"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

Are the Sisters Free to Function? by Jon Zens

The copyrighted article below is written by reformed Baptist pastor and author Jon Zens and copied here, with permission, for your edification and comment. Read it carefully. Notice the author's love for Scripture's authority, sufficiency and veracity. Pay close attention to the author's refusal to place tradition or the opinions of fourth century church fathers above sola Scriptura. I believe we Southern Baptists need to be very, very careful before labeling anyone with differing views of women as 'liberal,' 'heretics,' or even 'moderates.' It is possible for conservative evangelicals to disagree on this subject, as it is other subjects, but we should be careful that it does not divide our evangelical missions and ministry cooperation. Jon closes his article with this sentiment: "May we have grace and humility to search the Scriptures together in order to see what is indeed really so." Amen. I predict this little article will become a classic on the subject.
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Are the Sisters Free to Function?
An Exploration of Paul’s Concerns in 1 Timothy 2:11-15
Jon Zens



In the history of the church 1 Timothy 2:12 has been used unrelentingly as a proof-text to swiftly and decisively squelch the ministry of women in fellowships. In 1987, the assembly Nancy Sehested pastored was put out of the Memphis Association of Southern Baptist Churches, and 1 Tim.2:12 was used as a key part of the basis for this decision. In 2006 Sheri Klouda was let go from Southwestern Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, Texas. She taught Hebrew at the seminary, but – based on 1 Tim.2:12 – it was concluded that women should not be “teaching men.”

An honest examination of the evidence will reveal that the traditional use of 1 Tim.2:12 to silence female believers is without warrant; as a result untold harm has been done to the health of Christ’s body on earth. Everyone admits that 1 Tim.2:11-15 is attended with difficulties at every level – contextual, cultural, linguistical, grammatical and conceptual. Nevertheless, for those who truly desire light from God’s Word, enough clarity can be uncovered to show the key fallacious assumptions and to expose the prejudices that lie behind the traditional understanding of 1 Tim.2:12. It truly has been used to abuse half the priesthood of believers. There is no excuse for Bible teachers and church leaders to continue their misguided application of this passage.

How Does the New Testament As A Whole View Women?

Before coming to 1 Tim.2:12, which is often seen as a restrictive text regarding females, it is imperative for us to review the overwhelmingly positive picture of Abraham’s daughters painted in the New Testament (Luke 13:16). This information cannot be dismissed or forgotten when reflecting on two passages, 1 Cor.14:34-35 and 1 Tim.2:12, that mention concerns about some sisters.

**Neither the Gospel narratives nor the recorded words of Jesus ever put restrictions on the ministry of women.

**Jesus fully accepted women as his disciples and they accompanied him in his travels with the male disciples (Luke 8:1-3). These women also supported the mission of Jesus with their own resources. These facts may be much more significant that it initially appears. In the first century it was unheard of for a Jewish rabbi to have female followers. Luke reports this rather matter-of-factly, yet this band of women, men and Jesus was hardly kosher to the curious onlookers as they went from city to village.

**After Simeon took the baby Jesus in his arms and saw God’s salvation, Anna the prophetess “gave thanks to God and spoke of him [Jesus] to all the ones expecting redemption in Jerusalem” (Luke 2:25-38). Anna did not just proclaim Christ to women, but to “all.”

**Jesus applauded the evangelistic efforts of the Samaritan woman (John 4:35-38). After experiencing a revelation of Jesus, she left her jar at the well and went to her city telling men, women and children about the Messiah (John 4:28-29). Everyone in Sychar knew about her history of broken relationships, yet she boldly proclaimed Jesus as the Messiah – a Redeemer even for those outside of Judaism!

**In the context of Jesus’ crucifixion the male disciples fled, yet the women were present and they helped in his burial (Matt.27:55-56,61; Mark 15:40-41; Luke 23:55-56; John 19:25-27).

**A woman’s testimony was disallowed as evidence in first century courts. Yet the Lord chose females to be the first witnesses and proclaimers of his resurrection (John 20:1-2, 11-18; Luke 24:1-11, 22-24; Mark 16:1-8; Matt.28:1-11).

**After Christ’s ascension, 120 men and women prayed together and chose a replacement for Judas Iscariot (Acts 1:14-15).

**The Spirit came upon the 120 disciples and they spoke the wonderful works of God in many foreign languages (Acts 2:1-4).

**Some thought that what was occurring on the Day of Pentecost was evidence of too much wine, but Peter insisted that it was a fulfillment of what Joel prophesied would come to pass – “your sons and daughters will prophesy….I will pour out my Spirit on my male and female slaves and they will prophesy” (Acts 2:17-18). There is no suggestion that males may prophesy freely, but that females are restricted in some ways.

**Philip the evangelist had four virgin daughters who prophesied (Acts 21:9). We would not be wrong in assuming that there were many other sisters who had this gift, not just Philip’s offspring.

**Paul entrusted his letter to the Romans to Phoebe, and she delivered it. She was a deacon in the assembly at Cenchrea and Paul had the highest regard for her (Rom.16:1-2). Paul recognized her as a prostatis, which carried with it the idea of leadership (cf. 1 Thess.5:12).

**Paul designated Priscilla and Aquila as his “co-workers” (Rom.16:3). The same word is used with reference to people like Timothy and Titus.

**Junia and Andronicus (wife/husband or sister/brother) were greeted by Paul as “outstanding among the apostles” (Rom.16:7). They were his relatives and had been in prison with him. There were people called “apostles” who were not among the Twelve, like Barnabas. Junia was also among such apostolic workers. There is no reason to think that she was the only such female apostle.

**Among all the people Paul greeted in Romans 16, ten were sisters among whom were “Tryphena and Tryphosa [who may have been twins], women who work hard for the Lord” (Rom.16:12).

**In line with Acts 2:17-18, Paul encouraged brothers and sisters to prophesy in the gatherings (1 Cor.11:4-5; 14:23-24).

**The open meeting Paul described in 1 Cor.14 envisioned all the men and women – “the whole assembly” – “each one of you” – “you may all prophesy one by one” – functioning together in an encouraging manner.

**Gal.3:28 indicated that “in Christ” human distinctions, like male and female, are no longer norms of judgment in the congregation. In the first century, prejudices abounded in folks’ minds when certain people like “Gentile,” “Jew,” “slave,” and “woman” were mentioned. Paul stated that in the body of Christ this should not be the case.

**Women were prominent in the assembly at Philippi, beginning with Lydia’s home. In Phil.4:3 Paul asked for two sisters – who must have had no small spiritual influence in the body – to be at peace with one another. He called Euodia and Syntyche “co-workers” and “co-strugglers” in the gospel.

**2 John is addressed to “the elect lady and her children.” This probably referred to a respected sister in whose home the saints gathered. She had apparently exerted significant spiritual influence upon a number of people. Women’s homes were mentioned as meeting places for the brethren in Rom.16:5, 1 Cor.1:11, 16:9 and Col.4:15.

**In Rev.2:20-24 Christ rebuked the Thyatiran congregation for allowing a false prophetess, nicknamed “Jezebel,” to “teach” some of the Lord’s servants to sin grievously. If it was such a crime for a woman to teach the brethren, why didn’t the Lord just condemn the assembly for even allowing a woman to instruct others? This incident in Thyatira implies that the assembly permitted other male and female prophets to teach the truth. Christ’s bone to pick with them wasn’t that a woman taught, but that what she taught was false teaching. We will come back to this passage in the course of our investigation of 1 Tim.2:12.

This survey of New Testament highlights concerning women is important because it reveals the freedom of the sisters to function in the kingdom. In the general flow of the New Testament there are no jitters about “restrictions” upon Christ’s daughters. Such a survey should also serve as a corrective to those who squelch and intimidate the sisters by using their interpretation of two passages – 1 Cor.14:34-35 and 1 Tim.2:12 – to cancel out the ministry of sisters unfolded in other Scriptures.

“Pastorals”?

Before coming to our passage in 1 Timothy, it is vital to note that the tradition of designating 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus as “Pastoral Epistles” is very misleading. One writer calls Timothy a “young pastor” (Kuske). Timothy and Titus were not resident pastors/elders. They were itinerant apostolic assistants. Paul at one point tells Timothy to “do the work of an evangelist” (2 Tim.4:5). In these three letters Paul gave his co-workers instructions regarding issues and problems faced by the assemblies they moved among and assisted.

Why Was 1 Timothy Written?

The purpose of 1 Timothy is stated by Paul in 1:3-4 – “As I urged you upon my departure to Macedonia, remain on at Ephesus, in order that you may instruct certain persons to neither teach differently, nor to pay attention to myths and unending genealogies, which stir up questions rather than furthering the stewardship of God in faith.” “The key to understanding the letter,” Gordon Fee notes, “lies in taking seriously that Paul’s stated reason in 1:3 for leaving Timothy in Ephesus is the real one; namely, that he has been left there to combat some false teachers, whose asceticism and speculative nonsense based on the law are engendering strife, causing many to capitulate to the false teaching” (Gospel & Spirit, p.54).

1 Timothy is not a church manual for a pastor. It is a mandate for an apostolic assistant to deal with serious issues involving false teaching in Ephesus. Unfortunately, some women had become involved in this problem.

The Immediate Context of 1 Timothy 2:11-15

In terms of the basic structure Paul used in this section (2:1-15), we can note the following (I have tried to follow the Greek closely in translating the verses in 1 Tim.2:1-15):

-- “I exhort [the whole assembly to pray]…to the end that we might live a peaceful and quiet life” (vv.1-2).

-- “I will that the males [plural] pray…” (v.8).

-- “Similarly [I will that] the women [plural] (pray) in proper clothing…” (v.9).

-- “Let the woman [singular] learn in quietness…” (v.11).

-- “But I am not now permitting a woman [singular] to teach with the goal of dominating a man [singular], but to be in quietness” (v.12).

-- “For Adam [singular] was first formed, then Eve [singular]” (v.13).

-- “But she [singular] will be delivered through childbearing if they [plural] remain in faith” (v.15).

The same Greek word, hesuchia (quietness), is used in verse 2 with reference to all believers leading a quiet life, in verse 11 with reference to a woman learning in quietness, and in verse 12 with reference to a woman being in quietness. The word simply does not mean “silent.” Verse 2 obviously does not envision us leading a “silent” life, but rather a life in which we are not known as rabble-rousers. Thus, any Bible version that has the woman in “silence” (2:11-12) reveals some level of bias, is a very inaccurate translation and leaves an impression upon the mind that is not from the Lord.

Apparently this congregation in Ephesus was riddled with false teaching and there was some level of disorder going on. One can appreciate, then, why Paul would emphasize prayer among the brethren and then elaborate on the world-wide salvation purpose of God in Christ (vv.3-7).

The implicit contrast between prayers in Christian assemblies and those in Jewish synagogues must be underscored. Jews in the first century were under Roman rule. Their synagogue prayers focused on the destruction of their Gentile enemies, not their salvation. Paul, on the other hand, exhorts the assembly to intercede on behalf of those in civil power and for the salvation of people all over the world.

Key Observations On 1 Timothy 2:11-15

Truly, I am a debtor to all the hard work others (listed in the “Suggested Sources”) have done in trying to understand these verses. Along with some possible insights that I have come to see, in most cases I am just calling attention to some foundational points that they have unearthed through diligent research. I’m going to structure my comments by contrasting the traditional view with some correctives that seem warranted.

I appeal to you to follow my presentation with an open heart and a willingness to consider the evidence unfolded. There are many assumptions and layers of tradition that must be carefully evaluated. As John R.W. Stott has said, “To me the essence of being a radical is being willing to subject one’s inherited traditions and conventions to biblical scrutiny” (Evangelical Newsletter, April 30, 1982, p.3). “It may be that much of what we call Christian, “ notes Bill White, “would have to be thrown out in the light of Biblical re-education . . . . Let’s approach Scripture with an open mind and heart and discover what God has called us to in the way of re-education and renewal” (Searching Together, Spring, 1983, p.32), Let’s face it – we all struggle to let go of old things learned in order to give way to new things unveiled..

1 Tim.2:11 – “Let a woman learn in quietness in all submission”

Traditional View: The word hesuchia has been taken to mean “silence,” meaning that women are not to speak in assembly meetings. “All submission” is taken to mean that females are to be passive receivers, not active participants.

Correctives:

**Hesuchia means “quietness,” not “silence.” Further, in 1 Tim.2:2 the stated goal is for all believers to live a “quiet” life. In 1 Thess.4:11 Paul instructs all the brethren, “strive eagerly to be quiet, to do your own business and work with your own hands.” The apostle tells those believers who are not working “to work with quietness and to eat their own bread” (2 Thess.3:12).

**Since “quietness” is to be a quality of all the saints, if Paul mentions that a woman needs to learn in quietness, wouldn’t that imply some special circumstance that required this instruction? Is it not clear from the context that the males needed a dose of quietness too, as they were manifesting “wrath” among themselves (v.8)?

**The fact that hesuchia does not mean “silence” illustrates the careless use of Scripture by those who with full confidence and dogmatism cite 1 Tim.2:12 as an end to further discussion. Let’s look at two examples of such misuse, one by a “clergy” person and another by a “lay” person.

#1 In 1970 British Reformed theologian Donald MacLeod pontificated, “[In 1 Tim.2:11-14] the woman is explicitly forbidden to aspire to the offices of teaching and ruling. She is to be submissive; she is to be a learner; she is to be silent. Paul does not qualify this last injunction in any way . . . . The injunction to silence, then, is comprehensive. Women are not to teach nor to rule nor to lead the public prayers of the congregation” (“The Place of Women in the Church,” Banner of Truth, #81, June, 1970, p.3). His intimidating remarks are premised on the mistaken assumption that hesuchia means “silence.” Everything he says is built on a false foundation. Being knowledgeable of Greek he should have known better, but he gives no evidence of caring what hesuchia really meant in verses 2, 11 and 12. The incorrect translation of the verses suited his agenda, so he squeezed it for all it is worth.

#2 In a letter to an editor, “Brother Richard” was upset at “Liberals” for pointing out the mention of a female apostle in Romans 16:7 and lashed out with what he felt were the final words on the matter: “These liberals obviously do not accept the Reformation proclamation ‘Scripture alone,’ long a basic tenet of the Lutheran faith. You do not have to strain your brain to understand 1 Timothy 2:12 which states unequivocally, ‘I do not permit a woman to teach or have authority over a man; she must be silent.’ Delete this or any other sentence out of the Bible and you are now free to say or do anything you wish. ‘Sola Scriptura!’” (Christian News, March 26, 2007, p.19). You can see how such dogmatism is based on (a) a faulty translation of verses 11 and 12 and (b) hearing Bible teachers like MacLeod perpetuate a false understanding of these verses to those in church audiences.

Isn’t quoting a Scripture like this similar to how the cults take a verse out of context and build false teaching on it? Some cults will assert that Christ is only human with a verse like “the Father is greater than I [Jesus]” and totally disregard many other contexts that confirm his deity. Those who focus on 1 Tim.2:12 as a proof-text to shut down female ministry are guilty of using one Scripture to cancel out the clear revelation of their ministry in many other settings. In this case, the misuse of 1 Tim.2:11-12 is aggravated by the fact that they impose “silence” on women when the Greek word, hesuchia, has no such meaning in the first place. Using one Scripture to cancel out the combined impact of many other Scriptures is not a safe way to handle God’s Word.

** “In all submission.” Again, the New Testament clearly teaches that “submission” is to be an attribute of all believers, not just the sisters.

--Rom.13:1,5 -- every person is to be subject to the civil authorities.
--1 Cor.14:32 -- the spirits of the prophets are subject to [under the self-control of] the prophets.
--1 Cor.16:15-16 -- the brethren are to submit to those who lay down their lives for others.
--Eph.5:21 -- all Christians are to mutually submit to one another in the fear of Christ.
--James 4:7 -- we are all to submit to the Lord.
--1 Pet.5:5 -- “all of you, be subject one to another.”

**We must ask, do only women learn in all submission? Do men somehow learn in a different way, without submission? Aren’t “quietness” and “submission” necessary qualities in order for anyone to learn? If this is indeed the case, then are we not warranted to suggest that there must have been a problem with some women, or a woman, which accounts for why Paul would issue this special directive?

** “Let a woman learn [Greek, manthano]…” We must not forget that learning in the early church was not male-driven and pulpit-centered. It was a body experience in which all participated. We have already seen that both men and women are free to prophesy (Acts 2:17-18; 1 Cor.11:3-5). Paul made it crystal clear in 1 Cor.14 that he wanted prophecy from both sexes to be central in the gathering. In 1 Cor.14:31 he directs the saints in this manner: “you may all [males and females] prophesy one by one, so that all [men and women] may learn [manthano] and all may be encouraged.” In the New Testament even singing results in teaching and admonishing (Eph.5:19; Col.3:16).

**Nowhere in the New Testament are sisters forbidden to contribute to the learning process according to their gifts and graces. Thus, the concern Paul expressed in 1 Tim.2:11-12 must have been rooted in problems faced in the Ephesian congregation. Some women, or a woman, were involved in false teaching and needed to be in a learning posture at that time.

**It is noteworthy that from a practical standpoint the traditional “male headship/female submission” notion has been one of the most abused concepts in the flow of church history. In the past and in the present it is very easy for males with controlling spirits to use “male headship” as a “Biblical” justification to keep women under their thumbs.

It cannot be denied that the NT connects certain words with the marriage relationship. But did the NT mean by those words what post-apostolic theologians attached to them? For example, many assume that "male headship" means that the husband has "authority over" the wife, and not a few assume it means that all women are to be subject to all men. In my personal journey I have seen repeatedly the importance of sorting out what the New Testament actually teaches, versus the traditions that have been added on, or the negative influence of baggage that we read into texts.

We apparently assume that "male headship" means "authority over" and connect it with decision-making. But in the first century it was the "heart," not the "head" that was connected with decision-making, and there is much evidence to suggest that "authority over" was generally not connected to the concept of "head" (cf. Laurie Fasullo, “What About the Word Kephale (‘Head’) in the N.T.?”).

Again, many assume that male headship results in the virtual non-expression of the wife's gifts. However, Scripture does not confirm such a lop-sided opinion. Both Huldah and Deborah were functioning prophetesses, but that did not keep them from being godly wives, as their husbands' names are mentioned.

Most people are in ignorance of a vastly significant historical reality. Paul indeed used the words "head" and "submission" with reference to husbands and wives. There is, however, a huge chasm between what Paul had in mind with those words and how they were misappropriated and merged into the "mind-body dualism of classical Greek philosophy" by the early church fathers in order to utterly suppress women in home and church (Joy Bussert, Battered Women, LCA, 1986, p.6). Males were connected with the "mind" (spirituality) and females were connected to the "body" (carnal lust). Thus Origen “taught that women are more closely connected to the flesh than men and thus not as spiritual,” and Augustine “associates women with the evil flesh that must be controlled by the spirit, which he believed was superior in men” (Jann A. Clanton, In Whose Image? God & Gender, Crossroad, 1991, p.41). Thus the "goal of salvation was to free the pure soul from the evil material body" (Bussert, p.7). The state of celibacy became exalted upon the basis of this “Platonic spirituality” which denigrated the body. The most spiritual posture, it was presumed increasingly by the church, was to separate oneself from sexual expression. Translated into daily life this meant, “keep away from women, for they are the gateway into lust and profligacy” (cf. Jereome, Chrysostom & Friends, Elizabeth A. Clark, Edwin Mellen Press, 1982, 254pp.).

Following from this, female sexuality was viewed as "responsible for the Fall of creation and the descent of man's soul into perdition" (Bussert, p.7). Viewing women with disdain as the conduits for sin led of necessity to their subordination to males. "Since femaleness was equated with the inferior body, it followed that woman must naturally live in submission to man in hierarchical fashion, even as the body must be subject to the spirit” (Bussert, p.9).

This degradation of females led not a few theologians to question whether women as entities separate from men were in God's image. Further, since women were seen as "lower beings," husbands were granted the right to correct or chastise their wives. This "gave religious and legal sanction for the absolute control of the 'male mind' over the 'female body,' in the form of physical violence" (Bussert, p.12). Thus a perverted theology led to the church's sanctioning of wife-beating.

The Council of Toledo in 400AD “decreed that [clergy] had the right to beat their wives more severely than ordinary fellows: ‘A husband is bound to chastise his wife moderately, unless he be a [clergy], in which case he may chastise her harder.’ A later passage states that ‘if wives of clergy transgress their [husband’s] commands, they may beat them, keep them bound in their house and force them to fast but not unto death” (Bussert, p.12).

This helps us understand why church leaders were so uncaring when it came to the harsh treatment of women. John Calvin’s letter to the wife of an abusive husband reflects the hardness of heart and utter insensitivity to the plight of women when he replied in part:

We have a special sympathy for women who are evilly and roughly treated by their husbands . . . . We do not find ourselves permitted by the Word of God, however, to advise a woman to leave her husband, except by force of necessity; and we do not find this force to be operative when a husband behaves roughly and uses threats to his wife, not even when he beats her, but only when there is imminent peril to her life . . . . We exhort her to bear with patience the cross which God has seen fit to place upon her; and meanwhile not to deviate from the duty which she has before God to please her husband, but to be faithful whatever happens (cited by Bussert, pp.11-12).

This vile outlook on women was engrained in the theology of the Roman Catholic Church, and is amply documented in Uta Ranke-Heinemann's Eunuchs for the Kingdom of Heaven: Women, Sexuality, & the Catholic Church (Doubleday, 1990,360pp.). It is imperative to keep in mind that the very essence of the assumptions about women in traditional theology are suspect, to say the least. To link Paul's conceptions of "head" and "submission" with what is articulated in Turtullian, Augustine, Jerome and many others about females is a total disconnect. There is no continuity of Paul's teaching with the later Platonic anti-body theology that came to dominate the visible church’s practice.

Such a disconnect is strikingly illustrated when Donald MacLeod simplistically linked the past views of women with New Testament statements. “Until comparatively recently there was virtually unanimous agreement among Christians that women should be excluded from the ordained ministries of the church . . . .The traditional practice of the Church can claim the explicit support of several New Testament passages” (Banner of Truth, 1970, p.1). As we have seen, “the traditional practice of the Church” viewed women as inferior beings – conduits of the devil -- who must be kept in line by a male hierarchy. Physical violence toward women was thus sanctioned by the church. This awful oppression of females was based on Platonic philosophy. Such diminution of women cannot claim the explicit support of any New Testament writings. What the New Testament said about sisters and what post-apostolic theologians said about women are two entirely different worlds. Further, church tradition held that all women must be subject to all men. The New Testament has only the marriage relationship in view which it speaks of “head” and “submission.”

Can we begin to comprehend why most wives (women) in the world cringe when they hear about wifely (female) “submission” from church leadership? Ana Audilia Moreira de Campos in 1979 describes the daily life of rural women in El Salvador. This same basic picture would be duplicated in most places around the world.

Men who earn little or no income have almost nothing to be proud of except their virility. They have few ways to relieve their frustrations, so women often bear the brunt of their discontents. There is absolutely no respect for the human dignity of women. It is common for their husbands and fathers to beat, kick and humiliate them in the most vulgar ways . . . . The majority of men in our rural communities refer to women as “idiots,” “pigs,” “worthless,” “disobedient,” “deceitful,” “disloyal,” “lazy,” “stupid,” and “daughters of whores” . . . . If it suits his mood, any of the above perceived qualities serve as sufficient reason for him to mistreat his wife . . . . From the day she is born, a female is regarded as inferior. The birth of a girl child is a great disappointment . . . . No one celebrates the birth of a girl . . . . The woman’s job never ends. She has to work at least sixteen hours a day to complete her chores . . . . Men, however, think women’s work has little value . . . . Women have become the nation’s beasts of burden, shouldering the basic responsibilities of the family and society in order that men may be free to pursue whatever work and pleasures they desire . . . . The myth of women’s inferiority continues to flourish because of traditional customs and educational biases that have conditioned both sexes to believe the male is superior . . . . This national inferiority has been created and forced by men. Institutionally, it is maintained and reinforced by the school system, the government, the Church, the community and the family (“Challenge of Women’s Liberation,” Cross & Sword: An Eyewitness History of Christianity in Latin America, H. McKennie Goodpasture, Orbis, 1989, pp.264-267).

Notice that last sentence. National female inferiority “is maintained and reinforced by . . .the Church.” How can we be surprised at this in light of the way women were treated in the history of the church? The church has led the way in the putting down of women. What Paul meant by “submission” has nothing to do with the meaning it took on as the Platonic body/soul notions infiltrated Christian theology.

In his The Subversion of Christianity, Jaques Ellul notes that when the church became powerful all that represented weakness or inferiority (physical, social, etc.) was put in second place. Women are the most spectacular instance of this. After a period of independence that came with the spread of Christianity, they were relegated to a lower order . . . .[T]he more feminine liberty was suppressed, the more women were accused (of being the temptress of Genesis, etc.), [and] the more they were reduced to silence (Eerdmans, 1986, pp.33-34; cf. pp.73ff., 90ff.).

This bottom-rung status of women in the post-apostolic age did not emerge because of careful study of Scripture. It came about as a result of the conflation of alien political and philosophical forces. The second-century world of Turtullian was not really any different from most cultures in the 20th-century world – “In our society, men control almost every facet of life. From the government to the Church, from political parties and cooperatives to sports, men run things” (Ana de Campos, p. 266).

Further reflection upon marriage, headship and submission can be found in Patricia Gundry, Heirs Together: Mutual Submission in Marriage (Zondervan, 1980, 192pp.); John C. Howell, Equality & Submission in Marriage (Broadman, 1979, 140pp.); and I. Howard Marshall, “Mutual Love & Submission in Marriage, Col.3:18-19 & Eph.5:21-33,” Discovering Biblical Equality, Pierce & Groothuis, eds. (IVP, 2005), pp.186-204.

1 Tim.2:12 – “But I am not now permitting a woman to teach with the goal of dominating a man, but to be in quietness.”

Traditional View: This verse is taken as an always-binding command by Paul that women are not to teach men, which if done would be a wrongful usurping of male authority. Instead of teaching, women are to be in silence.

Correctives:

**First, it must be pointed out that there is no command (imperative) from Paul in this text. The wording in the King James Version, “I suffer not a woman,” can certainly sound like a command, but it isn’t. Instead, it is a simple present tense, “I am not now permitting a woman….” This could imply a shift in Paul’s strategy because of the problems that existed in Ephesus. Timothy had worked with Paul for years and was not used to hearing restrictions on the sisters from Paul. But now Paul announces, “I am not now permitting a woman….”

**Considering the background of the assembly in Ephesus will be helpful in this regard. Read Acts 18:34-20:1 and you’ll see that Paul spent three years there. This was his longest tenure in any city during his journeys. With this background in mind, we can surmise that during his years in Ephesus – approximately 54-57AD – the sisters were functioning along with the brothers in a fashion similar to the meeting described in 1 Cor.14. It was not Paul’s habit to put restrictions on the sisters. However, things changed when false teaching crept in and some women were involved in the aberrations. As a result, at this time some six years after he left Ephesus (approximately 63AD), Paul must announce to Timothy, “I am not now permitting a woman to teach….”

**After leaving Ephesus, around 58AD Paul came to the island of Miletus (30 miles south of Ephesus) and called for the elders of the Ephesian assembly. In his farewell address to these servants, Paul mentions no concerns about the sisters, but does warn them, “I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from among yourselves people will arise and distort the truth to draw away disciples after them” (Acts 20:29-30). By 63AD this had come to pass, and Timothy was left in Ephesus to combat the confusion created by false teachers and false teaching (1 Tim.1:3-4).

**Paul wrote a letter to the Ephesian assembly around 61AD. This epistle is the pinnacle of Paul’s sublime expression of God’s purpose in Christ and his Body, but there are no concerns expressed about the sisters or any restrictions on them mentioned in his apostolic communication.

**Two infinitives. When Paul says, “I am not now permitting a woman,” he follows with a neither…nor construction involving two infinitives, didaskein (to teach) and authentein (to have one’s way with, to dominate). It must be asked, how are the two infinitives to be correlated? Philip Payne and others suggest that the best fit is that of goal or purpose. In other words, Paul in this Ephesian situation where some women were propagating error does not want them to teach with the purpose or goal of having their way with (or dominating) a man. Payne sees the closest English parallel to how these two infinitives are employed to be our idioms: hit ‘n’ run, eat ‘n’ run, hence, teach ‘n’ dominate – to teach with the goal of dominating (with false teaching). It is this specific type of teaching that Paul is not permitting.

**There is only one use of the verb authenteo in the New Testament and it is the infinitive authentein in 1 Tim.2:12. Traditionally it has been translated as, “nor to usurp authority over the man.” This view assumes that the very act of a woman teaching a man is inherently a wrongful deed that violates male headship. But the Bible nowhere substantiates such a notion.

--Deborah, a Prophetess, Judge and Wife, sat by her palm tree and made judgments as men and women came to her for counsel in applying the Mosaic law to their lives (Judges 2:16-19; 4:1-5:31).

--King Josiah sent a male envoy to the Prophetess and Wife Huldah after the Book of the Law was discovered. She gave them (and ultimately, Israel) the word of the Lord (2 Kings 22:14-20; 2 Chron.34:22-28).

--Further, we know that Priscilla and Aquila explained the way of God more perfectly to Apollos in their home in Ephesus (Acts 18:19-26). The assembly in Ephesus also met in the home of Priscilla and Aquila where we can safely assume she had some edifying things to say.

--When males and females prophesy in a gathering, Paul says that “learning” is one of the outcomes. Thus, brothers and sisters are constantly learning from one another. In this sense, it is clearly not wrong for women to contribute to the “learning” (manthano) of males.

If there is a divine law that women-teaching-men is sinful, then there can be no exceptions. But there is no concern in this regard expressed in Scripture, and there are clearly cases where women taught men. In Romans 12:6-7 where Paul is listing some gifts, he mentions “prophesying” and “teaching.” There are no sexual restrictions here – both men and women can be involved in such activities. There is nothing inherently evil in women-teaching-men, but it is a problem when women teach error, or teach with a view to dominate men. Of course, the same concerns hold true if males teach error or teach with the goal of dominating others!

**But the vital matter that must be reckoned with is that authentein simply does not have the meaning “exercise authority over.” In classical Greek literature before Christ, the word was used to refer to a murderer or to one who contracted for a murder to take place. Linda Belleville observes:

If Paul had wanted to speak of an ordinary exercise of authority, he could have picked any number of words. Within the semantic domain of “exercise authority,” biblical lexicographers J.P. Louw and Eugene Nida have twelve entries, and of “rule” [and] “govern” forty-seven entries. Yet Paul picked none of these. Why not? The obvious reason is that authentein carried a nuance (other than “rule” or “have authority”) that was particularly suited to the Ephesian situation . . . . [Louw and Nida] put authenteo into the semantic domain “to control, restrain, domineer” and define the verb as “to control in a domineering manner”: “I do not allow a woman…to dominate a man” (1 Tim.2:12) . . . . [They] also note that [authentein] is expressed idiomatically as “to shout orders at” . . or “to bark at”. . . . So there is no first century warrant for translating authentein as “to exercise authority” and for understanding Paul in 1 Timothy 2:12 to be speaking of the carrying out of one’s official [teaching] duties. Rather the sense is the Koine [common Greek] “to dominate; to get one’s way.” (“Usurping,” pp.211,216).


**We must remember that our Lord taught us that in his kingdom “authority” – who’s in charge – is to be a non-issue (Matt.20:24-28; 23:11; Mark 9:34; Luke 9:46; 22:24). The idea of one person having dominion over another or others is the essence of all that is antichrist. No one is to be the top-dog, and there are no positions of authority. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard, “women shouldn’t be in positions of authority.” The truth is, neither males nor females are to be in positions of authority! There is no chain-of-command in Christ’s domain. The greatest position is at the bottom of the ladder. Those with the most spiritual influence will live as those with no authority. They will live as slaves and children – who had no status in first century culture. The greatest in Christ’s kingdom lays down his life for others – which is precisely what Jesus did as the servant par excellence.

