Article of Faith: Paul’s Male-Chauvinism Against Women, By Femi Aribisala [1]

Femi Aribisala, Ph.D
Femi Aribisala

The word of Paul about women being silent in the churches has passed away precisely because it is not the word of God.

Some months ago, Jimi Sonuga introduced me to two of his female neighbours. “Do you write a column in a newspaper?” enquired one of them. “Yes,” I replied. “Oh,” she smiled, “you are the man who hates Paul.” “I would not put it that way,” I protested, “I don’t hate anybody.” Then the lady did something interesting. She came nearer and whispered to me in mocking confidentiality: “Don’t worry about that. We can’t stand Paul too.”

Why should a Christian lady’s aversion for Paul be confidential? I would never presume to speak for Christian women. Nevertheless, I have discovered that most of them cannot stand Paul. However, their distaste for him is not expressed publicly in Christian circles because the bible is used to browbeat women, and the official Christian doctrine, even against overwhelming evidence to the contrary, is that everything in the bible, including the epistles of Paul, is the word of God. Never mind that Paul’s “word of God” about women is often ignored in churches.

Misogynistic Paul

Nowhere did Paul do as much havoc to Christianity as he did on the issue of women. Paul belonged to the mainstream male Jewish cultural tradition that despised women. The apocryphal book of Sirach says: “Better is the wickedness of a man than a woman who does good; it is woman who brings shame and disgrace.” The Talmud says: “a hundred women are no better than two men.” Josephus echoes this: “The woman is inferior to the man in every way.”

Without a doubt, Paul is a misogynist who contributes in the bible to this contempt for women. Speaking with characteristic double-mindedness, Paul says: “there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28). Then he contradicts himself by saying: “Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.” (1 Timothy 2:11-14).

Can this be the word of God? Certainly not! Only the words of Jesus are the words of God. Indeed, Paul does not even pretend here, as he sometimes does, that he received this bizarre injunction from Jesus. He is simply laying down his own law to be enforced by the authority he confers on himself. Note his words: “I do no permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man.” Who does not permit this? It is male-chauvinistic Paul.

God-given authority

What about God? Does he permit a woman to be in authority over a man? Yes he does. God appointed a woman, Deborah, as judge in Israel. (Judges 4:4-5). In that capacity, she exercised God-given authority over all Israel; male and female. That authority was not given to Lapidoth, her husband. It was given to Deborah, his wife. Today, some women exercise authority over men in all walks of life. There is absolutely nothing ungodly or unrighteous about this.

God says: “I am the LORD, I do not change.” (Malachi 3:6). Therefore, we know the same God who gave Deborah authority over men in the Old Testament gives it to women in the New Testament. If the case of Deborah had been a mistake, Jesus would have corrected it. He did not.

Paul’s was expressing his personal prejudices. This might be of importance to men like Timothy, after all, he claims to be their father. But Paul is not our father, so we don’t have to listen to him. Jesus says: “Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven.” (Matthew 23:9). Neither is Paul our teacher. Jesus says furthermore: “One is your teacher, the Christ.” (Matthew 23:10).

Paul’s chauvinism

Paul continues his diatribe against women in another scripture, using new arguments to buttress his position. He says: “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 14:34-38).

You know this is balderdash almost immediately because the same Paul who insists Christians are no longer under the law, now finds it necessary to seek refuge in the law as the authority for this invective. But here, Paul is hoping his Gentile audience is not well-versed in the law, because his statement is an outright lie. Nowhere in the law are women required to keep silent in the synagogue. Paul just fabricates this out of thin air.

This kind of male chauvinism should not be confused with the word of God. Why would God give women voices and then insist they cannot speak? Paul’s maliciously-phrased injunction means women cannot even sing aloud in church, or read scripture aloud, or pray aloud, for that would violate the commandment of “Emperor Paul” who insists they must be silent.

Paul’s witchcraft

When you read between the lines, you realise that Paul anticipates that some would take great exception to his outrageous injunction that women must not speak in church. Therefore, he found it necessary to fabricate additional justifications, the better to ram his jaundiced point of view down the throat of Christians. He declares: “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).

This is nothing short of manipulative witchcraft. Jesus says we should beware of false prophets. (Matthew 7:15). But nowhere did he say the yardstick by which we would determine a true prophet is by his conformity to the capricious words of Paul. Paul is not Jesus, and Jesus does not speak like Paul. When a woman interrupted Jesus while he was preaching by shouting: “Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts which nursed you,” Jesus did not tell her to keep silent. He merely replied: “More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” (Luke 11:27-28).

