Women aren't second-class believers

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by Abiyah, Oct 22, 2003.

  1. Abiyah

    Abiyah
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    The discussion on Charles Stanley's statements re
    women goes on, on a Baptist Only thread. Initially
    not realizing it was Baptist only, I nearly posted
    there, then caught myself. So I will post here.

    There is a disturbing trend among men that I have
    watched in amazement over the years -- one which
    twists and misuses our God's intentions in His
    Scripture. Ignoring whether or not women should
    be evangelists, teachers, etc., I wlll simply focus on
    certain men's attitudes toward women, as a result
    of their understanding of the Scriptures on this
    thread.

    There is a prevailing attitude of dominance - mean,
    ugly, and down-right rude in some, and in others,
    there is an attitude of intellectual superiority that
    simply is not truly there, although they think it is,
    just because they are men. Then there are still
    others whose condescension toward women is,
    well, humorous, if it were not so sad.

    There. Could I have been plainer?

    I know that what I have written could itself be taken
    as very blunt, mean, vicious, etc., but we women
    see it and deal with it so often, and most of us
    keep silent about it. I just decided to bring it up --
    for the first time in my life.

    This attitude is part of why it took so long for me to
    find my husband. My first not being this way, I did
    not realize how dominant these attitudes were until
    I started dating again. I thank my God that I took
    as long as I did to find the right man, because I do
    not have to deal with this in the home as well.

    Nowhere in the Scriptures does our God advise
    that men are superior intellectually. Nowhere does
    it say that men are to dominate women and not
    consider that they also have legitimate opinions,
    ideas, intellect, and -- shall I say it? -- rights.

    Oh, and nowhere does it say that men are the head
    of the house.

    Men, you are showing your weakness and your
    unrealistic fear when you think that you must
    dominate the women in your home. A real man
    is not afraid of loss of power when a woman is
    in his life. A real man will put more effort into
    loving his wife as our Lord loves His people, than
    into being noticed as the rooster (because he
    crows loudest), king of the castle (so everything
    must go his way or no way), top dog (dominating
    all in order to get his way no matter what).

    And real men's attitudes spill over abundantly
    from the home into other areas of his persnal life --
    the job, the place of worship, etc.

    Don't be naive. You may crow loud, but we women
    can look at you and know at a glance whether you
    are a banty or a lion. Lions don't need to go about
    showing their strength -- they can just . . . be.
     
  2. A_Christian

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    For Christian men it should be a matter of authority. The woman is to man as Christ is to the Heavenly Father. The woman is to man as the Church is to Christ. The man is the spiritual head of the household. That doesn't mean he is better. It doesn't mean his is smarter. In fact a supportive woman has the power to give her husband motivation and reassurance. However, the
    Christian man utimately makes the final decisions
    WITH the imput of his help meet. The Christian mates should compliment each others abilities.
     
  3. Abiyah

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    I would not live in a house in which the man was the head of the household, spiritual or otherwise. If my Lord is not head of the house, it is not a biblical home. :)
     
  4. dianetavegia

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    I do not respect a man who allows his wife to 'rule' the house. I see MANY families in our church where the husband turns to his wife and allows her to answer every request or question.

    Diane
     
  5. Abiyah

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    That should not be either, Diane. Man or mouse?
     
  6. A_Christian

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  7. Abiyah

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    Amein! Now, this is certainly a Scripture I can live with!
     
  8. Eladar

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    What do you believe Paul meant when he wrote that the husband is supposed to be the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church?
     
  9. Smoky

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    The epistles of Paul were not really anti feminine like some of the uninspired Jewish literature of the time. Notice some of these quotations from the Talmud:

    "He that talks much with women brings evil upon himself and neglects the study of Law and at last will inherit Gehenna" (Mish Aboth 1:5)
    "Every man who teaches his daughter Torah is as if he taught her promiscuity" (Mish Sotah 3:4)
    "Let the words of Torah be burned up, but let them not be delivered to women" (Jer Sotah 19a)
    "All we can expect from women is that they bring up our children and keep us from sin." (Bab Yebamoth 63a)
    In synagogues, women were separated from the men by a screen and allowed to take no part in the service, except, at most, on one occasion yearly, to read one of the lessons (cf. Tos Megilla 4:11; Bab Megilla 23a)

