Why Would Any Woman Want to be an Evangelical Christian?

mans world

Why would any woman want to be an Evangelical Christian? If the Bible is the inspired Word of God and every word is true, why would any modern, thinking woman ever darken the door of an Evangelical church?

Over the past hundred years women have continued to gain rights and privileges kept from them by men, law, and social propriety: the right to vote, equal pay for equal work, the right to use birth control, the right to have an abortion, the right to divorce.  While women do not yet have equal rights and privileges in this country, huge progress has been made toward that end.

Why don’t women have true equal rights and privileges in America? Don’t deceive yourself into thinking they do. There are still places in our society where the signs say Men Only. The primary reason women are denied basic civil rights and social privileges is that Christian patriarchal thinking still permeates our society.

Evangelical Christianity teaches that women are inferior to men. The Bible calls women a weaker vessel. The Bible teaches that women are to be married, keepers of the home, bearers of children, and sex partners for their husband (unless the husband goes Old Testament and has multiple wives and concubines). Simply put, the Bible teaches that the world of women revolves around husband, food, children, and sex.

If the Bible is meant to be taken as written, women have no part in the governance of society or the church. Women are relegated to teaching children, and as women age, they are given the task of teaching younger women how to be good wives.

1 Timothy 5:14 says:

I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.

Titus 2:2-4 says:

That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience. The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,

keep women where they belong

The Bible teaches women are to keep silent in the church:

For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church. 1 Corinthians 14:33-35

Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. 1 Timothy 2:11,12

The Bible also regulates how women are to dress and wear their hair:

In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works. I Timothy 2:9,10

But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.

For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. 1 Corinthians 11:5,6

Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered? Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering. 1 Corinthians 11:13-15

The Bible teaches that women are to be in subjection to their husband:

For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement. 1 Peter 4:5,6

But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. 1 Corinthians 11:3

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Ephesians 5:22-24

The Bible teaches that having a wife is a sure way to avoid fornication:

Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. 1 Corinthians 7:1-3

And finally, the Bible says women were created for men:

Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. 1 Corinthians 11:9

And this is just the New Testament. The Old Testament portrays women as chattel, not much different from livestock. Women should be thrilled to have all the liberties the New Testament gives them (this is sarcasm, by the way).

chase sanborn coffee

Liberal and progressive Christians try to make all these verses go away by saying they are no longer applicable or that they must be interpreted in their historical context. Fine, let’s do the same with Jesus. A case can be made for Jesus being no longer applicable, and surely we must interpret the teachings of Christ in their historical context. Of course, this would result in Jesus being more irrelevant than he already is.

Millions of women attend Evangelical churches that believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God. The churches they attend proudly claim themselves to be bible-believing churches. Some churches follow the above-mentioned verses to the letter while other churches pretend the verses are not in the Bible. The latter are bible-believers lite. If they taught these verses as written, there would be empty houses and beds by nightfall.

del monte ad

Many Christian women, those not indoctrinated by Bible-thumper pastors and husbands, ignore the verses mentioned above. They tend to love Jesus and say screw the rest. Many women are not into theology. Theology is what men do, their male overlords tell them. Best to let men do the hard thinking. Cook the meals, clean the house, do the laundry, and spread your legs whenever your husband asks. That’s your calling, Pastor Blowhard says.

I am of the opinion that many women embrace Evangelical Christianity and continue in the church because of the social and family connections they have with others in the church. They are willing to put up with being considered second class citizens as long as they can maintain those connections. I suspect this is due to the maternal instinct that most women have. Others have been so indoctrinated by the men in their lives that they actually think they are inferior to men and meant to be their husbands’ slaves. I’ve had more than a few conversations with women who cannot or will not see that they deserve far better lives than they now have.

Some Evangelical women realize they’ve been taken captive by the Bible, a book men use to dominate and control them. Remember the “hell hath no fury” line that talks about a woman scorned? Once a woman realizes she can be free from the control and domination of men…watch out! Many women, once free, leave Christianity altogether. Others make their peace with God and the church, often seeking out expressions of faith that are not demeaning to women. If their marriages survive, they adopt an egalitarian way of life. Marriage becomes a shared relationship. Gone are the religious and social strictures meant to keep women in their place.

