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

Things No One Ever Told You About Bible Women

Mona Loewen is a member of Emmanuel Baptist Church, Enid, Oklahoma, the wife of a retired banker, a Sunday School teacher of young women, and an example of the bright women who are in leadership at the church I pastor. Mona has learned Hebrew, studied theology at the Master's level, and is currently working on Chinese. Mona sent me an email yesterday with some thoughts she had written down about women in the Bible. I asked Mona permission to publish her thoughts, which she gave, and I then asked her to make herself available to answer any questions from readers or defend her views against those who would disagree. She agreed, and so Mona will be moderating this comment section. Feel free to fire away. If your conscience is bothered by a woman who knows Hebrew instructing men, read this post at your own peril.

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Things that no one ever told you about Women in the Bible

Theory vs. Fact



Religious leaders give us a lot of direction concerning the role of women as they see it in scripture. They quote scripture from Paul's letters to back up their theories.

But when we study the real women of the Bible we seldom find any who fit the pattern we are exhorted to emulate. In fact, I don't know if we can even find one meek, submissive, quiet, un-opiniated real woman among those who are memorialized in scripture.

The real women who are the heroines of the Bible define the role of women by their real lives.

The New Testament begins with a tribute to assertive women. The third verse of the first chapter of Matthew tells about Tamar. Is she a submissive woman putting herself under the subjection of males? I think not. Read her story in Genesis 38 to see her role in bring about the purposes of God. Had she not taken some leadership the lineage of Jesus would have fallen apart.

Then we go down to verse 5 and find another woman highlighted in Jesus genealogy-Rahab. Joshua 2:3 tells her story. She was a harlot and a Canaanite but in Joshua 2:9 - 11 her confession is one of the great statements of faith in the Bible. And she is bold enough to ask the spies to save her family. And she becomes the ancestor of Christ and the one who introduces the "scarlet cord" which is used as a symbol of atonement throughout the Bible. She is mentioned again in Hebrews 11:31.

Also in Matthew 1:5 is Ruth. Go back to the Old Testament and read the book of Ruth to see two women who take action to bring things to pass in the lives of men. Their assertive, aggressive roles also gave them a place in history as being tools of God's intentions from the beginning of time which was the redemption of humankind.

And in Matthew 1:6-"the wife of Uriah" (the Hittite). I will concede that she was submissive to male authority (King David). But later she became a political leader making sure her son, Solomon, took the throne and forming international alliances. She became a leader with her own throne.

Jesus' Aunt Elizabeth was not afraid to speak up. She named her son, John, over objections of those around her. She welcomed Mary and her unborn child recognized the Messiah. She was the first to say "Ave Maria-blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb." She recognized her cousin (or niece?) as "the mother of my Lord."

Mary, the mother of Jesus, was a prophet (Luke 1:46-55) Luke 2:48. She was a mediator at the wedding at Cana. She was strong enough to be there at the cross to witness his cruel death. She was courageous, faithful, prophetic, and assertive.

Martha (my personal favorite) was Jesus good friend-he loved her (John 11:5). She served him, argued with him, complained to him and had the truest insight of who he was. Hers is one of the great confessions of the Bible (John 11:27). She understood his mission even better than his disciples.

Mary, the sister of Martha, went beyond role as a woman to sit at the feet of a Rabbi (Jesus), then was brash enough to wash his feet with ointment in front of others.

The Greek Syrophenician woman in Mark 7:24-30 was at first rebuffed by Jesus, but because of her retort he cast the demon out of her daughter.

These are the real women that I look to as examples-not some theoretical abstraction of womanhood defined by a narrow interpretation of a few verses from Paul.

Speaking of Paul, look at the real women Paul chooses to commend. He worshipped in Lydia's home, he was taught by Priscilla, and he worked with Euodias and Syntyche. In Romans 16:1, Paul commends Phoebe "our sister, being διάκονον." Diakonon is the word for deacon which means servant. Phoebe was a female deacon.

Timothy's grandmother, Lois, and mother, Eunice, were the spiritual leaders in their home.

Phillip had daughters who prophesied (preached).

(And as far as "family values," most of the biblical families are more dysfunctional than those today. In the very first family one brother murders the other. Noah's sons are not very exemplary, and we shouldn't even mention Lot. The mothers of Abraham's children were jealous of each other and the conflict between his sons has lasted even until this day. Isaac's family tricked him, Jacob's sons were jealous and cruel, David's kids were murderers, rapists and practiced incest. And in the New Testament we don't even know about families because the disciples abandoned their families to roam around with Jesus. Jesus family thought he was nuts and he practically disowned them - "Who is my family.?)

