Find the Lady in Weighting: The Church Woman’s Con Game

Oscar asked:

I have an off-topic question for you regarding 1 Cor 14.

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.

I understand the entire chapter’s subject is maintaining constructive order in collective worship, but I don’t understand why it’s inherently “disgraceful” or detrimental to constructive order for a woman “speak in the church”.

Or, am I missing something about what Paul is referencing when he mentions women speaking in church?

SirHamster replied:

In two different mixed-sex Bible studies I’ve led, I have had women drone on and on off-topic, caught up in their feelings on the subject.

“God is love, so God is feelings! Feelings are important!” That Bible Study had previously emphasized that Biblical love is an act of will, not feelings – and I’m ashamed now that I let that go on with no answer for 5 minutes. Need to learn to cut off unfruitful tangents in a discussion.

What I am learning from those experiences and various Manosphere/Game blogs is that women are not men with boobs, they have a womanly nature that processes the world differently. And they can and will go on a chain of “logic” that is not.

Bobbye added:

Women asking questions in the assembly show a fundamental disrespect for her husband and /or father if he is also a member of the assembly. Did she ask at home and not get an answer? Are the men in her home without knowledge? Or is it that she doesn’t respect their answers? She wants an answer from a ‘real’ authority. If headship serves no real purpose, why pretend that the husband is the head? If the woman’s husband/father is not a christian, then for decorum’s sake she should ask her questions privately, so as to not lead others astray.I once attended a church where an elder did not know who Jeremiah was. If churches actually practiced this observance, then men would be obligated to be more knowledgeable and wise in the Scriptures and the ways of God.

It’s these, altogether. This blog is not a church, but it suffered the same problems. No feminists trouble me. The impetus for my ban on female commenters was the comments of wives who confessed to believe the Bible and the husband’s headship.

Inevitably, disagreement happens and when it does then many of those supposedly Bible-believing, husband-following wives switch to a conversational form of Find the Lady. When what she had said is challenged, that gets shuffled to the position of “what her husband said”; to the cheers and jeers of the shills around the challenger; who becomes their mark. The shills may be male or female, but usually consider themselves conservative, or traditional.

Some of those wives become more emboldened in argument and more immodest in spirit. Like a wild donkey in heat, they will often start feeling around to take a grab at another man’s balls: “If you were a real man…”; “My husband would kick your ass…”; etc. Such a woman’s hands–one on her husband and one on his adversaries–are filled with two weights; which Moses called dishonest and an abomination.

11 “When men fight with one another and the wife of the one draws near to rescue her husband from the hand of him who is beating him and puts out her hand and seizes him by the private parts, 12 then you shall cut off her hand. Your eye shall have no pity.

13 “You shall not have in your bag two kinds of weights, a large and a small. 14 You shall not have in your house two kinds of measures, a large and a small. 15 A full and fair weight you shall have, a full and fair measure you shall have, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. 16 For all who do such things, all who act dishonestly, are an abomination to the Lord your God.

She needs to be content with the full and fair weight and measure she has been given in her husband, and not go around fondling other men’s weights to see which is heavier. To do so is dishonest and an abomination. It is this which Paul called disgraceful, and it is; to her, to her husband, and to the church.

The only way to beat the con is to never play. The best way to protect gullible men from becoming marks is to never let disgraceful women setup the con. And the best way to keep disgraceful women from setting the con is to not let any women speak in church…or on this blog.

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27 thoughts on “Find the Lady in Weighting: The Church Woman’s Con Game

  1. I unplugged my wife and I from a small group study for this very reason. The “leader” was under the absolute authority of his wife, the other leader was under the authority of any wife, and the women emoted non stop. These things went for hours….especially the prayer needs list. Women would raise things needing prayer that were less than filler. “Pray that Jenny and Donnie (our son and his wife) adjust to the fact that their child starts 4th grade in the fall, because its very different than 3rd grade”…..Like that.

  2. Thanks for this post Cane, very well thought out, backed up, and stated simply. It’s amazing what happens in church today. The American church has strayed soooo far from the teaching you wrote on above. For example I visited my in-laws church yesterday. Not only is it thought of as a bible believing and rather conservative church, but used to be affiliated with a Mennonite denomination.