**In this vein we must rid ourselves of the traditional idea that some kind of inherent authority resides in the position of “teacher” (or, in our day, “preacher”). Christ is the one with all authority in his kingdom, and he oversees his assemblies with his word. Everything that is brought before the brethren is weighed and evaluated in light of the truth as it is in Jesus. Hebrews 5:12 says, “by this time you ought to be teachers, [but] you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again.” Obviously, not every person has the gift of teaching (cf. James 3:1), but all the brothers and sisters can be teachers in some way and contribute to the learning process in the assembly. Again, the New Testament is not against women teaching, but Paul does put the kibosh on a woman teaching with the goal of dominating a man.

**As an aside, it is crucial to note that the only place in the New Testament where the word “authority” is connected to gender is in 1 Cor.7:1-7. Interestingly, in this passage the “authority” (exousia) mentioned has nothing to do with the husband being the boss of the wife. Instead, it is a mutual authority – neither the man nor the woman has “authority” over their own body. The wife has authority over her husband’s body, and the husband has authority over his wife’s body. An implication of this truth is that the two cannot separate from one another physically unless they mutually agree [symphonou, be in symphony] that this should be done. Many take “male headship” to mean that the husband has “the final say.” But how could that be in light of 1 Cor.7:1-7? The husband, Paul teaches here, cannot unilaterally announce, “We are going to be physically separated for awhile.” Such action can only take place if they mutually agree on it. If this is the case in an important issue like physical separation, one would assume that the goal in marital decision-making is for the couple to be one-minded. In light of this passage what “male headship” actually entails needs to be revisited.

1 Timothy 2:13 – “For Adam was formed first, then Eve.”

Traditional view: The creation of Adam before Eve shows that women are subordinate to male headship. Paul refers to the creation order to reinforce why it is wrong for women to teach men.

Correctives:

**There is no evidence in the pre-fall account of Adam and Eve’s creation, or in 1 Tim.2:12, that a wife’s subordination to her husband is in view. The Scripture nowhere teaches that all women must submit to all men. The concepts of “head” and “submit” coupled together apply specifically to the marital relationship (Eph.5:22-24).

**Keep in mind that Eve was already in Adam’s side before her appearance on earth. The name “Adam,” in fact, includes Eve – “When God created Adam, he made him in the likeness of God. He created them male and female and blessed them. And when they were created, he called them ‘Adam’” (Gen.5:1-2). This was a type of Christ and his bride. Just as Adam fell into a deep sleep when his wife came forth from his side, so Christ descended into the sleep of death and when his side was pierced the bride was birthed.

**We tend to think of that which is “first” as being the most important, as being superior, or as having priority. But Paul’s use of “first…then” “does nothing more than define a sequence of events or ideas . . . . This, in fact, is the case throughout Paul’s letters (and the New Testament, for that matter). ‘First-then’ defines a temporal sequence, without implying either ontological or functional priority” (Belleville, “Usurping,” p.222). The animals were created before Adam, but that did not give them “authority over” him! Thirteen verses later Paul says, “let the deacons first be proven, then let them serve…” (1 Tim.3:10). Why Paul would mention Adam being made first is highlighted by noting the female-centered religion in Ephesus.

**Reflecting on the background of the Ephesian assembly will be helpful at this point. The Temple of Artemis was a massive structure and was the focus of religious attention in Ephesus. Her Latin name was Diana. Her temple was then one of the seven wonders of the world. The effects of this woman-centered religion were pervasive. A significant share of the cash flow in this city was connected to the sale of idols and religious objects. Paul and his associates were in Ephesus for three years. It is likely that some of the converts to Christ were women who had been in the cult of Artemis, which included the practice of temple prostitution. Many ladies in Ephesus would be female-centered in their outlook on life. The influence of the gospel reached the point where many believers were confessing their past evil activities and burning their occult books publicly (Acts 19:18-19). A riot almost erupted, but at stake was the honor of the female god – “Artemis is the goddess that everyone in Asia and the whole world worships”….They all shouted the same thing for two hours: “Great is Artemis of Ephesus” (Acts 19:27,34). How does such background material help in our understanding of 1 Tim.2:9-15? At least in the following ways:

--We can see why Paul was concerned about female modesty in v.9. The Artemis influence which included the superiority of women ideology out of which some of the sisters came would contribute to dressing habits that were far from modest.

--This helps us understand why a woman influenced by the feminist Artemis cult could “teach with the goal of dominating a man.”

--We can then appreciate why women under the spell of false teaching would need to learn in quietness.

--“Adam was formed first” has a real punch with Artemis in the background. The Diana-cult taught that Zeus and the Titaness Leto had twins and the female came first – Artemis originated before Apollo.

--We can then understand why Paul would stress that Eve was “deceived.” The Artemis religion glorified women as superior to males. Paul punctured the Artemis balloon in two ways – Adam was made first, not woman; Eve was not superior to man for she was deceived into sinning against God.

--Verse 15 is mysterious indeed, but the Artemis backdrop may provide some light. This helps us understand why Paul would mention help in childbirth through faith in Christ. The women in Ephesus looked to Artemis for help during the childbirth process. “As the mother goddess, Artemis was the source of life, the one who nourished all creatures and the power of fertility in nature. Maidens turned to her as the protector of their virginity, barren women sought her aid, and women in labor turned to her for help” (Belleville, “Usurping,” p.220). “She [singular] will be saved through the childbirth” could also suggest the thought that even though Eve was deceived, God still promised in Gen.3:15 a seed (child) who would crush Satan’s head and bring salvation (cf., Rev.12:4-5).

1 Timothy 2:14 – “And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.”

Traditional view: Verse 14 shows that serious problems arise when women take the lead. Paul does not want women to teach because they are more easily deceived than men. Women are more prone to wander into error. Therefore, the teaching role has been left in the hands of males.

Correctives:

**The idea that women are more prone to error is based on a key faulty assumption – that females are inferior to males when it comes to spiritual discernment. The history of the church – in which women were basically suppressed – illustrates to the hilt that males are very susceptible to conjure up, propagate and fall into error. Most false teaching has originated with and been spread abroad by males.

** “Isn’t Paul using Eve as an example of what can go wrong when women usurp the male’s leadership role? . . . . This view is without scriptural support. Eve was not deceived by the serpent into taking the lead in the male-female relationship. She was deceived into disobeying a command of God, namely, not to eat the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. She listened to the voice of false teaching and was deceived by it” (Belleville, “Usurping,” p.223).

** The notion that females are more capable of being deceived than males is shown to be false by observing that Paul applies the Eve-deceived model to an entire Christian congregation (2 Cor.11:3). The possibility of being deceived is not a problem peculiar to females.

** “The language of deception calls to mind the activities of the false teachers at Ephesus. If the Ephesian women were being encouraged as the superior sex to assume the role of teacher over men, this would go a long way toward explaining 1 Timothy 2:13-14. The relationship between the sexes was not intended to involve female domination and male subordination. But neither was it intended to involve male domination and female subordination. Such thinking is native to a fallen creation order (Gen.3:16)” (Belleville, “Usurping,” p.223). Why would we want to take our cue from the curse-ridden words, “your desire will be your husband, and he will rule over you” (Gen.3:16)? That is a simple description of sin’s implications for the husband/wife relationship. Wouldn’t we want to be informed by the redemptive implications of Christ’s cross and resurrection?

**It is fascinating to take note of the parallels between 1 Tim.2:11-15 and Rev.2:20-24:

Paul – “I am not now permitting a woman….”
Jesus to Thyatira – “You permit the woman….”

Paul – “to teach with the goal of dominating a man….”
Jesus to Thyatira – “she teaches…my servants to commit fornication….”

Paul – “the woman [Eve] being deceived….”
Jesus to Thyatira – “she deceives my servants….”

Paul – “she will be delivered through childbearing if they remain in faith….”
Jesus to Thyatira – “I will cast her [‘Jezebel’] into a bed….and I will kill her children with death.”



As I pointed out earlier regarding Rev.2:20-24, Jesus’ problem is not that a female was teaching, but that she was a false prophetess whose teaching was causing the Lord’s servants to sin. The implication would be that Jesus had no issue with male and female prophets exalting Christ in the assembly. If it was the apostolic custom for sisters to be silent, then one would expect the Head of the assemblies to sternly rebuke such a fundamental violation of décorum by this woman “Jezebel.” Apparently Jesus did not see this as a gender issue, but as a concern for what was taught and the effects the teaching had on the hearers.

The Gospel Applied to Cultural Situations

A major concern uttered by some is that if you don’t see a passage like 1 Tim.2:11-15 as an expression of “eternal truth,” are you not on a slippery slope that leads to truth being relativized? The answer to this concern is a resounding, “No!”

The New Testament letters were written in response to specific problems in various cultures. Steve Atkerson observes, “Everything in the New Testament is called an ‘occasional document.’ There was some occasion, usually a problem, that motivated the author to write the book” (In Search of the Biblical Church, DVD, Timothy Germain, ed., 2007). What is wrong, then in noting that in 1 Tim.2:11-15 Paul brought gospel truth to meet the needs of a concrete situation in Ephesus? Here is a summary of how that truth was applied:

--Usually the sisters and brothers functioned together in the participatory meetings of the assembly. Because of false teaching that had infected some women, Paul announced that some should be learning in quietness, not teaching with the goal of dominating men.

--It is not right for a woman or a man to teach with the goal of dominating others. In Christ’s kingdom no one is to dominate anyone else. “You are all brethren.” No clergy. No laity. No honorific titles. No elevation of some above others. If anything, give honor to the parts least esteemed.

--The mandate to have dominion over the earth was given to both Adam and Eve. They were not to seek dominion over each other, but to carry out their stewardship of the earth as a team. Females are not superior to males as was taught in the Artemis religion of Ephesus.

--Just as Eve had been deceived by Satan’s false teaching in the Garden, so some women in Ephesus had been deceived by the false teaching that was making the rounds.

--Many women in Ephesus looked to the goddess for help and guidance regarding the issues of virginity, fertility and childbirth. Paul directs godly women to look to the Lord Jesus.

The truth is, in most cases we have just bits and pieces of information about what was behind many apostolic statements in the epistles. Often it is hard to know exactly what question was being answered or what problem was being addressed. We are, as it were, hearing one side of a conversation. But such issues do not keep us from either profiting from the New Testament, or discerning the Lord’s mind. The Holy Spirit teaches us the mind of Christ. However, we do have to confess in humility that there is a great deal we will always struggle to properly understand.

There are cultural matters in the New Testament which we have to face. In 1 Cor.11:1-16, for example, you have some gospel perspectives brought to bear upon some cultural issues like headcoverings. Some people conclude that headcoverings are still binding; others see them as a cultural item that we are not required to emulate in our day. 1 Tim.2:8 mentions men praying with uplifted hands. Do we teach that male prayer is invalid unless the hands are lifted up? Would 1 Tim.2:9 lead us to confront a sister who donned some jewelry that contained some pearls or gold? Based on 1 Tim.5:9, would we tell a 57-year old widow in need that we couldn’t help her for three years until her 60th birthday? Why don’t we “greet one another with a holy kiss” (1 Thess.5:26)?

The New Testament was written in the first century and many culturally-rooted issues appear on its pages. Because of this are we to conclude that it is all “cultural” and contains no relevant “truth” for us today? No, rather we affirm that the gospel is brought to bear on many Jewish and Gentile cultural matters that impacted the early Christian assemblies.

As we, being New Covenant believers, approach any topic or concern, the key perspective for us must be, “you have heard him and have been taught in him, just as truth is in Jesus” (Eph.4:21). The fundamental truth about sisters in Christ is that they are free to function. There is no revealed emphasis on universally applicable restrictions to their service in the kingdom.

Conclusion

Evidence has been presented to suggest that the traditional understanding of 1 Tim.2:11-15 rests on some very shaky assumptions, and some fundamental misunderstandings about what Paul actually said. Difficulties found in these texts are often glossed over by those who use them to muzzle female ministry. It is time for honest Bible students to revisit 1 Tim.2:11-15 and to separate reality from fiction. Those who simplistically wave 1 Tim.2:12 as a proof-text to silence women had better be careful that they do not incur the dreaded millstone by hurting Christ’s little ones (Matt.18:6; Mark 9:42; Luke 17:2).

In closing, I believe Cheryl Schatz challenges us with a very astute observation about the need for plural witnesses in order to establish something as sin or as sound teaching. She writes:

The dilemma is that every single sin that is enunciated in scripture is always confirmed by two witnesses. The reason is that there must be at least two or three witnesses for a matter to be established (Deut.17:6, 19:15). Is there any confirmation in scripture that lists women teaching the Bible to men as a sin? No. There is not even one place in scripture that says it is a sin for a woman to teach the Bible to men. The fact that there is no second scripture that charges women with sin by teaching the Bible to men proves that this interpretation cannot be right . . . . Jesus confirmed this rule in Matt.18:16 by expanding its use to the need to have two or three witnesses when one is establishing a fact that would bring a charge against a person . . . . One witness alone is invalid according to the OT law. In John 8:16-18 Jesus himself says that he has the required two or three witnesses to establish the validity of his testimony, thus even Jesus himself submits to the law of two or three witnesses. Paul also places himself under this requirement as he establishes in 2 Cor.13:1, that his third visit to the Corinthians meets the requirement in order to establish a fact. Then in Phil.3:1 Paul tells us why it is so important to have the second and third witness. He says it is a safeguard for the church . . . . So here we are at 1 Tim.2:11-15. Those who say that this prohibits women from teaching the Bible to men are left without a second witness . . . . For those of our brothers in Christ who believe that Paul is commanding something for all women to abstain from or be charged with sin, we simply ask them to prove from scripture the second witness, or withdraw the accusation of sin to women who are part of the body of Christ, but whom God has called to teach the entire body of Christ (Strive to Enter). [1]


Summary

1) 1 Timothy 2:11-15 says nothing about women being “silent.”
2) There is no command (imperative) in 1 Tim.2:12 connected to women not teaching. Paul uses a simple present tense, “I am not now permitting….”
3) The infinitive, authentein, does not mean “to exercise authority over.” The two infinitives, didaskein and authentein, are best correlated together as purpose or goal, thus translated as “I am not now permitting a woman to teach for the purpose of dominating a man.”
4) Some key elements in 1 Tim.2:11-15 are clarified and elucidated by considering the pervasive influence of the Artemis cult in Ephesus: (a) women coming out of a goddess-based religion would need to be reminded concerning modesty in dress; (b) the need for a posture of learning on the part of some women because of the influence of false teaching; (c) because of the female-centeredness of the Artemis religion, it can be appreciated why a woman would teach with the goal of dominating a man; (d) because the Artemis cult believed that males originated from the goddess, it can be understood why Paul would point out that Adam was formed first; (e) because women were viewed as superior in Ephesus, it can be appreciated why Paul would mention that Eve was deceived into sin; (f) while many women looked to Artemis in connection with fertility and childbirth, Paul directs godly women to Christ as the promised Seed who was promised to Eve in Genesis 3:15.
5) When the ekklesia began on the Day of Pentecost the first thing that was mentioned concerned males and females prophesying together. Women and men prophesying are mentioned by Paul in 1 Cor.11:4-5. In 1 Cor.14 Paul wished for prophecy – from the whole assembly – to be central. Thus, to use 1 Tim.2:11-15 as a basis to completely silence the sisters in Christian assemblies is hardly an accurate way to handle Scripture. It uses one context to cancel out the revelation of many others.


May we have grace and humility to search the Scriptures together in order to see what is indeed really so!

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[1] Some suggest that 1 Cor.14:34-35 might be such a second witness. However, the apostle’s flow in 1 Cor.11:1 – 14:33 only supposes the full participation of the sisters. They prophesy along with the men in 1 Cor.11:4-5 (cf., Acts 2:17-18). In 1 Cor.12:7,14 Paul teaches that every part of the body has a manifestation of the Spirit for the good of the whole. In 1 Cor.14 Paul mentions “all of you,” “the whole church,” “each one of you,” and “you may all prophesy one by one.” Thus to use 1 Cor.14:34-35 as a magic wand to cancel out the immediate context is indeed a cavalier way to handle Scripture. If Scripture does not contradict itself, then we cannot use a few verses to negate many others that reveal and assume the full functioning the Lord’s daughters.

Suggested sources for further study:

Linda Belleville, “What the English Translators Aren’t Telling You About 1 Tim.2:11-15,” Christians for Biblical Equality Conference, Orlando, FL, 2003 (cassette).
Linda Belleville, “Teaching & Usurping Authority: 1 Tim.2:11-15,” Discovering Biblical Equality, Ronald Pierce & Rebecca Groothuis, eds., IVP, 2005, pp.205-223.
Biblical Illustrator, “Hairstyles of First-Century Asia Minor,” 6:4, 1980, pp.71-74.
Del Birkey, The Fall of Patriarchy: Its Broken Legacy Judged by Jesus & the Apostolic House Church Communities, Fenestra Books, 2005, 376pp.
Kathleen E. Corley, Private Women, Public Meals: Social Conflict in the Synoptic Tradition, Hendrickson, 1993, 217pp.
Eldon Jay Epp, Junia: The First Woman Apostle, Fortress, 2005, 138pp.
Lauren Fasullo, “What About the Word Kephale (‘Head’) in the New Testament?” and “A Critique of Wayne Grudem’s Understanding of ‘Head’ in the N.T.,” 1995. Studies presented to Grace Bible Fellowship, Baton Rouge, LA.
Joy E. Fleming, Man & Woman in Biblical Unity: Theology from Genesis 2-3, CBE, 1993, 44pp.
Gordon Fee, “1 Corinthians 7:1-7 Revisited,” Paul & the Corinthians: Studies on a Community in Conflict, Essays in Honor of Margaret Thrall, Brill, 2003, pp.197-231.
Gordon Fee, “The Great Watershed – Intentionality & Particularity/Eternality: 1 Tim.2:8-15 As A Test Case,” Gospel & Spirit: Issues in NT Hermeneutics, Hendrickson, 2006, pp.52-65.
Matilda J. Gage, Woman, Church & State, Persephone Press, 1980, 294pp.
Joseph F. Green, “Diana of the Ephesians,” Sunday School Lesson Illustrator, 4:4, 1978, pp.34-39.
Rebecca Groothuis, “Leading Him Up the Garden Path: Further Thoughts on 1 Timothy 2:11-15,” at CBE Interntaional
Mary Hayter, The New Eve in Christ: The Use & Abuse of the Bible in the Debate About Women in the Church, Eerdmans, 1987, pp.131-133, 148, 155, 161.
Joanne Krupp, Woman: God’s Plan Not Man’s Tradition, Preparing the Way Publishers, 1999, pp.97-107.
Catherine & Richard Kroeger, “I Suffer Not A Woman”: Rethinking 1 Timothy 2:11-15 in Light of Ancient Evidence, Baker, 1992, 253pp.
David P. Kuske, “Exegesis of 1 Timothy 2:11-15,” at wiseessays.net
Dennie R. MacDonald, There Is No Male or Female: The Fate of a Dominical Saying in Paul & Gnosticism, Fortress, 1987, 132pp.
Berkeley Mickelsen, “Who Are the Women in 1 Tim.2:1-15? Parts 1 & 2,” Priscilla Papers, 2:1, 1988, pp.1-6.
Margaret R. Miles, Carnal Knowing: Female Nakedness & Religious Meaning in the Christian West, Vintage, 1991, 254pp.
Craig Morphew, “Thrown to Lions, Woman Pastor Emerges Moral Victor,” St. Paul Pioneer Press Dispatch, January 30, 1988, p.3B.
Carolyn Osiek, Margaret MacDonald, Janet Tulloch, A Woman’s Place: House Churches in Earliest Christianity, Fortress, 2005, 354pp.
Alan G. Padgett, “Beginning With the End in 1 Cor.11:2-16,” Priscilla Papers, 17:3, 2003, pp.17-23.
Philip Payne, “Authentein in 1 Timothy 2:12,” Evangelical Theological Society Seminar Paper, Atlanta, Ga., November 21, 1986.
Philip Payne, “Women in Church Leadership: 1 Tim.2:11-3:13 Reconsidered,” Japan Harvest, #4, 1981-82, pp.19-21.
Rena Pederson, The Lost Apostle: Searching for the Truth About Junia, Jossey-Boss, 2006, 278pp.
“Professor Made to Leave Seminary ‘Because Women Can’t Teach Men,’” Tyler [TX] Morning Telegraph, January 27, 2007, p.3A.
Cheryl Schatz, “Is There A Law That Forbids Women from Teaching Men?” Women In Ministry Blog, July, 2006, at Strive to Enter or mmoutreach.org
“Seven Wonders of the World, Version 2.0,” Duluth News Tribune, March 19, 2007, pp.A1,A5.
Henry E. Turlington, “Ephesus,” Sunday School Lesson Illustrator, 4:4, 1978, pp.40-49.
Willard Swartley, “The Bible & Women,” Slavery, Sabbath, War & Women: Case Issues in Biblical Interpretation, Herald Press, 1983, pp.178-183,324.
Frank Viola, “God’s View of a Woman,” ptmin.org
Frank Viola, “Now Concerning A Woman’s Role in the Church,” www.ptmin.org/role.htm
Jon Zens, “Romans 16:1-16 – Brothers & Sisters Doing Kingdom Work,” 7th Searching Together Conference, Osceola, WI, 2006 (cassette).
Jon Zens, “Those With the Most Spiritual Influence Live As Those With No Authority,” 6th Searching Together Conference, Osceola WI, 2005 (cassette).
Jon Zens with Cliff Bjork, “Women in the Body of Christ: Functioning Priests or ‘Silent’ Partners?” Searching Together, 31:1-3, 2003, 47pp.

(If you are interested in obtaining any of the above materials, please contact us at jzens@searchingtogether.org; 651-465-6516)

© March 2007 Jon Zens

278 comments:

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Shamgar said...

Wow. It's certainly a very interesting article. I won't comment about what it does say just yet, since I have only had time for a cursory reading - and this deserves a lot more consideration than that.

What I will comment on is what is missing, which I think bears sufficient importance to be surprising that it is not addressed.

Paul quite specifically lays out the structure of the church in terms of elders and deacons. He is also quite specific that they are to be male (husband of one wife).

This seems to run rather contradictory to this statement:

No clergy. No laity. No honorific titles. No elevation of some above others. If anything, give honor to the parts least esteemed.


As well as 1 Timothy 5:17:

The elders who rule well are to be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching.

This would seem to suggest that there is a definite calling to the leadership in Christ's church for a number of members vs the rest of the church.

It also suggests those whom God calls out for his service in the local body are to be considered worthy of honor.

I definitely agree that this is not the mentality we see so often today, or as displayed in the way the RC treat their clergy - but we are to give honor all the same.

This is not to say that the whole article is wrong in any way, or to dismiss his argument. There is much here that is worth a lot of consideration, but I think he might have gone a bit far with some of his conclusions given that he has not addressed this rather central point.

Anonymous said...

If it wasn't for women in the church things wouldn't get done, bottom line. But I Timothy 3 is vey specific as to who can function as elders and deacons. The interesting thing about this article is that if as the author suggests all the letters are to be interpreted within the context of the culture, then the Gospels must also be interpreted to 1st century Jews and not to us and therefore we stand without salvation.

Steve Young said...

I was in Seminary in Memphis at the time that the local association withdrew fellowship from Sehested's church. I believe that 1 Timothy 3 received much more attention in the discussion. While I was a student at Mid-America I had three female professors. Granted they were not in Theology classes, but these "sisters were free to function."
Steve

Anonymous said...

WOW! Great stuff, though I am certain there will be some "aposteri" or "after the fact" reasoning (if I remember the term correctly) concluding that both you and the author are screaming liberals. It does reasonate, however, with something I have said a lot of times: that in the past 20+ years, I have found little authority, and less power, in the pastorate than some of my brothers claim is there.

John Fariss

Anonymous said...

I must reread as well. Off topic - I have enjoyed Zens, I only wish he would realize the greatest importance of using the law in evangelism. Other than that, he is "the man"...no pun intended. :)

Off to the printer to print it out.

Anonymous said...

shamgar-
just because the verses regarding elders and deacons say "the husband of one wife" that does not make the office exclusively male. Men not women had more than one spouse- to say women do not have more than one husband would have been a silly admonition. Also, was pauls advice specific or general? do you know for sure? I do not know for sure, that is why i am willing to at least accept this concept with an open heart.
John Daniels

Anonymous said...

I have struggled with the issue of women in the church since college - as have many of my friends in ministry. This article affirms the conclusion that I have come to - that at the very least the issue of women in ministry is NOT as cut & dry or black & white as many want to make it. My assertion is that it is possible to be a Bible believing, conservative theologian and leave room for women to serve in church leadership. Thank you for posting this article. I have printed it out for further study and use.

Michael A. Jordan, Pastor
Mulberry Grove Baptist Church
Buckingham, Virginia

Alycelee said...

I don't even know how to respond to this post.
I'm going to read every comment-for sure.

I have always and continue to have a great deal of respect for you Wade. I also will, in whatever way I can, encourage you to continue to shake those cages. A few doors may just open and we may begin to get free in the process.

Thanks for this great resource.

Todd said...

Regarding the "husband of one wife" restriction to deacons...It can better be translated as a "one woman kind of man," particularly when he addresses the qualifications for women in verse 11 (often translated "wives").
The basic principle of Scripture interpreting Scripture gives weight to Zens' article. We should read the words of 1 Timothy in light of the broader biblical witness, and not the other way around.

Anonymous said...

There is an excellent book that presents, in detail, the opposing view to this author. It is a collection of articles by about twenty men and women and is very comprehensive. The title is "Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, a response to Evangelical Feminism" edited by John Piper and Wayne Grudem. I highly recommend it if you would like to read the counter view to each of his talking points.

Rick Sheesley

Tony Kummer said...

The John Piper book on gender roles is available to read online:

What's The Difference? Manhood and Womanhood Defined According to the Bible

Anonymous said...

this guy was wrong from the first sentence on. he totally misses the teachings of scripture. he completely misses the mark, and he does so often. and, he tries his best to impose modern day thinking about women(women's lib) onto the bible. this was the worst post i have ever seen on this blogsight. disappointing is the word that comes to my mind.

david(volfan007)

ps. sorry wade, but this is how i see it. :)

GuyMuse said...

I never thought I would see the day when a Jon Zens article appeared on one of the premier S. Baptist blogs read by thousands of readers. You have a lot of courage to post these views and my sombrero is off to you!

What is encouraging to me about the article is there are many other conservative Baptists out there who are able to see these debatable issues from a different perspective. We may squabble over a point here and there, but what matters to me as a missionary is that God seems to be bringing to light many of the man made barriers we artificially put up that have long impeded our reaching this world for Christ.

Yes, it is a tough issue, but we need to hear and wrestle with all sides of the issue before taking a stance that has enormous impact on the Kingdom.

The heart of our Lord is on the nations coming to the feet of Jesus. Fully half of the Kingdom's work force are women. I suggest we debate less and work more. It is time we get all of God's army out into the harvest fields to bring in the final harvest before it is too late.

I would rather err on the side of mobilizing women into the harvest fields, than to err on limiting their role, and thereby possibly hindering the coming to Christ of untold numbers.

Debbie said...

I find the comments to be interesting and wonder is this tradition speaking or have each and every one of you who nay say this article wrestled with scripture on this?

volfan007 said...

debbie,

my views are always based on scripture. i study on it. i try to let it say what it says...in all it's simplicity.

this guy that wade is quoting is really doing gymnastics trying to make the bible fit into modern day society, and he has made a maze out of something so simple that even the hungriest rat cant find his way to the cheese.

david(volfan007)

beth said...

Debbie, I am curious how those who disagree with Zens' conclusions are put in the "nay say" category. I am woman. I am a Southern Baptist. I think that Jon Zens has incorrectly interpreted particular passages. It is interesting that many of his sources for biblical exegesis are members of the Christians for Biblical Equality, an organization that holds to an egalitarian (equal worth, interchangeable roles) view of gender roles rather than a complentarian view (equal worth, different roles).

Debbie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Debbie said...

beth: Have you heard the words nay sayer used in writing? It means being against or rejecting. I simply asked if any of you have wrestled with this in scripture and I will add, how do you give account that the verses given in the article are in scripture? Why are they there? I am not condoning women as pastors, I am asking the same question as the article. Are we free to function based on the passages given? It's not enough to say it's women's lib(which it's not, it's scripture), it's not enough to say he's an egaltarian etc. Are the passages he has given in the Bible? If yes, is his exegesis correct? Is your view from an extensive Biblical study or is it derived from tradition? Those would be my questions. Not accusations.

Cheryl Schatz said...

I have been communicating with a Pastor who believes that 1 Timothy 2 is a law that forbids godly Christian women from teaching correct biblical doctrine to men. He has viewed my DVD series on this subject and has not been able to refute any of the exegesis in the series, but he still wants to hold to the traditional view that 1 Timothy 2 is a universal law that forbids women from teaching the bible to men. I sent him a list of my objections to his viewpoint, and it appears he is not able to answer these questions either. See if these objections make sense and if my challenge is scriptural and logical. For any who think it isn’t scriptural or logical, please feel free to email me your answers.

Here are my objections to the view that 1 Timothy 2 is a law that forbids godly Christian women from teaching correct biblical doctrine to men:

1. If this is indeed God's law then why is it a unique "law" that is not supported by the Old Testament ? When Paul gave God's word to the people, it was a godly thing for his listeners to test that word against what God had already said in the Old Testament:

Act 17:10 The brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews.
Act 17:11 Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so .

The Bereans tested Paul by the Old Testament. If 1 Timothy 2:11-15 is stopping godly women from teaching correct biblical doctrine to men, please show me how this "law" can be tested against God's first testament in the way that the Bereans would have tested everything that Paul taught? All of God's laws are able to be traced back to the Old Testament to find their roots. Without the ability to trace a law back to the Old Testament, the Bereans would not have been able to test all things by God's Word. Since they only had the Old Testament to test Paul by, please show me where in the Old Testament that God ever forbid godly women from teaching correct biblical doctrine to men.

2. If it is a "law" that is universally applicable to all Christian women, then it is the only "law" that is not repeated in scripture. Can you explain why this unique "law" is the only one not repeated in the Old Testament or the New Testament? Paul says that repetition is for our safety. Philippians 3:1 says: Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things again is no trouble to me, and it is a safeguard for you.

All of God's laws are repeated in scripture so that none of them is ever stated only once. Paul knew the importance of repetition. Every time doctrine is repeated and every time a prohibition is restated, we have a verification of the facts. Cults often take one scripture out of context. However when a fact is repeated, it is less likely that the fact can be disregarded or disputed. Repetition is indeed necessary for our safety. Can you explain why Paul went against his own standards and refused to repeat his prohibition?

Please show me where the "law" that forbids godly Christian women from teaching correct biblical doctrine to men is repeated in any passage in the New Testament. Where is there a second witness? If it is not repeated, can you explain why this "law" is a unique law unlike any other law that God has given to mankind?

3. If it is indeed God's universal law, then it is the only "law" of God that calls a good thing as something that is evil. Every time God said "thou shalt not" it was denying something that was evil. For example:

The Bible says thou shalt not commit adultery, therefore adultery is evil.
The Bible says thou shalt not lie, therefore lying is evil.
Therefore if the Bible says in 1 Timothy 2 that godly Christian women are not allowed to teach correct biblical doctrine to men, then teaching the bible to men is evil.

Would this prohibition not force women to discriminate against men and isn't discrimination considered an evil thing? If she doesn't kick them out of her bible study and refuse to let men learn in her bible study, then she is doing something that is evil. Can you explain why teaching correct biblical doctrine to men by godly Christian women is evil?

