Paul the Pyromaniac Apostle
October 12, 2006 6 Comments
Many of Paul’s writings are (accounting for postmodern sensitivities) highly incendiary, thus this post’s title. There are many Christians who don’t agree with many of Paul’s writings for many different reasons. I recently gave a teaching on the spiritual gift of tongues. Naturally I turned to the 12th and 14th chapters of Brother Paul’s first letter to the church in Corinth. For this is where he gives us the guidelines for the correct usage of this spiritual gift, among others.
Embedded in this text are a couple of verses which will not endear Brother Paul to today’s denizens. The verses go something like this:
“The women are to keep silent in the churches; for they are not permitted to speak; but are subject themselves, just as the Law also says.” (1 Corinthians 14:34)
As if he didn’t step on enough toes already, Paul adds ‘insult to injury’ in the next verse:
“If they (women) desire to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is improper for a woman to speak in church.” (1 Corinthians 14:35)
There has to be a perfectly good explanation that will soothe our egalitarian mindsets right? What are we to do with this text? As people who take Paul’s writings as God-breathed what are we to do? I have not done a word study on these texts so the conciliatory answer must lie there, no?
In the words of one Little Richard, “Help me, Somebody Help me!”