For those of you who have left Christianity, how did your marriage and the relationship with your husband change?

050219

About Bruce Gerencser

Bruce Gerencser, 62, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 41 years. He and his wife have six grown children and twelve grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist. For more information about Bruce, please read the About page.

Thank you for reading this post. Please share your thoughts in the comment section. If you are a first-time commenter, please read the commenting policy before wowing readers with your words. All first-time comments are moderated. If you would like to contact Bruce directly, please use the contact form to do so.

Donations are always appreciated. Donations on a monthly basis can be made through Patreon. One-time donations can be made through PayPal.

print

Subscribe to the Daily Post Digest!

Sign up now and receive an email every day containing the new posts for that day.

I agree to have my personal information transfered to MailChimp ( more information )

I will never give away, trade or sell your email address. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Powered by Optin Forms

17 Comments

  1. Suzanne

    After a bumpy patch during the leaving our church behind where I was blamed for not keeping my husband believing in God the right way things are glorious. Equality is a beautiful thing. I enjoy not having to worry about if every little thing he does is going to send him to hell. We were taught that God viewed a married couple as one person, so that wife had better be repenting and praying for every sin the husband committed. Oddly enough it was never preached for the husband to cover the wife’s sins.

    Reply
    1. Brian

      Well, Suzanne, the dear Lord did not require that of men because the wife’s sins were too large, too all-encompassing for one man to manage. Therefore, God took that on, bless his heart! 😉

      Reply
  2. Erin

    To be honest, Bruce, I could write a freakin’ book about it. That’s why I have a (no longer available) blog with 1075 posts about trying to work through it.

    I was raised in Christianity, but was an atheist by the time I was 18. Then, I married into a fundamentalist family (although the true breadth of their fundamentalism was hidden from me until I was married) which is a long story. I tried for 15 years to make everyone happy, and then I gave up. I left church 10 years ago. I deconverted 5 years ago.

    My husband is still a Christian. He rarely attends church, he just clings to religious values and conservative politics. We’ve been together 25 years, and so far we have weathered our differences, I have grandparents who had major religious and political differences, and they were happily married for 65 years before they both passed away.

    The social connections were part of it. But, when I left church I lost all but one friend, and if that had mattered to me more than the fact that I was living a lie, I could have just gone back — I never considered it. My wellbeing was worth far more to me; I knew I could no longer survive the cognitive dissonance and still remain mentally stable.

    Bottom line is pretty much what you said; I couldn’t reconcile loving god vs. oppressive bible. I tried really hard – I spent 5 years searching for the place where I could be a Christian and a feminist. It didn’t exist. Logic would dictate that if one believes in the biblical god, they have to accept that the bible was written by that god, one god who never changes. Except he does change, but we make up excuses for that.

    Some people can stop at the excuses and justifications and be OK with them — they just don’t think it through any further than is comfortable for them. But, every justification I heard made no sense to me, because it always required me to suspend my intellect in order to embrace it. (That’s the other side of the equation – god gave me a brain, I chose to use it, god ceased to exist.)

    Reply
    1. Brian

      Bravo, Erin. It ain’t rocket science but it takes emotional work and the willingness to consider change….

      Reply
  3. Appalachian Agnostic

    I think some women feel comfortable in Christianity because they are uncomfortable making decisions for themselves.

    Reply
    1. Heather

      Bingo. That’s what it was for me. It has taken me a long time to become confident in making decisions. I feel proud now as someone who can own my decisions and the consequences.

      Reply
    2. Suzanne

      That was the hardest thing for me because I was used to making decisions and doing things thought to be ‘masculine’ chores by the church, such as research and decide on stocks and long term investments or deciding how to landscape the yard. Giving up decision making was even harder than submission.

      Reply
  4. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

    Thanks to everyone for sharing their perspective. As a man, I can write about this issue from my vantage point, but I think it is important to hear from women themselves. I think a lot of Evangelical women lurk in the shadows desperately trying to find a way out of the mind numbing, soul sucking bondage called Evangelical Christianity. It’s important they read the stories of women who had the courage and strength to break free. It’s not about atheism or religion. Equality and respect….for who they are….that’s what matters.