4. If it is truly God's universal law that stops godly Christian women from teaching correct biblical doctrine to men, then it is the only "law" of God that Satan agrees with. Satan loves it when men and women teach false doctrine, but he hates it when anyone teaches correct biblical doctrine because the teaching of correct biblical doctrine thwarts his purpose to infiltrate the church with false doctrine. The teaching of correct biblical doctrine immunizes Christians from error. It also opens their eyes to the deception that lies within satanic doctrines. Satan does not want his lies exposed and he fights long and hard to stop the teaching of true doctrine.

Because Satan hates true doctrine, he of necessity loves it when godly Christian women are forbidden to teach correct biblical doctrine. Here again we have a unique "law" of God. If the understanding that stops godly Christian women from teaching scripture to men is true, then it is the only "law" of God that Satan agrees with. Can you explain why Satan loves this law and only this one law?

5. If there is a “law” of God that restricts godly women from teaching correct biblical doctrine to men, can you explain why no other law of God has a man saying "I do not allow"? Why is this one "law" of God unique in that it is said to come from a man? All of God's other laws have God commanding mankind. While I do agree that Paul spoke for God, there were times that he gave his own commands. 1 Cor. 7:8, Paul says, "But I say to the unmarried and to the widows that it is good for them if they remain as I." Yet God's word says that it is not good for man to be alone. Paul's command to not seek a wife was a command by him for a specific time and a specific situation. Not all of Paul's commands are universal laws. Is 1 Timothy 2 a universal prohibition or is it a command by Paul for a specific situation in Ephesus? If you say that it is a universal prohibition, please show me one other universal prohibition by God that is framed in the words of a man, "I do not allow".

6. The only named woman in scripture who is to be stopped from teaching is found in Revelation 2:20-24.

Rev 2:20 'But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.
Rev 2:21 'I gave her time to repent, and she does not want to repent of her immorality.
Rev 2:22 'Behold, I will throw her on a bed of sickness, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of her deeds.
Rev 2:23 'And I will kill her children with pestilence, and all the churches will know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts; and I will give to each one of you according to your deeds.
Rev 2:24 'But I say to you, the rest who are in Thyatira, who do not hold this teaching, who have not known the deep things of Satan , as they call them--I place no other burden on you.

Can you explain why Jesus does not tell her to repent of teaching men, but only tells her to repent of her immorality which is stated as her committing adultery and teaching others to commit adulteries and teaching them to experience the "deep things of Satan"? If women teaching the bible to men is a sin that needs to be repented of, then why did Jesus not tell her to repent from teaching men? Why did he not expose her sin as teaching men, but rather as what she taught not who she taught? If it truly was a "law" of God that forbids women to teach men period, then why wasn't this repeated at this most opportune time?

7. Lastly, if it is truly an evil thing for woman to teach the bible to men and this would be a trespass that women are caught in, can you explain why those who are spiritual are not interested in restoring a women in a spirit of gentleness?

Gal 6:1 Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted.
Gal 6:2 Bear one another's burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.

Is teaching the bible to men a trespass? If a woman needs to be restored because she has been teaching the bible to men, (a trespass) then how can godly men not correct one who is sinning in this way? Can you explain this biblically?

Anonymous said...

Just a question, especially for Beth:

You note that many of Zen's sources are members of "Christians for Biblical Equality." Although it is not explicit in your comment, I get the sense that this makes them suspecious in your eyes, and further that they are not to be trusted, possibly because their criteria for interpretation is egalitarianism rather than the Biblical witness. First: is my understanding correct? BTW, I will grant this is a possibility, as I am unfamiliar either with the authors or the organization. However, the possibility equally suggests itself to me that they became members of this organization because the Biblical witness led them to accept that the Bible itself was not as restrictive as some commentators/denominational leaders have said that it is. Is this possible, or do you have information about how they arrived at their conclusions? If you do not know whether they became members of this organization because they bought into a cultural norm or because the Biblical witness spoke to them, then logic demands that their affiliation not be a factor in determining the validity of their claims. They still may not be correct of course; but it addresses the question of whether they "have an axe to grind" or not. Thanks for considering this.

John Fariss

One Salient Oversight said...

I haven't read the whole article but just something about kephale to point out.

In Colossians 2.9-10 it says:

For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.

So Christ is the "head" (kephale) over all "rule and authority" which is actually another way of saying the evil rulers and principalities etc.

There is no doubt that this application of kephale involved subordination.

Cheryl Schatz said...

One salient oversight,

Were you aware that in the Greek Col 2:10 "head of all principality and power". Is Jesus the source of all principality and power? Is he the source of all rule and power? Absolutely. Since verse 9 is talking about the fullness of the Godhead in Christ, verse 10 proves that fullness by saying that all rule and power finds its origin in Him. These verses are about the supremacy of Christ not about subordination. The context is so important

Robert I Masters said...

Wade,
A couple personal questions for you!
I thought your post on particular redemption was excellent.....inline with most evangelical reformed theologians.
That being the case; what evangelical reformed theologian holds to the view that is expressed here?
Not R.C.Sproul, Al Mohler, John MacArthur,
Steve Lawson,Alistair Begg, John Piper.
Is this the view that drives the whole Sheri Klouda issue?
Why do your links not include Reformed leaders in the evangelical world ....people like Tim Challies, Justin Taylor, Mark Dever, John Piper, reformation21.
Have you read Evangelical Feminism and Biblical Truth by Wayne Grudem (an analysis of 100 disputed questions)?
My point is that you include all kinds of liberal, yes real liberal baptist in your links but never the rock solid reformed guys.
BTW Mr Zens arguments are repeated in many other places
SDG
Robert I Masters

Shamgar said...

Cheryl, I think his point was that the article's interpretation about that having nothing to do with leadership seems to have a weakness.

As to your earlier comments, I'm afraid I didn't have time to read them all in detail, nor do I have time to respond to them in detail (if indeed they'd require it) but your first point has a very deep logical flaw.


Since they only had the Old Testament to test Paul by, please show me where in the Old Testament that God ever forbid godly women from teaching correct biblical doctrine to men.


This is not a valid way of looking this. If it were, then how do you handle the eating of "unclean things"? How do you handle Jesus' resurrection? These are things given by direct revelation or witness. What about the roles of deacons and elders? You can find pointers that they will be true - for the first two at least, but the actual truth of them doesn't come from the direct testimony of the OT.

What the Bereans were verifying was that the things Paul claimed about the OT was true. As Paul opened the scriptures to them so that they might understand, they looked at them to verify.

That doesn't mean everything taught in the NT is necessarily going to be found in the old. The new testament interprets the old, not the other way around.

I fully agree with some of the questions here related to being sure that as we evaluate the arguments presented in this article we need to be very careful that we are doing so in light of scripture, and not tradition. However, we must also be careful that we do not allow the pressures of society and what we might want to be true to relieve our burden of taking an unpopular position.

As is usual for those who want to do what is right, the way is narrow, with pits ready and waiting on either side to receive us.

Wade Burleson said...

Cheryl,

You are one sharp teacher and theologian. You can teach this man any day of the week.

:)

Wade Burleson said...

Robert I Masters,

I don't believe in particular redemption because the men you mention do.

Neither would I necessarily accept the complementarian view just because they do. I am quite aware of the complementarian view to which these men hold, and am able to argue it quite persuasively if called upon to do so.

My point is that I will resist firmly and steadfastly anyone who wishes to divide evangelicals over this issue.

It is NOT an issue over which we ought to divide --- just like 'the extent of the atonement' is not an issue over which Christian brothers ought to divide.

Cheryl Schatz said...

Shamgar,

All of the Christian faith including the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus can be found in the Old Testament. Every teaching of doctrine has its roots in the OT. Paul taught the resurrection of Jesus from the Old Testament See Acts 17:2, 3 where he reasoned from the OT also he testified of the gospel found in the Old Testament in 1 Cor. 15:3, 4.

Jesus opened the disciple’s minds to understand from the Old Testament all the things that had been written about him. See Luke 24:26-45. The inclusion of the Gentiles is in the Old Testament. It is all there!

What isn’t in the Old Testament is a restriction on women teaching the scriptures to men. When Priscilla taught Apollos she would not have known about a restriction on her teaching him since there was no such prohibition in the Old Testament scriptures. The Old Testament scriptures were the only bible that the early church had and these are the very scriptures that were used by the early church to witness about Jesus. There are many who have become very proficient in the OT and I have heard a Jewish Christian share the entire gospel, everything about Jesus strictly from the Old Testament. These are the scriptures that are especially used with Jewish people since these are the only scriptures that they will accept. In the same way the Bereans checked out everything that Paul taught and they found that what he was teaching was truth – and there it was in the Old Testament!

I repeat my challenge. Show me a scripture in the Old Testament or in the New Testament that is a second witness that says that a woman is not allowed to teach the bible to a man. It simply is not there. Please take the time to read my entire post. The points that I bring up are very important to women in ministry.

Cheryl Schatz said...

Wade,

Thank you, my Christian brother. I am very humbled by your comment!

Robert i masters said...

Wade,
I did not say I believed in those points of Doctrine because they do!
I believe it because Iam convinced that Scripture teaches it.
My point is that you only are presenting the egalitarian perspective. Is that not a fair point?
What about my other points Wade? No Reformed Links but alot of "moderate"baptist Links. Even if you only were to choose Southern Baptists...like Steve Lawson, Mark Dever.

Lastly Scripture commands us to divide over truth, before we unite in Biblical fellowship. This is a truth issue.
For me this is a Sola Scriptura issue. A hill on which to die. I would not call you a heretic but I would call you a liberal
Dont rob God of his glory!
SDG
Robert I Masters

Colin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Colin said...

Wade,

I was about to post this, then I saw your comment to Cheryl. Did you attempt to understand her logic? Do you reason and exegete in this manner? I hope not, my friend. I hope you are not blindly giving her an endorsement, for her sake.


Cheryl,

I hope I didn't waste my time, and will offer you my thoughts.

First, your assertion that kephale in Col 2:10 is a genitive of source, where do you get this? What is your evidence? Further, in the corollary Ephesians 1:22, you cannot get around the "huper" in the accusative case, rendering it as "over" = Christ is "head over all things..."

If you want to go into the OT, go to Gen 3:16. And according to this, Christ admonished restoration of the created order in Col 3:18-19, Eph 5:22-23, Titus 2:5, and 1 Peter 3:1-7.


Now, on to your diatribe, briefly:


1. The Scriptures include what we have in the NT as well. See 2 Peter 3:15. Now apply this logic to the exhortation to accept all foods as clean in Mark and Acts (Mk 7:19; Acts 10:9ff). (also see commentor's response above)

2. Can you explain why Paul went against his own standards and refused to repeat his prohibition?

Because it isn't a standard. It is a presupposition you are wrongly imposing on the Scriptures. The authority of the Scriptures is based on the source of the inspiration- God- not the amount of times an exhortation is given.

3. Can you explain why teaching correct biblical doctrine to men by godly Christian women is evil?

The Bible teaches that elders must have specific gifts and qualifications, does it not? Your logic would then relegate those without these gifts as somehow evil, since the logical corollary to the qualifications is, "You should not appoint as an elder men that lack these gifts and qualifications."

4.then it is the only "law" of God that Satan agrees with...Can you explain why teaching correct biblical doctrine to men by godly Christian women is evil?

Are you serious? Where do you get this from? I would argue that the more dangerous person is one who is not saved and understands correct biblical doctrine.

5. Paul concludes his remarks in Chapter 7 with this, "40 Yet in my judgment she is happier if she remains as she is. And I think that I too have the Spirit of God." Paul here appeals to the authority of the Spirit for his remarks.

6. Assuming that this is a literal woman, wouldn't you agree that the issue here s not sin, but false prphecy and teaching about God?

7. Why can't they?

Anonymous said...

Rex Ray said…
When a person says something, it is important to know WHY they said it. In fact the Why is said first in John 3:16.

So, let’s put the WHY first in 1 Timothy 2:12. ‘Because the cow jumped over the moon’, “I never let women teach men…”

Oops, wrong WHY. “Because God made Adam first (verse 13)…I never let women teach men…”
Does that sound more reasonable? Not much as God used seniority very seldom.

Paul tries again, “And it was not Adam who was fooled by Satan, but Eve, and sin was the result (verse 14)…I never let women teach men…”

Hey! God didn’t buy this reason from Adam, why would He change his mind?

Oh, the depth of man’s ego that tells God who can teach him. Maybe man had rather a donkey teach him from the Old Testament.

Wade Burleson said...

Colin, I affirmed Cheryl for taking on a tough subject in a forum dominated by men.

My commendation of her tact and approach stands.

Surely you do not claim to always exegete the Scriptures 100% accurately all the time yourself?

Affirming one's role as the teacher is not an endorsement of infallibility of the teaching.

selahV said...

Everyone: did ya'll actually read that? selahV

Wade Burleson said...

Read what.

Anonymous said...

In response to one post, if I recall correctly, it was Adam who was in charge of teaching Eve about the trees. (Eve was not created when God gave him the instruction.) Frankly, we have no evidence that he fulfilled that obligation. If he did, he was not too good of a teacher. Maybe that is why he said nothing and went along with Eve at that time. Maybe he wanted to pretend he did not know better but was not counting on God calling his hand.

In addition, yes, Adam was first but we are also reminded that since then woman has given birth to man. Further if we truly believed that women are not to teach men, then we would not even allow women to teach little boys because as Wordsworth wrote: “The child is the father of the man…” However, it is convenient for church leadership who state ‘women should never teach men’ to overlook that so called ‘belief and conviction’ because it is more convenient to get women to teach boys.

(...from a female missionary who teaches men all the time because there are not enough men willing to serve!)

Colin said...

Wade,

sharp teacher and theologian

You cannot divorce the teacher from the teaching. One out of seven would have been encouraging.

Strider said...

This comments string is disappointingly consistant. The liberal heretics (of whom I am apparently one) consistantly point out the many scriptures where women teach and the conservatives whom Jesus loves chant their mantra of men, men, men, are better than women.
Two things to deal with that I am sure you wont: One, I have never met anyone consistant in their view that women can not teach men. In every church across the convention women are teaching in the majority of the sunday school classes and supposedly they are teaching the Bible. Out here on the M field good conservative baptist women have been doing much of the work for a long time.
And two: I am sick and tired of the view that women are equals is a worldly view. The worldly view is pretty obvious. More than a billion Muslims, more than a billion Hindus, more than half a billion budhist, and another half a billion animist all look on the woman as a powerless creature to be owned and controled. You guys are in great company.

Shamgar said...

Wade said:

My point is that I will resist firmly and steadfastly anyone who wishes to divide evangelicals over this issue.

It is NOT an issue over which we ought to divide --- just like 'the extent of the atonement' is not an issue over which Christian brothers ought to divide.


The issue under discussion now is one of obedience and has serious implications for the church - whichever way you look at it. Would you say the same thing about polygamy? There are christians (I've met them and debated the issue with them) who have arguments they think support their belief that polygamy is sanctioned in Scripture. Would you find this issue one to divide over? What about other forms of adultery? Homosexuality? Note that I'm not saying women teaching is a sin. I'm saying if these passages teach that there are parameters around women teaching - then disobedience is a sin.

I can appreciate that given all that you've been through, and some of the other ridiculous places the SBC has been trying to divide lately that you are feeling somewhat averse to the very idea. It's not one any Christian really relishes. Unity is far better, but there is a dividing line. This is not an argument for one side or the other mind you, rather its against the idea that that a matter of obedience is not something to divide over.

I'm not sure I would throw someone out of the church for believing differently, but if they were attempting to put it into practice, or encouraging others in their disobedience to the scriptures (as I currently understand them) then I most certainly would find that to be an issue to divide over.

Shamgar said...

Cheryl wrote,

All of the Christian faith including the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus can be found in the Old Testament.


Really? Yes, it points to it. But I would challenge you to show me where in the OT it says that Jesus Christ of Nazareth was born, testified to by a host of angels singing to shepherds, died on a cross at the hands of the romans, died, was buried, and rose again on the third day.

I don't mean show me where it was prophesied that those /events/ would happen. I mean show me where it says that it happened to Jesus of Nazareth. Because if everything we need to know is contained in the OT - there would be no need for the new revelation of the NT. Just new understanding.

This is simply basic Christian doctrine here. The NT interprets the old, not the other way around. Clearer revelation was given in later times so that we could understand the OT through it. We don't take the cloudy unclear portion of the scriptures and use it to haze up what is clear in the new and come up with doctrine.


Jesus opened the disciples minds to understand from the Old Testament all the things that had been written about him.


Obviously. But again, how does this apply to the eating of "unclean" foods? Again, I do not deny that much of the NT is found in the old in types and shadows. But not everything is, certainly not in the clear fashion we find it in the new testament. We have it precisely because the OT was purposely given as limited revelation. It's the whole point of progressive revelation.


Show me a scripture in the Old Testament or in the New Testament that is a second witness that says that a woman is not allowed to teach the bible to a man.


Exodus 28:1
"Then bring near to yourself Aaron your brother, and his sons with him, from among the sons of Israel, to minister as priest to Me...

Exodus 21:1
Then the LORD said to Moses, "Speak to the priests, the sons of Aaron...

And after that, the male Levites became the priestly line. Women were not part of the priesthood.

Does that mean they had no role in teaching the Scriptures? Absolutely not. But then, I never said that was true of the NT either - though I believe you assumed that about my position.

Indeed, I myself am deeply indebted to my wife. I was raised in a church with a poor understanding of the Scriptures. My wife was too - but she had a teacher in school who was faithful. He opened her eyes to the truth and set her free. She in turn has opened mine, and I'm thankful that God has used her in that way.

Shamgar said...

Anonymous said,

Frankly, we have no evidence that he fulfilled that obligation.


Really? So then, you believe God punished Eve unfairly? That he held her accountable for something he knew she did not know, and would have had no reason to know?

If she was not aware, then I wonder - why did Satan bother with the "Has God really said?" line of questioning instead of just telling her it was good fruit? She'd have no reason to resist eating it if she didn't know.

Indeed - that situation bears some striking parallels to our current conversation. If the historical interpretation of equal but different is correct anyway. Consider Satan's lie "Has God really said...?" He tries to get her to doubt the veracity of God's word - and her understanding of it. She then makes the critical error. She evaluates it for herself trusting in her own mind and understanding to make a decision rather than thinking God's thoughts after him.

She determines that it's good for food, a delight to the eyes and desireable to make one wise. So she ignores God's instruction believing her own opinion to be better.


Further if we truly believed that women are not to teach men, then we would not even allow women to teach little boys because as Wordsworth wrote: The child is the father of the man However, it is convenient for church leadership who state women should never teach men to overlook that so called belief and conviction because it is more convenient to get women to teach boys.


First, Wordsworth, however good his writing might be, is not an Apostle. His opinion on what little boys are has little or no bearing on the Scriptures.

Second, to ban women from teaching children would be equally contrary to Scripture given the indisputable testimony of its benefits in Paul's letter to Timothy, from his Grandmother's consistant teaching of the OT.

There was no SS in Paul's time it's not a commanded part of the order and structure of the church as defined in Scripture. It is something we have found to be beneficial in many cases, and not contrary to Scripture. Given what is taught in scripture it's not only not contrary to allow women to teach - it was obviously done with great benefit for Timothy. Why would we prohibit it under those conditions?

Apparently because everyone who believes Scripture teaches this is an evil wife-beater who just wants to keep women oppressed and secretly envies the subjegation of women displayed in Muslim culture. Hooray for Christian charity.

Anonymous said...

shamgar....
take a chill pill pal.....

I bet you make coffee nervous.

Anonymous said...

To SHAMgar and the last anonymous post...

Proverbs 17:27-28 NIV
'A man of knowledge uses words with restraint....Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue.'

peter lumpkins said...

Dear Wade,

A rather long post and what's good about it is, it's obviously written by one who is steeped in Scripture and can passionately argue a point. Thank you. Its length, however, makes it almost impossible to discuss in a forum such as this that is always on the move.

And, I think you are correct: it is worthy of publication. Jon Zens is to be commended.

Saying that, a couple of remarks: First, the opening statement you make frames this question in such a way that Bible-believing complementarians possess a serious disadvantage.

You write: "Pay close attention to the author's refusal to place tradition or the opinions of fourth century church fathers above sola Scriptura."

From my understanding, since Mr. Zens refuses to "place tradition or the opinions of fourth century church fathers above sola Scriptura" and obviously argues for an egalitarian view, the warning you offer evidently applies toward the complementarian. To assume that egalitarians embrace sola Scriptura and others are cautioned about placing tradition over Scripture appears to me to frame the question to favor egalitarians.

Now understand, Wade: I'm surely not suggesting you purposely framed it that way to make complementarians look bad. But from my view, to place complementarians in the "traditional" category, by default, does just that.

Second, Beth's astute comment went completely under the radar. She wrote: "It is interesting that many of his sources for biblical exegesis are members of the Christians for Biblical Equality, an organization that holds to an egalitarian [view]..." Indeed most every one of the works Mr. Zens cites, Piper & Grudem's organization (Council on Biblical Manhood & Womanhood) has answered point by point.

Even more, there is a very good reason why Beth's insightful observation about Mr. Zen's sourcing coming from Christians for Biblical Equality (CBE) went entirely ignored: the arguments offered for egalitarianism undermine completely the view that limits women in ANY area of ministry, including women as Senior Pastors. Do any of the CBE scholars embrace women in ministry EXCEPT WOMEN AS PASTORS? I may be wrong but I do not think they do.

If this is so, the argument presented by egalitarians is an argument that undermines the explicit language of the BF&M. In fact, if I understand your position, Wade, it undermines yours as well.

Thanks, my Brother, for an incisive post. With that, I am...

Peter

Anonymous said...

Peter Lumpkins,

Not completely under the radar my brother! Please note my comment in the first half of the string:

"You note that many of Zen's sources are members of 'Christians for Biblical Equality.' Although it is not explicit in your comment, I get the sense that this makes them suspecious in your eyes, and further that they are not to be trusted, possibly because their criteria for interpretation is egalitarianism rather than the Biblical witness. First: is my understanding correct? BTW, I will grant this is a possibility, as I am unfamiliar either with the authors or the organization. However, the possibility equally suggests itself to me that they became members of this organization because the Biblical witness led them to accept that the Bible itself was not as restrictive as some commentators/denominational leaders have said that it is. Is this possible, or do you have information about how they arrived at their conclusions? If you do not know whether they became members of this organization because they bought into a cultural norm or because the Biblical witness spoke to them, then logic demands that their affiliation not be a factor in determining the validity of their claims. They still may not be correct of course; but it addresses the question of whether they 'have an axe to grind' or not. Thanks for considering this."

By identifying the authors with a "suspect" organization, it suggests their conclusion is flawed, when actually it is the logic of the identification that has the flaw.

John Fariss

peter lumpkins said...

Dear Brother John,

Thank you for correcting me. I note it well. In passing, I was thinking of our dear host; nonetheless, you surely did address Beth's insight. Forgive me.

To Beth's credit though, John, she made no explicit judgement, as you well note, in her estimation about CBE. Your "rebuttal" to her, consequently, is hardly relevant.

As I stated in my comment, I think it is important to note, as Beth has done for us, that the sources particularly come from CBE. Why? Surely not because the scholars there are not honorable men and women. Indeed I respect immensely scholars like Doug Groothius, Rebecca Groothius, Roger Nicole (yes the one affiliated with Founders Ministries!), Gordon Fee, Debbie Gill--the last two of which are Arminian, but don't tell Wade :^)--etc. etc.

The point I would press again is that The Council for Biblical Manhood & Womanhood (CBMW), which is the "thinktank" for Complementarianism, has methodically, point by tedius point, answered the scholars at CBE. And these scholars are no less honorable: Piper, Grudem, Bruce Ware, Al Mohler, George Knight, Peter Jones, J.Ligon Duncan, etc. etc. etc.

Here is the crux: the debate between them is not primarily about scripture vs. tradition. Rather the arguments brought forth are about the meaning of scripture. It's over the Bible. And, from my view, to embrace the scholars at CBE and dismiss the scholars at CBWM only shows well one's presumptions in operation.

Again, Beth's contribution is huge. Peace today, John. With that, I am...

Peter

Anonymous said...

I am not going to really jump into this debate -- but I have a few questions that I would like for someone to answer for me so I have a better understanding about a couple of things. 1. Are all things possible for God except for calling women into the ministry? Is that the only thing God cannot do? 2. When God looks at his children does He see gender, race, etc.? 3. My mother led me to the foot of the cross and I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior at age 12 should she have (or did she have the right to preach(teach) the gospel to me? Last would Paul thank God for Timothy's mother? The only thing that matters to me is that lost people come to know my precious Lord and Savior and my feeling (heart) is that God will use His means to get it done and sometimes we need to get out the way -- like now --- God will guide my steps so I will let God be God. Tom

Anonymous said...

Peter,

What you call my "rebuttal" was merely a question, asked (or suggested if you prefer) for the sake of the logic of her comment. Since that the authors are members of BCE constitutes somewhat over half of Beth's comment, their motivitation seems quite relevant to me. If they became members of BCE because they accepted the cultural norm of equality for women, then took that perspective back to their reading of the Bible, then to call into question their association is valid; however if their reading/study/interpretation of the Bible was the basis for their membership in BCE, then to doubt their conclusions on the basis of their organizational membership is not valid. It becomes a "sound bite," and almost "guilt by association." I also point out that even if they joined the organization because they believe it accurately presents the Biblical perspective, it does not necessarily validate their interpretation. My point is simply, "let us debate the real issues." In saying that, your point about engaging those at CBWM are on point; however, that is not necessarily within the scope of the Zens paper, as others will (and have) introduced that. Blessings,

John Fariss

Roger D. Lee said...

To use some of the same argumentation style as the post, would someone please tell me why Jesus never mentions a woman as part of the original 12? or 13?

Why is the first women's ministry, Acts 6 headed by 7 spiritual men?

Paul does encourage the women to teach in Titus. Why does he mention gender specific teaching?

I too agree that women have played a major role in the church since her inception. I recognize a woman as the first witness of the resurrection. May I say that event took place because the women were about doing their roles.:) The church could not have function as she has without the ministry of women.

My question, if those who propose the "equality" view are correct, what then would be the restriction for women to hold a senior pastor position? Where would the logic be to restrict the women from the role of pastor?

I do find the article not to be of the quality that has graced this blog in previous days. The exegesis is weak and tied to much to an agenda.

Roger

W

country baptist preacher said...

I really want to start this by saying:

BOYS, BOYS, BOYS;

TAKE A DEEP BREATH.

The history of intrepretation has ALWAYS been dominated by males. Could this possibly explain why we have a male dominated interpretational leaning on all issues of the Bible??

I pointed out some months ago that this is an issue of God calling who He wants without asking us for our opinions or interpretations of His Word.

Last time I mentioned this, the guys on the string ignored the Mention of Gods interpretation and just kept hollering and slandering and pontificating.

I was raised in a church that did not allow women to speak in the sanctuary or shave or wear makeup.

you really can't tell me anything about rabid fundalmentalism.

Lottie Moon led thousands to the Lord in China and taught them His Word and gave her live for it. When the BOYS back home couldn't stand the woman doing such things and complained, she wrote and told them to "come on over". NONE CAME.

I am not surprised.

My own wife spent years in Africa "Telling of Christ to all who were looking for the Messiah" (Anna, Luke 2:36)

When she came back to the States she wa basically told to sit down and shut up.

IF A WOMAN TEACHES A MAN OF CHRIST AND LEADS THAT MAN TO JESUS, WHO SAVES HIM?

The Creator of the universe does not need your permission or interpretation on how to use his Creation.

Another book on this subject is "who says women can't teach" or read the story of Jo Skaggs. A woman who God used to TRAIN PASTORS in the jungles of Nigeria.


God is still on His Throne
cbp

CHERYL, GREAT STUFF!

Cheryl Schatz said...

Colin,

Thank you for your comments. I appreciate that you did try to answer. You said: “First, your assertion that kephale in Col 2:10 is a genitive of source, where do you get this? What is your evidence?”

Thanks for asking. Iranaeus equates “head” with “source” writing “head and source of his own being”. From Iranaeus against Heresies. In the sixth century A.D. Cosmas Indicopleustes called Adam the “head” of all people in this world because he was their source and father. (from Topographia Christiana 5.209). Photius a ninth century Byzantine scholar with vast knowledge of classical authors and their works said that “head” (kephale) was considered to be a synonym for procreator or progenitor. (Photius, Commentary on 1 Corinthians 11:3). In a line of Orphic poetry from about the sixth century says “Zeus was born first, Beus last, god of the bright bolt: Zeus is the head (kephale), Zeus the middle, from Zeus are all things made.” Otto Kern, Orphicorum Fragmenta, vol 2). In these writings Zeus is called head, kephale, three times arche, srouce or beginning. Augustine declared love to be the head that produced all other Christian virtues: “The Apostle Paul, when he wishes to commend the fruit of the spirit against the works of the flesh, put this at the head: The fruit of the spirit is love, he said; and then the rest, as spring up from this head are twined together.” (Translated from the Latin text in Ralph McInerny, Let’s read Latin: introduction to the language of the church). Cyril Archbishop of Alexandria wrote of Adam “Therefore of our race he became first head, which is source, and was of the earth and earthy. Since Christ was named the second Adam, He has been placed as head, which is source of those who through Him have been formed anew unto Him unto immortality through sanctification in the Spirit. Therefore He Himself our source, which is head, has appeared as a human being. Yet He, though God by nature, has Himself a generating head, the heavenly Father, and He Himself, though God according to His nature, yet being the Word, was begotten of Him. Because head means source, He establishes the truth for those who are wavering in their mind that man is the head of woman, for she was taken out of him.” (Cyril of Alexandria, De Recta Fide and Pulcheriam et Eudociam 203, ed. P.E. Pusey)

I hope that should be enough evidence for you.

Next you said: “Further, in the corollary Ephesians 1:22, you cannot get around the "huper" in the accusative case, rendering it as "over" = Christ is "head over all things..."

However have another look at the context of Ephesians 1:21-23. Paul says that Christ is head of the body and Christ is above all principality and power. God has put all things under the feet of Jesus (we are the body of Jesus and as his body we are his feet). The head is “of” the body and the “over” is over all principality and power. All principality and power will be in obedience to him and we who are the body of the head will rule with him.

Now as far as the restored order, the original order was not of domination and control of the woman but an equal rulership, an equality as one flesh. Please come to my blog www.strivetoenter.com/wim if you would like to discuss this idea further.

Regarding your comments to my points, first of all let me thank you for trying to answer. You are the first who has even tried. I do appreciate that.

Under point #1. You said: “The Scriptures include what we have in the NT as well. See 2 Peter 3:15. Now apply this logic to the exhortation to accept all foods as clean in Mark and Acts (Mk 7:19; Acts 10:9ff).”

Yes the NT scriptures are scripture as well. However the early church only had the OT for much of its beginning. The early believers used the OT to test Paul and he commended them for using the OT scriptures to test everything he said. Now as far as unclean foods; Jesus said in Mark that foods cannot make you spiritually unclean and Acts 10:9ff is a direct word about the Gentiles. There are many places in the OT that show that the Gentiles were accepted to God and were to be brought before him with the Jews. This was in direct contrast to the Jewish oral law that saw Gentiles as a defiled people equivalent to animals.

Under point #2 you said: “2. Can you explain why Paul went against his own standards and refused to repeat his prohibition? Because it isn't a standard. It is a presupposition you are wrongly imposing on the Scriptures. The authority of the Scriptures is based on the source of the inspiration- God- not the amount of times an exhortation is given.”

