Pauline Thoughts on the Role of Women In the Church – I

1 Timothy 2:8-12

Dr. S. Lewis Johnson begins a two-part series on Paul's guidelines about the role of women in the church. Dr. Johnson discusses the service of teaching by women in the church according to Paul's instructions to Timothy.

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[Message] Tonight in our study we are turning to the 2nd chapter of 1 Timothy and our subject is “Pauline Thoughts on the Role of Women in the Church.” And we will continue this particular topic for next Wednesday night, because we shall not be able to cover all of this section. The “Battle of the Sexes” it has been called. It has been characterized by angry rhetoric, marches, and ritual roastings of the male chauvinist pig. The issues have been equal pay equal rights under the law, but it has spilled over into equal rights and functions in the church. I have before me an article that appeared some time ago in Time last year about this time, to be exact. The title of it is “Women: Still Number Two, But Trying Harder.” [Laughter] And in it is a kind of review of the progress that women have made in business and then in the legal profession, in medicine. The professors in the medical schools no longer address their pupils as gentlemen. Religion, some things that we will talk about in a moment, the sexes, help with the mop and broom. There are actually some men who are now assuming their share of domestic duties. Think of that. [Laughter] Selah. I have been told that Selah meant “think of that,” men actually performing domestic duties.

Now, I did not let my wife read this article. But I have read elsewhere that women are mowing the lawn and things like that even. So that this is becoming even, everybody has their own equal responsibilities, and now even in sports there are seven professional women’s football teams. There is no danger yet of them challenging the Cowboys, but nevertheless they are there.

Now we do not think too much about this, of course, because it does not really concern us too much in the Christian church directly. But we are particularly interested in some of the things that are happening as they concern the church of Jesus Christ. Last year, also about this time, eleven priestesses were ordained in the Episcopal church. This has created quite a furor in the Episcopal church, because it was illegal. And they are one of the few denominations that has in its book of church order, prohibition against the ordination of women as priests. But the eleven were ordained. And now recently some of the men who are priests in the church have banded together and are going to fight this ordination through the channels of the Episcopal church. Again, probably most of you in this audience are thinking, “Well that doesn’t really concern us too much.” After all, that church has, so far as we have heard, become rather liberal, and one is not surprised to read of something like that.

In the general synod of the Reform Church in America over fifteen years specific statement was made to the effect that they felt that there was nothing in the Bible that prohibited the ordination of women. And so, women have eligible for ordination to the office of deacon and elder since that time. In the United Presbyterian Church and generally speaking in most of similar churches, ordination of women as elders in permissible, and some now are considering very strongly the ordination of women as ministers of the churches. Now, this has caused quite a bit of difficulty, because there are still some conservative men in this particular denomination, the United Presbyterian Church that feel that they cannot acquiesce in the ordination of women. And so now a big struggle is taking place in that church over the rights of individuals who cannot in conscience agree with the ordination of women. And the majority is so much in favor of the ordination of women as ministers in that church, that many of the ministers who in conscience cannot support it are finding that they are being forced out of the United Presbyterian Church. It has come closer and closer, and we as Christians must at least think about the question of the role of women in the church.

In discussing the role of women in the church we have to mention first of all two guidelines; first of all, the authority of holy Scripture. Now, of course, if we are not willing to acknowledge the authority of holy Scripture, then of course we, and I used of course twice, didn’t I? Isn’t that terrible? Then we can expect that anything may happen, but if we do approach this from the standpoint of what does Scripture teach, and if we are amenable to the teaching of Scripture, then that is preeminent for us. The second thing that I think bears on the topic as a kind of guideline for us is the tradition of the Christian church. Now, let me hasten to say that most of us in this room, I would imagine, do not think that the tradition of the Christian church should in any way be raised to the level of the teaching of holy Scripture. But when we have matters that are referred to in the word of God, and particularly when these matters become subject for debate and differing opinions are offered, then the tradition of the church down through the centuries does assume some significance for us. And ordinarily we should not abandon the tradition of the Christian church unless we have very strong scriptural reasons for doing so.