But Paul adds insult to injury. He says furthermore: “If (women) 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 preposterous. Can Paul speak for women? Who tells him it is shameful for a woman to speak in church? Is it shameful for Paul or is it shameful for women? This position is even asinine. What about widows and single women who don’t have husbands? Who should they ask at home?

Many Christians insist Paul’s word is the word of God. If so, why is it that no church abides by this word of Paul today? The word of God is timeless. It is so in the beginning and ever more shall be. Jesus says: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will by no means pass away.” (Matthew 24:35). But the word of Paul about women being silent in the churches has passed away precisely because it is not the word of God.

(To Be Continued).


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  • Victor

    FEMI ARIBISALA’S UNWARRANTED HATRED AND ENVY OF APOSTLE PAUL (1)

    You see it all the time in politics and in everyday life: when someone feels that the only way they can ‘shine’, is by pulling down others. They go to great lengths to smear the character of their betters in the vain hope that they can appear pristine by comparison. This is nothing but envy. A deep corrosive envy that makes a man waste his life attacking those who are far better than him. It is also the doorway through which the de.vil has wrecked Femi Aribisala’s faith.

    Since Femi wishes for his rambling collection of disjointed articles to replace the inspired word of God through Apostle Paul, we must then subject them to some rigorous tests to determine their veracity. When a man uses words like “witchcraft, misogyny, 419 specialist, thief and liar etc.” to characterize a man called by Jesus himself, we can safely say that he cannot be speaking for Jesus. Jesus said to his apostles in Luke 10:16: “Whoever listens to you listens to me; whoever rejects you rejects me; but whoever rejects me rejects him who sent me.” These same disciples accepted apostle Paul’s testimony and freely welcomed him into their midst after his conversion; acknowledging the miraculous work of God in his life that turned a former persecutor of the Church into its most ardent and passionate promoter, willing to give up his very own life for her. Apostle Peter, foreseeing all these scurrilous attacks by apostates like Femi, prophesied in the following verses as he endorsed Paul’s writings as scripture: “His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which IGNORANT AND UNSTABLE PEOPLE DISTORT, AS THEY DO THE OTHER SCRIPTURES, TO THEIR OWN DESTRUCTION.” By refusing to listen to the disciples of Christ as he commanded, Femi then presumes to know more about Jesus than the men that walked with him while he was on earth. That is laughable deceit.

    So, if we do not listen to the Disciples of Christ who documented his words, and Apostle Paul whom he sent, who shall we listen to? Some nameless woman and her demonic opinion about Paul? Who cares whether this woman can “stand Paul” or not? When did she become a voice for ALL women?? The Muslims don’t like Paul either, and so what? No one is losing sleep over them. This suitably nameless woman and her opinions remain irrelevant. Or is it Femi’s disjointed ramblings that we shall listen to? With his corrosive and hateful envy that blinds him so much that he can make ignorant blanket statements like this from both sides of his mouth: “I would NEVER presume to speak for Christian women. NEVERTHELESS, I have discovered that most of them cannot stand Paul”?? That is frankly ridiculous. We might as well listen to any blathering clown that comes strolling around the corner insisting that he is right and the whole of Christianity is wrong. Preposterous! There are so many aspects of Christianity that appear unfair or unjust when we judge them with our human understanding. The concept of “Hell” is one such teaching and frequent readers will recall that this very concept had earlier made Femi so uncomfortable, he declared that Hell does not exist! Does that now mean that we all must join him in his apostasy and recreate a ‘god’ in our own image, with words to soothe our own liking? What kind of ‘god’ will that be?? For instance, Jesus said we cannot be his disciples if we do not HATE our family members. An “ignorant and unstable” person might claim Jesus is advocating hatred but a deeper study of the scripture in context makes it clear that this is not so. The exact same thing is happening today with Paul’s letters as we were already warned by Peter.

    That Femi Aribisala does not have the slightest understanding of the contextual basis of the word of God through Apostle Paul is clear to anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of the Bible. That he chooses to broadcast his ignorance this way in a blatant effort to pander to women and curry their support is inexcusably devious. Even Jesus Christ that Femi pretends to follow did not appoint a single woman to his circle of disciples while he was on earth. Do we also accuse him of chauvinism and misogyny like Femi ignorantly accuses Paul? After all, what better way to show that “women and men have interchangeable roles” than by appointing women to be his disciples?? The fact that Christ did not do this speaks volumes! It is a point that the most vocal feminist must admit can only be explained by the fact that Jesus Christ clearly recognized DIFFERENT roles (NOT inferior or superior) for men and women. The same Jesus at some point called a woman a d0g! Can anyone imagine the the amount of insults Femi would have unleashed if that statement was made by apostle Paul? What is clear is that Femi is biased with hatred and envy. He cannot speak for Jesus. As a matter of fact, Jesus speaks for himself through his words and actions documented in the Bible, and through his servants he commanded us to listen to. Femi only speaks for his own personal motives and selfish gain as he vainly strives to discredit a man that has run his race satisfactorily and received his reward; just so that he can attempt to shine in his place. Well, the word of God for treacherous people like him is clear: “Whoever digs a pit will fall into it; if someone rolls a stone, it will roll back on them.” (Proverbs 26:27) AND “Woe to you, destroyer, though you were not destroyed; and you who deal treacherously, though they have not dealt treacherously with you! As soon as you finish destroying, you will be destroyed; As soon as you cease to deal treacherously, others will deal treacherously with you.” (Isaiah 33:1)

