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October 12, 2009

Gay Rights Activity Escalates in Washington

Sexual orientation is on the brink of being added to the list of federally prosecuted hate crimes, after the House approved the Matthew Shepard Act last week. Fifteen Democrats and 131 Republicans opposed the act, which was attached to a $680 billion defense bill. The Senate is expected to approve the bill this week.

President Obama, who has promised his approval, also renewed his pledge to end the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy while speaking to the nation's largest gay advocacy group Saturday night.

The flurry of gay rights activity in Washington last week started with a decision by the D.C. City Council to consider allowing gay marriage in the district. If approved, Washington will become the first city below the Mason-Dixon line to allow gay marriage.

And on Sunday, tens of thousands chanted "hey Obama, let mama marry mama," in the National Equality March.

Support for civil unions is growing, while more people continue to oppose gay marriage than support it, according to a new Pew Forum report. Some study findings include:

-57 percent of Americans favor civil unions for gay and lesbian couples
-53 percent oppose allowing gays and lesbians to marry
-49 percent say homosexual behavior is morally wrong

Comments

Humans don't do "homosexual behavior" anymore...Posted by: Gregory Peterson at October 13, 2009... Gregoty... It does not matter if you call it homosexuality... men who have sex with men, or women who have sex with women... It is still a condemned activity...

Romans 1:26 That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other.

Romans 1:27 And the men, instead of having normal sexual relationships with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men and, as a result, suffered within themselves the penalty they so richly deserved.

Romans 1:28 When they refused to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their evil minds and let them do things that should never be done.

And just to cover the inevitability that you will onece again attemt to dismiss the biblical prohibitions on homosexual behavior as being part of idolatrous rituals... This should once again help to separate the two for you...

1Corinthians 6:9 (ESV) Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,

1Corinthians 6:10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

1Corinthians 6:11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

Notice that Paul says "And such WERE some of you" he does not say and such ARE some of you... Homosexuality has nothing to do with godliness according to the biblical record... And like all of the rest of the behaviors mentioned, must be repented of in order to please God...

Many people believe that homosexuals have chosen this lifestyle. But psychiatry affirms that it is not a choice but a "given", just as left-handedness is given.
No one would choose to be gay in a straight world, as there are too many obstacles to be overcome.
When trying to decide what is the Christian attitude to homosexuality, think of how Jesus dealt with People who faced illnesses and situations for which they had no responsibility.
There are gay Christians who feel that they have no other choice but celibacy. Others believe that if they enter a monogamous, loving relationship they will meet with the approval of God. They need our prayers and our understanding love.

Many people believe that homosexuals have chosen this lifestyle. But psychiatry affirms that it is not a choice but a "given", just as left-handedness is given.

Posted by: Ronald F. Watts at October 14, 2009

I disagree...

During the last 40 years the majority of SSA studies have been conducted, reviewed and/or published by homosexuality affirming researchers, many of whom are also openly homosexual. Virtually all of the studies were touted by the media as proving that SSA is inborn. In reality, however, every one of them, from gene analysis, to brain structure, fingerprint styles, handedness, finger lengths, eye blinking, ear characteristics, verbal skills and prenatal hormones, have failed to be replicated, were criticized for research limitations, and/or were outright debunked. This includes the widely publicized brain research of Dr. Simon LeVay,(8) and the gay gene research of Dr. Dean Hamer

There is, however, a somewhat greater incidence of SSA among identical versus fraternal twins, which suggests the presence of inherited predisposing traits at least for some. Data from multiple identical twin studies, however, proves that this inherited influence is minimal.

Every trait is influenced by genes, but only some are determined by them. “Genetically determined” is destiny, “genetically influenced” is not. Identical twins have exactly the same DNA and share genetically determined traits 100% of the time. Eye color is a genetically determined trait, so identical twins always have the same eye color. SSA, however, is shared only 10-30% of the time proving instead that there is no gay gene and that at least 70% of the variation in sexual orientation is not inherited.

What the current political climate ignores is that the last forty years of data proves only a small biological contribution and a significant degree of sexual fluidity.

http://www.acpeds.org/index.cgi?BISKIT=6792&CONTEXT=art&cat=10005&art=167%3Cbr%3E

Idolatry is condemned, not Gay relationships, as you well know. The clobber verses are firmly embedded in an idolatrous context. Don't sacrifice your children to Moloch. Don't lay with temple prostitutes. Sex is sex, not a pagan religious rite. Cherry picking anti-idolatry verses wildly out of context is unbecoming to you.

