Amen! Preach it, sister?

An enthusiastic Christian women, not long ago, lived submitting to and serving God. She taught and saw fruit on her work. She strived to keep God at the centre of what she does. She was happy, and felt her life was meaningful.
And then she stumbled upon some conservative Christian websites. She read on them how there is no spiritual equality between men and women. How women should not teach. (Of course, she knew the “women should not teach” verses, but she understood them differently.) How the shortage of men in most churches is because of the “feminization of the church.” How women should get married and have babies, that is what God wants them to be doing for society. Even, on some, that women should live with their daddies until they get married, as all females should be under the authority of a male.
She tried to reason with them, tell them, for example, that the Bible does not teach women should be married, nor that marriage is better and more Godly for women. (1 Cor 7:32-34, etc.) She got ignored, because the men reading it would simply not accept a woman teaching them. Whenever she gave any view on Christianity, she got ignored for that reason.
She believed them. And she got unsatisfied with her station in life: Why, if God so much wanted her to be married and have kids, instead of teaching Bible clubs and apologetics, did he not provide her with a Christian husband? She used to thank God for providing what she needs, now she started questioning Him: If a Christian woman needs a Christian man over her, then God clearly did not provide for her needs.
She started questioning her work for God. Her apologetics must be against the will of God, for she is trying to teach people- and most of those who care about the topic are men- about the rational believability of Christianity. She started questioning her own Christianity: “If she can be so completely mistaken about what God wanted her to do with her life, if most of the things she thought she heard from God was against his will, does she know Him at all?” One day on one blog, a commenter even told her this: “If no Christian man ever wanted to marry you, are you sure you are a Christian?”
That day, God told her to get off sites like that. Whatever other good things she may learn there, they are harming her. Some weeks of confusion later, she cried out to God: “Please, God, this thing about what I should be- please teach me. I don’t even know how to follow you any more, if I ever did. I’ll start by looking up everything you say about women in the Bible. I’ll cross-reference to a concordance and the Greek or Hebrew meanings* given in there. Show me the truth, and don’t let me be misled.”
 She then found Loren Cunningham, founder of the large mission organization YWAM (YWAM’s fruit speaks for itself) teaches how the Bible have been misunderstood and mis-translated on the topic of women in the church. Here, you will find links to his “releasing women” .mp3’s, and here and here  you will find more about his book, “Why not women?”
As Loren himself say:
The real issue for me is: Can the women be what they were called to be from their mother’s womb? In God. In Christ.
Loren’s view seems to resonate with several thoughtful, intelligent people, the sort most likely to think of apologetics. One reader reacts:
My experience has been that the “equality” camp (of which this book is a member) expresses their arguments and evidence by digging deeply into the original languages of Scripture (exegesis). They look at words usage, sentence structure, and contextual understanding of the Scripture passage as a whole which the “troublesome” verses are found in. Their main conclusion is that the English interpretations of Scripture have failed to express the true meaning the Greek or Hebrew speaking writers of Scripture intended…
On the other hand, the “submission” or “headship” camp books I have read and sermons I have heard, focus their arguments and conclusions on the English versions of Scripture, and on anecdotal evidence.
If you are thinking about about women’s role in the church, please test this, and see if it measures up to Scripture. After all, the Kingdom work of at least half of all Christians is at stake.
* Most of the Bible were originally written in Hebrew or Greek. To understand the Bible better, it is always better to see the original than translations, which may lose some meaning when translated.

About Retha Faurie

Attempting to question everything, reject the bad and hold fast to the good.
This entry was posted in Apologetics, values and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Amen! Preach it, sister?

  1. Hans says:

    God het man en vrou gemaak om 1 te word. Hy het albei ewe lief. Dis goed om te trou. As jy as vrou vir solank rein kon lewe vir Jesus. Dan is dit reg so. As jy smag na liefde en om ñ moeder te wees dan sal God vir jou ñ man gee, as dit binne Sy Wil is.

  2. Jane says:

    I must say that I am becoming increasingly dissillusioned with what so-called Christians are proclaming these days. So much so that I don’t even want to call myself a Christian anymore – rather a Follower of Christ – because that is who I am. As a women who is married I do believe that I cannot be in ministry without the blessing of my husband because after the Lord my husband and children are my first priority. Because of this I believe that the Lord allowed me, later on when my children were grown to play an important part in children’s ministry both in the Church and especially on the mission field. I have learnt over the years not to worry too much about what other people think but to make sure that I am doing what the Lord has called me to do. The only way to do this is by spending time with Him and having the courage to take action. Of course He often uses other people to confirm certain things to us but first and foremost He and his Word are to be my guidepost. You will always get people who try to discourage you by making you feel less of a person because you are a woman and sorry to say it happens especially in the church and no surprise, especially from men. Unfortunately more and more Christians seem to be questioning the authority and fairness of God instead of remembering what He has done for them and then trusting that no matter what, He knows what’s best. We cannot expect never to go through tough times. It’s part of life and often the consequence of our sins.

