Filter by: Products Articles
Filter by:

Bible Questions with Michael Pearl
Episode 060: Why does the Bible say Women should remain quiet during church?

By Michael Pearl

Episode Transcription:

Michael Pearl:  All right. Here I am, Michael Pearl, sitting here against my cupola that I'm going to put on top of that building one of these days, when I get my crane up here to put it up. Been working on this project for a while. And Jared's followed me up here, and he's got some Bible questions that you've been asking, and I'm going to try to come up with some answers. So Jared, what's the question you've got?

Christine:  Hi, my name is Christine, and I have a question about the Bible verse that says that women should be silent in church. My question is, what does that exactly mean? Does that mean that they should not speak at all, or should only be in fellowship, or is it just pertaining to preaching and teaching in the church? Thank you.

Michael:  OK. What does that mean, women should keep silent in the church? If you said to your daughter, "I'm talking on the phone. I want you to keep silent in the bathroom. Stop singing. Keep silent." And she said, "What do you mean by keep silent? Do you mean I can't sing? I can't talk? I can’t…” It means keep silent. So let's face the fact that when it says a woman is to be silent in the church, it's in regard to the church. Now, she can whisper to her kid, "Be quiet," or whatever is in the context of necessary for her to function, yeah, she can speak. But it goes on to say this. It says, "Thou shalt not suffer a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man."

And so the silence is in regard to an exercise of the spiritual gift, like prophecy. In other words, a woman shouldn't publicly prophesy. She shouldn't publicly speak. She shouldn't publicly rebuke.

Can she sing? Of course she can sing. Singing, making melody in your heart, to the Lord, everyone can do that. And in our congregation, we've practiced this for years. It's no problem. The women are quite glad for the opportunity to be silent.

But if, for instance, there's a mother there whose son is on the mission field, I may turn to her and say, "Have you heard from TJ this week?"

And she says, "Yeah."

And I say, "Well, how's his finances?"

"Well, he said they're holding out OK."

So she's talking to me. She's not participating in the ministry of the church in any way. She's not usurping authority over men. She's answering my question.

Or you may say to a woman in church, "Are we going to have a fellowship meal this afternoon?"

The woman says, "Yes. I want everybody to place their food back in the fellowship hall. Hope you get there early and so forth, and be sure and pick up after yourself."

So, that's not usurping authority or teaching or ministering in any way. We may ask for songs to be sung, and a woman may say, "I'd like 238." So she speaks like that.

In out‑of‑church meetings, for instance, if we're just standing around talking, then women can say as much as the men can. They can reprove, rebuke, exhort. They can challenge people. They can say, "I don't believe that, and I disagree with that."

You can have a Bible study a special Bible study that's not part of the church, where six or eight people get together or three or four families get together, and the women can participate, too.

Now, there's a principle and a rule you need to observe, even in a context like that, and that is that the women should not take the leading roles. They should not go forward. They should maintain a sort of back seat to the men and let the men be the ones ruling and head. Now, it's not because a woman is less intelligent than a man. It's not because she's less spiritual than a man. It's not because she's less capable than a man.

It's probably because she is more capable and more spiritual and more intelligent than most men, and God's design and role is for men to take the headship and the authority.

It's necessary for the children, for their growth and their maturity and their emotional balance, for the man to take the lead. And women are great vacuum‑fillers. Boy, they see a vacuum and they fill it. If they didn't, our homes would be in bad straits. So a woman sees a need, she wants to move in and fill it.

Now, if you have a church meeting that's open for everyone to speak and minister as they choose, men may sit there silent for two or three minutes and not say anything. They're thinking. They may sit for five minutes, and then one of them may say something and then sit another five minutes, kind of quiet.

That bothers women. They've been doing housework. They've been taking care of kids. They're multitasking. They're busy. They've got things to do. They've got a roast on at home cooking. This meeting's going kind of slow. They jump in and they fill up the vacuum. And they may do a pretty good job.

But inevitably, where women are permitted and encouraged to speak like that, the men will withdraw more and more, except for maybe a few of them, but most of them will withdraw. And the quiet types will move into the background and they'll never step forward, and then the woman starts despising her husband because he won't take the lead. His thought is, "Why should I take the lead? She's doing a pretty good job."

So it's like the man driving down the highway. He was driving. His wife's sitting there beside him, and they came to a place where it'd been narrowed to two lanes, and there was a confining wall here, and he's driving along, and the woman grabs the wheel. She's scared.

So he takes his hand off the wheel, and she starts screaming, "Why'd you take your hand off the wheel?!" He said, "Because you've got hold of it. You turn it loose and I'll take it back." And so, a lot of men, if their wife gets a hold of the wheel, they just take their hands off and they sink further and further into the background.

I've seen situations where women were dominant like that, and they adopted the policy of the women keeping silent, and it took six months or a year, but eventually men that you never expected to speak, that always stood in the background, started coming forward and sharing their experience in Christ. And before you know it, the church is growing and maturing, because the men in it are maturing.

So ladies, you need to obey the scriptures. God's smarter than we are. When He said a woman shouldn't teach or usurp authority, He knew what He was talking about. It has a purpose. It's all based on the nature of the man and the nature of the woman, and it is for the good of all of us. And so we obey it, not because we think women are less.

In fact, we hold them high. But it's what God told us to do, and God has good reasons for it.

Announcer:  If you would like to ask a Bible question, email us at [email protected] or call at 931‑805‑4820.

Leave a Reply

3 comments on “Why does the Bible say Women should remain quiet during church?”

  1. Really Mr. Pearl??? "It’s probably because she is more capable and more spiritual and more intelligent than most men...". One should always use scripture to answer if possible and 1 Timothy 2:11-14 answers this perfectly without degrading the man, God's first creation.
    11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.
    12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
    13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.
    14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
    Man is the glory of God while woman the glory of man. I could hardly believe you said this? You dishonor the God who created you and made you male.

  2. Wow Matt in the process of rebuking some one, which was pretty harsh by the way, you yourself sinned in the process.
    Sin meaning to "Miss the Mark" So if a rebuke was in order you went about it the wrong way period. We speak to uplift and edify not tear down other belivers..
    I feel the comment was joking banter and nothing more...

  3. I guess this is why we shouldn't use "joking banter" when teaching scripture. I don't think it "pretty harsh" but rather true. That being said I love Mr. Pearl and agree with almost all of his teaching.
    In the future it would be helpful if you answered the points made and not be so sensitive. You should also consider dropping the Reverend from your name.
    In our effeminate age pastors need to speak to the man, the lion heart!
    All the best-

Subscribe to our newsletter & stay updated