Summary: A sermon on 1 Timothy 2:9-15 about women in the church. Preached for Mother’s Day
Sermon for 5/9/2004
Mother’s Day. Matthew Henry was commenting on Genesis 2:21-23- The woman was not made out of the man’s head to rule over him, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him and near his heart to be beloved.
A. I remember it well. It was my first year as a preaching minister. I wanted to preach on 1 Timothy 2:1-8. It was a sermon on prayer. I got nervous and lost my place in the Scriptures and so I read the whole chapter. No big deal or at least I thought. When I looked up from reading the whole chapter it seemed like the crowd was in shock, especially the women. I thought maybe something had happened (a few weeks before there was a fire in the back) but my focus was on the sermon and so I preached it. When it was done it seemed like a sigh of relief came up from the crowd. Finally there were smiles on their faces. I told some jokes and nothing was funny. There were not happy until it was over. What in the world is going on here? It was a sermon on prayer, nothing controversial in this. Where they against politicians and refused to pray for them? It puzzled me.
B. As I was shaking hands on the way out, I asked an elder what the deal was. It seemed like I had done something wrong. He said that my sermon was fine. Prayer is always a good topic. I said it seemed like everyone was tense. He said, “Well, from the Scriptures that you read, some were probably unsure where you were going. It was a good sermon.” And then he left. “From the Scriptures that I read.”
C. That week I was in the house of a lady that had recently started attending the church. She was a member but rarely came. This sermon mentioned was the second one that she had heard from me. As we were discussing the church, she began to comment on my sermons. She said that most of my preaching was good. “Well, what isn’t good?” She said that part in 1 Timothy 2 that you read last Sunday. What do you mean, I spoke on prayer, are you against prayer. “Oh no, what you spoke on was fine. However, the Scriptures that you read were offensive to me, the part about women in the church.” I apologized because then I realized what had happened. I read to far and the last part of that chapter had little to do with prayer. Our conversation went on to other areas.
D. Later on that night I realized that I had apologized for reading some Scripture. How foolish! No one should apologize for reading Scripture. Those Scriptures were offensive to her. Come to find out many in this church had problems with these Scriptures and in the past it had caused problems. What we need to do sense these Scriptures are so troublesome, we just need to take some scissors and cut this section out. Just cut it out!
E. No, this is the Bible and (2 Tim 3:16 NIV) All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,
F. Earlier in my ministries I would not have talked about these Scriptures for anything. Now that I am older and wiser (or crazy and foolish) I feel like some things need to be said here.
G. Two extremes that need to be avoided:
**We discount these Scriptures as cultural.** We view them much like the holy kiss. 4 times in the New Testament we are told to greet one another with a holy kiss. The only Christians who do this are the ones in Russia. Need to greet each other warmly. Greet each other with a handshake. Cultural.
2. This concept is mentioned in (1 Cor 14:33 NIV) As in all the congregations of the saints,(1 Cor 14:34 NIV) women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says.(1 Cor 14:35 NIV) 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.
3. I have heard, and it has some validity, that the verses in 1 Corinthians can be considered cultural and really applying specifically the Corinthians. The Corinthians church had a lot of problem with their sisters. They would shave their heads and dress up like temple prostitutes just to see how far they could push the envelope. They would dominate the meetings times and would not be quiet to let other people speak. They were too loose outwardly, morally, and spiritually and Paul was writing this to correct these problems.