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Friday, January 11, 2013

A Woman's Perspective on Women's Role

This post is for my Christian women readers specifically.
I was reading 1 Timothy 2 today.  I once memorized the first 3 chapters of 1 Timothy, but I do not have them still perfectly in my mind.  They are still very familiar to me though, and in going over chapter 2 today, I want to address the role of women issue.

The role of women is a very controversial one in the church today, and some people try to twist the Scripture to suit their own desires.  I have found though that 1 Timothy 2 does not have qualifiers that say that it is only addressing certain women of the day.  In fact, it clearly points to creation and the deception of Eve, which is something from long before the time when I Timothy was penned.

"A woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness. 
But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet.
For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve.
And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. But women will be preserved through the bearing of children if they continue in faith and love and sanctity with self-restraint."
1 Timothy 2:11-15 NASB

So, it seems quite clear that women are not to teach men or exercise authority over a man not because of what the circumstances were at that time, but because of the order of creation and the fact of Eve's deception (who is representative of womankind). 
Naturally, women have pride and like to think that that only applies to certain women and not us.  We think about the fact that men can also be  deceived.  The thing is that there are consequences still from Adam and Eve's sin that affect all of us.  Since I believe that Scripture trumps personal feelings and any other experience that we have had, then I rely on Scripture as the authority over me as a woman.  Aside from that,  in recent times I have found that I have been deceived by someone online posing as different people.  I'm thankful for my Christian brothers who were there to point out the truth.

God has many roles for women to fulfill.  Even those of us who have never been married or had children can communicate with people in informal settings as Priscilla did with Aquila or serve the church by ministering in other ways.  It seems that women can teach children and mentor other women.  Do I believe that women should street preach?   I know a lot of people who believe there is an exception there too, but I do not.  There is still the order of creation and the matter of exercising authority over men. 
The reasons given in 1 Timothy 2:13-14 do not seem to be something that is negated when you step outside of a church building.
Definitely, it is a public setting where some of the audience can be Christians as well.  It is more than just explaining something in an informal setting with Christian men ready to help and correct in a discussion. 

I tend to go even further than some people in that it really bothers me when a woman reads Scripture up front in church or a woman is the head worship music leader.  I even have walked out of a service occasionally when  I have felt deeply troubled enough to not feel that I can properly worship thinking about it.
Here is a respected blogger and pastor's blog post on the subject of women and Bible reading in church:

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