Let our women speak!

“I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.” The Apostle Paul to Timothy, 1 Timothy 2:12

Have we in many of our churches used this and other verses as a foundation for mistreating women? I have some questions, and possibly a few answers.

In addition to the verse above there is the other well-worn “proof text” found in Paul’s letter to the church at Corinth.

“As in all the churches of the saints, the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says. If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church.” 1 Corinthians 14:33-35

Wow, it seems pretty clear doesn’t it? How could anyone miss the message of these two powerful admonitions that are the accepted authority that puts women in their places in the church.

But wait, Paul says more about women.

“but every wife who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, since it is the same as if her head were shaved. For if a wife will not cover her head, then she should cut her hair short. But since it is disgraceful for a wife to cut off her hair or shave her head, let her cover her head.” 1 Corinthians 11:5,6

I have a question. How is it possible that a woman could prophesy without speaking? She could pray silently but she cannot possibly prophesy while being silent. (Isn’t it interesting that we are big on the silence but are unmoved by the head covering, hair length, etc. ?) The truth is that no person, including a woman, can speak God’s truth to another without speaking. They were not able to text or send a bluetooth, they had only one option, speaking!

In his letter to the Romans Paul was careful to send a greeting to several women who had labored with him in the gospel. (Romans 16:1,2,3,6,7 and 12.) It would be unreasonable to conclude that their only contribution to the mission was baking bread and toting luggage. We know that Priscilla taught the preacher Apollos (Acts 18:26).

There is no doubt that women had speaking roles in the first century church. Why then the passages above? I offer these suggestions.

Corinth and Ephesus (the city where Timothy was ministering) were both large cities, hubs of trade and commerce, and both populated with largely gentiles. In each of these major cities paganism reached its apex. There were all sorts of gods, goddesses, temples priests and priestesses, and prostitutes.

Paganism in these first century cultural centers was marked by every excess. Drunkenness, gluttony, sexual orgies, idol worship, sacrifices of every kind to the gods, and in general the most unholy of lifestyles. Because most of these pagan religions conveniently included sexual excesses, women were often the leaders of the sects. And of course even some of the gods were women, like Diana for instance.

It was out of this cultural setting that God had called people to himself. They were believers in the Christ (Paul called them saints) but their whole lives had been entrenched in a society of unbridled sin where the lusts of the flesh ruled the day.

And, the state of women must be considered. They were little more than chattel property. They were there to serve their men sexually, to cook, to work (Proverbs 31), to raise children, etc. They were not worthy of education and were in every way subservient to males. Even today, in 2010, women in much of the middle east are in the same dire circumstances. At best, they are second class citizens.

Now we find Paul writing to immature Christians whose neighbors were the people described above and they themselves had barely escaped this dreadful lifestyle. The carry over, was drinking to excess at fellowship meals, rudeness, talking over others, sexual sin, and in general, behaving as pagans in the church assembly.

I believe Paul was addressing a particular cultural situation that we have little feel for. “Women be quiet and learn from your husbands”. Only the men had any education. “Women be quiet in church”. Don’t emulate paganism where women were leaders. “Women if you are going to pray or prophesy in the assembly wear a head covering to show that you have the authority to do so”. It was Paul’s intention that these redeemed people look completely different than their pagan counterparts. Thus his warnings about food offered to idols, keeping holy days, etc. Christians are to be a holy (set apart) people was his consistent teaching.

Paul said to the Galatian churches

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28)

I have never read any place that the Holy Spirit gives out spiritual gifts based on gender. Perhaps I overlooked that text. I believe that in our sincere desire to please God to the “T” we have gone headlong into limiting gifted, smart, educated, devoted women in their service to their Christ and their fellow saints.

Someone tell me how these tasks constitute taking authority in the Christian community that belongs to males? ( I heartedly affirm male headship in the home and in the church)

  1. Singing a solo
  2. Reading a passage of Scripture
  3. Offering a communion meditation
  4. Serving as an usher
  5. Passing the trays and plates
  6. Teaching a Bible lesson to a mixed gender class

In my view it is time to take off the gags and let the women free to serve God using their giftedness to encourage and build up the body, not just women and children.

Agree or disagree, this is only my view. It does not represent the views of my church or its able leaders. I just wish it did.



21 comments on “Let our women speak!

