Whole Bible Christianity

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Equality for Women Should Start in the Church

A Whole Bible Response With Overlooked Scripture

This is our response to this ladies article

Emma Jarred decided to bash men for International Women's Day 2018.  Typical of young people, her extensive church experience is from two churches. She misinterprets Paul, ignores the quote from Paul that we put in our response (about women being quiet), paints her church as walking on water because they "empower women," then comes up with an answer to "where does one start to bring about change?" that leaves much to be Scripturally desired.

So Women Don't Abuse?

Liberal women (obviously her failing) love to blame men for abuse. So women don't abuse? How does one square the attitude of a baby killer/abortionist with the concept of love? Do you think that the "empowered woman" who kills babies is sending a message to the next generation (at least those who make it out of the womb)?

The answer is not more liberal claptrap

It was liberal claptrap and philosophies of men that have gotten us into this mess in the first place. The only answer is a return to God's Laws, abandoned by liberals everywhere.

Equality for Women Should Start In the Church

By Emma Jarred, Relevant online Magazine, March 8, 2018

Have you ever asked God to break your heart for what breaks His? It’s a simple prayer, but it can have radical results. I asked God this question recently and one answer in particular hit home: the continued struggle of girls and women, both here and across the world.

All around the world women are still treated as commodities, suffering at the hands of their government, their kidnapper, their boss, their partner or even their husband. There are women who are deemed unworthy and unfit for freedom, education and for the pursuit of their own dreams.

I’d like to think the Church somehow exists outside this realm of pain, but that is not the truth. Sadly, so many Christians have turned a blind eye to the plight of women, both in our own communities and abroad. Sometimes because we fear being labeled as “feminist” if we speak up, other times because we simply do not see, hear or understand.

I was brought up in a church which empowered women, gave them as much authority as any man and got involved in causes to help break the cycles of abuse and mistreatment in society. Because of this, I used to laugh at churches with the view that women weren’t created for ministry, that biblical submission meant the man was in charge and somehow had ownership of his wife, and that being a wife and a mother was a woman’s sole purpose. I thought this type of thinking was only limited to “small backwards Churches” who were still struggling to come out of the dark ages, and therefore it was not a problem.

Then I moved away from home and joined a Christian fellowship which, much to my surprise, held those exact beliefs. I was introduced to perfectly good churches where the belief that women were below men was present throughout their teachings and ministry in a subliminal way. I heard stories of women in domestic abuse situations whose husbands had claimed their behavior was biblical. I heard the churches responsible claim that this doctrine was still important to preach, in spite of the horrible outcomes it was prone to produce.

Suddenly the situation was no longer something I could just laugh at. Since then, I’ve become more aware of the struggle faced by our sisters all around the world. I’ve felt sick listening to true stories of girls being beaten and raped because they did not submit. Because they tried to stand up for themselves. Because they believed they were worth more. Try as I might, I can’t just move on without doing anything about something so preventable.

But the problem is so widespread, so multifaceted, where does one start to bring about change? During the period of the formation of the Early Church, women were already a second-class gender. They had no rights, no say in politics, society, philosophy or religion. Jesus had taken the first steps of turning that around, loving women, teaching women, sticking up for them and commissioning them to preach the Gospel all over the world.

Paul also held women in equal standing to himself and they were integral to his ministry. He told husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the Church, in a time and culture where women were held responsible for the fall of man and therefore treated horribly. He told husbands to be the head of their wives as Christ is the head of the church. Not in an authoritative “me over you” scenario, but rather like headwaters of a river, the source of energy and strength in a marriage. He told wives to submit (a Greek military term meaning “to fall in line with”) and join together with their husbands in equal standing—as two armies uniting against a common enemy, something that was a radically feminist idea in Paul’s day.

Two thousand years later and we’ve gone a bit backwards, using Scripture taken out of context for the justification of sin. We have become tolerant and supportive of a doctrine which is inaccurate at best and theologically dangerous at its worst. Maybe it’s not explicitly spewed from the pulpit, maybe there aren’t women being treated badly inside the church on a Sunday, but this theology is hurting lives where we cannot imagine, inflicting damage we can’t see.

It can be used by abusive men as an excuse that their behavior is condoned by God. It can nudge women with a gifting in ministry to see their abilities as merely a watered-down version of what God gave men. It can leave out single women and those who cannot have children. It can silence women who want to speak up. It can constrict churches and fellowships and movements to half the resources God gave them. It can raise a generation on sexist ideologies. For centuries, it has been used as justification for the mistreatment of human beings.

I want to challenge us this International Women’s Day to question what we believe and why. Is that passage of Scripture applicable to all things everywhere, or do I need to examine its context? Can I do more to help the worldwide plight of my sisters in horrific circumstances, starting with how I view the women around me? Is what I’m teaching my church going to raise up a generation of compassionate, people-loving Jesus-followers, or will it breed hurt, misunderstanding and manipulation?