The authority of scripture is based on the source, however that source *always* and *without exception* repeats the prohibition therefore it is indeed a standard. Paul has told us that it is for our safety and the OT makes it clear that a second witness is necessary to establish a legal basis for an accusation and Jesus took this clear standard and applied it to doctrine concerning his claims of Deity. Now if you dispute this, all I ask you to do is to site one other prohibition of scripture that is not repeated. If you cannot, then you need to ask yourself why the “prohibition” against women teaching men is not repeated and is the ONLY “prohibition” not repeated? Could it be that it is misunderstood as a universal prohibition? If it is not a universal prohibition, that would be a very good reason why it is not repeated.

Under point #3 you said: “3. Can you explain why teaching correct biblical doctrine to men by godly Christian women is evil? The Bible teaches that elders must have specific gifts and qualifications, does it not? Your logic would then relegate those without these gifts as somehow evil, since the logical corollary to the qualifications is, "You should not appoint as an elder men that lack these gifts and qualifications.”

Actually your logic fails here since there is no correlation to what I have said. My statement was about a specific “law” of God that in essence said “that shalt not”. If God forbids women from teaching men, then it is a “thou shalt not” and anything that is forbidden as a direct command from God is evil. I asked how women teaching correct doctrine to men could be evil. You have not explained why it is evil, you have just tried to bypass the extent of the evil by comparing it to something where God has not said “thou shalt not”. I respectfully ask you to please try again.

You also said under #4 “4.then it is the only "law" of God that Satan agrees with...Can you explain why teaching correct biblical doctrine to men by godly Christian women is evil? Are you serious? Where do you get this from? I would argue that the more dangerous person is one who is not saved and understands correct biblical doctrine.”

Again you have not answered my question. Let me rephrase so you will understand. Satan loves it when godly Christian women are forbidden to teach correct biblical doctrine to their precious brothers in Christ. Satan loves it when ANYONE is forbidden to preach the gospel and when ANYONE is forbidden from teaching correct biblical doctrine. I get this from scripture. Does anyone else agree? If this “law” stopping women from teaching correct biblical doctrine to men is God’s “law”, then it is a unique law in that it is the only law that Satan LOVES.

Then under point #5 you said: “5. Paul concludes his remarks in Chapter 7 with this, "40 Yet in my judgment she is happier if she remains as she is. And I think that I too have the Spirit of God." Paul here appeals to the authority of the Spirit for his remarks.”

Paul is giving his judgment according to the wisdom that God has given him. Yet he is not giving a law that must be followed. He says “I too have the Spirit of God”. All Christians are to learn to discern how to be mature in their judgments and their understanding how to apply Christian principles. Paul says that he too has the Spirit of God as the other Christians have and he too can apply godly principles but he is not making a law that must be followed. Anytime he makes a law that must be followed he always repeats himself and his “law” can be measured against the original revelation of God, the Old Testament, as its source and its roots. There is no “law” of Paul’s that forbids all godly women in every church and every generation from teaching correct biblical doctrine to men. That “law” does not measure up to the rest of scripture nor does it measure up to Paul’s practice. If it did, he would have rebuked Priscilla instead of commending her as his fellow worker in the gospel since she taught biblical doctrine to a man.

Further you stated in #6 “6. Assuming that this is a literal woman, wouldn't you agree that the issue here s not sin, but false prphecy and teaching about God?”

The issue is indeed false teaching about God. That is what was rebuked and she was to repent of. That was my whole point. This woman was not told to repent of teaching men but to repent of WHAT she taught them. False teaching is sin and what she taught was not only false but immoral. It appears that you agree with me on this point.

Your last point was “7. Why can't they?” That is my point too. If I am wrong and a godly Christian woman is not allowed to teach correct biblical doctrine to men, then a godly man should be able to gently restore me to truth and away from my sinful error. However no godly man has tried to show me that this law is one that God has repeated in scripture, nor has any godly man shown me that the teaching that is prohibited in 1 Timothy 2:12-15 is unrelated to the teaching of error but is primarily about stopping the teaching of truth.

I rest of people’s comments I will get to later as I have time.

Respectfully and with Christian love,
Cheryl

Beth said...

I think the sentence some have taken issue with is "It is interesting that many of his (Zens) sources for biblical exegesis are members of the Christians for Biblical Equality, an organization that holds to an egalitarian (equal worth, interchangeable roles) view of gender roles rather than a complentarian view (equal worth, different roles)."
It is interesting because what we read - and what we point others to read for greater understanding - is significant. What if I were to recommend that you read Gregory Boyd's work on the foreknowledge/divine sovereignty of God in order to gain deeper, better theological insight? We must be aware of the sources to which we point others. We bear much responsibility to our brothers and sisters in Christ and to unbelievers when we encourage them to read particular works to deepen and broaden their understanding of Scripture.
Zens points people to works by noted scholars who hold to an egalitarian view. That's a fact, not an opinion.

Michael said...

I heard from one of the comments that the prohibition against women is for the senior pastorship, would it make it ok for a woman to be a junior pastor? (ignoring the women teaching arguement)

I am still somewhat suspicious of the office of pastor anyways. shouldn't it be the office of teacher and be ruled by deacons. then we wouldn't have churches based on the personality of the pastor.
maybe we should consider if whats thought of as the pastor is biblical.

my definition(practical definition only):

1. leader of the church
2. chief interpreter of scripture
3. ultimate authority within the local church
4. default speaker at church services
5. chief visionary for the future
6. responsible for the theological accuracy of all church members

I'm sure there are more, is this biblically accurate?

Michael

Anonymous said...

Wow, pure and ubridaled egalitarianism. That may float at the IMB, but good luck on finding any faculty that affirm such teaching at Southern, Midwestern or Southeastern Seminary. I guess you guys are just a little bit different in the southwest.

-MidSemkid2009

Wade Burleson said...

Cheryl,

Pretty impressive.

Wade Burleson said...

Michael,

I will refrain from any comment regarding junior pastors.

Wade Burleson said...

Midsemkid2009,

Aren't you supposed to be in class.

:)

Bob Cleveland said...

I'll toss in my favorite mantra, only cuz nobody else has:

Paul distinctly said HE did not permit women to teach, and HE did not permit women to usurp authority over a man. Had it been his intention to so instruct Timothy, I cannot imagine his not having told ol' Tim not to let them, either. This is the same author who said point-blank to toss certain malefactors out of the Corinthian church, isn't it?

Second, Paul said the reason was that Adam came first and Even second, and he was not deceived but she WAS. Did someone mention consistency?

As to eligibility for Deacons and Elders, there are plenty of ways that might have been said other than a "one-woman kind of man", and that admonition rules out women in those offices.

That looks pretty simple to me, but then if it wasn't, I wouldn't understand it anyway.

Debbie said...

When my husband and I were first married, I became a Christian first. I witnessed to him and later he came to Christ. Was I wrong in telling him the gospel?

Anonymous said...

Cheryl; I should refrain from this but I can't. You are tooooooo much for me. So much so that I cannot express myself. Before one should read the Bible they need to contact you so they can get the right approach. You know "do not be fooled by the simplicity of the Gospel". Look deeeeeeeep into this thing........I'm wasting time.

Beth said...

Debbie - of course it is entirely appropriate for women to share the Gospel with men and women. We would be unfaithful as believers if we did not. The issue is what Scripture says about authority - husband over wife, pastor over church, and so on.
Also, to MidSemkid2009 - the IMB holds to a complementarian position.

Anonymous said...

Dear Beth,

I did not mean to imply that you said the affiliation of the authors noted by Zens was anything other than a fact; please accept my appologies if I came off that way. My question is: what is the significance of that fact? Perhaps you did not mean it as such, but there are those who state facts in an attempt to question the motives of the writers. As I have said before, (1) if they applied a secular perspective to the Word, then their motives ARE wrong, and their conclusions should be disregarded; (2) if they became members of this organization because they believe it accurately represents the Word, then their affiliation has no bearing on their conclusions; and (3) if the later is true, OR even if it is unknown, then any conclusion they make should be evaluated strictly on its own merits, without regard to organizations they are/are not members of. That's all I am saying. Blessings!

John Fariss

Anonymous said...

Reading the postings and comments from the past few days, makes me very happy to be Roman Catholic.

Don Laverne

Bryan Riley said...

Wade, thank you for posting this. From personal experience, I know what a wrong view of women does. God came to redeem everyone to be all that He sees them to be, not just men. I can't believe I missed that you had posted this until just now.

I need to go back and read the whole article carefully. I still remember something you said to me (and a small group of men and women) a few years ago that resonated deep within me about women and I was surprised then and had never heard anyone in my circles say such a thing. And, you've been careful with your comments toward this subject over the past year.

Again, thank you for this post. When I can I will read all of it and all the comments and then hopefully have something edifying to say.

Tj said...

I thought at first I might stay out of this discussion, but I feel that this might be a good place to ask the question that I have been afraid to ask elsewhere.

Is it possible that Paul was just plain wrong? He states in I Timothy 2:14 (NIV) "And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner."

Was not Adam also deceived? Did not Adam also eat of the forbidden fruit? Did he not become a sinner when he ate?

It seems that Paul grossly misinterprets Genesis 3 or, maybe was is reading from the infallable, original autographs.

Maybe women are sinners and men are just victims of circumstance.:)

Tj

Anonymous said...

Don makes a good point. Instead of prompting each other to discern difficult text, we should all just be thankful that we know who to pray to for help in these matters and the our salvation is not based on works, but on the work of Christ!

Thanks for that reminder Don.

1 Timothy 2:5
For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus

Debbie said...

Beth: I believe teaching is teaching. Am I to be quiet in a mixed Sunday School class?

peter lumpkins said...

Dear John,

How motivation for joining the CBE or, for that matter, the CBMW is relevant to Beth's comment escapes me, my brother John. Who could know that? She certainly did not say such nor even implied it as you conceded.

Moreover, though you apparently grant my concern--"your point about engaging those at CBWM are on point"--you wrongly conclude "that [it] is not necessarily within the scope of the Zens [sic] paper..."

Granted CBWM is not in "the scope of Zens [sic] paper." However, it most certainly is relevant to this post when the host writes: " Read it [Zens' paper] carefully. Notice the author's love for Scripture's authority, sufficiency and veracity. Pay close attention to the author's refusal to place tradition or the opinions of fourth century church fathers above sola Scriptura."

Consequently, I note that since CBMW scholars have answered CBE virtually point by point and the suggested readings here are argued by those who are decidedly on the CBE mailing list, that Beth's comment is both relevant and well taken.

In addition, to note the author's love for Scripture and scriptural authority "over tradition" who maintains egalitarianism over against complementarianism seems, at least to me, to place one's thumb on the scale.

Grace to you. With that, I am...

Peter

Stephen said...

I wrote letters to the BF&M 2000 committee and Dr. Patterson, before the document was approved, because I was concerned about the inclusion of an unequivocal statement prohibiting women as pastors. After studying this issue for a while, it seems to me that a definitive case cannot be presented for either side. Objections raised by one group cannot be adequately addressed by the other.

Careful analysis of the reasoning involved suggests to me that presuppositions are the determining factors-on both sides of the fence. My comment to leadership in 2000 was that this is an outstanding illustration of an issue that should be left to individual churches and not addressed in the B F & M (or used to fire missionaries who could not fully affirm it).

Obviously, I was not very persuasive. However, I would still suggest it is possible I and many others who hold this position are right! I will go out on a limb and make a prediction. If it becomes crystal clear to SBC pastors that they are losing members or failing to reach prospects because of women are excluded from teaching, there will be a re-examination of scripture and the egalitarian view on women as pastors will become more popular. I would suggest this would be good. It would indicate that we place the MAIN THING above a disputable interpretation of a relatively minor doctrine.

G. Alford said...

Tj,

Paul was not wrong… Eve was indeed deceived into sinning… But Adam chose to disobey God knowing full well that he was sinning.


To all,

I certainly am learning a lot here today… Oh, not about the proper role of women in the church… but about each of you. Very Interesting?

Grace to all,

Debbie said...

One final thought.I think that many are overlooking or have not read Jon Zens' entire article. There are many good points taken from the Bible, using more than the passage in 1 Timothy that have not been addressed. I do not think this an issue to divide over, I do in fact think it should be an agree to disagree. How many others believe this however. Is Jon Zens' Baptist? Are those who would have these same thoughts after careful study Baptists? Enough to cooperate in the Convention?

I also thought Strider's post conveying my thoughts on this as well.

Beth said...

Debbie - I would urge you to read this article by Piper:
http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/Sermons/ByDate/2007/2088_The_Beautiful_Faith_of_Fearless_Submission/

God has given to women intelligence and many other gifts. He expects us to use them, and to use them in accordance with biblical strictures. Regardless of how men and women have misused or misapplied God's Word in the past (or present), we have to be faithful to His teaching.
John - I cannot think of a single thing more to say that would clarify what I've already said. I apologize that I seem to be unable to communicate clearly to you.

Colin said...

Cheryl,

Your posts are entirely too long to be effective. I am limited in my time.

But I will address everything briefly.

First, I asked for exegetical proof from the Greek and from the text, not from patristic and historical commentary. You still did not address why the author used the accusitive huper in 1:22.

Second,you said However the early church only had the OT for much of its beginning. They had Paul's writings when Peter penned his letter!! How early is authoritative for you?

Third, you transfer Jesus appeal to the tetimony of witnesses (like heaven and earth in Deut 4:26, etc.) to a Scriptural mandate for every admonishment in Scripture. You try to give this weight by labelling the prohibition of women as a "law," whereas other prohibitions (like which men cannot be elders) as a non-prohibition because God didn't say, "Thou shalt not." What in the whole context of Scripture gives you this interpretive paradigm as one that is correct or even remotely correct? And if you want to get technical, the HS wass witness, the writer (Paul was witness), and the readers and receivers of the letters were witness. There are three already. Or do you say Jesus said only two or three textual witnesses were valid?

Fourth, how do you know what Satan loves? Do you presume to understand and know the thoughts of the angelic majesties? I would also submit, by your logic, Satan would love when the sheep are disobedient to the Shepherd. Therefore, disobedience to this prohibition would render the same joy you use as evidence for your claims.

Then, I do not agree with your Jezebel point. If she were a prostitute, and Christ addressed the issue that was the point- the false prophet and false teaching- but not her prostitution, you would claim that prostitution was now allowed. What about the rest of her disobedience? Because all of her sins were not catalogued, does it mean they were allowed? Or was the author's intent communicated in the passage decrying the false teacher?

Are you saying this is the only prohibition in the NT not backed up with the OT? And if so, it is an anomaly in the Bible? Then it would behoove us to search out the rest of the admonitions and prohibitions to see which ones we can discount.

I appreciate your zeal, but I think your adherence to this major presupposition has colored all of your interpetation. I would be willing to go point by point, but this is the last long one for me to read or write. I do not think any of your points fly, but I will do a study on the prohibition notion to see what comes of it.

Blessings to you,
Colin

Colin said...

Beth,

Could you repost that Piper link? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

By no means a final word. Thanks for the post. My main problem with BFM 2000 was that for the first time we were given an authorized interpretation of Scripture. When the framers make their statement concerning no women pastors they use language like "as taught by Scripture" and then simply include the refrences. Obviously, from this post there is room for discussion, and people who love the Word and study carefully come down on opposite sides of the fence. Not to allow a non Biblical sourse to hold too much sway, I did run across something in Lee Stobel's "The Case For Christ" what he called "coroborating evidence" for the resurrection which happens to mention some individuals who were disturbing the peace of Rome. By binding theselves with an oath to tell the truth and not to steal they were really a threat to the authorities. They had an awful habit of gathering together to sing a hymn to Christ as to a god, and by the way Pliny the Younger said he just had to kill 'em for it. he mentions some women from this group that he said were called deaconesses.
Thanks for the discussion, especially liked Guy Muse. Tommy

Bryan Riley said...

Another great resource on women in ministry is to read the posts at Scot McKnight's site, Jesus Creed. www.jesuscreed.com

Why did Jesus die?

Beth said...

No, I can't repost the web address. I don't think I know how. Maybe it's because I am a woman? :) just kidding!
However, it's on the Desiring God website (desiringgod.org). It's the April 15 sermon "The Beautiful Faith of Fearless Submission."

Anonymous said...

To Don L. You understand it is not about religion It is a believe in the Lord Jesus Christ who died and gave himself for you. My prayer is that you have accepted Him as your personal Savior and your religion is Catholic. Tom G

Cheryl Schatz said...

Shamgar,

Sorry it took so long to answer you. I have been unavailable for the day. About the Old Testament showing the gospel – it is there showing where the Messiah would be born, how he would die (a death only allowed to be applied by the Romans) and why he would die. The Old Testament even gives his name – Immanuel (Isaiah 7:14) and the New Testament affirms this as Jesus has inherited his name (Hebrews 1:4) YHWH God with us (Jesus). The New Testament does enhance the details from the Old Testament but the basics are right there in the OT. The NT fulfills the Old Testament and doctrine can be tested against the OT as well as the NT. Every doctrine has its roots in the Old Testament.

Again the eating of unclean foods was not about the unclean foods but about “unclean” people. If you read the account you will see that Peter said (Acts 10:28) that the vision was about not calling *people* unclean, however we can also see that people are accepted by God from the Old Testament too because God accepts those who call upon him even from other nations.

When I asked to have someone show me a scripture from the OT that proves that God forbids women from teaching the bible to men, you cannot use the Priesthood as a proof of an OT law. Having only one tribe as delegated priests and only the men of that tribe does not forbid women from teaching the bible to men just as it does not forbid the other men who were from other tribes and were also not part of the priesthood from teaching the bible. Is that the best you can come up with?

Praise the Lord that you allowed your wife to teach you from the bible. My husband would be able to say amen to your short testimony.

Warmly,
Cheryl

Cheryl Schatz said...

Sorry that my comments are so long. Yes I admit I can be long-winded, however as an apologist I tend to want to answer every point. Let me try to be brief :)

Regarding the Colossians passage, please re-read my argument. I gave it to you as clearly as I could. If you have further questions, I would love to dialogue in a longer format on my own blog www.strivetoenter.com/wim . (Was that short enough?)

Next regarding the early church, it existed for many years before Paul even came on the scene. After Paul’s conversion he did not go to Jerusalem until after three years (Gal. 1:18) and then not again until fourteen years after his conversion (Gal. 2:1) It was at this time that he presented his gospel to the Apostles. All during this time, the Old Testament was the primary if not only scriptures that the early church had. When the Bereans were taught by Paul they tested everything he gave them by the OT scriptures (Acts 17:11). If Every thing that Paul taught already had its foundation in the OT scriptures. If Paul had taught them that women were not allowed to teach the bible to men, where would the Bereans have researched this to see if it was true? Please give me a scripture so I too can look it up.

You said: “And if you want to get technical, the HS wass witness, the writer (Paul was witness), and the readers and receivers of the letters were witness. There are three already. Or do you say Jesus said only two or three textual witnesses were valid?”

Hey, thanks for trying to find three witnesses. I am sorry, though that your witnesses are not valid. They could have been valid, though. If the Holy Spirit was a witness, He would have included the prohibition elsewhere in scripture. Since He is silent and does not verify this prohibition, we cannot make Him say something that He has not said. Where are the other witnesses? Where are their writings that verify their understanding that Paul forbid godly Christian women from teaching correct biblical doctrine to men? Please show me the scriptures that you base the second and third witness on. Thanks!

You also said: “Fourth, how do you know what Satan loves?” That one is easy. Scripture tells us that Satan is the Father of lies and lying is his very nature (Matt 8:44). Scripture also tells us that Satan wants to hinder the gospel and the truth from being taught (1 Thess 2:18; Romans 1:13; Rev. 12:9, 10) Satan loves lawlessness (2 Thess. 2:8, 9)

You also disagreed with my Jezebel point. You said: “If she were a prostitute, and Christ addressed the issue that was the point- the false prophet and false teaching- but not her prostitution, you would claim that prostitution was now allowed.” Absolutely not. Prostitution is not allowed in scripture because it is a sexual sin. Now please tell me where teaching the bible to men is said to be a sin? And please do answer why Jesus did not condemn her for teaching the bible to men? I want to hear your explanation He never condemned her for teaching truth. If he did, then your point would have been valid. Please try again.

Lastly you said: “Are you saying this is the only prohibition in the NT not backed up with the OT? And if so, it is an anomaly in the Bible? Then it would behoove us to search out the rest of the admonitions and prohibitions to see which ones we can discount.” It is an anomaly only because it has been misread and misunderstood by many in the Church as a universal prohibition. If it truly was a universal prohibition, then it is the ONLY prohibition in scripture that isn’t repeated anywhere. Nowhere in the New Testament is it repeated, nowhere in the Old Testament is it repeated. Jesus did not teach it. Peter did not teach it. Paul did not live out this “prohibition” in that in no church is it every documented that he stopped women from teaching the bible.

Okay, I must stop now. I can’t be longer than you, right?

Take care,
Cheryl

Cheryl Schatz said...

TJ,

You said, “Is it possible that Paul was just plain wrong? He states in I Timothy 2:14 (NIV) "And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner." Was not Adam also deceived?...It seems that Paul grossly misinterprets Genesis 3 or, maybe was is reading from the infallable, original autographs.”

No, Paul was not wrong at all. Paul confirms the account in Genesis that Adam was not deceived. Only Eve said that she was deceived. Adam blames Eve and God but he is not able to blame anyone for deceiving him. Paul writes about the deception of Eve because he is taking us back to Genesis to discover why Adam was not deceived and why Eve was. Paul uses this as a basis to stop one of the deceived teachers that he has already told Timothy about in chapter one. Deceived teachers should not be teaching, they should be learning.

Paul was kind and compassionate to those who were deceived because he himself had also been in deception before he came to Christ (1 Timothy 1:13). As a deceived person acting in ignorance Paul found mercy from God and now his purpose to correct and teach those who were deceived in Ephesus was out of love from a pure heart, a good conscience and a sincere faith (1 Timothy 1:5). Paul was stopping deception and false doctrine and he never stopped the teaching of truth.

Colin said...

Cheryl,

My attempts thus far have been made with the goal of showing your logic to be faulty and overly presumptuous. I show you in the Greek where it disagrees with your interpretation, yet you fall back on your own interpretation. Further, my points remain valid though you may not agree. With the manner in which you handle Scripture, I do not think you would be open if someone showed you a specific law addressing your grievance with Paul’s prohibition.

I do think Paul gives us the OT corollary in the creation and fall accounts. I believe that the NT writers gave inspired interpretations of the OT, much the same way Jesus did on the Emmaus Road (Lk 24). Further, given that the NT is God’s revelation, fully inspired and infallible, I do not believe Paul erred in his prohibition. I would also say that Zens’ Greek rendering of v.12 is quite implausible, and so your faced with accepting Paul’s prohibition or rejecting it as an error in the revelation.

But MOST IMPORTANTLY, you have erred in that you make the giant presupposition that Paul’s prohibition should be corollary with an OT law, presumably from the Mosaic law. Then you make a HUGE assumption that the OT contains every single law contained within the Mosaic Law handed down from God. There is significant evidence against this assumption, and I would simply point you to Sailhamer’s Pentateuch as Narrative for a concise presentation.


Colin
James 3:1

Colin said...

Wade,

What is your take on how Zens handles the Greek? Also, where do you disagree with him and why?

Shamgar said...


it is there showing where the Messiah would be born, how he would die (a death only allowed to be applied by the Romans) and why he would die.


Yes, and I noted it does that. However, it does not say that the man Jesus whom we recognize as the fulfillment of that is specifically the person in question.

I do not disagree in the slightest that the Bereans would've been able to verify that a man would do all those things. The question is if their only source of authority was the OT, how did they know that Jesus was the man.


The Old Testament even gives his name – Immanuel (Isaiah 7:14) and the New Testament affirms this as Jesus has inherited his name (Hebrews 1:4) YHWH God with us (Jesus).


This runs contrary to your own argument. It says that will be his title yes. But the only way we know it is applied to Jesus Christ is that the NEW testament tells us, as you yourself said. So if the OT contains everything in the New, please demonstrate where it says that the specific man Jesus Christ whom we worship is the one in view.

Ugh. Now i feel like we're really just running this into the ground. This is not the main point of our discussion and I feel like we're being dragged off course. However, even though its a side issue it's an important one as it obviously impacts your hermeneutic.


Again the eating of unclean foods was not about the unclean foods but about “unclean” people.


Uh - yes, the ultimate application was to give Peter understanding about a larger change - particularly as regards the Gentiles. But it is undeniable that he also saw it as a change as it regards food. Or do you think that God said "Get up Peter, Kill and eat" and then later said "no no no, you still can't eat that, it was just a metaphor." And if so, when exactly did the further revelation come to demonstrate otherwise? And why is God playing childish games of "psych" with his apostles? ;-)


Having only one tribe as delegated priests and only the men of that tribe does not forbid women from teaching the bible to men just as it does not forbid the other men who were from other tribes and were also not part of the priesthood from teaching the bible. Is that the best you can come up with?


Well, see, we again have this little problem of straw men. I'm not sure where you got the idea that I am advocating a global ban on women speaking God's truth. As I've pointed out several times in this thread, there are other positions than "total egalitarianism" and "misogynistic oppression".

I have specifically defended only Paul's clear teaching on there being complimentary roles, and that one role that women (and many men) are not called to fill, is the role of elders and deacons. I have not, at any point, suggested that women are not allowed to share the gospel, to share thoughts and insights at a bible study, or any number of other things that probably fall under your definition of "teaching".

In that vein, the use of the Levitic priesthood is applicable, though only barely so. Mainly because there is a big difference between "Israel" and its priesthood and forms, and the Church and its structure and the type of government established for her.

Further, I still do not believe such an example is necessary. There is no requirement that the OT clearly teach something that is clearly taught in the new testament for it to be valid. The very fact God inspired it makes it valid.

Anonymous said...

This is probably too superficial an idea for all your great minds, but after men betrayed and did all their other evil against Christ, (while all the females we see come out with not a mark on them, even Pilate's wife showing fear of God) He ends up the Friday events saying, "It is finished!" and tears the most male-centered curtain in the temple from the top. The next visible act of Christ is to appear to women? Why? They are there, and His angel gives them responsibility to tell
men about His resurrection.

I am sure I am missing much here, and others can set me straight.

Paul had the chance to be clear on this issue like he was on so many others, but he comes down on both sides of this throughout his writing. I see this entire issue as a test from Above on our faithfulness. The hurry I feel from such lines as, "the fields are white with the harvest," stands up cold and hard against our sentimental response, "but just have guys do the teaching and preaching."

Finally, could the end of complementarianism be the final step of our Protestant reformation, our final step out from under our Catholic brothers' traditionalism?

Steve Austin
layman

ml said...

Wade and All,
http://www.geocities.com/baptist_documents/women.speaking.html

Here is an interesting perspective that defintely wrestles with the text. Seems like many of the articles at this website all do some rigorous exegesis. Maybe because philosophical and cultural argumentation was less persuasive then? Interesting to note the cultural issue that gave rise to this article, too.

johnMark said...

FYI, Sam Storms has a whole page on this issue. And also a place where he answer five crucial questions on 1 Timothy 2:11-15.

Mark

bryan riley said...

Good thoughts, Steve Austin. I tend to see this as part of God's redemption and restoration of all of humankind. Before the fall we don't see any difference between the way God walks with Adam or Eve. We see that it is part of the curse that there would be an issue between men and women. In Jesus there is therefore now no condemnation -- no curse. And, what best fits the character of God?

Shamgar said...


Paul had the chance to be clear on this issue like he was on so many others, but he comes down on both sides of this throughout his writing.


2 Peter 3:15b-16:
just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction.

Peter doesn't seem to feel like things Paul says which are hard to understand are somehow to be shrugged off as some kind of counter-intuitive test to see if we'll ignore what he is saying and do something else.

bryan riley said...

Shamgar, anyone can take that same passage on either side of the issue. Let's all seek God's message, though.

Cheryl Schatz said...

Colin,

You have attempted to show my logic faulty but you have not done so. You have not answered my questions, yet want to show that my logic is faulty. You said: “I do not think you would be open if someone showed you a specific law addressing your grievance with Paul’s prohibition.”

That is a faulty presumption on your part. You do not know me, yet you make assumptions on what I will or won’t accept regarding information I haven’t yet been given. I ask respectfully, do you have the right to judge me in this way? I am a lover of truth. So, please be a godly teacher and show me a specific law in the Old or the New Testament that confirms your interpretation of Paul’s prohibition to be a universal law that forbids godly Christian women from teaching correct biblical doctrine to men. I will accept truth from scripture if you can show it to me. If you have no such scripture, perhaps you should seriously consider the absence of support and the absence of further evidence and wonder about why that is so. I would do so if it was me because I am a truth lover.

You also said: “I do not believe Paul erred in his prohibition… your faced with accepting Paul’s prohibition or rejecting it as an error in the revelation.” What makes you think that I believe Paul erred? I do not believe that. Paul did not err at all. I believe that Paul was consistent with the purpose of his leaving Timothy in Ephesus stated in chapter one. Paul made it clear that he was not allowing false doctrine or false teachers and 1 Timothy 2:12 is a consistent application of that prohibition.

You also quoted James 3:1 at the end of your last post. Let me see if I can interpret what you are saying and have been saying regarding women: “Let not (women) become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such women in incur a strict judgment”. Women and men who teach are accountable for what they teach. All will be tested so all must be careful of what they teach. Scripture does not stop women from teaching, but it prohibit false teachers.

My teaching is out there in the public to be viewed, considered and tested. You can see samples of my DVD on the hard passages of scripture on YouTube.

Here is the link on 1 Corinthians 11, the head covering issue:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=C33wUR9zcBg

Here is the link to the introduction to “Women in Ministry Silenced or Set Free?”
http://youtube.com/watch?v=0e9TL5TWdac This clip clearly shows the assumptions I am making about the clear teaching of scripture and the attitude that I hold towards those who are complimentarian. I trust that your attitude towards those who disagree with you is the same.

Here is the link for the first teaching on Genesis and the creation of man and woman:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=7fH5_MIF6Jk

Here is the link for 1 Corinthians 14, the hard passage on silencing women in the church:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=zryLDmoeqso

Here is the link for the hard passage of 1 Timothy 2:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=dwzI-kW7E-I

Here is the link for the section on Galatians 3:28 regarding whether a woman is spiritually equal to a man regarding salvation alone or is it more than just salvation?
http://youtube.com/watch?v=JCUFC1ss-Dw

The entire series takes complementarian arguments and compares them to scripture. I have taken well-known and well-loved complementarians and used their audio teachings as well as their written material to compare it to what scripture says. I have not taken off-the-wall complementarians to compare to scripture but well-respected men of God. I do respect them and have great care for them as brothers in Christ. With a visual comparison of the egalitarian and the complementarian position, people can see for themselves the differences between the two views and they can decide for themselves.

I have been thorough and very visual in my teaching. My teaching will be judged by God, but perhaps you shouldn’t judge it yet until you have seen it all.

I will close with one of my favorite passages of scripture which encourages me a great deal:

1 Corinthians 1:26-29 For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God.

Respectfully and with Christian love,
Cheryl

Cheryl Schatz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cheryl Schatz said...

Shamgar:

Sorry for posting so many posts all at once. I am away from the computer in the middle of a household move and so I have to do my work as I can.

You said: “I do not disagree in the slightest that the Bereans would've been able to verify that a man would do all those things. The question is if their only source of authority was the OT, how did they know that Jesus was the man.” The Bereans were taught about Jesus by Paul and they tested out what Paul said by OT scripture. That scripture proved to them that Jesus fulfilled everything predicted about the Messiah and he was indeed the man.

Shamgar, you have not misquoted me. You said: “So if the OT contains everything in the New, please demonstrate where it says that the specific man Jesus Christ whom we worship is the one in view.” I did not say that the OT contains everything in the New. I said that the New Testament doctrine and laws have their roots in the OT so that every NT law can be tested by finding it in the OT. That is what the Bereans did and they found doctrine taught in the OT that was fulfilled in the NT.

