We’ve probably all heard it before. The argument goes something like this…”Galatians 3:28 teaches that in Christ, there is neither male nor female, for we are all ‘one in Christ.’ Since that’s the case, any attempt to restrict the role of women in the church on the basis of her gender is unscriptural.”
I have found that many who make this argument are unaware that this is not the first time this line of argument is made in Scripture. Maybe by examining the other place in Scripture where this reasoning was used, we can see its shortcomings.
In Numbers 16, Korah, Dathan, Abriam, and On rose up against Moses. Consider the situation:
- Their complaint? “You take too much upon yourselves” (Numbers 16:3). In other words, they said, “It’s not fair that you get to do the things you do and we don’t.”
- Their reasoning? “For all the congregation is holy, every one of them” (Numbers 16:3). Or in other words, “Since we’re all holy and the Lord is with us all, we all ought to be able to do what you’re doing.”
Moses’ response was two-fold…
- He exposed their inconsistency. Korah, being a Levite had the privilege to serve God in ways that others were not allowed (Numbers 16:9-10). In other words, while they didn’t want Moses to have special responsibilities which excluded them, they were fine with having special responsibilities as priests that excluded others.
- He called upon God to settle the argument (Numbers 16:28-33). As as you recall, God demonstrated his defense of Moses by having the earth “swallow up” these rebellious men.
But what does this have to do with “Gender Justice” (as it is called) in the church today? Everything! Don’t you see? It’s the same argument. The very same argument that Korah used in his complaint against Moses is what is being used by those who are calling for “Gender Justice” in the church today.
In Moses’ day, Korah argued that he and all Israel had the right to do what Moses did because he and all Israel were holy and the Lord was among them. Today, we hear people complaining against gender-based role distinctions in the church, and their argument is the same. They are arguing that since we are all “one in Christ,” or since we are all holy children of God and heirs of Abraham (Galatians 3:28), we should all be allowed to do the same thing. Don’t you see it? It’s the same invalid argument used by Korah in his rebellion!
Friends, Korah was right in stating that all of God’s people were holy, but it did not follow that all of God’s people could therefore then perform the same roles. Likewise, it is true that women share equal worth and value as men in the eyes of God, but it does not therefore follow that they may perform the same role as men in the church.
Don’t be deceived by this old, worn out argument made by Korah, and now being made by some of our brethren today. It was flawed in the days of Moses, and it is still flawed today.