“Holding Fast Our Confidence!”
Adult Bible Study Fall Quarter 1997
Lesson Eight: “Culture’s Challenge To Biblical Womanhood”

1. A call to change the role of women in the Church requires a  complete restructuring of the gender issue.

 a. It is the gender role question which highlights the  great im-
pact of culture upon the "Cultural Advocates" seeking to restructure the Lord's Church.  We are told the "Church" has historically relegated women to a lowly place and in our modern day women WILL NOT tolerate it any longer! (For specific instances read: Spiritual Sword, January 1991, p. 2-3; Dave Miller, Piloting The Strait, 245-246).
  1) In 1990 Freed-Hardeman University hosted a forum on the
role of women in the church. Representative of the feminist movement were Lynn Mitchell and Robert Randolph. Robert Randolph painted a dark picture of non-feminists by accusing preachers, elders, and other males of the Lord’s Church by accusing them of “rape.”  “Relating the Old Testament story of the indifference of the Levites toward the rape of one of their women by a man of the tribe of Benjamin (Judges   19:24), he implies that women in the church today are being raped in regard to their rights to roles of spiritual authority and, for the most part, the church is unconcerned because it is happening only to women . . . Dr. Lynn Mitchell affirmed the feminist movement would explode among churches of Christ because its time has come and there is nothing anyone can do about it . . . He concluded women will no longer allow themselves to be treated as they were treated in the past. He argues that women are simply going to take positions of authority for themselves . . . He also insists this is the way it is and it matters little or not at all ‘whether we arrived at this point properly though proper scripture interpretation.”
  2) A letter sent by the Elders of the Cahaba Valley Church of
Christ, near Birmingham, Alabama, to the members clearly presents the cultural challenge of feminism.  In this letter they state: “Women have been assigned a role based more on prejudice and tradition than on the Bible.”  The Elders went on to say the women and men of Cahaba Valley must “discover for themselves what is the role of women as God envisions it.”
  3) McWhorter cites the prevailing philosophy of interpreting
the Scriptures to determine the woman’s role. “We must ask what is the word of the Lord to us in these passages? . . . The word to us is not that we must reintroduce old-fashioned patriarchal families . . . The word of the Lord to us is not that women must be silent in the church and must be kept out of all positions of authority . . . We are moving toward a new, more adequate, more realistic hermeneutic.”
  4) The issue of women’s roles in the Lord’s Church is a perfect
way for culture to invade and compromise the church. “The ‘women’s issue’ is a perfect catalyst, because it combines utilitarian practicality, current notions of political correctness, and an obvious case for tolerance -- all in one neat package.”

 b. Transparency 8/1 “The Gender Role Debate!” Our examina-
tion of efforts to restructure the role of women in the Church will focus upon these areas:
  1) Efforts to wrest Scripture (Gal 3:28; 1 Co 11:3-16; Ep 5:21; 1    Ti 2:8-15; Ro 16).
  2) Efforts to introduce public leads in worship (i.e. serve Com-   munion; make announcements; etc.).
  3) Efforts to make women officers in the Church (Deacon-   esses; Elders; Apostles).
  4) Efforts to portray women's restrictions as solely "cultural."
  5) Efforts to appeal to inconsistency thus allowing a more    active role for women.
   a) Talking allowed in Bible Class but not in worship.
   b) Elders give women permission to do other things, why     not permission to speak in public as long as she does not     "usurp" (i.e. the "release" idea).

