The Role of Women During a Church Service

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I have friends who are Plymouth Brethren, and they will not allow a woman to ask questions in a Bible study based upon one of the passages below. Although I do not quite interpret things the same way they do, I respect them because they are trying to let the Bible, not the culture, dictate their beliefs.

This is a very big issue. Let me bring two passages up that are good starting points. Although we all agree that all of us have an equal status before Christ, we know that structure in the church is a different matter. For example, and overseer has to be the husband of one wife and exemplify the characteristics listed in I Tim. 3:1-5. Those believers who do not meet the criteria are equal in Christ with those who do, but only one group can become elders.

The issue is not ability. We have all heard great women speakers and awful men speakers. The issue, as I see it, is what is the original intent of the Scriptures. That can be admittedly hard to flesh out in our times and in our culture, so it gets thorny.

Here are the two passages I mentioned.

I Corinthians 14:33-35:

For God is not a God of confusion but of peace. 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.

I Timothy 2:11-15

Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.

What is your understanding of women being silent in the church and related passages?

Women cannot say anything at all, except for congregational singing.
14% (1 vote)
Women can make announcements and no more.
0% (0 votes)
Women can make announcements, pray, and/or lead singing.
0% (0 votes)
Women can do the above and share a testimony or a devotional thought.
14% (1 vote)
Women can do the above (or most of the above) and share their ministry or opportunity.
57% (4 votes)
Women can do the above and preach but not be an elder.
0% (0 votes)
Women can be an elder but not preach.
0% (0 votes)
Women can be a pastor over the church, including men.
14% (1 vote)
0% (0 votes)
Total votes: 7