“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.  And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church” (1 Corinthians 14:34-35).

I love the song, “Where he Spirit of the Lord is, there is FREEDOM.” This song is taken from 2 Corinthians 3:17, which says, “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”

I cannot picture a congregation singing this beautiful song about freedom and then to not permit the women to speak. What kind of freedom is this? You might say to me, “I can see how you would think this in today’s culture, Joy, but this was a different culture back then. Women were oppressed at that time in history.”

This is true. However, the Apostle Paul was the author of theverse about liberty as well as the verses not permitting women to speak in church. I don’t believe the Apostle Paul to be the chauvinistic male that he appears to be. For example, Paul worked closely with women doing the work of the gospel. In Philippians 4:3, Paul wrote, “And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life.”  In that day, for women to work alongside the Apostle Paul is the very opposite of oppression.

I am not a women’s libber. I believe in godly order in the home according to 1 Corinthians 11:3 and Ephesians 5:21-33. I believe the husband is to be the head of the home and to lead his family in love. At the same time, I do not believe that the gospel of Jesus Christ is oppressive to women.

One morning, I was looking at these verses, trying to figure out what I was missing. I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ is not oppressive to women, and yet I did not see how these verses could be anything but oppressive. I was thinking about this when my daughter, Kayleen, dropped by.

I told her that I was missing something regarding understanding these verses. Kayleen told me that her pastor had just preached on these verses the day before. What she explained to me made perfect sense.

The Apostle Paul was quoting a law from back at that time that muzzled the women from speaking in church. The original manuscripts to our Bible did not come with quotation marks or any other kind of punctuation. hHhThere were no”The Apostle Paul says “as also saith the law,” when quoting the law.

This quotation was not from the Mosaic law but a church government law from that time period. There is no law in the Old Testament that forbids women to speak.

After quoting this law, the Apostle Paul asked, “WHAT?” He could have asked, “WHAT IN THE WORLD ARE YOU SAYING?” He could have asked, “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?” He refuted the whole idea of women not being permitted to speak in church. This is why he then asked the men (who I am sure were the ones who made the law), “Came the Word of God out from you? Or came it unto you only?” (1 Corinthians 14:36). In other words, “Did the Word of God originate from you, or did it come to you ONLY?” The answer is obvious. Since the Word of God did not originate from the mouth of a male, and did not come to the male ONLY (but to the female also), then the men should not have a patent on speaking the Word of God.

Quoting something and then refuting what was quoted fits the style of the Apostle Paul. For example, in Romans 8:36, he quotes “…we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” In the next verse, he says “NAY!” He expressed strong disagreement with the quote. Nay is like saying “NO WAY!” He refuted the idea that we are like sheep headed to the slaughter and then went on to say that in all these things we are more than conquerors. See Romans 8:37.

I have heard stories of legalism in churches causing women to have physical and mental diseases. I believe this! Whatever your situation might be, friend, I want to assure you that the gospel of Jesus Christ is not oppressive to women!

Abba Father: I receive the liberty that comes from Your Spirit that lives within me.



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