 c. Discussion of efforts to restructure women's role via wresting   of Scripture.
  1) Transparency 8/12 “Galatians 3:28"  This is the rallying text
for feminists. It has produced a simplistic slogan - "Neither male NOR female." It is said that this text erases all gender distinctions in the Church. However careful study reveals that this text does not eliminate gender role differences!
   a) ITS CONTEXT discusses who is able to become a child of
God. The chapter points out that anyone can become God's child regardless of race, sex, culture, or civil status.
    1) Galatians 3 does not apply to relationships in the
Church but is discussing the basis for membership. “Oneness doesn’t eliminate distinctive roles . . . being ‘one’ in Christ means having equal access to God. It means being equally entitled to God’s spiritual pro-mises and blessings despite external differences -- whether race, economic status, gender, or unique responsibilities determined by gender . . . It is our vertical relationship with God, and the unity which then results horizontally, that concerned Paul in this letter. In our vertical relationship there is neither black nor white, neither rich nor poor, neither old nor young, neither educated nor uneducated, neither American nor Soviet, neither Republican nor Democrat, neither management nor labor -- and, praise God, neither male nor female -- but through obedient faith we are all ‘one’ in Christ Jesus!”
    2) Paul is stressing unity of all believers, not the oblitera-     tion of all differences in gender. This is concluded by      the remote context.
   b) ITS REMOTE CONTEXT reveals that Paul cannot mean the     erasure of all differences.
    1) 1 Pt 3:1-7. Peter speaks of the same unity yet calls for      gender role differences.
    2) Ep 6:5; Ro 1:16; Ep 5:22-26. Paul was not erasing gender      roles. This is evident in these texts for he gives      commands to slave/free, Jew/Gentile, and male/      female.
   c) ITS CONSISTENCY reveals that the removal of differences     is not a logical conclusion.
    1) "Oneness" does not remove differences in role or per-     son (cf the "oneness" of the Godhead does not make      all three the same, Jn 10:30) .
    2) If gender roles are eliminated in Gal 3:28, there are no      role distinctions in the home! (Ep 5:21-6:4).
    3) Are we to believe Paul erased all gender roles in Gala-     tians only to "re-write" them in 1 Timothy 2? Did the      Holy Spirit change His "mind"?  If so, God is inconsis-     tent!
    4) Are we to believe that Galatians 3:28 removed "some"      gender distinctions but not "all"?  Where is the basis      for this thought? It is either all or none!
   d) “While freed from sin and shown to be of equal worth
and therefore of full and free fellowship with God and all our brothers and sisters in the Lord, the gospel did not destroy God’s divine hierarchy or abolish roles necessary to orderly function . . . Roles for Christians were not established by sin, by custom, by the law of Moses, or by any other force. Roles were established for mankind in creation and were patterned after the roles of hierarchy in the godhead.”

  2) Transparency 8/3 “EPHESIANS 5:21" is the only verse accep-
ted in Eph 5 by feminists. When confronted with the statements following vrs 21, they dismiss them as "cultural." We are told that "mutual submission" includes authority, leadership, and submission. This supposedly gives women the right to do everything a man can do. The following remarks reveal the error of feminism.
   a) CONTEXT -- The very next verse (22) clarifies the situation
so no false conclusions can be drawn. The phrase "one another" looks back to exhortations for all saints (v. 19) and is not limited to gender roles exclusively. ALL are to possess an attitude of humility (cf Philip 2:3,4).
   b) CONCEPT -- 5:23. "Head" has historically referred to     "authority." However feminists are now claiming that     "head" is actually "source." Viewed in this way we are     told the husband is the "source" of strength and encour-    agement for his wife in the same way Jesus is the     "source" of all good and honorable in the Church. Such     is absurd! Jesus is indeed the "source" of the Church, but     He is also the "authority" over the Church!
    1) It is dishonest to re-define a term just to make your
position true. This is demonstrated by the feminists as they insist that “head” (kefalh) really means source” and does not refer to male authority. McWhorter (p. 48-49) discusses this point. He concludes, “No work of scholarship from the first century through the twentieth century ever assigned any meaning to the word “head” except ‘authority over’.”
    2) It is unethical scholarship. “Feminists now insist both
the lexicons and ‘fathers’ are wrong and the real meaning of the word is ‘source’ as in ‘the headwater that is the source of a river.’ They declare that ‘superior rank’ can apply only to the English word head. It would seem strange that Greek authorities would uniformly be so influenced by an English word they allowed to overrule their scholarship on Greek vocabulary. What is even stranger is the ‘fathers’ were using this so-called English meaning long before they could have, in any way, been influenced by the English language.”
   c) CLARITY -- The text is clear in its teaching. Only those
who are determined to reject this clarity will follow the feminists. “We must ask what is the word of the Lord to us in these passages? . . . The word to us is not that we must reintroduce old-fashioned patriarchal families . . . We are moving toward a new, more adequate, more realistic hermeneutic.”