You also said: “Uh - yes, the ultimate application was to give Peter understanding about a larger change - particularly as regards the Gentiles. But it is undeniable that he also saw it as a change as it regards food.” All of the law has been fulfilled in Christ and we are no longer under the OT regulations of the law. God doesn’t have to be specific about each law. For example we can wear two kinds of cloths mixed together while in the OT they were forbidden from mixing. Where is that law dismissed in the New Testament? It isn’t except that all of the law is fulfilled in Christ and the only law that we are under is the law of love through Christ.

Again it must be emphasized that the vision that Peter had was interpreted by Peter himself. It wasn’t about food but about people. We can’t disregard Peter’s interpretation and now say that it was about food regulations.

You also said: “Well, see, we again have this little problem of straw men. I'm not sure where you got the idea that I am advocating a global ban on women speaking God's truth.” I have been talking about godly women teaching correct biblical doctrine to men. That is what complementarians say is forbidden in 1 Timothy 2:12-15. I have not said that complementarians ban women from speaking God’s truth, I have just said that they ban women from teaching God’s truth to men. You appealed to the priesthood and I pointed out the fact that the priesthood cannot be appealed to, to stop godly Christian women from teaching correct biblical doctrine to men. Surely you must know that the priest's duty was to offer sacrifices and not to teach. No man or woman from any tribe was forbidden from teaching the scriptures. If you say that only the priests can teach God’s word, which seems to be what you were implying, please show this to me from scripture.

You said: “In that vein, the use of the Levitic priesthood is applicable, though only barely so.” It is not even barely so :) See my comments above.

Lastly you said: “There is no requirement that the OT clearly teach something that is clearly taught in the new testament for it to be valid. The very fact God inspired it makes it valid.” Although the Bereans tested Paul by the OT, I will allow you to give me a second witness from the NT. Go ahead. Give me one verse in the NT that confirms the prohibition that godly Christian women are forbidden to teach correct biblical doctrine to men. I will wait. I am very patient.

Warmly,
Cheryl

Cheryl Schatz said...

One other observation I would like to make. I really appreciate people like “Country Baptist Preacher” and Wade Burleson who are courageous enough to encourage women publicly. I have seen how hard it is for men to go public because when they do encourage women in using their gifts for the entire body of Christ, they are treated in the same way as women are treated who teach men.

CBP and Wade, you are awesome and very courageous men!

Colin said...

Cheryl,

Like I said, I will go point by point, but I am done with the essays. I showed you in the Greek where you interpretation on Col 1:22 was wrong, but you ignored it. This was the basis of my assumption. You completely got my James 3:1 reference wrong.

Why haven't I answered your questions? For the same reason I don't answer every question from my Jehovah Witness friends at the door. They are missing a crucial element that leads them to those questions.

You:
1. ASSUME that Paul's admonition to the Bereans was to check prohibition to law; that is search for corollary LAWS, not prophecy, typology, etc.

2. ASSUME that every prohibition must have an OT corollary law.

3. ASSUME, then, every law given to Moses by God is recorded in the OT.

I am very interested in seeing a list of every single prohibition in the NT and its OT corollary.

4. ASSUME that if Paul was using the creation and fall acounts to bolster his argument (HIS OT evidence for you) that women should not teach or have authority over men, then he misinterpreted.

5. ASSUME that your approval of a witness is indeed valid. I ask you, who were the two witnesses when Moses received the law from God on Mount Sinai? Was it not just Moses and God? Then cannot Paul and the HS satisfy your two witness theory? Why must the other witness be textual?

Cheryl Schatz said...

Colin,

I can see it is difficult for me to get you to answer my questions. You assume way too much. Let’s have a good look at what you say I assume.

1. I do not assume that the Bereans would check out ONLY laws. They checked out everything that Paul taught them to see if it was so. If Paul taught about Jesus being the Christ, they checked that out. Where do you get such an assumption?

2. I said that every law has its basis in the OT. I have not found one that does not. Perhaps you can educate me instead of recording assumptions. However I will certainly accept the “law” on women as having no basis in the OT if you can give me a corresponding second witness in the NT.

3. I do not assume that every law by God was given on the mountain top if that is what you mean. I do not see you point here. And your point is?

4. You said: “ASSUME that if Paul was using the creation and fall acounts to bolster his argument (HIS OT evidence for you) that women should not teach or have authority over men, then he misinterpreted.” I will give you the benefit of the doubt that you have not read everything I have written. I would assume that if you have read what I have written, you would not have written this one at all. Let me gently clarify this for you so that you can dialogue with knowledge. I do not assume that Paul has misinterpreted. Paul was Spirit-led and never wrong in his arguments or his interpretations of scripture. Paul was right on. It is those who interpret Paul who are misled, not Paul himself. Have I clarified this enough for you? I would be happy to restate it if you still misunderstand.

5. You said: “ASSUME that your approval of a witness is indeed valid. I ask you, who were the two witnesses when Moses received the law from God on Mount Sinai? Was it not just Moses and God? Then cannot Paul and the HS satisfy your two witness theory? Why must the other witness be textual?” I will answer your questions head-on. Paul said that the two witnesses can be the same person coming at different times with further information (2 Cor. 13:1) Who were the two witnesses when Moses received the law from God on Mount Sinai? God was the first witness since he wrote the law on the tablets. Moses was the second witness to what God had said. The nation of Israel was the third witness as God spoke the law to them as well (Exodus 19:9; Exodus 20:1-19); the fourth witness was the written law again as God rewrote the law after Moses broken the stone tablets.

Now I ask you to show me the Holy Spirit’s testimony to what you believe was Paul’s prohibition to stop godly Christian women from teaching correct biblical doctrine to men. Can you give me the chapter and verse where the Holy Spirit confirmed this “law”? Again, I am waiting in patience as this is an important point to have a second witness.

In Christian love,
Cheryl

Cheryl Schatz said...

Colin,

Sorry I forgot to comment on this – you said: “I showed you in the Greek where you interpretation on Col 1:22 was wrong, but you ignored it. This was the basis of my assumption. You completely got my James 3:1 reference wrong.” I already dealt with that and I ask you to reread what I originally said. Head goes with the body and “over” is putting all authorities and rulers under the feet of the church “his body”. If I got James 3:1 wrong, where did I get it wrong? Are you not saying that women are not allowed to teach men? How does James 3:1 fit in that prohibition?

Okay, I am off to do other things.

Take care,
Cheryl

Colin said...

The Holy Spirit= witness #1

Paul= Witness #2

Text would be witness #3

Colin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Colin said...

Btw, why do you not take the burden of proof for your own theory?

First, prove that the charge for two to three witnesses is applicable in all revelation, not just charges or covenants. Then produce a list of all NT prohibitions to show they all have OT corollaries except for 1 Tim2:12. (Since you discount Paul's intepretation of Gen 1,3 as saying what the complementarians espouse).

Cheryl Schatz said...

Colin,

You have the text which you say means that godly Christian women are not allowed to teach correct biblical doctrine to men. Where is witness #2 listed as Paul’s words. If Paul spoke these words to someone else, where are these words recorded elsewhere? Please give chapter and verse. Also where is the Holy Spirit’s witness recorded? Chapter and verse please. That was a very nice try but you cannot take one witness and break it up into three. Most creative, I must say, but simply wrong.

I am still waiting for at least a second witness,
Cheryl

Wade Burleson said...

If I were a referee, I would say Cheryl has Colin on the mat and the count is 1 . . 2 . . . 3

:)

Colin said...

You have the text which you say means that godly Christian women are not allowed to teach correct biblical doctrine to men.

I never said this.

You are asking for textual witnesses, not witnesses. The witnesses to covnenants and charges were not textual witnesses, but real-time witnesses. On Mt Sinai, Moses and God were the witnesses. The people received the majority of the law through Moses, and did not witness the giving of the entire law.

In inspiration of 1 Timothy, the true witnesses were Paul and the HS. But you want a textual recording of that witness, and another apparently.

Further, you have not established that everything in the NT requires an OT textual witness. It would not be enough if there was a law preventing teaching by women- you want it in the text of the OT. But if there exists no textual witness besides Genesis for 1 Tim 2:12, then...so what? What does that prove and why? This is where your argument lacks any foundation.

Colin said...

Wade,

Interesting commentary. Now take some responsibility or teachings you are espousing and answer my questions, which indeed are relevant to your post.

And since you think Cheryl and Zens’ exegesis is sound, why don’t you provide the proof that a NT admonition or prohibition requires an OT corollary in the law? The question is irrelevant for a proof text if the foundation of the argument is flawed. Paul already provided the antecedent.

Cheryl Schatz said...

Colin,

I haven’t said that two or three witnesses are necessary for everything so let’s stick with what I have said and what is applicable for women in ministry. Let us start here. I have said that every prohibition has at least one other witness. There is no valid law that is written only once in scripture. It is for our safety. All you have to do to disprove me is show one law that is not repeated. If you can show me one law that is not repeated, then I will show you the laws that have their basis in the OT. You have the easiest task, so I am still waiting.

Now for anyone else reading this, please notice that Colin is one who strongly believes that godly women are not allowed to teach the bible to men. He also can see that having a second witness to a law is important so that we don’t misunderstand the first witness. If he didn’t see the importance of a second witness, then he wouldn’t have tried so hard to make one witness into three witnesses. If one who strongly believes that women can’t teach men can’t find any verification in scripture of this “law” or prohibition, has God failed to verify this as a universal “law” or have we taken what was meant as a prohibition for a specific situation in Ephesus and tried to make it into a universal law?

Do the test as I did to find out. Look at every law given in the New Testament. Now look and see if you can find even one of these universal laws that are not repeated either in the New Testament or in the Old Testament. There is no question that lying is a sin or that adultery is a sin. These laws are all repeated. But what about the sin of teaching the bible to men? There is no second witness to this "sin". Now look at each list of sins in the New Testament. Which list would we put the "sin" of teaching the bible to men? Would it fit in Ephesians 4:31? Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander (and women teaching the bible to men) be put away from you, along with all malice.

How about Galatians 5:19, 20: Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, (women teaching the bible to men), enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions," Would the "sin" of women teaching the bible to men fit in this list? Not at all!

The context of 1 Timothy is one of false teaching and false teachers. We cannot take 1 Timothy 2:12 and rip it out of its context, without a second witness and without a foundation in the Old Testament. How could teaching the bible to men suddenly become a sin in the New Testament when it was never a sin in the Old Testament? Think about these things. Test all things, hold fast to what is true.

Colin said...

Now for anyone else reading this, please notice that Colin is one who strongly believes that godly women are not allowed to teach the bible to men. He also can see that having a second witness to a law is important so that we don’t misunderstand the first witness. If he didn’t see the importance of a second witness, then he wouldn’t have tried so hard to make one witness into three witnesses

Clamoring is right. I am clamoring to try and communicate with you. I never said these things, nor do I believe them. I have each time attempted to show you that your foundational argument is only an assumption. You reiterate it here: can’t find any verification in scripture of this “law” or prohibition, has God failed to verify this as a universal “law”. For you, proof is God saying it twice in Scripture.

I am placing the burden on Wade to verify this, being the master exegete, and since it is the position he is espousing in this post. Now if you wouldn't comment as fast as you drive, we might get somewhere.

You keep saying there is a “test.” What is this test based on?

Cheryl Schatz said...

Colin,

You said: "Clamoring is right. I am clamoring to try and communicate with you. I never said these things, nor do I believe them." So then you believe that a godly Christian woman is not forbidden to teach the bible to men according to 1 Timothy 2:12? Is that what you are saying? This is what CBMW teaches and they have even gone as far as to teach that a woman who teaches the bible to men is coming against the gospel. I have a blog article with clips of the audio at
http://strivetoenter.com/wim/2007/03/24/should-cbmw-fight-egalitarians/
If you do not believe that a woman is in sin who teaches the bible to men, then why have you been arguing that for this view?

If you would be courageous enough to publicly state that CBMW's view is wrong and 1 Timothy 2:12 does not state that godly women are not allowed to teach biblical doctrine to men, then we all can verify that you don't believe this. It is most helpful not to just say that I have misrepresented you, but you need to say what you do believe.

Thanks!

Cheryl

Bryan Riley said...

Thank you, Cheryl, for participating here in a part of the blogging world where many hardly even listen to or read your words because their minds have been completely closed to considering any other interpretation on this issue. Some believe that this one single issue is the one issue that results in the church losing their belief in the inerrancy of scripture and simply cannot even begin to bend on this because it is the slippery slope toward "liberalism." That is a lie and unreasonable, but it is a predominant view. I say that because it is a view I held until about a year or so ago, mostly because it was all I had ever been taught and it sure is easier as a man to just rest on a verse that says no teaching... until one starts questioning whether that literally means no teaching anywhere of anything....

Colin said...

Cheryl,

I believe what CBMW espouses, sorry. But that is not the categorization you gave me, nor does my position have anything to do with the merits of your arguments or your scholarship.

Blessings,

Colin

Cheryl Schatz said...

Thank you so much Bryan for your gentle words. I also praise God that he brought you out of that way of thinking against women using their gifts for the benefit of both men and women.

I am a person who is very much for the inerrancy of scripture. In my teachings on this issue, I emphasize that every scripture is inspired and I also believe every word is inspired. I have tried to make that very clear in the introduction to my DVD series and anyone who has watched it has been encouraged by my attitude towards scripture.

I also have a very caring attitude towards those who have been brought up to believe that God has chosen only men to speak his word to the body of Christ. I have great compassionate towards these dear brothers in Christ who are blinded to the spiritual worth of women regarding teaching men. I know that it is very hard for them to see outside what they have always been taught. They are still my brothers in Christ and I can learn much from them and it does sadden me when they cannot be open to learn from me too. I do believe that one day God will open their eyes. In that day we will be united in one force to fight the real enemy – Satan. I believe that God has promised that unity in the body and I so long for that day to come quickly.

In the meantime I must keep my eyes on doing what God has called me to. When I share Christ and when I disciple new believers that have come out of the cults, I will never discriminate against men. The men I have taught have said that I have taught them more about Christian doctrine than any Pastor they have met. The field that I work in is very specialized and not many Christian Pastors even understand the problems of teaching doctrine to those who are in or who have just come out of a cult. God has called me to understand the doctrine of the cult and then teach in such a way that I bypass the mind-control set up by the cult to hold their followers in bondage even when they leave the group. I have led a support group and bible study group for men and women alike that have come out of the cults since 1988. I can only praise God for the passion that he has given me for the gospel.

Thank you again for supporting me and for supporting women. It feels like a warm hug from a brother in Christ.

Cheryl Schatz said...

Colin,

Thank you for clarifying that I did understand what you believe as you do accept what CBMW espouses. By the way, CBMW is refuted in my DVD and up to this point they have not been able to refute any of the exegesis in the series. They asked for a copy over a year ago. It took them a long time before they responded back but they either cannot or will not answer the exegesis. Yet they are my brothers in Christ. Other brothers in Christ have told me that if I don’t repent of teaching the bible to men by the time I die, then I will go to hell. This is something that divides the body of Christ and it brings me great sadness. I have ministered to Jehovah’s Witnesses for many years and I have seen these people do the same thing with one verse taken out of context that has no second witness. I am so happy that God has given us repetition in scripture so that we can test what we believe to be true by what God tells us multiple times in scripture. It is a human thing to be blinded by tradition and ego. It is a godly thing to lay aside our pride and hold on to what God has said and verified even if it is hard. That is what I did several years ago. I told God that I would stop my ministry if it was not something that God allowed me to do. I was serious and I was willing to do anything for Him. I put my nose into scripture and I studied the Greek words, the grammar, the entire passages in context going back chapter by chapter until I knew that I knew what God’s will was for women and for me. It was in context and shown in practice in scripture.

If I can be a help to you in any way, I would be honored. Please let me know.

Respectfully,
Cheryl

Colin said...

Cheryl,

Thanks. Regarding CBMW and all others, I do not follow lock-step with any organization. I may attempt to dialogue with you on your site over the Zens' exegesis of the Greek text, as he makes quick work of Greek syntactical rules. That is, if you believe his exegesis to be valid in this regards.

Otherwise, I anticipate Wade's answers to my questions.

Blessings,

Colin

Shamgar said...


All you have to do to disprove me is show one law that is not repeated. If you can show me one law that is not repeated, then I will show you the laws that have their basis in the OT.


I'm not sure I understand why it's so hard for you to see the basic flaw in your approach here. Tell me, on what basis do you make this the standard? And tell me, what does it mean when God "fails" to inspire a point more than one time? Or in both testaments for that matter? Does it mean that it is simply not inspired? Does it mean it's optional? That we can't understand it?

From what you have said it seems that your conclusion is that it means we can disregard it in one way or another. I want to know what other (Orthodox) Christian in history has ever used this hermeneutic?

Shamgar said...


By the way, CBMW is refuted in my DVD and up to this point they have not been able to refute any of the exegesis in the series. They asked for a copy over a year ago. It took them a long time before they responded back but they either cannot or will not answer the exegesis.


I would caution you about making assertions like that. A lack of response doesn't necessarily mean inability.

I don't mean to be rude, but an organization like the CBMW doesn't have time to respond to everyone, and likely only makes an effort to respond to the best of the opposition. Given what I've seen here, vs a presentation like Jon Zens I can certainly understand why you wouldn't hit the top of that priority list. Not only is it not the same level of argumentation, from what I can tell you are relatively unknown. I'm sure they didn't feel it would be a wise investment of the time, as it would be edifying to a limited number of people given your lack of circulation.


Imagine if I were to write a paper challenging the president and some plan of his and sent it to the whitehouse (even at their request) and then went around crowing about how it'd been a year and I hadn't heard anything back so obviously they weren't capable of responding.

Cheryl Schatz said...

Hi Shamgar,

You asked: “And tell me, what does it mean when God "fails" to inspire a point more than one time? Or in both testaments for that matter? Does it mean that it is simply not inspired? Does it mean it's optional? That we can't understand it?” It means that we have misunderstood the prohibition to be a universal prohibition. It does not mean that it is not inspired. It is completely inspired but its application is for the church at Ephesus with the false teacher(s) that were causing a problem. It was not optional to be applied in Ephesus. For it to be universal, it must have two or three witnesses to show that it is universal. The context shows that it is a problem in the church, the failure to have a second witness shows that the particular prohibition was meant for a local assembly.

Take another thing that Paul told Timothy in 1 Timothy 5:23 was for him to take a little wine for his stomach. We do not take that command as a universal command. We would not want an alcoholic to see this as a command for him. It is never repeated in scripture. 1 and 2 Timothy are written to a particular person and although there is much application for the church, we need to test commands to make sure they are for the general church and not for a particular person or problem.

Those who work in apologetics will recognize this test as common in apologetics as we come across cultists all the time who attempt to “prove” their doctrine from one scripture taken out of context.

I hope that helps!
Cheryl

Cheryl Schatz said...

Shamgar,

Yes I understand that CBMW may think I am too small a potato to respond to, that is why I said, they cannot or will not answer. However I was told that if a woman kept teaching the bible to men and she did not repent before she died, then that would seriously bring doubt upon her salvation. Also if you listen to the audio clips on my blog that I linked to, you will that CBMW is saying that egalitarianism is denying the gospel. If they are going to bring a rift into the body of Christ, they must be able to answer. The points that I brought out on my DVD are not points that they have already answered. It is a loving thing to prove to a woman that she is in sin from the bible if you are going to say that she is on her way to hell if she doesn’t repent. CBMW has a great responsibility if they are going to teach the body of Christ this way.

Just so you know, I have been in contact with CBMW since before our DVD was filmed. They were very interested in receiving a review copy and they were the first ones to receive it. Since they agreed to review it and since there is nothing else on the market like it in DVD using actual audio clips from CBMW and their supports, they would be wise to answer the exegesis. They have not answered and told me that they would not answer. That is all I can say and people need to see it for themselves to decide.

We are all brothers and sisters in Christ. When we condemn by our words another brother or sister to perdition, we must either be there to help guide in a gentle way the erring person, or quit condemning. CMBW has done neither for me. As far as me being small potatoes I hold to 1 Cor. 1:28 and God has allowed the DVD to be circulated as far as Australia, Spain, the UK, USA and Canada.

Blessings,
Cheryl

Shamgar said...

Cheryl,


Take another thing that Paul told Timothy in 1 Timothy 5:23 was for him to take a little wine for his stomach. We do not take that command as a universal command.


I agree that this is not a universal command to drink wine. However, I'd like to have some clarification. Would you say this has no application for us today? Do we have nothing we can learn from this passage? I hope and expect your answer to this is no. In light of this, what do you think the application for us is today in the passage in question? You have stated what you do not think the passage means - what *does* it mean, and how exactly does it apply - or is it a passage included in the Scriptures with no purpose for us today?



We are all brothers and sisters in Christ. When we condemn by our words another brother or sister to perdition, we must either be there to help guide in a gentle way the erring person, or quit condemning.


I understand what you're saying, but I think you're stretching things a bit there. I'll give you an example. An apologetics organization publishes a specific position condemning oneness theology. Do they then have a responsibility to respond to every individual person who holds this theology? Even every individual person who thinks they have some insight into the issue? Does it matter whether their arguments have any merit? Does it matter if the organization feels their position has been sufficiently presented within the published work to address the concerns of those people?

Anonymous said...

A few points to add to the discussion.
1) we assume in our culture that "head" con notates some kind of authority, but in Jewish culture, the heart was thought to be the "brains" of the body. It would make sense in light of Pauls use of kephale here.
secondly, when kephale is broken down, its 2500 uses, only 8% at the most have some kind of authoritative meaning. I think its stretching it a bit and missing the true meaning of the passage to read patriarchy into something that isn't very patriarchal. I regard that passage as discussing mutual submission, as the whole idea starts with mutuality and states different ways to live that. And, it was assumed that the wife would be the way because she was usually a child. I have no idea why culture is so rarely discussed in these topics.
2) to clear up a misconception about CBE that was stated in earlier comments. they *dont* believe in the interchangeability of genders. that is such a load of bull. What they believe is that giftedness, not gender should determine ones "role" if such a euphemism is to be used. In such case of CBMW biology determines function, to what extent it depends on what organization decides just how subordinate females have to be. I think where biology determines function, like obviously a mother could never be a father and vice versa, clearly those roles should be embraced. I would even argue that a mother should be more supported in society to stay at home with her children for the first year of life as breastfeeding is the primary source of nourishment for that child. But after that I see no problems with a parent of either gender staying at home, this is OT at this point though.
Thirdly, I think its way too much mental gymnastics to hold to the complementarian position. Like I said before, in some circles women can do such and such and in others they can only do such and such.
Fourthly, I have no idea why a female deacon is even up for debate. Phoebe was a deacon and she was female. how shocking. that is the least hard of things to "prove" from the NT.
Fifthly, I think the egal position is free from legalism and what women can supposedly do according to man made law. it is most consistent with the gospel, being a servant first and treating others as more highly than you. This power grabbing of men makes me cringe and it makes me cringe even more to hear women accused of it for hearing a call from God that they must have heard wrong. Every woman I know in ministry has agonized over her choice and isn't in for some stupid showmanship, though I am sure, just like the male gender, there are some of those too.
Sixthly, then I promise I will stop, I don't see why we don't call a spade a spade here. what is being discussed is whether or not patriarchy is still something God desires for His people. Does he want male rule? does He desire that women still be considered the inferior gender because they have the wrong sexual equipment? And where does patriarchy end? Does it end in just the home and church or should it extend to the broader society at large. which again brings me the mental gymnastic game, if a woman is ontologically subordinate, as she supposedly is according to "scholars" like Piper and Grudmen, then she should actually be *incapable* of leadership in any sense because in Genesis she wasn't given the role of leader. That was reserved for men only. And then there are pesky women like Deborah, who exercised both leadership and authority over her people and Barak answered to HER, but apparently she was an exception because no men would step up. I would like to see on shred of Biblical evidence to back this audacious statement.
And to the anonymous female missionary, please stop thinking that YOU were God's second choice or His second best. God called YOU and He chose YOU, He doesn't DO seconds. Bless you in spreading the gospel and teaching men as you do so. continue to do your calling, you are affirmed.

oh wait, one more thing. This whole position also smacks of ethno centric racism. The woman is allowed to teach anyone but the white western male and that is what it breaks down to and frankly it makes me ill that our Western arrogance does not see this glaring disconnect.

Wade Burleson said...

Colin,

Frankly, I'm learning reading this comment string myself. I'm not out to change anyone's mind. I'm out to learn myself on an issue I am not dogmatic about and always cringe when I sense dogmatism in others.

johnMark said...

Wade,

Do you see dogmatism in these exchanges? If so, from which perspective? :)

I am still trying to understand Cheryl's hermeneutic and even find it rendered in a work. Are you familiar with her approach in this area?

SDG,
Mark

Wade Burleson said...

JohnMark,

I define dogmatism more in terms of spirit (i.e. 'how could you be so stupid to believe what you believe?').

I don't sense too much of that in this comment string and appreciate the spirit of the people who comment.

I am not completely familiar with Cheryl's arguments, but I have gone to her website, read her materials, and watched an introductory video. One thing I appreciate about Cheryl is that, whether or not you agree with her, she knows exactly what she is saying and why she is saying it.

You must admire her tenacity and her love for Scripture --- regardless of your agreement with her interpretations.

Cheryl Schatz said...

Shamgar,

You asked: “In light of this, what do you think the application for us is today in the passage in question?” Thanks for asking. I believe the application would be the same for us today as for the situation in Ephesus and that is that a deceived person should not be allowed to teach or influence others in their deception. I also believe that verse 15 in context tells how a deceived person will be saved. Everything in context and everything works together for one purpose.

You also asked this: “An apologetics organization publishes a specific position condemning oneness theology. Do they then have a responsibility to respond to every individual person who holds this theology?” Being in apologetics myself, you have touched a soft spot. I have done everything in my power to help those who have come to me for help concerning doctrine and the gospel. When I have the same questions, it is helpful to make up a document that answers the questions and give it to those who ask. If I get a unique question I always take the time to answer and to give a reason for the hope that is within me. The only time I have not done this is if the person is abusive, disrespectful and totally unwilling to listen. It is then and only then that I will not answer.

God has given me a gift of being able to think outside the box. This gift has been invaluable in working with the cults. A few years ago I wouldn’t have touched the women’s issue with a ten foot pole. I just wasn’t interested and I didn’t really care about women Pastors. I feel bad that I had that selfish attitude. God brought someone in my life that pushed me to defend my ability to be in ministry. That is when I gave everything up to God and told God that if he didn’t allow me to do what I was doing I would quit. What happened next was the most amazing two year journey into the hard passages of scriptures.

Now CBMW knows that my reasoning is outside the box. It is not unreasonable nor is it illogical. It is that few, it seems, have thought things through the way I have. Wasn’t it you who asked which theologian had come up with a similar hermeneutic and a similar set of questions? I don’t know, nor do I really care. The important thing is that my questions and hermeneutics come from my reading of scripture. I have been told by complementarians who have viewed the series that I am logical and persuasive. Last summer a Southern Baptist Pastor emailed me that WIM changed his view on women and convinced him that he had been holding to faulty traditions that the series had put to rest for him. The last two complementarian Pastors who viewed the series said that it was well done and they had nothing that they could give me to dispute the view. I have asked many times for them to tell me where I am wrong if they thought I was wrong on anything and there is nothing said but that the series was well done.

So would I take the time for a woman who is influencing others by her material if I was a member of CBMW? Yes, absolutely I would. I guess that is because I genuinely care. I can’t say that they don’t care. I just have not seen it.

So if you want a challenge, get the series and then educate me where I have misunderstood scripture in context. I warn you, it would be a big job. Might be a topic for a thesis? Well, at least that is what I was told by the first Pastor who review WIM. He said that it qualified as a doctoral thesis.

Again, I hope that helps.

Thoughtfully,
Cheryl

Shamgar said...

Cheryl,

I want to apologize for something. Reading over my posts, they've been somewhat varied. Please understand that I do not know you, and when I'm trying to interact with someone I don't know about a topic such as this I really want to know all the surrounding pieces too. I've never discussed an issue that wasn't influenced by other factors of a person's overall worldview and beliefs. I really want to know how you feel about more than just one small aspect of this issue, so that I can better understand why you think the things you do. It's not helped by the fact that this medium prevents much one-to-one give and take questions.

To some extent, I suppose I should've tried to watch your clips - though I think their abbreviated nature would've limited their helpfulness, and the nature of this medium makes purchasing the DVD and watching it and then trying to communicate with you a bit problematic.

That being said, I want to try and consolidate things a bit to a point and put us both on the same page and see what shakes out of that. So, I'm going to present a bit of a positive position on this issue (i.e. my position) and I'm interested to see whether it is something you object to. Perhaps then we can be sure we're not talking past each other or at the very least that we're being more edifying to all concerned than we have been this last handful of posts. (Again, largely my fault for being all over the place with my questions).

I do not personally have any objections to women teaching classes in Seminary. I'm sure there are some classes where that wouldn't make sense given what I'm going to say later, but not having gone to seminary I couldn't be specific about that. For sure, I see no reason that biblical languages would be something a qualified woman could not teach (to touch on recent relevant events). But then, I also question the value of Seminary (at least the way it's done today) in general vs training in the local church(es) under the guidence of the Elders.

Tied in with that, I also have no issues with women proclaiming the truth of Christ from the scriptures - to men or otherwise, outside the church. This would include doing (most) missionary work and local evangelism. [Most would exclude being an elder in planted churches as expounded on below - but then I don't think our male missionaries should be doing that either. Local converts should be discipled and placed in those positions instead.]

I also, as I've stated, have no objection to women teaching children's sunday school. And I don't say that because I regard it as unimportant. Far from it. If it's going to be there, it's critical that this be done well, so that it can re-enforce what is being taught in family worship.

I certainly have no problem with womens ministries in general. Quite the contrary, I'm disappointed with the quality of women's ministries in general and would like to see more theologically sound older women stand up and give serious instruction to younger women as Paul commanded. Real ministry, not tupperware parties and gossip sessions. I know some of this exists, but sadly all too often this is neglected. It doesn't help that women's ministries are often not given the support they need - or worse are designed by men who think that's all women are capable of or something equally absurd.

As would seem obvious, I also have no objections to women teaching women's sundy school classes. Where I think the area becomes (dark-)grey is when women teach mixed or men's sunday school classes. At least, when they are the sole teacher and not a husband wife combination. I say this because as should be clear so far, I do believe that Paul's statement in 1 Timothy is universal. I should note that doesn't mean I think "quietness" means "remain silent". I would agree with Zen's view of 'quietness' here - the same kind of quietness we all should learn in. Submission is the same - I think there is probably an element of culture as to why he felt the need to specify submissiveness to the women in this letter. However, I would suggest that it was in God's wisdom that this was addressed, as the problems they faced we still face today. (Speaking of a larger problem of feminists here, aka NOW et al. not necessarily the issue under discussion - since I'm still not sure of the extent of your position.)

I think that it is still a valid command for women to dress discreetly and modestly. I wish many more women would heed this within the church, particularly our teenagers.

Lastly, I think the admonition in vs 12 still holds true. This is why I feel like women teaching mixed/male classes is an issue - it suggests a delegated authority from the Eldership of the church and that's a concern. But then, I'm also concerned about the lack of care with which men who teach are chosen. There is rarely any sort of testing, or calling based on their ability or their theology. Rather, a pragmatic approach is so often taken, and whoever is available gets chosen. Worse, once this is established, in many churches the leaders do not then even bother to check up on these teachers, attend their classes, verify their teaching. This is just asking for trouble.

Anyway, on this point, I perceive I could be swayed by solid biblical argumentation. Sunday School is not a part of "church" as the new testament church understood it. It is still part of church today though so my default view falls on the safe side of clear biblical teaching here in this passage and others.