    Yesterday they “honored” moms with an intro video (more like a slideshow) with a woman narrator that included scripture reading from Prov 31. The worship team included a middle aged woman (along with other men). The woman had a butch hair cut and was wearing capris with sandals. In front of 300+ women…not an example of an older godly woman. At least not what I would expect.

    After that the opening prayer by the lead pastor included asking God for the ability to spoil the moms rotten that day. Later he made a statement about how much more selfless, wise, and hardworking his wife is than himself. I wondered why she wasn’t preaching instead of him after that statement. Fortunately he quickly moved on to his sermon on Romans 8 and didn’t mention Mother’s Day again.

    I also attended the graduation ceremony at Olivet Nazarene University Saturday. They had a woman give the opening prayer. Lots of “feels” commenced throughout it. I did not bow my head or close my eyes. I cannot understand how one believes God can hear such a prayer if the act of it is in disobedience to the Word!

  3. The American church has strayed soooo far from the teaching you wrote on above.

    But of course. Just as modernism has infected every other aspect of American society, so it has gone with the church as well. To expect the American church to begin adhering anew to the letter and spirit of the Scriptures at this point would be akin to expecting fish to begin breathing with lungs instead of gills.

  4. For Empath, stryker, feeriker, Cane, and anyone else; do you believe and have hope that the congregation that you attend can be returned to the biblical form, in word and deed, and if so, why do you have this hope? Why should any man have this hope? Thanks in advance.

  5. Bobbye

    I do. I do because of something Ive written about including in comments here and that is that I observe amongst Christian millennials a tendency to embrace more traditional approaches to marriage and to church. I confess they are prone to trends in a broader social sense kind of way than I recall other generations having been and that trendiness may be some of the motive. Look at the movement to orthodox type churches and the elevation of certain ritual as an important thing for many Christians of that age cohort as further evidence.

    Im not so bothered that it may be trend because they take things up with verve.

    Our pastor is in that age cohort and I know him and know that he is of the mindset that harkens for what you are asking about. That he was not -saved as a child- in the local Baptist church but rather as a young adult is in this case working in his favor. That he is far above average in intelligence and therefore prone to intellectual honesty is a big plus.

  6. For Empath, stryker, feeriker, Cane, and anyone else; do you believe and have hope that the congregation that you attend can be returned to the biblical form, in word and deed, and if so, why do you have this hope? Why should any man have this hope? Thanks in advance.

    That’s an excellent question. The shortest and most honest answer that I can give you is: “I don’t know, but I certainly hope so.”

    I have a theory that seems to be supported by two.thousand years of history: the more persecution that the Body of Christ endures, the more faithful it is to His teachings. The opposite is also true; the more accepted and “mainstream” Christianity becomes, the softer it becomes, the more it integrates into the temporal culture, the more diluted and co-opted the Body becomes, and the more the power of the Word and the Holy Spirit is lost. In other words, adaptation to the world is what gives birth to churchianity, which inevitably overpowers and subsumes the original church.

    Does this imply that the only effective way to restore the church is the imposition of persecution and suffering?

    While some might say that this would be carrying things a bit far, Jesus did warn the disciples that the world would hate them for who they were and what they represented, a warning which generally came true, and which led the members of the early church to pray constantly for the Lord’s guidance and strength. There is also the fact that the early church’s willingness to suffer extreme persecution and martyrdom inspired many non-believers to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior. It seems that it was after the emperor Constantine’s faux conversion, when the church was co-opted as an arm of the temporal state and the persecution ceased that the rot began to set in at an accelerated pace, a precedent set from which the church has never recovered.

    So as to the question of whether the church can return to biblical form, I think that the answer is yes – but only at the terrible price that the earliest believers paid. I simply don’t see anything else being an effective catalyst for the necessary change in our current culture.

    I hope that answers your question.

  7. For Empath, stryker, feeriker, Cane, and anyone else; do you believe and have hope that the congregation that you attend can be returned to the biblical form, in word and deed, and if so, why do you have this hope? Why should any man have this hope? Thanks in advance.

    Yes. Because Jesus is our Good Shepherd, and he doesn’t lose His sheep.

    “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me–”
    “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”
    “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.”

    Also, “[love] always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

    It may be that I become a lone voice in my church one day, the only one speaking for a Biblical view of things. If that time should come, I will speak until they kick me out – and I will force them to kick me out, because I grew up in this church and will not abandon it to wolves.