  3) Transparency 8/4 “1 CORINTHIANS 11:3-16" is one of that    the most difficult texts to interpret. 
   a) "Head" is the repulsive word for feminism. It refers     to role functions (i.e. God is "head" of Christ; it is absurd     to render the term as "source" for such denies Christ's     deity!). We thus find a set of parallel situations (cf     Hurley, p. 166ff).
    1) Man/Woman -- In home, Church 
    2) Christ/Man -- Men are to model behavior.
    3) God/Christ -- Christ obeyed (Philip 2:8; 1 Co 15:24).
   b) "Head Coverings" were signs of authority. The problem
in Corinth was the submission of women to the authority structure of God (i.e. this may well have been a cultural reaction because Gentile women were allowed to exercise authority over men -- see notes p. 17). In Corinth submission to authority was symbolized in a head concerning worn by women.
    1) "Veils" are not mentioned except for v. 15. 
    2) Vrs. 4,6,7,13 do not refer to veils! Bible translators are
convinced that was what Paul had in mind and thus supplied the terms. However the literal words simply mean "covered" and "uncovered." None of the words specify what kind of "covering" was in view. It is thus legitimate to supply the general term "veil" but wrong to bind a specific definition of this veil! Verse 15 seems to suggest this "veil" was the woman's hair and not an additional covering.
    3) In ancient cultures, long hair, flying loose and unkept,
or hair that was cut off, was a sign that its wearer was set off from the community in disgrace (Nu 5:18).

