House Church Talk - speaking

jesusislord343 at jesusislord343 at
Thu May 13 10:49:49 EDT 2004

Thank you, Claire, for sharing your perspective of feeling very much left
out of the meetings if you cannot use your gifts and verbally participate
as the brothers do.  I can certainly empathize with you here.  If I may,
I'd like to take a moment to interact with your comments from your
letter.  Please know that my heart is right with you, even if we may see
things very differently at the present time.  :-)

You wrote:
> For a woman, it would be no different for a woman to sit in an IC and
listen to one man talk, than to sit in an hc and listen to many men talk.

Sister Claire, while I can certainly see your point in saying this, I do
think there is a significant difference which exists between the two.  It
is the all-important difference between an assembly time in which a body
is purposed to come together to see the Lord Jesus in all of His power
lead all that goes on--and a self-willed, pre-planned performance, in an
IC program.  Spirit-led meetings are spontaneous, dependent fully upon
the Lord to bring about what goes on throughout, yet all according to the
order and structure of the word of God.  

Really, I think that if you were to become convinced from the word of God
that it is His perfect will for you to "learn in quietness in full
submission" (I Tim. 2:11), and had other encouraging sisters who joyfully
did the same with you, you would have an entirely different attitude
toward these things.

> So, for the woman, she reaps none of the benefits of the hc, which,
number one for me is relational Christianity.  

On this last point I say, Amen!  From the word of God we see that in a
healthy assembly, there will be a foundation of plentiful interaction
continually among the sisters, so that your longings for loving
relational interaction will be well satisfied without the need for you to
lead out in the assembly times, as is the Lord's design for the men
specifically (I Tim. 2:8-12).

> IC's women are allowed to participate in bible studies and small
groups.  I think it is far worse.  

The question is not one of what any human authority will "allow," but our
Lord Jesus.  We observe from the word of God that ALL speaking is to be
only upon His permission (I Pet. 4:11):
" is not *permitted* to them to speak" (v. 34)
"I do not *permit* a woman to teach or have a man's authority" (I Tim.

> 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.

In any Spirit-led assembly time, as all listen for the Lord and wait upon
Him to lead among them, it is only one person at a time who will be
speaking.  But this does not mean at all that a person is not
*participating* if they do not happen to speak.  Rather, the place of all
(both men and women) is to pray continually for the Holy Spirit to work
His incomparable edification of the saints present.  There need not be a
self-consciousness of who is speaking and who is not, as if that were the
only important thing being done.  The work of the assembly is "that all
may learn and all may be encouraged" (I Cor. 14:31).  Thus if the Lord
sees fit in His sovereignty to use men in doing so, who are we--as the
Lord's servants--to answer back?

> Someone suggested that a silent woman could benefit from learning from
the ministry of the men.  If I want to learn passively, I can read a
book, listen to a teaching on the internet, etc.  The purpose of going to
a meeting is to interact.

Yet what we see in the word of God plainly is that not all interaction is
permitted by our all-wise Lord Jesus.  As has been pointed out previously
here, the brother who speaks in languages is not permitted to interact
using his gift in church if no interpreter is present (v. 28), and the
prophet who is interrupted by his brother's being prompted to prophesy is
likewise to keep silent (v. 30).  

In conclusion, I would propose to you in the fear of the Lord that not
all "interaction" in the assembly need be of a verbal character, and that
your remaining silent in the brotherly dialogue will indeed be, so to
speak, a way of speaking very loudly for the Lord (I Cor. 11:10; Eph.
3:10; Heb. 11:4).

Grace in Christ,

The best thing to hit the Internet in years - Juno SpeedBand!
Surf the Web up to FIVE TIMES FASTER!
Only $14.95/ month - visit to sign up today!

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.