So first of all, we have as our guideline, what do the apostles teach us? And second, what has the Christian church practiced as they have down through the centuries sought to understand the revelation of God. The chief lesson of the word of God would appear to be this; equal worth does not demand equal or similar function. Equal worth does not demand similar function. Now again, we probably, most of us in this room, know what the Bible teaches on the place of women in the local church, and probably there are very few in this audience who really feel that this is an open question. Most of you probably feel that it’s a question that the Christian church decided a long time, and as far as you are concerned that seems to be the teaching of holy Scripture.

Now, we have a new element in evangelicalism today, a new element among people who are outwardly, at least, committed to holy Scripture as you are. And that new element is this, we find now that men are using the term, with reference to the apostle’s teaching concerning women, “time conditioned,” contrarily oriented. One recent evangelical scholar, Professor of Systematic Theology in one of our evangelical theological institutions, Professor Paul K. Jewett of Fuller Theological Seminary has written a book which is called Man as Male and Female. And in this book Professor Jewett has said that the teaching of the Apostle Paul on the relationship of women to the ministry of the local church is representative of the rabbinical view of the relationship of women to the synagogue, and consequently the apostle’s views on this subject are contrarily oriented or time conditioned, and we are not therefore responsible to follow the Apostle Paul in these matters.”

You can see that this particular approach has now come very deeply into evangelicalism. From evangelical women, such as Letha Scanzoni and Nancy Hardesty have written a book which has had rather wide circulation, its entitled All We’re Meant to Be, and in that book the same general approach is taken that the apostle’s views are not necessarily the views that we are to follow. And various arguments are presented. They think from an exegetical standpoint to support their views. Virginia Ramey Mollenkott has is an evangelical woman whose brother is a graduate of Dallas Seminary and known to some of the men of this church. Virginia Ramey Mollenkott has also been very active in the promotion of equal function of Christian women in the Christian church. So we have this problem now that has been put right into our laps, and we must as members of the Christian church face up to what the New Testament teaches with reference to the place of women in the church.

We do not have any doubt about what the Old Testament taught about it. Not really too relevant to us since we passed into the time of the New Testament. All of you who study the Bible know that no woman was ever allowed to be a priest in Israel. You know, of course, that when the Lord Jesus chose the apostles he chose twelve men. You know that when the early Christian church felt it necessary to add deacons, they selected seven men for that function. You know that in the descriptions of the requirements for office of elder and deacon reference is made to the fact that they should be the husband of one wife; an interesting clause, incidentally, which we will try to deal with when we get to the very next chapter of 1 Timothy. You probably also know, and I’ve intimated it already, that this has been the staunch teaching of the Christian church from the beginning. We have no evidence of any movement within mainline Christianity to ordain women as elders or as ministers in the Christian church. Of course, I have particular views about the ordination of ministers, but ministry in the Christian church has historically been in the hands of men. I’m not saying all these men have, incidentally, done a good job, because many of them have not. But nevertheless God has, so far as Christian tradition is concerned, has committed that ministry to men.

Let’s look at what Paul has to say now in 1 Timothy chapter 2 with reference to it. This is not all that Paul has to say, of course, there are other significant passages that bear on the topic. Next week, particularly, when we deal with the reasons for this we shall look at three or four of the other passages which deal with this same topic in order that we may get a full well rounded picture. Remember that when we came to 1 Timothy chapter 2 last week I tried to point out that the connection of chapter 2 is with chapter 1, verse 18 where the Apostle Paul wrote Timothy and said to him, “This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy.” That was the beginning of what is the general charge that the apostle desired to give to his young apostolic legate, Timothy.

