Biblical rules for women in society

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Karen, Jun 18, 2003.

  1. Karen

    Karen
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    I am going to try to ask my question a different way, because I still don't think I am getting an answer I understand. (Or maybe I want people to admit something they are not willing to admit.) ;)

    A view often expressed on the BB lines up with what my own church practices.
    And that is: there is a difference between what a woman can do in church and family and what a woman can do in wider society.
    That Biblical prohibitions on women teaching and preaching are ONLY in church or a church-sponsored event and to one's own husband.

    However, the same woman who cannot teach in church is completely fine in a secular job teaching or supervising men.

    I am still interested in how we arrived at this because the above thought pattern, I believe, did not prevail in Baptist churches less than a hundred years ago. In 1920, radicals believed that women should vote.
    There was, it seems to me, a seamless web as to how women were expected to act both in church and in society. MOST of the activities we think are fine for women now simply were not allowed then.
    (And I am glad they are allowed now, and I think they should be allowed, now.)
    But Baptist churches, as far as I can see, have changed in just a couple of generations. We now have one set of rules for inside church and another for outside.

    What is the point of more constrictive rules inside church, then?
    Earlier Christians seemed to see them as reflecting the nature of men and women in general, not just Christians in the church.
    We almost seem to say that they are arbitrary church rules, just to somehow show the world that we are different.

    Thoughts?

    Karen
     
  2. Major B

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    The "Proverbs 31 woman" helps answer this question, as do the following verses:

    Acts 16:14-15 "Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul. 15 And when she and her household were baptized, she begged us, saying, "If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay." So she persuaded us."

    Acts 16:40 "So they went out of the prison and entered the house of Lydia; and when they had seen the brethren, they encouraged them and departed."

    Acts 18:2 "And he found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla (because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to depart from Rome); and he came to them. So, because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them and worked; for by occupation they were tentmakers.

    The rules for church leadership are rules for church leadership. We focus on the fact that (as we complementarians read the Bible), women should not pastor, be deacons, or teach adult men. We fail to focus on the fact that most MEN should not pastor, deacon, or teach adult men. Only those who meet the stringent qualifications in 1 Tim 3, Acts 6, and Titus 1, (and other scriptures) and who possess the requisite spiritual gifts fall into these categories. James warns us of the solemn responsibility of teaching (James 3) in the church.

    However, the rules for leadership in life are not based on gender or qualifications, only that leaders and managers, as well as workers should heed the Bible's instructions (Proverbs, Eph 6, et. al.).

    When Maggie Thatcher was the PM of the UK, she was the only "real man" in England anyway! (There I go being boorish again!) Unlike many other men my age, I've worked for women (in the military), and, by the way for every ethnic group imaginable, and the only factor by which I judged leadership was competence. I had female subordinates and male subordinates and superiors alike who weren't worth the bullet to send them on, and I've had female and male subordinates and superiors who, in Air Force jargon, were so good, they could "nail jello to a wall."
     
  3. showard93

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    Lets see I hope this is what you were wanting in your question. I beleive that in the church the women can teach the younger children and an all womens class. My previous Pastor would let women teach older kids but our church was very small but my Pastor now has a man over the teens since it is a mixed class. I also don't beleive a women should pray outloud in church or make a motion type things during business meetings etc...

    At home is where I think a lady should work. I know some can not due to divorce and other things but children need their mom and I think husbands need there wifes to be there for them when they come home. I have been a sahm ever sence I was pregnant with my first child and I don't regret it one bit.

    I do not think women are second class I just think like men we have our place. I hope this makes sence.
     
  4. dianetavegia

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    Karen, I agree with Showard that a (married) woman's place is in the home. I also believe Proverbs 31 supports this. I'm sure numerous people will come and use that exact scripture to support women working outside the home.

    I believe IN CHURCH that women are to not teach,. preach, be deaconesses, elders, etc. unless it's teaching younger women and children. I believe those women who are teachers should be held accountable to the scriptural guidelines. I would not sit under a female teacher who had divorced her husband 'because we grew apart', etc... I would consider a divorced teacher who had been deserted, etc. and who attempted reconciliation.

    Women, in my understanding, are free to discuss scripture with men and women freely in a non-teaching capacity, such as this open forum. My own husband will ask me my take on many things because I was raised in a Southern Baptist church, attending S/S, Training Union, Sunbeams, G.A.'s, church camps, Bible Studies, two services on Sunday and Wednesday night... while he was raised in an American Baptist church and only attended one hour weekly with no training. I gladly show him scripture that supports what I understand and then step back and let him read for himself..... I don't think I'm wrong in doing so either.

    Diane
     
  5. Karen

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    Thanks for the good comments. You all would get along great in the church of which I am a member.
    But part of what I am trying to get at is how we got to this set of beliefs in the last century.

    I don't believe yours or my church would have seen it the way you all do 100 years ago.
    There would not, I THINK, have been this split between behavior in church and out in society.
    So were our churches wrong 100 years ago and we now have it right, or have we culturally accommodated up to the door of the church?

    P.S. Or the third view, of course, that whatever we can do in society Scripturally we can do in church.

    Karen
     
  6. Major B

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    100 years ago, the overwhelming majority of folks in the US still lived on farms. Everybody in the family worked, and they worked at home. Such was the case with my grandparents and great-grandparents.
     
  7. hsmom3

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    Amen to showard93 and Diane!! [​IMG]

    Women are no less than men, but we do have our place, especially in the home and church. It is just like any team, we all have different functions. As far as outside the church and home, the Lord doesn't give any restrictions to my knowledge.