    I find Dr. Kiven Quast's explanations of Paul's statements concerning women very interesting and enlightening. (John Mark ministries, pastornet.net):

    "These passages are specific reactions to unusual situations, and they speak to us today about how to handle similar situations. For example, an accurate understanding of the religious life of Ephesus is the key to a proper interpretation of 1 Timothy 2:11-15. Artemis of Ephesus, the goddess of fertility, dominated the city. Priestesses led her worship; they had the saving knowledge and they revealed it only to those who submitted to them. Men who served in the temple were ritually castrated and kept in subjugation.
    In the temple, worshippers would lay fine clothing, jewellery, and costly gifts on the statue of Artemis. They would ask for blessing upon their crops, livestock, and family. In particular, women would pray for help through conception, pregnancy, delivery, and menstrual problems. It appears that Artemis worship was infiltrating the Christian church. In this one paragraph of 1 Timothy 2 we can discern several allusions to the pagan religion:
    Women were to dress modestly and avoid the extravagant adornments associated with sacrifices to Artemis (1 Tim 2.9-10). Contrary to the teachings of the Artemis cult, Paul insists that women do not have special insight into divine revelation through the goddess. They do not have spiritual authority over men simply by virtue of gender. Paul reminds his readers that, in fact, a woman was deceived first, not a man (1 Tim 2.13-14). By making this observation, he is countering the teaching of the Artemis cult. In effect, he is lowering the status of women to the same level as men. Because they have been led astray, he stops women from teaching. For now, they are to submit themselves to learning the Christian faith in silence (1 Tim 2.11-12). This does not prevent women from resuming a teaching role once they have come to a proper perspective.
    With pastoral concern, Paul ends with a word of assurance for the Christian woman in Ephesus (1 Tim 2.15). She will be kept safe through childbirth not by turning to Artemis but by turning to Christ. She does not need to come before Artemis with finery, she only needs to come to Christ in unadorned faith.
    In summary, Paul has taken temporary corrective measures that should not be regarded as permanent prohibitions upon Christian women everywhere. He models the principle that decisive steps must be taken to ensure that truth is taught by both men and women.
    Or, take 1 Corinthians 11:3, where Pauls speaks about man being the head of woman. Corinthian women were entering worship looking like men -- without the customary veils on their head. Paul finds this behaviour inappropriate and directs the Corinthians to show on their physical head that they recognize their spiritual head.
    The Greek word for "head" means "source" in this context (see especially verses 8 and 12). The word is used in this sense in other Greek literature. Respect for the differences between man and woman acknowledges the sequence of creation. In turn, this honours God, the ultimate source of all creation. Conversely, blurring the distinctions between men, women, and a ngels (1 Cor 11.10) obscures the design of creation and thus detracts from the Creator.
    Lest readers misunderstand "head" (1 Cor 11.3) and "authority" (1 Cor 11.10) to mean unilateral male domination over women, Paul clarifies himself. In the church, gender does not dictate the direction or subordination or dependence. Christian men and women are interdependent (1 Cor 11.11-12). Paul tells the women that they don't have to be like men or genderless angels; as women they have the authority to pray and prophesy. To prophesy is to speak a word from God to the congregation. Therefore, Paul is allowing women to exercise a very authoritative ministry. The apostle affirms gender distinctiveness, equality, and mutuality. Christian women and men should affirm these same values in culturally appropriate ways.
    Then there's the passage in 1 Corinthians 14 about women being silent in the church. Assuming women were allowed to pray and prophesy in church (1 Cor 11.3-16), chapter 14 must be forbidding another kind of speaking by women in the church.
    In these verses, Paul uses Greek's general term for talking: lalein. The word can refer simply to the sounds produced by people, animals, and even inanimate objects. Paul is probably referring to women "chattering" in church or speaking at the same time as others. Consistent with his direction to others in this chapter, the apostle commands talkative women to be quiet and submit themselves to orderly behaviour while in worship.
    Because they are behaving wrongly, Paul invokes "the law" of Genesis 3.16. Sin brought on submission; as long as certain women remain self-centered, they will continue under its curse. Presumably, he would say the same thing to men if they were guilty of the same disruptive behaviour. In other words, women can speak meaningfully in church, but not out of order.
    When we are trying to decide whether women can have the same responsibilities as men in the church, we should not be focusing on these "problem passages" dealing with "problem churches." After all, we aren't tangled up in the same problems. Instead, we should look at the underlying principles of the Gospel that Paul preached - the Gospel brought to us by Jesus Christ. These principles are contained in the Scripture passages we have read this morning.
    First, in Joel we read a prophecy in which God promises: "... afterward, I will pour out my spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy ... Even on the male and female slaves, in those days, I will pour out my spirit" (Joel 2:28,29). Both your sons and daughters shall prophesy, says God. I will pour out my spirit even the lowest of the low, the female slaves. If this is God's will for the final revelation of his glory, then we must conclude from this that he sees no distinction between male or female, or rich or poor, in the giving of his Spirit for his ministry in the world.
    Galatians 3:28 restates and expands this perspective: "There is no longer Jew nor Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus."
     
