Paul averred that “all Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16-17, NIV). Its source is God. Its value is exhaustive. Its result is practical. That is how the all-wise God intended it.
In the first letter to Timothy, Paul gives his thesis statement that all he wrote in the epistle was to give the young preacher knowledge of how the church was to conduct itself in various matters (1 Tim. 3:15). One of several matters addressed in the letter was what role Christian women were to take in “the household of God” (the church) in matters of teaching and leadership. We read about that in 1 Timothy 2:11-15. Here is what we find:
- The Christian woman must receive instruction with entire submissiveness (11).
- The Christian woman is not allowed to teach or exercise authority over a man (12).
- The Christian woman is to remain quiet (12).
- There are biblical reasons for this, reasons that go all the way back to creation (13-14).
- The order of creation (13)
- The deception of the woman (14)
- The Christian woman has an honored role to help the church thrive and grow (15).
What is remarkable is the lack of ambiguity regarding this teaching. It is clear and straightforward. No cultural issues or problems are stated to occasion these words. One does not find contradictory instruction in another New Testament context to offset or clarify the words here. Perhaps it is the straightforwardness of the words that have chaffed many who appear desirous of bending truth to fit the culture. Such bending is not limited to this issue, but as the culture regresses from truth more and more matters are getting reexamined in order to change truth to fit the culture.
We must understand that all such efforts, in effect, place human beings as the authority in place of God and Scripture. It causes people to say, “You have read this, but I say unto you.” The problem is that it is not our place to say that Scripture does not mean what it says. That authority belongs to Christ, and He exerts that authority through the men who wrote down His will in the New Testament. It is His voice and their voices that need to be heard. Whoever they say should teach and lead is whose voices need to be heard. Any other voice is speaking without the utterance of God (1 Pet. 4:11).