Katharine Bushnell spoke of the need for women to take their place in the divine economy. While there is much debate as to just what that place is, we at God’s Word to Women have no doubt that God intended for men and women to work together in a full and equal partnership based on anointing and gifts not gender. We are not feminists seeking power or control. We are women pointing the way toward God’s desire--biblical womanhood.
God’s plan for male and female relationship is clearly stated in the first two chapters of Genesis. This pre-fall picture has been distorted by traditional teaching. While remembering that “we fight not against flesh and blood but principalities and powers,” (Eph. 6:12) let’s take a look at some of the major barriers to resolution of the woman question as part of the “restoration of all things.”( Acts 3:21)
Clearly, the resistance of various
denominations and powerful ministries is formidable. It is
amazing to me that leaders, many trained in Greek and Hebrew,
can be so blinded. Even when confronted with clear, undeniable
scholarship that shows the translation and interpretation
errors, they hold to tradition.
Paul said, “Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.” (Col. 2:8, 1 Peter 2:9) If you look only at the words and actions of Jesus toward women during His earthly ministry, the will of God is clearly seen. It is blatantly obvious that He rejected the traditions that marginalized women. The fact is, His relationship with and inclusion of women was a major stumbling block to Jewish leaders. What does Jesus’ attitude toward women say to us today? Let us pray for scales to be removed from eyes so that truth might be seen.
Many will say, “Oh, but there has been so much progress.” That’s true, but it is critical that we do not take a distorted gospel into the world. Only uncompromised truth will usher the Kingdom and bring release to the oppressed women of the world.
Complementarianism, a major obstruction to biblical womanhood, lets women serve the church within set limits. While this is unacceptable, it is their traditional stand on the home that is the most dangerous. Jesus said no man can serve two masters, yet traditionalists and complementarians place the wife in a hierarchical, chain-of-command structure where the husband is looked upon as lord and priest of the home with the woman yielding to her husband’s headship rather than the Lord’s. Part of this error is based on a misunderstanding of the word head (Greek kephale) as it is used in the New Testament. Men and women makeup the royal priesthood. (1 Pet.2:9) The same Holy Spirit dwells in both. Jesus, alone, is Lord in and of the home.
The most alarming resistance to biblical womanhood comes from women themselves who say they are comfortable in the traditional church. Many do not even realize a problem exists partly because of church structure that places ministry in the hands of the few rather than working “for the equipping of the saints (all of them) for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ . . .,” (Eph 4:12) which results in ignorance of both denominational doctrine and the Bible.
False traditions can be maintained more easily when people are ignorant, or where Christianity is not central to one’s daily life. Women, who are in denominations that restrict women’s roles in the church and support a chain-of-command structure in the home, have told me they are equal partners in their marriages and have no trouble with seeing women as pastors or ministry leadership. Either they don’t know what their denomination teaches, or they don’t care.
Those who take their Christianity seriously need to see that much of tradition is just that--tradition. It is not based on accurate translation and sound Biblical doctrine. If we desire to please God, it is our responsibility to be good Bereans and search the scriptures.
As a new Christian, I swallowed the traditional teaching on women hook, line and sinker. I tried with everything in me to conform to what I was taught. But, there remained in my heart a question that could not be resolved. How could the loving God, who saved me, consider women inferior beings unable to fully relate to Him without male supervision? Over the years, there were hints of truth; but not until God challenged me to really seek Him for clarity did He lead me to Bushnell and beyond. What an awesome God we serve.
God is sounding the trumpet of freedom for His beloved daughters. Despite strong opposition, major ministries have heard and taken up the call. He is also preparing His hidden ones to join the battle. What is He saying to YOU? What is YOUR place in the divine economy? Would you commit yourself unashamedly to rightly divide the word of truth when it comes to women’s roles? Are you grounded enough in your relationship to Him on this question to stand without fear in whatever place God puts you? Can you do it in the love of Christ without shrillness or anger, seeking only His will rather than your own?
The God’s Word to Women website is the
result of three women answering these questions and responding
to His call, drawing close to God and seeking His truth. It is
packed with the answers to our questions. He continues to grow
us in His wisdom and knowledge and understanding. (Prov. 1:1-7)
He will do the same for you. It’s His time!
 J. Lee Grady, 25 Tough Questions about Women and the Church (Lake Mary, Charisma House, 2003) p. 102.
Check out the recommended links to sites that support biblical equality !
We want to thank Rebecca Snyder for the work and research that she did to give us a color chart of the Hebrew word teshqua. The chart was originally done by Katharine Bushnell for her book God's Word to Women. It traces the use of the word from the translation "turning" as it moved to the current translation "desire." In the original chart the "Ten Curses of Eve" were partially blocked out by a drawing of the Bible. Rebecca has expanded the page so that the these curses could be clearly seen. Seeing the "Ten Curses" helps us to understand the tremendous prejudice against women that influenced translation of Genesis 3:16. To see the chart, click here.