They Permitted No Woman to Teach a Man
Years ago, I was encouraged to consider teaching at church. To be honest, the last thing I wanted to do or felt qualified to do was teach. I had so many gaps in my own knowledge and understanding. Nonetheless, the encouragement persisted and I relented. Initially, I gave too-long ice-breakers at the weekly women’s Bible study, but eventually worked myself into facilitating a women’s class on Sunday morning. It grew and then evolved into a gathering of young mothers during the week.
Controversy has never been far from me and this circumstance was no exception. It came time to select new teaching materials. We wanted to use a book titled, And Then I Had Kids, that was written by a Christian woman from another denomination. My selection had raised a few eyebrows among leadership not so much for content as origin.
When I brought the issue to the group, I was dumbstruck when told the following: Michele, the leadership can’t be sure what you are teaching because they cannot sit in your classes. The bewilderment had to have shown on my face because the woman continued. Men cannot be taught by women. This was based upon a scripture from 1 Timothy2.
1 Timothy2: 11Let a woman£ learn in silence with full submission.
12I permit no woman£ to teach or to have authority over a man;£ she is to keep silent.
13For Adam was formed first, then Eve; 14and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. 15Yet she will be saved through childbearing, provided they continue in faith and love and holiness, with modesty.
The incomprehensibility of this statement caught me completely off guard. But you know what, this woman’s observation was not without merit. Leadership never did attend my class to learn firsthand what went on in our study. Instead, they abolished the Sunday morning women’s class without explanation and mandated that an Adult Sunday school class would take its place –taught by a man. We had no say, no voice, no choice in the matter.
I do not wish to refute these perspectives at this point, but I do want to show that SOME Christians do believe such things based upon a single passage of scripture. It is an excellent example of the dangers of “proof texting.”