Archive for December 29, 2008

I read this on Facebook and was truly blessed by it so thought I would share it with you:

When I first read 1 Timothy 2:11-15, I was a bit stunned by what Paul said about women being silent and not being able to teach or have authority over a man. But on closer examination of the verses and taking everything into consideration I kinda understand what he is saying and where he is coming from.

First we need to understand the role of man and woman in creation…I’ll share with you an excerpt from my Women’s study bible on what Godly women have to say about the issue…(paraphrased) “God created man and woman equal but different. We are made in the image of God so we both bear His image fully, though in different ways. the distinct roles of a man and woman in relationship to each other provide a picture of who God is and how He relates to His people. Jesus is equal with God the Father yet is submissive and responsive to Him. God the father loves the Son and exalts Him. This pattern is repeated in the relationship between Christ and the church; Christ provides loving, servant leadership and the church responds with respect and submission as His bride (Ephesians 5:22-33).

The relationship between a man and woman at every level has been distorted by sin but as believers we are called to relate according to the Creator’s plan instituted in the Garden of Eden before sin entered the world (Genesis 2:15-25). This plan is marked by a holy reciprocity in which the husbands love awakens a responsive submission from the wife just as the wife’s respect and appreciation draws from her husband leadership and love. The equality of believers reflects a oneness of relationship, not a sameness of function. The servant leadership role of a man is not more or less important than the selfless submission of a woman; they are complementary roles that are both equally important. It is because of sin that sometimes we are led to believe that the role of a man is more important than the role of a woman. Woman was created for man to be a help meet, a helper comparable to him. Men and women enjoy the same free grace, are called to the same obedience, and are capable of receiving the same spiritual gifts and blessings, yet a woman is not a man and a man is not a woman.

We are equal in worth and personhood as the creation of God but remain functionally different in the roles we are to fulfill.” So women can teach God’s word:”Teaching is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit to both men and women (1 Cor. 12:28-29, Ephesians 4:11, Romans 12:6-7). As believers we are to teach one another (Col. 3:16, 1 Cor.14:26). Women in the bible taught; Priscilla and her husband Aquila instructed Apollos and explained the way of God to him (Acts 18:26). Paul has been accused of being sexist but he recognised and respected the ministry of women (Romans 16:1-15, Philippians 4:3). He also encouraged older women to teach the younger women (Titus 2:3-5) and told Timothy to respect Lois and Eunice, his mother and grandmother, for instructing him in the faith (2 Tim. 1:3-5). Women are encouraged to exercise teaching ministries but within the God-ordained pattern of male-female complementarity.1 Timothy 2:11 – Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. Women should learn with an attitude of quiet submissiveness. “in silence” meaning in “quietness”, not that they were not allowed to talk at all since women did normally speak in the church (1 Cor. 11:5). “with all submission” suggests that instruction was to be received respectfully. Women were to receive instruction in the worship assembly with a heart of quiet receptivity to the Word.1 Timothy 2:12 – Paul clarified his directive: women were not to teach or have authority over a man. He spoke of a consistent practice of teaching or exercising authority, which would not preclude and occasional teaching situation to be done by women for men.

In the NT, the verb translated “teach” nearly always refers to teaching in group settings. Since authority and submission are important issues, teaching seems to be a subset of holding authority, that is, some women were violating God’s pattern of authority and submission through their teaching in the assembly.In verses 13 and 14, Paul gives theological reasons for his directive that women in the worship assembly learn in a quiet and submissive manner rather than having a position of teaching or exercising authority over men. Adam was created before Eve implying that Adam’s prior creation carried with it some degree of responsibility and authority. He was in no way teaching an essential superiority of the man over the woman; he was showing how a man’s leadership in the church harmonized with God’s design for the home and community.

Thus Paul’s unstated application was that just as in creation the final responsibility rested with the man, so it also should be in the church. He was not suggesting that women were less intelligent or more easily deceived than men. Instead he used the account of the Fall to point out the role reversal that occurred when Adam knowingly allowed himself to be led into sin by his wife. God had originally instructed Adam concerning the forbidden fruit (Genesis 2:17), and the Lord clearly placed the ultimate responsibility with Adam (Romans 5:12, Genesis 3:17). Thus Paul’s application by analogy was that this role reversal that caused so much trouble in the beginning should not be repeated in the worship assembly through the consistent practice of the teaching of men by women.” Women have an important role to play both in the church and in the family of submissiveness. At the same time we have been given the same Spiritual gifts of teaching and prophesying. We are to respect the servant leadership of the godly men in our lives and exercise the gifts we have been given in a manner that honours the word of God. We are in no way inferior to the men; we are equal but complementary, with different roles to play.