A Bizarre Snapshot of British Evangelicalism

The Evangelical Alliance surveyed 1800 “evangelicals” in the UK.

The survey found that biblical truth is vital to evangelical Christians, with 99 per cent agreeing that a church should faithfully teach the Bible as the true word of God.

If the “Bible is the true Word of God,” these evangelicals would accept this:

I Timothy 2:12

But I suffer (permit) not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.

If the Bible is true, that verse must be true.  Women aren’t to be teaching or in authority over men in the church.  So whence this?

Nearly three-quarters (73%) of respondents agreed women should hold senior positions in the church, with 80% agreeing women should preach or teach. 

Which is it?  Is the Bible true, or should women have senior positions, preach, and teach?  You can’t have it both ways….

99% want a church that faithfully teaches the Bible, but most aren’t getting that teaching, or they would know what it says.  “Evangelical” churches have adopted political correctness, watering down any Scriptures which make it uncomfortable to fit in with a godless society.   Many evangelicals give lip service to Biblical truth but seem to have no clue how far their thinking has drifted from the Scriptures.

Anyone who really believes it is God’s Word, and is true, should take responsibility to learn what it says.  British evangelicals need to start reading and studying God’s Word, and be alert to the pervasive political correctness in “evangelical” churches in the UK.


About Jon Gleason

Former Pastor of Free Baptist Church of Glenrothes
This entry was posted in The Christian and Culture, Thoughts on the News and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to A Bizarre Snapshot of British Evangelicalism

  1. David Caylor says:

    I agree with your basic premise, but is this particular verse necessarily prescriptive? One could accept that it is true that Paul did not allow women to teach without feeling constrained to do likewise, at least as far as this particular passage is concerned.

    • Jon Gleason says:

      Hello, David, thanks for the comment.

      In general, we take things at face value unless the context tells us otherwise. In this case the context supports the plain meaning. The restriction is rooted in the created order, and in the fact that women can be more vulnerable to deception. That is obviously not true of every woman, but it is a warning we see elsewhere in Scripture as well.

      The context doesn’t stop at the chapter break. This is a lead-in to qualifications for the bishop/elder. He is a man (3:1). He is to be one who rules well his own home. This is the responsibility of the husband/father, not the wife. The pronouns are all male in this passage of qualifications.

      Furthermore, most of the earliest church was Jewish. They understood that the priests, the Sanhedrin, and the elders / teachers in the synagogues were all male. Nowhere do we see them being taught to change that. The term “elder” is used as if everyone already knew what it meant, without any clarification of “Oh, by the way, that includes women now.”

      This passage and others have been understood throughout history to prohibit women teaching men in the church. The Pentecostal movement began to go against that in the last 100 years, but I’d guess it is really only in the last 30-40 years that a significant number of evangelicals have “moved with the times.” It seems strange to think that Christians were completely wrong for all those centuries, but that is what the modern movement requires us to believe.

  2. Helen says:

    And I’ve met 60 year old, “mature Christian” housegroup leaders (incl.women) who say “What’s wrong with Joel Osteen/Joyce Mayer?”
    A bizarre snapshop of British Evangelicalism indeed!

    • Jon Gleason says:

      Hello, Helen. People don’t know the Scriptures, and they haven’t been taught to be on guard for false teachers. British evangelicals mostly followed John Stott, contra Martyn Lloyd Jones, in his view that evangelicals should not separate from apostates, back in the late 60s. The result is that many effectively adopted the idea that it really doesn’t matter whether someone is false or not, if they say the right things when you are together (or at least don’t say the wrong things).

      A friend of mine preached in a Congregational church some 14 years ago. He mentioned in passing that the Archbishop of Canterbury had hosted Muslims, shamans, and Buddhists at the Cathedral, and he called it an “abomination.” The entire church was scandalised. People say they care about truth, and they probably do to some extent, but they don’t care enough to reject false teachers and see just how evil false teaching is.

      It’s very sad. The result is that often those who ARE serious about the Word struggle to find a church that is even close to being faithful. How we need a moving of the Spirit in this country!

  3. Great post Brother. I have been wanting to say something like this for a while.
    God bless you Jon.

  4. Amen Jon. It seems there are many who want to give ‘lip service’, they claim to be Christians, and yet the word of God is NOT their final authority. Cherry picking verses is common. You can be a Christian, and when you come upon a verse that addresses something in particular that you do not agree with, just pluck it out, or twist it until if fits your ‘view’. How serious does God take His word? How serious should we take it? Apparently these questions are not pondered by many. America is also in dire need of a moving of God the Spirit, this nation is nothing but a shell of Christianity, a mirage. Oh that the Lord would send revival; however, it is looking like judgment is what we will get instead. America is already under judgment, the wrath of abandonment is painstakingly obvious. May our God have great mercy on the souls of men.

    Blessings to you brother, and to Dale and Helen

    Come quickly Lord Jesus!

    • Jon Gleason says:

      Thank you, Lyn. It’s a good thing our God is more faithful than those who weakly try to follow Him, isn’t it? His work will never truly be thwarted.

