House Church Talk - women relieved from active duty

Scott Dowlen scottdowlen at
Sat May 1 15:32:18 EDT 2004

Hi David.  I, too, have been reading the conversation with respect for both
camps who have presented their views with good hearts seeking to get at the

If I may share a few observations I have made that I feel comfortable
standing on...

1) Which women did Paul seem to forbid to speak? Married women who lacked
learning or understanding.
2) What were the circumstances in which they were to be silent (save their
questions for later)? In a meeting where the words of God were coming
through many prophets, teachers, tongue-speakers in a seemingly rapid-fire
3) What was the purpose for these unlearned wives to stay silent? To
preserve order in the meeting.

My present opinion is that women would be included among the prophets,
teachers, singers listed among the folks in 1 Cor 14. The only women who
should bite their tongues were those who had husbands who could answer their
questions and 'fill in the gaps' later. I don't have a sufficient
explanation of what the unlearned men and unmarried women were to do, except
that maybe that's where older men teaching younger men and older women
teaching younger women might come into play.

I like the idea of perhaps this context referring to a city-wide meeting,
but I've not looked at it enough to feel confident in that view. My
understanding of how house meetings and larger meetings ought to go is still
clouded by too much IC tradition for me to have a quick feel for which kind
of meeting this passage is about. I certainly can't accept that God would
put women into a position of never being able to voice questions, share
opinions and testimonies, and especially can't see how God could grant
outwardly manifested speaking gifts (teaching, prophecy, etc) and then not
allow them to exercise those gifts.

I can't say I've shed any new light on the subject, but I have appreciated
the discussion I've heard from others in the group. I liked what someone
said about people of differing views meeting together and still being part
of one body. That is what I am experiencing for the first time in the homes
where our group meets. We are united not by history, practice, tradition, or
opinion - we are united by the blood of our Savior, and united in love to
Him and each other.  How cool is that?  \o/

Scott D

> -----Original Message-----
> From: House Church Talk -bounces at
> [mailto:House Church Talk -bounces at]On Behalf Of David Anderson
> Sent: Saturday, 01 May, 2004 11:46 AM
> To: House Church Talk  at
> Subject: House Church Talk -  women relieved from active duty
>     Hi readers and writers,
> Spring is overwhelming us. I am taking about a week or two
> off from email
> and the internet. Sorry if I have not gotten to yours. We are having
> graduations to attend, home-schooling to wrap up, vegetables
> to plant,
> things to clean, things to dump, company to entertain, cars
> to repair,
> tennis balls to hit, etc.
> Congratulations, I say, and thanks to those who participated in the
> women's silence debate in a respectful and informative
> manner. Over the
> years I have seen a number of these conversations turn ugly.
> Continue to
> be open-minded about the matter regardless of where you stand. If you
> feel you have compelling evidence of any kind, please bring
> it forward. I
> think that all of us are aware that the arguments on both
> sides are not
> silly ones.
> The stakes are high, dear friend. If women are to be silenced
> in terms of
> prophesy, teaching, and evangelism, God's army has been effectively
> reduced by more than half on those fronts. And, if only homeschoolers
> and/or their dads are permitted into leadership roles, then,
> all but a
> microscopic number of "leaders" are left standing.
> I hope the church can figure this one out as time goes on. If
> it is the
> Spirit who ultimately illuminates, let us appeal to Him and
> be patient
> with one another!
> Jonathan Lindvall, feel free to clarify your position in the
> course of
> time. I can certainly vouch for your excellent character, by the way.
> Z F, a man who has made dozens of trips to China, explained
> to me that
> young women were the most effective evangelists in that vast
> land. The
> Communists did not want to hurt their image by arresting them.
>     David Anderson
>     --- Info and subscription management at ---

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