Theology and Politics from a Conservative, Biblical Perspective
In the Garden of Eden, Satan came to Eve for the express purpose of deceiving her into sinning. He came to her for no other reason. He ignored Adam because Paul implies that Adam would not have been deceived. Satan brought Eve down hoping Adam would follow suit. It worked.
11 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. – 1 Timothy 2:11-15 KJV; emphasis added
The reason that Satan zeroed in on Eve as opposed to Adam was that the Serpent believed Eve was an easier target. Why is this? I believe it is due to the fact that women – whom Peter describes as the “weaker vessel” in 1 Peter 3:7 – tend more to follow their emotions, which is never a good way to discern God’s will or the truth of Scripture.
That women are usually physically weaker is undeniable, but the implication of the fall is that by virtue of her being deceived by Satan, women may also sometimes be weaker in other ways.
Weaker emotionally in that women may too often resort to making decisions based on how they feel about something rather than simply recognizing the truth or falsehood of a particular situation. This is a result of the fall. By the way, does not mean that women are somehow less valuable than men. Both are completely equal in the sight of God once saved through Christ. However, God has also placed boundaries around each gender role for a number of reasons.
It is clear from Scripture that God has determined that the man is the head of the home, largely because God made man (Adam) first. This means that the buck stops with him and he is responsible before God for the things that occur within that household. After the fall, it was even more important for God to establish roles within the home and society so that some semblance of order could be maintained. It is a patriarchal system and while that tends to rub many women (and some men), the wrong way, it does so because of their own pride and lack of humility. They are unwilling to see that due to the fall, part of the “curse” if you will is that God had to create a system whereby one gender is given the leadership role in the home and in the church. This is God’s design. People who don’t like that either take it up with Him, deny it, or through humility, go along with His program. It will not always be like this but it exists for now, under the current circumstances of the fall of humanity. It is a way to help keep sin in check.
Eve was deceived into sinning. Adam knew full well what he was doing when he transgressed God’s law and because of it, actually wound up submitting to his wife, Eve in that instance. That was not part of God’s plan, but Satan came in with the deliberate intent of turning things upside down. He succeeded and he often succeeds today.
Because of this, God knew that the wife would be tempted to constantly go against and even compete with her husband for dominance. This is exactly what Scripture tells us in Genesis 3:16.
To the woman he said, “I will greatly increase your labor pains;
with pain you will give birth to children.
You will want to control your husband,
but he will dominate you.” (NET)
This has been a problem since then with wives wanting to usurp the authority God gave to the husband. A woman who is this type of wife is often seen as nagging, domineering, and controlling. Many men simply give into it because they want some semblance of peace in their house. Unfortunately, this is not what God wants for any Christian home. God has defined the roles that men and women are to play and He has done this for our benefit.
Again, simply because the husband is considered by God to be the head of the home, this does not mean that the wife is somehow less than or not as valuable. Those who disagree with the way God has chosen to do things point to verses like Galatians 3:28.
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female–for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. (NET)
The above verse and others like it have nothing to do with the God-given roles that wives and husbands are to fulfill. If we allow Scripture to interpret Scripture, it is impossible to come away with that meaning. It is only when verses like Galatians 3:28 are taken out of context can folks arrive to a conclusion that appears to say that there is absolutely no difference between men and women (or slave and free) and if this is the case, then there would be no limitations as to the roles women can fill in the local church.
However, when we see the context of what Paul is teaching in Galatians 3, we clearly realize (or should) that Paul is speaking in terms of salvation here and not the roles that men and women fulfill in the church itself. Galatians was written before 1 Timothy where Paul puts limits or boundaries on the roles women have in the church. If Paul meant in Galatians that women are allowed to do anything men can do, he would obviously be contradicting himself in 1 Timothy. Let me assure readers that Paul is not contradicting himself at all. He is speaking about two different issues entirely. The Galatians issue deals with matters of salvation while the 1 Timothy issue deals with roles that men and women can perform in the church and in the home.
But then some come along and say that Paul’s words to Timothy were simply based on the culture of Paul’s times and certainly do not apply to today’s day and age. Unfortunately for them, they are completely wrong because the two reasons given by Paul for not allowing women to teach men and to essentially be silent in church have not one thing to do with culture at all.
Again, the reasons Paul provides to Timothy for placing limits on a woman’s involvement in church are threefold.
How much more simple and clear could God have made it? Yet, in spite of this clarity, women’s groups (and weak-kneed men who go along with them) have continued to advance what they believe is a biblical position that allows them to teach and even preach to mixed groups! Paul would have none of this during his day. Why? Because this was the format God chose based on the fact of Eve’s original sin, which came before Adam’s.
It is interesting to me that way back in the Garden of Eden, Satan tempted Eve with the words, “…has God really said?” (Genesis 3:1). Today, we not only have women essentially saying the same thing (“Did Paul really mean that women must always be silent in church and are not allowed to teach men? Is that what Paul truly meant?”), but there are men who join in asking the same questions.
Satan asked the question – Has God really said? – because of his complete hatred of God! He called God a liar! He put doubt into Eve’s mind who became deceived into going against God’s directive. At the time Satan fell (Isaiah 14; Ezekiel 28), he entered into disobedience and complete rebellion against God Most High. His future punishment is just and deserved and all who follow his path without ever repenting and receiving salvation will receive the same punishment (cf. Matthew 25:41).