    As for the Lord not blessing you with a husband because perhaps your’e not a real Christian – what utter rubish.

    I think the devil knows the end is near and he’s trying everything in his power to discourage God’s children.

    Remember dear sister’s in Christ, you are precious in His sight, married or not!

  3. Mary says:

    Thank you for your post. This can be a very confusing subject for us single Christian women. I think that the main thing is for us to find our identity in Jesus rather than a husband. Personally, I am complementarian, which means that I see men and women as equal but different. I accept the idea of headship of a husband in marriage, but that’s not the same as tyrannical rule. And it doesn’t apply to men I am not married to. I love apologetics and there’s no reason why God cannot use a woman as an apologist.I find that I have more interest in apologetics than most men I know. Well, so be it! Blessings, sister, and keep shining the light of truth for Jesus! Our chief task is to glorify God in whatever circumstance we find ourselves.

  4. Jane says:

    Couldn’t agree more. It is when I finally discovered my true identity in Christ that I was able to start becoming the person I believe He wants me to be. Be it wife, mother, child evangelist or whatever. Put Christ first and the rest will follow.
    Please forgive my ignorance, but what exactly is appologetics? It’s a word I hear a lot these days.

  5. Mary says:

    Hi Jane. Apologetics is a reasoned defence. In the Christian context, it refers to logical reasons and evidence why being a Christian is sensible. The Christian faith is grounded in history and supported by science. Knowing apologetics is helpful for personal assurance, evangelism, teaching children who want to know WHY, etc.

  6. Retha says:

    Thanks for the encouraging comments!
    Apologetics: Jane, many kids believe in God in childhood, when it “feels right” to believe their parents/ Sunday School teacher, but later it “feels right” to question their parents/ Sunday School teacher, and they don’t know any real reasons to believe. A faith grounded in feelings and current whims is less likely to survive than one based in facts.

    When teaching pre-puberbescent kids as we did, apologetics does not seem so important as they will not question their faith untill later. But showing them how Christianity is true historically and scientifically, and how it corresponds with the real world, will make them less likely to doubt their foundational truths later. Foundations like God exist, Jesus rose from the death, the Old and New Testament is true, can all be defended by facts.

    If you want to know more on this, start here: (Link in Afrikaans, all the underlined statements link to defenses of them.) And teaching apologetics to kids? Start with Teach Kids magazine, May/June 2007, the “Why I believe” lessons in the middle of the book.(I once borrowed that magazine from you, and photocopied the lesson, so I know you have/ had it.)

  7. I DO think that the reason why men are abandoning the churches is because of feminization, which I understand to mean an emphasis on feelings, moral relativism, postmodernism, universalism, etc.

    But don’t agree at all with the idea that women can only have meaningful Christian lives if they marry and have children. 1 Cor 7 is the relevant verse. It’s clearly saying that women and men do better NOT to marry, because they can serve God better as singles. Case closed.

    I’m not a big believer in the patriarchy stuff either, although I oppose third-wave “egalitarian” feminism. I’m a complementarian as well, but there are lots of limitations on the idea of submission. I have to “submit” to my boss at work, but she doesn’t order me around like a tyrant or I’d leave.

  8. Retha says:

    Wintery, I agree with you on feminism. For those who never think of the topic (not WK, he does):
    Feminists are against the nuclear family (husband+wife in lifelong bond, + their kids), and don’t want moms to stay at home with their children. They encourage women to party like men, while I believe the Christian men ought to stay chaste outside of marriage, like the wise women. Instead of “God first” and “love others like yourself” feminists say “me first.”
    They believe in things like affirmative action to get the “right” amount of women in every job.

  9. kyle s. says:

    i don’t know much about feminism myself, but a mere glance at its wikipedia entry leads me to think your definition may be a tad narrow.

    • Retha says:

      Kyle, thanks for your opinion. I did not try to define what feminism is. I tried to give a few reasons why I, and Wintery Knight, is opposed to feminism as currently practiced in the Western world.

  10. Pingback: biblical personhood – finally, a sane perspective | Morven's Blog

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