Faye, a Christian in the year 2013, send greetings to the Apostle Paul current resident with all those gone before in service to the Lord Jesus Christ and live with Him already in Heaven. So much I have to write to you!
“A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.” I Timothy 2:11-15 (Emphasis mine.)
Eve was deceived by Satan. I wonder, as I have for many years, why man seems to skip over a few words in Genesis 3:6-7 that cannot be left out as insignificant. This scripture is as follows (emphasis mine): “When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were both naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.”
Adam was with Eve, either when she was deceived or shortly thereafter. The Scriptures don’t say she went looking for him, the Scripture says he “…was with her…” and she gave some to Adam and he ate it. The scripture then says “Then the eyes of both of them were opened,”
They sinned together. How can you then say Eve alone was the sinner? So was Adam. He knew what God had said as well as Eve. God punished them both. Eve by greatly increasing her pain during childbirth and by making Adam her ruler. Adam by cursing the ground so that producing crops to feed himself, Eve and their children would be back-breaking labor.
I find it interesting that you also say in 1 Timothy 2:15, “But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.” My question to you is then, how long before woman is no longer cursed? And what is it that woman is saved from by childbearing? Christ Jesus is the Savior of all, all being all, man, woman, child of any color, race, religious background or physical appearance. All. Everyone.
The sweetest reality of grace given to us by our Abba Father and taught in the New Testament is that it is mercy undeserved. The most amazing thing about the forgiveness of God for our sins is that they STAY FORGIVEN. We don’t have to be forgiven for the same sin over and over (although we may have to be forgiven for other acts of the same sin over and over). Once God gives His forgiveness it is forgiven. We may bear the consequences of it, but we’re forgiven nonetheless.
Adam and Eve’s sins forever changed the relationship of humanity to God. We’ve bore the consequences of that sin for so many years it can’t be pinpointed exactly. And if you ask me, though no one does, women have paid not only in the means intended by God but our societies and cultures have used that punishment to continue to punish women for simply being female. God punished Eve and her punishment continues for every woman in history and beyond yet some seem to have determined in his authority of woman to continue to renew that punishment.
You yourself say in Galatians 3:26-29, “You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”
Interesting is it not, that it takes both a man and a woman for Abraham to have heirs and yet that is then used as an iron shackle to prevent women from speaking in church, and from doing other things? To one church you expound that in Christ Jesus we all find salvation and He sees us not as “…Jew or Greek, slave nor free, male nor female…” and to others you are saying women must learn in silence and ask questions only at home. You instruct that the order of authority in the home is God rules the man, man rules the woman and children.
And when the husband is wrong? When he hears with tainted ears what you don’t intend to be heard? What if because of the repetition of this theme of women being silent and learning in submission or not “qualifying” to be a pastor or a deacon because they cannot be the husband of one wife or rule their household that man believes you are telling them women are inferior? That women don’t need “education”? That women are good for childbearing and that is it? That submission is the duty of a woman and she is not to question her husband’s ruling?
Yes you also say that man’s ruler is Christ and that man should love his wife as Christ loves the church but that does not alter one bit your stance on women in leadership in church. And it has been misconstrued through the centuries. Women were denied the right too many things, much like the Law of the Israelites denied them. Women could not own property. Women were so ruled by their fathers, brothers and then their husbands that for one to strike her for not performing her duties was considered okay. Women were deemed inferior in all ways and were treated that way for centuries. Women won their freedom from inferiority eventually in most cultures today but there are still some that treat their women as possessions, not as human beings. Women have paid and continue to pay for the consequences of their own sins and the sins of the men in their lives and your words are used to justify that.
I also have to admit that women today, in America and other countries where the evolution of time has passed, women are treated with much more respect and equality than the ones who came before us.
At least it is illegal in this country for a man to abuse his wife and children. Women can be employed outside the home and be successful in many of the same jobs as men. We can vote. Some denominations of Christianity allow women to be led by God and fulfill the roles in churches God has set aside for them. Simply that I will be able in an hour to tap a few buttons and publish this into a virtual world for whoever to read as they will proves that women today are no longer the complete unequal’s of men in the majority of areas of life in America.
And yet, sadly, this has also brought upon us its own issues and difficulties. For women too are human and our pride and vanity can be appealed to and we are not incapable of making wrong decisions ourselves. Not incapable of sinning and that sins consequences, like Eve’s for us, to seep into generations to come.
Yet, I don’t think that’s what you meant to have happen nor is any of this your fault, only your bias and the culture in which you were alive offered a perspective that has been used to the advantage of those in power. How?
In 1 Corinthians 14:34 you wrote women should learn in submission as the Law says; yet in Galatians 3:23 you tell the Galatians, and now us, that we are no longer prisoners of the Law. You also say clearly that, “…I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.” (I Timothy 2:11) Not God does not permit but you do not permit. Clearly you knew the Law jot and tittle. Fact is that you had been married and apparently were no more either by being widowed or divorce and you had a clear dislike for the female gender as a whole. Whether because you were emotionally wounded by the desertion of women in your life or by their deaths, you were unable to look at the female gender as you did the individuals females in your life. The question then becomes how we should take your instructions to apply in the 21st century?
Remaining steadfast in the storm,