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.