House Church Talk - speaking

David Miller David at
Thu May 13 11:47:02 EDT 2004

Claire wrote:
> It is one thing to listen to someone give a speech, 
> where everyone else is listening. It is quite another 
> to listen to men relate to one another, minister, have
> discussions, etc. and not be able to partiicpate.
> ... The purpose of going to a meeting is to interact.

Hi Claire.

I think you make some good points, and I might add that if a woman is
gifted, for example, with prayer or prophecy, and she is not allowed to
function in the assembly with these gifts, then the church is the one
who suffers loss.  If a woman in the assembly feels frustrated or
stifled, it is not necessarily because she is wanting to function and
the Lord does not want her to function.  It might be that the Lord wants
her to function but the men in the assembly will not allow her to do so.

The passages in 1 Cor. 14:34 and 1 Timothy 2:12 have context that
concerns authority.  The kind of teaching which involves the exercise of
authority is not at all the kind of teaching that takes place in most of
our assemblies that respect only feminized and non-aggressive
interaction.  The kind of interaction described in Scripture is one
whereby interrupting one another is respected, where rebukes and
corrections using Scripture is common place.  In such kinds of teaching
where authority is exercised, women should be silent. 

For some to interpret these passages to say that women should always be
silent in the assembly is like if I told the women here to be quiet,
then someone else interpreted me to mean that they should always be
quiet for the rest of their lives.  Not so.  My comment would surely
pertain to a specific situation and should be interpreted that way.

I can give an example from our home church where my wife was sharing on
the family blessing.  She learned some things about when putting the
children to bed, laying hands upon them and praying a blessing.  She had
been doing this for several months and had seen some good benefits from
it.  She wanted to share it with the body of Christ, and so she did.
Yes, she opened the Bible and read from Scripture, and she shared from
it how it pertained to this nightly practice that she developed.  Her
sharing this greatly blessed many there.  However, as she was finishing
up, a single man there began to speak up and challenge some of the
things she was saying.  I interacted with him, along with another man,
and my wife became silent.  The discussion became somewhat heated, and
it was proper for my wife to be silent at that point.  I was her head
and covering, and so I spoke instead of her.
I believe that it is situations like this, or situations of correction,
either of behavior or false doctrine, where men need to act as the head
and lay down what is right.  Women should be in submission to men.  That
is the emphasis, not that women should be silent wherever there are men.
Women being in submission to men means that there are situations of
teaching and prophetic interaction where the women should be silent, but
not that they should be silent all the time.

Peace be with you.
David Miller, Beverly Hills, Florida.

House Church Talk is sponsored by the House Church Network.

House Church Talk has been renamed. These discussions, via the web, now occur at the Radically Christian Cafe.