  1. I’ve seen people perform all sorts of interesting dances around the concept of women praying and prophesying publicly as described in 1 Corinthians 11. If you start out with the idea that women can’t say anything in public, you then have to explain away the first part of that chapter. If you let the text speak for itself, you have to figure out in what ways women prayed and prophesied without “usurping authority.”

    It helps to remember that the verb for “quiet” in 1 Timothy 2 is used in the same chapter (verse 2, I think) as an adjective to describe our lives.

    Grace and peace,
    Tim Archer

  2. We are studying this very topic in our Shepherds meetings. I personally could not agree with you more Royce. I think maybe that our not seeing the culture issue of the first century and the culture we grew up in and its attitude toward women may both be at fault for the prohibitions we have put on women.

  3. Great post, Royce.

    Using your logic, how does this not open up the door for women to be “leaders” in the church (I assume you mean elders/preachers/deacons)?

    Based on the idea of Paul basically telling them to avoid the appearance of paganism, I don’t see how that couldn’t be applied to other positions. Anxious to get your take on that. I suppose this would/could also apply to male leadership in the household.

  4. Sorry, my post may be confusing…I re-read and wasn’t quite sure what I meant, either. 🙂

    I am referring to the end of your post where you said, “I heartedly affirm male leadership in the house and the church.”

    I’m just not sure why you wouldn’t place the same argument on women being elders or leading the household if we are making the cultural argument.

    Sorry, I’m not sure what your question is.

    What part of the post do you disagree with? I expect most readers to disagree by the way.

    As to male leadership… Since Jesus used marriage to illustrate the church consider this. In a good, Christ honoring marriage things work along these lines.

    The roles of husbands and wives is only that, those roles are not about value or worth, lets begin with that. Women are often better managers of money, and may have more innate common sense than their husbands. So, in some families wives are given more responsibility than in others but in all Christian marriages where Christ is the Lord of the family, after the husband and wife offer their ideas about a matter the husband makes the final decision. The wife submits to him in this regard and by so doing is submitting to Christ. The husband shoulders that responsibility because it is his duty as head of his house and thus submits to Christ.

    The same should be true in the church. Women can do many things equally as well as men, and in many cases do it better. But, godly women who recognize the Lordship of Jesus over their lives will not overstep their roles as women and try to rule over male leadership. And godly male leaders, who by command are to submit to both brothers and sisters in the Lord, will respect the work of women, be considerate of them as equals in Christ, but make final decisions because that is their God given roles to fulfill.

    What many pastors and elders fear most is loosing control. I have never read in the Bible where their role is to control people, theirs is to be servant/shepherds who teach, and watch for their spiritual well being. In most churches of Christ elders are considered in almost exactly the same way as little popes. That is never what God intended.

    Elders lead, in fact they rule, but they do so motivated by love, and even the elders are to submit to others in the body. Jesus was the ultimate servant/leader. Study his life and you will see that he lead by example, and that example was serving, not ordering others around or telling others what they could think or do. He was bowed with a towel washing the feet of those he had the rule over. Quite a contrast to our leadership models in most congregations.

    Men and women are equals? Yes. Men and women have different roles assigned? Yes. Men are leaders in the home and the church and women submit to that servant leadership. Ideally, both men and women understand that they are functioning in those roles with equal worth and value before Christ.


  5. I think that there is a difference between how Paul looked at this issue and how we do that makes all the difference. Paul was being led by the Spirit and we are trying to be led by Paul.

    In Paul’s day, it would have been extremely disrespectful for a wife to be in a leadership position over her husband (I do believe that wives/husbands are being addressed more than men/women) or to be in a position to teach him. This is simply no longer the case in today’s world. I would be proud of my wife for having the ability to teach and rightly take a leadership position. The attitude of today’s husband is a complete 360 from that of the 1st Century husband. That is the difference.

    Paul was following the Spirit by honoring the marriage covenant and encouraging love for the brethren. We are dishonoring how marriage works today and showing disrespect for our sisters in Christ by legalistically following a command that was not given to us but to people almost 2000 years ago.

  6. Good thinking Royce.

    It is critical to understand the occasion of both the Corinthian context and the Timothy context in coonsidering Paul’s prohibitions in both texts. It seems that women in both churches were contributing to confusion and problems.

