If we are all one in Christ, why should women be silent and only men allowed to speak?
Christians should not be afraid to admit it: Paul is a male chauvinist. He says to the Corinthians: “I want you to know that the head of… woman is man.” (1 Corinthians 11:3) But God is not a respecter of the sexes. Deborah ruled as a judge in Israel by divine sanction, where she exercised authority over all men, including her husband, Lapidoth. (Judges 4:4) Today, all authority in heaven and on earth is given to Jesus, and he does not delegate his authority. (Matthew 28:18) Therefore, the head of the man and the woman is the same, and it is Christ.
Paul’s Bogus Claims
Paul continues with his contumely: “Every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head… For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man.” (1 Corinthians 11:4/7) But Jewish men pray with their heads covered, so Jesus must have done the same. God does not pay attention to such trivialities. You can even pray while stark naked if you like. Paul’s doctrine is capricious. If men should not cover their heads before God because they are the glory of God, then it only follows that women should also not cover their heads before men because, according to Paul, they are the glory of men.
Paul then tells a bold-faced lie: “Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him?” (1 Corinthians 11:14) We may well ask from which college of natural history Paul has obtained this teaching. In nature, the lion is the one with the long hair (manes) and not the lioness. The male peacock also has longer plumes than the female, so Paul’s claims are bogus.
To Jews, long hair was (in matters of the faith) more of a “glory” than a “shame.” A Nazarite man, for example, does not cut his hair and it is not a dishonour to him. (Numbers 6:5) It was God himself who told Samson not to cut his hair. (Judges 13:5)
Paul continues: “If a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her; for her hair is given to her for a covering.” (1 Corinthians 11:15) But wait a minute; did Paul not say women should cover their heads? If the woman’s hair is given to her for a covering, why does she need to cover it again? What is the point of covering a covering?
Paul then reveals his contempt for women in one of the most outrageous verses in the bible: “Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says.” (1 Corinthians 14:34) Here the man who claims Christians are no longer under the law now seeks refuge in the same law. But even here Paul is being disingenuous because nowhere in the entire Old Testament does it say women should be silent in the synagogue.
Why would God give women tongues and then maintain they cannot speak and only men can speak? Paul contradicts himself elsewhere by insisting that differentiations between men and women no longer apply under Christ: “There is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28) If we are all one in Christ, why should women be silent and only men be allowed to speak?
Paul then adds insult to injury by implying that women are less spiritual than men. He says: “If they want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is shameful for women to speak in church.” (1 Corinthians 14:35) This is ridiculous and mean-spirited. For whom is it shameful, for women or for Paul? What about single women and widows who don’t have husbands? Who should they ask at home?
Finally, Paul uses “ogboju” to try and force down his misogynistic doctrine down the throat of the Corinthians: “If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord. But if anyone is ignorant, let him be ignorant.” (1 Corinthians 14:37-38) Paul is the ignorant one. According to Jesus our Lord, we determine a prophet by his fruits. (Matthew 7:15-16) It is preposterous for Paul to maintain that a prophet or spiritual person is determined by whether they agree with him. Paul is not God, and he is not Jesus Christ.