“We also noted that hair length and the way it was worn was of significant importance. Greek, Roman, and Jewish women grew their hair long and wore it put up in various styles. In all three cultures long hair flying loose, disheveled hair or hair cut off was a sign that its wearer was set off from the community . . . the loosed hair of a suspected adulteress ... was publicly loosed to mark her off as one suspected of being ‘unclean’ by virtue of adultery, or repudiating her relation to her husband by giving herself physically to another man . . . a woman actually accused of adultery was tried and either acquitted or executed without undergoing the bitter-water rite. By the New Testament period, however, the Jews could not execute and the punishment for an adulteress was the shearing of her hair and expulsion from the synagogue. It is against this background that Paul’s words to the Corinthians are best understood. The relevance of the background can be seen from a look at Paul’s discussion and his particular word choice for ‘uncovered’.”
    4) When veils were worn they made a cultural statement
regarding gender role. The man was not "covered" and expressed authority. The woman was "covered" and expressed submission. Within that culture it would be shameful to wear the "covering" improperly (cf 11:10).
   c) "Dishonor" via the covering (vs 4-10).
    1) This is when the man acts so as to bring shame      upon his "head" (Christ) (v.4).
    2) This is when the woman acts so as to bring shame      upon her "head" (man) (vr. 5).
    3) Whenever one repudiates the authority structure      then the "head" is "dishonored"!
    4) Some suggest the Corinthian women had con-
cluded their "freedom" in Christ had erased all gender roles. They thus began to act as if no gender role difference existed. Their activism in casting aside the gender role was tantamount to making them as shameful as a prostitute.
    5) The men who permitted the authority structure to be
supplanted were also guilty (vs 7-10). Appeal is made to creation where man was first created and then woman for man. This creation order established the pattern of authority (cf 1 Ti 2:12-13). For a man to reject God's authority structure and passively allow a woman to take charge is to reject the God-given order!
   d) "Angelic examples" warn those who tamper with God's
authority structure. The Corinthian women saw the "un-covering" as a sign they possessed authority equal to men. Paul stated this was a rejection of God's order for gender roles -- it was rebellion and disgrace. Her action thus marked her as joining with angels who rebelled against God (Jude 6; Mt 25:11). “Paul emphasizes the importance of the message by reminding his readers of what happens to those who rebel against authority (1 Cor. 11:11). The angels who refused to accept the hierarchy ordained by God are in hell, a place designed as just punishment for such rebellion (Matt. 25:41).”
   e) "Authority" is to be governed with care (v. 11,12). So     that men would not abuse their authority. Paul reminds     them that men and women are inter-dependent! 
   f) "Reason" is found as theory is tested with reason (v.13).
 Having made his point Paul asks a rhetorical question forcing the Corinthians to decide the matter in light of what has been said. Such would be as absurd as the situations in 11:4,5!
   g) "Nature" A second line of argument focuses upon that
the "natural" gender differences (v. 14-16). “Here Paul  assumes the spiritual distinction between men and women is as fundamental as ‘the nature of things’ . . . It goes back to long hair and short hair, or -- as it were -- male bodies and female bodies. It is as fundamental as the gender factor itself.”  “The principle is eternal and must never change. Men must always be in positions of spiritual leadership; women must never fill that position over men . . . Paul concludes by declaring God’s principle is not subject to questioning. The principle is not some local ordinance applying only to Corinth; it is universal and eternal in nature (v. 16).”
    1) "Nature" can refer to two ideas: (1) innate in man at      birth (Gal 2:15); (2) proper action formed by custom,      habit, or experience (Ep 2:3). The second is pre-     ferred. 
    2) A cultural sign at Corinth was the "covering" symbol-
ized authority. Hence, "look around and see if your society and culture does not teach this same thing!" 
    3) Such was universally acknowledged (v. 16). Paul knew
of no Church which cast aside the principle of appointive leadership of the man in worship or home affairs!
   h) Obvious conclusions from the text. Transparency     8/5 “Obvious Conclusions”
    1) The principle of male "headship" is undeniable.
     a) It is a "tradition" from God (11:2).
     b) It is divinely designed (11:3).
     c) It is a honored practice (11:4-6).
     d) It is a timeless Truth (11:7-10).
     e) It will bring unity/harmony (11:11-13).
     f) It is illustrated by common sense (11:14-16).
      Note: This principle is eternal and must never       change (11:10b).
    2) While the principle will never change, the practice will
change. As the principle applies to each culture, Christians must make sure their customs do not deny it! “If today in our culture neither a veil nor a hat conveys spiritual submission, then wearing these ‘coverings’ during worship loses all significance in modern times. Nevertheless the principle of male spiritual leadership itself remains valid, and Paul’s instruction to us today would be to maintain whatever cultural distinctions make appropriate statements about that principle.” 
    3) We must be careful that we do not "major in minors"
with this text and miss the whole point! McWhorter discusses this problem and says, “In one con-gregation a faithful brother was no longer allowed to lead the congregation in prayer because he had begun to wear a hairpiece. In private he was told he must always remove the toupee during prayer or be guilty of violating the teaching of 21 Corinthians 11. Is this what the chapter is all about?”

