I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting; 9 in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, 10 but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works. 11 Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. 12 And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. 15 Nevertheless she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control.
Public Church Services?
Argument: What is said about women teaching is to be limited to the assembly of the church.
Objections to the “Church only” position:
- 1. Nothing in the context indicates that this passage is to be limited to a worship service as many claim.
- 2. If the context is limited to a church service, the teaching regarding modesty is also limited to a church service. I.E. women are only required to dress modestly within a church service.
- 3. Again, if the context is limited to a church service, why does Paul bring up the argument of creation order and the distinction between male and female roles as appointed from the beginning? See 1 Corinthians 11.
Major Point: Paul’s teaching in 1 Timothy 2:8-15 is addressing men’s and women’s roles in a larger context than the assembly of the church. Certainly it includes the worship assembly, but cannot be limited to those assemblies.
Argument: If “Everywhere” means “everywhere” then a woman cannot teach anywhere.
Reply: If 1 Timothy 2:8-15 contained the only revelation regarding the role of Christian women, then yes we would have to conclude that women must be silent and in submission in religious matters at all times and in all places.
To take one passage and hold it up to the exclusion of all other passages is to make the same fatal error as the “Faith Only” advocates.
Ex: John 3:16 says belief is all that is essential for salvation, yet it alone does not contain all that is needed to understand the Lord's will in matters of salvation (Matthew 10:32; Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38 ect.)
In the same way, 1 Timothy 2:8-15 is not the only passage of Scripture that addresses the teaching role of Christian women.
Here are some other passages to consider:
1- Titus 2:3-5 (Older women are to teach younger women)
2- 2 Timothy 1:5 ; 3:14-15 (Lois and Eunice taught Timothy as a child)
3- Acts 18:24-28 (Priscilla and Aquilla taught Apollos privately)
4- Acts 21:8-9 (Phillip had seven virgin daughters who prophesied under his authority)
These passages indicate that a woman may teach a man, woman, or child privately without abdicating her position of submission.
However, none of these passages authorize a woman to teach the word of God in any public capacity. You can look through the whole New Testament and you will never find authorization for a woman to stand up and proclaim God’s word in a public capacity.
3 Points From 1 Timothy 2:8-15:
1- Women are never authorized to teach God’s word in a public capacity.
2- Women are authorized to teach God’s word privately.
3- Women are never authorized to have authority over men but must be in a state of submission.
To quote Brother Jerry Cutter, “ Simply stated, where a woman may teach she may teach anyone, even a man, and where she may not teach, she may teach no one, not even a child.” (From Jerry Cutter's tract, "The Teaching")
What 1 Timothy 2:8-15 is teaching:
1- Men are to be the spiritual leaders everywhere – vs. 8.
2- Women are not to teach publicly – vs. 12
a. Women are to learn quietly when in public gatherings – vs. 11
b. Women are to be in submission at all times –vs. 12-15
Major Point: What we are saying is this: The same rules that apply to women in the assemblies of the church apply to women in all public assemblies.
Facebook is a public setting.
a. I once had a discussion with a brother in the church regarding alcohol in which 800 of his friends and 700 of my friends were welcome to witness. That’s a larger audience than what we have assembled today. He wanted to claim he had naught taught his error publicly, but the 1500 witnesses begged to differ.
b. Facebook recognizes that your wall is public and has therefore created “Private Messaging”
c. Whenever you want to sell something or advertise a Gospel Meeting you put it on Facebook so that it can become public knowledge.
Point: Facebook is Public.
Warning: Though it has a private feel from the privacy of your home computer or smart phone, it is a public venue.
Major Point: Since Facebook is a public capacity, it is therefore wrong – as in sinful- for women to teach on Facebook - as per 1 Timothy 2:11-12.
By teaching on Facebook I mean:
1- Quoting Scripture on your wall – or your friend’s wall.
2- Posting Scripture on your wall – or your friend’s wall.
3- Discussing Scripture without Posting Scripture on your wall or your friend’s wall.
4- Discussing religious topics in general on your wall or your friend’s wall.
#1- Posting Scripture:
Argument: When I post Scripture I’m not teaching – Paul is. How is that a violation of 1 Timothy 2:11-12?
1- When you post/quote Scripture you are teaching. Would we allow a woman to get up and recite Scripture in our assembly and claim she was not teaching but that rather it was Paul teaching? No, the woman must remain silent in the assemblies of the church (1 Corinthians 14:34-35) and in public assemblies in general (1 Timothy 2:11-12).
2- When you begin publicly arguing that you are not violating Scripture, you are teaching about Scripture in your defense.
Let this second point sink in. I have posted articles on Facebook about how women should not teach publicly on Facebook only to have well meaning sisters comment below the article stating, “I’m so glad someone finally wrote something about how it’s wrong for women to preach on Facebook.”
#2- Sharing Posts:
This basically falls under the same category of Posting Scripture.
Question: Again, would it be acceptable for a woman to stand up in a public assembly and read an article that she had found?
Argument: Sharing an article is like giving someone a tract.
Reply: When a woman or man shares a tract, they are teaching through their tract. Since women can teach anyone privately, she is free to dispense as many tracts as she would like privately. But when a woman begins teaching hundreds or thousands of people publicly, she is no longer within the Scriptural grounds of a private setting. – 1 Timothy 2:12.
Alternative: If you are a woman, share the post with a friend through Private Messaging or have your husband or your father share the post.
#3- “Liking” Posts:
I recently wrote an article titled “Little Sins” and posted it on Facebook.
One brother came along and stated, “I cannot endorse this article”. Another person came along and “liked” his comment while several others came along and “liked” my article. By “liking” either the man’s comment or my article, people were saying “Amen.”
In fact, sometimes people will like an article and say “Amen” as an extra point of emphasis.
Ladies: Verbalizing that you like a religious article is not the same as nodding your head in services, nor is it keeping silent as instructed in 1 Timothy 2:12.
Question: Would you say “Amen” in an assembly such as this? If not, why would you do it on Facebook?
Alternative: If you want to offer encouragement, or thanks, do so in a private message.
There may be some who are aware of what they are doing when they teach publicly on Facebook, but by and large I believe most of our women have the best of intentions and have simply not stopped to consider how utilizing Facebook relates to Scripture.
Side Point: I am glad our ladies are convicted about their beliefs and want to cry out against all of the sin and error that they are bombarded with on a daily basis. However, Scriptures do regulate the methods and circumstances a woman can employ in crying out her privilege of teaching.
I had a sister a while back write me expressing her concern that she didn’t want to step outside her role as a woman, but at the same time she did not want to rob God of some of the glory that is due Him by offering Him verbal praise. I appreciate her sincerity and desire to do the right thing. To those who grapple with the same question consider the following: If women will live a godly life within the role that God has ordained, by demonstrating a love for Him through the keeping of His commandments (John 14:15), God will receive the glory.
There are millions of women who verbalize their love for God on a daily basis, yet will not offer Him an obedient life. Give God the glory He desires, and let your husband or your father be the voice in public spheres.
Word to the Brothers: How well are you fulfilling your obligation to lift holy hands to God everywhere you go and being the spiritual leader you should be?
I offer these words of encouragement, teaching, and rebuke out of sincere love for my brothers and sisters in Christ. There are many wonderful avenues through which we can spread the gospel, but may we take advantage of them properly and in accordance with God’s Word.
I leave you with two thoughts:
1- Pick up a copy of Brother Jerry Cutter’s tract “The Teaching” in the back on your way out.
2- Remember the words of Paul in Colossians 3:17:
“And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”