It has came to my attention recently that there are those out there who do not believe it is acceptable to God that they have Bible classes as part of their services. They state that they do not do this because women are to keep silent in the church, not teach, and to not usurp authority over a man as said in the verses I Timothy 2:12 and I Corinthians 14:35. It is perfectly fine if the Elders of a congregation choose to not have Bible classes in the church building, but rather choose to encourage members to go into the world to teach the Bible, however, it is not permissible for a congregation who does not have Bible class in the church building to speak against those who do. Many congregations have Elders who choose to have Bible classes in the church building and who also encourage members to go into the world to teach the Bible in other places, also. There are those groups, however, who do not have Bible classes that will tell other members of the church that it is wrong to have them, so here are some things that you can tell someone who presents an argument against having Bible classes.
1. A woman can teach the Bible without taking authority away from a man. Bible class is just that; teaching the Bible. This can be done anywhere by both men and women, so long as the woman isn’t taking authority away from a man. A woman can teach unaccountable male children and women the Bible, and the men teach both men and women. A woman teaching unaccountable male children and women does not take authority away from a man who is teaching, whether it be in the church building or outside the church building. Acts 18 speaks of Priscilla, who taught Apollos and others with her husband Aquilla, but yet she did not usurp his authority.
2. Bible class and worship service are two different things. Although a woman can teach unaccountable males and women in Bible class, she cannot preach in the worship service. This is because the actual worship service is separate and apart from the Bible class in that it requires the assembling of all members, both male and female, accountable and unaccountable. It also differs from Bible class because worship service involves singing, praying, giving as one has prospered, a Gospel sermon, and partaking of the Lord’s Supper. A woman cannot take a leading role in the worship service because she would be taking authority over a man by trying to lead over accountable men, which violates I Timothy 2:12 and I Corinthians 14:35.
3. The church building is just a building. Those who disagree with having Bible class will act as if the church building is a sacred place, when it is just a building. The church is the people who assemble in the building, not the building itself. If God’s people wanted to assemble in the woods, then that is just the same as assembling in the building. What takes place in the building can take place anywhere, and that includes having Bible studies where women can be involved. Many people who disagree with women participating in Bible classes in the church building are fine with them conducting Bible studies elsewhere. There is no difference. Going back to Aquilla and Priscilla, they had Bible studies in their homes and Priscilla taught the Bible along with her husband. Likewise, a woman cannot lead in a worship service no matter where it is.
I could go into more detail about this topic, but these are the basics that a person can start with when talking to someone who says that having Bible classes in the church building is wrong. It isn’t often the case that a member of the church feels this way, but there are those out there who do, so it pays to be prepared when presented with this issue. I hope that this article will help others debate this topic and possibly change a person’s mind on this topic. We should ever strive to follow God and His teaching and to not decide for ourselves what is right or wrong without having the authority of the Bible to back us up. “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him” (Colossians 3:17).