    But I don’t believe it will come to that – because Jesus is our shepherd.

  8. @Bobbye

    For Empath, stryker, feeriker, Cane, and anyone else; do you believe and have hope that the congregation that you attend can be returned to the biblical form, in word and deed, and if so, why do you have this hope? Why should any man have this hope? Thanks in advance.

    On instinct I want to give a straight answer to your questions (“Yes, because…”; No, they won’t since…”), but if I push that aside then I honestly don’t know what you mean by “returned to the Biblical form”. One of the things we can know from the NT epistles it is that from the beginning congregations have needed encouragement, admonishment, and rebuke. My hope, then, probably ought to be that we have congregations of people who hear and respond to those things. They were so close to Christ that they knew those who knew Christ in the flesh, and perhaps saw Him themselves, and they needed correction. If they saw through a glass darkly, won’t 2,000 years dim the light a bit more?

    If we were speaking of racers losing ground, would we do right to expect them to return to their perfect lap, or would we expect them to be coached and improved?

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  10. Thanks, Cane and the others who responded to my question, and those who’ve added to this post. Your insights are very helpful.

  11. Thanks to all for allowing and responding to the question I asked, especially to those who spoke specifically to the hope they have concerning their own congregation. Empath and SirHamster.
    I have been thinking/wondering for a while about under what circumstances the followers of Christ left the old institutions and sought to build new. At what point does one quit putting a patch on the old robe and instead obtain a new robe. The followers of Christ spread out from the beginning building the institutions that are collectively and individually called The Church. There is the Coptic. the Ethiopian, the Syrian, the Greek Orthodox, The Roman Catholic with all of it’s different monastic movements, and then at last the Protestants and all of their different denominations and sects(not a dirty word).At some point the Luthers and Calvins and the Francis’ of Assisis decided that the old cloth would not do and they must have new. How did they know that they must put aside the old? Have we not reached a similar crossroad? I have leaned toward yes, but the answers I got here seems to indicate no. I will continue to watch and wait.

  12. At some point the Luthers and Calvins and the Francis’ of Assisis decided that the old cloth would not do and they must have new. How did they know that they must put aside the old? Have we not reached a similar crossroad? I have leaned toward yes, but the answers I got here seems to indicate no. I will continue to watch and wait.

    If I were to get kicked out of my church for holding to a Biblical PoV, that would be a sign. And again, I don’t think this likely; I may have a stronger Red Pill perspective, but that in of itself is not a measure of holy living, or of a life pleasing to God and furthering His kingdom. I need my church, and I have been challenged and continue to be challenged by it.

    I cannot think of anything that exhorts us to flee our current congregations. Rather, we were told to “not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another”.

    An attitude of “My church is sick, I shall leave it for a healthy one” may quickly find that there is no church out there healthy enough to join. What then? If Christ is preached; I think it be good enough – what then can we do to imitate our Servant King who came to serve rather than be served?

  13. “For Empath, stryker, feeriker, Cane, and anyone else; do you believe and have hope that the congregation that you attend can be returned to the biblical form, in word and deed, and if so, why do you have this hope? Why should any man have this hope? Thanks in advance”

    No. Not in the sense I think you mean. We’ve been having trouble like this for ages going all the way back to the Congregation of the Corinthians. In the Italian Wars it was foolish nationalism as it was in the same period in Germany. Before that we’ve had feminism under different forms. We’ve had prostitution. We’ve had all sorts of things in the Church.

    Read through the stories of the Israelites. While we have our own slightly different we err at just as an astonishing rate.

  14. SirHamster says:
    May 13, 2015 at 5:01 pm

    I cannot think of anything that exhorts us to flee our current congregations. Rather, we were told to “not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another”.

    An attitude of “My church is sick, I shall leave it for a healthy one” may quickly find that there is no church out there healthy enough to join. What then? If Christ is preached; I think it be good enough – what then can we do to imitate our Servant King who came to serve rather than be served?

    I admire your approach. Jesus paid the price for our sin even though we were ignorant in our sins. I think it is worth praying for and persisting with our local fellowship to reveal the truths we have learned.

