PTP2015 – David Shannon – Are Women Respected and Treated Equal in the Churches of Christ?

It is the churches responsibility to maintain the same essence and respect that God holds for women.

It is the church’s responsibility to maintain the same restrictions and authority when it comes to women that God holds for women.

I obviously cannot call any earthly headquarters to call and ask this, I also cannot assume the authority of speaking for every congregation of the Lord’s church.

Instead, I ask that each of you consider your own congregation, your own selves if you are treating women the correct way.

It is applicable to men, but too often I see that it is women who treat other women with less respect and equality than even men.

Ray Rice – football player – who was caught on camera for knocking his fiancé unconscious and then dragging her out of an elevator like a bag of trash.

Two Vanderbilt sports players (roommates), one who brought his unconscious girlfriend into their dorm room, drops her on the floor, and the roommate begins to sexually assault her and the boyfriend cheers him on.

“How do you treat women?”

Bill Cosby’s episodes of his lifetime of how he treated women.

One quote from Sendra Ladd, (wife of Oscar winning producer), “This is the first time I have chosen to speak about that night (backstory: went on a date, woke up the next morning realizing she had been raped, Cosby was acting as it was normal. Walked home. Shaken. Told her roommate. Never told anyone for 36 years.) and it will be the last time I speak of it publicly… “we met (in later years) and he did not remember me at all”

These are extreme situations, but they happen far far too often.

From that extreme to lesser extremes, “What is the culture in your congregation toward women?”

Do the women in your congregation receive just as much respect and dignity as the men in your congregation?

There is probably a lot more sex-ism that goes on in your congregations than we realize.

  • “That is why God won’t let them lead…”
  • “Just women talking…”
  • “Was it a woman or man that said it…”

There are lot of things said on a regular basis that because God has given leadership in the church to men, that they have one step up on women.

I would encourage you to study this topic deeply.  We need to not just learn to “be polite” and hide our sexism or racism in public, but instead we need to change our way of thinking.  Those of my generation (over 40) need to be very introspective about their thoughts and speech.

God wants you to see every woman of equal essence or worth as you see any man or child and yourself.

When we appraise every person, man, woman, or child, as God sees them, we will not have to guard are comments in public.

Genesis 1:27 – God created man (mankind – Hebrew).  It doesn’t say, he created “male” in God’s own image.  We are not made in God’s image based upon anatomy or gender, but instead that HUMANITY is in the image of God.

Galatians 3:27-28

  • Neither Jew nor Greek
  • Neither Bond nor Free
  • Neither Male nor Female
  • You are all one in Christ Jesus

Doesn’t matter what continent you’re from, what race, what class, Jew or Gentile, you are Christians. You are equal in essence and worth.

Find the man with the riches portfolio and the go find the man in the deepest poverty in the hills of east Tennessee and they are of equal worth.

First Century Church

Philip’s Daughters (Acts 21:9)

Everywhere that the Gospel has been taken in History, the estimation and value of women in that culture has increased.

God gave His revelations to both men and women.

Philip’s daughters: They had to perform their functions within the restrictions placed upon them, but God did not withhold from them the greatest and most meaningful spiritual gifts.

What if a woman in your congregation wants to go and get a biblical degree and training so that she can teach a women’s class with as deep knowledge and training as the preacher down hall is teaching His class.

Will you contradict the Holy Spirit in your opinion or actions?  Will you go back to the Jewish mentality?

Jews: You ought to burn the Torah before you allow a woman to be taught it or to read from it.

Priscilla and Aquila (Acts 18:26)

About half the time Aquila and Priscilla are mentioned, she is mentioned first.  Most times in Scripture that half the time they are mentioned, she is mentioned first.  Her influence in the church seems to be just as great as her husbands.  A woman can be submissive to the her husband and to the elders, and yet her influence can be stronger in the church than her husband’s.

Older Women (Titus 2:3-5)

Titus 3, 4, 5

Phoebe (Romans 16:1-2)

—  Whatever her ministry was, the church was to help her in that.  Could a woman have a strong and effective ministry in your congregation that helps preachers and helps others?  Would this violate the culture in your congregation?

