In our world, until recently, arguably starting with the 1920's suffragette movement, women were considered to be not equal to men. The bible however has clearly stated that men and women are and always have been equal.
When forming an opinion it is vital that one knows the truth of the matter rather than reiterating the arguments of others, that is a fools game. Test all things. I have attempted to explain the position of women and men in Christ through a diagram I have coined 'The man, woman and God love triangle'. I hope that using this triangle aids understanding of the issue at hand, as it did for me.
1 Corinthians 11:3 "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 head of a woman is man, because women came from man.
- The head of man is Christ.
- Through Christ we are joined to God.
We are all equal to God:
Galatians 3:28 "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus."
Why according to 1 Corinthians 11, women should cover their heads and men should not when in church:
First, to note: this is not to suggest whether women should or should not cover their heads when in church. Some believe that a head covering refers to a literal covering, whilst others believe a head covering refers to long hair (1 Corinthians 11:15). In my opinion, not that that is to be taken, the latter is correct as the Bible tells us that it is natural for a woman to have long hair and a man to have short. However this then opens up to more questions, such as how long is long and how short is short?
- Christ is the mediator between sinful humans and the perfect God.
- The head of a woman is man. Man is sinful. The head of a man is Christ. Christ is sinless.
- As sinners, men are not sufficient to act as a mediator to the perfect God, therefore women must cover their heads as a sign of covering sinful man when praying, prophesising or praising God. To do these things through a sinful mediator is dishonouring to God. These things must be done through a sinless mediator, that being Christ.
The result of a woman covering her head is that 'man' will be bypassed and their prophesies, prayers and praise will be given to God straight through Christ.
The effect of a woman covering her head:
A man's head is Christ. Christ is sinless and therefore is sufficient as a mediator to receive man's praises etc. For a man to cover his head would be to cut out Christ, which would be dishonouring to God.
The effect of a man covering his head:
It is interesting to note that where man has covered his head, and therefore covered Christ, not only is this detrimental to the man himself, but also to the woman.
The 'triangle' is the principle to be applied regarding men and women. It can be applied to all areas. Let us look briefly at the 'triangle' within marriage:
Ephesians 5:22-28 "Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. 24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. 28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself."
The Biblical position on men and women is not sexist. From looking at the 'triangle' we can see that women are not lower than men, they are equal.
Yet, equality does not mean the same. If there are two people with opposing views, one must lose out to give way to the other. That is why equality does not work. We see many cases today between one group of peoples verses another. People call for equality, yet they do not realise that what they are asking. They are not asking for equality, but rather neutrality. There is a misunderstanding between equality and neutrality. Neutrality allows two differing groups to be on the same footing. Equality does not - the promotion of one will always be to the detriment of the other.
In the Bible men and woman are equal. There is equality. But there is not neutrality. Men and women are equal, but they are not the same, nor should they be. There are areas were men excel, and there are areas were women excel. Gender roles exist. These gender roles are increasingly blurred nowadays, and the reason for that is illustrated in the 'triangle' and will be discussed below.
It is human nature that we want to do something that we should not. When women try to do things men should be doing, and when men try to do things women should be doing, this is rebellion against God.
However, man is the head of the woman because the woman came from man. Now this in itself is not a bad thing and it is not sexist. Yet in today's society it causes many problems. There are two key reasons why it causes problems:
Why men being the head of the woman causes problems:
- Rebellion - plain and simple
- Men and women are not living Godly lives.
Let us focus on reason number 2:
In an ideal world, if a man truly lived with Christ as his head, then women would have no worries, desire to impose upon, or need to take on roles that God intended for men to take, and vice versa.
However, in today's world everything is distorted. In the church there is not enough men with man-like qualities. Too many men are weak, timid, lack aggression, lack wisdom and understanding and do not seek the Lord their God with all their hearts, all their soul and all their mind. (Note that I included aggression. Aggression and protective instincts are Godly qualities that men should possess.) Due to this gap that exists, women come in to fill the hole.
Let's stop and look at this now. We have men, who are not living with Christ as their head. This is wrong. As a result, women take on the roles of men which God did not intend, which is also wrong. Therefore we have two wrongs... Anyone heard the expression 'two wrongs don't make a right?' - You got it!
Cont: Women then try and justify what they are doing based on the fact that they are good at it, there is no men to do it, or they are effective.
Do not be deceived! Our interpretations and practices are distorted because the situation is distorted through sin. We are blind to see what is right and why it is right, because the situation we live in is wrong to start with. We cannot see past our noses. To counter this we must meditate in the word day and night (Joshua 1:8).
The more we distort, the further away from God we become. The more we distort the more we lack God's power in our lives and the less able we are to be salt and light to the earth (Matthew 5:14 - 16).
If there was more Godly men, then women would not need to do what they think is right and fill the gaps. There needs to be more Godly men. We must pray for more Godly men.
Look at the news today and you will see alot about gender. The devil is seeking to destroy gender and gender roles. By destroying gender you destroy the structure of the 'triangle'. As short sighted humans, we then try and correct the problem and end up destroying it even further.
We must be vigilant to the destruction of gender roles. Men, be Godly. There is an alarming increase in homosexuality and the promotion of different sexual orientations; there is a promotion of the term 'partnership' rather than 'marriage'; there is the campaign to remove the words 'husband' and 'wife' from all formal documents; there is the campaign to allow same-sex marriages; it is fashionable for men to be woman-like; even the latest trends and fashions such as skinny jeans, pink colours and handbags for men encourage males to be more like females.
We need to take on board 1 Peter 5:8 "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour."
This is very real. What we consider to be harmless today, is detrimental and destructive in the future.
This post is focuses on the issue of women and men in the church, however it is not a call to women, but rather a plea to men to be more Godly.
Men, be Godly. Women, respect Godly men and be Godly too. All seek the Lord with all your hearts, souls and minds.