  15. I’ve been mulling this over since you posted it because the lesson is very, very good, but I still can’t think of an instance where I would invoke the rule. Commenters have provided examples, but they don’t really address 1 Cor 14:34-35, which sits in a chapter about corporate worship. This post’s lesson should be judiciously applied to Bible studies when it fits, but that’s not what Paul is talking about. During corporate worship, male leadership or clergy, which I’m assuming we all hold as non-negotiable, eliminates most speaking opportunities for women. Silencing them during corporate prayers and hymns would be extreme and at odds with other passages, and I can’t see anything inherently shameful about letting a woman read aloud from the Bible. I suppose the rule could be invoked if they interrupted the sermon, but I’ve never been to a church, however feminized, where that would have been acceptable for either sex.

    Is the rule’s context missing from today’s worship forms? If not, could someone give an example of a practice they would stop during corporate worship if they were “king for a day” at their church?

  16. @RG

    My pleasure.

    @Ryder

    Is the rule’s context missing from today’s worship forms? If not, could someone give an example of a practice they would stop during corporate worship if they were “king for a day” at their church?

    I think Bible Studies are a good example. So is Sunday School (I’m against Sunday Schooling in general.). Prayer request time is another. I’ve witnessed those get out of hand a number of times.

    Some of what I think you (we) are struggling with is the idea that–if we really keep to this–then women would have very few opportunities to speak, and that strikes us as unfair, or too harsh. We prefer that there exist some balance.

    The Bible’s authors don’t approach it that way. Women are consistently reminded to work on being quiet. Off the top of my head, there are only two passages that I can think of that explicitly encourages women to speak up. The first is Paul’s instructions that older women teach the younger to quietly and faithfully love their husbands and children. (That’s a wild idea to our culture; which assumes that women naturally love their husbands, do anything and everything for their children, and never speak up enough.)

    The second instance is Paul’s instruction that wives ask their husbands if they have a question. In my experience, that actually doesn’t happen very often. The mere existence of co-ed Sunday Schools and Bible Studies discourages the occurrence because those institutions have the sheen of legitimacy; a sense that it’s authoritative in a way that husbands are not.

  17. @Cane

    Some of what I think you (we) are struggling with is the idea that–if we really keep to this–then women would have very few opportunities to speak, and that strikes us as unfair, or too harsh. We prefer that there exist some balance.

    Indeed, and I think I’m struggling with it particularly because it dismantles my tidy system for understanding that scripture. The mass is the normal form of worship in my tradition (Anglicanism), and as I pointed out, it precludes the kind of speech I thought Paul was talking about by its very structure, so I had no problem affirming 14:34-35 with its nice, neat cutoff at the blessing and dismissal. I’m not totally convinced, but I’ll concede you may be right that Bible studies and Sunday school would be covered by 14:34-35, which really complicates things. My parish is very traditional by most standards, but some noses would get seriously bent out of joint if the rector forbade female questions during the Adult Education time.

    Off the top of my head, there are only two passages that I can think of that explicitly encourages women to speak up.

    You’re right about the general tenor of scripture encouraging women to be quiet, but it’s instructive that 1 Corinthians 11:5 regulates women who pray and prophesy but does not condemn them. 14:34-35, therefore, cannot be about all speech, since Paul wouldn’t give rules for something he’s about to forbid.

    You’ve spurred me to do a bit of outside reading, and I came across this article, which suggests that Paul prohibits women from speaking in a context that would put them in authority over men, since 14:34 presents speaking in church and being in submission as opposites. For example, a women would be allowed to prophesy, but not allowed to judge a man’s prophecy because that inverts the lines of authority; and a women could relate a pertinent anecdote during Bible study, but wouldn’t be allowed to raise questions because doing so usurps her husband’s authority to answer. This application strikes me as a more organic fit than a blanket prohibition, and I hope I’m not being overly permissive in thinking so.

    (Side note: I’m not saying women should be allowed back on this blog. Ending co-ed participation was a good move.)

  18. @Ryder

    I am also Anglican, and the two parishes of which I’ve been a member (we moved) consider themselves quite conservative and traditional. They profess the inerrancy of the Bible (no female priests; homosexual activity is confessed as a sin, etc.) but like every other denomination I know of there is a lot of clearing away and rebuilding to be done.

