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30th November
2009
written by Cullen Webb

I was driven to write this post due to the comments I received in my post, “The Shack: Page-By-Page Review.” I was surprised by how many Christians believed women to be equal. I had to take a closer look, and devote a post to it.

Women have gained so much towards equal rights with men. From the voting booth to the workplace, women are gaining a foothold.
In June 2009 women held 49.83% of our Nations jobs. Largely in part to men losing 4.74 million jobs and women only losing 1.66 million. Probably due to employment in growing fields such as government and health care, both dominated by women employees.

This is huge. For the first time in world history women could out-employ men. And for a long time I rooted them on.

Are women truly equal with men? I don’t mean in social standing, as things have far to go. But I mean in capability and design.

Let us look at scripture and find out.

Ephesians 5:22
“Wives
, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.”

Now, I would like to point out that submission has nothing to do with equality. For example, men are still equal with the President of the United States. He was simply given authority to which we must all submit. However, he is a servant of the people.
I had to bring this verse forth as it is probably the most quoted piece of scripture concerning this argument. But this is not the end, as most assume.

Ephesians 5:25
“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;”

How Did Christ love the church? He gave his life for it. He suffered horrendous torture on her behalf.

Women, do not think that submission to your husband means bondage. For your husband will be held responsible for you. Remember that leaders will be held accountable for their actions, and judged far more harshly.

This command of submission however, has caused a lot of grief in the feminist world. For example:

1 Timothy 2:11-12
“Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.

Ouch. This goes completely against today’s modern teaching of women rights. We have been so engrafted with cultural status quo that we are now offended by the word of God. However, we should take a closer look at this verse.

Many have found the Greek interpretation of silence as  “being possessed by a calmness of spirit and peaceful disposition”. I don’t like it when people pull out a Strong’s Concordance and suddenly become Greek scholars. But it is only fair to offer that translation, as it may very well be the work of a scholar.

Can women work in ministry? Yes.
Can women lead or pastor men? No.

Women obviously played huge roles in the early church. In Romans 16:1-16 Paul names 16 helpers in the ministry, and at least 10 of them were women.

However, you cannot wipe away 1 Timothy. God has clearly given woman incredible gifts, but he has not given them authority over men.

Conclusion:
Men and woman are not equal. For equal implies same.

We have each been given important roles in life, but these roles are completely different.

-Cullen Webb

[Edited 11/01/09 thanks to Michael Wedding]

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  • Michael Wedding

    Cullen,
    I think you will have to elaborate on your statement “Can women be pastors? Yes. Can women pastor men? No.” If that is so, are they really “pastors”? Or are you saying they can only pastor to other women? And if you believe women can be “pastors” what about 1 Timothy 3 regarding the selection of leaders for the “church”, elders and deacons? It seems to refer to selecting “men”, “the husband of one wife” and then even talks about the way their wives and children should be. And remember Ephesians 5:21 “before” the verses regarding wifes, husbands, slaves and masters; “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ”. Scripturally, we indeed have been given the position of authority in many areas, but whoa unto us on how we express and use that authority for we surely will be more accountable just as “sheperds” (i.e. pastors) and those God has put in authority (i.e. government). It is a frightening accountability being it must always be done in “humility” and “love” and “truth” not in “selfishness”, “dicatorship” or “pride”. We have that position only because God has placed us in that position not that we have attained it for any reason of our own. Eve was indeed deceived but Adam “chose” to disobey and we see and suffer the consequences of “his” action, not Eve's.
    Respectfully,
    Mike Wedding

  • Elizabeth Bowman

    Now I'm really confused… :(

    • faithr

      how so?

      • Elizabeth

        If I have a male friend that needs/ wants to know Christ is it not my “place” to tell him what I know? Is that what is being said? if so what should i do? Offer to give him the contact info of a christian guy friend?

        • http://www.NationPains.com Cullen Webb

          No! Not at all. Women have been very influential throughout the history of the church. As I mentioned above, Paul named 16 of his greatest helpers, and at least 10 of them were women.

          Evangelize, no matter your gender!

          What I was questioning was whether or not women could be pastors.

          • Elizabeth

            Thanks guys. I think I'm starting to understand now. Sometimes I just get really confused, and that gets discouraging. Thanks.

        • faithr

          This was a post on women's leadership. evangelism is different. it's great that you are asking these questions. thank you for being so honest.

  • Elizabeth

    Thanks guys. I think I’m starting to understand now. Sometimes I just get really confused, and that gets discouraging. Thanks.

  • Elizabeth

    Thanks guys. I think I'm starting to understand now. Sometimes I just get really confused, and that gets discouraging. Thanks.