Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
April 22, 1971

Liberated From What?

H. L. Bruce

Webster defines liberate, "To set at liberty: release; to free (as a country) from domination by a foreign power. To free from combination." Liberation per se has some merit. There is an application to the femine sex as well as other members of the human race. However, while it is true that all members of any movement are not alike, there are those who are members of the "Women's Liberation" who have views which are highly questionable, to say the least. In view of this I would like to present some questions about liberation which will focus attention where it could easily be overlooked and certainly where it belongs.

SHOULD WOMEN BE FREED FROM GOD'S LAW OF MARRIAGE? While the single life has some problems and complications that is not what I have in mind by the above question. There are those who would free women from marriage, but not a mating partner. Trial marriage is being introduced in some sections today. Then there are those who would look upon companionship somewhat like animals do. That is one stay with a companion for a while and then another. Or if one desires they could have a different companion every time they desire to mate. This is an ungodly practice and certainly is in direct conflict with the teachings of the New Testament. Jesus said, "Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, for this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder." (Matt. 19:4-6) Should a Christian, or anyone else seek liberation from the restrictions enjoined in this passage. Why, indeed not! To do so is to seek liberation from the teachings of Jesus Christ. The teachings of Christ are the teachings of God. (Jno. 12:49)

SHOULD A WOMAN BE FREED FROM GOD'S RESTRICTED MORAL CODE AS SET FORTH IN THE NEW TESTAMENT? There are those who would loose moral restraint. Women need to be free, according to some. But should she be freed from anything in which God has bound? This is the whole crux of the question. This is the question which is being ignored by so many while they preach liberty. Liberty is fine as long as it harmonizes with the teachings of God's law. But we should not be interested in any kind of liberty in any shape form or fashion which would violate the teachings of God's word. The New Testament sets this straight. "Flee fornication." Paul said, "Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body." (1 Cor. 6:18) In seeking liberation, do people have a right to set this aside? Is fornication alright? According to some, people are being enslaved who respect the teachings of the New Testament. Is the New Testament too strict. Indeed not!

SHOULD WOMEN BE FREE FROM THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE HOME AND MOTHERHOOD? Rather than being freed, herein resides the realm of her primary responsibilities. Rather than fume and fuss about being enslaved and wanting their liberation, the New Testament teaches, younger women to "Be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed." (Titus 2:4-5) In the Communist dominated world the sanctity of the home is not honored. But Christians are not Communists. They are servants of God. Communists have their women liberated from the sanctity of many things which God has not authorized. If one is a Communist there is no telling what he might endorse or what movement he might go along with. But when one is a child of God he respects that which is authorized in God's word. God's word teaches that a woman is to respect her role as mother and home-maker. Those who would set one free from home life and mother-hood couldn't be any more diametrically opposed to anything than they are to the teachings of God's word.

SHOULD WOMEN SEEK FREEDOM FROM SUBSERVIENCE TO HER HUSBAND? Some answer this in the affirmative. All who, by word and action, answer this in the affirmative are not members of the "Women's Lib." This has been turned in to a great big joke in the minds of so many. While it is taught upon in pulpits through out the land, so many of our "good sisters" in Christ simply are not going to function in this role of subservience. Rather than be in subjection to their husbands they want to occupy the dominating role in the home. There are far too many instances of this to try to mention. But the point is that it is wrong whether motivated by the WL movement or not. There are those who would not have any part of the WL movement, but never-the-less they will not be in subjection to their husbands, but rather prefer and exercise the dominating position in the home. "Wives submit yourselves unto your own husbands as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the Church and he is the savior of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing."

(Eph. 5:22-24) The husband, in turn, is admonished, "Husbands love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it." (Eph. 5:25) The supporting role function of the woman in the home does not preclude consideration, love and affection from her husband. However, the wife is not to seek liberation from this role of subordination.

SHOULD A WOMAN SEEK LIBERATION IN ATTIRE? In attire, there is admitted much versatility. But women should dress to be modest rather than to be seductive. They should dress to be chaste and not dress to be chased. Right here is where the fiber is crumbling among some Christians. Women of the world are aware of the seductive nature of much of the modern styles. They know and will admit that the emphasis is on sex. They are not the only ones who know what they are doing in this field. I am convinced that there is far too much laxness among members of the body of Christ. Today, some are seen in the assembly of the saints with their dresses shamefully short, low necked and tight. If they are unaware of the lust provoked and stumbling blocks which they place before men, some good old elderly sister needs to take them aside and teach them the facts of life. If they know the facts of life they know what they are doing when they parade around at Worship or anywhere else in the short cut dresses of the day. WHEN WOMEN SO DRESS THEY ARE DOING SOMETHING OTHER THAN WORSHIP GOD. Any woman who is mature enough to know the facts of life knows what it is. The Bible still teaches that "Women are to adorn themselves in modest apparel." (1 Tim. 2:9) This is to be done regardless of fashion or style. There is no reason for one to seek liberation from dressing decently. The old clich, "The evil is in the eye of the beholder" is misleading, to say the least. It may be true that evil is cultivated in the mind of some. But lust can be stimulated and provoked by the not caring, and unthinking woman who is in immodest attire. Men need to labor to keep their minds, thoughts, and desires under control. The man who looks on a woman to lust after her commits adultery with her in his heart. But women need to be sure that they are innocent in the matter. Society being what it is in the field of female attire, one is made to wonder just how some stay intact morally with all of the efforts to seduce which are in the world.

SISTERS, IN CHRIST: SEEK FREEDOM FROM SIN, NOT FREEDOM TO SIN. Seek freedom in Christ: not freedom from Christ. Respect Divine authority. Be sure that your views come from the pages of God's word. As James says, "So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty." (James 2:12) Sure, there are those who can spell out things which sound good. Freedom will be offered. Certain liberations will be promised. Reflection will be cast on their opposition. But remember, as Peter said, "For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lust of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escape from them who live in error. While they promised them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought into bondage." (2 Peter 2:18-19)

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