Being a student of biblical theology is an imperative discipline in the life of a Christian. In some sects, though, there is more emphasis on men knowing theology than there is on women knowing it. Some might attribute this to stereotypes of women being too emotional or passive in their understanding, but scripture calls women to a much higher standard than being content to have a surface-level understanding of God.
In 2014, Pew Research Center polled over 13,000 Christian women to assess trends in their demographics, beliefs, and political views.
Here’s what the poll found:
– 80% of the women believe in God.
– 45% of the women said they seldom/almost never participate in prayer, scripture study, or religious education groups.
– 62% of the women said the standard of right and wrong depends on the situation.
– 34% of the women said they attend religious services only once or twice a month/a few times a year.
– 33% of the women said that scripture is the Word of God, but it should not be taken literally.
– 16% of the women said that scripture is not the Word of God.
How is it that so many professing Christian women do not regularly attend church, pray, or study scripture? How is it that so many professing Christian women have such conflicting, and admittedly problematic, views on scripture and morality?
Perhaps the problem lies in a lack of biblical theology.
The word “theology” stems from two Greek words: theos, meaning “God,” and logos, meaning “word.” Theology, simply defined, is the study of God. For Christians, we study God through the gift of His Word that He has graciously given us. To know God intimately, to truly glorify Him, we must know Him rightly, and God cannot be known rightly outside of what He has revealed to us in scripture.
The problem is that many American Evangelical women’s conferences and teachings are primarily centered around feel-good “Christianity.” They are full of fluffy, self-centered one-liners like “You are enough,” “Girl, just wash your face,” “Love yourself,” or “The power is within you.” Women are enticed by pretty marketing, headlining speakers, and taglines like “How to be Your Best Self,” but they are left with nothing but a boosted ego, bad theology, and biblical illiteracy.
Fluffy Evangelicalism is the perfect example of what it means to itch the ears of those who will listen. Scripture speaks explicitly of this and the danger that it is to women:
“For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.” 2 Timothy 3:6-7
Too many American Christian women have become ensnared by the poison of feel-good sermons, me-centered books from bestselling Christian authors, and false gospels sprinkled with just enough truth to deceive. At worst, this results in a bunch of false converts doomed to an eternity in Hell, and at best, growth-stunted Christians dependent upon a permanent milk diet.
So here are three reasons why women need to ditch the rotten, evangelical fluff and trade it in for solid, biblical theology:
A careful study of God’s Word is what leads us to having good theology because it is “profitable for teaching, reproof, correction, and for training in righteousness.” It is what informs us about who God is, how He is to be glorified, and how we can be obedient to Him. It is much more difficult for Satan to deceive us through false teachings and the things of this world if we are equipped with His Word that is sharper than any two-edged sword.
When Paul wrote to the Galatians, he was addressing the deceit that had crept into the church through false teachers who manipulated and twisted the Gospel. In the same way, false teachers and false gospels find their way into our local churches, our communities, and in the Christian media we consume. Without biblical theology and discernment, we could look at these false teachers and be fully convinced that what they are telling us is true simply because they act and sound like we do. The only way to defend ourselves against false teaching and know when a false teacher is slightly twisting Scripture is if we truly know who God is according to His Word.
Titus 2:3-5 lays out for Christian women how we can best serve and glorify God through serving His people. As we grow in our faith, it is necessary that we disciple younger women in the church to model for them how to love their husbands and children, how to practice self-control, how to submit to their husbands, how to be reverent and sober-minded, how to serve in our homes, and how to remain pure and kind, teaching what is good. We cannot possibly know how to obediently do these things if we do not know what it means to exhibit these qualities. For example, if we do not know who God is, then we cannot submit to Him, and we cannot submit to our husbands.
Bad theology has led to much confusion among Christian women about their roles. In the same fluffy evangelical circles, we see women pastoring churches (despite elder qualifications in Titus 1 and 1 Timothy 3), women seeking authority over men (despite 1 Timothy 2:12), and leading in the homes (despite Ephesians 5:22-33). In order for us to adequately fulfill our God-given roles so that God may be glorified, we must understand what it means to honor those roles according to His Word so that we can pass them on to the next generation.
When Jesus explained the Greatest Commandment to the Pharisees in Matthew 22:37-40, He said that you must “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”
All too often, professing Christians can quickly articulate to you that they love the Lord, but do they love the Lord of the scriptures, or do they love the Lord they’ve created in their own minds? We must be careful not to elevate our emotions and feelings about God and, in turn, neglect the mind. It is not enough to love God with your heart and soul, alone. To love God, you must know Him intimately with your mind, too, and that only comes from the careful study of His Word.
Scripture tells us that we must be ready in season and out of season to make a defense and rebuke those who contradict the Word.
May we all ditch the fluff and be as the Bereans — examining the scriptures daily so that our mind conforms to Christ, our love for Him deepens, and our theology becomes biblical.
Follow Reagan on Twitter! @thereaganscott