Women In The Church

Q. I have just read the posts regarding headcovering and it has raised a question in my mind. When I was born again, I was set free from sin by grace through faith. So why am I now being loaded down with rules set by men ie headcovering as an example. Christ did not teach that women had to cover their heads or that women could not teach or preach so far as I am aware. I am not saying that neither Paul nor Timothy did not have justification for what they said, but is there not a question of culture and just plain disrespect for others here? Please explain why our Lord treated everyone with love and respect including women and yet pastors/elders use these things to keep women quiet.

A. Jesus did not address standards of behavior in the Church. This was left to Paul, who taught under the inspiration of the same Spirit. Every Sabbath Jesus attended a synagogue where women were not allowed to sit in the same room with men, covered their heads, and remained silent. While He criticized many aspects of their religion, He never said anything about that.

I agree that some male leaders have misused the Bible in an effort to prevent women from playing a meaningful role in ministry, but you can’t blame Jesus or Paul for that. There were several women among the Lord’s closest companions in His ministry, and who were deeply involved in the work of the Apostles afterward. Paul encouraged women to participate in ministry in ways that were previously unheard of. Priscilla and Lydia were two examples. Primarily because of his teaching the New Testament is one of the most emancipating documents for women ever written. Passages that suggest otherwise are misinterpreted.

The Bible is a document inspired by One who is outside time and doesn’t contain things that are only intended for certain cultures or that become obsolete over time. But it doesn’t condone anarchy. It contains a hierarchy established by the eternal God Who is at the top, with man second and then woman (Ephesians 5:23). Most men who aren’t threatened by the abilities of their female counterparts read that to mean a woman can hold any position in an organization to which she has been called as long as there’s a similarly qualified man at the head of it.

As for head coverings, Paul said women should be covered both as recognition of God’s hierarchy and as a sign of respect to the angels who worship with us (1 Cor. 11:10). This hardly constitutes being loaded down with rules set by men.

Share Button