  4) Transparency 8/6 “1 TIMOTHY 2:11-15" is the "key" text
which feminists must answer if they are to re-structure the gender roles in the Church. This text contains no vague cultural references. This text is simple and provides broad sweeping principles.
   a) See attached articles: Shelly, Gospel Advocate, Sept. 3,     1977; Kachelman, Christian Bible Teacher, Jan 1993, Feb     1993.
   b) There are significant points to be observed from that     the text.
    1) "Men" refers specifically to "males" (8). The word is
ANER and has a definite article before it. This construction always refers to males (exclusively!). Had he intended to include women, he would have used "anthropos" which refers to mankind (male or female). And he did this at times when both genders were included (cf 1 Ti 2:1; 2 Ti 2:2; etc.).
    2) "Usurp Authority" does not refer to a woman grabb-
ing/seizing authority. Some say as long as a male "releases" the authority the woman is not "usurping." This term means to exercise authority over one. When a woman takes a role which places her "over" a man this happens.
    3) "Quietness" refers to disposition/demeanor. It refers
to her attitude toward male leadership ("subjection" is lit. "to rank under"). “We must consider what Paul actually commanded. He calls for hesychia (quietness, peacefulness, silence) and hypotage (submission, subjection, from hypotasso). These concepts are familiar to us ... They recur with great regularity in discussions of women in the Christian community ... Hesychia does mean silence but carries with it connotations of peacefulness and restfulness. Its use in 1 Timothy 2 shows that Paul is not just calling for ‘buttoned lips’ but for a quiet receptivity and a submission to authority in his description of the manner of women’s learning.”
    4) "Teach" does not forbid women teaching. This is evi-
dent from: (1) 2 Ti 2:2 the command (cf Tit 2:3,4; Col 3:16); (2) The complete thought is that women are not to teach "over men."
   c) Transparency 8/7 “Rationale For Women’s Subjection”
The fact of woman's submission to man in the public assembly is clearly stated. Why? What is the rationale? 1 Timothy 2:11-15
    1) The necessity of woman's submission to man is      based upon two important considerations:
     a) God commanded it (Tit 2:5; 1 Pt 3:1; Ep 5:22).
     b) Practicality demands it. The principle of sub-      mission guarantees harmony, it does not mean in-      equity!
    2) The rationale for woman's submission is based      upon reasonable factors.
     a) The first born rule. Adam was created first.
The first born rule is common in the Old Testament. The first born son would receive a double portion; he would become the head of the family; leader of its worship; responsible for its decisions. This is never questioned. Adam was "first formed." He hence has the duty to exercise the authority appropriate to the "first born."
     b) The "source" authority rule. 1 Co 11:8. A strong
respect must be shown for the power to originate. This applies to Christ because He is the "source" of all things (Col 1:15-18); parents to child (Pr 23:22). Adam was the "source" of Eve and thus to him is given special honor and authority. 
     c) The power of naming rule. The practice of "nam-
ing" implies authority. The power to assign or change a name demonstrates authority (God changed names of Abraham, Sarah, Jacob, Saul, etc.). Adam named the animals and thus reflected his control/authority (Gn 2:20). Adam named Eve twice! (Gn 2:23; 3:20).
     d) The provision rule. SHE was made for HIM!
     e) The accountability order rule. The blame for the
Fall is squarely Adam's! (Ro 5:12-21). Upon Adam alone lay the responsibility for decisions/leadership in the home and only he was held guilty because he could have stopped the sin.
   d) Transparency 8/8 “Women’s Submission, Is It Cultural Or
Scriptural?” Some contend women's submission is all "cultural' and hence not applicable to our enlightened modern thought. However the authority of the Scriptures clearly rejects the cultural compromises by insisting that God ordained male leadership and that gender roles ARE NOT equal! “Given the clear weight of evidence against gender-role sameness when the Bible is objectively read through the eyes of ‘command, example, and necessary inference,’ the cultural church finds itself in a quandary: The message itself is clear and unequivocal; but the message is not one we want to hear. So what are we to do?” The reference in 1 Timothy does not use "cultural bias" to command women's submission. This is evident from the following: 
    1) There is a clear break in Paul's thoughts as he leaves      the "dress" of women in public assembly and discusses      the role of women in the public assembly.
    2) Paul encouraged women to "learn" -- something con-     trary to the prevailing Jewish culture. 
    3) The Inspiration of Scriptures guards against a cul-     tural practice being bound universally. 
    4) The restrictions are historical rather than cultural      (i.e. Adam/Eve).
   e) From a study of 1 Timothy 2 we find a passage that com-
mands a distinction in the gender roles of the Church. The only way to evade this conclusion is to deny Inspiration! Some are quite willing to do this in order to pursue their desired agenda for "cultural change." Notice this statement by the Elders of the Cahaba Valley congregation:  “Paul did not write these verses. This whole idea usually bothers people at first, but the truth is that our Bible we carry around is the product of comparing all sorts of ancient copies of the New Testament, all of which differ from each other to some degree . . . The verses do no come from Paul, but from a later time when church organization had changed along the lines found in I Timothy.”
  5) Transparency 8/9 “ROMANS 16" has become one of the    "key" texts in the feminist battle plan to re-structure    gender roles in the Church.
   a) Don Finto appeals to it to justify his taking the office of
"Apostle" in his "new wineskins" leadership structure (6/26/88). Feminists count the female names  and conclude that females are honored more than men and occupy more prominent roles than men at Rome (Apostles, Deacons, Presiding Elders!).
   b) JUNIUS (7). Feminists argue the "s" was added to a fem-
inine name changing it to masculine. They further take the wording to mean s/he was "an outstanding Apostle." The following points reveal their folly:
    1) The grammatical form does not clearly identify the      gender. The gender must be concluded from consis-     tent study of biblical principles dealing with gender      roles.
    2) The phrase does not necessarily refer to an Apostle.      Either "well known BY Apostles" or "well known AS      Apostles." The term "apostle" can refer to the office      or to a function.
    3) Most scholars agree the name refers to a male      because the Greek masculine is used in "kinsman" and      "fellow-prisoners."
    4) Even if Junias was a woman it does not elevate her to
a role contradictory to New Testament teaching. A woman could be a "messenger" (apostle) without holding a leadership role (cf Tit 2:3-4; 2 Ti 2:2).
    5) "To speculate would be vain. To use Junias, who may      be male or female, as an example of a 'woman      preacher' or 'woman elder' would be irresponsible"      (Hurley, 122).
    6) It is a desperate attempt to shore up the failing      feminist position to use Junias!
   c) PRISCILLA (3).  This is one of the outstanding women in
the Bible. Emphasis is made about her name appearing before Aquila; teaching Apollos; having the Church meet in HER home; and being named by Paul in Ro 16. However the Feminists fail to find support in her.
    1) The feminists want us to think the Bible condemns all      women who teach. This is wrong! Women can teach      but she cannot teach man in an authoritarian role      over man. 
    2) There is not the slightest hint that she shared equal      authority with Aquila.
    3) It is not said her role was exactly the same as Aquila's.
    4) The reference to her as a "fellow worker" does not
elevate her to equal roles. What she did is not stated. We must assume she limited her work with revealed principles (cf 1 Ti 2:8ff). Note: A General and a private are "fellow soldiers" yet their roles of authority are quite different!
    5) We are not told she held an office. If so -- what was it?
    6) Again, the speculation of feminists about Priscilla      raises more questions than it settles. It reveals an      agenda that is inconsistent, contradictory, and built      with exaggerated assumptions.

