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I met the Lord at age twenty-one, and began to read the Bible for the first time in my life. To say I became engrossed with it would be an understatement. I was consumed by it, and it consumed me. Not having been raised in the church, I read it through non-religious eyes. I also took it at face value, believing that what I found in it was to be my way of life, for life. So you can imagine my surprise when I read in 1 Corinthians chapter 14 and 1 Timothy chapter 2 where Paul said that women were not allowed to speak in church. That didn’t seem right to me. There must be some misunderstanding somewhere. I also noted that Paul had just written that women could pray and prophesy in church (1 Corinthians 11:5). How could they do that and remain silent? I learned early on that one of the keys for interpreting Scripture was that one verse should never contradict another. I believed back then, and still do, that there are no contradictions in the Bible, only our misunderstanding of it. If women could prophesy in front of men under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, why could they not teach in front of them?


Admittedly, on the surface, it looks as if Paul was prohibiting women from teaching. This has caused some people to conclude that the apostle had a problem with women. Nothing could be further from the truth. Not only would the Holy Spirit never allow Paul’s own prejudice to show through in Scripture, but the misconception also contradicts what we can plainly see him saying and doing throughout his ministry and writings. We only need to consider how often he greeted the women who labored with him in the gospel to know that he had no problem with women speaking in church.


To me, the issue about women not being allowed to teach in church has eclipsed a greater truth, which touches on an even greater need. The larger truth is that we need to find our place in God’s order in terms of headship. Misconstruing this important concept has done more damage than any teaching any woman has ever done. God’s order of spiritual authority and the responsibility husbands are to carry are often overlooked in the very places where they teach against women teaching in the Body of Christ.

Women Silent In Church?

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