Ok - back to the women. We don't know much about Noah's wife and daughter's-in-law except they did get on the boat. Sarah was apparently a very attractive woman that Abraham put in a harem rather than getting himself killed over her. She was assertive at home because she convinced Abram to "obtain children" by Hagar and then sent her away. Lot lost his wife but his daughters took control of the situation and made sure he had descendants. Rebecca was a beauty who was used to hard work and outgoing. She spoke right up to Abe's servant and even watered his camels.

Rebecca orchestrated the events to trick her husband into blessing the son who God had preordained to be blessed.

Rachel told Jacob to "Give me children, or else I die." They argued but she eventually had her way. She even tricked her father.

Tamar knew what was the "right thing" for her father-in-law to do and made sure he did. She is part of Jesus genealogy.

This is just all in Genesis. Then there is Miriam, Zipporah, Rahab (mentioned twice in the New Testament), Deborah, Abigail, the Shunamite woman. Don't forget Ruth and Naomi. All of these women are aggressive, assertive, intelligent and took control. The woman in Proverbs 31 works outside the home, buys and sells land, brings in imported food and her husband's reputation is enhanced by her activities.

Esther is one of the most courageous persons in the entire Bible. She put her life on the line for her people and matched wits with some powerful men. In fact there is a lot of "leadership" shown in these women in a time when women were in a low position.

Again, in summary the real women who are the heroines of the Bible define the role of women by their real lives, not a hypothetical woman created by male theologians.

85 comments:

Bryan Riley said...

Fantastic summary. Praise God for His creation - it is VERY good. As Christ freed us from the curse and the Holy Spirit has gifted all who believe with gifts as He wills, may all believers, men and women, be filled with the Spirit and use those gifts as He directs to glorify God and advance His kingdom to the ends of the earth.

Robert said...

Creation? God made the bluebonnets but they are not responsible for leading me (though better-looking). Are you serious that the 'curse' was women not normally being called to leadership? If a nine-year-old can be a believer and gifted by the Holy Spirit, does that make them properly a leader of the people of God?

Of course all the stories in this article are there in Scripture and true - they just have nothing to do with the way God's people are ordered.

Whether observing the sons of Jacob, the Old Testament priesthood, the apostles or Paul's instructions for church life it is self-evident that there is a cover-to-cover call on men to face up to the responsibility to lead. It is insulting to Scripture to call such overwhelming evidence a theory. And I doubt that any of the women cited in this article would disagree.

What the article does show is that from time to time and for a variety of reasons the proper order will be set aside by God and/or the weakness of men (literally).

I think the author is confused between the status of men and women (equal) and the normal roles of men and women (different). The Bible is not.

I cannot speak for SWBTS on this last point . . .

Debbie Kaufman said...

Of course all the stories in this article are there in Scripture and true - they just have nothing to do with the way God's people are ordered.

I am smiling as I read this, and it's not a smile of agreement, just a smile.

tbd said...

Mona,
Great article! The title of your article demonstrates part of the problem of rigid fundamentalism and perhaps you intended this.

God's children ought not be totally dependent on others telling them what the Bible says and means. Some fundamentalists might be happy to return to the days of pre-reformation, where the clergy controlled the Bible and all the people naively nodded in agreement to whatever they were told.

If more of us would actually read our Bibles, we could reclaim the "literalist" label as full supporters of women in all facets of ministry. To take a few verses at face value while ignoring the strong theme of women in leadership throughout Scripture is a fairly perverse distortion of the truth. Scripture interprets scripture; it must be held together in tension.

Peace,
Blake Dempsey

Jack Maddox said...

I commend Mona for this post and she has done a great job in demonstrating that just because we understand God's order for the church and the family, we are in no way saying that women cannot be used by God in wonderful and excellent ways. In no way does the stories of these women take away from the natural order and cultural reality of the biblical role of women both theologically and culturally. Mona's post does demonstrate that God has, does and will use women in a wonderful and powerful way. It does not say that they are to serve as Pastor's, Deacon's or be the spiritual leaders in their homes. WIll they from time to time have to serve as leaders in the home? Yes, but only when such leadership is abdicated by their husbands. However, I thank Mona for a good word and a reminder that God does indeed bless the lives and ministries of women for His glory!

jrm

Jack Maddox said...

