Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The Law is Made for the Lawless and the Disobedient

By Diane M. Hoffmann

Some people use 1 Timothy 2:11–15 to say or to support that women have no place in the church as ministers, pastors, preachers, or leaders.

Right away we can see, by this, that there is something wrong with this teaching against women in ministry: would God tell 50 percent of the population to keep silence in the matter of preaching the Gospel? In Acts 1:8 and Luke 24:49, Jesus is speaking to both men and women (see also Acts 1:14).

This passage of Scripture in 1 Timothy 2:11–15 says:

Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.

First, before we examine this scripture, why does Paul have to say in 1 Timothy 2:8, “I want therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting”?
That is because some men were not doing so.

In verse 9 of 1 Timothy 2, why does Paul have to say that “women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with modestly and sobriety; not with braided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; but (which becomes women professing godliness) with good works”?
That is because some women were not doing so.

In the same way, in verses 11–12 why does Paul have to say “let the women learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.”? Because, some women were not learning in silence with all subjection but were trying to teach or correct their men, usurping their authority in the church, thereby disrupting the services.

Scripture is not speaking to all women but to those who are lawless and disobedient.

The issue of Paul’s message to Timothy is order in worship—not preaching against women in ministry! So if women are doing the right things, there is no issue.

Earlier, in chapter 1, verse 9, in that same letter, it says, “the law is not made for a righteous man but for the lawless and the disobedient” (that includes man, woman, boy and girl). Scriptures must be read within the whole context—not just one scripture at a time, isolated from the whole theme.

Paul goes on to explain his statement by saying that the reason is because Adam was formed first, and the woman was deceived and not the man. There is no problem with this. Man was given the responsibility first. However, that does not mean that woman cannot minister in church also, in the proper order.

I go in great length to show what the Word of God really says on this issue of women in ministry, in my book “24 Hot Potatoes in the Church Today”. /dmh



Diane M. Hoffmann, B.Th., M.Th., Ph.D./Th.

Author of "24 Hot Potatoes in the Church Today"
Just released by Xulon Press, a div. of Salem Media.
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