    For example, a women would be allowed to prophesy, but not allowed to judge a man’s prophecy because that inverts the lines of authority; and a women could relate a pertinent anecdote during Bible study, but wouldn’t be allowed to raise questions because doing so usurps her husband’s authority to answer. This application strikes me as a more organic fit than a blanket prohibition, and I hope I’m not being overly permissive in thinking so.

    One of the restrictive forces of Anglicanism (and others) that I appreciate is rote prayers.

    Yes, she could prophesy (and then she’d better hope there is someone there to interpret), but I do not see that restricting women from anecdotes would be harmful for them or the listeners. Isn’t it true that undirected or impersonal anecdotes delivered in public are merely a distraction? Isn’t it also true that most men understand that intuitively, and so restrict themselves? I can imagine a woman delivering a very useful anecdote to another, but in my imagination that is done as an aside; not during corporate proceedings.

    (Side note: I’m not saying women should be allowed back on this blog. Ending co-ed participation was a good move.)

    Thanks. It’s self-evident, isn’t it?

  19. @Cane

    …like every other denomination I know of there is a lot of clearing away and rebuilding to be done.

    Very true. If you’re ever hard up for a topic, I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on how a lay person can play a role in the clearing. Rebuilding poses no less of a challenge, but I find it especially hard to navigate the clearing, while respecting my place in the hierarchy and respecting the people who, though they are much holier and wiser than me, still have blind spots in this particular area on which we focus.

    I do not see that restricting women from anecdotes would be harmful for them or the listeners.

    No, probably not. That was a poor example.

    It’s self-evident, isn’t it?

    It really is. The blog’s feel is much more conducive to the environment I think you’re trying to cultivate.

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  21. @CC

    Am re-reading this post today and wanted to hear yours and other commenters’ thoughts about the small group we (my fiancee and I) are attending.

    This small group is part of our Baptist Church’s young couples ministry. A full-time pastor from the Church leads this group and he is supported by his wife (she is not part of the pastoral staff). In a month, our activities are:

    Week 1: Bible study (We’re going through the Book of Colossians*)
    Week 2: Prayer (The 12 of us — 6 couples — will be split into two smaller groups of 3 couples and we will individually pick one out of a list of requests to pray)
    Week 3: Sermon application (Each couple will share their thoughts about the week’s sermon and talk about how it can be applied to our lives)
    Week 4: The small group will be split into two, with men in one group and women in the other. We will share about our lives, our faith, our marriage and anything else, and then pray for each other.**

    In the context of this post, the Bible Study (Week 1) is something I’m most uncomfortable with because each couple — the husband or boyfriend and the wife or girlfriend — are assigned a particular section of the Book to read, prepare and then share their thoughts to the rest of the group. Since this is a gathering of the saints, will the format of the study run contrary to Paul’s teaching? On a similar note, I can appreciate how this may take away the husbands’ authority / responsibility in instructing their wives in God’s Word. If this runs contrary to Paul’s teaching, what can I do in highlighting this to the pastor without showing disrespect to his leadership and not raising the heckles from the rest of the group’s members? Should I even not attend all Bible studies if the pastor disagrees? Also, for Week 3 which is a form of casual sharing about the sermon, should such a clear line be drawn with regards to the women sharing and speaking?

    Sorry for the long comment.

    * The study on Colossians 3:18 will be … interesting.
    ** This was something that was recently started because I shared with the pastor that there may be a need for the women in our group to gather and share, more so than we men

  22. @corp

    If this runs contrary to Paul’s teaching, what can I do in highlighting this to the pastor without showing disrespect to his leadership and not raising the heckles from the rest of the group’s members? Should I even not attend all Bible studies if the pastor disagrees? Also, for Week 3 which is a form of casual sharing about the sermon, should such a clear line be drawn with regards to the women sharing and speaking?

    The key here is to use scripture and ask questions from the position of an underling. It’s not our place to correct an elder, but no one can say it is wrong to ask an elder about a passage from the Bible! Ask to speak with him privately, outside the group meetings. Read with him the passages from 1 Timothy 2, Titus 2, 1 Corinthians 14 and any other passages you can think of. Then you could ask him how that applies in your group. You can also ask something like, “Why doesn’t it mean women shouldn’t teach men?”

    From his answers, and with prayer for wisdom and humility you can make decisions on whether to attend, or what to say if you do.

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