O (Observation): Paul seems to be demanding that a woman should not take position of leadership over a man.
He also says they shouldn’t adorn themselves with jewels or have braided hair or expensive clothing. Curious that he would mention this, and then just a few sentences later, mention that he wouldn’t let women lead or teach. I wonder if a certain cult involving women existed, a group that wore fancy jewels and clothing, and were giving a false teaching. I wonder if Paul was censoring these women, and the message was generalized. (To ignore cultural influences behind Scripture is as careless as not translating the Greek or Hebrew into English well.)
What’s also curious is that a woman was not even supposed to learn as a disciple learns, and yet that is allowed here, by Paul himself.
A (Application): So what is the Spirit saying to us today? What other changes might Paul have made, had he been born, like me, in 1978???
Seems to me that if we are to take the Bible seriously, we can’t take it literally. The Bible contains many inconsistencies, too many to count. When we take this text, and make the leap to “women can’t be pastors,” we are discrediting ourselves. We are not allowing ourselves to use these God-given brains, or better yet, the gift of the Holy Spirit, to discern what God is saying to us.
Archaic understandings of how the church works are and should be suspect, just as my words written here should be suspect, and subject to scrutiny. Perhaps it’s my Lutheran bent to be “semper reformonda” (always reforming), but I don’t think if Paul was born today, would he be sitting by idly while we opine for “the church that was” or “a church of the TRUTH” (as if the church of today is going to hell in a handbasket).
My insides get all twisted when a denomination declares it has the TRUTH, to the exclusion of all other thought. Where is the humility? Where is the love for neighbor in that?
We must continue to discern how we are to interpret God’s written Word and reconcile this with the Living Word, Jesus Christ, and what the Christ is up to in my/your/our daily life. That’s the kind of church I want to lead. That’s the kind of church culture I’m leaning into.
P (Prayer): Lord, help all women who feel called to lead in your Church, that may be confirmed in their calling to lead and serve in congregations in Your name. Amen.