Sisters and Sermons

One of the most controversial things the Apostle Paul ever wrote can be found in I Timothy 2:11-12. “Let a woman quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness. But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet,”

He expands on that in I Corinthians 14 when teaching on how the church was to receive prophetic messages. “Let the women keep silent in the churches; for they are not permitted to speak… And if they desire to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home;”

The way these verses have been interpreted have gone from one extreme to the other. Some say women are to teach no one, and to say nothing in church. Others dismiss this as simply being cultural, and that it has no bearing on us today. I’m not comfortable with either understanding.

I tend to settle somewhere in the middle, and see this as primarily an instruction for women not to seek positions of authority over men in the church, and to not challenge them when they are preaching. My understanding does not, however, keep me from soliciting questions about a sermon or the accuracy of something I’ve said from anyone. And thankfully I’ve recently been given the opportunity to restate a couple of things in my archived sermons.

In class, a sister graciously questioned the absolute nature of a statement I had made about God no longer giving direct marching orders to those He wishes to use to deliver his people from oppression. I adjusted that to note He may no longer do so. The following week another sister called to my attention something I had forgotten; that the disciples did anoint with oil as well as heal people when they were sent out two by two.

I am so thankful for brothers, and sisters, who keep me on my toes.

God Bless, Rick

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