Has God Really Put Men In Charge of Women? What is it about the Church and Women? Part 5

Does she really have to submit and be silent?

“The woman has to submit to the authority of the man because the man was made first. Not only is this the order of creation in Genesis, but the Apostle Paul spells it out for us in black and white. This is what the Bible says so it must be true.”

 If that is the case then God really does view women as second class human beings.

 The law of firsts

Some argue that because Adam was made first he is in charge, but to my mind there are a few issues here that we must resolve. Firstly the woman was already in the man when he was created, and secondly both the man and the woman were called Adam. The woman wasn’t named Eve until after they were both banished from the garden; perhaps that was the first degree of separation that God spoke of in the curse, as they now began to fight for control?

Another thought here is that the first ever evangelists (the first people Jesus chose to proclaim His resurrection) were women (Matthew 28:10). If this idea of firsts is watertight we should accept that all female evangelists have authority over men. I find it interesting that Jesus Himself allows a women to preach to the apostles but that the church doesn’t like women to speak. What was Jesus thinking?

 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. 1 Timothy 2:13-14 (NKJV)

 Women aren’t as smart as men, that’s why they can’t lead.

You clearly haven’t met my wife, but nevertheless we still have to address Paul’s apparently blunt statement to Timothy. What we tend to forget is that nearly all the New Testament letters are a response to a set of questions or problems. Timothy was a young worker on Paul’s team and was charged with keeping wrong teaching out of the Ephesian church, and did he ever have his hands full. One of the problems he faced was women who previously worshipped or even worked in the temple of Diana (Artemis), not only were they joining the church but were bringing some of their weird world views with them.

In the Diana cult, which was fronted by powerful women, (though there were likely money men behind the scenes) you were taught that she had a twin brother to whom she was superior. Her brother, Apollo, also had a massive religious following and was serious competition in a business where the stakes for money and power were very high. But why was Diana superior to her brother in the minds of her followers? Simply because, in the legend she was born first.

Timothy had women coming into the church teaching that women were superior to men (quite a sweet irony, don’t you think?).

Get Paul on the phone!

Imagine listening to this letter as a phone call with Paul on the phone to Timothy who is relaying the issue to his friend and mentor; but we can only hear Paul speaking. Perhaps the conversation would have gone like this:

 “Listen son, tell those women that it was actually the man who was made first and it was the woman who was deceived.”

Has Paul just issued a mandate for the superiority of men and the gullibility of women, or has he just popped a ridiculous religious bubble that was threatening the well being of the church? Clearly Paul was NOT giving a universal mandate, but a specific answer to a local problem that was only ever meant to deliver freedom and not to afflict bondage. In my opinion, to adhere to any other interpretation either shows great ignorance of the larger picture the Bible paints or a wilful disobedience to the truth, probably in an attempt to hold onto some form of power and control.

Go well my friends 🙂


About Mark Neale

Husband to Sandra, dad, grandpa, Christian educator, and a John Maxwell Team Member.
This entry was posted in The Church, The Grace of God and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Has God Really Put Men In Charge of Women? What is it about the Church and Women? Part 5

  1. Hi Mark, Congratulations on tackling these issues. I have been following your blogs with delight. May I just make an observation? The only things that were cursed by God in the first chapters of Genesis were the serpent and the ground. There are lots of people in the church, who when they hear or read the phrase ‘the curse’, still think Adam and Eve were cursed, which they never were. God certainly prophesied (sadly I think) over each of them, but never cursed either one.
    Thanks for adding your voice in support of Christian women!

    • gotbygrace says:

      Thanks so much for your encouragement! Thanks also for your observation; that was careless writing on my behalf; particularly as the Body has been trained to live out of the curse and not the redemption. Blessings 😉

  2. Wattie says:

    A couple of observations; part of the Curse was the greatly increased pains in childbearing and then the desire for husband and husband ruling over you. I realise this is ‘sandwiched’ between the ground and the serpent being cursed – but still, is this not a Curse?

    Secondly, A woman telling someone about a miraculous occasion is not the same as expounding Scripture? Matthew 28:10 tells us the the women were told by Jesus to go and tell the brothers to go to Galilee, that is not the same as having ‘Authority over a man’ is it?
    Jesus was not scared of upsetting the authorities – healing on the Sabbath for example, but why were none of the Disciples who later became the Apostles, women? Surely if your argument is to be watertight, then this would have been the ‘clincher’ so to speak!

    I’d be interested in your thoughts 🙂

    • gotbygrace says:

      Hi Wattie,
      Thanks for reading and the points you have brought up, I will attempt to do them justice and keep it under 5000 words 😉

      I do see where you are coming from, but the text tells us that the serpent and the ground were cursed, however the application wasn’t made to the man and the women. God had told them they would die if they ate from the tree, He then prophesied the outworking of death after they had rebelled. He did say that He was responsible for the increase in pain for the woman (don’t know why), but that is different from a curse. A curse is an empowering to fail, whereas, whilst life became hard for mankind God was always there to bless any who turned to Him.

      I find it interesting that you differentiate between testifying to the resurrection of Jesus and expounding Scripture. To testify of Jesus and what He has done is to preach the Gospel, the women who went to the tomb, without doubt preached the Good News. If expounding Scripture is different from testifying to the resurrection of Jesus, is there anywhere in Scripture that gives a universal prohibition on women sharing the Scripture? It is also worth noting, that just because someone expounds on Scripture, it doesnt give them authority over the listeners, male or female.

      Concerning the twelve, we assume that women can’t lead because they were all men. However, this is a weak assumption. The calling of twelve men was a political statement by the Lord Jesus and not a declaration on gender differences. By calling Himself the Son of Man and calling the twelve He was repeating what God started with Jacob and his sons. This was a huge statement to those who knew the Scripture, Jesus was saying “I am starting over, this is new, the Kingdom of God has come.”

      It is worth remembering that my argument is not “woman can have authority over men” it is “we don’t have authority over one another”. Having said that, whilst none of the twelve were women, there were female apostles raised up as the church grew. I will be sharing about that in a later post.

      I hope that helps, go well 🙂

  3. mybroom says:

    Hey Mark,
    great to see the creative juices flowing, thoughtful, insightful…cheers, G

  4. Thanks for your insights on these important issues Mark. Don’t want to hijack your post but in response to Wattie the woman’s increased pain in child birth is tied into the fact that she would now be dominated by her flesh, exactly the same as the man would suffer from toil, because he would also be dominated by the flesh. They both became carnal rather than spiritual creatuers due to the Fall. In fact in the Hebrew they are the same words but have been traanslated differently by translators into English, so the woman sounds like she is in agony while the man sounds like he just works hard 🙂

    Why were none of the original twelve apostles women? Several reasons but here’s a question of equal value for consideration. Why were none of the twelve apostles gentiles? If we are to apply that reasoning, then one needs to be both male and Jewish to be an apostle:-)

    • gotbygrace says:

      Hey, with insights like that you can hijack anytime 🙂 mind you once I have done my homework tha will become a blog, I will try to remember to mention you. Seriously, thanks for that. Go well, 🙂

  5. Andrew Suggs says:

    Thank you so much for this blog! It really troubles me that people say women cant teach about our glorious lord because of one or two scripture. What would you say about Men being the head of the house? A lot of people use that.

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