Posted by: Gregory Peterson at October 15, 2009

Gregory...

On the off chance that you failed to read the verses that separate idolatry and the practice of homosexuality...

1Corinthians 6:9 (ESV) Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,

1Corinthians 6:10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

1Corinthians 6:11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

Notice that Paul says "And such WERE some of you" he does not say and such ARE some of you... Homosexuality has nothing to do with godliness according to the biblical record... And like all of the rest of the behaviors mentioned, must be repented of in order to please God...


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@GP - "1Corinthians 6:9 (ESV) Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality," Paul could easily have used the Greek word for idols had he meant to. GP, just be honest. If you disagree with the Bible, just say so. Just say "I disagree with the Biblical text as it is written in Lev. and Rom. 1 and 1Cor." Alot of people disagree with the Bible on many issues and they admit it. It's okay. At least I could respect you for that. But what you are doing is a charade.

@GP - "Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality...," Why would Paul be redundant here - "...nor idolaters....nor men who practice homosexuality..." if all he meant was idolaters? He mentions both idolaters and homosexuals in one breath as if they are two different prohibitions. He does that b/c they are.

@Dan

I've checked the Codex Sinaiticus and this is what is said of 1Cor 6:9

"Or know you not that the unrighteous shall not inherit God’s kingdom? Be not deceived: neither lewd persons, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor catamites, nor sodomites.

Question: There are men who practice sodomy with their wives and girl friends. They too I would take it are excluded, no?

What happens if the two men just practice oral sex?

@Evan - "I've checked the Codex Sinaiticus and this is what is said of 1Cor 6:9..." I think is wonderful that you are into the Word of God. Now for the other issue:
According to Strong's Concordance the word "homosexual" is used twice in the NT (I Cor. 6:9 and I Tim. 1:10). The Greek word is arsenokoites which literally means "sodomite". That word comes from the word "arsen" (male) + "koite" (a bed, connoting sexual promiscuity). So, what does the text say? What does the text mean? What does the text mean for individuals? Connect the dots, Evan. What do those two texts mean to you? As far as your questions are concerned, what constitutes sexually immoral behavior? What constitutes idloatrous behavior? What constitutes homosexual behavior? What did the Jewish culture mean by those terms? Unless they had some specialized meaning that biblical translators are unaware of, they are pretty easy to comprehend. Check you Funk and Wagnalls. As far as your questions about specific sexual practices allowable by God...well all I can say is anyone who can read the Codex Sinaiticus doesn't need to seek my opinion. (What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas!)

@Dan

I think I shall stick to the codex. Religious bigotry has reared its ugly head from time immemorial and will continue to do so. But it serves no purpose in today's world.

No wonder there are so many religions. Clear proof that none knows what God says.

Perhaps it's time we start throwing Jehova Witnesses to the lions. I think a darn good reality show could be made of that. And after them we'll turn to the Roman Catholics. I'm sure we will be able to find some justification in the bible.

@Evan - Glad you're sticking to the Codex as it is the word of God, too. And whoever translated the Codex into English rendered the word "arsenokoites" literally as "sodomite" in both I Cor. 6:9 and I Tim. 1:10. The NASB translates the same word as homosexual. Same intent. We know them as synonyms. Stick with the word whether it is the Codex or another version. Joshua 1:8 says "This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; (B)for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success." And Romans 12:1, 2 says "1Therefore (A)I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to (B)present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.
2And do not (C)be conformed to (D)this world, but be transformed by the (E)renewing of your mind, so that you may (F)prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect." Stay in the word of God, listen to it, read it, study it, memorize it, meditate on it. It will change your life!

@GP - Three posts. Whew! And you responded to both David Hardy and myself in the same breath. It's almost as if you see us as the same person. And you spend a lot of time critiquing the Bible with a sort of psychobabble, postmodern hermenutic and those who believe it to be the word of the infinite yet personal God. It's almost as if you have replaced the written word of God with yourself as the "word of God." (Hebrews 4:12 For the word of Gregory Peterson is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.) Maybe you'll englighten us all as to how to rightly divide the word of God. (II Tim. 2:15)
Yet, it will be the Word of God that will judge us all.

Oh boy, here we go again.
@Dan, everyone reads the Bible from a perspective or interpretive framework. The question is if we are able, by God's grace, to read it rightly, or at least sufficiently to reasonably understand and live according to God's will therein expressed.
@Gregory, we certainly should let the Bible convict and challenge us, but we should also take it at face value as much as possible. This sometimes requires a judicious mix of systematic and text-critical methods, but always requires the grace of God.

@Brendan - Nicely said. I would only add this: not every hermeneutical lens is of equal value. I prefer the grammatical/historical method with always an eye on tradition. And Brendan, b/c you are so articulate and "dead on" you win the door prize. (I must admit, however, I am a re-gifter :-)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tc9HRxHGgY

And whose hermeneutical lense is of best value Dan? The one you happen to agree with? The one that David Hardy subscribes to? The one that Gregory Peterson subscribes to? The one that Dan or I subscribe to?

I find it deeply disturbing that in this the 21st century, you would believe in slavery and the treating of women as no more than second class citizens.

@Evan - "I find it deeply disturbing that in this the 21st century, you would believe in slavery and the treating of women as no more than second class citizens." But, Ebay makes it so convenient ;-P. (Just kidding!) C'mon Evan. How did you get from point A (the grammatical/historical method with always an eye on tradition) to point "wherever" (you would believe in slavery and the treating of women as no more than second class citizens) That's not what the "grammatical/historical method" means. The g/h method is "The process for determining the original meaning of the text is through examination of the grammatical and syntactical aspects, the historical background, the literary genre as well as theological (canonical) considerations." And "The aim of the historical-grammatical method is to discover the meaning of the passage as the original author would have intended and what the original hearers would have understood." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical-grammatical_method
See also: http://www.xenos.org/essays/herme.htm. "Keeping an eye on tradition" refers to just checking to see how the church throughout history has interpreted any given text of the bible. Evan, it doesn't have anything to do with slavery or treating women as second class citizens. For determining what the bible means and teaches, this method seems to me to be the most reasonable and objective. FOR THE RECORD: the bible DOES NOT teach that we can own slaves or treat women as second class citizens.

Just because the Bible has regulations on same sex sexual activity in idolatrous settings, doesn't mean that all same-sex sexual relationships are therefore forbidden.

Posted by: Gregory Peterson at October 19, 2009


Gregory...

Yet again, I disagree...

On the off chance that you failed to read the verses that separate idolatry and the practice of homosexuality...

1Corinthians 6:9 (ESV) Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,

1Corinthians 6:10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

1Corinthians 6:11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

Notice that Paul says "And such WERE some of you" he does not say and such ARE some of you... Homosexuality has nothing to do with godliness according to the biblical record... And like all of the rest of the behaviors mentioned, must be repented of in order to please God...

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@GP - The historical/grammatical hermeneutic is not literalist in your sense of the word. See the above links.

@ Dan

For the record, THE BIBLE DOES TEACH THAT WE CAN OWN SLAVES AND IT DOES TEACH THAT IT IS OK TO TREAT WOMEN AS SECOND CLASS CITIZENS.

Where in the bible do we see any teaching that says owning slaves is a despicable thing? Nowehere!

Instead, the bible teaches how you should treat your slaves. It lays down a code of conduct.

And further the Pauline letters instruct Christian slaves how to treat their masters. No where did God say it is an abominable thing and it should not be done.

In the Pauline Gospels - women were to be seen and not heard in church. The early church by tradition did not have women sharing the gospel. Why are you not adhering to this part of tradition?

@Evan: "THE BIBLE DOES TEACH THAT WE CAN OWN SLAVES AND IT DOES TEACH THAT IT IS OK TO TREAT WOMEN AS SECOND CLASS CITIZENS." I would ask you the same question:
Where do we see in the New Testament Jesus or the Apostles advocating for owning slaves? Even tho the bible was not written specifically to us, it was written for us in the form of universal commands and principles. The bible was written to people who were in specific places and times, and it addressed issues that were part of that culture - and servitude (slaves and bond servants) was part of that culture. True, slaves/bonservants were the subject of some of Paul's epistles. What did he say? Paul taught that if a person owned a s/b.s. who was a Christian he was obligated to treat that person as a brother or sister in Christ. See Philemon (esp. v.15,16) 15 "Perhaps the reason he (Onesimus) was separated from you for a little while was that you might have him back for good— 16no longer as a slave, but better than a slave, as a dear brother." If the slave/b.s. was not a Christian the slave owner still was to treat him/her with Christian love nonetheless. Paul writes in I Cor. 7: 21Were you a slave when you were called? Don't let it trouble you—although if you can gain your freedom, do so. 22For he who was a slave when he was called by the Lord is the Lord's freedman; similarly, he who was a free man when he was called is Christ's slave. 23You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men." Paul did not advocate for slavery as an institution -he knew it was cruel, but he did advocate for willingly becoming a slave/b.s. to Christ. Paul was a realist of the 1st century. Slavery was a reality. How then should slave owners and slaves live in that reality? The Christian gospel, however, contains within it the seeds of slavery's demise. How can a Christian treat another human being as property and say he/she loves that slave as Christ does? Not possible. Christ's love for us took Him to the cross. As the Christian gospel penetrated cultures of the world throughout the centuries, the belief that people are created in the imago dei (the image of God) took hold in people's minds and hearts. With that vision Christians then led the fight against slavery. As far as women are concerned, Paul articulated the priciple of gender/racial/class equality in Galatians 3: 26 You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 "There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." AND You said: "The early church by tradition did not have women sharing the gospel." (Not true OR cite your evidence to the contrary.) Read Acts 18 about Priscilla and Aquila and Rom.16:3. Apparently, Priscilla did do a lot of talking. Hope this has helped clear up your confusion about what the bible teaches about slavery and the equality of women.

@Evan and Dan,
if you're interested in the Pauline view of women, there's a book on it coming out next month that shows Paul basically regarded women as equals in teaching and practice. It's called "Man and Woman: One in Christ," by Philip Payne, publisher Zondervan, $30. The book also shows that in the 1st century church, women held just about every title of church authority, including apostle. As someone who's gotten to look at early versions of the book, I highly recommend it.

@Brendan - $30!!! I am but a humble school teacher and cannot afford such a luxury. Now if Evan will be so kind as to buy the book for me, I will let him borrow it to read. Or I may just wait for it to be made into a movie. ;-p

Brendan, thanks for the info

I'll have a look at it. I have not read it yet of course, but I think this would be someone's attempt to revise another bit of the bible that's not too palatable.

Paul clearly taught women should not have leadership positions in churches. The early church clearly adopted this view. This view clearly was carried thru until the feminist movement came to the fore. It is this very doctrine why some of the world's major religion still do not allow women as part of their clergy.

@Evan - Societies in general have always treated women like property (even to the present day in many parts of the world) - they didn't wait for Paul the Apostle. Evan, you completely ignored the biblical texts that I cited above. Those are foundational doctrinal principles that should guide our thinking about the treatment of women. Remember Galatians 3:28 "There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." Just b/c churches have not always followed that foundational principle reveals more about the society than the bible. Churches are influenced by their cultures as well. So, see what the Apostle Peter thought: I Pet. 3:1-7. And Paul in Eph. 5:22-33 - "22Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. 25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26to make her holy, cleansing[b] her by the washing with water through the word, 27and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself." Evan, Paul acutally has raised the bar for the treatment of women far higher than the feminist movement ever did. How often have you heard someone in the feminist movement tell men to love their wives as Christ loved the church. (Note: Christ died on the cross for His bride. Most men today faced with the choice of going to the cross or letting his wife go to the cross would probably console his wife by telling her that he will take good care of the kids and they will visit her grave often. Christ went for us - willingly!) I've also heard that first century rabbis would pray every day, "Lord, thank you that you did not create me a woman." Paul dropped a bombshell in the social and religious milieu of that day. And you can't see that? And where do you think the feminist movement came from, anyway? It just didn't spring up by itself. It had a Christian beginning.

@ Dan,

Paul and Jesus had an opportunity to say : Thou shalt not own your fellow human being. Slavery is a detestable thing and should not be done. Thou shalt not own slaves. The fact that they didn't indicate the practice was condoned.

The Bible clearly approves of slavery in many passages, and it goes so far as to tell how to obtain slaves, how hard you can beat them, and even when you can have sex with the female slaves.

Leviticus 25:44-46:” However, you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you. You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land. You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance. You may treat your slaves like this, but the people of Israel, your relatives, must never be treated this way.”


Exodus 21: 2-6: “If you buy a Hebrew slave, he is to serve for only six years. Set him free in the seventh year, and he will owe you nothing for his freedom. If he was single when he became your slave and then married afterward, only he will go free in the seventh year. But if he was married before he became a slave, then his wife will be freed with him. If his master gave him a wife while he was a slave, and they had sons or daughters, then the man will be free in the seventh year, but his wife and children will still belong to his master. But the slave may plainly declare, 'I love my master, my wife, and my children. I would rather not go free.' If he does this, his master must present him before God. Then his master must take him to the door and publicly pierce his ear with an awl. After that, the slave will belong to his master forever.

Ephesians 6:5 “Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear. Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ”

1 Timothy 6:1-2: “Christians who are slaves should give their masters full respect so that the name of God and his teaching will not be shamed. If your master is a Christian, that is no excuse for being disrespectful. You should work all the harder because you are helping another believer by your efforts. Teach these truths, Timothy, and encourage everyone to obey them.”

The bible is patriarchal by and large.

I Corinthians 14:34-35: ”Women are to remain silent in church and if they need to learn anything they are to ask their husbands at home.”

This was understood and applied by the early church. There were no women preachers of the gospel around Paul’s time.

This was understood and applied by the early church. There were no women preachers of the gospel around Paul’s time.

Posted by: Evan at October 29, 2009

Evan...

I disagree with your assessment... Paul never contradicted the prophesy of Joel

Acts 2:17 " 'In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.

Acts 2:18 Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.

Romans 12:6 God has given each of us the ability to do certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out when you have faith that God is speaking through you.

1Corinthians 11:4 A man dishonors Christ if he covers his head while praying or prophesying.

1Corinthians 11:5 But a woman dishonors her husband if she prays or prophesies without a covering on her head, for this is the same as shaving her head.

1Corinthians 14:5 I wish you all had the gift of speaking in tongues, but even more I wish you were all able to prophesy. For prophecy is a greater and more useful gift than speaking in tongues, unless someone interprets what you are saying so that the whole church can get some good out of it.

1Corinthians 14:26 Well, my brothers and sisters, let's summarize what I am saying. When you meet, one will sing, another will teach, another will tell some special revelation God has given, one will speak in an unknown language, while another will interpret what is said. But everything that is done must be useful to all and build them up in the Lord.

1Corinthians 14:39 So, dear brothers and sisters, be eager to prophesy, and don't forbid speaking in tongues.

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@David Hardy

You disagree with my assessment? It is not my assessment. It is God's word that you are disagreeing with. And here it is in black and white for you

1 Cor 13:34 "The women are to keep silent in the churches; for they are not permitted to speak, but are to subject themselves, just as the Law also says.

In all possibility they will have to prophesy to their husbands. And then their husbands will then tell the church. Because they certainly are not allowed to do it in church.

There is no wiggle room here. And no amount of you quoting scriputers will provide any. Unless you are saying that we can disregard what Paul said in 1 Cor 13:34.

You can but I can't. It is pretty clear to me that God says women should not speak in church.

If you read Acts and all of the other Pauline gospels. You will clearly see that no woman held a place of authority in the early church. So by scripture and by tradition this was observed. It's only in modern day this has changed.

We have a lot to answer for. We are going against the word of God.


You disagree with my assessment? It is not my assessment. It is God's word that you are disagreeing with. And here it is in black and white for you.

Posted by: Evan at October 31, 2009

No Evan...

It is abundantly clear that Paul did not stand in the way of women prophesying within the assembly

I am not disagreeing with God's word... I am disagreeing with your very biased interpretation of one verse..

An interpretation that you are deliberately using to steer attention away from the actual subject at hand...

It appears that your obfuscation tactics are merely a ploy to justify the practice of homosexuality...

You embody this...

1Timothy 6:4 Anyone who teaches anything different is both conceited and ignorant. Such a person has an unhealthy desire to quibble over the meaning of words. This stirs up arguments ending in jealousy, fighting, slander, and evil suspicions.

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1 Cor 13:34 "The women are to keep silent in the churches; for they are not permitted to speak, but are to subject themselves, just as the Law also says.

This scripture needs no interpretation. It is clear as the light of day.

You may try to interpret it as much as you like so that you can then continue on with your hate mongering. Feel free to.

But it says what it says. And the tradition of the early church upheld it. And this tradition has been passed on down through the ages via Orthodox churches.

Oh, I forgot to mention - in case it was not clear to you - and it seems that it wasn't. In none of the verses that you quoted does it state that these propheysings will be done in church. So no - women are to keep silent in church. This is clearly God's desire and His command.