Again this morning, I was looking for something other than a powder keg scripture that has been used to suppress women in church…but I decided instead to research it a little…since I really didn’t know what to do with it. I’ve always assumed that it was a scripture for THE WOMEN in Corinth to remain silent…..it was a contextual or cultural problem within that community. I felt that women like Jen Hatmaker were free to teach at ANC....simply because she was a good teacher...and scripture like 1 Corinthians didn't apply because of the contextual nature of the scripture. I believe now...I was mistaken.
We actually had someone leave ANC a few weeks ago when we advertised that Jen Hatmaker would be teaching (which she wasn’t able to). They used this scripture to point out that women had no place speaking in church. When in actuality it says just the opposite. Bear with me.
When we read the book of 1 Corinthians….notice in places that Paul is responding via letter….to a corresponding letter that the church wrote to him.
1 Corinthians 7:1 "Now for the matters you wrote about”1 Corinthians 8:1 "Now concerning things offered unto idols..."1 Corinthians 12:1 "Now concerning spiritual gifts..."
Unless we think that Paul is out of his mind…he can’t be saying two opposite things within the same scripture.
26 What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be done so that the church may be built up. (Clearly sisters are not to remain silent)
29 Two or three prophets should speak (did not say male prophets)
39 Therefore, my brothers and sisters, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. (again sisters be eager to prophesy….or speak truth…to edify the body)
In verses 34-35, Paul actually used their words (from their letter to him) in his response letter when he addressed some of their concerns and said they were foolish and they weren't of God. So 1 Corinthians 34-35 aren’t Paul’s words but whoever wrote the letter to Paul.
Okay…but there is one other scripture;
1 Timothy 2:12, Paul says, "I do not allow a woman (wife) to teach...Nor to usurp authority over the man (husband)."
The subject in Timothy is not regarding “men and women”, but the Greek translate these words “husbands and wives”. To “usurp authority” one must go against the will of another. When the husband recognizes the anointing on his wife to teach, all he has to do is allow her to do so. Then, there is no authority usurped, it is granted. So any man (not the husband) of the wife, has no authority over that woman (or the church that encourages or allows it) whether she teaches or not. She is not usurping power over men by teaching them, the only authority that is over the body is that of God.
I believe Paul clearly was supportive of the anointing of women to teach the word of God or prophesy, in their home or in a church setting as biblical. Thoughts?
God your Word is so awesome. You know this...you were the author of it. Continue to teach us, correct us and yes...even rebuke us. Continue to reveal yourself and your heart through it. Amen.