    In the Corinthian situation it concerned worship. Apparently women were among the number competing to show off their spiritual gifts. In so doing they were adding to the chaos that was Corinth’s worship . Paul was telling them to quiet down. They had gone beyond accepted worship protocol.

    At Ephesus it seems that some women had fallen under the influence of teachers promoting their own agendas (and not God’s). This lead these women to be idle, to gossip and not to fulfill their God-given ministries. It seems that they were very vocal in pushing the agendas set by those who were influencing them. To them Paul was clear- they were overstepping. They needed to back off.

    You have already referenced the fact that women did indeed speak during the assembly in Corinth- so why would Paul tell them not to later?

    I have two other points:

    * I think Paul knew exactly who the women were in Corinth making all the noise. That is why he told them to speak about it at home with their husbands. If this were a blanket generic statement – then single women would have absolutely no recourse.

    * We claim the Timothy reference is a command for all times, yet three verses earlier (2:8) we claim that the lifting-up-holy-hands-in-prayer statement is culture specific. How do we get to pick and choose and parse scripture like this from the same context?

    Thanks for taking on this subject.


    You make some excellent points and I agree. It is often the case that the Bible itself is its own best commentary.

    In my view God gives us (local churches) great flexibility in how we do his mission of making his appeal of reconciliation. The measure of success is not have we checked off 5 boxes each Sunday and a litany of rules kept. The measure is, can we answer in the affirmative, have we kept the good news about Jesus central to all we do, have we been living holy lives, have we been submissive to one another, have we acted in the best interests of others, and have our motives and our mission been marked by love?

    Men who proudly boast of being “sound” by being right and doing right and then treat their own wives like necessary trash are disgusting. There are lots of those around.


    Thanks for your input.

  7. Royce,

    Don’t you know the gift of prophesy is gone? So we have no other authorized example or command that requires women to speak in the assembly…Kidding, kidding!

  8. Has anyone ever considered that 1 Corinthians 14:34-35, could possibly be Paul quoting legalists in the congregation? For in verse 36 he uses an emotional rebuttal that means, What?, Nonsense! or “No Way!”

    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?”

    It is hard to believe that Paul would try to silence women with an imaginary law. I have looked and have not found a law in the Old Testament that forbids women to speak. If anyone has found such a law it would be great if you could point it out. I also have a problem accepting that Paul would consider a woman’s voice in the church to be a ‘shame’, as the greek defines ~shame~ as base and filthy. If that is the case and this not a quote, then any kind of speech by women in the church, whether it be teaching (children), singing, testifying, praying etc. would be strictly prohibited.

  9. Royce—

    There is nothing within your post with which I disagree. Rather, I am challenging the logic it took to arrive at the points.

    If we take Paul’s command for “women to be silent”, and overrule that by saying that it was a time-sensitive/situation-specific command, then why can’t we say that same thing about women leaders, using that same argument? Women were to submit to the husband’s leadership/authority as that was the custom in that time–therefore it is commanded. However, (let’s just say) that is no longer the case. Men and women are equals in our society in all things. So then why do we emphasize the male leadership in homes/church? Why can’t we call that a “situation specific, time sensitive” command?

    (This isn’t argumentative; I truly am curious…not a trap or anything. I am lock-step with you in repudiating the CENI principles. As a man, I wouldn’t be comfortable with women leaders (personally or spiritually), but I question how we arrive at limiting their roles, based upon the arguments set forth.)

    All of that being said, I still don’t know that I’ve articulated myself well enough to get my point across. Thanks Royce–I appreciate your time and efforts!

    In my view context answers the questions you raise. There is little doubt that there were specific problems with specific solutions Paul addressed to the Corinthians. (In fact chapter 13 is not just a parenthetical entry on the definition of love but a cure for all of their problems. They were not loving each other, not acting in loving ways to each other)

    Again and again in Scripture the headship of men is affirmed, both by plain statements and by example. Perhaps this is not the detailed answer you were expecting but I think it makes the point.

    We have to learn principals as well as precepts. For instance, we have no problem in Louisiana with people preaching that Christians need to be circumcised to be saved. But we learn from Paul’s teaching to the churches of Galatia that adding to the gospel what the Bible does not is sin.

    A principal is that God is not a respecter of persons, in Him there is neither male nor female, bond or free. So, unless a woman is taking authority over me I have no problem with her doing many things we routinely forbid. Does every preacher I listen to have authority over me? The answer is no. Do elders have authority over me? Yes. I am not for lady elders.

