Are Women Allowed To Speak In Church?

Discussion in 'Evangelism' started by little flower, May 9, 2013.

  1. Currently I am not a member of any church. But I admit that I attended various worship services of different church denominations.
    Like all of you on this forum I try to measure everything by means of the bible.

    What confuses me is that the Catholic Church practices many traditions which are unbiblical (rosary, Mary as mediator,...), but nevertheless it seems to be one of the few churches that acts almost biblical regarding women in church. 'Almost', because some readings are done by women.
    Various other denominations I saw have female pastors, like the Pentecostal or the Lutheran church. In other churches or congregations women are at least allowed to give comments during the service.

    The bible however has a clear statement regarding that issue.
    1 Cor. 15:33-35 reads - "For God is not a God of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints. The women are to keep silent in the churches; for they are not permitted to speak, but are to subject themselves, just as the Law also says. If they desire to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is improper for a woman to speak in church."

    Hence when a female pastor speaks in a worship service I cannot help but regard this as unbiblical, albeit the content of her sermon might be excellent. How can a church claim to use the bible as only authority when ignoring this rule?

    I have some more thoughts that would support the biblical view, in spite of being a woman myself.
    But I would very much appreciate your opinions, if you like? :)
    Waggles likes this.
  2. This is one of those 'taboo' subjects that most "churches" have fallen away from or refuse to recognize. It wouldn't surprise me if certain Bible translations have omitted this viewpoint or so overtly translated it it doesn't make sense.

    1 Corinthians 14:34-38 (KJV)
    34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law.
    35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.
    36 What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only?
    37 If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.
    38 But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.

    1 Timothy 2:9-15 (KJV)
    9 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;
    10 But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.
    11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.
    12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
    13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.
    14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
    15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.

    Our Churches' approach is this-women don't 'preach' behind the pulpit. Women are more than capable of holding other positions in the Church-just not the Pastoral duties. I would say at least 50% of our Churches' duties fall on the women of the Church, and our members seem to be quite content with the way things are. Our Pastor is not against women giving testimonials, praise or worship, but the preaching of the Word is reserved for the men of the church. And not just any random dude that wants to get up and talk. I do not qualify for preaching behind the pulpit either.

    Like Rusty would say-we humans have a tendency to think we have certain 'rights' that just don't belong to us.
    Waggles, Milena and KingJ says Amen and like this.
  3. Dear Dirtyrottensinner,
    in my opinion your Pastor acts certainly biblical as he does not allow women to "preach behind the pulpit". And you wrote the relating verses as proof.

    But do you see "giving testimonials" (which your Pastor allows for women in church) as "keeping silence in the churches"? - "for it is not permitted unto them to speak." (1.Cor.14:34)

    The Greek word used in this verse ("lalein") really means not allowed to 'speak', not (!) only not allowed to preach.

    There is a good reason why Paul chose that prohibition, I think.
    Women usually become emotional easily. Believe me, I know. Also they want to be valued.
    Thus in the surrounding of a church, a place where people are hoping to be refreshed in faith and where they worship God together, statements made by women who very often don't (!) separate the real testimony for God's grace from their own wish to be well esteemed, can be distracting for those listening. - I experienced this often in the congregation I went to.

    Mind you, I am a woman myself, hence speaking of my own faults. :)
    AllieWi likes this.
  4. Correction:

    Not Paul chose to prohibit women to speak in church, but God did.
    Paul was of course inspired to write down what God wanted to be manifested in His Word.
  5. I think if you look at:

    1 Corinthians 12
    35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.


    1 Timothy 2
    12But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.


    Ephesians 5
    21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.
    22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
    23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
    24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
    25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
    26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
    27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
    28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.


    Ephesians 6
    1Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.
    2 Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise;
    3 That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.
    4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
    5 Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;
    6 Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;
    7 With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:
    8 Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.
    9 And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him.


    1 Timothy 5
    1 Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren;
    2 The elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity.
    3 Honour widows that are widows indeed.
    4 But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to shew piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God.
    14 I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.


    1 Peter 5
    The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:
    2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;
    3 Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being examples to the flock.
    4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.
    5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.
    6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
    7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
    8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:


    1 Peter 3
    1Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;
    2 While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.
    3 Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;
    4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.
    5 For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:

  6. Continued From Post #5

    You will start to see a pattern of 'why'. God has a plan for the family, does it work? Well just look at the mess we've made of families in the last 100 years. Maybe we should try God's way again?

    God intends for the 'man' of the house to be a buffer of protection from the world for his family. In like manner and example; the 'men' of the Church are supposed to be a buffer of protection for the church against false doctrines and any other un-scriptural shenanigans.

    God intends for the woman to 'guide' / manage the home. Although Dad is the overall authority Mom is one who is responsible for the home care of the children, etc....

    In like fashion-Mom and Dad are to be 'one' flesh with the Holy Spirit guiding them. Dad keeps the filth of the world out of the home & church and Mom takes acre of the 'dirty laundry' at home-and I don't mean clothes. Both mom & dad are barriers for the Church-the first layer of protection. When you go to Church-do we want to continually focus on the garbage of the world? No. When you go to Church-do you want to hear about everyone's 'dirty laundry'? No. The compliment in the relationship is so that both don't have to bear the same burdens. And then the Church body shouldn't have to step in over every minor consequence keeping us closer to 'Holy' which is God's intent for both men and women. As a congregation-if both mom's and dad's are doing their job; we take to to focus on the LORD when we gather together.

    So what does this all have to do with 'women speaking in church'? I don't know....BUT I know that God has a plan, and if we stick to it we are in much better circumstances than out of His plan. So here is my thinking: As with couples acting as a buffer zone between external junk and the Church congregation, Dad also has the additional job of leading the family in spiritual leadership-not just the physical-WITH the cooperation, counsel, fellowship and input from mom. Since anything with more than one 'head' is a monster, there has to be a designated leader in all things with counsel from others.