Now, beginning with chapter 2, verse 1 he says, “I exhort therefore.” That is, in the light of the fact that I have just said, “I am going to give you a charge, son Timothy.” I exhort that first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men. We sought last week to show that this is a detail that is included within that general charge to which he refers in verse 18 of chapter. In other words, here we have the details of the general charge. And in chapter 2 there are two subjects that come before us, the subject of prayer. And we have talked about that in our last study. And then the subject of women, and that begins with the 9th verse and goes through the remainder of the chapter. But since we did not say anything about verse 8, I want to break into the middle of, or into that previous section for just a word concerning that 9th verse. This is what we might simply call “the men and prayer.” “I will therefore that men pray every where.”

Now remember that in the English language the term “men” may refer to women. For example, we speak of mankind. Sorry ladies, but that’s what we use, the term “mankind.” And we don’t mean simply men. We mean men and women. In other words, man may be a generic term. Now in Greek there are two different words for men. In face there are other words, too, but two very common words in the New Testament. One of them is the word anar, and the other is the word anthropos. There are English words that are built on both of these words, anthropology, for example, is built on anthropos. And anar has some technical terms that are built upon that root, too, in its genitival form of andras. These two terms are terms that are constantly used in the New Testament. The second term, anthropos, is a term that may refer to a man or it may refer to mankind, or it may refer to women. And by that I mean that it is often a generic term

The other term, however, is a term that refers to a man in contrast with a woman, or a man in contrast with a child. It is the term that the apostle uses here. And so when he states in verse 8, “I will therefore that men pray every where,” he is referring to the male. So he is giving us some directions here about the men, the males, and prayer. Now he states that these men, the men, are to “pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.” Now, since the apostle, in this entire section, has primarily the local church in view, one might ask the question, what does he mean, then, by “I will therefore that men pray every where” or in every place or at every place? What he means is “I will that men pray at every place of public meeting.” That is, at every place where the church meets. “I will that men lifting up holy hands without wrath and doubting.” The men pray, and the men are to pray at every place of public meeting.

He states that they are to life up “holy hands, without wrath or doubting.” Or as the Greek text, I think, better puts it, disputing, questionings. Now, you can see from this a reflection again of the apostle’s connection with Judaism, because it was the custom for Hebrew men to pray with their hands outstretched praying this way towards heaven, as if expecting something from the Lord. So he speaks here saying that they should lift up holy hands. He’s not speaking so much about the method in which they pray as he is speaking about the life from which the prayer comes. And he stresses the fact that it is holy hands that they lift up.

Now he means, of course, that when we pray we are to pray in fellowship with the Lord. Back in the Old Testament there is a principle expressed in Psalm 66 and verse 18 which most of you know, I know. In which the Psalmist says, “If I regard iniquity in my heart the Lord will not hear me.” So it is important that believers, as they get down upon their knees to pray, be sure that there is no sin that is hindering fellowship with God. So they are to pray lifting up holy hands without wrath and doubting. The men and prayer, we’ll skip to the next verse now, and here we have some words about women and apparel.

Now, I must confess this is really a little out of my line. I thought of flying someone over like Christian Dior for a few words to you ladies and decided probably the elders would not stand the expense of that. So you’ll have to do with me. “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with braided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.” There would be a natural question after what Paul has said in these opening verses in chapter 2 in which he has said that we should pray for all men, we should pray for kings, all kinds of men, because he would have all kinds of men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth. Then he says, “I will that the men pray in every place lifting up holy hands without wrath and doubting.” And the natural question that would arise would be something like this. Well, do not the women have some responsibilities in the public worship? Paul, you have said nothing about the women. He would have been speaking, simply, about the men. Do not the women have some responsibilities? Yes, the apostle says, the women do have some responsibilities.

