1 Corinthians 11 tells us a woman can pray and prophesy. Surely this means she can speak in church. I once met a woman that asked me why I felt it was okay to speak openly during our church services. I was taken aback. I did not know why it bothered her since the pastor had asked me to share things. Our pastor used to let people raise their hands or speak up to give testimonies and praise reports. As a matter of fact our pastor encouraged me to take notes during the sermon and to share whatever I felt led to share with everyone at times.
I felt shut down when the woman pointed out the passage in another place in the Bible that says women should be silent in church. I knew I had heard a pastor explain that some people were not fully understanding what was meant in that passage. I was not prepared to know how to explain it to that woman. She was cold-hearted and her goal seemed to be to shut me up. Isn’t that exactly what the devil wants? The devil doesn’t want people who love the Lord to keep on talking about the Lord. The enemy does not want us to overcome him by giving our testimonies. Was that woman jealous because the pastor asked me to take notes and he encouraged me to share testimonies like several other people at the church were doing? I don’t know. I just know that the devil used that woman’s words to shut me up for a time.
I sort of ran away from the situation. She made me feel uncomfortable so I looked for another church to attend. She was one of two women that had done something that made me feel uncomfortable so I chose to move on.
I should have probably talked to the pastor about the problem but I did not want to gossip. UGH!! How many times do we stop talking about a problem for fear we are going to be a gossip? It’s not a sin to discuss a problem you need help with. I did not want to walk in sin. I struggled with knowing how to get help with my problem without mentioning exactly how badly I felt when that woman confronted me in that way. I now believe it was her way of manipulating a situation to make me very uncomfortable. I didn’t want to upset the woman who apparently thought it was wrong that women were joining the men by giving testimonies and praise reports when the pastor made a request for people to do that. How was it that she couldn’t understand that the pastor had encouraged men and women to participate during the church services? Was she really so backwards in her thinking that she thought it was sinful for a woman to talk at church?
The matter was too big for me. I did not know the answers.
I still don’t know all the answers to every problem encountered in a church.
I have now learned by reading I Corinthians 11 that it is implied that women can speak by praying and prophesying in a church. I have always believed that a woman can speak at church if the leader at the church gives her permission to do that. It’s called submitting to the one who is in authority.
Most of our churches today allow women to be involved in the church services. Women are allowed to take part in and enjoy fellowship.
1 Corinthians 11 (KJV)
Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.
But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.
Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head.
But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.
For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man.Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God.
Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered?
Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?
But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.
But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.
Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse.
For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.
For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.
When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord’s supper.
For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken.
What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not.
For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:
And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.
Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.
For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.
For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.
For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.
But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.
Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another.
And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come. //
My friend gave me a wonderful set of words to ponder on after she read the words on this weblink.
If she gives me permission I will be posting her exact quote here.
I am sure I can share the reminder she gave to me about how the Lord appeared to Mary after he rose up from the dead. Jesus is the one that told Mary to go tell the disciples about his resurrection. Janet pointed out that our Lord picked a woman to be the first evangelist. How awesome is that?
She also told me what I should have done decades ago when that woman in a church did what she could to shut me up. I’m thankful that God uses everything to work together for good. That old experience proves to me that we need people who are grounded in the Word of God to encourage us. God’s people need to study his Word. They should be prepared to rightly divide God’s Word rather than pull passages out of context to try to destroy other people.
I was not knowledgeable how about how to address the problem back then. I am not sure how I would handle similar circumstances today.
Several Christian friends of mine were concerned when I left the church. I was so concerned about staying away from gossip that I just left without fully explaining the problems I encountered. I’m sure this happens to people some times. They don’t want the extra problems that come forth when people get their feathers ruffled. They don’t want to be in a place where someone makes them feel as though they are not welcome.
The odd thing about that past situation was the woman that spoke up to me in an ugly way was a woman that rarely attended the church but she had married an elder at the church. Her husband had gone to the church for years. Maybe she was using her manipulation to try to make that church into the type of church she wanted to attend regularly. Manipulation is a form of control. The devil loves to find people that want to take control of other people. I tend to walk away from people who manipulate other people. I understand that manipulating people are being controlled by the devil. They may not know the devil is using them. They act like pharisees of old.
Thank-you, Janet. Here is a copy paste of what she wrote in response to this writing:
“Elizabeth, over the years, I’ve learned there is no sexual difference in the Spirit. The women referred to about not talking in church was not about teaching, preaching or testifying but causing a commotion and interrupting the service and flow of the Spirit. I envision it as untrained children talking, whispering, laughing, etc. If God didn’t want females in active ministry to the saints, why did Jesus rise from the dead on the 3rd day, meet with Mary and send her to go tell His disciples of His Resurrection? Our Lord chose a female as His first evangelist! You should have just spoken the truth to that woman and let her know you were submitting to your Pastor. That would have shut the mouth of the roaring lion! Love you! ❤ I wonder how many others she has confronted and stopped or postponed the testimony of our Lord Jesus?”