    Since we know Christ is the 'head' of the church, we can start to break down the hierarchy and flow of leadership in and out of the Church:

    Christ><Holy Spirit>><<Church>>><<<Pastor-Shepherd/Disciple/Apostle>>>><<<<Men>(Married Couples)<Women>>>>><<<<<Children

    Now we know as Children of God we do have direct access to God in prayer through the Holy Spirit as individuals. BUT when we fall under the submission of authority by some office -like a "wife"- There is a 'Chain of Command' if you will. We are expected to put ourselves under the submission of authority. BOTH men and women are expected to fall under the authority of Christ. It is clear in the scriptures stated above that 'Elders' have an elevated status in the Church-as long as they are upholding the Scriptures.

    There are many examples of this heirarchy present throughout the Bible-The Levites were appointed the priests, the people brought sacrifices to the priests, etc; the Judges were over the people, the Prophets were over the King.

    That being said, what we are witnessing in these last days is the final deterioration of the 'family unit' as God planned it. When that completely breaks down-what is left for 'God's People' if we do not produce the next generation of 'Holy' children?

    So in the grand scheme of things 'women not speaking in Churches' is about allowing the men of God to do their job. But if we do not produce men of God out of the Church-who is worth following? The whole thing falls apart when men abandon God's ways-even for the desire of a woman's heart....
    little flower likes this.
  7. Thank you for your elaborated comment, dear Dirtyrottensinner.
    Actually you covered almost everything I also thought of.

    Most important for the success of anything in life is obedience to God's Word. - 1.Cor.15:33 "for God is not a God of confusion but of peace".

    Not without reason He established a hierarchy in the family as well as in the church.
    You described that perfectly.

    So in order not only to speak about 'Revival' of a faithful church, but to live it, we must cling closer to God's will as written down in the bible.
    And that starts in the family, as the wife accepts the headship of the husband.

    I know that this is becoming ever more unpopular in our days, especially when the image of the successful woman is not of her standing in the kitchen and submit to her mother-role.
    But nevertheless, always in the whole history it proved to be best for all people to obey God's rules, as He knows so much more than we do.

    It is good to know that there are still people in our days who think in God's ways!

    little flower
    Milena and Brother_Mike_V say Amen and like this.
  8. I am just glad it made sense to someone....:D

    I hastily put that together while a thunderstorm was rolling. Wanted to shut down my PC just in case. You are correct-God wants us in obedience to His will, when we get to heaven-everything changes. (sort of-at least for the whole 'gender' thing....)
  9. I hope that the thunderstorm did not damage anything.

    Please Dirtyrottensinner, could you paraphrase what you meant by "(sort of-at least for the whole 'gender' thing....)" ? - You know I am a bit slow, and I just can't make sense of this little part of your message. :)

    But everything else I understood and agree.

    Praise God for your children and their love.
  11. Matthew 22:
    28 Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her. 29 Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. 30 For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.

    Now I know there is argument whether or not angels have a 'gender', to my knowledge there is no conclusive definitive proof either way. The mainstream speculation is that they are not 'male and female' at least as we understand it....

    It could be that after the judgment of the righteous, that formerly female and or male humans will have different 'rewards'/ treasures' in heaven as God sees fit to delegate. I believe there is enough scriptural evidence to support a flowing hierarchy in heaven, especially in the book of Revelation.

    'King', 24 elders, disciples judging the 12 tribes. etc...
  12. Now I understand.
    Thank you very much.
  13. Yes of course women are allowed to speak in church. Several times Paul discusses what men and women should do when addressing the corporate church, such as tongues/interpretation, and prophesy in 1 Cor 14. The verses you are probably alluding to are 34-35, which are not consistent with the rest of the chapter and must be looked at in their proper context. Here Paul is QUOTING letters he's received in the past about this subject. Verses 34-35 is the way Paul brings this up.

    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.
    His rather sarcastic remark follows in verse 36 where he writes; Or did the word of God originate with you? Or are you the only people it has reached?
    Read 1 Cor 11 & 12 and see if Paul says ONLY men are to pray in church or publicly use the gifts?

    Paul closes 1 Cor 14 with the following in verses 37-40;
    If anyone thinks they are a prophet or otherwise gifted by the Spirit, let them acknowledge that what I am writing to you is the Lord’s command. But if anyone ignores this, they will themselves be ignored. Therefore, my brothers and sisters, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way.

    Obviously the women could not remain silent AND prophesy now could they?
    SparkleEyes likes this.
  14. I saw this same argument on another thread, went on for about 17 pages, anyway, long story short, they are allowed XD
    ever see Joyce Meyers ?
    autumn oddity likes this.
  15. I nearly all churches they are. Most people see the relevant verses as related to the culture they were in.
    Rusty likes this.
  16. Maybe that's the way God intended 'culture' to be? Anyone want to stand up for the 'Jews'?
  17. Exactly....Most folks don't have the time to research how society was in Greek Corinth 2000 years ago.....It twern't anything like today there or here or where you are at all.
  18. God's word stands the test of time regardless of cultures. I am sure that you are an expert on ancient Greek culture but Paul made it quite clear that women are to remain silent in church.;)
  19. OK...You first.

    Prove to us how "mature "your understanding is and prove that Paul told every single one of the early churches for the woman to clam up. No prophesying, no testimonies, no praise reports....just every early church

    Also show how "maturely" you see these great woman of faith that DID speak in churches:
  20. 1 Corinthians 14:34 "Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says." How is that?
    Ghid likes this.

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