Blake

Just because someone holds to a traditionalist or complimentary view of the role of women in the church and family in no way makes them a 'fundamentalist' in the vein you have described.

By you implying such you seem to be practicing the same thing that you decry. It seems as if Wade has been trying to make the point that there is room at the conservative table for both the complimentary view and egalitarian view. You seem to be implying there is room for only one view. In other words, to be a literalist is to be a egalitarian. How fundamentalist of you : )

jrm

Tim Rogers said...

Brother Wade,

Your hypothesis of this post is flawed. Your hypothesis, as you present it implies, If pastors, theologians, and scholars follow the Scripture in today's society presenting a view that a wife is to be in submission to the man, then they have degraded and forsaken all of the great accomplishments of women recorded in history.

No one any place has ever castigated anything the women in the Bible have done. What we have done is called attention to taking historical figures and instances and reading a modern/post modern analysis into. Which is exactly what you have done in your post.

Blessings,
Tim

shadrach said...

I agree with the point of what was written-that we have severely, and inapropriately, limited the roles women play in our churches, but it is true that women are not meant to be in authority positions over MEN. The emphasis is added to acknowledge that little boys and teenagers are not men.

Women can be deacons. This is a servant position that many churches disservice by their use of the office today. But women cannot be pastors. Women can be teachers, but they are not to shepherd the body of Christ.

Let's look at one other brave woman in the Scripture: Deborah. She calls upon Barak to go fight and Barak say, "If you will not go with me, then I will not go." Deborah agrees, but says that the victory will be given into the hands of a woman.

Deborah understood that it was the man's job to lead, but that did not stop her from giving him the much needed kick in the pants. I know it is old news, but I like the way the book Wild At Heart handles this topic.

So, go women go, but stay out of the pastorate.

Pastor Tony said...

Great summary of women throughout the Bible. I just wonder if God gave us these pictures of strong women to keep in check the subservient attitude toward women. In other words, submissive does not mean subservient. While all these examples are great, they are descriptive and not prescriptive per se. The only verses that are prescriptive about gender roles are the ones Paul wrote.

Thanks for the walk through the Bible.

Blessings.

Gary said...

Pssst, Tim!

Go back and read the first paragraph.

Gary

John said...

I disagree that Deborah knew that it was man's job to lead... maybe in war, but the scriptures make it absolutely clear she was a prophetess and she was leading Israel. She also judged matters in Israel, therefore she was among those like Joshua or Samuuel.

Judges 4:
1 After Ehud died, the Israelites once again did evil in the eyes of the LORD. 2 So the LORD sold them into the hands of Jabin, a king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor. The commander of his army was Sisera, who lived in Harosheth Haggoyim. 3 Because he had nine hundred iron chariots and had cruelly oppressed the Israelites for twenty years, they cried to the LORD for help.
4 Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was leading [a] Israel at that time. 5 She held court under the Palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites came to her to have their disputes decided. 6 She sent for Barak son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali and said to him, "The LORD, the God of Israel, commands you: 'Go, take with you ten thousand men of Naphtali and Zebulun and lead the way to Mount Tabor. 7 I will lure Sisera, the commander of Jabin's army, with his chariots and his troops to the Kishon River and give him into your hands.' "

8 Barak said to her, "If you go with me, I will go; but if you don't go with me, I won't go."

9 "Very well," Deborah said, "I will go with you. But because of the way you are going about this, [b] the honor will not be yours, for the LORD will hand Sisera over to a woman." So Deborah went with Barak to Kedesh, 10 where he summoned Zebulun and Naphtali. Ten thousand men followed him, and Deborah also went with him.

No where does it say that it wasn't her place to lead. She led as she gave instruction to Barak. When he refused, she led in battle as well.

Anonymous said...

I would argue that instead of a "tribute to assertive women"... the opening chapter of the N.T. is a tribute to the Grace of God.

And... just because the Lord chooses to use flawed human beings (male and female)... it is a huge leap to say we should emulate their lives rather than follow the revealed Word of God.

My Opinion...
Joe W. in TN

OC Hands said...

Mona,
Thanks for the walk through Biblical history. While it may be true that in most societies men are expected to take a leadership role, it does not mean that women should be subjugated to an inferior role.
For instance, in traditional Chinese society on the surface it appears that the man has the leadership position in the family. However, on closer examination you will find that the wife actually controls the finances, and "runs the house."
BTW, Wade mentions that you are studying Chinese. Then you may be interested in my blog, which features news from Asia, especially China. (Voices of Praise--http://vopraise.blogspot.com/)
There is a link on the home page of this blog.
Thanks again for your presentation of the role of women in the Bible. I am certain that if you were to do a follow-up study of the role of women in history, we would see similar results.

