By Mike Willis
But I would have you know, that the bead of every man is Christ: and the head of the woman is the mant and the head of Christ is God (I Cor. 11:3).
In recent years, our country has experienced a “women’s liberation movement-” Under the guise of requesting equal salary for equal work, this movement has rejected the Lord’s divine arrangements for the role of women and been the voice of a left-wing political agenda. The leaders of the women’s movement, National Organization of Women, have supported abortion, the family leave bill, and other political causes. As part of their message, this group has denigrated the role of motherhood, belittling those mothers who think that they best serve God and this country by raising their children and maintaining a stable home. Recently, one of the women’s leaders was exposed as being involved in a lesbian relationship. Obviously, the National Organization of Women does not speak for all, or even most, women.
The influence of the women’s movement has been felt in religion, even as it has been felt in every other area of society. The seminaries of prominent denominations have an ever increasing number of women enrollees and graduates- They are taking their place in the pulpits of Protestant denominations across the country.
The Lord himself has spoken about the proper roll of women. In 1 Timothy 2:11-12, Paul wrote, ”Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence-” Those who deny the inspiration of the Bible assert that these teachings are the words of a prejudiced man, not the inspired words of God!
What Influence Will This Movement Have Among Us?
We would be naive to think that this movement in society will not influence Christians. I would like to suggest some of the ways it is influencing us:
1. Women not willing to submit to the husband’s role as head of the house. The Lord is the one who commanded that man is to be the head of the house (I Cor. 1:3). Women who refuse to submit to their husband make an impossible situation for the management of the home and undermine parental authority over the children. The home is not like a corporation run by two partners with equal authority. In that case, when matters of disagreement occur, no decisions can be made. Instead, the Lord has laid the responsibility of headship on the man.
2. Women are overstepping their bounds w speak from the pulpit with men present. Already among the liberals, women are addressing audiences with men present. Articles are being published in brotherhood journals to prepare the ground for planting the seed of women preachers. Some extremists among the liberals have already stated their intention to appoint women as deacons and elders. Less God’s . extreme brethren allow men to stay in sessions designed for women. In some lectureships for women, those women who would not speak until the men were excused were belittled. We can expect that the influence of this movement will spread, the more liberal brethren continue to set aside Bible authority.
Women attending business meetings. Women are increasingly asking for a voice in the decision-making process. In some churches among faithful brethren, women already are attending the business meetings. God has assigned to men the role of headship in the home. He has assigned to men the office of elders and deacons (I Tim. 3:1-12). These men are responsible for the decision making of the local church. In the absence of elders, the men’s business meeting is generally used to make decisions for the local church. Women have no more role in that meeting than they have in the elders meeting. The decision to allow them to attend, but not speak, can as easily be defended for their attendance at the elders meeting as for the business meeting.
I have been surprised that some brethren have not recognized the desire of women to be present at these meetings for what it is a usurpation of the authority God gave to men. We Christians are not immune to the influences of the women’s movement.
I am not defending elders or the men’s business meeting not communicating with the women, either to receive or give information. Many times women are discontent in a local church, not because they desire to participate in the decision making process, but because no one communicates to them about the Lord’s work. They desire to be a part of it and are frustrated by the lack of communication they receive about the work. In this case, the elders or the business meeting need to address the issue of how they can more effectively communicate to the church.
Women’s concept of their role in society. The worldis also influencing women’s perception of their role in society. I cannot defend from the Scriptures that a woman is always guilty of sin when she takes a job. The godly woman of Proverbs 31 was involved in secular business as also was Lydia (Acts 16:14-15). However, I can confidently assert that, when a job interferes with a woman’s (or a man’s) obligations at home and in the church, a woman has her priorities out of focus if she places her obligations to the job over her obligations at home and at church.
A woman can be fulfilled as a housewife and mother! A person does not have to have a successful career, climbing the corporate ladder, to achieve self-esteem, satisfaction, and fulfillment. The person who thinks otherwise has accepted one of the primary theses propagated by the leaders of the National Organization of Women. The acceptance of the NOW teaching about women is sometimes reflected when women apologetically say, “I’m just a housewife” when they are asked what they do. Why should a mother apologize for giving her full time to managing the house and rearing her children?
There are some occasions which demand that a woman work in order for the family to have the necessities of life (not exorbitant living standards). Many godly mothers struggle daily to manage their time, fulfilling the role of wife, mother, and employee. These Christian women are to be commended for laboring to be faithful to God with the extra burden of full-time employment. We would hope that those husbands whom they help to provide for the family would willingly help them to keep things up at home, that their load might be a little lighter.
Let each of us be conscious of those things in the world which are shaping our concepts of right and wrong. Paul admonished, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Rom. 12:2). The National Organization of Women has, unfortunately, been an instrument to undermine the family.
Guardian of Truth XXXVII: 6, p. 2
March 18, 1993