    Diane, I don't think there is anything wrong with you showing your husband Scriptures and then stepping back and let him go to the Lord with it. I think it's all the attitude. It's that meek and quiet spirit. [​IMG]

    hsmom3 [​IMG]
     
  8. Dr. Bob

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    In my wife's ministry, she is able to share the Gospel with men and women. She teaches men and women. She exhorts and prays with men and women.

    She is NOT is a church or home setting; she is in her clinic. I think the Biblical prohibitions relate only to the local church.
     
  9. Karen

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    Okay,
    Here is part of what I am trying to ask.
    Why the rules just for church then? Baptists seemed to once say that the rules were for all times and places, given by God, because of inherent, Creation differences between men and women and their roles in society as a whole.

    Now we say "relate only to the local church".
    Does this imply that there is no reason for the rules other than that God wants us to make a statement by the appearance of things? And what is that statement since the same woman is now freely able to attend a university, own property in her own name, vote, enter many professions, and do many other things she could not do in 1900.
    (Of course, I realize last sentence is a generalization.)
    Are we saying that God now expects one statement about women in the church and does not mind a different one out of it?
    I am not actually saying what I think in all of this. I am trying to explore the BASIS for our usual thoughts on this and how we got there.

    Thanks,
    Karen
     
  10. Major B

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    The BASIS for our thoughts on this is the BIBLE. God has sets of rules for the family, for business, for society, and they complement, but each realm is different, and the rules apply to that realm. Let me illustrate by my own situation.

    1. As a father and husband, the passages that guide me are such passages as Gen 2:18-25, Eph 5:21-33, 1 Pet 3:1-7, Eph 6:4, among others.

    2. As an employee, there are many relevant verses in Proverbs, plus NT references such as Eph 6:5-8.

    3. As a supervisor, Proverbs also applies, as does Eph 6:9.

    4. As a citizen and as a military man (bearing the sword for the state as a minister of God), I am guided by Rom 13.

    5. As a member of a New Testament church, I am guided in general by passage such as 1 Tim 2:1-3:15 and Titus 1.

    6. As a leader in the local church, I am guided by the passages in (5) above, plus such verses as 1 Pet 5:1ff, 2 Tim 3, and 2 Tim 4, as well as others.

    Rather than being tedious and continuing, I hope you get the point. God guides us in each situation of life, and His rules in one realm don't necessarily affect those in another. God's rules for how we act in the church apply to that realm.

    [ June 19, 2003, 09:51 AM: Message edited by: Major B ]
     
  11. dianetavegia

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    I think we can follow the example of all the great women of God who fully lived their lives for God. Again, after three days Jesus appeared to two women and sent them to speak to his disciples who were hiding in fear of their lives. The 11 disciples were gathered together as a group but not in 'church'... and yet it was women sent to tell them 'He is Risen'... 'We have seen HIM'....

    Diane
     
  12. Headcoveredlady

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    Karen,
    I think this applies to outside of church too. But, of course you knew that is how I would answer.
    God wants women to be gentle AND quiet.
     
  13. newlady3203

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    I agree that what the Bible shows to be God's Ideal Woman (Proverbs 31) applies as a whole, in church or out of church.

    I believe that it is society (the world) that has thrown in all the other stuff.

    Did I make any sense?
     
  14. Gina B

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    Good question, and one I've thought about quite often lately.
    Let's see. I step into a church and I cannot teach a male or have any authority over him. Step out and I can be his boss and give him orders, or go to his house and teach him doctrine.
    LOL
    Something's not quite right with that picture. The most sensible answer is that our place is applicable both in and out of the church, but is nearly an impossibility in our culture.
    Gina
     
  15. Headcoveredlady

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    Gina,
    Those are good word pictures you used. I know for me my husband will at times ask me where a verse is located. But, he never likes it when I tell him what any of them mean.
     
  16. hsmom3

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    I agree that no matter what a woman's position is out of the church, she should always be graced with a gentle and quiet spirit. [​IMG]

    hsmom3
     
  17. chargrove

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    As a DUDE I will be the first to admit that women just seem more spiritual overall. They just seem to be more in touch with those sensibilities. Now what they do with it....

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Dr. Bob

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    There are general rules for living. There are specific rules for conduct in church that may/may not be related to other parts of life.

    I'm sure HeadcoveredLady has faced this before. I Cor 11 says when you "pray or prophesy" women have head covered and men uncovered.

    Now, does that apply to ALL of life? When you bathe? When you sleep? When you wash your hair? Where are the commands for that?

    IF you extrapolate that a woman must cover her head at other times than "praying/prophesying", then we must careful have the men NEVER wear a headcovering or they would sin.

    Hence there are distinct "rules/regs" for the church meeting. I would advise you to follow them when meeting as a church.

    I'm putting on my baseball cap now, but if you ask me to preach, I'll take it off! [​IMG]
     
  19. Karen

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    Good points, but what you have done is state what you think, not WHY it is different than I think a pastor in your church would have believed 100 years ago. Different rules, then, for church and society, that are in some sense arbitrary, not grounded in inherent creation differences?
    What is the essence that we achieve by the rules in the church? (Of course, when God says anything, that is enough reason.) But what do you think are the revealed reasons? You imply that your reasoning is different than 100 years ago but you are not stating why.

    Karen (who really is interested in the thought process, not just stating WHAT we believe)
     
  20. Karen

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    Gina,
    I admire your ability with words.

    Karen
     

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