Where Does Paul Derive His Instruction about the Men/Women in the Church?
First, Paul appeals to the fact that God is not the author of confusion. Next, he takes on the idea that the man is the spiritual leader in the home (Deut 6). Adam and Eve get another mention in 1 Tim 2.
What are the commands in these passages?
- All done in church is for edification and needs to be done in order.
- Those that are not speaking should weigh what has been said.
- Women are to keep silent and submissive in church.
- A woman is to ask of her husband if there is something she wishes to learn.
- Women should be adorned modestly, showing her good works.
- Women are not to exercise authority over a man.
Is the Pastor/Teacher/Leader Always Right?
This passage would imply that the answer is no—even if it’s someone that’s prophesying, there were to be those that judged what was said to determine whether it was so. Paul indicated that we should be aware of false teachers and false teaching, as well as the Bereans were commended for searching out the Scriptures after hearing teaching. We are not to be passive learners. This underscores the power of the home as spiritual center (Deut 6) as the woman was to seek her “head” to learn, and not just learn from that which was taught because she could be more easily deceived.
What Is a Church?
If these are rules for a gathering of the church, what is a meeting of the church? Does that include Bible Studies? Sunday School? Just Worship Services? Are we violating these teachings by how we allow for questions from anyone from any sex? In the early days, they met in homes and had more like home Bible Studies, so the idea that it’s just for in the church does not seem to fit. And yet, what would this look like?
Is the Command Cultural?
Perhaps this command was only for them, as the women might have been less educated in spiritual things, and maybe men were less tolerant and considered it high disrespect for his wife to be holding forth on the word over him. And yet what man wants another man telling his wife what is right or wrong in the Lord if that’s his duty? Perhaps the problem that we have is that men have become passive in their responsibility both to their wives and to the Scripture. They have allowed the Pastor to take the position of Spiritual authority for his home, which the Bible never gives him. While the Pastor is to care for the flock, he is never given that place of Spiritual Authority of someone else’s home any more than any other believer pointing out sin.