1Timothy

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This is the part of the Bible where Paul says, I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.

But how many churches would not survive without women teaching Sunday school or in various office and volunteer positions where they not only speak, but also give instruction?

Not only that, but fully two-thirds of the butts in the pews these days are female. We control the purse strings, and that is an opportunity to wield a far greater power than merely to stand on a few isolated verses in the Pauline epistles to justify an artificial and sexist hierarchy of Church authority and turn the body of Christ into a He-man Woman Haters' Club. Why are women reluctant to convert our check-writing power into a more equal role in the Church? Because we are better at listening. We have heard the gospel and the message has made the journey from our head to our heart. The Son of God surrendered everything, his equality with the Father, his blood, his very life. To truly follow Christ is to lay down power, not take it up.

But why does Paul forbid women to speak? "For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression."

In other words, Adam knew better than to eat the fruit of the knowledge of Good and Evil. He already knew it was evil to eat it. The woman did not know it was evil to eat it, and she fell victim to the half-lies of the serpent. Never mind that Adam's sin was far greater for not being deceived, yet willingly disobeying God, the woman (Hava) was so stupid that she fell for the serpent's tricky words and ate the fruit from ignorance. Then Paul generalizes the ignorance of Eve/Hava to all women, and disqualifies them for teaching authority in the Church. Nice guy.

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