Gilbert Bilezikian is a “cofounder, together with Bill Hybels, of Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Ill., “one of America’s most important churches.” Christianity Today has called him “the man behind the megachurch”. … without Gilbert Bilezikian, “There would be no Willow Creek—no small groups, no women in leadership, no passion for service” (Wikipedia).
He is also known for his book: Beyond Sex Roles: What the Bible Says about a Woman’s Place in Church and Family. It went through at least three editions. He claimed in it to have a conservative view of Scripture, upholding its authority, but completely leveled the Scriptural nuance between gender roles in the name of “equality.” Bilezikian claimed in his book that 1 Cor 14, dealing with woman’s role in the public service, is sarcastic and therefore need not be applied today.
What is interesting about Bilezikian is that he did not attack the Scriptures, or their authority, directly, but played the part of a conservative Christian, while twisting the Bible mightily to make it align with the world’s view of feminism. “Any teaching that inserts an authority structure between Adam and Eve is to be firmly rejected since it is not founded on the biblical text” (41, 2nd ed.). In this thinking he goes through all the significant passages, reinterpreting them in the modern, feminist light: “whenever possible and while remaining mindful of the cultural constraints of the day, Jesus gave women special opportunities to play a primary role in the main events of His redemptive ministry” (97). His agenda overrides what Scripture actually says.
In the key proof passages, “head” is reinterpreted as source, meaning just “derivation,” not authority (135). “Head” has always has been understood as meaning authority until modern times. So female leadership of churches is ok with Bilezikian, as long as she do not “take pride in her representational advantage in worship” (144). In 1 cor 11, he misuses mutual submission under Christ, to make Paul rail against “the misogynist faction” of Corinth (152). This, he admits, is all in the service of helping women to lead in the church. But Bilezikian cannot comprehend that good order, which includes distinctive roles and functions here on earth—not heaven—supports the Gospel of the Creator who made us, not to mention families and society. Without order to sex roles, there is sexual immorality. Bilezikian’s own life is now proof of his error. –ed.