    Reply
  5. Unah

    Oh I never believed in any of it. I was 12 years old when we had a Sunday school lesson on the biblical view of women. All of my peers sat there with their eyes glazed over like they were being lectured on cleaning their room. I was the only one who questioned it. I didn’t make any friends that day. The others had already been conditioned to accept as truth anything in the bible. I don’t know what happened to me. I spent many hard years trying to understand how God wasn’t a douchbag. But there wasn’t much hope for me, and as the years passed, other teachings crushed me into submission. I believed awful lies about men who weren’t Christian, and if I wanted a healthy family I needed to get it right. I eventually married a wonderful man who wasn’t looking for a helper, but a partner. Being an equal partner was never an issue. That’s just what we are, and always have been. Today is our 10 year anniversary, and we have both refused to let the church mess our family up with their screwed up marriage teachings. Some of the other women I see in the church doubled down on this lifestyle when they married and had kids. Unfortunately, when they had daughters they eagerly placed that burden on the poor girl. In some cases the daughters have it worse than their mothers did. I think these moms are very afraid that their daughters won’t be taken care of, or something will happen to them without all of this. Something is happening in the church right now that wasn’t happening 20 years ago. The leaders are putting out these very paranoid teachings that are putting parents on high alert, and making them think that everyone is going to molest their kids or something. I don’t feel totally free from the sexism and paranoia of evangelicalism because my family is so heavily involved in it. I’m just so sick of seeing seeing girls raised to be second class, and there is nothing I can do about it.

    Reply
  6. Robin

    I’m glad I found your site. I had the misfortune of having my brain nearly poisoned by Larry Solomon’s fascist Biblical gender roles. How refreshing to find a Christian who doesn’t hold such paranoid neurotic views on the genders. My faith is restored.

    Reply
  7. Theresa Moore

    I’m struggling being a Christian and a Woman. When I read the Bible, I feel like it does not include me. My daughter will be marrying a Lutheran pastor and a doctor son. The couple has chosen a female ordained minister who they went to college with. His family is thrilled with their choice. My husband’s family are sharpening the pitchforks. How do I balance family harmony and support my daughter

    Reply
    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      The Bible, if literally believed, is anti-woman. Millions and millions of women attend churches that devalue them as human beings, saying that they are less than or inferior to men; that men are to be their heads and women are to submit to them. While these beliefs were the norm centuries ago, they have no place in our modern society.

      I would advise you to love your daughter and son-in-law and avoid discussions about religion. Your daughter is choosing to marry a Lutheran pastor. You must respect her choice. This can be hard, especially when someone we love embraces harmful beliefs. Internecine warfare between family members never ends well. Better to not talk about religion than have constant conflict and upheaval.

      Reply
      1. Brian

        “I would advise you to love your daughter and son-in-law…”
        What is this, Gerencser?! Are you some kind of radical Atheistic? Love, you say? Bah! I say go all-out Christian and submit to the churching, the suffering for torturing Christ on the Cross. Tell the daughter she did that to Jesus and she is dirty, fallen thing.. Tell her to be thankful she has good man to keep her submissive and quiet under the rule of Almighty God. Bah! all this hogwash about Love, as if the non-believer has any idea at all of what it means. A good scourging, I say!
        -may the peace, the deep peace of the almighty be with you! BURP

        Reply
  8. Eddie Buchanan

    The fact that you see murdering your unborn children as a right, says it all. You have no credibility.

    Reply
    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      *sigh* Yet another Evangelical with a one track mind. According to your “logic”, the Christian God has murdered more babies than anyone. Billions of babies have been murdered by your God. I assume you are ready to admit that, based on his murderous ways, your awesome God has no credibility. Think, Eddie, think, and then let’s have a reasonable discussion about abortion.

      Reply
    2. GeoffT

      Children are foetuses that have been born, so the phrase ‘unborn children’ is an oxymoron. You can’t murder an entity until it has been born.

      Reply
  9. JEAN FRANCIS

    PAT ROBERTSON IS A FOOL WITHOUT A CLUE ABOUT TRUE WOMANHOOD…A SUPERIOR CREATURE TO MAN AND CLOSER TO GOD

    Reply

Leave a Comment

You have to agree to the comment policy.