Ok, so now it’s my turn I guess. What can I say? Obviously the one section of the passage of 1 Corinthians 14:26-40 that everyone has talked about this week is this one:
34 Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. 35 If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church (NIV).
I can’t pass up that chance. First of all, let me say that my brother in Christ, Ben, and sister in Christ, Brenda, did an excellent job. I appreciate and respect both of them in their thoughts and opinions and I agree with them both.
I think that just as Rich pointed out in his message this is a particular contextual situation that applies here. If some of you have headings in your bibles it may say something like “orderly worship” (NIV), “Order in Church Meetings” (NKJV) or “A call to orderly worship” (NLT) above verse 26 to begin this section. While those are not in the original manuscripts obviously, I do think they are helpful to point out what we are looking at here. And I really like the NLT heading personally that uses the word “call.” I see this as request from Paul, given authority by God, on how to behave in worship.
This was a church meeting or worship service that had gotten a bit crazy. Paul has pointed this out already in the fact that he has been talking about how the Corinthians’ are to behave in worship since at least Chapter 11 if not the whole book thus far.
So that is why I also tend to agree that this is a particular situation where these women were a maybe a bit too talkative, gossiping, loud, or chatty.
Whatever the situation may be we may never know. Yet Paul points out two key things in the passage found in verse 33 and verse 40 that we must notice:
1) God is a God of peace
2) Everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way
If these women were just gossiping, talking, spreading rumors (it could be anything) it was not good. It was not fitting for a member of the body of Christ to do. Man or woman. Paul didn’t like it for sure and he seems to suggest that God doesn’t like it either since it is causing disorder within the congregation.
Just because we have been given freedom in Christ does not give us freedom to do whatever we want in the worship service. What things in the bible should we see as contextual? Or what things are hard-line rules? Frankly we would do well if we do two things:
1) Love God
2) Love one another
So on Valentines Day I’d like to end with that. Love God today. Give thanks and praise to him for what He has done for you and those around you. Love one another today. It is the most common command in the bible. Period. And that is something we can all agree is a good thing.