A Needed Balance on Women

A Needed Balance on Women

The recent letter by Cameron Rhoads (Star-Telegram, June 2, 2000) does point out the need to accept all that the New Testament reveals concerning the position and service of women in Christ. Although Cameron does misuse or misinterpret several passages of Scripture, it is true that Jesus had women disciples (Luke 8:2-3) and some of them were commanded to announce the resurrection (Matt. 28:7). It is also true that Paul worked along with women (Phil. 4:3), that women were prophetesses (Acts 21:9; 1 Cor. 11:5), and that Priscilla helped her husband Aquilla (Acts 18:26). Male chauvinists must note these facts! To close our eyes to these points is to be unbalanced.

On the other hand, Cameron’s thesis implies that there are few, if any, restrictions in Scripture on the position and work of women. We should carefully note the following: Only men were chosen to be apostles of Christ (Matt. 10:2-4). Only men wrote the 27 books of the New Testament. Only men may serve as elders, shepherds (pastors), or overseers (bishops) (Biblical scholars observe that these three terms were used to refer to the same position and work.) Scripture specifically says that one who fills this position must be “the husband of one wife” (1 Tim. 3:1-2; Titus 1:5-6)! Only men may serve as deacons—likewise “the husbands of one wife” (1 Tim. 3:12; Rom. 16:1-2 is questionable). From all indications, only men worked as evangelists or preachers (Acts 21:8; Eph. 4:11; 2 Tim. 4:5). Only men were permitted to pray in the public meetings of Christians (1 Tim. 2:8; the Greek here is “males”). Women were forbidden to teach men in public (1 Tim. 2:11-12) or even speak publicly in the Christian meetings (1 Cor. 14:33-37). Women find their fulfillment as responsible homemakers (Titus 2:4-5; 1 Tim. 5:10,14). Feminists (and Cameron must be one) must note these facts! To close our eyes to these points is to be unbalanced.

Throughout history, people have commonly insisted on taking an extreme position on nearly every Biblical subject. In our day, it would seem like the feminists are in the majority. To support their position, they either deny the inspiration of Scripture, or they refuse to look at certain verses of Scripture, or they call Paul and Peter male chauvinists! It is possible to “prove” many false teachings or extreme views by only accepting verses that support that position.

If we would be honest with the text of Scripture and the intention of the authors (and ultimately God who inspired the Scriptures), we must be willing to accept all that the Bible affirms and all that the Bible forbids—whether we like it or not!

 Richard Hollerman
(
Fort Worth Star-Telegram)

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