Monday, June 22, 2009
Women: To speak or not to speak
"Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that
needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth."
--2 Tim. 2:15.
Studying I Corinthians, Chapters 12-14.
This past week I've run into the subject of women's role in religion, the church, in history and today's society. It has been the bone of contention in some circles, a cause for earnest discussion in others. The debate seems to center on whether or not a woman is to "lead" or "teach".
Now, I'm not even going into the debate with regards to today's life, we know there are women leaders, teachers and women holding high office. This writing is purely regarding women in biblical history and their positions during those times and how I think it applies to women in the church today. Let us remember that the church refers not the the buildings or temples, but to God's Elect.
God created Eve (woman) to be Adam's (mans) "helper" or "helpmeet". The word helper is translated from the Hebrew word "ezer". That word means one who helps from a position of authority. The same word is used to describe God in scriptures that explain how God will help us. It is always used from a position of strength or one of authority.
That being said, women are not to have "authority" over men in spiritual matters, men are to lead and set the example in spiritual matters. Men are in the minority in the church as we know it today, the main membership appears to be women and children. Thus, women are often thrust into roles of teaching and preaching the word. Very often when there are men in the membership, they are heavy in the roles of deacon or elders and are over used in those duties.
There are many role models in the scripture of women leaders, Deborah the Judge of Israel, Miriam the sister of Moses, Phoebe the deaconess, and Pricilla. That is actually a few of the women that were very active during history. We won't even go into the women that followed Christ and ministered to Him and the disciples.
So, to say that women are to be servants of man, while accurate in one respect, is inaccurate in another. Women like men are to be servants and humble to all as Christ gave us the example, but women are not to be servant or subservient to men, they are to do as God intended, lift up, support and be equal in His eyes.
We, the elect, are all called to minister to others, spread the good news of Jesus Christ, it matters not if we wear pants or skirts. We are all called to exhibit the "Fruit of the Spirit" and the love of Christ.
In my studies, I've concluded that Paul was speaking to the masses, both the "saved" and "unsaved", attending his teachings. There were women/wives that may have engaged in "prophecies" or had questions who were not part of the "ekkleesia", translated "the church or body of believers", these I believe, were the women to which Paul referred and demanded that they wait upon their husbands (who were called) to explain the answers or to keep silent with their babbling, false prophecies. Among all things, Paul desired that the teaching of the Word be "done decently and in order"
I continue to study daily to approve my learning, and pray to my Father that I am not misinterpreting the Word. I thank God daily for my husband, who is a Man of God and for the other men that teach me guided by The Word.
Guide and guard my eyes, ears and heart in my thirst for knowledge and understanding of Your Word. Keep me from heresy and ignorance allowing my learning to grow in Your time.
Thank You for sending Doug and me to do your work among the homeless and forgotten, we long to be Your feet, Your hands and to show the lost Your Heart and love for them.
All this I ask in the Name of the Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit~