LET THE WOMEN KEEP SILENT
Once again this issue concerning women has been put into my face. I attended my son’s wedding in Oakland, California, only to discover at the rehearsal the day before the wedding that it would be performed by a woman pastor. The next morning, the morning of the wedding, I awoke at 3:00 AM, continually pondering what I was to do. My dilemma was that if I attended the wedding I would be validating a woman pastor. Also, if I became very grieved in my spirit, I would walk out.
I called my son that morning to express my conflict, and he proceeded to defend her role as a pastor, saying that Paul said what he did about women specific to the disorder in the Corinthian church, and it does not apply to today. I have heard this before, and it has absolutely no basis. But he also said something that I accepted. He told me that I should not judge her, but let God judge her. What he said was correct. I am not a Christian, and have no right or authority to judge the actions that take place in Christianity. This does not mean that I either agree with them or will refrain from noting their error; but, I will not judge them by taking any actions against them. That is not my place, and Yahweh God will judge. Thus I attended the wedding with civility.
Upon returning home, I wrote my son and expressed the clear error of a woman assuming any place of teaching or exercising authority over, or of, a man. For your benefit, following is what I shared.
To begin with, I referred to Yahshua’s statements about marriage, wherein He proclaimed that divorce was not an option (except in the case of infidelity). When the Jews cited divorce via the laws of Moses, Yahshua stated – "Because of your hardness of heart Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way.” “The beginning” He was referring to was, of course, Yahweh’s statement in Genesis 2:24 following the creation of the woman – “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE, and said, 'FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH'?” (Matthew 19:4-8). Thus we see that the authority of what Yahshua was speaking of here per a man and a woman, was based on that which was ordained “from the beginning.”
My son and others say that Paul was speaking of an order, a temporary remedy, that only applied to the Corinthians and does not relate to us today. But let’s look closer at this.
In 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 Paul indeed stated:
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. If they desire to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is improper for a woman to speak in church.
But is this the only time Paul gave this direction to the church? Not at all. When he wrote Timothy on how he was to conduct and establish the church, he once again stated per this matter, reaffirming what he had already stated to the Corinthians:
A woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness. But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over (or, of) a man, but to remain quiet (1 Timothy 2:11-12).
Paul categorically stated his position on this seminal issue, and it was not limited to the Corinthians – “I do not allow,” period! Whether it was at Corinth, or anywhere, Paul did not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over, or of, a man, and he told Timothy to do likewise. The authority to teach and govern abides strictly with the man.
Actually, the certain consistency of this practice by all the churches at that time is forthrightly stated. In closer examination, we find that 1 Corinthians 14:34 truly begins in verse 33. While the King James and New American Standard translate this sentence beginning in verse 34, other versions, for obvious reasons, begin the sentence in verse 33. It makes no sense for Paul to write in verse 33 – “for God is not a God of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.” God is not a God of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches? What does that mean? But, given the fact that Paul said “I do not allow,” period, it makes perfect sense and is totally harmonious (as other translations have affirmed) that verse 33 opens this sentence in verse 34 with the statement:
As in all the churches of the saints, 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.
Thus we see clearly stated in 1 Corinthians itself, that what Paul was instructing them about the women keeping silent was not relative to them alone, but was in fact practiced “in all the churches of the saints.”
Furthermore, this is entirely consistent with what Paul had just said in 11:16 regarding this same issue of the difference between men and women, but in that case regarding covering the head when praying:
But if one is inclined to be contentious, we have no other practice, nor have the churches of God.
Thus, Paul simply repeated himself in chapter 14 – “As in all the churches of the saints, ….” In both of these similar cases, he cited the consistency throughout all the churches regarding these matters concerning women, and called the Corinthians to adhere to this.
Therefore, without question, Paul was not calling the Corinthians to a unique practice; but to the contrary, he was calling them to adhere to what “all the churches of the saints” were following at that time. Now, 2,000 years later, is it any wonder that churches face the same challenges, only to the opposite extreme? Instead of one church being aberrant from “all the churches of the saints,” now the vast majority are aberrant! Is it not obvious that what took place in Corinth, happened as only a small taste, a foreshadowing, of where the majority of the churches would go in the last days? The church has departed from its beginnings. “You’ve come a long way, baby!,” in many aberrant ways!
But here is the most compelling point regarding the origin of Paul’s commands concerning women remaining silent. To what did Paul look as the basis for this order between men and women? The answer equally dismisses the argument that it was simply related to the errors of the Corinthians. Just as Yahshua went back to “the beginning” to establish the order of marriage; appropriately, Paul likewise went back to the beginning to establish the place of women in the church. After stating that a woman is to remain quiet, he then stated the basis for this:
For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve. And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. But women will be preserved through the bearing of children if they continue in faith and love and sanctity with self-restraint (1 Timothy 2:13-15).