    Thanks for your visit and your comment.


  10. Royce,
    Excellent post brother.
    I am teaching on this subject this comming Sunday in our class Adventurs in Missing the Point by Brian McLaren and Tony Campolo.
    I think we haved missed the point on the role of women in church and ministry.
    Consider the,se passages:
    “In the last days it will be, God declaires, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughers shall prophesy, and our young men shalll see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. Even upon my slaves both men and women, in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.” Act 2:17-18 Men and women will prophesy or preach.

    Luke makes it clear that the husband-wife team Aquila and Priscilla taught Apollos his theology, even correcting him in what he was preaching. Acts 18:26

    The four daughters of Philip, furthermore, became preachers in Acts 21:9

    In Romans 16:7 Paul sends greetings to Junia whom he recognizes as an Apostle. But that’s not a good translation of the name. Uncomfortable with a female holding the highest preaching office in the church, the mostly male translators of the many Bibe versions translate the name as masculine Junias. Fortunately there are better traslations like the TNIV that recognizes the name of the apoostle Junias as female sometimes translated Julia. When men start imposing translations on the Bible that agree with their ideology, they are walkng on thin ice.

    We are all one in Christ according to Eph. 3:26-28

    In Philippians Paul acknowledges that Eudias and Syntyche as leaders and co founders of that church.

    Do we take a holistic view of the scriptures, reading in the context and culture in which it was written or do we read scripture with an anylitical approach tryig to prove our own opinions and points?

    Paul in 1Cor 9 explains his missional strategy. “To the Jew I became like a Jew, To the Greeks he became like the Greeks.” He had the flexability to engage anyone, in any culture, for the sake of the gospel. If Paul were living in our world today ministering to highly educated, post-idustrial society where men and woen are treted as equals in every area of life- where failing to treat men and women as equals would be as offensive as practicing racism or forcing eight year old children to work in coal mines- wouldn’t Paul apply that same missionarystategy? Would the same strategy require him to affirm women in leadership rather than restrict? It was he himself Paul that said, “In Christ there is no…male or female.”

    Thanks Kenny,

    I had forgotten the passage in Acts. Thanks for the reminder. I appreciate your thoughts very much.


  11. I would also like to interject that the word ‘headship’ is not in the Bible. In Eph. 5 and 1 Cor. 11 we are dealing strictly with the word ‘head’, and they both are the same greek word ~kephale~ in the sense of seizing; the head (as the part most readily taken hold of), lit. or fig.:-head. From what I can tell, the meaning in greek has been done away with and replaced by an English definition of the word (as to hear the word ‘head’ as an English speaker it would be natural for us to think, ‘boss’, ‘authority’, etc.) Since the word ‘headship’ was not in the greek I preceded to my English Dictionary. ~Headship~ the position of authority of a chief or leader; leadership; command. It seems to me, that by changing the word ‘head’ into ‘headship’ that we have superimposed a 21st century word/ meaning onto a 1st century greek word, that by defintion is not laden with male authority.

    A comment from anyone would be great.

    I didn’t say “headship” is in the Bible did I? What I said was, Again and again in Scripture the headship of men is affirmed, both by plain statements and by example.” And the two passage you mention both emphasize the authority of men. One who is the “head” has “headship”. I think you are making a mountain out of a mole hill with all due respect.

    If you will read the texts the authority of a husband over his wife, or men over women, is compared to Christ over the church. I was Adam who was held accountable and had to answer to God, not Eve and so it has been since that first couple. That word may not be laden with male authority but the verses in context are.


    • Thank you for your response. I hope that my posts do not sound antagonistic, as that is not my intention at all. This matter is very personal to me, as I have been called into ministry but was rejected by those who see gender as the determining factor for ‘who can do what’ for God. I appreciate your respone but, I have been in meetings where people that normally were calm and collected seem to lose thier ‘cool’ over this very issue (so actually this topic is a mountain and not a molehill). So, in my mind when we turn ‘head’ into ‘headship’ we have ever so subtly changed the whole point of the passage.