People who are intent about changing God’s intended meaning in Scripture do so because they hate God, whether they realize it or not. In effect, they love themselves and are doing what Jezebel did. She didn’t care who she hurt or how she got her way. All that was important was that she got her way (1 Kings 16 and following).
Has God really said? I was reading an article by one of the leaders within the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), who essentially stated that while women should follow their husbands lead and submit to the husband’s leadership, this does not necessarily apply to women’s roles in the local church. What hogwash. Of course it does! Paul has made that eminently clear, yet we discuss and debate, and produce white papers on what certain things in Scripture “truly” mean and in the process, the original meaning and intent of God is obfuscated and changed by people who in essence hate God. If they loved Him, they would keep His commands. Instead, they do all they can to serve self, just like Jezebel of old.
Clearly, these people hate His word because they desperately try to change it to mean something it does not mean. In this series, we’re going to take a close look at the numbers of women preachers today who have no qualms about teaching groups of women and men. We will look at the women who believe they are “prophets” or even “apostles” and see what the Scriptures has to say about it and how they have twisted Scripture to their ends so that they can freely do what they want to do.
In a nutshell, this has evolved because of what God stated in Genesis just after our first parents had made that fateful decision to follow Satan into sin. Genesis 3:16 states that the woman/wife will be constantly dealing with the desire to rule over her husband. Is this such a strange thing considering the fact that this is exactly what Eve did when she sinned?
Instead of looking to her husband Adam for support to keep her from sinning, she became the leader by entering into sin (even though she was deceived and did not transgress intentionally; sin is sin). Look at Genesis 3:6.
When the woman saw that the tree produced fruit that was good for food, was attractive to the eye, and was desirable for making one wise, she took some of its fruit and ate it. She also gave some of it to her husband who was with her, and he ate it. (NET: emphasis added)
Here in verse 6, we see that Eve took the lead and Adam followed Eve. The text implies that Adam knew what he was doing but instead of remaining true to God and His directives, Adam preferred to get in line behind Eve and followed her into the same sin. At that point, Adam denied that he was the head of the home and Eve understood what being the head of the home meant. Some women ask what is better, to sin from being deceived or from rebellion by knowing what you are doing?
That’s not even the point for Paul. Adam was still formed first and Eve was deceived. Because of these things, Eve (women) is not permitted to teach men and her role is limited in the church. If we compare all the roles available within the church, men’s roles are limited as well. No one today can be an apostle or prophet, yet we have individuals – both men and women – who believe this is their calling. My advice to anyone who comes across someone who believes themselves to be either a prophet or apostle is to run the other way! They are in terrible error and will simply bring you down to their level of error (2 Timothy 3:1-9; specifically verse 5).
It is understandable that once Eve got a taste of being leader, she would not want to give it up. It became part of her genetic make-up to yearn for the leadership role. It would become one of the ways that Satan would be able to actively and often successfully attack the home, by pushing the wife to want to be the leader and by causing the man to be willing to follow his wife’s lead instead of being leader himself.
A quick example of this from Scripture is seen in Sarai’s suggestion that Abram sleep with and impregnate her handmaiden, Hagar in Genesis 16. Because Sarai took the lead here and Abram followed, Ishmael was born. Since that time, the descendants of Ishmael have been nothing but trouble for the nation of Israel. It could have been avoided had Abram remained firm in the promise of the Lord and refused to follow his wife’s wishes. It is also clear from Scripture that Sarai herself grew in disdain for Hagar and Ishmael, eventually demanding that Abram send Hagar and her son away (Genesis 21). In this last case, Abram (now Abraham) consulted God and God agreed that Ishmael and Hagar should be sent away, but because Ishmael was from Abraham’s loins, God promised to bless Ishmael as well.
Had Abraham consulted God after Sarai’s (now Sarah) request to sleep with Hagar, God would have told him not to do it because the promised son Isaac, was to come from the union between Sarah and Abraham, not Hagar and Abraham as we learn in Genesis 18:10.
“I will surely return to you when the season comes round again, and your wife Sarah will have a son!”
God told this to Abraham a couple of times and notice God specifically states that the promised son will come from Sarah, not Hagar. Folks, we are living in the end times; times that are dangerous and detrimental because of the way people continue to misrepresent God’s Word.
There are all sorts of apologists today who deign to tell us that certain sins are no longer a problem and in fact, they’ve only been a problem because of erroneous interpretations of the past. When a person says this, he/she does so because of their abject hatred for God and the truth of His Word.
It seems that groups of women opposed to God’s directives have done an end run around them and have made themselves “pastors, preachers, and teachers” (or in some cases, even prophets and apostles), of men and women. Some of them would deny that they are pastors. They simply teach and if men want to come to their teaching sessions, that’s on the men. No, in those situations, men should not be allowed to attend and when men are present, women should not teach. They will be held responsible for doing so.
In some sense, what we are seeing in society is a rewriting of God’s Word, whether the subject is homosexuality, women in ministry, or something else entirely. People are finding and advocating ways around God’s mandates because their goal is to serve self. They are gaining tremendous followers because people do not know the Word today. They aren’t interested in learning it themselves. They want to be entertained and if they learn something too, that’s swell.
We’ll be back with a few examples of how this egregious error regarding women’s roles in the church and wives’ roles in the home is being turned upside down.