Steve Young said...

I must have grown up in the wrong conservative neck of the woods and gone to the wrong Seminary (Mid-America) because I WAS told all these things about Bible women. These women and their lives do not demonstrate a pattern for leadership, nor do they argue against it. These accounts do teach us about God's amazing grace. Tamar is not included in the written genealogy as a reward for deceit, but as a witness to God's Grace.

selahV said...

And then we have Eve, who having been created from Adam's side, was wiled by the serpent of evil and gullible to the point of allowing him to twist God's Words and disobey her Creator who had blessed her saying, "Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it [using all its vast resources in the service of God and man];..." Gen. 1:28

What a mess Eve made of the perfection of God's earth. What she was a catalyst in multiplying goes without saying by her disobedience and rebellion against our Sovereign. Where there is a will, there is another way, I suppose.

Wonder what our world would have been like had she not eaten of the "tree of life"? selahV

By the way, I highly commend and respect Mona for her accomplishments.

Anonymous said...

Excellent, Mona!

Of course the men have their rebuttals, not understanding what a contrast some of this was to even exist and be recorded for us to know in such a partriarchal society as these women lived in.

Keep up the good work and don't be discouraged by what they say. The male disciples didn't believe the women who were the first proclaimers of the resurrection. Jesus himself had to straighten them out about it before they would believe.

Susie

Elisabeth said...

Kudos for an excellent article, Mona!

I myself totally hold the egalitarian view, and was beginning to wonder if there was room in the SBC for me. I am now seeing that there is. :)

Jack Maddox,
I realize by reading your comments that you are a godly man with a lot of scripture knowledge. Thanks for such good comments.

knnuki said...

Go Mona. You rock!

Anonymous said...

once again...you are left with the choice of following God's standard or setting as a 'standard' the examples you see in history(Biblical and otherwise)...experience, whether God uses it inspite of us or because of us cannot be our standard...or we simply have no standard at all...as it changes daily if not hourly...no wonder so many of our 'so-called brothers/sisters' are "tossed to and fro"...they knoweth noteth whereth their foundation is...

Debbie Kaufman said...

The standard for accurately reading and interpreting the Bible is this...1. The Bible never ever contradicts itself 2. Scripture interprets scripture. 3. The Bible is one whole book to be read and followed. In other words you may take one passage,but to interpret it properly, reading of other scripture is necessary for clarification(as Mona has given). If the passages contradict, it is not the passages but the interpretation that is the problem.

I say all of this to say that the many comments above are puzzling to me as they are giving excuses as to why what Mona has written cannot be true. Think guys. Can you yourselves really buy that given the authority of the scriptures? I find it interesting this is history and not for today remarks. Is that really proper interpretation? Things to think about.

texasinafrica said...

Amen to that, Mona. I believe that as women we're called to do what God asks us to do. If that means being quiet, calm, and submissive to male leadership, then so be it. If that means leading a country or a church, then so be it. Far be it from me to tell God what he can or cannot do with a woman's life.

Lin said...

"No one any place has ever castigated anything the women in the Bible have done. What we have done is called attention to taking historical figures and instances and reading a modern/post modern analysis into. Which is exactly what you have done in your post."

I had to chuckle at this one. What we have done since the fall, just as God told us would happen as a result of sin, is read into scripture a worldly, prideful view of authority over others.

Lamech was the first polygamist. I do not see a rebuke from God about it. Does that mean it was not sinful? I see laws pertaining to Hebrew slaves (that are different from foreign slaves) in Lev, does that mean slavery is commanded by God?

Nope. Just the sinful outcome of the fall.

Lin said...

"In other words you may take one passage,but to interpret it properly, reading of other scripture is necessary for clarification(as Mona has given). If the passages contradict, it is not the passages but the interpretation that is the problem. "

You mean, Debbie, like seeing references to women prophesying at Pentecost for the church age, women prophets, etc? Then we see Paul assuming women are prophesying in the church in 1 Corin 11 when he teaches on head covering but then he says they can't in 1 Corin 14? (And ignoring verse 36 where Paul sarcastically negates the above verses in chapter 14!)

You are right. There are NO contradictions. Just faulty interpretations. :o)

Benji Ramsaur said...

Debbie,

I agree with at least the first two out of your three numerical points above.

However, it might be good to elaborate on what you mean by "follow" in your third point.

