What are we to make of 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 where Paul says, “Women should remain silent in the churches.”?
Did he mean it the way we hear it?
The first question we need to answer is: Was this a regulation for all of Christ's churches everywhere and for all time? The clear answer from scripture is, "No." At the end of the gospels God chose women to be the first evangelists and to preach to the disciples that Jesus was alive. In Acts 2 we are told the Spirit of God fell on "men and women....sons and daughters" and that both genders would prophesy. To prophesy means to preach and proclaim God's will with authority. In Romans 16:7 we learn that there is a female apostle (yes you read that correctly) named, Junia (a Greek feminine name for which there is no masculine equivalent). Apostle was the highest office of authority in the early church. The evidence from God’s word is clear, woman have God’s permission to preach in church.
The second question we should answer is: Was the prohibition against women speaking in church applied only to the Corinthian church? Again the clear answer from Paul's own letter to the Corinthian church is, "No." At the end of chapter 14 in verse 39 Paul encourages both men and women to be eager to prophesy. In 1 Corinthians 11:5 Paul explains that women should cover their heads when praying and prophesying in a worship service (I believe the issue here is the beauty/glory of a women distracting from the glory of God). In First Corinthians Paul actually encourages women to prophesy in church. He wants them to speak.
Now the obvious question is: What did Paul really mean in 14:34-35? The key to understanding is to recognize that Paul was condemning a particular kind of speech, namely, inquiry. In verse 35 we learn the women were disruptively asking questions and it was interfering with the worship service. We don't know what their questions were or why they were disruptive, but we do know they were distracting people from worshipping and hearing God's word. We have a clue to the nature of these questions in verse 37. They had something to do with assuming the authority of a prophet. One possible explanation is that these women were once prophetesses in a pagan religion and were questioning Christ's prophets or had questions that were better addressed in the privacy of their own homes (v. 35).
Here is what we can be sure of from Scripture: Both men and women have been gifted and authorized to preach and teach and must do so orderly and in be in agreement with God’s word (1 Timothy 1:3-4).
Hope this helps you understand the Bible.
Before you continue reading quickly write the words, "my part" on a sticky note or small piece of paper and leave it within reach.
Consider this question: Who is responsible for a Christ-Follower's spiritual growth. When Jesus called you to Himself, when you put your trust in Him and became a Christian, you began as an infant. Our heavenly Father's expectation and desire is that you would grow up and become more like His Son. So again, who is responsible to make this happen? Who is responsible for Christian discipleship? The answer is threefold: God, the church and you.
Now I want you to pick up the piece of paper. The responsibility to obey Jesus, to grow spiritually and become more like Him is in your hands. You have the power to decide whether you will remain a spiritual infant or submit to your Father's will and grow up.
Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation. - 1 Peter 2:2 (NIV)
Community Bible Experience groups....never too late....
What Are You Doing to Grow Spiritually?
You have probably heard this definition of adulthood: An adult is someone who has stopped growing vertically and started growing horizontally. Those of us who have reached the age of "physical maturity" may have a hard time remembering the days when we dreamed of getting older, when we longed to grow up. The Christ follower needs to recall that longing and apply it to being a disciple of Jesus.
When Jesus' invited us to follow Him, he never said or implied it was a short journey that would reach a destination where we could stop the pursuit. The opposite is true. The invitation to follow Jesus is an invitation to a life of seeking, striving after, and growing up to become like Him.
Each follower of Jesus, you and me, have a personal responsibility when it comes to our spiritual growth. In other words, it's on us to take action in order to grow spiritually. There are actually three entities responsible for the believer's spiritual growth:
What are you doing to grow spiritually? Are you striving to hear, understand and live out what your Lord is saying? Have you joined a Community Bible Experience Group to read through the New Testament? If not, how come? What is the reason for your resistance? (Here's a challenge - speak that reason out loud to God and listen in your heart to His reply).
Then Jesus called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said:“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and FOLLOW ME. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. - Mark 8:34-35 (NIV)
It's not to late to join one of our groups this week:
· Sundays 9am in the Sanctuary
· Sundays 9am in Fellowship Hall
· Sundays 9am in the Barn (middle & high school)
· Sundays 6:00pm in Fellowship Hall
· Tuesdays 11am at the Parsonage
· Wednesdays 9am in the Fellowship Hall
[Uncle John is a 90 year old man in our church who loves Jesus, is full of infectious joy and has Alzheimer's. Although he doesn't remember me from week to week, he recognizes me as the minister and has a word of encouragement to give me when I greet him after the service. What he says, I always need to hear. I've taken to writing it down so I'm encouraged throughout the week. I share it with you here]...
Sunday, March 24. "Keep on, keep on, keep on. Keep on ministering the word. God is with you always, he will never leave you, he will never forsake you." - Uncle John
Prayer is work. It requires commitment, it requires time, it drains us, it is necessary to provide spiritually for ourselves, our families and our church. It is both commanded and expected by our Boss (Jesus), to not pray is to be an unfaithful employee.
Prayer is supernatural work. Physical work rewards us with a paycheck (or direct deposit), sense of a job well done, promotion, praise and that internal joy that comes from checking off an item from our "to do" list. The supernatural work of prayer does not reward us in any of these ways. The reward of prayer requires faith. We'll get the job done if we believe God is present when we pray, if we are confident that He hears us and we trust He will answer. We are encouraged to pray when we realize there is no hope for our burdens without prayer (this is being forced to our knees). We show up to pray when we are confident that our prayers will make a difference in the eternity of others, in the situations we bring to God and even at highest levels of power in our world ("Pray for kings..." 1 Timothy 2:2).
The reward of prayer is the tiredness that comes after pouring out our hearts to God, the peace that results from giving our burdens to Him and the joy that is present when we know we have obeyed our Lord. The hope of the Christian mission in this world depends on prayer. Christian, its time to show up to work and get to work.
Two weeks ago New York became the sixth state to legalize gay marriage. It joins Connecticut, Iowa Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont. Some polls show that public opinion in America has shifted from opposition to support of gay marriage in just a decade’s time.
Our world is changing. How should Christ’s Church respond?
FIRST, we must not respond with hate. Paul said, “…our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against...the spiritual forces of evil…” (Ephesians 6:12). Vilifying and indentifying as evil those who stand on the other side of this “issue” results in deluding ourselves that we are somehow spiritually superior. Beware of casting off the humility of Christ.
John Wesley is a help here: “Be angry at sin, as an affront offered to the Majesty of heaven; but love the sinner still: Like our Lord, who ‘looked round about upon the Pharisees with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts.” He was grieved at the sinners, angry at sin. Thus be thou “angry, and sin not!’” (Sermon 33, Sermon on the Mount, Discourse 13).
SECOND, we must not respond with fear. Fear of public opinion, of being in the minority, of being hated and accused of hate and prejudice will result in quieting the church. If we give into fear we will fail to speak out lovingly and take a firm stand. Do we love the souls of our gay friends and family members enough to refuse to condone their actions and bless their choices?
Jesus prepared us for the backlash against the righteous: “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.” - John 15:18-19 (NIV)
If the person who has chosen a gay lifestyle has no representative of Christ in their life who lovingly yet firmly disagrees with them, how will they experience the love and holiness of God so they might return to Him?
I can plod. I can persevere in any definite pursuit. To this I owe everything.
- William Carey
My name is Tim Kirkes. I am honored to be the a child of my heavenly Father, the husband of Lisa, the father of two boys and the pastor of San Dimas Wesleyan church.