Today’s Prayer to Passage comes to us from The Bible. As I type the words “The Bible,” I wait for a hauntingly chilling pipe organ to play a theatrical blast of one long note in the background to set an extra special scene for you all. I tend to get the butterflies when utilizing this Book for communication with God. I make it more significant than other sources. But butterflies are symbols of transformation, so what could I possibly fear?
I pray, “Dear God, why do I fear The Bible when practicing Prayer to Passage? What am I afraid of? Why do I feel called to a higher level of responsibility when presenting Your Word? And please speak through me to interpret the passage to which I am led today. Thank you for your guidance during this moment of apprehension. I love You.”
I was guided to the following Bible passage:
“For you can prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged. The spirits of prophets are subject to the control of prophets. For God is not a God of disorder but of peace—as in all the congregations of the Lord’s people.
Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says. 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.
Or did the word of God originate with you? Or are you the only people it has reached? If anyone thinks they are a prophet or otherwise gifted by the Spirit, let them acknowledge what I am writing to you is the Lord’s command. But if anyone ignores this, they will themselves be ignored.”
—1 CORINTHIANS 14:31-38
Thank goodness I am not in a church right now, because I have some things to say. Paul was a nice guy and all. Kinda nerdy. He made a big turnaround in his life and dedicated it to Christ, which I totally admire in a person. And he definitely stood by his convictions. If I had statements I felt called to deliver to the people of Corinth while visiting the bustling city of Ephesus for a period of time, I’d probably do the same thing. Pat on the back, Paul. Biblical-times pat on the back to you.
But Paul, let’s look at this from the vantage point of a woman sitting in church this week. Shall we? Why not. Today is Sunday, so this fits perfectly. In 2015, a woman who has something to say, a single woman without a husband to go home to for answers to her questions, might want to break the law a little bit. I am not going to ignore what you wrote, apostle Paul. But I am going to continue voicing my XX-chromosome opinion.
Your having been an apostle and likely a prophet, now no longer on earth, I’m certain you would be open to hearing the voice of modern prophecy via a blog, which wasn’t an available option for women in your time. If it were, I imagine they would have taken full advantage of ample opportunities to voice their thoughts at home, after church. Now, given that you are a spirit of a prophet, being deceased and all, I’m gonna venture a guess that you are, and I quote you, “subject to the control” of what I have to say today. Maybe I took that verse too literally, but then again, I do acknowledge that what you wrote is the Lord’s command. And I am a woman, Paul. And I’m not in church right now, so it’s all good.
It is my turn to prophesy, as you permitted me to do, “so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged.” Because not everyone who read your Bible verse in this blog post was extremely ecstatic about it. Juuuuuust a hunch. You wrote, “For God is not a God of disorder but a God of peace—as in all the congregations of God’s people.” That’s right, Paul. You’re right. God is not a God of disorder. God orders that we not command according to the body we are given, rather, that we receive the Holy Spirit working through each and every one of us.
I don’t know if you’ve had an opportunity to read any of the interviews that I have conducted in which I asked people why they no longer attend church. There is a bit of disorder going on in today’s Church, Paul. And women not allowed to speak when they have something to say? We have a big problem with that. Because where I come from, men and women are equal. There is no order such as men first, women…at home.
So, you were an apostle and also very characteristic of a prophet or a prophetic missionary. And I respect that. But I am alive, standing at an e-pulpit right now. And I have thoughts, Paul. I have thoughts and I’m looking for that peace in “all the congregations of God’s people,” about which you wrote. Let’s bring about that peace. Let’s bat that peace out of the ballpark. Let’s wash any lack of that peace right outa our hair. Because 2015 peace and AD 54 peace look a little different. According to you, the “law” states that women should remain silent in churches and must be in submission. And it is “disgraceful” if women speak in church. Well, Paul, one person’s abomination is another person’s same-sex spouse. Laws change.
And I understand that you aren’t here to defend your side of this conversation. If you were, I would welcome your response. I wasn’t there to defend women 1,961 years ago either. So, let’s e-shake and call it e-ven. Can I get an Amen! In all fairness, I honor The Bible for still existing, and I honor God for today’s allowance of my voice in this world. May grace abound. And may the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Amen.