3159 21st Street N.
St. Petersburg, FL
Elder Steve Shelton
The Divine Order of the
By C. D. Cole
is a Divine order of the sexes. To deny this order is to deny the Bible.
To deny the Bible is to plunge into the sea of human experience without
any real hope of surviving. This, many are willing to do in order to be in
the swim. Much of the Bible is a dead letter to the average church member.
He has no more use for the Bible as the rule of faith and practice than a
hog has for breeches. What a settlement many are going to have to make
with God for their arrogant setting aside of His
holy word as impracticable! and out
According to the Divine order, the woman is
subordinate to the man. This can be established by many passages of
Scripture. "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 everything" (Eph.
aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh
holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good;
That they may teach the young women to be sober, to be keepers at home,
good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not
blasphemed" (Titus 2:4, 5). See also Gen. 3:16; I Cor. 11:3; 14:34,
35; I Tim. 2:11, 12; I Peter 3:1-6.
THE NATURE OF THIS SUBORDINATION
subordination does not involve personal character.
It does not imply personal inferiority of the woman to the man.
The writer does not hesitate to say that in many things woman is superior
to man; in the nobler qualities that go to make up character, in patience
and endurance, in gentleness, in unselfishness, in ministering to the
suffering, in love, the woman is superior to the man.
does this subordination touch the question of salvation. In respect to
salvation, "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" (Gal. 3:28). To quote this verse in an effort to overthrow the
doctrine of woman's subjection to man is to ignore the context and oppose
Scripture with Scripture. This verse teaches that all are saved alike,
namely, by faith in Christ Jesus (Gal. 3:26).
is it a question of ability. It is often claimed for some women that they
are able speakers. This is
not denied, but ability is not criterion
of what is right. A man may be skillful as
a gambler, but this is no reason why he should be licensed to gamble.
The success women have had in the pulpit has deceived and turned
many away from the once delivered faith. By such parity of reasoning, it
can be proven that Moses did right when he struck the rock (Num. 20:11). He was successful in getting water, but he disobeyed
God, and thereby, forfeited the privilege of entering the promised land.
It will be through his marvelous
success that the Anti-Christ will
command the worship of men. Read II Thess.
2:1-11 and Rev. 13.
subordination of the woman to the man is a matter of position. It is
inferiority of rank rather than of person.
President Hoover is superior to every other man in our country in
position and authority, but this does not necessarily mean that he is
superior to every other man in character and ability.
The woman is subordinate to the man with respect to authority and
its corresponding obligation. We miss the mark entirely when we talk about
woman's rights. It is not a question of
equal rights, but of identical duties. Whether in the state, in the home,
or in the church, woman is to occupy a subordinate place.
This means that the man has a greater measure of responsibility
public worship the responsibility for speaking and teaching is not
placed upon the woman but upon the man. "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 anything, let them ask their husbands at
home; for it is a shame for women to speak in the church" (I Cor.
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"
(I Tim. 2:11,12). What a need there is for the men of our churches to
realize that the chief responsibility for the condition of the churches
rests upon them. They cannot escape this responsibility. This thing of
turning the work of the churches over to the women and children, as is
often done, is contrary to the Word of God. Let us make some
observations: God never made
provision for a woman to occupy the throne of Israel. Woman had no part in
the priestly ministrations in the tabernacle or the temple.
God never made a covenant with a woman. When the government of
Israel had broken down. God described
the conditions in a figurative way by saying, "As for my people,
children are their oppressors and women rule over them" (Isa.
3:12). The same principle applies to women in the new dispensation as in
the old. Christ never called a single woman to be His apostle. Christ
never called a woman to preach His gospel. All the deacons of the
Jerusalem church were men. If Christ calls women to a public ministry, how
do we account for his waiting nearly 1900 years before doing so? Until
recent times, no woman claimed such a call.
