A “Men’s Only” Club?

June 17, 2022

It’s difficult for many to understand or accept that God has established the principle of subordination and authority to pervade throughout His created universe. 1 Corinthians 11:3 tells us: But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.

The Holy Spirit through Paul shows that woman’s subordination to man is but a reflection of a greater general truth. “Christ is the head of every man.” Yet, Christ submitted to the will of God. Thus, redemption for mankind was made possible. If individual human beings do not submit to Christ as Savior and Lord, they remain doomed and lost because they reject God’s gracious provision. And if women do not submit to God’s ordained role, being submissive to men, then the family and society as a whole are disrupted and in some cases destroyed.

 Whether on a divine or human scale, subordination and authority are indispensable elements in God’s order and plan. The point is – it has nothing to do with equality or being better. No doubt there are women who are better Bible students, better theologians, and better speakers than many men. But that is not the point. The point is God’s design. As Christ is submissive to the Father and man is submissive to Christ, women are to be submissive to men. That is God’s design – not Paul’s, not mine, not some church’s polity. This may not be popular, but we must not abandon biblical truth and accuracy in favor of what is culturally popular or acceptable.

 Satan’s goal has always been to overthrow God’s plan and corrupt His design. He is behind the effort to entice women away from their God-created roles in society, in the family, and in the church. Such a satanic enterprise is not new. It was an issue in the church at Ephesus. In 1 Timothy 2:9-15, the Spirit of God addresses the subject of women in worship. He addresses their appearance, attitudes, testimony, role, design, and contribution.

In discussing women’s roles in the church, God defines their role as learners rather than teachers during the public worship. Spiritual equality between the sexes has not been done away with, yet there are differences in their roles. As in the Old Testament, spiritual equality does not preclude differing roles. There are no women pastor-teachers, evangelists, or elders in the New Testament. The New Testament nowhere records a sermon or teaching of a woman. While the daughters of Phillip are said to have prophesied, neither the occasion nor the message is defined. There is no reason to assume they had an on-going preaching ministry or that they taught during the public worship.

 In no way does the New Testament treat women as spiritually inferior. The promise, commands, and blessings apply equally to women and men. However, oneness in Christ has not obliterated distinctions or designs that God established from the beginning. God does not forbid women to teach under appropriate conditions and circumstances, but to fill the office and role of a pastor or teacher in the life of the church usurps God’s design of a subordinate role.

 1 Corinthians 14:34 says: Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says.

It’s not a “Men’s Only” club. It is simply following God’s word and design for men and women.

Grace be with you,

Pastor Jay T. Barsaleau