I think some of the comments are bringing out the difference between something "descriptive" versus something "prescriptive".

The idea being just because something is descriptive does not necessarily mean we are bound to follow it whereas something prescriptive would be binding.

One example someone might use to attempt to justify that we are not always bound to follow what is descriptive might be Acts 2:44-45.

"And all that believed...had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need."

Grace

Benji

Anonymous said...

The Lord Jesus (God Incarnate) had a choice on the earth. He choose 12disciples... all 12 were men. The Lord Jesus also choose the Apostle to the Gentiles... a man. Paul wrote concerning Church order... men as Pastors. Even when the Lord wanted to get Peter's attention... he choose a rooster, not a hen. On the farm they say when a hen crows, we have dumplings for dinner.

Are men and women equal? Absolutely!

Are men and women identical? Absolutely Not!

Joe W.

B Nettles said...

Mona,
Don't forget about Huldah in 2 Chronicles 34. She certainly didn't shrink back from her duty to tell the King what the Lord said.

Did her words carry "authority?" Well, the Bible records her saying "Thus says the LORD..." and there is no rebuke or contradiction of her prophesy by another. And she probably did it in Hebrew. :)

I wonder if she was a basketball referee, too.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Benji: The question is, is the Bible the final authority or not? How can we not take these passages into consideration? I did not know all about these women from the church I grew up in, they did not teach or preach these passages, as if they didn't exist. Yet I was taught the Bible was inerrant and infallible word of God which I believe today. Judging by the arguments given with little regard for the passages an educated woman has given, I have to wonder how much is talk and how much is really truly believed concerning the Bible? Is that clearer? We either take it all or none. Period. You cannot just skip over these passages that are God-breathed scripture. God included them. More than once. That tells me it is something to be paid attention to because it's important. I couldn't tell that however, by the above comments.

Lin: Yeah like that. :)

Lin said...

"He choose 12disciples... all 12 were men. The Lord Jesus also choose the Apostle to the Gentiles... a man."

Joe, He did not choose any Gentiles as Apostles, either. Should we be worried? :o)

Rev. said...

I'm just curious. How many folks here affirm Articles VI and XVIII of the Baptist Faith & Message? How many folks disagree with at least portions of them?

Anonymous said...

I have been reading the comments to my thesis with interest and have been trying to decide how to comment without being “post-modern” or “descriptive.” I haven’t commented yet because to respond to each writer would take all day.
But since the farm issue has been raised—I finally feel compelled to respond.
I have lived on a farm all of my life so I know something about roosters and males of other species of farm animals. And I would say that most of them are redundant.
We raise Hereford cattle and the fate of most of the males is not something you would like to contemplate. They don’t become dumplings but become either steak or Spam or worse.
Mona Loewen

Chuck Andrews said...

Mona

Thank you for your thoughts and biblical perspective. You might find of interest Walter C. Kaiser, Jr. work Hard Sayings of The Bible published by InterVarsity Press. Particularly, his chapter on translating the Hebrew word ˓ēzer kƒnedô found in Genesis 2:18 translated in the KJV “help meet for him.” Dr. Kaiser’s conclusion:

The woman was never meant to be an assistant or “helpmate” to the man. The word mate slipped into English since it was so close to Old English meet, which means “fit to” or “corresponding to” the man. That all comes from the phrase that I have suggested likely means “equal to.”

What God had intended then was to make a “power” or “strength” for the man who would in every way “correspond to him” or even “be his equal.”


If the foundation of fundamentalist teaching on the role of women is fundamentally changed then the whole hypothesis must change.

His Grace,

Chuck

Wade Burleson said...

Rev.

I personally affirm the BFM 2000's Article VI (on the Church) and Article XVII (on the Family).

I have gone on record saying that the last sentence of the first paragraph of Article VI, though I can personally affirm it, should NEVER have been placed in a major confession of faith which is used for the purpose of defining the parameter of missions cooperation.

In addition, the section on the family (Article XVIII), though I agree with it, is poorly written in that it doesn't go far enough. It is like the person who will tell the truth - but refuses to tell the whole truth. :) The sentences in Article XVIII that deal with submission in the family, based upon Ephesians 5, should have spoken of the mutual submission of husbands and wives to one another - not just the submission of the wife. The sacred text places all believers, including males and husbands, in a position of submission to spouses. It is no less biblical to say a husband should submit to his wife by loving her as Christ loves the church as it is that a wife should submit to her husband - because the TEXT calls for submission by both the husband and wife . . .

