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God's design in heaven and in earth

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N ARTICLE by Canadian Press as printed in the Penticton Herald on Oct. 22, 1994, states,

 

Now, says Doug Flanders, statistician for the United Church of Canada, women fill about half the offices in Canada's mainstream Christian churches.

     

  

The BIBLE says,  

    

As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.

Is. 3:12

    

     Some of the least obeyed commandments of God in the Church today involve the role and conduct of women in the life of the church and of society.  In today's humanistic, socialistic, and feministic society to suggest anything other than the widely published and governmentally legislated philosophy that women are complete equals with men in identity and role is to expect the certain accusations of, "mysoginist!", "anti-social!", "arrogant!", "old-fashioned!", "sexist!", "unloving!", and even, "un-Christian!" ...accusations made by Christians!  But God, speaking in His Word, tells us:

  

For God is not the Author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. 

34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. 

35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church. 

36 What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only? 

37 If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord. 

38 But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.

I Cor. 14:33-38

  

... So one of God's most blatant rebukes in the New Testament for not acknowledging and obeying God's Word as the commandments of God, is thus given in conjunction with God's commandments regarding women in the church.  And neither God's commandments nor He changes - ESPECIALLY as we are still in the New Testament (the New Testament was not just for back then)!

   

Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

Heb. 13:8

   

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

James 1:17

    

For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:

19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

Rev. 22:18, 19

     

     For which reason,

   

Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in This Name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring This Man's blood upon us.   

29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.

 Acts 5:29

  

If ye love me, keep my commandments.

Jn. 14:15

   

     With today's pervasive and legislated (often even in the Church) requirement of a declaration of women as equals to men in all things and with the attitude of modern Western society in that regard, the man or woman of God who is to be obedient to God in the face of such overwhelming opposition to the Word of God must be a person of internal strength in the Lord and be willing to go against the flow of non-Christian thinking - he must be an individual with a deep, personal love for God.

 

     Because the Word of God is so clear and adamant on this point the way one responds to the Lord on the subject reflects:

  

 i)           - his attitude to the Word of God and,

  

 ii)          - his love and devotion to the God Who wrote it.

  

This is because, 

  

 iii)             - if this doctrine is not for today because we deem it otherwise, there is nothing at all preventing us from declaring any or all of the rest of the Word of God to be the same.  If we declare ourselves spiritual enough to weed through the Word of God, discarding that which we feel does not any longer belong there, none of the Bible is safe.  We neither wrote the Word of God, nor did God illuminate any of it to us alone.  For these reasons we are commanded, as everyone else is, to accept either all of the Bible or none.  Again,

    

And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.  

36 What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only? 

37 If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.                          

I Cor. 14:36-37

    

     Paul did not write a single Word or idea in the Bible; it was written completely and exclusively by God Himself.  Paul and his fellow writers were merely transcribers of that which God gave them.  The Scriptures were given through them, using their individual personalities, experiences, circumstances, personal eccentricities, individual ways of speaking, and varied educations; but they were all, without exception in whole nor in part, written by God Himself.

   

14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of Him in peace, without spot, and blameless.  

15 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;  

16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other Scriptures, unto their own destruction.  

17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.

II Pet. 3:14 - 17

     

     Accepting the entire Word of God as is, inspired for our personal edification, 

    

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

II Tim. 3:16

     

...we must follow by examining Scripture to see what God says on the subject.  The Word of God is very specific, clear, and adamant on the subject.

  

The Order of the Universe
  

     God has established an order in the universe, with mankind's society designed to reveal God to mankind.  As God is over His bride, the Church, God intends that that doctrine be taught on earth by the order of society on earth: the husband over the wife.

 

21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. 

22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 

23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 

24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.

Eph. 5:21-24

 

     And, as this order through marriage is the order of society in general intended by God, even those unmarried are to follow the same order in the Church and in society:

 

3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God 

4 Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head. 

5 But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. 

6 For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. 

7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.  

8 For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. 

9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. 

10 For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.  

11 Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord. 

12 For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God.     

I Cor. 11:3-12

  

Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.  

12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. 

13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve. 

14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. 

15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.                                    

I Tim. 2:11-15

 

     This order God intends to be universal, not just in marriage, because:  

    

I Cor. 11: 

  

i)    - God is the head of man; man is the head of woman; v. 3
 
ii)   -  Man is the glory of God; woman is the glory of man;
v. 7
 
iii)    - Man is not of the woman; woman is of the man;
v. 8
 
iv)    - Man was not created for the woman; woman was created for the man;
v. 9
 
v)   - The presence of the angels dictates that woman should cover her head in recognition of her submission to men;
v. 10

   

I Tim. 2

     

vi)   - Adam was created before Eve;

v. 13

 
vii)   - Because Eve, not Adam, was deceived in the Garden of Eden, her sin was greater, and the resulting state of womanhood in relation to manhood is one of subjection.

v. 14

   

     These truths, as old or almost as old as creation, have nothing to do with marriage, but are universal and unchanging truth regarding the two genders.

