The Forum

The Forum


Dear brother W.

There are one or two other important and interesting points which we ought to consider before finally closing our examination into the ministry of our sisters in the Lord; for example, some are confused by the fact that all distinction is lost in Christ, even the distinction between male and female, and that, consequently, the sister should be equal to the brother in the Church. Another point has been raised in a letter from a brother, which letter unfortunately I have mislaid in my travels, and that is the position of the Christian wife in the home. Space does not permit that both of these aspects of our subject be investigated in this number, so we shall confine our inquiry to the first of these points.

In some evangelical circles the sisters are invited to take public part in congregational meetings, and in certain denominations they are ordained to the ministry, all because of their equality in Christ to their brethren.

The biography of a certain Church leader, which although very spiritual and in many aspects of Bible truth very sound, explains that he believed in the ordination of women to the ministry because in Galatians 3:28, so he claimed, lay the great charter of human equality, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female, for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”

Let us examine this premise, for no matter how clear the logic may seem, if it rests upon a wrong premise it can only lead to a wrong conclusion.

Should this Scripture be called the charter of human equality? Would it not more properly be applied to Rom. 3:22-23, “For there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God”? Here surely we have human equality.

Galatians 3:28, thank God, reveals to us the spiritual and eternal equality of all believers in Christ. In Him all racial distinction is lost, “there is neither Jew nor Greek;” all social distinction is lost, “there is neither bond nor free;” all natural distrinction is lost, “there is neither male nor female.” These indubitably cannot be applied in the Church or in the world. The very Apostle who wrote the Epistle to the Galatians claimed in the world and in the Church his racial origin, “Of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews” (Phil. 3:5); his national status, “a Roman” (Acts 22:25-30); and his earthly citizenship, “A Jew of Tarsus, a city of Cilicia, a citizen in no mean city” (Acts 21:39).

Moreover, the Scriptures teach that a social distinction does exist among believers in Christ, “Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling” (Eph. 6:5). Again, we read of social distinction, “Submit yourselves to kings, as supreme: or unto governors” (1 Pet. 2:13-14).

That natural distinction remains as long as we are in this body of humiliation is obvious from many Scriptures. The Word of God speaks of wives and husbands (1 Pet. 3), and of women and men (1 Cor. 11:1-16).

As long as time endures and men and women remain in the flesh, the very distinctions that are done away in Christ remain in the Church and in the world; we must, therefore, adhere to the Word of God acknowledging that God has one sphere of service for our sisters, a more private but not a less important sphere; and another sphere for brethren.

Sincerely in Christ,
J. G.