Women: Cultural Conformity or Biblical Submission?

 Women: Cultural Conformity or Biblical Submission?

(The Present Total Rejection of Scripture’s Teaching on Women)

Most of us have very little idea of how fully we have been conformed to the culture around us. Are we consciously following what society bids us do or are we submitting to the clear and unambiguous instruction of the Word of God? Which is it for you? This is seen in numerous spheres of life, but we particularly find it in the case of women and their relationship with man.

Over the years, we have noticed the increasing willingness of women to follow the trends of society and reject the plain teachings of Scripture. Further, we have seen churches, denominations, ministries, seminaries, singing groups, and much more show a willingness, even eagerness, to go along with the ways of the world manifested in women’s insubmission to man (whether her husband, to Christian authorities, or men in general). Additionally, we have noticed that leaders in churches, denominations, ministries, and singing groups have eagerly sought out women to take the lead or to occupy positions that once would never have been given to women! It is as though God had never spoken on the subject!

As an example, in some churches, we find women taking the lead, teaching, or even occupying positions of pastor, teacher, or other traditional position that had been open only to the masculine gender. In some denominations, women are invited or encouraged to take positions of authority over the man. In some seminaries, women may freely take positions of teacher or professor, right along with men in the faculty! On TV programs, women may be just as likely to take speaking roles and teaching roles, along with their masculine counterparts. In singing groups, women may be just as likely to sing solos or indulge in women’s leadership in singing as much as do men in such groups. The list goes on but you can see the drift we want to emphasize: That women today are often as likely to conform to women’s vocal participation and women’s leadership as are men!

From observing this trend that has gone on for at least a century or more, we get the impression that religious men and women just close their eyes to what God has already revealed concerning the roles of men and women!

In order to bring this teaching once again to our attention, let’s notice these several Biblical teachings and restrictions:

First, women are to be subject to their husband and the husband is to exercise authority over them (surely, with love and kindness) (see Ephesians 5:22-33; Colossians 3:18-19; 1 Timothy 2:11-15; Titus 2:3-5; 1 Peter 3:1-7).

Second, the man is to be the “head” of the woman (not only the husband being the “head” of his wife): “Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:3; cf. 1 Timothy 2:11-12).

Third, only men were chosen to be the apostles or representatives of Christ on earth to carry out His will and to represent Jesus before others (see Matthew 10:1-5; Mark 3:16-19; 6:7; Luke 6:13-16).

Fourth, only men could be appointed as elders, overseers (KJV: bishops), or shepherds (KJV: pastors) (see Acts 14:23; 20:17, 28; James 5:14; 1 Timothy 3:1-7; 5:17-20; Titus 1:5-9; Hebrews 13:7, 17).

Fifth, as far as we know, God called only men to write Scripture, including the writings of the new covenant (New Testament).

Sixth, only men were permitted to teach publicly and women were to keep silent (see 1 Timothy 2:11-15; 3:1ff; Titus 1:5-9; 1 Corinthians 14:33-37). Of course, this would include the public solo “teaching” in song as well (Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16-17).

Seventh, only men were to pray (lead in prayer) publicly, which suggests that women (and other men) were to follow this lead (1 Timothy 2:8).

Eighth, of the three references to “evangelists” (public bearers of good news), there is no indication that women ever filled this role of publicly preaching (Acts 21:8; Ephesians 4:11; 2 Timothy 4:5).

This is sufficient for us to get the general teaching of the public participation of men and the non-participation of women. It is true that women were permitted to teach and lead—but this was limited to other women and children, not to grown men (males) in the assembly (cf. Titus 2:3-4). Women could also teach, providing this was along with their husbands or other males in their life (see Acts 18:26). Women could also be servants of the assembly, but there is no indication that this involved any leadership capacity (see Romans 16:1-2).

It is time for professing Christians to renounce their involvement with the world and following the ways of the world. It is time that they forsake the religious patterns of churchly society and instead determine to submit themselves to the ways of God clearly presented on the inspired pages of Scripture. While the patterns (even religious and churchly patterns) of the world may seem wise and good, it is better to humbly submit to the clear instructions of God in the Word of God. And we do know that if one yields herself (or himself) to the instructions of God, she will be happier and more fulfilled in the process.


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