But I don't generally go to this passage very often. In general my concern today is far more about Scripture's positive definition of church government. Elders and deacons, both of which are described as male, and are male in every example we're given. I know there are attempts to get around this on all sides of the issue, but the teaching is very clear. I find this passage in 1 timothy to be far more a supporting text of that teaching in other places than I do something that stands on its own in this specific area.

Of course, while I think women are excluded from this calling, I also think most men are excluded from it. It isn't something to be viewed as a negative. God calls and gifts some for these types of service and not others.

There are many many other areas of ministry in which both men and women work. This would include outreach, visiting the sick, care for widows and orphans, etc. There certainly is no prohibition here. We all have so much to do, I really don't understand why we need to feel the urge to push past God's defined order in his Scripture. I do not feel slighted that I have not been called to be a preaching/teaching elder. After all, as Paul says, if the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of smell be?

So, there you have it. Perhaps this will be more conducive to edifying discussion between the two of us.

Oh, one last thing, this is purely my view. It should not be construed as necessarily the views of Colin or any other complementarians in this thread. All errors of reasoning and interpretation are mine and mine alone.

Shamgar said...


It is that few, it seems, have thought things through the way I have. Wasn’t it you who asked which theologian had come up with a similar hermeneutic and a similar set of questions? I don’t know, nor do I really care. The important thing is that my questions and hermeneutics come from my reading of scripture.


See, this really concerns me. If I am reading a passage of scripture, and I come up with a "new" understanding of it, to me that is automatically suspect. The first thing I want to know is has anyone else ever viewed it that way.

If not, again, deep distrust. I have to look back over Church history and ask myself, how many times has someone come up with a "new" way of looking at something? Now, how many times was it a good thing.

It just seems arrogant to me to so easily dismiss the fact that we have 2000 years worth of writings of people God has called into his service. Men of absolutely incredible insight and understanding, like Warfield, Owen, Edwards, Luther, Augustine, and Athenasius.

Were they perfect? Certainly not. But I find it hard to imagine that God would keep an aspect of his truth hidden from 2000 years of people so much more brilliant than I.

If I still thought I had something, I'd be digging like crazy to find someone, anyone (orthodox) who ever touched on the subject to evaluate my understanding by before I ever tried to publish it.

Cheryl Schatz said...

Hello Shamgar,

Actually that was a really nice response and I appreciate your “human” touch. I am more used to those who disagree with me but who come at me with disrespect and in attack mode. Your post was refreshing. Apology accept although I am not sure that an apology was needed.

You said: “To some extent, I suppose I should've tried to watch your clips - though I think their abbreviated nature would've limited their helpfulness, and the nature of this medium makes purchasing the DVD and watching it and then trying to communicate with you a bit problematic.” The video clips are only about 5-6 minutes each but the one on 1 Corinthians 11 has a good view of the passage online. A very staunch complementarian Pastor told me that the exegesis on this passage was the very best that he had ever heard. That was an amazing thing for me to hear because he is hard core complementarian and rarely gives out compliments. The link again is http://youtube.com/watch?v=C33wUR9zcBg and the introduction is not to be missed if you want to understand where I am coming from. It is at http://youtube.com/watch?v=0e9TL5TWdac. I am repeating the links so you don’t have to go back. As far as personal attention, you are welcome anytime over at my blog www.strivetoenter.com/wim .

You also said: “Where I think the area becomes (dark-)grey is when women teach mixed or men's sunday school classes. At least, when they are the sole teacher and not a husband wife combination.” Well I have taught with my husband by my side, but it was for my benefit that he stood there. I have a shy nature and have battled the fear of public speaking. The only reason that I agree to public speaking is that I have a message to give. I would have been happier if God had called my precious husband. It is my husband who has pushed me to work hard to get past my fear. But it is not my husband who has been called to teach and he has not done the hard work that I have.

Now I am somewhat surprised at people who see this issue as a somewhat grey issue. The reason is that God does not have a rule for a church building and another rule for a home or for a Sunday School room. After all, the “prohibition” is not said regarding a building or how many people or how many men are in attendance. If a woman can teach a man the bible outside of church, what magic happens inside the church that she cannot teach there? This is the way I see it. All this does is take up a woman’s time. It means that I can take two hours to teach a man a passage of the bible. The next week I can take two hours to teach another man the same passage. The following week I can do the same thing. Each individual man is then taught by me the same thing. It would take me nearly a year to teach 50 individual men the same teaching on the passage of scripture teaching them once a week. They all would have learned and they all would have edified. However, I am not allowed to speak to all of these men together in one place at one time so that they all can learn? If I can the exact same men the exact same thing all at the same time, then they all learn but I have the next 51 weeks to teach other things, right? Wouldn’t I be more effective with my time by teaching men in a group? In what sense does that make sense? Will I somehow be a different person when I teach them at the same time? How I see it, it is the complementarian’s way of making a woman’s ministry in the church ineffective. A woman must take a year to teach 50 men when she could have done it in one session.

Now I understand your statement about women being able to teach biblical languages in a seminary but not being able to teach them the bible itself. I questioned CBMW about this a long time ago. This was done incognito because I didn’t want to influence their answers. I asked them if a man was allowed to watch a DVD where a woman was teaching doctrine. I was told that a single man was able to watch the DVD. I then asked if several men were allowed to get together to watch the DVD and I was told that this was not allowed according to scripture. I was told that when men got together they needed to have a man teach them whether it was in person or on DVD. They said that I should find the series taught by a man. Do you see scripture teaching these kind of rules?

I also asked CBMW if no man was teaching the course the way the woman was, could the men watch the woman teach on the DVD in that case? I was told that if a man did not teach it first, then it wasn’t anything of value. You see, this is the thought pattern that is common. It is that God reveals truth to men first and from them to women. God doesn’t give women revelation into his word. She must hear it from a man first before she can teach it.

I don’t see this in scripture. Priscilla taught Apollos who already was a dynamic preacher. Her wisdom in the Old Testament scriptures allowed him to learn much more about Jesus and his connection to the scriptures. We don’t need to ask who taught her first before we let her teach him. What ultimately matters is if it is truth and if it is of God.

That brings us up to your other post where you said: “See, this really concerns me. If I am reading a passage of scripture, and I come up with a "new" understanding of it, to me that is automatically suspect. The first thing I want to know is has anyone else ever viewed it that way.”

The way I see it is that there are times in church history that the church has been blinded by tradition so much so that it has been impossible to think outside the box. During the time that slavery was common, the church promoted slavery and even fought for the rights of men to have slaves. Truth is more important than what famous person is teaching something. If what is taught is truth, it should be allowed to be taught whether it is taught by a man or a woman. If it is error, it should be rejected no matter who teaches the error.

A number of years ago a particular Pastor attended my bible studies. I taught on a passage that he had taught many, many times and I brought out things in the passage that he had never seen before. He was amazed because he could not understand how I had come to such a simple profound understanding. He could see that what I taught was truth and he could clearly see it in scripture as I taught it. However on his own he had never seen it before. Sometimes I pick things up that others miss because I pay attention to all of the words believing that each word is inspired. When I teach this way, people can easily see what I see, but they have never thought it through before themselves. I no longer have the bible study because I am in the midst of a household move, but when I had the group and was teaching the bible many people told me that I am such a deep person, but I make scriptures come alive and people kept coming back to hear more of God’s words taught. The fruit was that people came to know the Savior and his word. Whenever I was asked, I would teach the same things in church. People were hungry to learn and I never kicked men out of the bible studies. To me it would have been an evil thing to discriminate against the men. Men need to learn about God too and many of these men would never have darkened the doors of a church in the beginning. God allowed me to disciple them in the Christian faith when no one else seemed to be able to do that. Can you tell me that this is considered a “grey” area to God? I do not believe so when you consider 1 Timothy 2 in context. If I was teaching error, then I needed to be stopped, just like any man who teaches error needs to be stopped. But if I am teaching truth God blesses that truth with fruit for the kingdom, then which scripture tells me to stop doing this?

Is it important to find out who has seen these things in scripture before? I don’t think Martin Luther cared about who taught about salvation by faith alone as he rebuked the Catholic church for their indulgences and their traditions. Who was it that supported him as he saw the message of salvation by faith alone in scripture? Once he started teaching the truth from scripture, people got saved and understood the gospel. Now what if Martin Luther had been Martina Luther? Would anyone have listened to her just because she was a woman? Sometimes I think our prejudice stops us from having God’s full blessing.

Does that help a little to understand where I am coming from? I am glad that you are as long winded as I am, because it makes me feel less guilty (my apologies to Colin).

Blessings,
Cheryl

Colin said...

Wade,

We are all learners. And I know you know that we learn by new ideas, and by the scholarly interaction with those ideas. This is why I want your thoughts on his exegesis, and the hermeneutical presuppositions of Cheryl. You have given your endorsement to her and Zens, and I want to know where your hesitations remain.

bryan riley said...

Yes, all too often complementarians assume that an egalitarian has a low view of scripture. Wade and Cheryl point our that such an accusation simply cannot be made against Cheryl. Additionally, we must remember that ultimately the best hermeneutic will never be a manmade one...

Wade Burleson said...

I am not yet prepared to produce anything on my own. My hesitation, Colin, is exactly what Bryan mentioned --- I see a love for Scripture on both sides of this issue. Frankly, hermanuetical presuppositions, if any, may not be solely in one camp.

Anonymous said...

Rex Ray said,
Colin,
The worst thing about being wrong is refusing to admit it. That’s a little underhanded; but just for old time’s sake.

Alford,
I’ve learned a lot on this post about WHY I believe the proper role of women is the same as the proper role of men.

BTW, you are right in saying, “Eve was indeed deceived into sinning…But Adam chose to disobey God knowing full well that he was sinning.”

I didn’t realize the significance of that until Cheryl brought it out on Wade’s post some time ago. Where did you learn it? Or did you know it before Cheryl posted it?

Shamgar said...

Cheryl,

I'm leaving for church shortly. I'd like to respond to you but I'll have to do it a bit later when I can devote the requisite amount of time to it.

Bryan,

Of course the best hermeneutic is God's. We don't and can't have that however. What we do have are the examples of Christ and the inspired hermeneutic of the apostles to use as examples.

Wade,

Of course there could be. We all have traditions that shape our thinking, sometimes even unawares. However, I can say that I have no personal beef with women, and no personal desire to see them banned from anything in the Church. I hold the positions I do solely because I believe God has a purpose in them. I don't even do so based on the pervasiveness of heresy among current female teachers, as I think it's an unfair representation. I think there are lots of women who are fully orthodox in their teaching - they just don't put themselves on national television as preachers or lead churches.

Anon, Alford (and others),


BTW, you are right in saying, Eve was indeed deceived into sinning. But Adam chose to disobey God knowing full well that he was sinning.


So, I don't understand what's being said here. Do you accept Eve's excuse then, but not Adam's? That seems odd given that God accepted neither. Do you really believe she was deceived so totally that she had no idea what she was doing? That she made no conscious choice?

Scripture is quite clear that she took the apple, evaluated the Devil's arguments and weighed them against God's as if she were in a position to judge what was best. There is serious significance here, but the significance is that both made grave errors (as would we all have) which thrust the world under the curse of sin - and both made lame excuses for it.

bryan riley said...

Shamgar, it actually appears as though Adam was standing there with Eve. He got the command straight from God. He does nothing. Then, when God gets there attention, Adam blames. Eve appears to repent. Adam gets kicked out of the garden, and, assuming the above is true I'd suggest it is because he doesn't repent. I'm not sure Eve gets kicked out after confessing. She goes with her husband however. Fair reading?

bryan riley said...

their attention. Excuse me.

Colin said...

Wade,

Everyone has theological presuppositions, without exception. I am really surprised that you are not prepared to deal with this.

bryan riley said...

I dont' need to answer for Wade, but why would that be surprising? God is revealing more of Himself to us every day as we seek more of Him. Why would we expect to be inerrant on difficult to understand words, that have been taken from their original context in a different language, translated numerous times, and needing to be read in the greater context of Who God Is. I don't find it at all surprising. I find it as being very real, humble, and I appreciate Wade's response. Why do we have to have it all together? I think God is more interested in hearts that are continuing to seek more of Him, realizing that He is God and we are not..

Beth said...

Hi Pastor Wade,
I didn't realize that when I started a blog called women4thekingdom that I would enter into the big "debate", I received some harsh comments from so called "complementarian" folks. So I started to research the different views. My husband had seminary notes about all of this so I started to study and I was a bit disturbed. I think there is a middle ground. I think I fit somewere in the middle between the two views- complementarian and egalitarian. Complementarian's think that if you believe in mutual submission that the man is passive and weak and the woman is dominate. I would totally disagree.
We so desire to put people in a box- I don't fit into either box. The John Piper book has a huge following and they feel it is their calling to get men and women back to the "biblical" roles of womanhood etc..
I believe that the greatest calling for both men and women is to go and make disciples of all nations and to work for His Kingdom. My husband and I minister together through simple churches so we don't have to worry about titles- we function in the giftings God has given us. No titles is the key. Women are already functioning in the church- we just aren't giving them the title- who says any of us need the titles anyways. I do feel that there needs to be an unleashing of men and women to be Kingdom laborers- anything that tries to limit Christ's call seems suspicious and divisive to me. There are dangers to both extremes- one side is no gender differences/femenism-- the other extreme is that women can only function in the home and minister to our children. I believe I fit in the middle, yes, my highest calling is to my husband and children. But Christ has also given me a passion to go and make disciples of all nations- one life at a time- no title, no glory. Just a women4thekingdom. What is there to argue about.
Beth
P.S. The only book I have found as of yet that is in the middle between egalitarian and complementarian- pretty balanced is called, "Intimate Allies" by Allender and Longman.

Shamgar said...

Bryan,

Actually, no. I don't think that's a fair reading. You are correct, that the traditional Jewish interpretation is that Adam was present at the time, though we don't know if he did anything to stop her. It is interesting that the serpent speaks to Eve - perhaps he had not had success with Adam? Perhaps he ate out of affection for Eve, or because of her persuasive arguments (This seems borne out by Gen 3:17).

I'm not sure how you get "Adam blames, Eve repents" from this:

The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate He relayed exactly what happened, though he clearly seeks to point the finger of blame at Eve. Then God questions Eve about what she did, and she responds: "The serpent deceived me, and I ate". How is it that this is repentance and not casting blame? Her excuse is essentially the classic "The devil made me do it." It's so lame an excuse and attempt to lay blame that it is used for mocking today.

Then you said, I'm not sure Eve gets kicked out after confessing. She goes with her husband however. Again, I'm not sure how you come to this conclusion. God pronounces a curse on *both* of them and the serpent.

Then Genesis doesn't specifically record Eve separately int he driving out of the garden. But look just before that at verse 22: "Then the Lord God said, 'Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever' therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden..."

So why did God send him out? To prevent him, now that he had disobeyed, from eating of the tree of life. Was there really no risk that Eve would stretch out and eat from the Tree of Life, that she could have stayed? That defies logic. She isn't mentioned, because it is obvious that she would've been thrown out as well. Adam is the primary one in view here, and only he is mentioned.

Now, one other thing we can do, is take your assumption that her lack of mention means she was not involved and apply that same methodology to another passage. Like Genesis 13:11:
So Log chose for himself all the valley of the Jordan, and Lot journeyed eastward.

Does this mean only Lot went east...or did the rest of his herdsmen go with him?

In Genesis 20:1 we see Now Abraham journeyed from there toward the land of the Negev, and settled between Kadesha dn Shur; then he sojourned in Gerar. No mention of Sarah - but she's obviously present from what follows.

So, obviously that's not a valid assumption. Particularly when a perfectly reasonable and doctrinally sound application is present. The focus of the story of the fall is Adam. Eve is present because she was part of that - but it was Adam that was the federal head (as Paul states). As a result, it is his eating that plunged the line into sin and death. So it is the man that is specifically mentioned as being driven from the Garden. It is why Jesus could be born of a woman - but not of a man. It is why Christ himself was a man - the second Adam, the new federal head for those who are in Christ through the new birth.

Shamgar said...

Why would we expect to be inerrant on difficult to understand words, that have been taken from their original context in a different language, translated numerous times, and needing to be read in the greater context of Who God Is.

I don't think anyone is asking Wade to be inerrant. But the rest of your comment is what I really find troubling. I don't know about you, but my bible was translated directly from the original greek. And what exactly do you mean by "needing to be read in the greater context of who God is"? That is defined by Scripture itself.

Why do we have to have it all together?

We don't have to have it all right, (praise God, since none of us do). However, we should be prepared to give an answer. I appreciate Wade's desire to consider an issue - but if he really is in the position he says, I wonder about the wisdom of posting an article in this fashion. Broaching the topic in general for discussion is one thing - posting a detailed work for a particular position is quite another.

I think God is more interested in hearts that are continuing to seek more of Him, realizing that He is God and we are not.

More interested in such hearts as opposed to what?

Bryan Riley said...

Wow, Shamgar, I only made a suggestion... for a point. There are a lot of ways to read the language there. I didn't ever suggest that what I said was Truth. WE really don't know. It is a fair reading, a reasonable one. AS are other ones. Frankly, I don't agree with that reading, but it is one that could be made. :) You sure bit on it and illustrated well.

You are right to say that Scripture demonstrates Who God Is and that is exactly what I meant, whoever you are (Shamgar). I am saying it must be examined in the context of the entire Scripture, through the working of the Holy Spirit. That shouldn't be troubling at all. Why is it troubling?

As to my comment on hearts... Hearts that aren't in it and are only following the head. People who know a lot of facts about God but don't yada Him. People who may talk about loving God, having a relationship with Him, know the written word as though it were a textbook, but who really dont' know the character--the heart--of God.

I don't understand why you think it is a different thing for Wade to have posted the way he did here. This is a blog. It is for discussion. Unfortunately, in many churches today, people are shamed to question or discuss things as though they might be unanswered questions.

peter lumpkins said...

Dear Cheryl,

Thank you for the exchange here. It has been an interesting thread. And, while I certainly understand if folk move on, I wanted to pitch out a couple of points if I may.

Also, I apologize in advance if other commenters may have mentioned this. It is a long, tedious read and I admit I surfed through some of them.

That said, my initial impression is precisely why, Cheryl, you chose to frame the conversation about women's role in ministry in moral terms of good and evil rather than terms of doctrinal belief.

Not only did you frame your opening challenge couched in those terms, making it a "universal law" about "forbidding godly women to teach men doctrinal truth" which you denied the Scripture contained, but you also kept going on with that particular strain of thought. You inquire: "Can you explain why teaching correct biblical doctrine to men by godly Christian women is evil?" Thus, you make it into a moral crime rather than a biblical conviction.

My question is, Cheryl, who has suggested that it is EVIL for a woman to teach a man? Not any complementarians I know. Frankly, I remain uncomfortable framing the dialog about gender roles we have in evangelical circles with moral categories of good and evil, and that for two reasons.

First, we do not normally converse about doctrinal matters of Scripture in that way. Rather we talk about "sound" doctrine and "unsound" doctrine. Or, a "weak" Biblical case or a "strong" biblical case for a particular doctrine. Given that, then, we could talk about various Biblical arguments for gender neutral roles in teaching scripture and judge them weak or strong, sound or unsound, valid or invalid, etc. etc.

Secondly, because that is not followed in your presentation, Cheryl, the consequent is polarization. According to you, Cheryl, my position as a complementarian is either evil or good. But, in your mind, since egalitarianism is good, then I must hold the evil view. How that is supposed to make for good conversation, I cannot tell.

Indeed, according to your "good vs. evil" catagories in gender roles, the overwhelming majority of the Judeo-Christian understanding of this issue in history can be summed up in one word: evil. And presently, most evangelicals are evil by holding an evil view about gender. Sorry, Cheryl, I just don't follow you here.

Another area I'd like for you to develop--please, not exhaustively, but selectively--is the initial challenge you offered. From the way I see it, you ask for a law that forbids godly Christian women from teaching correct biblical doctrine to men. I think you made not only your point well over and over about this, you also offered many objections to it.

Nevertheless, I'd like to see some Scripture that argues for your proposition. That is, would you briefly state a law from Scripture that COMMANDS godly Christian women to teach correct biblical doctrine to men? I think, at least for me, that would assist in knowing your position better.

Thank you Cheryl. Grace. With that, I am...

Peter

Cheryl Schatz said...

Shamgar,

You said: “Do you accept Eve's excuse then, but not Adam's? That seems odd given that God accepted neither. Do you really believe she was deceived so totally that she had no idea what she was doing? That she made no conscious choice?”

Scripture does not make an excuse for Eve, but gives the facts that we seemed to have missed. 1 Timothy 2:14 says “And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.”

The Greek meaning for the word translated in the NASB as “deceived” is #1818 exapatao and it means to be fully deceived. To deceive completely, beguile, seduce, meaning to lead out of the right way into error.

This is what happened to Eve. The bible says that she fell into transgression through deception. Eve didn’t choose to sin on her own wanting to be in rebellion to God. She believed the lie. Eve fell into sin through being completely and fully deceived. What was the lie that she believed? The lie of the serpent that convinced Eve was that eating the fruit would cause her to be like God and being like God she would not die.

Scripture tells us that Adam was right there with Eve when she was being deceived. I like how John Piper explains the scene in the Adam was there listening to his wife being deceived and he did nothing. He did not sin because he loved his wife and wanted to be with her. How do we know that? We know that because of two evidences in scripture. The first evidence is that Adam was there when Eve was being deceived. Scripture says in Genesis 3:6 “…she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.” Now the construction of this sentence in Hebrew is such that the eating and the giving of the fruit to her husband with her is fully connected and John Piper brings out the fact that the Hebrew says that her husband *was* with her.

So with this first evidence we can see that if Adam’s motivation was only love, then he would have stopped his wife from eating or at least counseled her. There is no mention of this important fact and as John Piper further brings out, God’s words to Adam after they ate was that “because you listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree” means that Adam listened to Eve talking to the serpent and did nothing. The Hebrew words are not ones that mean that Adam listened to Eve’s begging him to eat nor do they mean that he listened to her persuade him. Piper wisely brings out the fact that Eve spoke to the serpent and Adam did nothing. Adam was silent while listening to his wife’s conversation. God held Adam accountable. Why? Because scripture says that to those who have been given much, much will be required of them.

I don’t have time to go into what Adam experienced in the garden before Eve was created, but the Septuagint confirms the Hebrew grammar regarding a very important event that happened after Adam was created but before Eve was created. This event caused Adam to understand the uniqueness of God and by understanding that he (Adam) and Eve and the animals were all part of creation and God alone was the unique one – the Creator, Adam was not deceived into believing the lie.

Now Paul brings all of this together in 1 Timothy 1 by contrasting the difference between those who were teaching false doctrine because they were deceived and those who were teaching false doctrine because they were the deceivers. Again I don’t have time to fully develop this at this time as I am on my way out for fellowship over dinner, but if you want to see the entire argument brought out with multi-media, it is included in “Women in Ministry Silenced or Set Free?” my DVD set.

The one thing that I want to take the time to comment on is Paul’s words about mercy and the deceived. In 1 Timothy 1:13 Paul explains why his command to Timothy to stop the deceived teachers who are teaching error because they have been deceived by things that they don’t even understand (1 Timothy 1:6, 7) is out of love (1 Timothy 1:5). He says in verse 13: “even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy *because I acted ignorantly* in unbelief”

Paul says that those who are deceived, who do things in ignorance and not because they are deceivers as some were (1 Timothy 1:20 lists a couple of the deceivers), they can receive mercy just as Paul did.

God’s words to Eve after she sinned showed that she received mercy from him. It didn’t stop her from dying as he told her she would die, but she received mercy because he had been deceived into sinning. God then prophesied that the Messiah would come through the seed of the woman. He told this to the serpent and this is my take of what he said. He announced to the serpent that he had destroyed Eve by deceiving her, but God was going to turn the tables on the enemy. He was going to use the one who had been deceived and through her seed, Satan would be utterly destroyed himself. It was because Eve sinned through deception and not because she deliberately sinned in rebellion that God was able to bring the Messiah through her.

Adam on the other hand did not sin because he was deceived and scripture shows that his sin was the sin of rebellion. Hosea 6:7 shows that Adam’s sin was considered worse than Eve’s because his sin was the sin was a treacherous sin.

God also showed that Eve now that her eyes were opened was not one who would sin treacherously against him, but the one who sinned in rebellion God kicked him out of the garden because he was at risk of repeating his rebellion against God.

If you would like to read more about the sin of Adam versus the sin of Eve that I have written that would keep me from having to repeat it all over again here, please read these three posts first to get the full picture before you fire questions at me.

I am going to divide the links into two or three lines for each link so that they fit onto Wade’s page size. You will have to connect each them back together to one line to connect to the link.

http://strivetoenter.com/wim/2006/12
/21/why-was-the-sin-of-adam-more-
serious-than-the-sin-of-eve-part-one/


http://strivetoenter.com/wim/
2006/11/20/adam-as-head-of-the-
family/

http://strivetoenter.com/wim/2006/12
/27/why-was-adam%e2%80%99s-sin-more
-serious-than-the-sin-of-eve-part-two/

Sorry I don’t have more time, but I am out the door.

Loving God’s inspired word,
Cheryl

Shamgar said...

Cheryl,

Ok - first the DVD links you sent me to, and I'll start with the one on 1 Cor 11. As it pertains to your presentation on the aspect of the issue of men in vs 3-4 I largely agree with you. There are some niggling issues but I don't think they bear enough significance to make it worth extending this post longer than I think it'll already be. :-) I will however point out that I think you focused overmuch on the Jewish culture.

Corinth was not exactly a Jewish city, so there influences were far greater than just that. In fact, if you look you'll find that many of the pagan religions also worshipped their "deities" with their heads covered. I think this is a more important influence, because Paul here specifically is discussing propriety in worship. It's important in general, but I think it's particularly important as we discuss Paul's address to women in the next few verses - since their prohibition in Jewish law was general and not specific to just during worship.

Now, on the women's head covering. Where we agree is that the head covering in view here is not hair, as some sects would like to propose it to be (including the one my wife grew up under). Personally, I view it as a symbol that Paul seems to indicate here has a meaning of its own. I think that this passage in particular ties the structure God has ordained to the trinitarian Godhead through Paul's writings here - which I find very significant in regards to some people's belief in the supposed ontological inferiority of women. Here Paul parallels God->Christ and Man->Woman. Christ is obviously not ontologically inferior to God, but rather is functionally subordinate to him. Likewise a wife and her husband.

Now, as to what I said earlier with the problem of tying this to Jewish practice. Jews saw this as an all the time thing for women. As you noted in your video, a married jewish woman couldn't set foot outside without a veil. In pagan practice the females would not only not be veiled, they would frequently have their hair spread out in a display of vanity - quite the opposite issue. I think this is significant because I don't think we can press Paul beyond what he actually says here. Specifically, he says that this is a practice when praying or prophesying. And based on the context, I think we can limit it further to specifically when participating in public corporate worship. It's certainly not a recommendation that women go around veiled all the time, as I'm sure you'd agree.

So back to my initial point, that I believe it to be a symbol. Specifically a symbol of her functional subordination to her husband. What I also think is quite important is that at the time Paul's request would not have seemed unusual or unreasonable. He specifically says that the other churches have no other practice - and in that time period head coverings were quite common as a general social convention. Paul's command in this regard would not have been viewed any differently than if he were to tell women today to not wear miniskirts to church, but rather more modest attire. Most women in Churches today would not find this to be particularly offensive but rather perfectly reasonable.

Today, obviously, the idea of a woman having to wear a veil or head covering of some sort would be far more likely to be humiliating. I don't think that makes his command something we can ignore, but I think it is valid to question what is more important - the symbol? Or the thing symbolized? But that discussion would probably take us rather far afield from the topic in question.

Here's my problem. Your video didn't really have any conclusions. It just talkd about the historical view and jewish practice. It doesn't actually present your conclusions about how this passage applies today for me to respond to.

Victorious said...

Eve rightly confessed her sin and said she believed the lie Satan told her. Satan is the one who causes sin. Adam, on the other hand, blamed Eve.

Eve is never mentioned again in the OT, after Genesis 4; but Adam is mentioned in the following verses as having transgressed and covering his sin.

Job 31:33 If I covered my transgressions as Adam, by hiding mine iniquity in my bosom:

Hos 6:7 But like Adam they have transgressed the covenant; There they have dealt treacherously against Me.

Rom 5:14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. 15 But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many.

Rom 5:16 The gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned; for on the one hand the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation, but on the other hand the free gift arose from many transgressions resulting in justification.

Rom 5:17 For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. 18 So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. 19 For as through the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.

(1 Corinthians 15:22 ) For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. (Paul is comparing one to one; Adam to Christ)

(1 Timothy 2:14) And Adam was not deceived (he knowingly transgressed and concealed his sin) but the woman being deceived was (involved) in the transgression.

Shamgar said...

Now I am somewhat surprised at people who see this issue as a somewhat grey issue. The reason is that God does not have a rule for a church building and another rule for a home or for a Sunday School room.

He doesn't? 1 Cor 15:34-36 would seem to quite clearly contrast rules for home and church. (Regardless of how you interpret the verse in terms of its applicability for today - that's not the point of bringing it up here). I would say the instructions for eating the Lord's supper together would apply quite specifically to within the Church, and not just any time believers eat together. (Though some aspects could be applied to good effect anyway - like waiting on each other). And what about the rules governing spiritual gifts? Look at 14:28 - if there's no interpreter he should keep silent. Do you think they should've applied that to the use of their gifts within their own home at the time?

I would agree he doesn't have a separate rule for the SS room however, as that would be quite an anachronism. So the reason it's grey is that it was not part of the church as Paul knew it. So do we consider it part of his instruction to the church anyway - because it's part of the church now - or is it excluded from the instruction of these passages because it's our own invention?

what magic happens inside the church that she cannot teach there?

I wouldn't say it is magic, I would say however that the church is called of God, and that God has the right to ordain the manner in which he is to be worshiped and served. I wonder if the other tribes of Israel ever felt this way about the Levites. Ever felt slighted that none of their number would ever be a part of the table service the way they were. After all, there was nothing inherent in them that made them less capable of fulfilling the role. It was purely because God chose to set them apart for that particular task.

I would also note that what is different about teaching in the church I have already noted elsewhere. Teaching in the church implies authority. Of course, I believe you don't agree with Paul's teaching on women in authority - so I can understand why that wouldn't be an argument you would consider.

Wouldnt I be more effective with my time by teaching men in a group?

I'm sure. But then, some churches find it more effective to get people in the door by violating the precepts God has laid down about how he is to be worshiped. (Clowns in the worship service, avoiding unpleasant topics, etc). We are not called to make our own personal judgments about "the better way" but to follow God's word. This is not about pragmatism, it is about fidelity to the truth.

How I see it, it is the complementarians way of making a womans ministry in the church ineffective.

I must say at this point that I'm starting to become a little offended by remarks like these. I don't believe you have any basis to paint everyone who holds the complementarian view as having some ulterior motive based in a some sort of hateful or misogynistic view of women. That we only hold to these views because of some deep-seated desire to keep women under our thumb. That simply isn't true. It is (at the very least on my part) quite simply a desire to be true to the teaching of the Scriptures, the same as you profess for your position.

They said that I should find the series taught by a man. Do you see scripture teaching these kind of rules?

Hrm. In what context? In the context of a Seminary setting or informal group - or in a larger context? Cause frankly if a group of like minded Christian men want to get together and watch a DVD put together by a woman I have a hard time understanding the prohibition. Indeed, it would've made their reviewing your DVD rather impossible. I'd really have to understand the context they were evaluating it under. (And I'd probably also have to read more of what they've written - so I can better understand their specific position in this regard)

I was told that if a man did not teach it first, then it wasn't anything of value.

Er - I really don't understand that. I'm not sure if you left part of it out or what. Are you (or they?) maybe trying to say that if he has already taught it, then having them then watch the DVD is not of value? Or that if they were watching the DVD then just having him re-iterate it would be pointless? I dunno. I can't say - can't speak for them.

