I wrote this paper for an extra-credit assignment, but its just an interesting topic.
“Biblical Equality: The Role of Women in the Church” Speaking
This discussion was very mental stimulating and it gave me a lot to think about and consider in how the church is run today. Many things were helpful to hear about such as, how the word “helpmate” in Genesis referring to Eve is the word “etser” (not sure if that’s the right spelling)—which is the same word used for God in how He is a helpmate to us. It is not a demeaning position to be given, but an honorable one. He also mentioned how the words “to obey” have been added to the women’s vows and not to men’s vows. It wasn’t always like that.
After the discussion, I was able to talk with him one-on-one about a question I had concerning the passage of 1 Cor. 14:33-35. 1 Corinthians 14:33-35 states, "...As in all the congregations of the saints, women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church." I asked him what his interpretation of this passage was, and he was saying that in the context before that passage Paul is talking about prophesying, and clearly women are allowed to prophesy in church—so in that way they aren’t supposed to be silent. Eventually, we got into a discussion about the difference (if there is one) between teaching and prophesying. They are different words in the original language, and when listing the spiritual gifts, they are listed separately, but the speaker used them as interchangeably when referring to women. He said that there are very little differences between them in the Bible. He also encouraged me to look at his commentary of this passage, which I will do. I am not convinced yet that it is biblical to have a woman pastor. The speaker gave me the example of Priscilla as a godly woman who taught, the reference in Acts 18:26—“and he began to speak out boldly in the synagogue. But when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately.” I don’t think the word “explained” here is the same as teaching. Teaching has to do with doctrine. In this verse, it seems more likely that they were evangelizing, not interpreting scripture to develop a doctrine to teach. Also, in this instance it was Priscilla along with her husband Aquila doing this together, it wasn’t Priscilla doing this apart from her husband. I don’t understand why the Bible would speak so bluntly about these rules for woman, and then at the same time really mean something else through a different passage, while being more subtle. For example, this passage in 1 Timothy 2:12 "For a woman I permit not to teach or have authority over a man, but to be in stillness."
The entire night was very interesting, and I hope to learn more about this subject in the future. When I heard about it, it was called “Biblical Equality.” I wish the speaker would have at least opened his bible once during the night. I was expecting to hear more biblical references, but it was a short night and there wasn’t a lot of time. I’m still not sure about what my beliefs are on this subject, but I am very willing to discuss it and learn more. Maybe in time, I will know enough to define my own opinion and be convinced of it enough to defend it well.