Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
August 5, 1971

Women In Church Business

Robert C. Welsh

Having recently read an article by a woman in Firm Foundation advocating that women should have the same voice as men in the meetings of the church where its business affairs are handled, the conclusion is reached that if one will just observe for a while he will find anything and every thing under the sun advocated in our literature.

The writer of the article tells us that she thinks that she is well qualified to write on the subject. Perhaps Sarah could have said so with equal talent in a desire to have a voice in the consultations of the business affairs of Abraham, Lot and the angels. Somehow or other, though, that just does not seem to fit the description which is approved of by the inspired apostle Peter (1 Pet. 3:5,6). Some people who approve of this dear sister's ambitions think that Paul's bachelorhood colored his ideas and writings against women. But Peter was a married man. Perhaps they will have it both ways and decide that Peter's unhappy marriage prejudiced him against women.

Her Proof

Her justification for women having such voice in the church's business comes straight out (side) of the Bible: "Since the business meeting deals with the business of the congregation, then every member of the congregation should be included in these meetings." She assures us that she is not having the women, or men either, telling the elders what to do. But if her reasoning is acceptable, why not? The elders oversee the affairs of the whole church, so why not have women elders? The trouble with the whole thing is that it is human reasoning and not Scripture teaching.

Evasion Of Strictures

She realizes that she must explain away the passages which limit the voice and authority of women in relation to men. Her first effort is directed against Paul's statement in 1 Cor. 14:34. She exegetes; "Paul is giving a social law, not a religious one. His instructions bound women to positions of subjection as women, not as church members." Now, that's a good one. By the same illogical reasoning she could have said that the teaching on marriage is social and not religious hence the church should have done nothing about that man who had his fatl.ds wife. In her zeal to tell the church how to handle its affairs she forgot to notice that Paul's instructions here involved occasions when the whole church was assembled (1 Cor. 14:23), hence something religious must have been involved.

In equally light manner she disposes of 1 Tim. 2:12 by arguing that she can teach and usurp authority over all the rest of the men, just so she is careful to let the elders rule the church. But, as shown before, she can with the same type of human reasoning put herself into the eldership.

Situation Ethics

The article contains a clear example of the common situation-ethics, the-end-justifies-the-means, doctrines which have swept over the denominations and the liberal oriented church of the Lord. Below are listed some more of those human reasons she gives which demand that the women say how the church is to be operated:

"There are more women Sunday School teachers than there are men; ... Women are decorators ... Women are budget minded ... Women have many good ideas that are never heard . . . Women speak their minds more readily than most men ... Women have a right to attend business meetings ... Almost every congregation has more women in attendance than men ... "

Men who are Christians are not going to degrade women nor enslave them. They are not going to deny them any blessing, privilege or duty which the Lord in his word provides them. Instead, they will honor them as the word teaches (I Pet. 3:7). But above all, men and women, boys and girls, who are Christians are going to honor Christ first, reverence God over all, and live by the word of God, however good and reasonable other ideas, desires and things may appear to be.

This shows us how far people can go when they cut loose from their hold of implicit faith in the word of God as their standard. It should be a warning to us, lest we step by step unconsciously go aside to the same error, then continue until we completely lose sight of the way of truth and righteousness.