When “I” does not mean God

1 Timothy 2:12 is most likely misinterpreted to mean what we want it to say. The Apostle Paul said “I do not permit.”  He didn’t say that God said it and he didn’t claim to be speaking for God when he said “I.” 

But we are like the Pharisees who Jesus condemns in Matthew 23.  We have chosen what part of “authority” we will not allow.  Some SBC churches will not allow women to teach men in Sunday school, while others do.  Some do not allow women to teach the youth because a boy might be a “man” but other churches do.  I have been on a Pastor search committee, building committees and finance committees.  Those are deciding committees in a church, and women were allowed to make those decisions.  I have attended a Baptist church for 60 years and I do not see anything that men pastors do that a woman could not do in regards to pastoring the flock.

Try enforcing a woman to be silent in a Baptist church today and you may as well close the doors.

In Paul’s day a woman was not permitted to speak in the synagogue at all.  In fact, she could not even be in sight of the men.  This is because a woman’s voice is “enticing” and the men cannot control themselves enough to be close to a woman. When they said silent, they didn’t mean fudging like SBC Christians do.  They meant no singing, no announcements, no wedding vows, no professions of faith.  If we are going to be silent like Paul said, then we must obey the whole meaning.  

When I was in Jerusalem at the Wailing Wall, women had a separate entrance because the men would be distracted to hear a woman praying.  Is this what you want for Christian women?  Didn’t Jesus come to free both men and women from the letter of the law? Go back and read Matthew 23.  See how Jesus became angry because they put their strict interpretation of the law before people.  And see also how they managed to get around their own strict interpretation of those laws.  That is hypocritical and Jesus called them on it.

Complementarians and male headship churches are trying to fit a first century woman into this 21st century.  It won’t work.  We educate our women today.  Women are not pregnant most of their adult life, with 8 kids lined up on a row.

Jesus tried to show us the worth of a woman.  He commissioned the first evangelist (the woman at the well). He allowed Mary to learn at his feet and praised her for it (Luke 10:42) at a time when women were to be seen and not heard and certainly not in among the men learning from the master. He gave the gospel to a woman when he arose from the grave by telling her to go and tell the men where they could find him.

Whatever Paul meant, we do not know.  What we do know is that men have used this scripture to keep women from being deacons and pastors when all the other words of Paul and his actions speak to the fact that he knew the woman apostle Junia and other women deacons.

About bwebaptistwomenforequality

Shirley Taylor writes with humor and common sense, challenging the church body to reclaim equality for Christian women.
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