Gender Equality-Addressing Feminism Within The Church and Home.
In light of the my last writing, Understanding Your Marital Role, I feel a need to speak to two issues that often seem to get confused. Feminists within the church attempt to blur these two issues by taking scripture out of context. Effectively twisting the intended meaning of the scripture. Specifically the issues of salvation and authority as they relate to each gender.
In conversations with feminist advocates, I find that I must first unraveling their braided entanglement of misused scripture in order to get to the truth. They seem to ignore the 20/20 rule when it comes to scripture interpretation. In order to find the proper interpretation of scripture it is vital to keep every scripture in context. To find context read 20 verses before and 20 after.
The question to be considered is "Are men and women equal in the eyes of God?" The short answer is yes and no.
When discussing Gender equality within the church and home we must make two important distinctions. Gender equality as it relates to salvation and gender equality as it relates to authority. I do not see God making distinctions between men and woman in matters of salvation. However, in matters of authority, God gave Adam more authority by placing him as the head over Eve. This authority was in place before the fall and had nothing to do with sin but everything to do with God's will.
One of the arguments that feminists often make, is that, originally God intended both the genders to rule over creation equally. In one conversation, 1 Corinthians 11: 11 -12 and Genesis 1:26-27 was used to show that women and men were originally equal in authority.
1 Corinthians 11: 11 -12 Nevertheless, neither is man independent of woman, nor woman independent of man, in the Lord. For as woman came from man, even so man also comes through woman; but all things are from God.
Genesis 1:26-27 “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man [Humanity, male and female] in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’ And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
To find context, we must consider the whole story.
Indeed, both had and have authority over creation, however, Eves Authority was established through Adam's. Eve had authority because Adam had Authority. Adam only had authority because God gave it to him. Authority flows down hill through a chain of Command. Lets not overlook the fact that God called Eve, Adam's Helper.
Gen 2:18 Then the LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is like him."
The word helper shows that she is an aid for Adam. It expresses and implies Adams Authority over Eve. Adam was the Foreman and Eve was his assistant.
Further Eve was taken out of man, not Adam from Eve
Gen 2:21-23 So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to come over the man, and he slept. God took one of his ribs and closed the flesh at that place. Then the LORD God made the rib He had taken from the man into a woman and brought her to the man. And the man said: "This one, at last, is bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh; this one will be called woman, for she was taken from man."
Notice that the account records that 1. God brought Eve to Adam and 2. Adam named her. These actions established Adam's Authority over Eve.
Now with this in mind lets take a look at 1st Corinthians 11:11-12 in context
1 Cor 11:7-12 A man, in fact, should not cover his head, because he is God's image and glory, but woman is man's glory. For man did not come from woman, but woman came from man; and man was not created for woman, but woman for man. This is why a woman should have [a symbol of] authority on her head: because of the angels. However, in the Lord, woman is not independent of man, and man is not independent of woman. For just as woman came from man, so man comes through woman, and all things come from God.
I believe this passage confirms man's headship. But as a warning, to men not to think more of themselves then they aught. It makes the point that nether the male or the female are islands unto themselves that they depend on and need each other. The one does not exist with out the other. and most importantly, neither has authority aside from God. Pointing out that both are under His authority.
Feminists often quote Galatians 3:28. It is offered as proof that women and men are equal in Authority. It is one of the justifications feminists use to justify women who hold the office of Pastor. However, this verse, in context, is speaking to salvation, It has nothing to do with authority.
Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Lets look at this verse in context:
Galatians 3:22-29 But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
In the old testament, God distinguished between the Jews and the rest of the people of the earth. They were His chosen people. When Christ came, He redeemed all mankind, not just the Jewish people. Galatians 3:28 is speaking to our adoption. Pointing out that in and through Christ we are all God's people. Making no distinctions between Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female
When it comes to Salvation, indeed there is neither male or female. we are one in the same.
Another argument I often hear is that the headship of men was the result of the fall. Feminists suggest that Christ has renewed all things back to their original order. As scriptural proof for this position they couple Genesis 1:26-27 (which I have already addressed) and Colossians 3:5-11.
Colossians 3:5-11 Therefore, put to death whatever in you is worldly: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desire, and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, God's wrath comes on the disobedient, and you once walked in these things when you were living in them. But now you must also put away all the following: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and filthy language from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his practices and have put on the new man, who is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of his Creator. Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all.
Renewal is a matter of salvation. It has nothing to do with Authority. Through Christ we have indeed overcome the curse of death. Again, the headship of man was established before the fall. The chain of command will not change.
Even so, I do not see that salvation over turns the curse this side of heaven. If this were true then the saved Man would no longer have to work by the sweat of his brow nor would the saved Woman continue to have pain in childbirth. The renewal is indeed about overcoming sin but this takes place as we draw closer to God. Renewal is a restored relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
At all times and in everything I do, I must choose to submit my will to God. This was true before I was saved and equally true after I was saved. In like manner, the wife must choose to submit to her husband throughout her life.
It is important for me to make an exception here. There is obviously a difference between husbands and God. God is always just and will never ask you to do something against His Word. Ladies, when or if, your husband ask you to do something that is contrary to God's Word. That is, if he asks you to sin, you are obligated to make an appeal and ultimately you are duty bound to refuse his command. We all must obey God rather than man.
The curse declares to women that her desire will be for her husband and he will rule over her. The term "her desire will be for her husband" is speaking to her desire for his authority. This happens today in the saved woman's life just as it does in the unsaved. The difference being, the saved woman submits to her husband as she would to God. Or in other words, for God's sake.
Let me be clear, I am not saying that men are better then woman or that God loves men more. I am saying God is sovereign. For reasons that seemed good to him, he established the headship of the husband. Because of human nature, had the opposite been true, Men would be pining for equality just as the feminist have.
In closing; if we wish to properly understand God's kingdom and authority, when dealing with genders. We must distinguish between salvation and Authority. I believe that in matters of salvation, God does not discriminate between the genders. However, in matters of Authority, I maintain my conviction that He makes every distinction. Both in the home and in the church.
Your brother in Christ
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