  

     Having thus established that a) the Word of God is completely and eternally inspired and authoritative, and that b) the Word of God on this subject refers to everyone of both genders, not just to the married, we should establish just what it is that the Word of God establishes and requires, contrary to modern feminism:   Women:

  

- are to keep silent in the church; they are not to speak, not merely in role but also in actual voice:

I Cor. 14:34, 35
 

- are to be under obedience and all subjection:

I Cor . 14:34, I Tim. 2:11;
 

- are to submit to their husbands in everything, as unto God:  

Eph. 5:22, 24; Tit. 2:5;
 

- are not to teach men nor to take authority over men:

I Tim. 2:12;
  - are to marry, bear children, guide the house, and be keepers at home:1 I Tim. 5:14; Tit. 2:5;
 

 - are to maintain a good Christian character and witness:

I Tim. 5:14; Tit. 2:3-5;
  - are to teach the younger women: Tit. 2:3-5.

  

I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.

I Tim. 5:14

   

The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;   

4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,  

5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

Titus 2:3-5

 

     It should be recognized that women have an integral role in the home and in the church.  These roles are glorious and blessed, and of great honour, and should be recognized as such.  One's own person and place are enjoyed primarily as one recognizes God's central role in them, and invites Him to have control and direction over them.  Gender roles maximize the potential of each gender when the role of each is recognized and revelled in.  When one tries usurp the role or right of the other God is not glorified and mankind suffers.

   

     As in the home, a woman's role in the church is one of submission to and support of the male ministers in the body.  God has determined that they should teach the younger women2.  

  

   

     Also, as God has placed the woman in charge of the upbringing of the children in the home it would be expected that she would carry that responsibility over into the church, as in teaching Sunday School, to both male and female children.  We can see, also, that women with a prophetic ministry should be encouraged in this3, bearing in mind the guidelines given by God.  This author suggests that it is not unBiblical to encourage them to prophesy in church, although cautions against their using this venue as an opportunity to preach, or to add commentary, etc. (one should keep in mind the woman's tendency to speak long in front of the church when given the opportunity).

   

Women in Ministry
   
    
God will use a woman mightily in ministry when there is no man to fill the role (and this author suggests that such is not unBiblical4.  God is not a legalist; He gives us instructions and commandments that are intended to be obeyed.  When exceptional circumstances dictate, however, we are rebuked for not moving from a strict obedience to that commandment!5)  

  

     Just because God might use a woman when she is in a state of rebellion and disobedience, such as when taking ministry roles intended for men (pastoring, teaching, preaching, etc.), this is in no way an indication of God's approval!  God ministered even through Caiaphas, the high priest, in prophesying of Christ's sacrificial death, when Caiaphas advocated murdering Jesus; God prophesied through him not because he was in God's will, but despite the fact that he was not!  He was simply high priest that year, and as such, the person in the position and role of God's official spokesman at that time.  (For more on this subject, see "GOD'S BLESSING.")

  

How Different God Is!
  
     How different is the Word of God from what we see today in society... and in the Church!  When defying the world one must always expect an uphill battle, opposition, and even persecution.  But one should not have to expect those things also from the children of God, the redeemed, ransomed, and supposedly sanctified, set-apart from the world, and changed children of God!  But obedience to our God and our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is rarely found in the attitudes or actions of His children in North America, when it comes time to make a choice between Him and the World in relation to these identities and roles of his children in the Kingdom of God.

 

     We must realize that it is only as we keep His commandments that we can show true love to each other in the Church and in the world.  God has chosen to reveal HIMSELF in this way; this is God's means of Self-revelation.  He reveals Himself as the Divine Groom of the bride of Christ - the Lover and Sustainer of the perfect beloved.  And as man and woman, married or unmarried, adopt the roles that God has designed for them they get a true revelation of the Nature and Love that Christ has for His betrothed!  As the earthly woman submits to the earthly man, in a voluntary obedience to God and to him, so she and man receive a true revelation of the role that God has ordained between Him and the church and between Him and Christ.

  

A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.  

35 By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one to another.

John 13:34 - 35

  

If ye keep My commandments, ye shall abide in My love; even as I have kept My Father's commandments, and abide in His love.

Jn. 15:10

     

If ye love me, keep my commandments.

Jn. 14:15

      

  

  

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FOOTNOTES

 

1 We must recognize that this is an ideal; often circumstances do not permit us to follow this directive.  (See above) 

Back to text
2 Titus 2:3-5 Back to text
3 Luke 2:36, Acts 2:17, Acts 21:9 Back to text
4 Judges 4:8-10 Back to text
5 Matt. 12:1-13 Back to text