Mary (Romans 16:6)

We don’t know much about her situation.

Lydia (Acts 16:15, 40)

– Lydia and a group of women will be the first converts of the Macedonian call.  The first day of the gospel in PHillippi will be women.

Who are the first ones that Jesus showed Himself to in resurrect form?

How does a missionary stay out on the field?

Women provided financially for Jesus’ ministry (Luke 8:1-3).

Dorcas (Acts 9:36)

– the fruit of her hands and the fruit of her life made a powerful impact on the Church.

I don’t think I have been in a congregation that had more strong spiritual men in the congregation than it had strong spiritual women.

The woman “caught” in adultery (John 8)

Jesus protected her.

He saw her value where those men saw nothing of value.

The woman at the Well (John 4)

He moved in her vision to being a Jew, to a man, to a prophet, to being the Messiah, and she was the voice that called a whole city to hear Jesus.

How do you treat women?


Two passages of Restrictions:

1 Corinthians 14

1 Timothy 2

First Timothy 2-3

Role of SOME men

  1. Lead Prayer
  2. Teach
  3. (in the church) serve as Elders
  4. Serve as deacons

Role of ALL Woman. (restrictions)

  1. Lead prayer
  2. Over-dress
  3. Teach
  4. (in the church) serve as Elders
  5. Serve as deacons.

Over-dress — In your county, could the poorest woman come and feel in-place, or out of place?  When a woman over dresses, they can forget the inner beauty.

This is a dress that any woman could accomplish and meet in our communities.

They are NOT restricted from teaching everywhere.

In the home (2 Tim. 1:5; 3:5).

Older Women commanded to teach younger women.  (Tit 2:3-5).

Everyone in this room can list many women who will

In your congregation, if you evaluated it, every week you might find more people taught in classes by women than men.  You will probably find more women in your congregation who are teachers than men.

Andrew Phillips:

“Role distinctions are not value judgments.  Hebrews 7 said Jesus couldn’t be a High Priest in the Levitical system, because He wasn’t from t\he tribe of Levi.  It had nothing to do with Jesus’ value…”

Consider Value and Work

1 Corinthians 11:3 – If you say that because women have a different role than the man, then they are of any less value or worth, then you claim that Jesus is of lesser worth and value than the Father.

If you think this, you have theology problem.

Phil. 2:5-7

Ever Speak like you’re confused?

Do you ever confuse the essence of roles with the essence of Value?

Matthew 18 – If you offend a child…

God is series about wanting us to value all human beings.

Our culture today is okay with abortion because that infant in a womb has no voice, is not seen as strong.

Knowledge Can Help

Know who you are talking to…

Lot’s offer of his daughters to the men of Sodom.  How can a culture get so skewed?

We must not allow our culture to make us racist, to make us sexist… We must hold ourselves accountable to hold women and men

CNN: Single? You’re Not Alone (Linda Petty, CNN August 20, 2010).

Do the single people in your congregation consider themselves as equally treated in respect and value as those who are married.

17% of 25 and older women have never been married.  (PEW research)

What about widows?

Widows: Many women have lived longer than their spouse.  13.7 million widowed persons, over 11 million are women.  (AARP)

Do they get as much honor and respect as when their husband was alive?

If your first thought about single women is, “they just need to get married…” Lets take that up with Paul… – 49% of women with children – never married.

Median income for single mothers – $26,000

Median income for married couples – $84,000

Two families sitting in the same pew.  24 hours a day where she needs to be in two places at once. Every 3 dollars the one family makes and “tries to make ends meat” – take two away and that’s the other family.



  • What do women need from us?
  • Love their family
  • Offer them a Supportive congregational family.
  • Care for their soul
  • Help them find purpose
  • Respect them
  • Value them.

“Since there are so many things in the church that women cannot do, how can a woman find purpose for live in the church?”

Consider that the list of things a woman cannot do is about one page long, and the list of things a woman can do would go out the back door and proceed hundreds of yards.  How have we created a culture







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