   d) PHOEBE (1).  Here is the most famous woman in Romans
16. Some translations identify her as a "deaconess" and this has fueled those seeking to re-structure the Church. Adding to the controversy are those who claim she was also an "elder." “Lexical considerations make this outcome virtually impossible. The feminine form, which is used of Phoebe, means ‘protectress, patroness, helper.’ What Paul said. Therefore, was that Phoebe had been a helper of many, even of himself. In this light we conclude that Paul commended her to the Romans as a representative of the Cenchreaean church who had helped many, himself along them, and asked that she be assisted as necessary.”
    1) Even though the word may be rendered "deaconess"
it should not be overlooked that only the masculine form is used to refer to the official office! Thus there is strong hint that even in the grammatical reference to offices the male leadership principle is found!
    2) The attempt to include women in the qualfications of
Deacons (1 Ti 3:11) presents trouble for the feminists. "Wives" is the same as in 1 Co 14:34. If it refers to "women" in general in 1 Ti 2 then it must refer to women in general in 1 Co 14:34. But the feminists do not want this!
    3) The term (diakonos) can be used in a formal and infor-
     mal sense. It simply means to minister or serve. Thus,      in a sense, every Christian is a "deacon"!
    4) Historically there is no evidence for Deaconesses until      the 3rd/4th century when significant departures      were occurring.
    5) Perhaps the best point -- 1 Ti 3:8,11. Paul specifi-
cally used the word "deacon" in reference to men but not in reference to women! Had God desired women to serve in the official sense as "deaconesses" He would not have had Paul construct the words as such! 