The practice of women speaking to mixed assemblies in Baptist churches
is an innovation that has been decried by such men as Broadus,
Lorimer, Harvey and Hawthorne, and
others too numerous to mention. The
scholarship of Baptists from Paul to Boyce
Taylor is practically unanimous in
its opposition to this innovation.
the home the place of authority is vested in the man. To talk of equal
authority between man and wife is to talk nonsense. Equal authority, no
authority. Authority must be placed either in the man or the woman. Where
has God placed it? With the
husband or the wife? The Bible says it is with the husband. The father is
more responsible for the conduct of the children than is the mother.
"And ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the
Lord" (Eph. 6:4).
In his song of thanksgiving, after his life had been lengthened 15
years, Hezekiah said, "The father
to the children shall make known thy truth" (Isa.
38:19). The Lord said of Abraham, "For I know him, that he will
command his children and his household after him" (Gen. 18:19). The
father and not the mother is chiefly responsible for the daughter's dress,
for where she goes, and for the company she keeps. The responsibility of
the husband and the father, in the light of God's word, is a tremendously
solemn matter. And this responsibility is the result of divinely ordained
REASON FOR THIS SUBORDINATION
subordination of the woman to the man has its origin and ground in
creation. "Adam was first formed then Eve."
The man and woman were not created simultaneously. The man was
created first and the woman was created for the man (I Cor. 11:9). Another
reason given for the subjection of the woman to the man is in the fact
that the woman was deceived in the transgression (I Tim. 2:14). These are
the only reasons found in the Bible for the subjection of the woman to the
man. To talk about local conditions at Corinth or anywhere else as the
ground of the command for the women to keep silence in the churches is to
add to the word of God. It is a case of the wish being father to the
skill is being used today in an effort to set aside the plain teachings of
the Bible. Those who have a conscience upon the question are ridiculed and
browbeaten. They are called woman haters and non-cooperants
because they will not support that which is obviously opposed to the word
of God. The commands of the Bible may be classed as moral and positive. A
moral command is a command for which a moral reason can be seen, such
as, "Thou shalt not kill,"
and "Thou shall not steal," etc. A positive command is a command
for which no moral reason is apparent.
It lies in the sovereign pleasure of God.
God's command to Moses to speak to the rock rather than to strike
it is a positive command. The prohibition against touching the ark, for
which Uzzah lost his life is a positive
command. The command to baptize is a positive command. The command for
women to keep silence in the churches is a positive command.
The only reason that can be given for obedience to positive
commands is that God has given them. The greatest test of spirituality is
not obedience to the moral commands for the unregenerate
may observe them. But to keep God's positive commands is to walk by
SYMBOL OF SUBORDINATION
The truth of the subordination of the woman to the man has a divinely
appointed symbol. This truth is to be symbolized by the woman wearing long
hair, and when in church, an additional covering.
This covering is a sign of headship.
Headship means authority.
Long hair is the sign by which the wife acknowledges the authority
of her husband, who is her natural head; and a hat or veil as an
additional covering, when in church, to acknowledge the authority of man
in religious matters. Let us examine I Cor. 11:3: "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." This verse tells
us that order and subordination pervade the entire universe. The woman is subordinate to and under the rule of man;
the man is subordinate to and under the rule of Christ; and Christ, in His
mediatorial character, is subordinate to and under the rule of God.
man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoreth
his head. 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" (I Cor.
11:4,5). The fifth verse is
sometimes given as a warrant for women leading in public prayer and
speaking in the church. To
this it has been replied, that when the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to write
this, He knew what He was going to move him to write in Chapter 14, verse
34. He merely refers to prayer and prophecy here without either approving
or condemning. His
object here is to condemn the failure of symbolizing the truth of
headship. My personal belief, however,
is that public worship is here
expressed by prayer and prophecy. The men are to worship with uncovered
heads, while the women must be covered.
Failure of the woman to wear a hat or veil is the same 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" (I Cor. 11:6). The
word "if" here does not express a doubt.
It does not open the door for debate.
It has the meaning here that it frequently has in the New
Testament. "If I go away I will come again," that is "Since
I go away I will come again."