One of their responsibilities is submission. Quietness, silence in the meetings. Now, do not get the apostle wrong here. He is not trying to put down women. He is speaking in the light of the divine role, which God has assigned to women. So he expresses the fact that they are to learn with all subjection. And that means that they are to learn in the meeting in harmony with the apostle’s instructions, not in rebellion against them, with all subjection. But he does speak of something specifically here. He says that the women should attend the meeting and that their manner of life should be characterized by good works. So the sum of what he is saying, he is saying that they should have modest adorning by means of good works. Anything smacking of ostentation in the dress of the women is to be avoided. That’s my understanding of this. I realize I am no judge of what is ostentatious and what is not. It’s not often that I acknowledge that there is something that I am not in complete command of as far as knowledge is concerned, of course, but here is a case where I do. I do not know specifically how to advise you who are ladies how you should dress. But the apostle says that that apparel should be modest. I gather that that means that you should avoid ostentation. I don’t think that that means that you should look like something that the cat has dragged in. [Laughter] I don’t think that that means that you should make it evident to everybody that you are attempting to be a godly woman. I think that any form of ostentation in that negative way is just as bad as ostentation the other way.

There are some Bible schools in the United States and in some of the other countries where the women are forced to wear outlandish garments, and you can spot a student of those schools for blocks away by the garments that they wear. Paul is not speaking about this. I’m sure that he would, if he has the progress of the gospel at heart, would desire that the women be attractively dressed, neatly dressed, clean, especially attractive, but without the ostentation. Now, it seems to me that that is what the apostle is saying so far as the dress itself is concerned.

Now he goes on to say more than that. He specifies that instead of having ostentatious apparel, the women should be characterized by godly fear. They should be characterized by sobriety. They should not wear expensive jewels that are ostentatious, showy. But they should aim to have their demeanor characterized by good works. Now, what kind of good works does the apostle have in mind? Probably in the context of the apostle’s thoughts, he has in mind good works of charity. Good works that were very helpful for the members of the congregation who were in difficulty and in need. And we all know how women are especially suitable for meeting needs like that.

The other day I had lunch with a man who occasionally comes to Believers Chapel but is a member of another evangelical church here. And he asked me the question, how may some woman become involved in Believers Chapel. He knew that the men took the lead in the Chapel. He had been here enough to see that. And he ask, “How may a woman become involved in the life of the Chapel.” Well, that’s not a bad question. How may women be involved in the life of the Chapel? What are some of the things that a woman might do in an assembly in which the men are the elders and the deacons, and in which the ministry is carried on by men. What may the women do? Well, in the first place the Apostle Paul sets forth in Scripture that every one of us has a gift, that means that the women as well as the men have spiritual gifts. Every one of the women has at least one spiritual gift. There are two classes of gifts. There are gifts that are gifts of utterance. And there are non-utterance gifts. Example for the utterance gifts, there are gifts such as evangelist, pastor-teacher, which conceive to be one gift and would write that with a hyphen, pastor-teacher, teacher, and so on. Now then, there are gifts that are non-utterance. There are gifts of administration. There are gifts of helps, gifts of governments, and so on. Over twenty gifts are referred to in the New Testament. Now, all of these gifts, with rare exception, are open to both women and men. So far as I know, in the New Testament it is very clear that at one time women were prophets, entirely possible that a woman had the gift of an evangelist. I have known some women who have been exceedingly fruitful in evangelism, for evangelism is not having large public meetings in which men and women are present. It has to do with personal witnessing and testimony. Almost all of the gifts are open to women with the exception of apostleship, perhaps something else out of the twenty that doesn’t cross my mind at the moment. But a woman has a spiritual gift. It may be utterance. It may be non-utterance.

Now, that gift is to be ministered in the local church and in the life of the local church. For example, women may teach Sunday School classes. At Believers Chapel we have women who are teaching Sunday School classes. For if you are proficient in the word of God, have the gift of teaching, it’s entirely possible that you may have an exceedingly important ministry of Sunday School teaching. Nothing can be more important than having a part in the molding of the lives of young people, both men and women. There are other types of teaching that you may do Bible classes. Ms. Detrick, who is here, teaches a Bible class here on Wednesday. That is the exercise of spiritual gift. There are others who are involved in that ministry. You may have children’s classes, and these ministries are ministries that ideally are outreaches of the local church, of Believers Chapel. And I think ideally that all of the Bible studies should have as their ultimate aim the winning of men and women, the building up of them in the faith, and that involved identification with a local church where they may have the ministry of the local church.

