10 Lies the Church Tells Women
This article (10 Lies) evolved into a NEW book (Book is available - click the link) by the same author entitled The 25 Tough Questions About Women and the Church
by J. Lee Grady, Editor of Charisma Magazine
WHAT ARE THE 10 LIES?
- Lie #1: God created women as inferior beings, destined to serve their husbands.
The church has told women for centuries that God created Eve to be a domestic appendage to her husband. But that is not what the Bible says. Before sin entered the world, God commissioned both Adam and Eve to have dominion over the earth. They were to function as partners in establishing God's kingdom on earth.
- Lie #2: Women are not equipped to assume leadership roles in the church.
Pastors and Bible teachers have often promoted the idea that women must always remain in subservient roles. But when we look closely at both the Old and the New Testaments, we find that God has often empowered women to lead. Old Testament examples include Miriam, Deborah, Esther and the prophetess Huldah. In the New Testament, we find that the apostle Paul empowered many women to serve with him on his apostolic team. These women included Priscilla, Phoebe, Junia and others.
- Lie #3: Women must not teach or preach to men in a church setting.
Church leaders often take one verse, 1 Timothy 2:12, to build a doctrine that restricts women from teaching. But because we see women teaching and preaching throughout the Bible, and because the prophet Joel stated clearly that women would prophesy (see Joel 2:28), we know that the situation being discussed in 1 Timothy was a unique, localized problem in the church in Ephesus. We know that Paul empowered other women to be preachers; therefore we cannot use the words in this verse to say that all women at all times must refrain from preaching or leading.
- Lie #4: A woman should view her husband as the "priest of the home."
Although this is a popular phrase in Christian vernacular, it has no biblical basis. Both husbands and wives are priests unto the Lord. A husband does not "represent" his wife to God. There is no mediator betweeen God and man except Jesus Christ. A woman must cultivate her own relationship with the Lord rather than letting her husband represent God to her.
- Lie #5: A man needs to "cover" a woman in her ministry activities.
Church leaders have mistakenly used Paul's statement that men are the heads of their homes to support the notion that a woman cannot minister in the church without a man watching her or providing some kind of "covering." This is actually idolatry, for it implies that the presence of a man gives spiritual credibility to a person's ministry. The only thing that can provide credibility is the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Also, it is logistically impossible to arrange for a man to "cover" all ministry activities led by women. The Bible does not call for such a practice.
- Lie #6: Women who exhibit strong leadership qualities pose a serious danger to the church.
In some church circles, strong women are viewed with suspicion. While it is certainly not biblical for a woman to be brash or domineering, the Bible calls all believers--male and female--to be bold and strong in spirit. God is not glorified when women are timid or cowardly. In fact, such behavior grieves the Spirit of God because it is evidence of unbelief. Women are to display humility and a gentle, Christlike spirit, but at the same time might and courage.
- Lie #7: Women are more easily deceived than men.
It is often suggested that because Eve was deceived and then lured her husband into disobedience, she bears the blame for the fall of mankind. But the Scriptures do not support this belief. Adam and Eve shared equal blame for their sin, and the book of Romans makes it clear that Adam willfully chose to sin.
The fact that Eve was punished for falling prey to deception does not mean that all women in all times will be more vulnerable to deception than men. In fact, when we look at the many cults and false religions in the world, we find that the majority of them were founded by men, not women.
- Lie #8: Women can't be fulfilled or spiritually effective without a husband and children.
Single and divorced women today are often told that they cannot enjoy the full benefits of being a Christian without being married. But the Bible tells us that our spiritual fulfillment comes first from our relationship with God--not from a human relationship. And when we look at the history of the church, we find that some of the most effective ministers of the gospel never married at all.
Also, many women who struggle with infertility are made to feel like second-class citizens in the church because they cannot have children. This grieves the heart of God. Having babies is not the criterion for, or the sole indicator of, God's blessing on a person's life.
- Lie #9: Women shouldn't work outside the home.
For many years the church tried to stop women in this country from attending college and pursuing higher education. Then the church resisted the movement to win women the right to vote--even though the women who started this movement were Christians themselves.
The idea that women were created by God to stay home and do only domestic chores comes from a wrong interpretation of two obscure passages in the New Testament, Titus 2:4 and 1 Timothy 5:14, which encourage women to be faithful in caring for their children. God never intended for these verses to be used to keep women closeted in the home! In fact, at the time the New Testament was written, both men and women typically worked from sunrise to sunset at their home-based trades.
- Lie #10: Women must obediently submit to their husbands in all situations.
A classic passage in the Bible, Ephesians 5:21-35, is often used by laypeople and clergy alike to demand that women live in a position of subjection to their husbands. But we have ignored the fact that at the time Paul wrote these words, women were considered property. When Paul told husbands to love their wives "as their own bodies," it was a revolutionary concept because men had never viewed their wives as equals.
Paul specifically calls on men to treat their wives with care and respect--a totally new idea. By no means was this passage intended to give men the license to dominate their wives, mistreat them or abuse them in any way. Yet in many evangelical churches this passage is used to force women to stay in abusive and even violent situations.
We've ALL been affected by these UNtruths ... some of us more than others, but what a radical thing it would be if the CHURCH would wake up and embrace the abilities and character of Godly women! If you have a response to this article, please email me using the icon below.