Bernice Menold's Testimony
was born and raised in a very strict traditional church whose origin was from
Germany. It was started by a Catholic priest in the early 1800's who became
enlightened and awakened by reading the scriptures. He stood solidly upon the
Lord Jesus and His shed blood for salvation and suffered much persecution for
witnessing the word of truth. Over the years, this church fell into carnal
teaching, putting their trust in their works and laws rather than the Lord Jesus
Christ, our sacrifice for sins. (John 1:29 "Behold the Lamb of God which takes
away the sins of the world.") The Spirit of God always moves with the Word of
God, all of it, not just a part of scriptures, teaching us to prove every
While I was still in the church, women were commanded to
wear their hair parted in the middle and rolled up and to wear a black lacey
veil over their heads while in church. They also were not allowed to pray out
loud or to have any spiritual leadership whatsoever. I believe this traditional
doctrine not only cuts off women from the power of Christ in the church but also
from men who believe it. I believe it is a sign of condemnation. ("There is
now no condemnation to them in Christ Jesus who walk not after the flesh but
after the Sprit," Romans 8:1.)
The denomination teaches repentance and penance for your
sins. They discourage personal Bible study and insist you get all your
spiritual guidance from their pulpit and stress having peace with God. This
gave me peace with the church but NOT WITH GOD! I learned you do not get peace
with God until you trust solely in the Lord Jesus Christ and His shed blood for
In this church, a faithful witness directed my husband
and I and many others to the scriptures, pointing out the fact that there is no
forgiveness of sins without the shedding of blood. Jesus is our lamb
sacrifice! This renegade group began a Bible study in this church and was
accused of being a church within a church. There was some truth to that but so
was this same accusation leveled at the New Testament church.
Paul summed up his teaching on hair and covering in
Corinth in these words: "We have no such custom..." Neither do the churches of
God. I no longer wear the veil. Read! Corinthians 11:15 & 16.
After this experience, my husband and I and two little
daughters left that church and began to worship in a Bible church. The minister
was from a well-known German- background church, which he also left--a church
similar to our former church. He was a good Bible teacher but clung to the
tradition of head covering and submission to such an extent that after a time I
discerned it was rebellion and hate against women for some reason. He used
words such as, "Women are not important, they are nothing. They don't count and
are inferior. Women are to be subject, obedient and submissive." Over and over
in the years we went there. Paul and Peter both say, "All of you are to be
subject to one another." (Ephesians 5:21; 1 Peter 5:5) the words "subject"
and "submissive" are the same Greek word, meant for the church as a whole and
not directed to wives alone. Abraham was told by God to be obedient to Sarah's
voice when she wanted Ishmael and Hagar to be sent away. (Genesis 21:12)
On one occasion, this pastor made a woman stand up and
apologize to the church for having a baby out of wedlock. On another occasion,
he told a man who had come to him and confessed that he had committed adultery
and was fearful his wife would leave him if she found out. The minister told
him he did not have to tell her because he had committed sin against God only. But adultery is against her according to Mark 10:11. I doubt if this man ever
quit his adulterous life.
After a few years of this inaccuracy, I was greatly depressed and
lost faith in the church. I quit going to church for 10 years and put all my
trust in Jesus and the Bible only. During this time, I intensely studied the
Bible with Strong's Concordance. I learned through these years that many
churches were in rebellion regarding the place of women in the church,
especially the big denomination in the south. Seldom ever is Genesis
3:15 quoted completely. God said, "I will be enmity between the woman and the
serpent..." as well as between her seed and the seed of the serpent. There is
something final in this prophecy. Read it!
While this was a spiritual trial by fire, I am now
thankful for it. John 8:36, "If the Son, therefore, shall make you free, you
shall be free indeed."
How We Began Publishing God's Word to Women
My friend Cosette Jolliff and I became involved in
re-publishing God's Word to Women because of a mutual concern about the limited
involvement and opportunities of women in the church because of their sex. The
book has such sweeping repercussions because it spills over into many areas of
I gave Cosette a small book, The Magna Carta of Women by
Jesse Penn-Lewis. It is a synopsis of God's Word to Women by Katharine C.
Bushnell. I had been trying to find a copy of this book but found it had been
out of print for many years. When I finally called the Library of Congress and
obtained a photocopy at considerable expense, it was all we had hoped it would
be. We talked about re-publishing the book but had no idea how to go about it.
During this time, Cosette happened to watch a local talk show and became
interested in what the young woman being interviewed was saying. She had
written a book, I'm Not a Women's Libber But. She was from Dunlap, only a few
miles away. Cosette called her the next day. During the conversation, she said
she had a book, God's Word to Women, that had been re-published by Ray Munson,
an Assembly of God pastor from New York.
After several phone calls and letters, Ray was happy to
combine our initial order of some 1,000 or so books from his printer. When that
supply was exhausted, we made arrangements with a printer close to us in
Illinois. We were on our way!
Why Bushnell Wrote God's Word to Women
While Bushnell was on mission work in China, she
encountered a sex-biased Chinese translation of a passage in the Bible. When
she questioned a male missionary, he told her that probably it was worded that
way because of pagan prejudice against the ministry of women.
Katharine was shocked. It had never before entered her
mind that such a thing could happen. As she consulted her Greek Testament, .she
searched for other signs of prejudice both in the Chinese and the English Bibles
that pointed in the same direction. The prophet Isaiah wrote "So shall My word
be that goes forth from my mouth: it shall not return to me void, but it shall
accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent
it." (Isaiah 55:11)
God's Word to Women proves the truth of this scripture.
God's word in its original intent will not return to Him void, but the original
intent of what He said and wanted to accomplish will indeed prosper and achieve
His desired result. It really does matter how much man has tried to
mistranslate and misinterpret His word in its original intent. William Cullen
Bryant said it this way: "Truth crushed to earth, shall rise again."
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