Where do we start? Let’s start by examining our hearts, minds and motives because enormous healing is needed here, and every little bit is one step closer to God’s Kingdom.

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This is the Whole Bible Christian Response

If you read my book Whole Bible Christianity or a lot of my articles you'll get the impression, I hope, that my answer for all the world's problems is the Law of God. I know it's a boring, repetitive answer, but the problems are also boring and repetitive. Humans keep making the same mistakes over and over and without a doubt the wrong things come when we ignore the right things of His Laws. If we are having problems, it's a sure bet that it's because we are not following them as He intended. The world, of course, is going to have problems because they mostly don't care about His Word in the first place. But the Church should be a shining example of what can happen when the Word is followed. Sadly, we are not.

There are many typical part-bible mistakes in Emma's article. By "part-bible" I mean only taking in the parts of the Bible you like. Part-bibleism is a big part of the church's problems. Paul is quoted once, then he is misinterpreted and other pertinent quotes from Paul are omitted. She wants to ignore this quote, because it goes against every cultural reinterpretation of the Bible that she believes.

likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works. Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control. (1 Timothy 2:9–15, ESV)  

Most every liberal woman or church just skips right over this teaching from Paul, or does their darnedest to twist it to mean something different than the plain reading. According to Paul's combined teaching, meaning not skipping over the teachings you don't like, women are not to teach or have authority over men. Period. The reason is that Adam (the man) was formed first, and Eve was deceived. Emma likes churches that empower women and give as much authority to a woman as a man in direct contradiction to Paul's teachings. Her church "got involved in causes to help break the cycles of abuse and mistreatment in society" but apparently this didn't include teaching God's Word.

Women are also to dress modestly in respectable apparel, without (let me be specifically modern here) spending large amounts of time on their hair, wearing jewelry or all that sexually suggestive clothing like short skirts, low-cut blouses, high heels and bikinis. They are to "remain quiet" according to Paul and "learn quietly with all submissiveness." Oh no! I think I just put myself in with those "small backwards churches" of which she speaks!

Men take the lead in teaching and authority, but what is overlooked by many is that they also have responsibility to lead and teach from God's Word. If they do not teach according to God's Word or if they abuse their authority, they are also accountable. There are a lot of men who are going to answer for a lot of bad actions. There are also a lot of churches who are going to answer for a lot of bad teachings allowing men to get away with bad actions.

I have a problem with the way Emma describes each church. Notice that when she is speaking of her first church, she doesn't mention abuse. Does that mean that there wasn't any? Was church number one teaching the Bible so well and thoroughly that men were just angelic in their behavior? With the second church description, she implies that there is abuse present because it didn't teach the same (non-biblical) doctrines as the first church. She relates the presence or absence of "empowering" teachings to the presence or absence of abuse. I find this very hard to believe. It isn't the teaching of modern philosophies of men that make a difference in people's lives. It is the Word of God.

I would make a bet that there was actually more abuse in the first church than the second. Why? Because the first one had more reason to hide the abuse. The second church might've also had other reasons for increased abuse that we don't know about. Emma makes quite a leap from the supposed doctrinal inadequacies of the second church to "horrible outcomes" as if it was a guarantee. Really? If a psychiatrist was to make such a diagnosis only on the basis of the evidence Ms. Jared presents I think she would be stripped of her license to practice post-haste.

Just because a church stencils His name on the door it doesn't mean they actually follow what God says. It is a mistake to assume that "church" means good guys following God and "not church" (or a church that doesn't "empower" women) is bad guys. There are plenty of churches that are bad because the sign on the door doesn't match the condition of the heart.

 

Conclusion to our response of Equality for Women Should Start in the Church

Emma is reading modern culture into the Word, such as when she ascribes "radically feminist" ideas to Paul. All women were not poorly treated at that time. There were women in business as illustrated by Lydia the seller of purple (Acts 16), and women who were prophets and served around the temple such as Anna (Luke 2:36). Godly women have always been around, as well as ungodly women such as Sapphira (Acts 5). I'm sure there were also many women who were abused and mistreated, but this doesn't mean that Paul had radical ideas of feminism or empowering women.

News Flash for Ms. Jarred

Here's a news flash for Ms. Jarred: BOTH sets of church behavior she describes are wrong according to the Word. It's obvious that God's laws are not taught and followed in either church, and the fruit is in the ungodly behavior of empowered women and abusive men. Also known as the living oracles, light, lamp and truth, the Law shouldn't really have to be a LAW. The New Covenant is the law written on a heart of flesh, and His laws are like food and drink for our souls. Laws written on the heart by the Spirit generate a different sort of behavior than what Emma describes. The starting place is the Word of God. With it we will make a change.

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