 d. Discussion of efforts to induce the Church to tolerate   active roles for women in the public worship assembly.
  1) The "Cultural Advocates" desire to propel their cultural re-
structuring of the Church by encouraging women to take active roles in worship.
   a) “Each year we will increase the freedom of women to
participate in the worship . . . We will continue this process until by 1994, women are given freedom to volunteer, if they so choose, to participate in the activities that are currently restricted to the men during Sunday morning assembly.”
   b) “Lynn Mitchell rejoiced that his daughter was in a con-
gregation where she could publicly read, sing, and communicate her faith in these ways.”
  2) Transparency 8/10 “Can Women Serve Communion?” This
is one area receiving great discussion regarding women's participation is in the passing of Communion/Collection trays. (See Gospel Advocate, Oct. 1993, p. 56-57)

 e. Discussion of efforts to make women officers in the Church.
  1) The arguments are appealing, smooth, and with just    enough Scripture to lend credence. Because of ignorance    many gullibly accept these erronous conclusions!
  2) Transparency 8/11 “A Flawed Reasoning!”  All feminist    arguments share these flaws.
   a) The Scriptures are wrested -- the context is not consider-
    ed and consistent interpretation with other passages/     principles is not given. A verse becomes a "pretext" for     restructuring the Church!
   b) The guiding principle of male leadership is cast aside.     "New Hermeneutics" are used to introduce women as     Elders and Deacons.
   c) Vague texts are allowed to uphold an entire doctrine.     Such is folly.
   d) Contradictions abound but are ignored by those deceiv-    ed with error (2 Ths 2:11-12).

 f. Efforts to portray women's restrictions as solely "cultural."
  1) This is a most interesting point. Feminists argue that Paul's
Judaism was the basis for his restrictions on women. However, Paul worked among Gentiles allowed women great authority over men.
  2) Transparency 8/12 “Paul’s Culture Verses The Bible!” 
The so called "cultural" aspect of Paul's teaching about women's limitations is not present!
   a) He never reflected the Gentile culture because he     forbade women to act as Gentile custom allowed.
   b) He never reflected the Jewish culture because he     allowed women rights/roles/leadership that Jewish cul-    ture denied (i.e. learning, teaching a man, etc.).
   c) He rejected the very notion of "culture" guiding the     believer (Ro 12:1,2). Note: There is no way one can     credibly argue that "culture" influenced the teaching of     Paul regarding women! Such is absurd!

 g. Transparency 8/13 Appeals To ‘Inconsistencies’ In Gender
Roles” Efforts to appeal to inconsistency on the part of those restricting women's roles, thus allowing a more active role for women must be answered.
  1) "You let women talk in Bible Classes, why not worship    assemblies?"
   a) They are two different setting with different guiding     principles. This is evident in 1 Ti 2:8 - "pray" and 1 Ti 2:11     - "learn in quietness."
   b) We are able to do things outside of worship that are for-    bidden while worship is in progress.
   c) “In our time and culture, women freely participate in
Bible class discussions or in Bible study groups . . . Perhaps our best insight into this question comes from Paul’s separate instructions to the evangelist Timothy (1 Timothy 2:11,12) . . . ‘Quietness’ in this context is an attitude regarding one’s relative position in a hierarchy of spiritual authority. Together with the word ‘submission,’ it recognizes God-given roles . . . It permits participation within the parameters of designated responsibilities.”
  2) "You let a woman confess Christ in the worship assembly,
why can't she do more?" “In response, let s ask: Is this action done in the role of a public teacher or is it not rather the response of a student? . . . I believe there is a vast difference between those two roles. In what way would her response as a student in making the good confession violate the statement of prohibition in 1 Timothy 2:11,12 and 1 Corinthians 14:34,35? She has taken no role of authority nor has she become the kind of teacher or public speaker these two passages forbid her to become.”
  3) "Since announcements are not a part of worship, why can't
a woman read the announcements?" Such an action places her in a recognized “leadership role” and thus in a role prohibited by Scriptures. 
  4) "If an Elder permits ("releases" the authority) for a woman
to teach, is it all right as long as she does not USURP AUTHORITY?" This "release idea" sound pious and attempts to complement the "male headship" pattern, but it tragically fails to recognize several points which expose its error. Transparency 8/14 “Errors Of The ‘Release’ Theory”
    1) Men do not have the authority to "release" that      the divine structure (cf 1 Co 11:3).
    2) Men are committing a presumptuous sin in asking wo-     men to do what is contrary to God's Law.
    3) Men are inconsiderate when they place a woman in a      role that comes close to exercising authority over      men (1 Ths 5:22).
    4) Men are encouraging sin by allowing females to      violate God's authority structure (Tit 1:16).
    5) Men are inconsistent in applying the "release" idea. It
can be used to justify "necessary lies" or "stealing." If one "releases" the commands of God, is it a temporary release -- if so, how long? If one is to give "release," to what areas of God's commands does it apply? (Baptism, following God's Word, etc.). When does this "release” stop and start? Subjectivism reigns and absolutes are erased!
    6) Men are ignorant to think a woman can be "released"      as long as her teaching is not in a church building!      (McWhorter, p. 139).

