The role that women play in Church has always been a misunderstood and heavily scrutinized issue within the church. These negative thoughts may be attributed to the bible’s own scriptures in regards to women. It is widely believed that men are natural born leaders, as that is the way God made them, but modern society has shown us that women can be just as successful in leading, if not more so. Today women serve as positive leaders in politics, business, law and even in some churches as of lately. So why then, do many churches refuse women the right to serve as leaders? Why did God include passages of the Bible that restrict women’s leadership? According to “The Rise Of Women As Church Leaders” (2006), “Many Christian religions keep women out of top leadership posts – especially the pulpit. Their reasons rely mainly on selective readings of certain biblical passages regarding women.” (para. 2) Women should listen and learn quietly and submissively (Timothy 2:11).
I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. (Timothy 2:12-14). If they have any questions to ask, let them ask their husbands at home, for it is improper for women to speak in church meetings (Corinthians 13:35). The women should keep quiet in the churches, for they are not authorized to speak, but should take a secondary and subordinate place, just as the Law also says (Corinthians 14:34). These are each very clear examples of the restrictions of leading women in Christianity. While many churches continue to deny women certain human rights, it is very clear that without women, the Christian religion would be a vastly different community.
In recent years, women have seen a large amount of changes within Christianity. This religion has actually put fourth opportunities for women in the community. While the rights of women might not be the equivalent to men as of yet, Christianity has helped give women a stronger place in society while hugely contributing to successful leaps in rights. Jewish and Islamic societies have also had their own issues regarding women’s roles. The primary role of a woman in all three religions is to be a wife and mother.
Judaism teaches that men and women are equal in the eyes of God even though Judaism sets different roles for each sex. In Islam, it is a little bit different. The Qur’an regards men and women as equals and states that they should each be treated the same. However, many Muslim societies practice the oppression of women in day to day life. Similar to Orthodox Judaism, men and women worship separately in Islamic cultures. Christianity, Judaism and Islam have each seen many leaps and bounds in the rights of women in recent years. The next century could see even larger changes for women and possibly the complete abolishment of the oppression of women.
The Rise of Women as Church Leaders. (2006). Retrieved from http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/0719/p08s01-comv.html
Courtney from Study Moose
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