1 Corinthians 14:34


Tuesday, 17 February 2015

 Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says. 1 Corinthians 14:34

Paul’s words here are as clear and as positively stated as any other prescriptions found in the New Testament. They bear the weight and authority of the Lord who inspired the words, and they are universal in scope. There is nothing stated here to indicate that what he says is cultural, limited in geographical considerations, or temporary – as many claim in order to ignore what is stated. Rather, they are universal in all ways and binding on the church in all ages. Further, the intent and substance of his words are repeated in 1 Timothy 2:11, 12. This shows that it is a matter of paramount importance. To reject these words will inevitably lead to greater problems within the church and within society, as has been plainly evident in recent generations.

Paul has been speaking on the issues of “tongues” and “prophesying.” This is exactly what he is referring to here. Nothing has changed in the direction of his dialogue and he will continue to speak on both prophesying and tongues until the end of the chapter. His words for the universal church is to “Let your women keep silent in the churches.” This is clear and cannot be taken in any other way than what it says. But Paul, understanding the wickedness of the human heart, knew that there would be people who would take his words and twist them if he didn’t re-explain them. And so he does just that, repeating the prescription by saying “for they are not permitted to speak.”

Understanding this, the exact same logic that was previously applied to tongues can be applied to this verse –

1) The words of the Bible are inspired by the Spirit of God.
2) The Spirit of God will never violate a precept which is found in the Bible, which He has inspired. Therefore,
3) Any practice or occurrence which is seen in a church and which violates the prescriptions of the Bible cannot be inspired by the Spirit.

With this in mind, we can use it as a tool concerning the matter at hand –

1) The Bible says that a woman is not permitted to speak in a church.
2) The Spirit of God will never violate a precept which is found in the Bible, which He has inspired. Therefore,
3) Any church gathering where a woman either speaks (particularly in a tongue or prophesying), violates the prescriptions of the Bible and what is said cannot be inspired by (nor condoned by) the Spirit.

In reading this one must ask, “Do I know more than God?” The answer is obvious. He has spoken and we are to obey. In today’s modern church, many women claim the titles of “pastor,” “reverend,” “bishop,” “prophetess,” or whatever. These titles are false and these women directly disobey the word of God. They are to be rejected.

As a third way of repeating his thought, Paul continues with “but they are to be submissive, as the law also says.” In Genesis 3:16, the woman was placed in a subordinate position to the man. Throughout the law, this precept continues to be seen in various ways. For example, Numbers 30 goes into some detail on the matter. What Paul has said is not an arbitrary decision made by a male chauvinist, but rather it is the proper order of things which has been ordained by God.

In three different ways, he as shown that women are not to be in any type of authority position in the church. They are not to speak, but are to remain silent. In the next verse, he will continue with his explanation, clarifying exactly what is expected in this matter.

Life application: Fame or exceptional teaching skills are not reasons to disobey God’s word. Allowing women such as Beth Moore, Joyce Meyers, or a host of other supposed pastors and teachers, to preach from a pulpit shows direct disobedience to Him. Let us put aside star-struck eyes and return to obedience to Scripture.

Heavenly Father, it’s not popular in today’s world to hold to Your word, especially in areas which the modern world has decided are out-dated. But I would rather be obedient to Your word and be pleasing to You, than have all of the fame and riches of this temporary, fallen life in which I walk. Let me be unpopular toward the masses, but pleasing in Your sight. This is my hope and my joy. Amen.


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