  10. Abiyah

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    I am not sure to whom this is written. What do you
    think it means?
     
  11. Eladar

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    Is it your belief that what the Bible says only applies to the people it was directly written?

    It seems to me that what the Bible says is truth for all.

    I'm assuming of course that you did not mean that you did not know what scripture I was talking about. If that is the case, I paraphrased Ephesians 5:22-23
     
  12. dianetavegia

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    That was written for me and for now.

    The BIBLE says: Romans 15:4
    For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.


    I don't see a disclaimer....
     
  13. BobRyan

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    According to a number of posters here - God is not "allowed" to distribute certain ones of the spiritual gifts listed in 1Cor 12 to Women so that they may consistently remain subordinant NOT ONLY to their husbands - but to all men.

    And the "reason" is that since the fall of mankind - that has been the divine order.

    So they see God as making "a kind of mistake" in all cases where their conclusion appears to be violated in scripture. Like with prophets such as Miriam or Judges like Deborah - or NT prophetesses.

    However - I think there is an alternative.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  14. Abiyah

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    Okay, I had to laugh at this one. My husband was
    using the TV in the living room to watch the base-
    ball game, and I wanted to Internet. SInce our
    Internet comes over the cable TV, I went to our
    room and used the TV there. Suddenly, the game
    was over, and he wanted to come in the bedroom
    to wind down, by watching some show he wanted
    to see.

    Here I am in the middle of my note to you, and he
    wants that TV! So, just like an obstinate head-
    of-the-husband wife, I turn off the Internet,
    loosing my whole note to you, and go in the living
    room to start all over again.

    Well, you can see how dominating I am. :-D

    Actually, there is a LOT of give and take on both
    sides in our marriage, and we like it that way. He
    is not dominating, nor am I; both of us respect
    the other's wishes, needs, and desires.

    That was funny -- that when I wrote my question
    to you, it DID appear that I was asking to whom
    the Scripture was written! No, that was not what I
    intended. I intended "To whom did you write your
    note?" :-D

    However, yes, I do believe that some of the
    scriptures were originally written to specific
    people. I was just having a BB "conversation"
    about whether or not 2 Thessalonians 2:15 was
    written to a specific person for a specific reason
    at a specific time, and I believe it was. The person
    I was posting to wants to think that this Scripture
    is applicable to modern day church leaders, but
    this simply is not true. This person also wants to
    apply Matthew 16:19 to his church leaders, but
    this was also from our Lord to specific persons
    in a specific time.

    Many Scriptures in the Bible are specific to Israel.
    While some would like to apply them to others,
    they err. Regardless, "All Scripture is inspired by
    God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for
    correction, for training in righteousness."

    With regard to the Scripture to which you referred
    when you said that the husband is the head of the
    wife, it means exactly what it says. I am not sure
    what you want me to explain!?!

    Perhaps I should ask you what you think the
    Scriptures intend when they say that husbands
    are to love their wives as our Lord loves His
    people. I see Far More men having trouble with
    this Scripture than I see of women having trouble
    with those pertaining to them. --But since the
    speakers are men, this is rarely preached in
    the Christian churches I have been in. In fact,
    with amuzement, I must say that the only Christian
    male I ever heard bring it up was my husband,
    and he has it down pat.
     