What else may women do? Well, I happen to be a great admirer of motherhood. Having seen in my own family a beautiful exhibition of it in my own wife and the influence that she has had upon our two children and now upon our grandchildren, I have great admiration and respect for what that means, because there is no question but that she has had an equal, not only equal opportunity, but equal influence on my children and the faith that they have, and they both have faith in Jesus Christ, is traceable to her just as much as to me. I led my daughter to the Lord, specifically, when she was four years old, and she remembers the time. My son does not remember when he came to faith in Christ, but every night when he was an infant, just a few months old, Dr. Barnhouse told us, “You should start teaching your children the word of God from the beginning.” So these poor little children, [Laughter] lying in the crib, at night the last thing that they heard before they went to sleep was, before they could talk, about this big. We would lean over the crib and one or the other of us, usually Mary, would say, “1 John 4:8, God is love.” And we had several other texts that we used, shortened text. That was the thing they went to sleep with, and the reason was that pretty soon when they were crawling around on the floor and sitting up, the first words that they began to utter were 1 John 4:8, God is love. [Laughter] So, the faith of my children is directly traceable to a godly mother who sought to bring them to Christ.

And the influence that they have had in Christian things, and they have had some influence, though they are young, is traceable to the ministry of Mary. And I think that this is of tremendous importance in the church. There is nothing more influential with others than to see a family in which the father is a Godly father, and the mother is a Godly mother, and the children are children who are under the control of the parents and responsive and open to the word of God. There is no greater ministry than that. And the greatness of many men of God is directly traceable to a mother who was faithful in the things of the Lord. There are so many illustrations of this, it would be useless to begin, but most of you, if you’ve ever been around a Christian church in which the word of God is preached you already know illustrations of that. Incidentally, that is one reason why we read with reference to the duties of the elders and the deacons, that they should be men who rule their own houses well, the application of biblical truth in the home.

There’s another are in which women may be involved, in the area of hospitality. What a great thing that is in a local church. I’ve always felt, and I’m going to give you my opinion, I’ve always felt that planned hospitality in a church, church wide, is not nearly so effective as individual hospitality exercised by individual families toward the members of a local assembly and toward the visitors who come within to hear the word of God. That is the most effective thing that can be done, not holding a church-wide supper, though those things may have their place. The most effective thing is a few families, or many families, who feel that they may have a real influence in hospitality and the inviting of others in the local church, maybe very loosely attached, or visitors to their home and having a ministry in that way. And the women can do that a whole lot better than we who are men can do, tremendous ministry.

There are other ministries, home visitation; there is a great need in Believers Chapel for home visitation and help. There are people who are in dire need of some help, and you can give that help, you women. Now, I have experienced this. Many of you have been a great help to me and to my wife, because of my wife’s illness. And while she’s feeling a whole lot better now and doing the cooking around the house, when she was feeling real bad many of you brought over to our house food. I want you to know, I have come to understand now that there are a significant number of good cooks in Believers Chapel. [Laughter] And I appreciate this. This has been a great help to us, a great ministry to us; some of you who have done that, in fact, a number of you have done it, for these are things that women can do and men cannot do them.

Hospital visitation, there are individuals in the hospital right now. There is an elderly woman in the hospital right now, a lovely Christian woman who has been a great help to students at Dallas Seminary, who has been a great help to the Wycliffe Translation Society, who has been a great help to Dallas Theological Seminary. She faces a very serious operation. She has requested that the members of Believers Chapel pray for her, a visit to her and a time of prayer would be something that a Godly woman could do with great profit, and I’m sure a great deal of help. There are constant opportunities for hospital visitation.

