In my experiences from a number of different churches and denominations, I have found that women have very little room when it comes to adding their voices in spiritual matters. This stems from the fact that many churches are dogmatic about unclear Scriptures regarding women in ministry.

I have been in churches where women were expected to wear head-coverings, not because of the culture, but because of the desire to be biblically correct. All churches want to be biblically correct, so where do we draw the line when making the decisions that we make when interpreting and applying Scriptures to us today?

My husband and I were visiting a non-denominational church a few years back. We were invited to join a Bible study for married couples. We all sat in a circle with the wives seated next to their husbands. Our Bibles were open, and one gentleman read from a portion of Scripture. He then asked questions from the text.

The women remained silent. They wore polite faces, but kept their eyes averted. It was as if they had checked out long ago and no one had helped them find their way back. I knew that I had permission to speak, so I joined in the conversation along with the men. The women looked startled when I spoke up and the men looked surprised.

I don’t think this small congregation meant to do their women in, but the church’s stand on these unclear texts that I mentioned above did not help the women to feel that their opinion would be respected. I even think the women didn’t realize that they were not being obedient to God’s voice or His Word by taking a “back seat.”

By Tina Morley