I Cor. 14:34

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.


I would like to comment on women making seconds and motions in business meetings.  I do realize everybody’s background is different, and would like to give my views on the subject.  At the very beginning of my comments, I want to say that I do not say any of this in a hateful way, or with the intentions of hurting anybody.  It is just that what transpired in the business meeting seems contrary to Scripture, and I believe the dear brother honestly does not want to do anything against Scripture.

The deacon claiming historical precedence is like a man saying, “We have always done it that way, therefore it must be right.”  This is not proper, because we could have been doing it wrong for many years, yet not realize it.  The Scripture is the proper answer, as we will all be judged by God’s Word.  All of man’s traditions will fall before the Word of God.  Each one of us must be very careful not to follow tradition.

As far as other pastors not seeing a problem, that does not make any difference either.  The pastors who “historically do not remember in their ministries when it was not allowed for any member, male or female to make a motion or second in business conference” are also claiming historical precedence.  In the final analysis, it really does not make any difference whether any of us knows anything historically.  God’s Word is still the final judge.

Again, I do realize that my comments could be received as arguing.  They are not given in that spirit, and I trust will not be received in that spirit.

The subject of this verse is not whether a woman can preach or be an associate pastor.  The subject of this verse is spiritual gifts.  The subject begins in I Cor. 12:1 and continues all the way through chapter 14:40.  The meaning is: even though a woman can, and does, have spiritual gifts, she is commanded to be silent in the churches.

Women are to be silent during church meetings because to do so is to obey another law of God, that of the wife being in subjection to the husband  “…as also saith the law.” (I Cor. 14:34) Genesis 3:16 states, “…thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.”  When God makes a law, He intends for that law to be carried out, and never makes another law that contradicts the first law.  If there are contradictions, they are in our minds, not in the mind of God, or in the law of God.

I do not believe that all speaking in church meetings is prohibited.  Any speaking that carries with it a desire to direct the church, instruct other adult members of the church, to effect the government of the church, or shows authority over the male is prohibited.  A woman is allowed to sing, even sing specials, and teach children, as stated in I Tim. 2:11,12, but is never suffered to usurp authority over the man.  She is to learn in silence, with all subjection.  This is what the Bible states.

I Corinthians 14:35 continues this thought, stating that if a woman would learn anything, let her ask her own husband at home.  If a woman is not allowed to ask a question during church services, but is commanded to ask her husband at home, this means that she should not make a motion during a business meeting, which is a church service.  If it is a shame for a woman to ask a question during a church service, it is also a shame for her to make a motion or second during a business conference, which is a church service.

Another thought is that women, like men, must run their race lawfully in order to be crowned.  The Bible tells of Deborah, who was a judge of Israel, and evidently a very good one.  The Bible also speaks of Barak, another judge of Israel, but a poor one.  Barak refused to obey the commands of God in liberating Israel unless Deborah went with him.  Deborah told Barak that she would go, but that it would not be for his glory, Judges 4:9.  Both of them were leaders in the liberation of Israel, yet Heb. 11:32 does not list Deborah among the faithful!  To our great astonishment, Barak’s name is listed.  We might think that God has it wrong, but this is not possible.  God rightly and justly listed Barak as among the faithful, but did not list Deborah.

The problem with Barak and Deborah is that Barak put Deborah between a rock and a hard place.  He is the one at fault.  He makes her wrong by forcing her to lead Israel against the Canaanites, yet she is also wrong to sit idly by and let the Word of the Lord fall to the ground.  Many women today are put into similar situations by their husbands and other men.  It is wrong for them not to work in the church, and do what they need to do, yet many husbands will not help their wives, nor do they understand the situation of their wives.  In the situation mentioned in your e-mail, it would have been much better for that woman’s husband to make the motion.  Why didn’t the husband make the motion?  If he says that part of the business of the church is concerning the women, doesn’t he care about his wife, and their extra work during meetings like you mentioned?  It would really help the women if the husband had made the motion, publicly showing that he does understand the extra work of the women during special meetings.  If the woman is unmarried, any man in the church, even the pastor, could have initiated the discussion and made the motion.

While you have your Bible open to Heb. 11:32, also notice that Samson is included among the faithful!  This seems most extraordinary, because Samson broke every command God gave him.  We also know that Samson repented, and the end of his life showed the glory and strength of God.  God declared that Samson had run a good race.

Back to our subject.  Following the clear command of God for women to be silent in church services fortifies, or builds up, the family.  This is God’s intention, and it should be ours.  Strong families make for strong churches, and strong churches have strong families.  Nothing should be done that will lessen the husband’s responsibility in the home or the family.  He is to be the head of the wife and the head of the home, Eph. 5:23.  He is to be spiritual leader in the home, and in the church.  This is God’s plan.  If the husband is not right, then he must be worked with so he will be right.  It is very important not to lose sight of the main objective of the church.  Matt. 28:18-20 declares the main objective of the church is to win the lost, baptize the saved, and then to teach all the members of the church “…to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you…”  It is very important that the husband not be bypassed, that he be taught to observe all the commands of God, and that the family be strengthened.

Many will erroneously declare that if a woman keeps silence in church services, there is nothing for them to do.  This is false.  The women in our church are not allowed to speak in church services, yet they are extremely beneficial to the church.  The women almost always have some sort of project going among themselves, with the approval of the church.  Their efforts at evangelism in the community have been very advantageous to the church.  Their aid to missionaries and their families is very good.  We have a Christian School in our church, which is run almost exclusively by the ladies of the church.  They do an excellent job helping the children understand what they need to understand to grow up into productive citizens of this country, and faithful citizens of God’s kingdom.

Again, I trust none of my remarks have been taken in a wrong spirit.  They have not been given to hurt, but to help.


                              Because of Christ,

                                    Bro. Wayne