"The Bible teaching on the difference in role in no way implies a difference in worth, value, or ability ... males and females are equals as far as their person and salvation status is concerned. Women are not inferior to men anymore than Christ is inferior to God, citizens are inferior to the President, or church members are inferior to elders. The differentiation is purely a matter of function, assigned tasks, and sphere of responsibility. The question for us is: 'How willing are we to fit ourselves into God's arrangement?'" (Dave Miller, The Spiritual Sword, Vol. 24, No. 1, October 1992, p. 23).

Gender Role

Restructuring the role of women in the church depends upon efforts to . . .

Gal 3:28; 1 Co 11:3ff; Ep 5:21; 1 Ti 2:8ff; Ro 16

Serve Communion; Make Announcements; Etc.

Deaconess; Elderess; Apostle


Transparency 8/1    Galatians 3:28

This is the rallying text! Study reveals it DOES NOT erase gender role differences!

Its Context

Its Remote Context

Its Consistency!

Transparency 8/2


We are told “mutual submission” removes all gender role differences. This error is exposed by . . .




Transparency 8/3
          1 Corinthians 

This difficult text can be under-stood by its significant terms.


HEAD                  REASON



Transparency 8/4

The biblical principle of male leadership... 

. . . Is a tradition from God (11:2).

. . . Is divinely designed (11:3).

. . . Is an honored practice (11:4-6).

. . . Will bring harmony (11:11-13).

. . . Is commonsensical (11:14-16).

Transparency 8/5

           1 Timothy

This is the “key” text which must be answered. It has these points:

Men (ANER)

Usurp Authority



Transparency 8/6


This chapter is being used by feminists to re-structure gender roles. Their arguments focus on:




Transparency 8/9
A Flawed Reasoning!

The arguments to restructure gender roles in the church are smooth and appeal to just enough Scripture to give them credence. But they all share these fatal flaws!

Scripture is wrested!

Male leadership
is spurned!

Vague texts
support all!


Transparency 8/11
Paul’s Culture Verses
The Bible!

The so-called “cultural” aspects of Paul’s teaching is not found!

He spurned
Gentile customs!

He spurned
Jewish customs!

He refused to
allow any
“culture” to
overrule God’s Word!

Transparency 8/12
Appeals to 
In Gender Roles

When Scripture fails to support gender role restructuring, advocates attempt to justify their calls by pointing to apparent inconsistencies.

“Women talk in Bible classes!”

“Women confess in assemblies!”

“Why not announcements, they are not a part of worship!”

“An elder can RELEASE the limits and the woman will not be guilty!”

Transparency 8/13
Errors Of The 
“Release Theory”

He has no authority
1 Corinthians 11:3

It is

It is
1 Thess 5:22

It encourages
Titus 1:16

It is ignorant!

Transparency 8/14

Copyright 1999 by John L. Kachelman Jr. may be reproducted for non-commercial purposes at no cost to others.

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