Monday, April 2, 2007

In this section, Paul gives specific attention to the role of women in the public worship service, that is, the corporate assembly of believers (cf 1 Tim 3:14-15).

Here is what Paul says:

1 Timothy 2:9-10 9 Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments; 10 but rather by means of good works, as befits women making a claim to godliness.

In the same way that men are to lead in prayer in the public worship setting, so also (likewise), the women are to adorn themselves (Gk. "cosmeo" from which we get our English "cosmetic") with all of these traits.

Notice, the point is not that these are inherently wrong in and of themselves, but rather these can be abused with the wrong motivation when gathering together for public worship. In other words, if a woman comes to the public setting of worship NOT exercising:

1) Modesty - this is the idea of preceding and preventing a shameful act. Thus it is objective in its reference to others, not giving any hint at all to shame.

2) Discreetly - this is the idea of self-control, sober judgment. It is the same word used a few verses later in 1 Tim 3:2 when the elder is to be "prudent." It is the same idea.

3) Not seeking to flatter with outward appearance - braided hair, gold, pearls, or costly garments. Interesting note, the word costly here actually means "rare." Thus, the woman is not to come to the public service with some rare, expensive garment with the motivation of drawing attention to herself by means of "her clothing." The word "rare" (Gk. poluteleis) is also found in 1 Pet 3:4 when Peter writes concerning women:

1 Peter 3:4 4 but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious (Gk. poluteleis) in the sight of God.

The second part of the section today speaks of women's leadership in the local church. Listen to what Paul writes:

1 Timothy 2:11-12 11 Let a woman quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness. 12 But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet.

2 simple unmistakably clear statements:

1) A woman is to be quiet and submissive in the public setting.
2) A woman is NOT to teach or have authority over a man in the public setting.

2 simple proofs as to why men are to have leadership in the local church:

1) The Created Order - v.13 - for Adam was created first and then Eve.
2) The Fall - v.14 - It was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman was.

Thus, the Scripture is overwhelmingly clear. A woman is not to teach or exercise authority in the public gathering of believers (cf. 3:14-15). That is Paul's point. It is clear. This is not saying that women are inferior or unimportant to the local body of believers. In fact, in 1 Cor 12-14, it is just the opposite. So, we find that Men are to step up to the plate!

1 Corinthians 16:13 13 Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.

3 comments:

Fawn said...

Where do we draw the line and say women can no longer have authority over boys/man? Junior High? High School? At the age of 18? Younger?

the girl next door ;-) said...

So ladies, when it comes to church attendance, let's heed the instruction in Paul's letter:

1) Leave the "bling-bling" at home
2) Cover up your body (i.e. no cleavage, thighs, bare sholders, or other "distracting body parts" on display in the house of worship)
3) Focus on the rare & precious inward beauty of a quiet and gentle spirit instead of focusing on the passing outward appearence of your "threads"

Let us serve our brothers in Christ by:

1) Allowing them to worship in an environment free from any sexual/physical distraction (their focus should be on God, not YOU)
2) Allowing them to serve to their fullest capacity in the areas that God has called them to serve, namely church leadership
3)Serving to our fullest capacity in the designated areas that God has ordained for us to serve

Geoffrey R. Kirkland said...

Fawn,

I don't think there is chapter and verse as to where we "draw the line" when "boys become men." It varies from church to church.

Some think Jr. High is the cutoff mark; others think Sr. High is the cutoff mark. Whatever conclusion one comes to, I think it is better to be on the safe side. Though in the time of the NT writings, a boy became a man at his bar-mitzvah - which was at the 13th birthday of the boy. Does this clarify and give us every answer we need? No, but it may help identify in that time when a boy became a man.

Hope that helps!

Geoffster

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