    P.S. WOMEN ACKNOWLEDGED AND RESPECTED BY APOSTLE PAUL CONTRARY TO FEMI’S LIES

    – He greets Prisca, Junia, Julia, and Nereus’ sister, who worked and traveled as missionaries in pairs with their husbands or brothers.[Rom 16:3,7,15] He also sends elaborate greetings to Tryphena, Tryphosa, who “labour for the Lord’s work”, and to Rufus’ mother.[Rom 16:12–15]

    – Priscilla or Prisca is expressly mentioned six times in the Bible, as the wife of Aquila, and as a missionary partner with the Apostle Paul. They were also partners in the craft of tent making.

    – Paul praises Junia as a prominent apostle who had been imprisoned for her labor.[Rom 16:7] Junia is “the only female apostle named in the New Testament”.

    – Phebe or Phoebe. Paul attaches to her three titles: diakonos meaning a deacon (lit. “Servant”), sister, and prostatis meaning “a woman in a supportive role, patron, benefactor”. There is no difference when the title of deacon is used for Phoebe and Timothy.

    – Mary and Persis are commended for their hard work.[Rom. 16:6,12]

    – Chloe, a prominent woman of Corinth, appears to be the head of a household of an extended family. She and her household told Paul of the divisions in the congregation of Corinth.[1 Cor. 1:11]

    – Euodia and Syntyche are called his fellow-workers in the gospel.[Phil. 4:2–3]

    P.P.S. This writer is TERRIFIED of the truth so expect this comment to be deleted. It will be re-posted as often as that happens. Have a blessed week.

    • PAUL CONTRADICTS HIMSELF

      Take a look at this. Paul says to the Romans: “Greet Andronicus and JUNIAS, my relatives who have been in prison with me. They are outstanding among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was.” (Romans 16:7).

      This is an interesting piece of information that often goes unnoticed. Here Paul salutes Junias, upon whom he confers the title of apostle, and he acknowledges Andronicus and Junias were in Christ before him. BUT JUNIA IS A WOMAN. This means, according to Paul, a woman occupied the highest office established by Paul himself in his church:

      “And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues.” (1 Corinthians 12:28).

      Since a woman was an apostle according to Paul’s own classification, how can the same Paul later tell women to keep silent in the churches? Should an apostle, who sometimes establishes churches, not be allowed to speak in church? Paul’s epistles are a bundle of contradictions. Paul conferred the title of apostle on a woman, and then said women should not teach. Go figure.

    • PAUL IS NOTHING BUT A MALE CHAUVINIST

      Paul says: “I do no permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man.” However, in the New Testament, Priscilla (a woman) taught Apollos (a man) a more accurate knowledge of the “way of God” because Apollos was ignorant of this:

      “A Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was a learned man, with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures. He had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and he spoke with great fervor and taught about Jesus accurately, though he knew only the baptism of John. He began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately.” (Acts 18:24-26).

      Please note that in this scripture, Priscilla (the woman) is named before her husband, Aquila.

    • PAUL IS NOTHING BUT A MALE CHAUVINIST

      In my article of faith last week entitled: “Women in the Ministry of Jesus,: I observed that Jesus did not regard women as a distinctive subordinate class of people. He did not infringe on their liberty by imposing suffocating dos and don’ts exclusively for them. Instead, he affirmed their equal status with men in Israel’s religious heritage by calling them “the daughters of Abraham.” (Luke 13:16).

      However, Paul infringed on the liberty of women by imposing suffocating do’s and don’ts on them. What could be more suffocating than this capricious injunction: : “Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak.” (1 Corinthians 14:34).

  • Jibrin Ibrahim

    Thanks Femi for educating us on the bigotry of Paul. It’s reassuring the religious scholars are today opting for gender equality.

    • Foluso

      but not on gay rights…shame!