Women in Church and the Bible

In an interview, Kimberly, 31, expressed her reasons for leaving the church. One of those reasons involved the oppression of women. She said women were not allowed to preach, pray or lead in the church, unless it was other women or young children.

It is easy to misconstrue such ideas in Bible with verses like these:

Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.

1 Timothy 2:11-15

On the surface, these verses are pretty harsh. It sounds anti-feminist. However, these things must be put into context. Women, at the time, had no rights and were uneducated. They were not equipped to lead.

Historically, these things about women were accepted. Many verses talk about wives submitting to their husbands, and historically women were married off as property. Marriage is a much different act today, and women have many more opportunities now.

There is a lesson to be learned about these verses. For instance, these verses:

Likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works

2 Timothy 2:9-2

Women who wore these things at the time were prostitutes. Some Christians take these verses literally, and don’t believe in doing things. However, we again put things in context. Today, these kinds of things can be worn and can set a positive example.

There is something to be said about this point, in not judging a book by its cover. Our culture today is probably more complicated than that of the Bible. But, we still should think about how we present ourselves–beyond just our appearance. Do we want to show an example of a good Christian? What kind of role model do we want to be for our children?

Food for thought is more the key here, instead of precise instructions for living.

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