Is this passage sexist, or was it dangerous to be a female Christian at this time?
1 Corinthians 14:34 - 35
ESV - 34 The women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says. 35 If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church.
For follow-up discussion and general commentary on the topic. Comments are sorted chronologically.
This phrophet writes by permission of the Holy Spirit. All of the gender and racial differences died on the cross with Jesus. The bible also says Galatians 3-28 "there is neither Jew nor Greek, neither bond or free, there is neither male nor female: for we are all one in Christ Jesus." The bibles also says God is no respector of persons. The Same Jesus that died for male and female, gave salvation to male and female, blesses male and female and has the Holy Spirit in both male and female, speaks to both male and female, can certainly have both male and female speak in the Church. I would rather get his message thru a female than an ass. No negativity intended, for he has used an ass to speak to his people.
Those who reject this teaching are a cancer to the mission and an insult to Jesus. They have no love for themselves or where they came from. Jesus had to constantly remind his disciples about women who treated him as a Saviour. Men were jealous then and those who espouse those precepts are jealous today. Where were the disciples(men) when he was being crucified? Where were they when he first arose? Who denied him 3 times, male or female?
Who of us has not been taught by our mothers? Who of us would tell our mothers not to speak in church today? The church would not exist today if it had not been for the many mothers(female) working behind the scenes and in front of the scenes to carry the message of Jesus. The bible says to honor our fathers and our mothers.
We must understand that Paul is writing to and in a patriarchial society. It is a shame that so-called Christians today use those scriptures to justify sexism and ancient attitudes.
It's my opinion that this journey of thousands of years we are on, is to correct the problem Adam and Eve experienced in the garden. Where Eve did lead Adam astray by disobeying God's command. It seems very reasonable to me that God would instruct Adam to seek salvation without Eve's guidance, based on what happened in the garden. In Judges, the Bible tells us that having women leaders is a sign of weak men in society, also a sign of pending judgement from God. If the Bible tells us that men are to lead at home, and in the Church, then it would stand to reason that if we select a women for leadership, we are actually selecting her husband for the role. Unless he is weak, and we are headed for judgement, like all appearances point to in our current day.
This is not to say that there are no women capable of leading in a good direction, indeed there are many, and they should use their abilities effectively to encourage Adam to recieve leadership from God, not put themselves between Adam and God. Adam wishes to please both God and Eve, Eve has the advantage of physical presence and needs that God tells Adam to tend to. With this in mind it should be easy to see why God instructs Adam to insist that Eve be silent and submissive while Adam seeks salvation for both.
Many women, having a kind and compassionate nature as bestowed on them by God, have many valuable insights to share, and it would be a waste of a gift to keep them silent. Women should share the love and joy of God regardless of whether they have a husband. That is not to say they do not listen to their husband, or that they are priests. As a woman I suppose I will always feel somewhat divided on that point, as I have known many holy women ready to serve Christ. However, there are many ways to serve Christ, many that go unnoticed but are greatly recognized by God. Men and women can convert non-Christians by convincing them through conversation and example and can lead youth groups to teach children about Christ.
At the end of the day, all people regardless of gender hold God above all things. The only aspect of life in which women are legitimately weaker than men is the physical aspect, but that does not make them any less spiritual. Unfortunately, we do live on earth and not every husband will be good to their wives (vice versa can be said). In the end, a woman should respect his wishes, but if they are unjust, her first obligation (as always) is to Christ.
Paul is addressing a question from the Church in Corinth concerning how women should act in Christian Church. Paul's response; verse 36 "What! Did the Word of the Lord originate with you [Corinthians], or has it reached only you?" His reaction to their question says it all.