      Ephesians 5:23 tells us that the husband is the ‘head of’, not ‘head over’ his wife. We are dealing with a head/body metaphor. If God had wanted us to treat our marriages as a master/servant relationship he could have used the head/tail metaphor and then we all would have known exactly what God was saying. The fact that the word ‘authority’ itself is never used in these Ephesian passages is very important. Many have read authority INTO passages when what is being taught is: (Mutual Submission Eph. 5:21), (Self-sacrifice V. 25), (Love V. 28), (and Oneness V. 31.)

      As we don’t know each other, I will let you know that I do believe in wifely submission and have practiced it all my married christian life. But, as my husband and I began to study this topic (about 8 years ago) we found something surprising. Verse 21 states, “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.”……….how did we miss that all these years! One reason, is that mutual submission was never taught as the normal pattern of relationships among all christians. Verse 21 does not say ‘some to others’, it says, ‘one to another’, thats everyone. If we go back and study all the ‘one to another’ passages: forgive one another, pray for one another, love one another, be subject one to another, have fellowship one with another, etc. we will see that pattern of submission that should be present in all believers lives. Placing the marriage relationship outside the norm for all believers as it pertains to submission/submitting ‘one to another’ is not warranted by the context in Ephesians 5.

      The call for a husband to love his wife as Christ loves the Church and gave himself for her, has been equated with loving leadership or LOVE=LEAD. Many call this ‘sacrificial leadership’ or ‘servant leadership’. However, it is never explained how the consistant imposition of a husbands preferences over and sometimes against the will of his wife can be viewed as a sacrifice on his part?

      Again, I hope you do not take my posts as nit picking or trying to start a fight, as that is not what I am about.

      Paul said, wives should be submissive to thier husbands, ‘that the Gospel be not hindered”. What hinders the Gospel these days?

      God Bless
      Looking forward to your response

      As I said before, the text is clear. Women are to be to men what Christ is to the church. If you think of the ways Christ is Lord of the church, so is God’s ideal for husbands and wives. Christ does not force anyone to do anything. And, as you mentioned there is mutual submission. I remember Christ as a servant/leader washing the feet of the disciples.

      To say that husbands have no “authority” is to say Christ has no “authority” over the church. The test is does Mr. Husband exercise that authority in a Christlike way?

      I have known many women who have had blessed ministries and yet were, as you say you are, gladly submissive to their Godly husbands. The two realities can and ought to exist together.

      I pray that God will bless your ministry and your marriage.


      • Thank your for your kind response to my post Royce. But, what I really wanted was some sort of acknowlegement that the statements I made were true/scriptural. We agree that submission is mutual but disagree when it comes to the issue of authority. We all know that Christ is ‘Lord,’ who am I to disptute that? But, in the context of Ephesians 5 what Christ is to the church is not ‘lord’ but ‘Savior’. It is not his lordship that is appealed to as appropriate for husbands but his position as ‘Savior’. Now, we know that we can only take the ‘husband’ ‘Savior’ comparison so far, as my husband cannot save me nor can he sanctify me (as those are acts of divinity that only God himself can do.)

        And as touching the word ‘authority’, the only time that the word is used between the husband and the wife in scripture is in 1 Corinthians 7:4 “The wife hath not power (authority over) her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power (authority over) of his own body, but the wife.” We don’t think much of that statment in our day but it was quite revolutionary in Paul’s, as women had little control over anything including thier own bodies.

        I can see that we will never come to total agreement on what we have discussed and that is fine. As I feel that this is an issue that christians may legitimately disagree while still maintaining fellowship. Jesus always challenged people which in turn produced change in thier lives. I have always been teachable and willing to be corrected if I am wrong. But, my study on this topic (over 8 years) has uncovered more and gave me more clarity on this issue than i could have ever thought possible. I don’t struggle with what women can or cannot do, as only God can give spiritual gifts and what God gives no man can take away. Preaching to women that ” the God in heaven will hear your prayer” but that “your husband does not have to listen to a word you say (unless he wants to) is in no way a complimentary relationship. Teaching Equality before God (for men and women) but inequality before one another is very problematic.

        God Bless

        This statement is very clear. “22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.”

        What often is ignored is the following part of the chapter. “25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. 28In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30because we are members of his body. 31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.”

        However, I believe that even if a woman is married to a man who does not fit this description that she should still submit to him as unto the Lord. Just as the command to “honor your parents” is to be kept without regard to how good or bad they are so we must respect God’s order in the church and the family.

        This is only my views. I am only one old man and not infallible.