The tape ministry, now I know a lot of you said, when is going to get around to the tape ministry? Because there are literally, I don’t know how many of you work, I go in there on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, there are five or six women in there on those days and they are different women. A number of you women make it possible for the tapes to go out, and I think one of the months recently we had about five thousand tapes that were sent out in one month. Those tapes are often listened to by numbers of people. Many of them go to pastors and teachers of the word of God who study from the tapes and then preach to fifty or a hundred or two or three hundred people. Some of them preach to larger numbers than that. And that ministry is carried on, pardon me Mr. Parker, carried on largely by the women, and we are very grateful for that. That ministry could not succeed were it not for the women, and there is no telling the fruit that will redound to the glory of our Lord through the women in that tape ministry.

And there are other ministries, even in the church offices, and at times when the church offices are manned by secretaries who are paid, most are paid workers, I know in our church and many other churches would probably be paid fifty percent more at least if they working at some secular occupation. So, good works. Well, that’s only just some of the things that occurred to me. I am sure that there must be many, many other things. How can a person become involved, why in the light of the word of God I wonder how you can help from getting involved to some extent if you are interested in spiritual things?

Well now, we come to the women and teaching, verses 11 and 12. Let me read the verses, “Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.” Incidentally, that says let the women learn, that means men that you ought to learn, too. But the women are singled out here. “Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.” That means essentially, let them do it without rebelliousness over the fact that they are listening and not talking. “But I permit not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.” Now, let me say, first of all, the apostle is not inculcating the superiority of men. We’ve been around long enough to know, men, we are not superior. The chances are that most of the tasks that men can do, women can do just as well. But we each have our function. I imagine there are probably some men who can handle the mop and broom as well as some women that I know, too. But that’s not their function. What Paul is saying is women have a certain function, just as men have a certain function. He’s not saying men are superior toward women. The drive toward unisex in our society is really the suicide of our society. God has given men certain functions to perform, and he has given women certain function to perform. And our society depends upon the exercise of these functions by the sexes to which the functions were given. And what we are seeing today is the suicide of the society that we have known in the past, and we may well be reaching the place where we are moving from a patriarchal type of society to a matriarchal type of society, and then we shall find that the men rebel. And then the things that the women think that they are obtaining they will discover they are not.

The apostle is not inculcating a harsh attitude toward women. I have a friend who believes very strongly in the submission of women. And he probably has stressed it a little too much. Another friend of mine some years ago went to visit that family and came back and said, “I went down to such and such a place to visit such and such a person and that woman that works for him.” Well now, that is not the relationship the apostle is suggesting when he speaks about submission, subjection. He’s not saying that the men should so dominate the women that they cannot carry our their functions.

Diana Barrymore, many years ago said, “I don’t mind being punched. The old coward said that women should be strapped regularly like a gong. And he’s right,” she said. Well, that’s not right, that’s wrong. And any kind of relationship of a man to a woman that leads to that interpretation of submission is surely contrary to the thought of the Apostle Paul. I think what he is speaking about is simply function, just as in our Dallas Cowboys. We don’t think that a running back is able to accomplish what he accomplishes without the services of a good offensive line, do we? We do not think that a running back is more important than a good offensive tackle. It’s true one may have a little more publicity than the other, but they are both necessary for the proper functioning of the team. The same thing is true in the Christian church. We all have our function, the men and the women. It’s going to be interesting next fall to see how Larry Csonka runs behind the weakest offensive line in the National Football League; I’m looking forward to that.

Now then, the Apostle Paul says, “Let the women learn in silence.” The public assembly is in view. He’s not talking about in the home. Now, the public assembly is in view as the next verse shows. “I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.” And I say this, because there have been some who have interpreted verse 11 as “Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection,” as a reference to teaching at home. Paul is not talking about home; he’s talking about the local church. In the synagogues, silence was expected from the women, and evidently by now this had become a rather burning issue in the Christian, because the question now arose, we are no longer in the synagogue, we’re meeting now as a Christian church, should we now have the same attitude toward the public meetings that we had when we were Jews and worshipping and meeting in the synagogue. And Paul is very firm and says that in spite of the new spirit of emancipation that exists in Christianity, he insists that the same type of demeanor for the women obtains in the new meeting as attained in the meetings in the synagogue. And further, they were to meet without any rebellion with all subjection.

