient times. Degradation, immortality, heathen customs, many religions, temples offered thousands of prostitutes and pleasure was worshipped more than principles. There were divisions and much sin in the church even. Why? because these peoples did not have the background of God’s people. They were heathens they didn’t know God, they didn’t have the law, history, teachings, of Israel. do not make the mistake of believing that because they were “Christians” they were Christ like in their behavior, they didn’t even have bibles.
Should we readily apply Paul’s teaching to the most heinous sinful city to mature, God fearing Christians disciples today simply because they are “women” living today? Paul’s words ought to be most directed to those who are unchurched, un redeemed, ungodly peoples, living in gross immorality and sinfulness. Do Paul’s words apply to servants of God who are walking according to the word and law of God, who are teaching others to walk and trust in Christ, who are pure and living lives of truth and righteousness? He is telling the women don’t speak in church because you’re a heathen and you don’t yet know the ways or words of God nor are you walking according to truth and obedience, so you don’t get to interpret or comment on it, not because you are a woman. These uneducated women didn’t have the spiritual maturity or wisdom it would be the equivalent to saying to a new believer you can’t get behind the pulpit today and give the message. Totally acceptable, but not because she was a woman unless it was all women who were new believers. often it was the women who were heads of the family and drawn to Christ first they were also the cult followers.
It is offensive that any man today would have this same attitude and hold to this same view that Paul held over the new believers in Corinth and use Paul’s words as a rebuke for Godly women in the church today! Women like Beth Moore for example is being held to the role of an immature believer because they are both women. Totally ignoring her heart and walk with Christ. That is wrong. That proves that Christian men leaders who are doing that see one thing when they look at a woman, and that is a woman. Many women leaders in the church and Christianity today have more then proved themselves worthy faithful and obedient to God in every way in some regards and deserving fo the same honor and respect as the men around her. It seems to me that male leadership in traditional churches today are using certain scriptures to maintain control and endorse a belief system they are unwilling to surrender. It has nothing to do with truth but a discomfort in submitting one to another.
When we look upon the scripture the word of God from the beginning and mark the women of faith we don’t see restriction on women in leadership, prophecy or speaking and teaching. There were only restrictions on sin. Men don’t want women to speak in church because of their sexual weakness. Is it a woman’s responsibility to manage a man’s sexual urges? I don’t say a woman should dance on stage before a company of men in church. However, I also don’t want my husband going to any stage to see women dance. I don’t say a woman should be dressed immodestly in church and speak, I don’t say a man should be up front covered in tattoos and tight pants. If the practice of our culture were those things and explicit to a certain gender then the church ought to address it. We need to learn what is inappropriate and protect one another from those things that would create temptation within reason. But if men are at a place where it’s a temptation to hear a woman speak, that’s not the woman’s issue.
Caleb had a different spirit, he gave land to his daughter, he gave her fields and springs and blessings. Even though she was a female she was given the rights of a son, a man. I believe we have something to learn from this today. We can learn from woman such as Eve whom the Lord gave the honor and promise of messiah to, Deborah the prophetess who judged all Israel, women like Abigail who stayed the hand of David on her wicked husband, and Ruth who was better than seven sons, and Rahab who was counted among the mothers of Christ, Rebekah whom the lord spoke to directly and Sarah who the lord instructed Abraham to listen to and Hagar, who the lord appeared to , the woman at the well, who the lord revealed himself to exclusively, samsons mother who the Lord met with and a woman like Esther, who by the power of God saved her people. These women asked something of God. They were not silent. They each asked their father for something apart from men and God heard them.
You are a daughter and your father has a different spirit. The question I leave you with today. What is it that you ask for yourself?