  12. Royce, I’ve long since registered my agreement with most of what you say here (Worship, Gifts and Women).

    Looking at New Testament scripture as exclusively or primarily law leads to all kinds of wrong conclusions. Can you imagine the Paul who argues so vehemently against law over Christ proposing that women should be silent because that’s what the Law says? Especially when it doesn’t?

    Miriam was not silent when she led Israel in worship after the Red Sea closed over the pursuing Egyptian army. Deborah was not silent when she led Israel under the palm tree later named for her. Abigail was not silent when she appealed to David’s better nature when his anger would have obliterated her foolish husband’s estate. Mary, Elizabeth and Anna were not silent when they each in turn praised God who would deliver His people. The woman at the well in Sychar was not silent when she told the people of her town that the Messiah might well have come to them. Mary of Magdala was not silent when she and the other women testified to the apostles that Jesus was risen.

    All of them lived under the law. They could not have done what God put in their hearts – and empowered them – to do … and remain silent.

    Wonderfully said!

    Thanks Keith,

  13. Let me include a few more things and conclude Royce, as I do not want to weary you. We have mainly dealt with Ephesians 5 and only touched on 1 Cor. 14:34-35 ( which I would have liked to discuss more, as I felt i made valid points, but that is ok.) We know that the chapter division, scripture division,chapter headings, and punctuation is an addition to our English Translation (which mine is KJV) by printers. While this has been helpful it has also caused some confusion. It means that men used thier discretion as where to stop a sentence or thought or to add words for clarity (as my KJV says in the reference section) etc. The King James is Known for translating the word “lead’ for ‘rule”. It might not sound important but it is. When a person is being lead he can make a choice to follow or not to follow. When a person is ruled, he has no choice. The goal of King James was to produce a translation that protected his kingly rights and expanded the role of simple leaders into rulers.

    But Jesus called them (disciples) to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted (considered rulers) to rule over the Gentiles excercise LORDSHIP OVER them; and thier great ones excercise AUTHORITY UPON them. But (Corrective) so shall it not be among you; but (corrective) whosoever will be (desires to be) great among you, shall be your minister (servant). And whosoever of you will be the chiefest (desires to be first) shall be servant of all. For even the Son of man came not to be ministered (served) unto, but to minister (serve) and to give his life a ransom for many. Mark 10: 42-45.

    What Jesus effectively done was turn leadership not rulership upside down. It is not about power or authority over it is about serving. So, to me when we bypass Ephesians 5:21 and start our teaching instead at verse 22 we have distorted the teaching on submission. Submission is not a *special* qualifier just for women as it has been taught but it is for everyone.

    I don’t think anyone would come to the conclusion because women are asked to ‘submit’ in Ephesian 5 that they are not also required to love?

    I don’t think anyone would come to the conclusion because men are asked specifcally to ‘love’ that they are not also required to submit?

    People have got to see that ‘love’ contains aspects of submission (as Christ GAVE Himself for the church). The passage is dealing with Christ Crucifixion, and death. Voluntary death still implies death to self right?

    In one of my comments before, How is the constant imposition of a husbands preferences over and sometimes against the will of his wife be veiwed as sacrifice on his part? ( I hope you or one of your fellow bloggers can answer this for me.)

    Anyway, thank you for allowing me the opportunity to discuss this with you on your blog.

    God Bless

    • I debated on whether to address this comment. If I am not the subject of the comment ‘legalists’ then please forgive me. The dictionary informs us that a legalist is a strict, often to strict and literal, adherence to law or to a code. And in the Theological realm teaches a salvation by good works. As a holiness woman that in NO WAY describes me. My goal by posting on this blog was to share what I have learned through my studies (over 8 years). My motives have been made suspect in the one sentence above and that is neither fair nor right. Just one more thought, “hammering someone in love and gentleness” is an oxymoron. My husband is a carpenter by trade and if he used his hammer to to show his love for me……….we might not be together!

      God Bless


      I seriously doubt that the person who used the word “legalists” had you in mind. He rather had in mind a broader context, what I have written over time. I recently posted an article that many so called “conservatives” (legalists) in our fellowship strongly disagreed with. He was not referencing you. There is not a hint of legalism in anything you have written, far from it.


  14. Great post and comments, Royce. I praise God I have found a congregation where women exercise their spiritual gifts to serve the body. It has changed my walk with Christ!

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