Evangelical Feminism's Cultural Interpretation

Many churches today have caved into the feministic cultural trend in Western society and have consequently mishandled the Word of God in their attempt to justify assigning women to leadership roles over men in their institutional churches contrary to the explicit teachings of scripture on the matter.

One such church is Grace Chapel of Lexington, MA, the local area's mega-church. They conveniently provided a pdf on their site as to their position. Their position is, and I quote, "The Elders and Pastoral Staff believe that the question of women in leadership is one of those disputable matters." And while they say,"difficult texts need to be interpreted in light of clearer texts.", they go on to do just the opposite, mishandling scripture even by their own standards.

While Paul taught clearly clearly and explicitly on this subject many times, their claim is that Paul's teachings are obscure - mainly because what Paul clearly and explicitly states is contrary to their feminist viewpoint. So what they go on to do is to take scriptures - mainly historical in nature - which don't explicitly teach on the subject, and read into them their feminist viewpoint while obfuscating what the Bible explicitly teaches on the subject.

Their proposition is that the sections where the apostle Paul taught on the subject were for a different time. They simply can remove sections of the Bible they are uncomfortable with by simply stating "that was then, this is now". Consider what Paul actually said and see for yourself how foolishly these people mishandle scripture to their own ends, and ultimately to their own demise.

1Corinthians 11
First Paul states, "I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God." 1Cor 11:3 And he goes on to state, "A man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man. For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. For this reason, and because of the angels, the woman ought to have a sign of authority on her head." 1Cor 11:7-10

On what basis can we say that it used to be, back in the old days, that the head of woman was man, that while man is in the image and glory of God, women is rather the glory of man, and that woman was created for man, but that such is not the case today? There is no Biblical basis for such a proposition. Paul's argument here is based on God's very purpose in the creation of gender. And he's applying these gender specific truism to the Christian community. His argument is not culturally based. It's based on the God given nature of the distinctions God created between genders which was the case since the beginning.

1Corinthians 14
To further support this fact consider what he EXPLICITLY states a few chapters later. "Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, AS THE LAW SAYS. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church." 1Cor 14:34,35 Notice he's stating that the basis for his instruction here is not culture, but because of what Law says. As in his argument in 1Corinthians 11 and as he will argue also in 1Tim 2:11-14, he's reference the first book of the Law of Moses, namely Genesis, which gives an account of the creation of Adam and Eve. And while Grace Chapel states, "Both men and women are created in the image of God, and though different from one another, share equally in the divine mandate to exercise dominion over the earth.", which they then try to spin into a justification to assign women to rule over men, but in the creation they are not equal in role. The woman is said to have been created as a "helper", an assistant to man, just as Paul indicates in his argument in 1Cor 11. She is in a subordinate role. And thus all the commands concerning wives in their relationship to their husbands command submission, while the husband is not likewise commanded. Or do the egalitarians propose we discard all those commands as culturally irrelevant today?

Now to further discard the "cultural" interpretation of 1Cor 14, Paul goes on to say just after this, "If anybody thinks he is a prophet or spiritually gifted, let him acknowledge that what I am writing to you is the Lord’s command. If he ignores this, he himself will be ignored." 1Cor 14:37,38 Jesus is explicitly commanding women to remain silent in the churches, not to be the spokesmen in the assembly. Evangelical feminist churches directly violate what Paul clearly says that Jesus explicitly commanded. If you're in an Evangelical feminist church, Jesus here commands you to not listen to those people. Ignore them. Don't recognize them as legitimate Bible teachers. Why are you even at such a church, but to play the role of the prophet and rebuke them.

1Timothy
And finally a passage explicitly written concerning the assignment of elder, Paul writes concerning women, "A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.  For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner." 1Tim 2:11-14 Just like the two passages in 1Corinthians, Paul again invokes Genesis as the precedent in issues of gender among Christians. But Grace Chapel has the audacity to propose that Paul uses Genesis only to refer to one's level of education and experience. They claim that the issue in Genesis Paul was alluding to was not Eve's gender but rather because she was less experienced than Adam, having been created second, and so was not around as long as Adam had been. And they claim likewise women in Paul's day were uneducated. (Interesting the apostles Peter and John were themselves reckoned "uneducated" at the the time) But they claim that since women are "educated" today they can takes on roles of authority over men, and in this way they justify discarding this passage as culturally irrelevant. That is so obfuscated from what Paul actually stated, need I comment further? If the issue was education and not the nature of gender itself, why didn't Paul say so?

Instead what Paul does say here is consistent with his arguments in 1Corinthians, which taken together renders it impossible to interpret all these passages in concert as merely referring to a cultural situation which no longer applies. It's absurd!

What this does reveal is the incompetence of such people as the institutional leaders of Grace Chapel to handle the Word of God honestly and accurately. Paul writes, concerning such posers, "If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, he is conceited and understands nothing." 1TIm 6:3,4 and instructs Timothy, "Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage— with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths." 2Tim 4:2-4 Evangelical Feminism's theology is such a myth. And they preach it to make themselves popular, to suit their own desires. Feminists are attracted to is because of their rebellious spirit.

God says, "Their children are rebellious and women rule over them." Is 3:12 These go hand in hand. For children learn submission from their mother as she submits to her husband. But where women rule over men, children learn to be rebellious, just like their mothers. "Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything." Eph 5:23-25 But just as they refuse to take a role of submission in the family, so also that is reflected in their churches which refuse to submit to Christ's explicit commands is shown here.

As for men catering to the evil desires of rebellious women, To Adam he said, "Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat of it,’ "Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life..." Gen 3:17


The Berean Christian Bible Study Resources
Jul 29,2015