It is that God reveals truth to men first and from them to women. God doesn't give women revelation into his word. She must hear it from a man first before she can teach it.

Well, ultimately I think you'd have to agree that that is true. There are no books of Scripture written by a woman. So God has revealed his truth to men first, and then from them to women. (I don't believe in some form of lesser revelation of new understandings of scripture to anyone - men or women. I firmly believe in the perspicuity of scripture. That doesn't mean there isn't deeper understanding to be obtained through diligent study, just that it doesn't happen through "divine revelation".)

Priscilla taught Apollos

That's a bit of a half-truth isn't it? You're being awfully free with the text of Acts 18:26: Acts 18:26 - But when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately. Apparently, in your view, when the bible says "they" it really means Aquilla sat like a bump on a log while Priscilla did all the talking. That's going rather further than Scripture does here.

Also - note that this is not in the context of the Church. She spoke to Apollos informally, and had no perceived or actual authority over him in giving him whatever instruction she provided during this conversation.

Truth is more important than what famous person is teaching something.

My comments and concerns have nothing whatsoever to do with celebrity. It is not about only teaching something if someone famous has said it. It is about the reality that we today stand on the shoulders of giants. There is 2000 years of history to go with this book. It has been discussed and studied and commented on by so many great people. If we truly think we have a new and unique way of looking at it, I think that should be at the very least a yellow flag. We should be asking ourselves - "If this is true, and it's so great, how is it that I'm the first person to think of it?" We should be seeking to see if in fact we are even the first person. If someone else has, what came of it? Why isn't it in use today?

We shouldn't look at it and say "Hey, I know this is different than what 2000 years of the church has believed, but I'm sure I'm right and I'm going to reject all of that w/out even bothering to look into whether anyone else in history has held something similar." Surely you can understand why orthodox Christians would balk at such an attitude? Why we'd really like to see some sort of corroboration of your hermeneutic and a fuller evaluation of its consequences and implications for other applications before being willing to adopt it?

You say all that matters is if it's true, but that's exactly what we're trying to establish. Not by finding out who else believes it like it's some sort of vote. Rather, if someone else *had* used it, looking at how they defended it, what they saw as its strengths and weaknesses. Did anyone else write against it or for it? What were their concerns or praises? Imposing a framework of interpretation on Scripture is a serious thing. Scripture is a beautifully complex and interwoven book. Every doctrine fits together perfectly. We have to be very careful to understand that a particular way of reading it fits properly with the teaching of Scripture as a whole. If it can't be used consistently, then its value is limited if not non-existent.

Can you tell me that this is considered a grey area to God?

No. It definitely is not a grey area to God. He knows what he intended when he wrote it, and I believe we know as well. I personally think you are muddying up the waters because you don't believe it can mean what it says. You are allowing your experience to be a greater authority than God's word. (Doesn't mean I'm right, that's just what I am seeing from our conversation thus far.)

That doesn't mean your teaching *itself* is in error (in terms of your bible studies) I just think you are in error on this point under discussion.

But if I am teaching truth God blesses that truth with fruit for the kingdom, then which scripture tells me to stop doing this?

This is not valid reasoning. You are attempting to justify the means by the ends. God spoke through a donkey, Balaam, and even used the Assyrians to accomplish his purposes (and then turned around and destroyed them for their arrogance). The ultimate test of doctrine is Scripture - not results. Indeed, many churches have great "results" by abandoning any form of doctrinal teaching, or by having clowns for worship, or even (to hit close to home for us) having a campaign to pressure people into getting baptized so you can hit a target for the year. This doesn't make any of these valid.

I dont think Martin Luther cared about who taught about salvation by faith alone as he rebuked the Catholic church for their indulgences and their traditions.

Actually, Martin Luther cared very much about the historical faith. But again, there the issue is one of clear violation of basic Christian doctrine. We're talking about the difference between abject heresy and idolatry, not a comparably fine point of Christian doctrine being discussed between Christian believers.

Shamgar said...

Bryan and Victorious,

There are a lot of ways to read the language there. I didn't ever suggest that what I said was Truth. WE really don't know. It is a fair reading, a reasonable one. AS are other ones. Frankly, I don't agree with that reading, but it is one that could be made.

This is why I was concerned earlier. What this and your other posts seem to indicate is a 'reader-response' type approach to Scripture. I'm sorry, it's not a fair reading, nor is it reasonable. What I presented is correct (with allowences made for areas that as I noted - are not clear). Overall it is the orthodox historic position based on NT teaching and the historical orthodox faith.

Eve rightly confessed her sin and said she believed the lie Satan told her. Satan is the one who causes sin. Adam, on the other hand, blamed Eve.

"The devil made me do it" is not rightly confessing ones sin. If you have scripture which teaches that Satan "causes" sin I'd love to see it. I'm afraid that's an improper understanding. Satan may *tempt* us to sin, he may attempt to deceive us, but it is ultimately not his responsibility if we sin - it is ours.

Eve did not, in fact, confess her sin any more than Adam did. Both said the same thing, they just pointed at different people. They both admitted they ate the apple, after a fashion, but did not (in the text) repent. Even in particular did not even confess her greater sin of idolatry though her attempt to see her reason as autonomous and capable of sitting in judgement of the law of God.

Eve is never mentioned again in the OT, after Genesis 4; but Adam is mentioned in the following verses as having transgressed and covering his sin.

That's because outside of her role in Adam's sin, she's largely irrelevant to the rest of the story - not because Adam didn't repent or didn't own up to his sin as much as Eve did.

Adam is our federal head as natural man (or woman ;-). He was our representative in the Garden. As a result, he is the focus of redemptive history. Scripture is not the history of the world. Its goal is not to tell us exhaustively what happened to every person who is touched on in Scripture. Its purpose is to point us to Christ. Adam plays a part in that because of his role - as demonstrated in the very Scriptures you mention. He is repeatedly mentioned because of the parallels that point us to Christ as the second Adam.

Shamgar said...

Cheryl,

Eve didnt choose to sin on her own wanting to be in rebellion to God. She believed the lie. Eve fell into sin through being completely and fully deceived. What was the lie that she believed? The lie of the serpent that convinced Eve was that eating the fruit would cause her to be like God and being like God she would not die.

So she believed the lie. I don't disagree. That was her sin. God gave her a command. Satan told her a lie. She looked at both and rather than thinking God's thoughts after him, she decided she was capable of deciding between the two. She chose to believe Satan and in doing so, she sinned. That was her first, (and I believe greater) sin. Having made that choice, she bit the apple. I really don't get the idea that somehow she isn't responsible here. Was she a zombie? Did Satan cast a spell on her? If she was innocent in all this, then why was she cursed?

As for your use of the greek, I must confess that I am an early first-year greek student. I made a go of looking at the passage in question, but interpreting Paul's context and meaning here from the original greek is more than a little out of my grasp. I will talk to some greek professors I know though and get their take on it when their time allows. I'm sorry to leave that one hanging but I'm sure you can understand.

Eve didnt choose to sin on her own wanting to be in rebellion to God. She believed the lie. Eve fell into sin through being completely and fully deceived.

Ok, let me try to put forward the same argument. Adam didn't *want* to sin. He just didn't want Eve to suffer alone, so he ate too.

Sound weak? Yup. It should. It is.

John Piper further brings out, Gods words to Adam after they ate was that because you listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree means that Adam listened to Eve talking to the serpent and did nothing.

I'll have to look into what he writes. I like Piper, he's a fairly solid teacher and I trust him a lot. But I have disagreed with him in the past on various points and might here as well (not based on my own understanding of the Hebrew - but based on others who have written on this whom I trust as much or more than Piper. I'll have to think on it.

However, as I do not feel it is an essential point to my argument, but rather a point of possible interpretation, I'm more than willing to concede it for the sake of furthering the argument in general. However, you then go on to say:

God held Adam accountable.

I'd like you to expound on that. *How* did God hold Adam accountable in a manner that he did *not* hold Eve accountable. Both were cursed. Both were driven from the Garden and separated from God. (Even if Scripture doesn't explicitly mention her, she *did* exit the Garden cause we see her again in Chapter 4 giving birth. So she is not *in* the garden, and thus experiences the same separation from God, and thus the same consequences as Adam.

the Septuagint confirms the Hebrew grammar regarding a very important event that happened after Adam was created but before Eve was created. This event caused Adam to understand the uniqueness of God and by understanding that he (Adam) and Eve and the animals were all part of creation and God alone was the unique one the Creator, Adam was not deceived into believing the lie.

So - you're saying that God gave Adam information that He did not give to Eve, leaving her to fend for herself without sufficient knowledge - and then held her accountable for what she could not know, and cursed her and drove her from his presence because of it?

Paul says that those who are deceived, who do things in ignorance and not because they are deceivers [snip], they can receive mercy just as Paul did.

I'm not sure what you're getting at here. Of course those who are led astray can receive mercy. I don't believe you've successfully established that Eve was led astray through ignorance but I really don't think it matters. Indeed, I don't think you can make a case that those who are deceivers *can't* receive mercy which makes the whole thing a moot point. We aren't told, but I think it's reasonable to believe that both Adam and Eve believed God's promise and as such received Grace and Mercy from his hand.

Gods words to Eve after she sinned showed that she received mercy from him.

How so? Particularly in a way different from Adam? All he said as to ask her what she'd done between the time of her sin and God's prophecy concerning the seed of the woman (which you indicate came next)

God then prophesied that the Messiah would come through the seed of the woman. [snip] It was because Eve sinned through deception and not because she deliberately sinned in rebellion that God was able to bring the Messiah through her.

Uh, no. God was able to bring the Messiah through her because federal headship is in Adam, not Eve. God knew precisely what was going to happen, and it was his plan long before he even created Adam and Eve for Christ to come through in this way.

Eph 1:4 - He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him.

Re 13:8 - All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain.

Hosea 6:7 shows that Adams sin was considered worse than Eves

You're arguing from silence. The lack of mentioning Eve doesn't make her sin less. The point is not that it was treacherous, it's that he transgressed the covenant, which both of them did. "Do this and live" That was the covenant given to both (and Eve knew it, for she spoke it to the serpent - albeit incorrectly). Both transgressed it.

God also showed that Eve now that her eyes were opened was not one who would sin treacherously against him, but the one who sinned in rebellion God kicked him out of the garden because he was at risk of repeating his rebellion against God.

Alright - lets say you're right (which is not supported anywhere in the relevant passages from where I sit). Why then was she banished from God's presence along with Adam?

please read these three posts first to get the full picture before you fire questions at me.

Sorry, you should've mentioned this first. I read through your post quickly and then began responding and didn't see this. I will try to read those and respond separately, perhaps on the posts themselves.

However, I'd appreciate trying to keep as much of the interaction here as possible so that we can make it as easy as possible for others who are reading to follow along without making them read all kinds of extra material just to keep up.

Shamgar said...


First of all let’s understand that it is not the “headship” of Adam that brought sin into the world but the “transgression” of Adam. Romans 5:15 does not say “For if by the headship of the one the many died…” but “For if by the transgression of the one the many died…”


This is from one of your referenced blog posts Cheryl. If you opt to respond to my headship statements, please do better than this. If you wish to dismiss hundreds of years of covenant theology you're going to have to do a lot better than that. Understand that dismissing Adam as a federal head of man also has a serious impact on other key doctrines - particularly salvation.

Anonymous said...

Rex Ray said…
Shamgar,
Alford stated, “Eve was indeed deceived into sinning…But Adam chose to disobey God knowing full well that he was sinning.”

You say you don’t understand what’s being said here.

Here’s a true story. When my uncle was 15, his mother told him not to come back without the doctor as his father was very sick. He rode his horse 4 hours to get the only doctor around as they lived in Indian Territory. The doctor told my uncle that his horse was tired and to start back and he would catch up before he got half-way.

His mother represented God, but the 15 year old and Eve didn’t know the doctor was the devil. My uncle was deceived. The doctor showed up 24 hours later drunk.--“Turn him out to pasture; he’ll be all right.”

Three days later a doctor from Texas told him, “Blood poison—you’ll not be with us in the morning.”
My 44 year old grandfather was a rancher, but told my grandmother, “Now you can make preachers our of our six boys. (The youngest was 2 months.) Tell our two daughters not to let a boy kiss them till they’re 18. I always said I’d never die in bed.”

So he put his boots on and sat in a rocking chair waiting for a sunrise that would never come.

My uncle probably grieved if he had only stayed with the doctor, he wouldn’t have gotten drunk and his father would not have died. He had been deceived.

What did Adam greave about? He blamed Eve, but he may have blamed God more…“The women YOU gave me…” Was he sorry, or sorry he got caught? There’s a big difference in being deceived and what Adam did

Colin said...

Romans 10:2 says, For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge.

It is not zeal that should win favor, for it didn't with Paul.



Cheryl,

I will try succinctly to show you the fundamental flaw in your argument- from a different angle.

You said, "The dilemma is that every single sin that is enunciated in scripture is always confirmed by two witnesses...So here we are at 1 Tim.2:11-15. Those who say that this prohibits women from teaching the Bible to men are left without a second witness...

You take the witness to mean a witness from the Scripture- a textual witness. Not once in the NT, nor once I could find in the OT, nor in the lexicons, is the word martous (witness) used to mean a text or written revelation. It always refers to a creature or God doing the witnessing.

Therefore, what Jesus and the Scriptures refer to in two or three witnesses is having two or three people testify that a deed was committed, not testifying that a deed is sin. The Scripture already spells out the deed as sin.

Interestingly, Duet 31:26 uses the neuter marturion (witness) to refer to the Book of the Law (singular) to testify against the people. So as it stands, the single witness of the Revelation of God in Scripture was witness enough against the people. The model, then, is that whatever is in the book holds men accountable in and of itself. No stipulation of repeated admonitions is required, for then every single law in the OT would need to be repeated as well.

Your twisting of the meaning of the Greek and the phrase itself is the flaw. It does not mean what you want it to mean, and I am surprised that everyone accepts this teaching with such ease. You call it "out of the box," and care not if it has ever been taught before in the history of Christianity. It reminds me of the esoteric knowledge poseessed by the gnostics, who also received "out of the box" revelation.

Please think through your doctrines carefully for the sake of your hearers.

With love,

Colin

Colin said...

Bryan,

Every pastor should be able to deal with a given intepretational method, conclusions as to what syntax is assigned to Greek words and clauses (if they possess knowledge of the languages), the authority of a single text of Scripture in our lives, who gives it that authority, and the model of intepreting the NT by the OT. I do not think I am asking too much here.

I do not want to think this was posted merely to cast doubt.

Wade Burleson said...

Colin,

It would be interesting for you to respond to Zens' article.

Shamgar said...


My uncle probably grieved if he had only stayed with the doctor, he wouldn’t have gotten drunk and his father would not have died. He had been deceived.


And you compare this to Eve? This is a really poor analogy. Lets see if I can rewrite it to be more like the story in question.

Your Uncle goes to the Doctor.

The doctor says, "Did your mother really say he was very sick?"

Your Uncle: "Yes, and I'm not to come back without you or he'll die."

The Doctor: "He won't surely die...here, sit down and have a meal with me. It'll be fine."

Your Uncle then considers his words, sees the food looks rather good actually, and decides to eat it and not worry about his Mother's command.

Now - that's a more accurate analogy. It's still weak becaues he's a doctor and actually carries some amount of credibility and authority over against the Mother's statement. So it falls down there - but I'm trying to work with what you gave me.

bryan riley said...

Shamgar, what if suddenly everyone said, "wow, you have persuaded me. You are right. Thanks."

Cheryl Schatz said...

Peter,

Great questions and thanks for asking for clarification. Now, you said: “That said, my initial impression is precisely why, Cheryl, you chose to frame the conversation about women's role in ministry in moral terms of good and evil rather than terms of doctrinal belief.”

The reason that I frame the conversation in moral terms is because when one side terms this as a moral issue by considering women breaking God’s law or prohibition, it goes past just a doctrinal issue, but becomes an issue of the moral law. Now I am not saying that every complementarian does this, but since I am taking my information from the only organization in North America dedicated to presenting and defending the complementarian view, I think their view is probably the best authoritative source. This organization is called CBMW. For those who don’t know who CBMW is, they are the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.

One complementarian dear to my heart and a personal friend has told me that although he accepts women teaching men the bible, he does not personally think that women should be Pastors. However he has admitted to me that he cannot say that a woman who becomes a Pastor is sinning because he says that scripture does not say this and if scripture is silent on the charge of sin, then he must not go beyond scripture. I respect him for not charging women with sin.

However, CBMW does charge women with sin because they teach that women are forbidden from teaching doctrine to men. Here is the quote from Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood:

“We think 1 Timothy 2:8-15 imposes two restrictions on the ministry of women: they are not to teach Christian doctrine to men and they are not to exercise authority directly over men in the church. These restrictions are permanent, authoritative for the church in all times and places and circumstances as long as men and women are descended from Adam and Eve.”

What follows regarding the prohibitions for women is listed under “Prohibitions on the Ministry of Women-Verse 12”

So here are the questions that I have asked CBMW and several Pastors:

1. Does God have a law that forbids godly Christian women from teaching correct biblical doctrine to men. Everyone of the complementarians I have asked this question to, with the exception of my friend listed above have said “yes”.

2. Is it a sin for a woman to ignore this prohibition of God’s and do they need to repent of teaching the bible to men? The answer again has been “yes” and “yes”.

3. If a woman practices teaching the bible to men and she does not repent before she dies, will she go to hell? The answer has been “yes”. CBMW qualified this with the statement that if she did not repent of teaching the bible to men, then that would call her salvation into question since true believers would repent. If she did not repent (and this proved that she was not a true believer) then yes she would go to hell.

Now I ask you, does this sound like a moral issue to you? It does to me. It also sounds like way more than just a theological conversation, but a division in the body. Does this explain more why I have consistently represented this as a moral issue? Any disobeying of a command by God, or disobeying a prohibition by God, or disobeying a law by God (call it what you will), is a sin. I agree with that actually. Anytime anyone disobeys a prohibition by God, it certainly is a sin. So what we need to discuss in a godly Christian way is whether the prohibition is directed to all women of all time or whether there was a local situation that caused Paul to stop the teaching.

Peter you also said: “Secondly, because that is not followed in your presentation, Cheryl, the consequent is polarization. According to you, Cheryl, my position as a complementarian is either evil or good.” Actually I haven’t said that compementarians are evil or that they are not my brothers in Christ, nor have I said that they are sinning against God. I am only responding to their charge of sin. If the Bible doesn’t say that I am sinning when I teach men and my brothers in Christ say that I am in sin, it is only right and good to defend myself, other women and the scriptures. For me to know the answer and say nothing would not be right. So I speak out because I care about people on both sides of the divide.

You also said: “And presently, most evangelicals are evil by holding an evil view about gender. Sorry, Cheryl, I just don't follow you here.” I think that is what is called as a straw man argument. I have not said that those who hold the opposite view are evil. If I felt that way, I would say it. I am very open about what I believe. I have been mocked and spoken evil of and called names (not in this forum but outside this arena) and I have not responded with a charge of evil on the other side. That is only possible because God has given me grace to love the men (and women) on the other side. I believe that they are sincere and God-fearing people. I also believe that they are sincerely wrong. I do not believe they are evil people or have evil intentions. Please re-read through my comments and you will not find me saying things like this. You cannot just skim through the comments and then say that I have insinuated anything of this sort. We are commanded to love our brothers and sisters in Christ. I try my very best to love these brothers and treat them with respect while respectfully disagreeing. I believe that this is what we are called to do. We are called to gently correct those who are in error.

Lastly you said: “Nevertheless, I'd like to see some Scripture that argues for your proposition. That is, would you briefly state a law from Scripture that COMMANDS godly Christian women to teach correct biblical doctrine to men? I think, at least for me, that would assist in knowing your position better.” I do not believe this, so I would not be able to find such a command. What I do find in scripture is that we are not to be prejudiced against another brother or sister in Christ. Would you like to see the scripture reference for this? If I am given a gift in teaching and I refuse to teach men who come to my class just because they are men, then I have taken a prejudicial attitude. I cannot do that because scripture commands me to love without prejudice.

Does this help to clear up any confusion that you may have concerning my position?

To the others who have asked me questions, thank you for allowing me to respond. Unfortunately, I will only be able to respond as time allows. This is an extremely busy time for me as I must be a helper to my husband regarding our household move. My heart is in these scriptural discussions and I thank Wade for allowing these conversations to happen. They are very beneficial for me and I hope that many will be able to see more of both sides of the debate. This is healthy and useful for body ministry. I will get back to the questions as quickly as my schedule allows. Please be patient with me as my husband really does need my help and he longs at times to see more than just the back of my head at the computer :)

With Christian love,
Cheryl

peter lumpkins said...

Dear Cheryl,

Good morning. As for framing the discussion in terms of being moral or not, you seem to say, because others (CBMW) are doing it, I will too. But that surely is a different answer from your initial post where you couched the discussion in moral terms based on categorical commands from Scripture. Personally, I am uninterested in discussing the issue framed like that.

Secondly, Cheryl, since you are the one determined to cast the discussion with two moral absolutes of good on the one hand and evil on the other, even if you have not explicitly stated that complementarianism is evil, it must be so, if it is not good.

Thus, I am not sure what you mean by "strawman" entering in. Nor have I skimmed your posts looking for a comment for which to "insinuate" anything. Actually, I'm geniunely attempting to understand what I perceive to be a skewed operataing logic.

Finally, to not be able to offer a positive presentation of your challenge, Cheryl, is almost humorous.

I trust your day well. With that, I am...

Peter

Shamgar said...

Shamgar, what if suddenly everyone said, "wow, you have persuaded me. You are right. Thanks."

Hrm. Well, I would be shocked for sure. Following that I would be concerned that they had capitulated and not truly thought the issues through. It does no good to just give in and accept the other sides position - rather a real foundation for believing it to be true needs to be there.

Shamgar said...

Cheryl,

I'd like to follow up briefly on your headship statement that I pasted earlier with a couple of questions for you to specifically address in regards to this.

First, if Adam is not our federal head, on what basis do you believe Adam's sin is imputed to us in light of passages like Ezekiel 18:1-9. And if you reject the imputation of Adam's sin (the doctrine of original sin) on what basis do you accept the imputation of Christ's righteousness to the believer as our new federal head after spiritual rebirth? Or do you?

Anonymous said...

Rex Ray said…
Shamgar,
If you want to play games with my story, how’s this version? My uncle is Adam, and instead of trying to get the doctor, he goes fishing.

The point of the story is the difference of Eve being deceived and the outright rebellion of Adam.

So I’ll repeat the conclusion that you seem to avoid …there’s a big difference in Eve’s sin and Adam’s sin.

Do you agree or disagree?

Bryan Riley said...

Shamgar, I hoped you wouldn't want to be the one persuading. Because, guess what, you can't. God alone can. So, when we realize that we aren't called to be the Holy Spirit for others, it will go a long way toward unifying the Body in Jesus.

Victorious said...

I'd like to make two important observations regarding this and any other topic promoting male dominant, female, subjection.

1) No where - anywhere in God's Word is there a command to a male to rule or have any dominion over a woman. If anyone can quote me a verse where this command is given, I'll appreciate it.

2) Never - ever was it's God's will for anyone, to rule over another human being.

Early in Gen. 10 we see Nimrod beginning a period of subjugation and dominion. Then Gideon flatly refused to rule over people: Jdg. 8:23 But Gideon said to them, "I will not rule over you, nor shall my son rule over you; the LORD shall rule over you."

In the book of Kings, we see God's warning His people what would happen if they elected to have a "ruler" other than Him. Please see 1Kings 8. God sees the desire of mankind to rule over one another as a rejection of His rule. And He warns them of the abuse of power that would ensue upon putting a king in a position of ruler.

Again, one must take the whole counsel of God into consideration when examining scripture.

Nowhere is there found a verse in scripture to validate God's wish for a man to have any authority over a woman or a husband over a wife. And nowhere does He endorse one human being ruling over another. This is nothing more than an evidence of the fleshy desire to be "greater in the kingdom."

selahV said...

WADE: My goodness! You responded to my question! I'm amazed! Sorry so late to get back to the party. I've been busy. But in your question to my question of "that", I'm talking about your post, brother.

I started reading it but that first statement you made in the intro "read it carefully," kept forcing my thought processes to questions of how we needed to read it. Who needed to read it carefully? everyone? Or just traditional thinking complementarians like myself?

Anyway...I decided to skip it. Sorry, no offense. Just didn't think you were posting something for my edification. I may be missing out on something wonderful, but c'est la vie. What can I say? By my scan of the long list of commenters, it appears somebody was interested though. So my bad. selahV P.S. I did copy, paste and send Colin's remarks to my own email address though. I usually like to read what Colin has to say about stuff. So I put it in my Colin Quotes File Folder and earmarked it from here. Who knows? Someday I may get around to reading this. When my laundry is done, the house is dusted and my garden is planted. :^) May grace and truth be yours. selahV

Colin said...

Selahv,

I have often thought of going back and erasing every comment I have ever made, just so there is no "evidence." I can see now that would be futile! Thanks for the confidence.


Wade,

I have begun to examine the paper, but school trumps all study. If I endorse it or put it out for public consumption via my blog, I would most certainly give exegetical and pastoral critique.

But this is your blog. I am in futility attempting to be a voice of balanced critique and reason.

Colin

Christa Brown said...

Wade, Thank you for posting this.

believer333 said...

“First, if Adam is not our federal head, on what basis do you believe Adam's sin is imputed to us”

The Scriptures say that sin came to all humanity through Adam. What we need to do is understand how that happened. In the beginning there were only two that comprised the whole human race. First one half of the then human race, the woman, was deceived into sinning by engaging in conversation with the most clever of all creatures, the serpent. Next, the other half of the then human race choose to also sin when the forbidden fruit was offered to him. When the last half of the human race had sinned, then the whole human race had sinned. Therefore it was not a matter of imputation but of completion.

When they were expelled from the Garden, the whole human race was expelled, including all future descendents. And the male was the one who completed the deal for all future humans.

Wade Burleson said...

Selah,

I appreciate your honesty about being closed minded.

I appreciate your candor.

Wade

Shamgar said...


So I’ll repeat the conclusion that you seem to avoid …there’s a big difference in Eve’s sin and Adam’s sin.

Do you agree or disagree?


Disagree. There is an immaterial difference of manner, but in the end both disobeyed, both sinned, and God does not grade on a curve. Sin offends the Holy God of Scripture and he cannot abide it.

There is no provision made for those who are deceived as being somehow "less guilty".

Shamgar said...

Nowhere is there found a verse in scripture to validate God's wish for a man to have any authority over a woman or a husband over a wife.

Just because you decide to dismiss it does not mean it doesn't say it. Wishing it to be true doesn't make it so. Not even if you're an existentialist.

Your original point is a strawman argument against dominion and mastery. That is not the same as authority and headship demonstrated by love in the same manner as Christ has done for his Church.

And nowhere does He endorse one human being ruling over another. This is nothing more than an evidence of the fleshy desire to be "greater in the kingdom."


-sigh- In the theocracy of the OT, you are correct. But once again your exegesis falls short of the mark. God had made covenant with the Jews, and was their literal king. We have no such covenant with God, and for that reason God has established governments.

Col 1:6, and Romans 13 both testify to God's purpose in governments. Of course it wasn't part of the design for Eden, but there is no basis in scripture to argue that God would prefer anarchism. (And that is your only other option w/out a covenantal theocracy.)

Shamgar said...

believer333,

When the last half of the human race had sinned, then the whole human race had sinned. Therefore it was not a matter of imputation but of completion.

1) I take it you take a different view from those I'm currently interacting with, since they claim Eve's sin wasn't even held against her, let alone mankind. This will serve only to muddy the waters. If you wish to have a discussion of this particular topic in a different context I'm afraid it'll have to be in another forum so we can avoid confusion.

2) You say that when they sinned the whole human race sinned with them (half and half) suggesting I suppose that women sinned in Eve and men in Adam. This is a division not supported in scripture. If you want to try and mount an actual exegetical defense however I will be glad to listen.

3) You say the human race sinned with Adam and Eve. Again this necessitates a believe in headship on its own. If they were not 'the federal head' then they did not represent us, and thus we didn't sin "with" them.

4) You left the most important parts hanging. If you do not believe in the imputation of Adam's sin, why not? Is it a general rejection of imputation? If so, what is your basis for accepting the imputation of Christ's righteousness? If you *do* accept it, on what basis do you differentiate Adam as not being head and his sin being imputed to us while still accepting the Christ's righteousness as validly imputed to us given the parallel language in question?

Shamgar said...

Shamgar, I hoped you wouldn't want to be the one persuading. Because, guess what, you can't. God alone can. So, when we realize that we aren't called to be the Holy Spirit for others, it will go a long way toward unifying the Body in Jesus.

Ah, I see. A sophists trick. Perhaps if you asked a clear and honest question I could give you a clear and honest response.

While at a certain level you are correct, in that God is the source of all knowledge, and if he has chosen to blind the minds of some on this forum (me or otherwise) they will not see the truth unless he so chooses to reveal it to them.

However, Scripture - as a general rule -does not reflect what you are saying. It says quite clearly that the natural man cannot understand because the things of God are spiritually appraised. But if we have the mind of Christ, in most cases there should not be a problem.

Regardless, knowing that it is ultimately up to the Holy Spirit to correct and reveal is the only reason I'm here. If it depended on my arguments I doubt that I would even bother trying to pierce this veil.

Yet you must also remember that God uses means. It being the Holy Spirit's work didn't stop Paul from presenting the very best arguments he had in Athens and before Agrippa.

Nor did it stop him from saying that he became all things to all men that "I may by all means save some". Did Paul know salvation was of the Lord? Obviously. Yet he still used human language.

Sorry, I know my heart, and I think most everyone else here who has read what I have written fairly will recognize what motivates my words.

If word games are all you have to offer perhaps you should leave the discussion to others who are still trying to be edifying.

R. L. Vaughn said...

Jon Zens is always a great read, whether or one agrees with him.

believer333 said...

Hello Shamgar,

“You say that when they sinned the whole human race sinned with them (half and half) suggesting I suppose that women sinned in Eve and men in Adam.”

No I did not suggest that. Since both Adam and Eve sinned, and they comprised the whole human race, then they brought the whole human race into sin. Who went first or second only has relevance to who started the deal and who finished the deal. They moved us from the land of the Garden of Eden into the land where Satan reigned. Adam being the one to seal the deal, he ushered the whole human race into a life outside of the pure presence of God. It is not that their sins were imputed to us, but that we were birthed from their sinful selves in a world ruled by sin.

I do believe that Adam and Eve’s sins were different. It is my estimation that God allowed it to happen that way so that we could see that whether we sin in ignorance or deliberately, the result is still the same. There is no excuse for being deceived into sin. And sinning deliberately is not better than sinning via deception.

“Again this necessitates a believe in headship on its own.”

No it does not. “Headship” is a fairly modern construct, I’m not sure how many hundreds of years or so. In the Genesis accounts of humanities creation the man is not named as “head” of anything.
What Adam and Eve did, they did not in representation of anyone else. In their pure naivet'e they were only thinking of themselves, not their descendents.

“what is your basis for accepting the imputation of Christ's righteousness?”

What Christ did was part of a huge plan for the training and redemption of humanity. As part of the Godhead He constructed the plan and He also became the one who brought the plan to it’s fruition. He did more than impute. Christ created a spiritual bridge to bring those who wanted, back into living within the presence of God.

Victorious said...

Shamgar said...

God does not grade on a curve.


If we can see the difference in severity of sin, why do you think God can't? He saw the difference between intentional, defiant sin and unintentional sin. That's His justice and righteousness.