  5. They ignore that verse because they rationalize it away in various “clever” explanations.

    I have noticed from personal observation, as well as studying the history of the Church, that whenever women are in leadership, the assembly becomes emotion-driven and then begins to preach the social gospel, sanction homosexuality, abortion, and every other leftist ideology. Along with that, they decide Genesis is mostly myths with no literal Adam & Eve, evolutionism replacing creation, Noah just a story, etc.

    Since that has been the observation of the norm with women in charge, is it any wonder why Paul forbade it?

    • Jon Gleason says:

      Glenn, these are all just symptoms of unbelief / rebellion against God’s revealed Word, aren’t they? Unbiblical leadership creates opportunities for rebellion to manifest itself in even more ways, as you’ve observed. I don’t think women in leadership is the cause, it is just a symptom of rebellion which also removes a restraint against further rebellion.

      Sadly, I suspect many evangelicals in Britain do not rationalise it — they may not even know it is there, because they aren’t taught the Word nor challenged to read it. The condition in churches on this side of the water is far more desperate than many on your side know. Even former stalwarts like the Free Church of Scotland are showing troubling signs of drift, sloppy thinking and sloppy practice (I may write on that soon).

    • “I have noticed from personal observation, as well as studying the history of the Church, that whenever women are in leadership, the assembly becomes emotion-driven and then begins to preach the social gospel, sanction homosexuality, abortion, and every other leftist ideology. Along with that, they decide Genesis is mostly myths with no literal Adam & Eve, evolutionism replacing creation, Noah just a story, etc.”

      Not my experience at all… not at all….

      • Jon Gleason says:

        Hello, Angus. Perhaps Glenn used too broad a brush, but all too frequently that has been the case. I actually think the things he described flow out of a church that has abandoned doctrine and obedience, rather than out of women in leadership. They are symptoms. But so also is putting a woman into a pastoral role.

        The Biblical qualifications are quite clear. Women can serve in many ways, but God intended men to lead His church.

  6. ukfred says:

    Worshipping in a Methodist Church, we have a more than fair share of female ministers and local preachers. It is one of those, the wife of an ordained minister, who openly boasted at a church social event just after Easter that she does not submit to her husband. I am still waiting for her response to the question, “Which other parts of Scripture do you disregard. I must admit to ‘losing my cool’ when she started trying to say that Scripture had to be interpreted with reason (a point with which I agree) and then went on to say that “The Bible is not the be all and end all of Christianity”. Comments about blind, leading and partially-sighted come to mind. Then again, that may be why this woman thinks that I put too much emphasis on the Bible-study house-groups. Perhaps the fact that he was present, heard this, and did not correct his wife shows that biblical marriage is dead for some churches,

  7. Brian says:

    The authority of the Scriptures has always been a sticking point. So many want to limit the authority to just the “cardinal doctrines” of the Scriptures and leave the rest to personal “interpretation” which leads to the “Judges Syndrome”–everyone did that which was right in their own eyes. “Personal beliefs” must be “Biblical beliefs,” anything else is foolishness.
    Thanks for the article, Jon.

    • Jon Gleason says:

      Brian, thanks for the reference to Judges. You know, I’ve never heard anyone preach on the last few chapters? I did recently. Most people find it depressing. I found it encouraging, because despite the horrible mess of God’s people, Ruth happened in that time, and I Samuel was coming! Good to remember when we look around us today.

  8. Pingback: The Christian and the local church fellowship | UK Fred

  9. Andrew says:

    You may find this interesting ukfred. A Methodist Rev uses Mothers day to promote homsexuality, feminize God, enocourage goddess/queen of heaven worship and preach a new age pagan “mother earth” message amongst other things. http://www.themint.org.uk/z232.htm

    • Jon Gleason says:

      You know, Andrew, I wouldn’t normally want a link to such blasphemy on my blog, but that would pass as “evangelical” and many so-called evangelicals wouldn’t even see anything wrong with a lot of it. Thank you for demonstrating anew how far the Methodist church has slipped.

    • ukfred says:

      Hello Andrew.

      Sorry for the lateness of the reply. I would like to have an e-mail conversation with you and I would like to ask Jon to let you have my e-mail address, rather than hi-jack his blog.

  10. Andrew says:

    I can understand that Jon, i only posted the link because the blasphemy was so overwhelming and offenisive it could be considered as educational. I can see a lot of new age pagan influence in the church and that is one of the best examples i have seen.

  11. Darren says:

    You mention a problem not unique to GB. In my part of Vancouver, BC, I am the unusual one for holding the same position as you. Evangelicalism has long departed from a practical belief in inerrancy.

    • Jon Gleason says:

      Darren, I suspect it is everywhere. I wasn’t overly surprised to find some. I wouldn’t have been surprised to find some who called themselves evangelicals who don’t believe the Bible is completely true.

      What surprised me was that the percentage was so overwhelmingly high among those who affirmed the truth of the Bible. It’s as if they don’t even know what it says….

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