Why Paul forbade women to speak in Church

11 Feb 90
               WHY PAUL FORBADE WOMEN TO SPEAK IN CHURCH

     Nicely stated, Mel.  I, too, tend to find that sort of Christian
irritating, especially when it comes to two things:  1)  Evaluation of
empirical scientific evidences as opposed to those viewed through the eyes of
those who require that Genesis be taken literally and 2)  The equal status and
rights of women and other so-called "minorities."  I like to think that mine is
a "rational" Christianity -- as opposed to the modern fundamentalist movement
-- in which I do not deny the evidence of my sense simply to satisfy a
religious presupposition.

     To keep this discussion topical:  I tend to find that Pauline
"requirements" for women "in the Church" to be largely cultural and hardly any
sort of long-standing Godly law (as opposed to the Decalogue and the specific
teachings of Jesus).  Remember that certain OT Jewish laws were not considered
"eternal" and that is also my view of the Pauline statement that women were "to
keep silent" in the Church.  I checked into this and found some information
regarding the origins of this.  It seems that the wives of some of the men
attending the services would stand to the side while the men were seated during
the sermon.  Apparently these wives would, during the sermon, shout to their
husbands and ask questions with regard to the meaning of this or that part of
the sermon.  You can see how this would disrupt the service :-)  Anyway, Paul
simply continued the old Hebrew tradition requiring women to "keep silent."
Practical?  Probably.  Bigoted?  I leave that to you to decide.  Paul did carry
this to the extreme that he prohibited women to "teach," which modern
fundamentalists interpret as a commandment prohibiting women to "pastor"
churches.  I have problems with this sort of thinking.  If Jesus had such a low
opinion of women, why did He permit the first person to see Him resurrected to
be a woman?  Certainly that was an important event.

     I accept that God acknowledges that we grow in knowledge and
enlightenment.  I find it hard to believe that he would allow that 50% or more
of His creation -- "in the image and likeness" of the Godhead -- should be kept
oppressed.

   Dave Horn to Mel. White
 * Origin: World Peace BBS * Denver, Colorado * 303-320-4822 (1:104/415)


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