Num 15:28 'The priest shall make atonement before the LORD for the person who goes astray when he sins unintentionally, making atonement for him that he may be forgiven.
Num 15:29 'You shall have one law for him who does anything unintentionally, for him who is native among the sons of Israel and for the alien who sojourns among them.
Num 15:30 'But the person who does anything defiantly, whether he is native or an alien, that one is blaspheming the LORD; and that person shall be cut off from among his people.
Num 15:31 'Because he has despised the word of the LORD and has broken His commandment, that person shall be completely cut off; his guilt will be on him.'"


God knows, just as we do, that taking a pencil home from work is not as serious a sin as a pedophile raping a child.

Granted, sin separates us from God, but some sin is intentional and defiant and purposeful and some is less serious.

believer333 said...

Victorious wrote, “Granted, sin separates us from God, but some sin is intentional and defiant and purposeful and some is less serious.”

I agree wholeheartedly with this statement. The confusion here is not in the sin, for both Adam and Eve sinned the same sin. The difference is how they came about to commit the sin. Eve was deceived by the cleverest of all creatures into disobeying. Adam choose to without being deceived or coerced. Thus the sins are the same, but the manner in which they came to commit it are different.

In the case of the first man and woman, they were both completely ignorant of good and evil. Thus we cannot ascribe evil motivations to either one of them until AFTER they ate of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil. It is something that is peculiar to them, that we can only imagine.

Cheryl Schatz said...

Dear Peter,

You said: “As for framing the discussion in terms of being moral or not, you seem to say, because others (CBMW) are doing it, I will too.” No, that is not what I am saying. I am saying that I am defending my point of view against the accepted norm (CBMW). If you don’t believe the norm, perhaps you could be so kind as to state publicly that you do not believe that women who teach the bible to men are disobeying a prohibition of God. I think that would be helpful for those readers on this forum. If you can’t say this because you really do believe that women who teach the bible to men are disobeying a prohibition of God then it shouldn’t be hard to just say so and accept that this is a question of morals and sin. I would really like to know myself so that I can understand on which side you stand.

You also said: “But that surely is a different answer from your initial post where you couched the discussion in moral terms based on categorical commands from Scripture.” Actually I don’t really understand what you mean here. If you are referring to the fact that 1 Timothy 2:12 fails the test of a universal prohibition because women teaching the bible to men was never considered a sin in scripture from the time of creation until the time that 1 Timothy 2:12 was written. If a new sin suddenly came into existence with Paul’s letter to Timothy, then we must be willing to test our understanding of this new “law” to see if we have misunderstood its application. I think that is wise to do and it is applying 2 Timothy 2:15 “Study earnestly to present yourself approved to God, a workman that does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth.” If you meant something different than what I just said, you will have to tell me because then I don’t understand you at all.

You also brought up “even if you have not explicitly stated that complementarianism is evil, it must be so, if it is not good.” This does not follow logically. What I did say is that if one disobeys a prohibition by God, then that would be doing evil. I said nothing about what complementarians are doing. I did not mention any prohibition that they are breaking so it does not follow logically that if something is not good, then it is evil. I happen to think that there is a lot of what complementarians say that I can agree with. I believe that men are women were created in their own unique way and together they complement each other. In that way, I too consider myself a complementarian. I also commend them on their focus on family and family values. I do not commend them when they judge women who teach the bible to men as being in sin, although I do not consider them evil for being wrong.

You also said: “Thus, I am not sure what you mean by "strawman" entering in. Nor have I skimmed your posts looking for a comment for which to "insinuate" anything. Actually, I'm geniunely attempting to understand what I perceive to be a skewed operataing logic.” I never meant to challenge your motives. What I was bringing out is that if is important to understand what a person believes before you knock their belief. Everyone really should be willing to have their belief challenged because I don’t know anyone who wants to be wrong on purpose. However I have not said that things that you say I believe and by creating something that I do not believe and knocking it down, it doesn’t help in this discussion. I am perfectly willing to have you try to knock down what I *actually* believe. It may just take a little more patience to re-read the posts to understand. If I can help, I am certainly willing to restate my position so that you understand if I have been unclear at all.

Lastly you said: “Finally, to not be able to offer a positive presentation of your challenge, Cheryl, is almost humorous.” I am sure that you are not aware of this, but this could be taken as very offensive. I will give you the benefit of the doubt that you are not trying to laugh at my sincerely held beliefs, because that would not be kind at all. You must have just worded this in a very unfortunate way. So, perhaps you can help me out. How would you present my arguments in a positive way that would be clear and uplifting? What suggestions do you have because I am certainly willing to hear what you have to say.

Colin and Shamgar, I will be back with you a little bit later. Thanks for your patience.

Your sister in Christ,
Cheryl

selahV said...

DEAR BROTHER WADE: did I say I was close minded? Hmmmn...I went back and read my comment and I didn't see where I was being close minded. I guess one could read that between the words and lines if they were a mind to, though. Lots of folks do that in blogland--by "do that", I mean read between the lines. I can see I must explain all my sentences, phrases and words over here. Pardon my inability to communicate succinctly. I'm truly sorry. I think it's because I'm practicing brevity. hee hee, her her.

I believe I'm just simple-minded. That means I think in simplicity, without complicating issues. Kinda homespun, straight from my heart kinda person. So I am rather prone to speak with candor, I suppose. Do you think people who speak simply are unclear?

By the way, since you didn't have a chance to answer my questions on the other post, I was wondering if you could answer one on this post. Seeing as how we're discussing women and all that. Do you believe scripture supports the idea of women pastors? And is ordaining women as pastors and deacons a scriptural thing or a traditional thing in your humble but knowlegeable opinion?

Have a wonderful day, Brother Wade.

Victorious said...

believer333 said...

I agree wholeheartedly with this statement. The confusion here is not in the sin, for both Adam and Eve sinned the same sin. The difference is how they came about to commit the sin. Eve was deceived by the cleverest of all creatures into disobeying.

To the best of my knowledge, scripture never says Eve disobeyed. It says she was deceived and did eat. Can you show me a scripture that says uses the word "disobeyed" relative to Eve? Or could we see this as an "unintentional" sin as opposed to a deliberate, defiant sin as stated in scripture?

believer333 said...

Hello Victorious,

“To the best of my knowledge, scripture never says Eve disobeyed. It says she was deceived and did eat. Can you show me a scripture that says uses the word "disobeyed" relative to Eve? Or could we see this as an "unintentional" sin as opposed to a deliberate, defiant sin as stated in scripture?”

Well, though different types of fruit, both apples and oranges are indeed fruit.

Because the command was to “not eat” and Eve ate, then she disobeyed the command by definition. I would agree that being deceived by the cleverest of all creatures into doing what she was told not to do, would make it an unintentional disobedience as opposed to a deliberate knowing disobedience.

The big lesson for us is that no matter how we come about into sin we will suffer the results of sin. They both suffered the same result of their disobedience – death.

Cheryl Schatz said...

Dear Shamgar,

You said: “First, if Adam is not our federal head, on what basis do you believe Adam's sin is imputed to us in light of passages like Ezekiel 18:1-9.”

Ezekiel 18:1-9 says that God is not going to punish a son for his father’s sin. That is perfectly clear that God is not unjust and each person will be accountable for his own personal sin. Yet this verse does not contradict the clear teaching in scripture that Adam’s sin tainted all of his offspring. We are not being punished for Adam’s sin, yet we have inherited his sin nature. Adam rebelled against God by sinning with knowledge of who God is and eating of the fruit in clear rebellion. Victorious gave a wonderful answer yesterday quoting from Job 31:33, Hosea 6:7 and Romans 5:14-17. Thanks Victorious! I had not noted the Job 31:33 passage before. That was a real blessing to me.

Scripture is clear that Adam’s sin was treated in a different way than Eve’s was. Does that mean that Eve was guiltless? No, not at all. In fact Paul discusses his own similar situation in 1 Timothy. Paul said in 1 Timothy 1:13 “even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief”. Paul does not say that he was guiltless. He says that he was indeed guilty. In 1 Timothy 1:15 Paul says: “It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am *foremost* of all.” Paul was not excusing himself and he recognized his guilt even though he had been deceived. Yet Paul in that guilty sinful state was given mercy because his motivation was not that of rebellion but he had sinned so grievously because he was ignorant of the truth. This same mercy is never given to deliberate deceivers.

So Eve died just as God said that she would. She died because she ate the fruit. But God had mercy on her by promising that the Messiah would come through her seed. Her seed would not be tainted and her sin did not get passed on to all of us. For any of you who have not been able to follow the links to my articles on Adam and Eve’s sin, I have set the links up so that they are easily accessed at http://strivetoenter.com/wim under my current post called “Adam was blamed why not Eve?”

Lastly you said “And if you reject the imputation of Adam's sin (the doctrine of original sin) on what basis do you accept the imputation of Christ's righteousness to the believer as our new federal head after spiritual rebirth? Or do you?”

I did recommend that you read my posts first before you asked questions. It just makes it easier if you understand what I am saying. I certainly believe in Adam’s sin being passed on to all of his offspring. What would have made you think that I did not believe in the rebellion of Adam passed on to his offspring? It is so clear in scripture. I do not see in scripture that Adam was given a special status by God at his creation. Neither do I see that Adam’s sin was imputed to Eve as her “federal head”. If Adam’s sin was not imputed to Eve, then it is clear that he is not the “federal head” of the human race, only the one whose sin was passed on to his offspring (not his wife). Les Feldick takes the federal headship to its full conclusion by saying that Eve was not charged with sin until Adam sinned because she did not sin when she ate the fruit. He says that sin was charged to her when Adam sinned because he was the “federal head” representing humanity. I do agree that Adam took all of his offspring into sin. It was Eve’s offspring (Jesus) who bought us back and Jesus was the last Adam.

It is so good when believers can discuss these theological matters with passion yet treat each other with love and respect as true brothers and sisters in Christ. This is what makes us different from the world. The world cannot love those who are not like them. We can love each other yet we are all different. We are all needed and wanted in the body of Christ.

More answers to your questions later when I have time.

Blessings,
Cheryl

Victorious said...

believer333 said...

Because the command was to "not eat" and Eve ate, then she disobeyed the command by definition.

I prefer to use scripture for my definitions....and since you seem determined to read something into scripture that is not there, I assume it would be "fruitless" (pardon the pun) to remind you that Eve was not yet formed when God gave that command to Adam.

Shamgar said...

First one quick response to Victorious's last statement:
I assume it would be "fruitless" (pardon the pun) to remind you that Eve was not yet formed when God gave that command to Adam.

You mean the command she quoted to the Serpent? That command?


Now, for the rest of you, I am ending my part of the discussion here. It has become quite clear from where we have gone in terms of the discussion of federal headship and the imputation of sin and righteousness that you do not hold to the historic baptist faith (as laid down in the 1st and 2nd london baptist confessions and their writings).

While I would love to discuss those issues with you, this is not the forum for that. I was here to discuss this issue with like-minded baptists and that's not what we have here. There are radically different hermeneutics, presuppositions, and theologies represented here vs the faith proclaimed in our confessions.

This thread has already grown to 178 comments and it's taking forever to load. It's just not a forum conducive to taking a side trip to discuss these larger theological issues to lay groundwork before getting back to the point - and I don't think it'd be right for me to "hijack" Wade's blog to try even if that weren't the case.

So Cheryl, I'll definitely come back and read whatever else you might have to say - and I might even make a couple concluding comments in response, since I think you deserve that much for wading through my post. Otherwise I'm going to try very hard to let the matter drop on my end at this point.

Anonymous said...

Rex Ray said…
Shamgar,
See how easy that is…I wrote your name. Now everyone knows who I’m talking to without going back and searching to see who said what. What do have against writing someone’s name?

But this lecture is coming too late as you’re calling it quits. I don’t blame you at all because it takes a bigger man than you to admit when he’s wrong.

You say we’re not “like-minded Baptists but are “radically different hermeneutics, presuppositions, and theologies.”

I won’t even bother to look those words up, as I think they’re used to cover up a loosing discussion. The Scripture used by some to open your eyes only accomplished closing you ears. You should have quit earlier as you struck out in the ninth ending.

Anonymous said...

Friday I ask just 4 questions and I just wanted someone to answer them for me to help my understanding about those questions? Where they 2 hard to answer? This has been some discussion -- Way to go Wade! Tom

Anonymous said...

Rex Ray said…
Shamgar,
I don’t believe in kicking a man when he’s down, but you still claim all sins are equally bad. That’s like saying spitting on a sidewalk is as bad as rape.

Saul did not obey God, and he was replaced as king by being killed. Leaders did the same as he when they signed a peace treaty with those God said to kill. God didn’t even reprimand those leaders because they had been DECEIVED.

Jesus listed only ONE sin that deserved having a stone tied to a MAN’S neck and cast into the sea.

You told Cheryl she deserves you reading her comments and you “might even make a couple concluding comments in response.” But you say, “Now, for the rest of you, I am ending my part of the discussion here.”

Do you think that breaks our hearts by us not being worthy? You may be one of those guys that need a wheel barrow for their egos.

I know I’m not being Christ-like, but it upsets me that I believe you know you’re wrong, but you refuse to admit it in order to keep women under your thumb. I believe you owe everyone an apology.

johnMark said...

Rex Ray,

Why in the world are you questioning Shamgar's motives? You don't know him. I do know him and, believe me, he'd be here debating this until the end of the year if he'd let himself.

Anyways...gotta run...
Mark

Anonymous said...

I find it interesting that so many claim that Eve was deceived. Eve was not deceived. Eve CLAIMED she had been deceived. There is a world of difference. The serpent never lied to her. He told her the truth. Her eyes would be opened and she would know the difference between good and evil, like God does. With the promise of that reality, she was tempted, but not deceived. Despite knowing she was not to eat it, she made the conscious choice to do so. Adam, who was with her and apparently saw this whole thing transpire, also knew not to eat it, but ate it anyway. Where, then is the deceit? They both consciously did what God had clearly instructed them not to do. They both knew better. Deceit didn't enter the picture until Eve needed an excuse for her sin.

Victorious said...

Anonymous,

Gracious! Scripture clearly says Eve was deceived by the serpent.

1Ti 2:14 And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.

That's the whole premise for the argument that women shouldn't be allowed to teach! That's what we are discussing here.

She "claimed" she was deceived because she was, recognized it, and confessed it!

Cheryl Schatz said...

Paul by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit said that Eve was deceived.

First witness of scripture: 1 Timothy 2:14 “but the woman being *deceived*, fell into
transgression.”

Second witness of scripture: 2 Corinthians 11:3 But I am afraid that, as the serpent *deceived* Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.

I hope that helps to dispel the myth that Eve's claim to deception was only an excuse and not a reality.

Anonymous said...

Rex Ray said…
To ‘without a name’,
You said, “The serpent never lied to her.” Are you saying the ‘Father of liars’ did not lie when he told her she would not die? That’s the biggest lie in the whole Bible.

Paul said Eve was deceived. Are you arguing with him?

John,
Sounds like you know Shamgar. Maybe he inherited his trait from Adam who would even debate God.

Shamgar said...

Rex Ray,

Wow - that's quite an exercise in Christian charity you've displayed there. Way to make sure you read the worst possible interpretation into whatever I say. I am still not going to continue the discussion in general, but I will answer your accusations.

See how easy that isI wrote your name. Now everyone knows who Im talking to without going back and searching to see who said what. What do have against writing someones name?

If you look back you'll see that I generally have used names to make it easier to follow. If I forgot once or twice I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive my grave oversight.

I dont blame you at all because it takes a bigger man than you to admit when hes wrong.

Ah, yes. I don't find the conversation productive, so I must be wrong and just be afraid to admit it. I have no qualms with admitting when I'm wrong - it certainly happens often enough. This simply isn't one of those times, your wishful thinking notwithstanding.

I wont even bother to look those words up, as I think theyre used to cover up a loosing discussion.

It was not my intent to cover anything up. Those words have been used on several occaisions during this thread, and nobody indicated they failed to follow. Allow me to rephrase for your benefit, as well as anyone else who may have been lost while trying to follow.

Over the course of Christian history various rules for properly reading Scripture have developed. For example, one we likely share, is that you don't read a book of wisdom (like say proverbs) the same as you do an epistle of Paul. And you don't read a book of history (like say Chronicles) the same as you do the book of Revelation. We don't look for the literal symbols of revelation for example, and we don't interpret a reign by a particular king in Chronicles as symbolic of something else.

These rules impact the way we view scripture, and put certain requirements on it. For example, we use clearer texts of scripture to interpret less clear texts. We use the New testament to interpret the old (as the apostles did). Etc.

Presuppositions are the things we take for granted to be true. For example, when you step outside in the morning, you take for granted there will be oxygen there for you to breathe. You take for granted that gravity will be there to keep you from spinning off into space. To tie in the last paragraph, we likely all presuppose that the Scriptures are internally consistant. (I know Cheryl does at least, from what her video said).

Sometimes these presuppostions are valid, sometimes they're not. Sometimes they contain conclusions that don't have a valid basis in fact and they can color the way we look at everything.

As for theologies - well - I assume you just lumped that word in because I used them together and not because you don't actually know what theology means. However, to clarify what I mean here I'll go over it in its contextual usage in my post.

I mean that historically baptists have held that the doctrines of the Christian faith mesh together perfectly as interlocking pieces - internally consistant pieces, just like Scripture. This abstracted doctrine is a summarized presentation of Christian truth as we find it in Scripture and is usually represented as a confession or a systematic theology. We have both as historical Christian views of important doctrines and those would include the headship of both Adam and Christ, and the imputation of sin and righteousness (respectively). These are core pieces that affect other doctrines.

Imagine that you and I were talking about building houses. Imagine that in your view, all houses are built on stilts. In mine, they're all two story victorian homes built on a concrete slab. We start talking about building second story rooms and you think I'm crazy because there's no way you can build a second story on a house built on stilts - it just won't support that kind of weight. (Or maybe it will - I don't know anything about building houses on stilts - but for the sake of argument grant me some leeway).

After awhile, I realize that you are assuming we're talking about building on stilts. At that point, I know that before we can have any real conversation about a second story, we're going to have to have a discussion about foundations.

That is what has happened here, and again - the nature of this forum and the already large size of the page is not conducive to going on to that discussion. It would be very long and involved and long before we were done further discussion would simply become unworkable.

you still claim all sins are equally bad. Thats like saying spitting on a sidewalk is as bad as rape.

Uh, last I knew, spitting on the sidewalk wasn't a sin. Again, our primary view here is *God's* perspective on Eve's behavior. We make human distinctions all the time. And as noted by someone earlier God allowed for human distinctions when laying down laws for the israelites in terms of punishment. Those laws are not reflective of the results of sin in God's perspective. With God, there is only Sin or Holiness. Perfection of holiness is required to be in his presence, everything else is cast out. This is why the perfection of Christ and the imputation of his perfect righteousness is so very important.

Do you think that breaks our hearts by us not being worthy? You may be one of those guys that need a wheel barrow for their egos.

-sigh- No. I just know that if I post something to someone, I check back regularly waiting to see if they've replied for some time. I was trying to be forthcoming and not just disappear and leave people hanging.

I was going to respond to Cheryl because I knew my post was long-winded and she had obviously already gone through at least part of it. I didn't want her to feel like that effort was wasted if I wasn't going to respond at all.

it upsets me that I believe you know youre wrong, but you refuse to admit it in order to keep women under your thumb.

Well, that would be silly, since I don't have one single woman "under my thumb" including my wife. My only desire in arguing this point is again, fidelity to the Scriptures. I'm not willing to dismiss Paul's teaching on the basis of weak argumentation built on flawed theological precepts (regarding the fall) which have far reaching impact to other aspects of our theology.

If you think that I won't change my mind when corrected by Scripture you don't know me very well. I have given up dearly held beliefs that were part of how I was raised because I couldn't escape the truth of Scripture. As I noted earlier, that included specifically having to admit to my wife that I was wrong and she was right. I'm not saying it was fun - but God gave me the grace I needed, and if He had shown me to be in error here, I'm sure he would've done so again.

I believe you owe everyone an apology.

I don't know about everyone, but obviously I've offended you by my leaving the discussion. I'm sorry about that, but I think it is the right decision and I'm going to stick by it.

believer333 said...

Victorious wrote:
“1Ti 2:14 And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.
That's the whole premise for the argument that women shouldn't be allowed to teach! That's what we are discussing here.”

Yes, I’ve heard the claim that because Eve was deceived and Adam wasn’t therefore all women are more prone to deception than men. Is that the illogic you are speaking of? What does the fact that the first woman who was perfectly naïve’ (as was the first man) and was deceived by the cleverest of all creatures have to do with all women? Do you also believe that all men therefore are more inclined to deliberately knowingly do that which they are told not to do? And how is deliberate sin better than being deceived into sin. Why would a deliberate sinner be more preferred to teach than someone who has been deceived. What guarantee is there that men will not deliberately teach falsehoods?

And perhaps most important of all, if this is supposed to be a God given mandate for all women, why didn’t God give it in the beginning since it is based on an event in the beginning. Why did God obviously ignore such an important premise and call various women throughout history to teach and lead with authority. Why would God wait 4000 years later and only after some women in Ephesus were teaching wrong doctrine. Do you think that is the only time in history when women ever taught something wrong?

Such a premise is hardly firm ground to build a doctrine that is so damaging to the whole body of Christ and ultimately the world.

believer333 said...

“Friday I ask just 4 questions and I just wanted someone to answer them for me to help my understanding about those questions? Where they 2 hard to answer? This has been some discussion -- Way to go Wade! Tom”

What four questions are those Tom. I couldn’t find them.

Anonymous said...

believer333

Here are the questions (maybe stated a little different)but still with main thought.

1. All Things are possible with God --Is the only thing impossible for God to do is to call women into ministry (pulpits included)?

2. When God looks at His children on this earth does He see gender, race, etc?

3. My mom led me to Christ when I was 12 - did she have the right to preach (teach) the gospel to me or was this something only my dad should have done?

4. Why did Paul thank God for Timothys' mother?

Tom

Colin said...

Cheryl,

I showed you biblically where you are using the "witness of Scripture" contrary to how Jesus used "Witness," how the biblical writers used it, and how the Bible as a whole uses it. How can it be proof of your claim? Or will you ignore the biblical witness itself?

Colin

Anonymous said...

let me answer these questions, if i may.

1. nothing is impossible with God, but God will not do things that go against His Own Word, the Bible.

2. apparently God does see race and gender when He looks at His creation. He saw the jews as jews in the o.t. in fact, He saw the canaanites as canaanites also, when He told the jews to wipe the canaanites off the face of the planet. also, God obviously saw gender when He created man and woman....that's how He created them. man and woman. praise the Lord!

3. a woman preaching the gospel to a child is not nearly the same as a woman having an authoritative position over men and teaching them the bible. women ought to teach thier children and other women, especially younger women.

4. paul thanked God for timothy's mother because she was a godly woman who loved the Lord Jesus and she raised her son timothy right.


david(volfan007)

believer333 said...

I'll give those a whack, Tom. :)



1. Nothing is impossible with God except sin. Therefore, when God called women to teach and lead with authority in the OT He was not going against Himself. And therefore it is impossible for Paul to have made a “new” law that went against what God had already done. Respective to the discussion, there is no weakness in any individual that is stronger than God’s ability to heal, to instruct in righteous, and to anoint for ministry by the Holy Spirit. In the end, God will call and use and justify whomsoever He will for whatever purposes He chooses.
2. God is not a respecter of persons, thus in that sense He does not “see” gender, racial, social preferences the way humans do. There is nothing that we are that impresses God. There are many unique characteristics that He created in us all, including all the racial, social, gender differences; but God is not impressed so that He prefers one over the other. All are useful.
3. Every Christian has the responsibility to teach the truths of Scripture to whosoever will listen with the skills that God has given the person. If we have the ability to teach, then we should teach in faith. All parents should give themselves toward equipping their children for living in a corrupt world. The problems today would be fewer if both parents realized their responsibilities start at birth of the child and end at it’s death. There is no age when the parent is “done”.
4. Paul thanked God for Timothy’s mother because she and his grandmother instructed Him in the faith. Paul did not qualify that with an age. For all we know Timothy’s mother and grandmother were still instructing Timothy in the ways of God.

Victorious said...

I hesitated to post this since it's so long, but since several believe that God has ordained women to be treated "differently" than men, I thought it would be helpful to show that the whole counsel of God's Word proves that He does not show partiality.
------------------------------

Genesis 1: Both male and female created in the image of God

Exodus 21:15-17 Same punishment for curse or smite to mother or father

Exodus 25:29 Both women and men (including wives and husbands) brought offerings as their heart made them willing

Lev. 20:10 Same punishment for adultery for men and women (including wives and husbands)

Num. 5:6 Same responsibility for making restitution for sin for women and men (including wives and husbands)

Num. 6:2 Same responsibility when making a Nazarite vow for men and women

Num. 15:27-28 Same sin offering for unintentional sin for men and women (including wives and husbands)

Num 18:11 "This also is yours, the offering of their gift, even all the wave offerings of the sons of Israel; I have given them to you and to your sons and daughters with you as a perpetual allotment. Everyone of your household who is clean may eat it.

Deut 5:16 Honor due equally to mother and father in the land the Lord gave them

Deu 16:11 both males and females celebrate the Feast of Weeks


Deut. 17:2-5 Same punishment for idolatry for men and women (including wives and husbands)

Deut. 19:21 Just punishment under the law for either/both male and female (including wives and husbands)

Deut 22:5 Same responsibility to dress properly (including wives and husbands)

Deut. 21:18-20 Same responsibility in training children (both wives and husbands)


Exo 21:31 "Whether it (an ox) gores a son or a daughter, it shall be done to him according to the same rule.

Deut. 31:10-12 Both men and women (including wives and husbands) assembled on Feast of Booths to hear the words of the law

Joel 2:28 Both male and female (including wives and husbands) recipients of the outpouring of Holy Spirit, dreams, visions, & prophecies.

Acts 2:1-4 Both male and female (both wives and husbands) filled with the Holy Spirit at Pentecost

Acts 2:3-4 Tongues of Fire rested on both male and female (including wives and husbands) in the upper room

Acts 2:4 Both male and female (including wives and husbands) spoke with other tongues

Acts 5:1-10 Both husband and wife were held responsible for lying

! Cor.7 Same instruction to the married and unmarried male and female

1 Cor. 7 Same responsility of wives and husbands to meet one another's sexual needs

1 Cor. 11:11-12 Both wives and husbands mutually dependent on one another

1 Cor. 12 Same responsibility of women and men (including wives and husbands) to use spiritual gifts for the edification of the body

Gal. 3:29 Both male and female (including wives and husbands) are joint heirs according to the promise

Eph 5:21 Mutual subjection of all Christians (including wives and husbands) to one another
-------------------

Again, my apologies for the length.

believer333 said...

good list Victorious.

Anonymous said...

David (volfan) your answers don,t help me a lot - reasons 1. You said God does not go against His Word, the Bible. My understanding is that Jesus is the Word. In the beginning was the Word and the Word was (which God or the Bible)? In fact Jesus was the last Word God had to say on the matter of Salvation.

On question 2 you said God did see gender, race, etc. and used some O.T. examples. I do not live in the O.T. I live in the New Covenant. Do you believe in an eye for an eye or forgive your enemies. In the New Covenant Gal: 3:28. When God sees His children does he see gender, race, ect. or does He see us in Jesus?

If the man is to instruct where was Timothy's father during the instruction time of his(Timothy)life. Give me a child to instruct till they are 10 years old and you can have them back.

If a person is in a position of authority -- it does not mean that you lord over them --- you can be a good great teacher and not lord over the people you instruct --- example Jesus.(Knowing that He was much more than a good, great teacher) Tom

Anonymous said...

believer333 - I think you made a good whack at it. You seem to have a gentle spirt - almost the mind of Christ --- If I was not already a redeemed child -- I would listen to what you had to say. Tom

believer333 said...

Thank you very much for your kind words Tom. They are deeply appreciated.

It is sadly so rare for kind words on forums these days. With your compassionate insight I predict that you will bring God's healing grace to many lives before God takes you to His eternal home.

:)

Cheryl Schatz said...

Hi Colin,

Sorry for being so slow. I was painting all day and then my husband needed my help in construction. My spirit was here on this biblical discussion forum, even though my body was elsewhere :)

You said: “You take the witness to mean a witness from the Scripture- a textual witness. Not once in the NT, nor once I could find in the OT, nor in the lexicons, is the word martous (witness) used to mean a text or written revelation. It always refers to a creature or God doing the witnessing.”

That simply is not true. The word for witness is Greek #3144 martoos and means one who has information or knowledge of something, and hence, one who can give information, bring to light, or confirm something. According to Strong’s it means a martyr, **a record** or a witness. A witness is a person, a record is evidence. In Hebrews 12:1 the author of Hebrews tells us that we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us. This is a reference to the scriptures as the writer of Hebrews has listed them the scriptural record of godly men and women for us in previous chapters. (See John Gill’s exposition of the Bible and also the People’s New Testament; Matthew Henry Commentary comments on Hebrews 12:1. See also Vincent’s word studies where he says that “Witnesses does not mean spectators, but those who have born witness to the truth, as those enumerated in ch. 11) The people from chapter 11 are all dead so it is their record - the scriptures that witness about their lives. So what you have said does not hold up to scrutiny.

Furthermore, the witness or evidence given according to Jesus can be a written record or even a deed. Jesus uses the same requirement for two or three witnesses when he dialogues with the Pharisees, but he also uses related Greek words which prove that the evidence given can be a recorded deed.

Jesus said:

John 5:31 “If I alone *testify* (Greek #3140) about Myself, My *testimony* (Greek #3141) is not true.
John 5:32 There is another who testifies of Me, and I know that the testimony which He gives about Me is true.
John 5:33 You have sent to John, and he was testified to the truth….
John 5:36 “But the testimony which I have is greater than the testimony of John; for the *works* which the Father has given Me to accomplish—the very works that I do-testify about Me, that the Father has sent Me…
John 5:39 You search the *Scriptures* because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is *these* that *testify* (Greek #3140 witness, testify, give testimony) about Me;”

The scriptures are a valid witness according to Jesus. The scriptures that bear witness to Jesus are considered a valid legal witness.

Now let’s look further to Paul. Paul said in 2 Corinthians 13:1: “This is the third time I am coming to you. EVERY FACT IS TO BE CONFIRMED BY THE TESTIMONY OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES.”

Paul said that the text of the letter is his third time (third witness) to the Corinthians. Here Paul clearly states that his coming this third time is through his letter. Then in the very next verse he states that *if* he comes in person he will not spare anyone.

2 Corinthians 13:2 “I have previously said when present the second time, and though now absent I say in advance to those who have sinned in the past and to all the rest as well, that *if* I come again I will not spare anyone”

The letter is his last warning and his personal presence will bring judgment on the Corinthians if the third warning does not cause them to change.

So again we have the required two witnesses. Jesus shows that a witness can be the scriptures or deeds and Paul said that his third witness was his letter.

The scriptures are replete with examples of the repetition of God’s laws. In fact, I have never yet found one universal law or prohibition that is not repeated in scripture. The repetition of the law is 100% compliant to the law of two or three witnesses. If I am wrong, it will be easy to prove me wrong. Show me just one universal law that isn’t repeated. Secondly, I would really like you to consider searching the scripture to find a second witness that states that women who teach correct biblical doctrine to men are disobeying a prohibition of God. The ball is now in your court. I prayerfully ask you to struggle through this issue to ask God why this one “prohibition” wasn’t repeated. Read 1 Timothy 1 again carefully and ask yourself if there is any evidence in chapter one that Paul is going to stop godly women from teaching correct biblical doctrine? Why isn’t there any evidence in chapter one that will tie it to chapter two except for the context of false doctrine and false teachers?

I have done as you asked and shown you from scripture what you asked. I apologize that I made you wait because of my busy schedule.

With Christian love,
Cheryl

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