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Bernice Menold's Testimony


I was born and raised in a very strict traditional church whose origin was from Germany.  It was started by a Catholic priest in the early 1800's who became enlightened and awakened by reading the scriptures.  He stood solidly upon the Lord Jesus and His shed blood for salvation and suffered much persecution for witnessing the word of truth.  Over the years, this church fell into carnal teaching, putting their trust in their works and laws rather than the Lord Jesus Christ, our sacrifice for sins.  (John 1:29 "Behold the Lamb of God which takes away the sins of the world.")  The Spirit of God always moves with the Word of God, all of it, not just a part of scriptures, teaching us to prove every spirit. 

While I was still in the church, women were commanded to wear their hair parted in the middle and rolled up and to wear a black lacey veil over their heads while in church.  They also were not allowed to pray out loud or to have any spiritual leadership whatsoever.  I believe this traditional doctrine not only cuts off women from the power of Christ in the church but also from men who believe it.  I believe it is a sign of condemnation.  ("There is now no condemnation to them in Christ Jesus who walk not after the flesh but after the Sprit," Romans 8:1.)

The denomination teaches repentance and penance for your sins.  They discourage personal Bible study and insist you get all your spiritual guidance from their pulpit and stress having peace with God.  This gave me peace with the church but NOT WITH GOD!  I learned you do not get peace with God until you trust solely in the Lord Jesus Christ and His shed blood for salvation.

In this church, a faithful witness directed my husband and I and many others to the scriptures, pointing out the fact that there is no forgiveness of sins without the shedding of blood.  Jesus is our lamb sacrifice!  This renegade group began a Bible study in this church and was accused of being a church within a church.  There was some truth to that but so was this same accusation leveled at the New Testament church.

Paul summed up his teaching on hair and covering in Corinth in these words:  "We have no such custom..."  Neither do the churches of God.  I no longer wear the veil.  Read! Corinthians 11:15 & 16.

After this experience, my husband and I and two little daughters left that church and began to worship in a Bible church.  The minister was from a well-known German- background church, which he also left--a church similar to our former church.  He was a good Bible teacher but clung to the tradition of head covering and submission to such an extent that after a time I discerned it was rebellion and hate against women for some reason.  He used words such as, "Women are not important, they are nothing.  They don't count and are inferior.  Women are to be subject, obedient and submissive."  Over and over in the years we went there.  Paul and Peter both say, "All of you are to be subject to one another."   (Ephesians 5:21; 1 Peter 5:5)  the words "subject" and "submissive" are the same Greek word, meant for the church as a whole and not directed to wives alone.  Abraham was told by God to be obedient to Sarah's voice when she wanted Ishmael and Hagar to be sent away.  (Genesis 21:12)

On one occasion, this pastor made a woman stand up and apologize to the church for having a baby out of wedlock.  On another occasion, he told a man who had come to him and confessed that he had committed adultery and was fearful his wife would leave him if she found out.  The minister told him he did not have to tell her because he had committed sin against God only.  But adultery is against her according to Mark 10:11.  I doubt if this man ever quit his adulterous life.

After a few years of this inaccuracy, I was greatly depressed and lost faith in the church.  I quit going to church for 10 years and put all my trust in Jesus and the Bible only.  During this time, I intensely studied the Bible with Strong's Concordance.  I learned through these years that many churches were in rebellion regarding the place of women in the church, especially the big denomination in the south.  Seldom ever is Genesis 3:15 quoted completely.  God said, "I will be enmity between the woman and the serpent..." as well as between her seed and the seed of the serpent.  There is something final in this prophecy.  Read it!

While this was a spiritual trial by fire, I am now thankful for it.  John 8:36, "If the Son, therefore, shall make you free, you shall be free indeed."   

How We Began Publishing God's Word to Women

My friend Cosette Jolliff and I became involved in re-publishing God's Word to Women because of a mutual concern about the limited involvement and opportunities of women in the church because of their sex.  The book has such sweeping repercussions because it spills over into many areas of women's lives.

I gave Cosette a small book, The Magna Carta of Women by Jesse Penn-Lewis.  It is a synopsis of God's Word to Women by Katharine C. Bushnell.  I had been trying to find a copy of this book but found it had been out of print for many years.  When I finally called the Library of Congress and obtained a photocopy at considerable expense,  it was all we had hoped it would be.  We talked about re-publishing the book but had no idea how to go about it.  During this time, Cosette happened to watch a local talk show and became interested in what the young woman being interviewed was saying.  She had written a book, I'm Not a Women's Libber But.  She was from Dunlap, only a few miles away.  Cosette called her the next day.  During the conversation, she said she had a book, God's Word to Women, that had been re-published by Ray Munson, an Assembly of God pastor from New York. 

After several phone calls and letters, Ray was happy to combine our initial order of some 1,000 or so books from his printer.  When that supply was exhausted, we made arrangements with a printer close to us in Illinois.  We were on our way!

Why Bushnell Wrote God's Word to Women

While Bushnell was on mission work in China, she encountered a sex-biased Chinese translation of a passage in the Bible.  When she questioned a male missionary, he told her that probably it was worded that way because of pagan prejudice against the ministry of women. 

 Katharine was shocked.  It had never before entered her mind that such a thing could happen.  As she consulted her Greek Testament, .she searched for other signs of prejudice both in the Chinese and the English Bibles that pointed in the same direction.  The prophet Isaiah wrote "So shall My word be that goes forth from my mouth:  it shall not return to me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it."  (Isaiah 55:11)

God's Word to Women proves the truth of this scripture.  God's word in its original intent will not return to Him void, but the original intent of what He said and wanted to accomplish will indeed prosper and achieve His desired result.  It really does matter how much man has tried to mistranslate and misinterpret His word in its original intent.   William Cullen Bryant said it this way: "Truth crushed to earth, shall rise again."

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