I just came across this discussion on Facebook. It is incredible the weak arguments people come up with to ignore the words of Paul on women preaching or teaching in the assembly.
First the main post, which quoted John Wesley:
” John Wesley on women preaching:
You ask me, “Is there any difference between Quakerism and Christianity?” I think there is. What that difference is, I will tell you as plainly as I can. I will first set down the account of Quakerism (so called) which is given by Robert Barclay: and then add, wherein it agrees with, and wherein it differs from, Christianity.
“We judge it no ways unlawful, for a woman to preach in the assemblies of God’s people.”
In this there is a manifest difference. For the Apostle Paul saith expressly, ‘Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak. 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.’ 1 Cor. xiv. 34, 35.
Robert Barclay indeed says, ‘Paul here only reproves the inconsiderate and talkative women.’ But the text says no such thing. It evidently speaks of women in general.
Again, the Apostle Paul saith to Timothy, ‘Let your women learn in silence with all subjection. For I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, (which public teaching necessarily implies,) but to be in silence.’ (1 Tim. ii. 11, 12.)
To this Robert Barclay makes only that harmless reply; ‘We think this is not any ways repugnant to this doctrine.’ Not repugnant to this, ‘I do not suffer a woman to teach?’ Then I know not what is.
“But a woman laboured with Paul in the work of the gospel.” Yea! But not in the way he had himself expressly forbidden.
But Joel foretold, ‘Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy.’ And ‘Philip had four daughters which prophesied.’ And the Apostle himself directs women to prophesy; only with their ‘heads covered.’ Very good. But how do you prove that prophesying in any of these places means preaching?” “
And now, somebody wrote this response to the above:
” Wasnt paul reffering to the temple prostitutes that was attending the church in corinth and he was addressing the manner in which all women should consider behaving so that no one on the outside could judge? So paul was trying to apply grace to the situation of that church not all churches? “
To which I responded:
” If they were prostitutes, why did they have husbands?
“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.” “
[The pre-eminent Catholic theologian, St Thomas Aquinas wrote:
“Speech may be employed in two ways: in one way privately, to one or a few, in familiar conversation, and in this respect the grace of the word may be becoming to women; in another way, publicly, addressing oneself to the whole church, and this is not permitted to women. – Thomas Aquinas (ST II-II, Q 177, A 2, co.)”]