  15. Ben W

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    Gidday Abiyah,

    I think that your original post raises a number of valid points.

    Rather that go around and get into a scripture war with people that have blinkers on anyway, I would like to say that I have seen many males treat their wives like absolute Garbage and hide behind the Bible and their Legalistic church in order to do it.

    What some males do not understand is that you put your wife before yourself, not treat her like a second class person.

    The fact is that a number of men who treat their wives poorly are ususally Wimps and Cowards anyway, It is really sad to see one of these in the position of Pastor, but that unfortunatley does happen.

    It is almost unbelievable, but there are churches out there that advise women who are being physically Assulted that they have to stay and pray that God will fix it all.

    Some churches have destroyed women in situations like these.

    Ed Silvoso's church in Argentina takes wome out of Abusive situations and goes as far as to tell the Coward involved that he will not see his wife again until he does there counselling course.

    If a man treats his wife in an Abusive way she should ditch the loser and move out. He can either deal with his problems or he can lose her. Nobody has to put up with abuse in their own home despite what scriptures people try and quote to justify it.
     
  16. Elnora

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    Wish I had seen your post earlier Ben. Could you elaborate a little. What else do you consider abusive. Actually yours is the first post I have seen not chastising a woman for bringing up a valid point.

    Sadly I have heard too many times that women should stay and pray for an abusive husband rather than leave. I have someone very close to me who's "Christian" husband almost killed her. She still bears horrible scars. He didn't beat her he used a different method, he got away with the deed. She survived.

    I think this is a very important subject and hard to bring up without criticism.
     
  17. Frank

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    Ephesians 5: 22-32 is about Christ being the head of the church. Paul plainly states in verse 32, This is a great mystery I speak concerning the church.

    Paul illuminates the headship of Christ in the church by using the illustration that the husband is head of the wife ( vs.23). He also uses the subjectivity of the wife to the husband to illustrate the subjection of the church to Christ ( vs.24). Therefore, as Christ is the head of the church so is the husband in the narriage relationship. If not, Paul has made some erroneous inspired illustrations.

    Furthermore, there is no room for compromise on the role of Christ and the church. And, once again, Paul uses the marriage relationship of men and women to make the divine point ( vs.22,24). The wife submits to the husband in everything. This is also true of the church, which is the bride of Christ ( Rev. 21:2).
     
  18. Elnora

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    Frank,

    Beginning reading at verse 25, read from verse 22-33 to get the whole context: "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour. That word could be translated deliverer of the body, Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

    That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband".

    It is clear that the "mystery" Paul is illuminating is the man and woman becoming one flesh as Christ and the body.

    I do not see where a woman is to submit to abuse. Christ would never abuse his bride nor himself. He nourishes and cherishes it. This is obvious by that same love he gives, the love he requires of a man to his wife. Thus the reference to a man loving his wife like his own body, nourishing and caring for it.
     
  19. Ben W

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    Gidday Elnora,

    As I see it there are several forms of abuse, and all are equally as hurtfull. Sometimes the type of Abuse can vary depending on the perpetrator.

    As an example obviously there is Physical Abuse.

    Also Sexual Abuse, Verbal Abuse and Manipulation via Guilt.

    No woman is entitled to sit back and tolerate any abuse whatsoever. Even if the Abuse is not leaving Physical bruises, people are still being scarred internally.

    Anyone in this situation is perfectly justified in telling the Perpitrator to go and fend for themself and walking out.

    There are a number of men out there that do not deserve to be with the wife they have, some men treat there wives like dirt and are all the happy Christian on Sunday which is absolutley a disgrace.

    But then there is the thing, often people can use Christianity as a means to put on a front in order to appear that they are not the person that they really are. And Pastors are not immune to this either.

    I would hope that everyone here is able to bring up ponts without being chastised, but maybe some points hit on a tender spot with some of the others?
     
  20. Eladar

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    Earlier you said:
    That is why I brought up Ephesians 5:22-23

    Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body.


    It seems to me that the Bible does state that the man is supposed to be the head of the house.
     

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