Have you ever wondered how women can sing in the church but are prohibited from speaking? Some actually believe that the bible contradicted itself and thus is not to be believed when it silenced women from speaking in the assembly. Let us take a closer look at what the bible actually said concerning women’s silence in the assembly.
Paul commanded all women from speaking in the assembly in 1 Corinthians chapter 14. Let us read that text carefully for it was the commandment of Jesus Christ who gave this prohibition (v37). “For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints. Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says. And if they want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is shameful for women to speak in church” (1 Cor 14:33-35).
Since singing is speaking, can women sing in the assembly as men do? Yes they can! Why? Because all Christians were commanded to sing in the assembly (Eph 5:19 f; Col 3:16). If women can sing in the assembly, can they teach bible classes? Some contend that women can teach other women or children under a certain age but cannot teach men. However, this is where man has added to the scripture. No where did Christ or his apostles command women to teach the Word of God to other women or children in the assembly. Secondly, there is no biblical example of any Christian woman ever doing such a thing. Thirdly, Christian men are more than capable of teaching women and children as he does other men and thus was commanded to do so (1 Tim 2:2 f; 2 Tim 4:2-5).
Often preachers and elders mislead their congregation into believing that 1 Timothy 2 11-15 applied to the assembly and the assembly only. This however is not true. Let us read these verses carefully. “Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. Nevertheless she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control” (1 Tim 2:11-15).
First of all, Paul addressed this directly to Timothy and not the church. Secondly, he no where mentioned the church as concerning this matter. Though it could easily apply to the church, it readily applies to everyday matters. Why? Because woman was also under the authority of her husband in the home as well as elders in the assembly. Thirdly, a woman’s duties had nothing to do with the assembly. Notice, a woman shall be saved in childbearing and not by teaching or preaching or leading the church or family.
Can a woman ask questions in a bible study? If we are to believe the commandment of Jesus Christ, absolutely not. If she has questions they are to be asked at home. If she be married, let her ask her husband. Point being, she is not to interrupt the assembly with questions.
Can a woman lead prayer, lead singing, preach or teach God’s Word if no men assembled? The church is comprised of both Christian men and Christian women. For a gathering to be called the church it must have men to conduct the services. Before a church can have elders or deacons it must have women bearing and rearing faithful children. Therefore, the answer is no, women cannot do these acts of worship where God prohibited, any more than a church can have single men as elders or married men with no children as elders. This planet cannot exist with just women or just with men, it takes both. Even though man is the head of the woman in and out of the church, it takes Christian men and Christian women to make up the home and the church. Therefore, if there be only Christian women in a certain place, they need to find a church with the same like faith of Christian men and Christian women and assemble with them.
I know of many churches who have tried to contradict the commandments of Jesus Christ by this “what if” or this “circumstance”, yet the bible cannot contradict itself (2 Cor 1:18). Yes, let God’s Word be true and every man a liar and you shall be justified in your words and overcome when you are judged Rom 3:4).