“Women’s Lib” – A Misnomer?

The way the “Women’s Lib.” movement is taking hold among some women is shocking. That satan is on the alert to tum the movement to his profit is already very evident, and that some women are an easy prey is just as evident. Christian women know from the Scriptures that satan has always had ways of trapping women—and that in the name of freedom.

Eve Sets the Pace – The devil’s first customer was Eve who, horror of horrors! lent him a ready ear. Having 6rst been given a probationary command by God, and then giving an ear to Satan, Eve faced a dilemma which Dr. H. Bavinck very effective characterizes as follows:

God or Man

Divine authority or Human insight

Unconditional obedience or Independent Investigation

Faith or Doubt

We all know that when Eve faced this dilemma, she forthwith declared her independence from God the very kind of independence some of the contemporary “Women’s Lib.” advocates seem to be demanding. In a sense Eve may be said to have started the “Women’s Lib.” movement. She decided to base her decision regarding the probationary command on her own human insight rather than to bow to God’s authority. She came to her own conclusion on the basis of her own independent investigation instead of obeying God unconditionally. She exercised doubt instead of faith. Observing that the fruit of the forbidden tree was good for food, that it was a delight to the eyes, and that it was to be desired to make man wise (Gen. 3:6), Eve had, she thought, all the evidence needed to decide in favor of satan’s suggestion. For one thing she wanted to play God by sitting in judgment over His demands. Doesn’t that sinful desire manifest itself among “modern” women today? Mind you, Eve doubted God, acting in unbelief instead of unconditionally obeying her Maker.

Eve’s act was an act of rebellion against God. The kind of celebration some women recently held at the Washington Square Methodist Church in New York reflects the same kind of rebellion. In the first place, these women interpret Eve’s act as “the first free act.” We interpret it to be the first plunge into the bondage of satan. We know it to be her first sinful act. They hold man responsible for the Adam-Eve account in Genesis. We know that the Adam-Eve account is not of private interpretation, but that the human writer spoke from God, being moved by the Holy Spirit (II Peter 1:21).

Equal Status in Church – In the second place, the above-mentioned church women favor “equal status” for women in American churches. That there is a sense in which women are to ‘Keep silence in the churches” (I Cor. 14:34) implies that women are not in every way equal to men in the churches. Thus we must be willing gladly to accept a subordinate position where the Bible gives us this direction. Apparently, however, these “women liberators” are going to interpret the Bible their own way, twisting meanings to suit their own desires (see I Cor. 11:3).

The elders in the New Testament churches were men; the deacons also were men. You would expect that if “a man is the image and glory of God” (I Cor. 11:7b) whereas “the woman is the glory of the man.” You would expect that if “the head of every man is Christ,” whereas “the head of every woman is the man.” If Christ is the head of the church, you would expect Him to appoint, as office-bearers of His church, those of whom He is the head ecclesiastically, not those who are ecclesiastically subordinate to men.

According to Calvin: “. . . as regards spiritual connection in the sight of God, and inwardly in the conscience, Christ is the head of the man and of the woman without any distinction, because, as to that, there is no regard paid to male or female; but as regards external arrangement and political decorum, the man follows Christ and the woman the man, so that they are not upon the same footing, but, on the contrary, this inequality exists” (Calvin on I Cor. 11:3). This inequality in the church which is of God Himself, the Rev. Barbara Mc Call of the church women liberators movement denounces as “sexism.” Well may the true church warn such women against “handling the Word of God deceitfully” (II Cor. 4:2). It hardly looks as if the “light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ, Who is the image of God,” has dawned upon them (II Cor. 4:4). It looks for all the world as if these women are preaching themselves, not Jesus Christ (II Cor. 4:5).

Genesis Reinterpreted – In the third place, these female liberators refuse to admit that women, in Eve, “were agents of evil, corrupters of perfect creation.” In fact, when a second female minister mentioned this accusation, the “women worshippers” chorused: “We fell for all that.” By this attitude they reject the Scriptural account of the fall of Eve, the first human being to fall into sin who also successfully dragged Adam, our representative, along with her.

These church women “Lib.” advocates seem to look upon the Biblical account as a perverted human record, as a document of private interpretation which they can criticize in whatever manner promotes their cause. The reporter of this meeting said that “they vowed to seek the ‘liberation of the whole human family and all creation.’” Don’t you think that He that sitteth in the heavens will laugh? That He will hold them in derision? Instead of the account in Genesis blinding the minds of the unbelieving, these women liberators are blinding the minds of the unbelieving, that the light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ should not dawn upon them. The kind of liberation they are seeking betrays their being actually enslaved to satan. What a pitiful spectacle they make of themselves.

In the fourth place, they even bent backwards “to clarify their own interpretation of Genesis” by conjuring up a “new myth.” They speak of a woman created before Eve. The first woman, Lilith, was not made of a rib of Adam but was made with Adam and therefore she was equal with him. Because Adam did not like her stress on being equal, Lilith abandoned Adam, after which “God provided a more subservient woman, Eve, who, when she saw how free Lilith now was, also declared her freedom by eating of the forbidden fruit. That freedom of Eve the women liberators celebrated in a ceremony in which they partook of apple juice and bread saying: “We celebrate Eve’s first free act: Let all creation rejoice.” Was this in imitation of the Lord’s Supper? Might they have given this ceremony sacramental value?

A Gross Misnomer – You can plainly see that what they call “Eve’s first free act” was in reality Eve’s declaration of allegiance to satan. Instead of Eve’s act leading to rejoicing, it led to death. “In the day thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die.” What could please Satan more than his success with such “Women’s Lib.” church leaders? What a striking example of the truth that “the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God.” Some of these women may bear the title “Rev.,” and they do, and some may be seminarians, and they are (one reputedly from Holland, Mich.), but they give every evidence that they are still in the category of the “natural man.”

What wishful thinking to wipe out such distinctions between male and female as God Himself has ordained! What ignorance of the glory that has come to the woman who has graciously and willingly filled her subordinate position in certain areas of life. How deeply happy and contented many women are who obey their husbands in the Lord, and who recognize the boundaries God has set for them in the church. At least in the case here related, the term “Women’s Lib.” is a gross misnomer. All rebellion against God is evidence of being in bondage to satan.