"If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are
above," or "Since ye then be risen with Christ, seek those
things which are above." Thus, we see the meaning "Since it be a
shame for a woman to be shorn or
shaven, let her be covered." As further proof that I am not giving an
arbitrary meaning to the word "if", let me cite verses 14 and
15: "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." Here it is declared to be a shame for a man to have
long hair, but for the woman, it is her glory. Observe that Paul did not
appeal to custom but to nature. God's law upon the question is in harmony
with the law of nature. Lest
the reader does not discover it for himself, let me say, that in the
passage before us, there are two coverings in view. This is clear from
Verse 6: "For if the woman be not covered (veiled), let her also be
shorn: but if (since) it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let
her be covered (veiled). In the original, the word translated
"covering" in the 15th verse is a different word from that translated
"covered" in the other verses. The Revised Version maintains
a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and
glory of God: but the woman
is the glory of the man (v. 7).
Behold the accuracy of Scripture.
It is not said here that man is the likeness of God, but the image of God.
There is a difference between image and likeness. Image means representation;
likeness means resemblance. Man was originally created in the image and
likeness of God (Gen. 1:26). In
the fall, man lost his likeness to God, but he is still the image or
representative of God — he occupies the place of authority as God's
representative. This meaning of the word "image" is enforced
by a reference to Matt. 22:20: "And he said unto them, Whose is
this image and superscription? They say unto him, Caesar's." The Jews
had asked Christ if it was lawful to pay tribute to Caesar. He answered by
calling for a coin and, when given him, He asked whose image or authority
did it represent, and they said Caesar's. Now since a covered head was a
sign of subjection, man, being in a position of authority, must not have
this sign on his head. But the woman, being in the place of subjection, is
to have this sign on her head: long
hair as a permanent sign of the headship of her husband; and a veil or hat
when in church as a sign of headship of man in public worship.
this cause ought the woman to have a
sign of authority on her head because of the angels" (v.
This opens up a field of study which we cannot enter for lack of
space. This is a clear inference that angels attend church services in the
hope of learning of the mysteries of human redemption. Read I Peter 1:12
and Eph. 3:10.
God appoints is best. Obedience to the Divine order concerning the sexes
will result in blessing to both men and women. As the spirit of
lawlessness increases, the word "subjection" becomes more and
more despised. Many associate the word "subjection" with the
thought of degradation. It
is claimed that woman is degraded by the position given her by Paul. On
this point. Atheism makes a bid for
woman's patronage by seeking to prejudice her against Christianity.
I now quote from "The Bible in the Balance," by Charles
Smith, President of the American Association for the Advancement of
'I know of no other books
that so fully teach the subjection and degradation of woman.'
Gardner: 'Women are indebted today for
their emancipation from a position of hopeless degradation, not to their
religion nor Jehovah, but to the justice and honor of the men who have
defied His commands. That she does not crouch today where St. Paul tried
to bind her, she owes to the men who are grand and brave enough to ignore
St. Paul and rise superior to his God'
(Men, Women and Gods, p. 30)."
an awful thing it is to become an ally of Atheism!
But this is exactly what Baptists are doing in their effort to set
aside the plain teachings of Holy Scripture regarding the position of
women in our churches and religious assemblies.
is given the place of subjection, not for her degradation, but for her
honor and protection. And her safety and happiness lie in her acceptance
of that place. In Romans 13, all Christians are commanded to be in
subjection to the civil authorities. Are they thereby degraded? Who but
anarchists will say so? In Eph. 5:24,
the church is said to be subject to Christ. Is the church thereby
degraded? No, a thousand times no! The relation between husband and wife
is illustrated by the relation that exists between Christ and the Church.
"Husbands, love your wives, even
as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it" (Eph.
5:25). Is a woman degraded by being in subjection to the man who
loves her enough to die for her? And the woman who has promised to obey
any other is pitied. And no woman ought to marry a man whom she cannot
promise to obey