Then in contrast to that he says, “But to teach I do not permit for a woman.” In the Greek text the word “teach” is in the emphatic position. So that’s the thing that he wants to stress. “Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection, but as for teaching, I do not permit a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over a man.” Why did the apostle insist on this? Why, because the relationship of a man to a woman and woman to man involved the principle of submission. The woman is to love the wife as Christ loved the church. I always thought that was much harder to do than the woman’s responsibility which was to be in submission to the husband. But since he is speaking from the standpoint of the Christian church, and he believes that submission in the biblical sense is the woman’s responsibility, therefore the woman is not to teach, for teaching involves authority as the very next words show. “I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man.” What a person does when he teaches is to lecture from a position of authority. And so for a woman to teach in the assembly and lecture the men is to assume the place of authority, which is contrary to the role that God has assigned them. And incidentally, I do not suggest that men are always the best teachers. I have known some women teachers who were outstanding. I have even known some women of Bible teachers who were better than, well that was my opinion; they were better teachers than their husbands. That can be a little embarrassing men. My wife is an outstandingly good teacher. Finally some years ago she suddenly stopped teaching. I never could find out exactly why except she said, “The Lord told me not to teach any more.” She used to travel outside of Dallas and hold women’s Bible classes away from Dallas. And there are still a number of people that were converted in one of the smaller places to which she went here in Texas, still there. So this has nothing to do with the capabilities of them. It again is the question of role or function.

And further, in 1 Corinthians chapter 14, the apostle says this was in harmony with the Law of Moses as the Law teaches, and he refers to Genesis chapter 2 and 3, and that’s the passage we shall look at next time, in order to support what the apostle is saying. Well, we have come to the conclusion tonight with these words, “Let the women learn in silence with all subjection, but I permit not a woman to teach, not to usurp authority of the man, but to be in silence.” But what does Paul mean when he says in verse 15, “Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.” That we shall look at next time as we continue this subject.

Let me close by commenting on something that happened over the television screen just a year or so ago. What the apostle is inculcating here is the lesson that equal worth does not demand similar function. Now, when the apostle writes in Galatians chapter 3, verse 28 that there is neither male nor female in the body of Christ, that might seem to contradict what these passages teach. We shall deal with that question next Wednesday night. But, about a year ago a well known minister came home after having preached and preaching, in spite of what some people might imagine, does drain a person often. But he came home and he was rather keyed up, because he had been speaking, and he sat down he said, and he flipped on the television just to sit and look for an hour before he went to bed. It was one of the later night shows. It was the Tom Snyder show, and there was an attorney, a woman attorney, who was engaged in conversation with Mr. Snyder. They were discussing of all things women’s ordination, and they were also discussing women’s rights in other areas. They even discussed other aspects of sexuality and the gay movement and a number of things, but women’s ordination came up. And the woman attorney said this, “The Biblicists are right, if you want to approve women’s rights in these areas, in the home, if you want to approve sexuality and the gay movement, you have to move outside the Bible to do so. The Bible is clearly against these things. There are humanists who champion them, but not the Bible,” the attorney, Madalyn Murray O’Hair, on the issue of women’s ordination and other issues involving women. Isn’t it striking, she read the Bible, she got the message.

[Prayer] Father, we are grateful to Thee for the words that he apostle has spoken, which in so many ways cut across the ideas that are dominant in the thinking of all of us today. We pray, God, that Thou will give us each grace to assume and carry out the roles that Thou hast determined to each of, to the glory of Jesus Christ. And we would particularly pray, O God that Thou would raise up godly women. Give them spiritual gifts, and make them fruitful in the areas to which Thou hast called them. And may it all redound to…


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