It is obvious that the majority of people feel that “liking” and or “sharing” a post or posting Scripture on Facebook does not violate Scripture. Yet, many will agree that a woman should not post Scripture and then comment on it. Essentially, it is being argued by some that we agree on the meaning of 1 Timothy 2:8-15, but disagree on matters of application. I believe the point of disagreement is actually on the meaning of the passage rather than the application.
I would encourage everyone to consider that there are four different points being addressed in 1 Timothy 2:8-15 in regard to women and their roles:
1. The meaning of “everywhere” in verse 8 is under contention. Several contend that the “everywhere” of verse 8 should be limited in context to “in every church” rather than the public in general. As I stated in my previous article, I disagree with this approach for the following reasons:
First, nothing in the passage or context hints that the passages are limited in reference to an assembly of the church.
Second, 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.
Third, the apostle Paul bases his argumentation upon the order of creation (as in 1 Corinthians 11:7-9, 11-12) rather than an attempt to maintain order in the assembly of the church.
Thus, 1 Timothy 2:8-15 when paired with Titus 2:3-5, 2 Timothy 1:5, Acts 18:24-28, Acts 20:20, and Acts 21:8-9 (passages teaching a woman may teach a man, woman, or child privately without abdicating her position of submission) seems to teach that the apostle’s use of “everywhere” is to be interpreted as “everywhere in public”.
2. “I (Paul) do not permit a woman to teach… a man” (1 Timothy 2:11) is under contention. Since a woman may teach a man privately (Acts 18:24-28), and since Paul is not speaking exclusively of the church assembly (see point #1), Paul must be arguing that a woman may not teach a man publicly; otherwise we have Scripture contradicting itself.
3. “I (Paul) do not permit a woman to… have authority over a man” (1 Timothy 2:11) is also under contention. Not only is a woman forbidden from teaching, she is also forbidden from having authority over a man, i.e. she must be in a state of submission (as was Priscillia with her husband Aquilla in Acts 18:24-29, and as were Phillip’s seven virgin daughters under their father). Thus, a woman must not teach men publicly, nor be in a position of leadership over men in religious matters publicly. The one difference between “teaching a man” and “having authority over a man” is that though Scriptures do authorize a woman to teach a man privately (Acts 18:24-28, Acts 21:8-9), they never authorize women to have authority over men in religious matters in any setting.
4. 1 Timothy 2:11-12 commands women to “learn in silence” and to “be in silence”; this too is under contention. Here is where many people balk at the words of the apostle. The context seems to be teaching that women must remain within a learning capacity and be silent about religious matters in public settings. Though such a message is not popular by today's standards, they still carry with them the weight of divine inspiration. May God's people still fear and hallow His will more than that of man (Acts 5:29).
Based on the teachings of 1 Timothy 2:8-15, I have asked people to consider the meaning of the passages and make application to Facebook (as well as other parts of their lives). I do not claim to have all the answers to all the questions and applications people can bring up regarding women teaching publicly, but I do believe 1 Timothy 2:8-15 means something and that it has something to do with the public role of women.
My application of 1 Timothy 2:8-15 has been threefold in nature:
First, I have contended that Facebook is a public venue and that the instruction of 1 Timothy 2:8-15 applies to it. By stating that, “Facebook is a public venue” I am referring to a person’s public wall (I am not referencing private messaging).
Second, if Facebook is a public venue, and if 2 Timothy 2:8-15 contains instruction regarding public venues, then it seems women should not teach publicly on Facebook. Many disagree with the idea that sharing an article or Scripture is teaching. Though it is agreeable that sharing an article of Scripture does not make one the sole teacher (certainly the Biblical author or the author of the article is the primary teacher) I have difficulty understanding how a person can share an article or passage with a person without sharing (at least in part) in the teaching that takes place through the article or passage. It has thus been my contention that while a woman may share in such instruction privately, she should not do so publicly (as on Facebook).
Third, though some may argue that a woman sharing an article, or sharing a Scripture, or “liking” an article is not teaching, is such action in harmony with a woman “learning in silence” and “being in silence” when in public and in reference to religious matters (1 Timothy 2:8-15)?
For those who have written stating, "I just don't see how you can say 'liking' their congregation's flyer or sharing a meeting event and inviting others to it is teaching." I would point out that I have never stated anything about how 1 Timothy 2:8-15 applies to advertising gospel meetings or the assemblies of the saints. My application has been in regards to teaching, not advertising. It may be that 1 Timothy 2:8-15 has application to advertising as well, but as of right now I am not prepared to take a firm stand on that issue one way or the other. Again, I realize 1 Timothy 2:8-15 may have many applications; the question we must all wrestle with is what does the passage mean and how it must be applied. Unfortunately, I am afraid we often decide how we want to conduct our lives and then attempt to justify our actions through Scripture, rather than allowing Scripture to dictate our conduct.
I do not want to make laws where God has not made laws, and I also do not want to see brothers or sisters erring in regard to Scripture. While people issue their demands to “Show me where the Bible says ___________ is wrong”, I would encourage them and all to seek Scriptural authorization for everything we say and do (Colossians 3:17).
I raise my concerns out of respect for the word of God and sincere love for my brothers and sisters in Christ; I have not done so because I hate women or because I want to “ban women from Facebook altogether, and just stick them in a cellar to have babies for the rest of their lives.” Those who have objected to what I have written have done so without offering any Scriptural justification for their position or Scriptural rebuttal to mine. I ask readers to consider what “everywhere” means (1 Timothy 2:8), what it means for women “not to teach a man” nor to “have authority over a man”, and what it means for women to “learn in silence” and “be in silence” (1 Timothy 2:11-12). I am sure I do not have answers for all of the questions and hypothetical situations that people can pose, but I do urge all to consider the meaning of 1 Timothy 2:8-15 and draw application to their own lives. I believe there are steps women can take to assure that they are within the boundaries of 1 Timothy 2:8-15, and that there are other actions which are questionable at best.
May God bless His children and may we all do our part of fulfilling the Great Commission within the roles God has granted us.