Christians will always be under attack for their beliefs, particularly in an increasingly secularized and feminized culture. Biblical Christianity is the only worldview that actually views women with the essential dignity and spiritual equality with men that they have been given by God. Feminism pushes women into a culturally generated and problematic mold that militates against their fearful and wonderful design and God-given place of protection. The lines concerning the differing roles that men and women possess from God are not only blurred in a culture impacted by the noetic effects of sin, but in the church as well. Sadly, when a church moves away from a position influenced by that culture to a biblical stance, it comes under attack from within and without.

 

According to Yahoo News, in Watertown, N.Y., The First Baptist Church dismissed Mary Lambert from teaching Sunday School after adopting an interpretation of the Scriptures that prohibits women from teaching men (see related summary). The church cited 1 Timothy 2:12 in support of their position: "I do not permit a woman to teach nor to have authority over a man; she must be silent."

"The Rev. Timothy LaBouf, who also serves on the Watertown City Council, issued a statement saying his stance against women teaching men in Sunday school would not affect his decisions as a city leader in Watertown, where all five members of the council are men but the city manager who runs the city's day-to-day operations is a woman. 'I believe that a woman can perform any job and fulfill any responsibility that she desires to' outside of the church, LaBouf wrote Saturday."

 

"Mayor Jeffrey Graham, however, was bothered by the reasons given Lambert's dismissal. 'If what's said in that letter reflects the councilman's views, those are disturbing remarks in this day and age,' Graham said. 'Maybe they wouldn't have been disturbing 500 years ago, but they are now.'"

Of course, it is politically correct to say that LaBouf's statements are "disturbing." The very word puts a sinister face on a position that has been held as orthodox Christian teaching for over two-thousand years. To say that a woman cannot teach men in the church is commonly viewed as extremist and those who hold to such a position are to be marginalized in this progressive culture.

 

Biblical teaching so often goes against the cultural grain. The difficulty for churches is only compounded when evangelicals themselves are divided over the issue. Many conservatives have adopted unwittingly (or perhaps not) an egalitarian position that undermines the authority of Scripture, the headship of Christ Himself, the distinction between gender roles, and ultimately the nature of sexuality itself.

 

R. Albert Mohler points out that "the postmodern worldview embraces the notion of gender as a social construct. That is, postmodernists argue that our notions of what it means to be male and female are entirely due to what society has constructed as its theories of masculinity and femininity. Of course, the social construction of all truth is central to the postmodern mind, but when the issue is gender, the arguments become more volatile. The feminist argument is reducible to the claim that patriarchal forces in society have defined men and women so that all the differences ascribed to women represent efforts by men to protect their position of privilege."