Disorder in the churches!

By Elizabeth Prata

Pulpit

1 Corinthians 14:34-35 says

The women are to keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak, but are to subject themselves, just as the Law also says. But if they desire to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home, for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in church.

It’s very clear. Women are not to preach, or teach men, (but I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet says 1 Timothy 2:12.)

As Larry Farlow said of the 1 Timothy verse:

@LarryFarlow: Yep. If someone cannot teach or exercise authority over half the church, they can’t be a pastor.

And, using the word speak instead of preach is not the ‘get out of jail’ card rebellious women think it is. The Greek word in the verse literally means speak. So when someone like Beth Moore coyly claims to be “speaking” on Mother’s Day, when she is actually preaching, it’s a double rebellion and thus doubly hypocritical because she tried to cover it up.

Changing “preaching” to “doing” doesn’t fool God. Or anybody else.

The Corinthian church was having special problems with disorders in their public meetings (1 Cor. 11:17–23). The reason is not difficult to determine: they were using their spiritual gifts to please themselves and not to help their brethren. The key word was not edification, but exhibition. If you think that your contribution to the service is more important than your brother’s contribution, then you will either be impatient until he finishes, or you will interrupt him. Add to this problem the difficulties caused by the “liberated women” in the assembly, and you can understand why the church experienced carnal confusion.” Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 1, pp. 614–615). Victor Books.

Ladies, do you “speak” in church to the congregation? Even if the Sunday School or Bible study leader teacher asks for comment, are you the first to leap in and state your opinions? If so, do you believe what you have to say is more important, more edifying than what the man next to you would say, if he could get a word in edgewise?

Yes, Paul was speaking of disorder in the church, when women who had not even been allowed in the synagogue but had to stand behind a partition if they wanted to hear, now allowed not only in the church but to pray and prophesy (before the canon was closed), caused a melee of chaos. Paul wanted it stopped.

But though Paul was speaking of a certain situation in history, it does not mean all is OK now. The tendency for women to usurp is still present in us. When Paul said women are not to teach or have authority in the church, he followed that up in the next verse by appealing to the creation order. The creation order Paul appealed to still stands. Men lead the church. Women do not. Women are to listen, learn, and submit to their elders and their teaching.

Yet there are so many ministries women are allowed to and even commanded in which to participate. Of course we share the Gospel, that’s for all of us to do. We are hospitable, we support our husbands, we teach women, we teach children, we can help with administering finances, or preparing budgets, we have gifts of mercy and helps… Egalitarian women today make it seem as though if we cannot teach or preach, we’re good for nothing.

Not so. Feminists and egalitarians are eternally discontent. But we find contentment in what the Lord has prepared for us, within His boundaries.

I appeal to you sisters, if you have an unhealthy and unbiblical desire to continually speak in church, in any way, before the gathered, please reconsider. Let the men speak. Listen, pray, sit attentively, to the glory of God and do not be a disgrace. Here is a short video on the subject: