A married woman in the congregation, being asked by her pastor to be certain to attend a specially called meeting of the church, refused, saying that it was against her husband’s wishes.
The pastor immediately retorted, “I am God’s duly-authorized representative. You must obey me rather than your husband.”
"Oh no, for Jesus said, What God has joined together, let not man put asunder,” the married woman replied. “I am married to my husband for better or for worse and does not also the Scripture say, As the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything?”
The pastor, not anxious to lose a challenge to his authority with this lowly female congregant said,
“Those verses do not apply to my directive. Besides, when it comes to issues regarding church, your husband has no authority over you. That verse means ‘in everything.....domestic!’ I am the higher authority that you must submit to.”
“Excuse me,” she said, “but where do you read that in the Bible? As a Christian wife, I have as much right to listen and submit to you over and against my husband’s wishes, as the church has the right to listen and submit to the devil over and against Christ’s wishes.”
The pastor answered, “Who are YOU to question ME! I AM THE CHURCH! Questioning me is the same as questioning God. Don’t you know that I am clothed with the authority of Christ and you are doing despite to my Ministerial Dignity?”
"Then why did Jesus tell me to search the Scriptures,” she said.
The pastor answered, “You are to search the Scriptures, but then have the ‘church’ interpret it for you. You cannot possibly know what it means apart from the ‘church!’
Besides, the pastor continued, the Scriptures say to ‘obey them that have the rule over you.’ How many times have you heard that from this assembly?”
"Then why," she asked, "did Paul tell Timothy that from a child thou hast known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation?"
"Timothy was being trained to be God’s duly-authorized representative and was being taught by the church authorities," the pastor countered.
"That cannot be," the married woman replied, "for, he was taught by his mother and grandmother, Eunice and Lois. At least that is what Paul wrote."
The pastor, now turning bright red and foam starting to form on his lips, quickly turned and walked away, muttering to his fellow elder:
“That woman knows too much about the Truth of the Scriptures. We’ll never be able to supplant her husband and his authority.”