09 July 2011

(Men and) Women and their place in the Church according to the Bible

This post is inspired by my wife, who of her own volition, from her constant Bible reading, has decided to cover her head when praying and started pointing out things she sees in heterodox churches that do not match up to what the Bible teaches.

I quote from the King James Version, as I am too lazy to type all of this from the superior Orthodox New Testament.
Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you. But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head. But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels. Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord. For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God. Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered? Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.
(1Co 11:1-15) 
Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church. What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only? If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.
(1Co 14:34-37) 
I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not; a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity. I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting. In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But which becometh women professing godliness with good works. Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.
(1Ti 2:1-15) 
(A quick side note on the above quote from 1st Timothy. He is saying how the Divine Services should begin. In the Orthodox Church we begin with the Great Litany, that goes like this:)
Presbyter: In peace let us pray to the Lord.
People: Lord, have mercy.
Deacon: For the peace from above and the salvation of our souls, let us pray to the Lord.
People: Lord, have mercy.
Deacon: For the peace of the whole world, the stability of the holy churches of God, and for the unity of all, let us pray to the Lord.
People: Lord, have mercy.
Deacon: For this holy house, and for those who enter it with faith, reverence and the fear of God, let us pray to the Lord.
People: Lord, have mercy.
Deacon: For our Patriarch/Metropolitan _______, our Archbishop/Bishop _______, the honorable presbyters, the deacons in the service of Christ, and all the clergy and laity, let us pray to the Lord.
People: Lord, have mercy.
Deacon: For our country, the president, and all those in public service, let us pray to the Lord.
People: Lord, have mercy.
Deacon: For this city, for every city and country, and for the faithful who live in them, let us pray to the Lord.
People: Lord, have mercy.
Deacon: For favorable weather, an abundance of the fruits of the earth, and temperate seasons, let us pray to the Lord.
People: Lord, have mercy.
Deacon: For travelers by sea, land and air, for the sick, the suffering, the captives and for their safety and salvation, let us pray to the Lord.
People: Lord, have mercy.
Deacon: For our deliverance from all tribulation, wrath, danger and necessity, let us pray to the Lord.
People: Lord, have mercy.
Deacon: Help us, save us, have mercy on us, and keep us, O God, by Your grace.
People: Lord, have mercy.
Deacon: Remembering our most holy, pure, blessed, and glorious Lady, the Theotokos and ever virgin Mary, with all the saints, let us commit ourselves and one another and our whole life to Christ our God.
People: To You, O Lord.
(End side note.)
But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine: That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience. The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded. In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you. Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again; Not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things. For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.
(Tit 2:1-15)
So why do the new modern churches of men under the banner of Sola Scriptura (Bible alone) have uncovered women, women leading their services, women teaching the men, and women preachers? For the same reason that they no longer have Bishops, Presbyters (Priests), and Deacons. Because they have not only protested against and rejected God and His Church, but they have also protested against and rejected His Word, the Holy Bible as well and remade all of them in their own image. They are truly of the world.

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