So what was the basis for what Paul wrote the Corinthians, or any church, about the place of women in the church? Was it circumstantial and relative to a specific church or time, as some would want us to falsely believe; or as with Yahshua per the matter of divorce, was it based on something established “in the beginning”? Without any doubt, it was based on that which Yahweh set forth from the beginning – Adam and Eve.
This order in the relationship between men and women that equally affects the role and place of the woman in the church, has been the established order of Yahweh from the beginning, as it is written – “Yet your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you" (Genesis 3:16). This is the same order Paul reaffirmed to the Corinthians, once again in chapter 11 where he addressed the contrast of men and women covering their heads. In verse 3 we read that “God is the head of Christ,” that “Christ is the head of every man,” and that “the man is the head of woman.” And as long as there is an Adam and an Eve, a man and a woman, a husband and a wife, this order remains unchanged, exposing the errors of our ways.
Furthermore, because of this established order “from the beginning,” Paul likewise invoked “the Law” as the basis for the woman keeping silent in the churches, and not mere circumstances – “As in all the churches of the saints, 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.” Clearly, this is not a matter that is bronzed for one moment in time like a pair of worn out baby shoes, but its origin and basis is “from the beginning,” even “just as the Law also says,” and thus remains entirely relevant and binding today.
Therefore, any woman is clearly out of order when she seeks to teach or exercise authority over, or of, a man, and most certainly to occupy the role of pastor. Unquestionably, what Paul forthrightly directed on two separate occasions was not limited to one specific circumstance, but even as Yahshua cited and as the Law set forth, was and is an order established from the beginning. If there is any comparison with Corinth and what is taking place in churches today, it is that churches are even more so out of order and lawless as they commonly allow women to teach and exercise authority over, or of, men. You can be quite certain that if Paul were here today, he would say the same thing to these churches, for they even more so violate the established government of Yahweh God.
Immediately after Paul stated – “As in all the churches of the saints, the women are to keep silent in the churches; for they are not permitted to speak, … for it is improper for a woman to speak in church,” he then added:
If anyone thinks he is a prophet or spiritual, let him recognize that the things which I write to you are the Lord's commandment. But if anyone does not recognize this, he is not recognized (1 Corinthians 14:37-38).
Does this sound like Paul is just giving an opinion relative to the Corinthians? Not at all! Correctly he noted that this instruction concerning women was Yahshua’s command as well. Do you see any women apostles in those whom He chose? No. Why? Because governing and teaching in the church are strictly forbidden for women. Furthermore, the entire Bible was written by men, and it is given to men to teach others. As Paul stated, since Adam and Eve this is the authority of men only – “to teach or exercise authority of a man.”
And what other clear example and testimony did Yahshua set forth to show us this order that God has for the church? In Luke 10 when He sent out the seventy-two, once again He specifically sent out men only to represent Him and fulfill His work. How do we know this? The Greek word used to describe these seventy-two “others,” is specifically the masculine plural form of “heteros,” in contrast to the feminine plural form. In keeping with the government of God and the order for the church that would follow, all of those set forth and sent out by Yahshua were specifically men. So with this clear standard set by Yahshua, and Paul’s statement that this was His commandment, why do some today think they have the right to do otherwise in His church?
An isolated case of Mary circumstantially going to the apostles to tell them that Yahshua had risen from the grave, can hardly justify overturning these clear evidences and forthright directives. Furthermore, one cannot refer to an isolated case like Deborah (who was “a prophetess” and not a teacher or ruler [“judge” did not mean what we think of today, evidenced by Samson]) or the obscure mention of Priscilla and Aquila, and totally eradicate:
(1.) Paul’s clear and direct instruction and affirmation,
(2.) The example of “all the churches of the saints,”
(3.) The clearly stated and firmly established order of Yahweh God “from the beginning,”
(4.) The cited Law of Yahweh regarding this, and
(5.) “The Lord’s commandment” and clear testimony.
We cannot be moved by emotions or that which is erroneously practiced in churches, but are to be persuaded by the stated government and order of Yahweh. This matter is simply one more problem that is a result of the Curse of 1920. Clearly, churches that allow women to teach or exercise authority over men are out of order. Women have absolutely no authority to stand in the role of pastor or teacher and violate what was established “from the beginning,” “just as the Law also says,” is “the Lord’s commandment,” and was practiced “in all the churches of the saints.” As Paul concluded, since these churches do not recognize this, they are “not recognized.” Yahshua said concerning churches that say “Lord, Lord” and prophesy and cast out demons and perform many miracles in His name, yet practice “lawlessness” (such as a woman teaching), that they will be told to depart from Him (Matthew 7:21-23)!
With such weighty evidence, the church must entirely reject the usurping placement of women in roles of teaching or exercising authority over, or of, men.