|Posted by Susan McGeown on 30 December, 2009 at 17:55|
The Apostle Paul and Women (My Opinion)
Paul’s primary goal was to spread the truth of Jesus Christ and to fulfill Jesus’ Great Commission: Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)
Given Paul’s passion for the truth and commitment to Christ’s Great Commission it is unthinkable that he would alter or contradict anything that Jesus espoused. Jesus was shockingly progressive in numerous areas regarding personal faith, the Gentiles, the Jewish Spiritual Elite, cultural mores, and women
Ephesus and Corinth churches shared numerous similarities: they were vibrantly enthusiastic, brand new, and eager to learn and grow. They reveled in the freedom that Christianity offered: freedom from past mistakes through permanent forgiveness, freedom to hope and dream through the promise of eternal life, freedom to learn and grow through Jesus’ patient teaching with simplistic parables, and freedom to reinvent themselves through new birth.
Ephesus and Corinth churches also struggled with significant problems: false teachers, an uneducated congregation, a powerful heathen culture, the absence of strong, confident leadership, and a general, all-encompassing confusion over basic Christian principals. The problems these churches faced threatened their very survival and had the potential of creating soul-destroying misconceptions and falsehoods. It was, literally, a matter of spiritual life and death.
Paul needed to speak plainly and act decisively to each of the churches he accepted responsibility for. Never one to mince words or be hesitant with his actions, Paul was ideally suited to deal with the numerous Christian churches springing up all over the known world as a result of his ministry. Each church had its strengths and its weaknesses and Paul wrote specifically about each.
The only consistent message Paul writes about in all his letters is the truth of Jesus’ sovereignty and the only possible way for a person to secure eternal life. Yet, Paul had personal relationships with all of his churches and his letters reflect this as he sends personal greetings, answers specifically asked questions, and addresses particular problems and concerns.
The women of the Ephesus and Corinth churches needed to be quiet. NOT because they were female but obviously because they were uneducated, disruptive and incorrect with what they were saying. Jesus did the same thing to people He knew were speaking falsehoods; He told them to shut up.
Paul had no agenda other than Christ’s. He would never have altered Jesus’ message or excluded people that Jesus originally embraced and called. He was as forward thinking and progressive as his Lord. He never would have arbitrarily handicapped half of human race from God’s Army on earth forever simply because of a personal prejudice or cultural mores. He would, however, fight passionately against any situation that furthered Satan’s agenda rather than God’s. He would not have suffered fools and would have been impatient and indignant with those who exhibited foolish behavior.
The message we must take from Paul’s letters to the Ephesians and the Corinthians is that those who are not educated and those who are unknowledgeable in spiritual issues should remain quiet during worship times, should never be in positions of authority, and should never teach. Those who are confused and curious about spiritual issues should not disturb the body of believers during worship and learning times with endless questions but instead ask questions of those who are educated at more appropriate times.
It was never a male/female issue. It was always an educated/uneducated issue. Paul never addressed the male/female issue with the Thessalonians, the Philippians, the Colossians, the Galatians, or the Romans. Nor did he speak to Philemon about it. He spoke endlessly to all churches about the truth of Christ, the mission of Christ, and our responsibilities as believers. He didn’t care if we were male or female, he only wanted us to be right with what we taught others.
Philippians1:20-21 I earnestly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my life. For me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
2 Timothy3:16-17 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong inour lives. It straightens us out and teaches us to do what is right. It is God's way of preparing us in every way, fully equipped for every good thing God wants us to do.