"Submitting to one another out of reverence to Christ" (Eph. 5;21).

Hope that answers your question. We need a Convention where people are free to discuss the proper interpretation of the sacred text and not one that has a creed with forced interpretations imposed on everyone.

Paul Burleson said...

Wade,

Correct me if I'm wrong here...but...did not Adam receive the prohibition directly from God BEFORE the creation of Eve from his side thus, perhaps, making her less prepared [as I read one guy say] to understand the full implications of what the tempter was doing and more easily duped since she had heard of the significance of the tree second-hand. [From her husband who told her what God had said.]

In fact, according to scripture, Adam took the fruit knowing what his choice involved being fully aware of the whole statement of God to him. Maybe that's why it is stated that by one MAN sin entered.

Pure speculation..but I wonder if Adam had even TOLD her of the certainty of death coming because of such a choice. It is clear that SHE makes no reference to that fact in responding to the original conversation with the tempter. Maybe she didn't know since she received her info about all of it from her husband. I wonder if old Adam messed up there too. Who knows? I'll just have to ask them one day.

I do know she was not our real problem..[and still isn't]..but he was.

Benji Ramsaur said...

Debbie,

Sure we should take the whole of the Bible seriously.

Even from a "Prescriptive" angle, I take God's command to not eat of the forbidden fruit seriously.

However, I'm not really concerned about falling for that literal fruit at this point in my life.

:)

Debbie Kaufman said...

Benjie: I believe the Bible to be both literal and figurative, however, the passages that Mona has given are good examples that cannot be put in the figurative category. I believe you know this. I also believe you realize what I am saying. Either the Bible is to be believed in every jot and tittle or it is not. I know you hold to scripture interpreting scripture etc. So do you truly believe it or when it is a convenience? This is not a fallacious question and hope that you will not perceive it as such. It seems that scripture is scripture and God breathed until things that are in scripture that Mona has skillfully brought out come into focus. Then there are a million excuses why one verse in all of the Bible is the defending verse, even when put up to all these passages concerning women.

Benji Ramsaur said...

Debbie,

My point in saying "literal" fruit was not to bring up the issue of literal versus figurative interpretations.

I did it in anticipation of someone coming back and saying "Well, Benji there is a sense in which you do not want to fall for what is forbidden today as well. So there is application we can derive from that commandment"

I wanted to spare myself that comeback.

I am not trying to do away with any of the Bible.

However, the Bible must be read in context. Accordingly, I think if anybody were pressed on this comment stream, they would have to admit that Christians are not obligated to obey EVERY command of God [prescription] and EVERY example of man and/or woman [description].

I'm sure you would not want me saying to you "Debbie, if you don't pick up the manna the way God said, then you are skipping part of the Bible. You've got to take all of the Bible seriously."

Grace

Benji

P.S. Please don't bring up something about the manna being Christ even though, yes, He is the antitype--that is the kind of response I am trying to avoid answering.

Elisabeth said...

I have read some women who say they "used to be a feminist but repented of it." That statement always bothered me. Now I realize why it bothered me. Too many times "repentance" from a "stand", an "idea" or an "action" is requested, not submittance to God and His word!

Our Lord is oh, so much bigger than complimentarianism, egalitarianism, or whatever.

Anonymous said...

"I have read some women who say they "used to be a feminist but repented of it." That statement always bothered me."

I imagine that many of those "repentant women" have found loving, leading, husbands as a result. Just a thought.

Mark

Anna A said...

Mona,

Thank you for this article. It is fantastic.

I only have one thing to add. Luke 8:1-3. That's another passage that I've never heard used as the main Scripture for a sermon.

Anonymous said...

"I have read some women who say they "used to be a feminist but repented of it." That statement always bothered me."


Which one did they repent of?

Right to vote? Right to own property? Right to soley inherit husbands property upon his death? Equal pay for women (like widows) who had to work? Labor laws for small poor children?

Gee, I guess those things make me a feminist.

Mills

Cammeron said...

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHOOO Mona :D

GeneMBridges said...

No where does it say that it wasn't her place to lead. She led as she gave instruction to Barak. When he refused, she led in battle as well.

I would be careful about making this appeal. This was the time of the Judges, when Israel was in disarray. If you're going to use this example, you'll need one that shows that the state of Israel at this time was its normative state, eg. the state it would have been in had all other things been equal, namely the nation had been in a state of normative, not nominal, obedience to the Law, the "Tribal Council of Elders" had been meeting and discharging its duties, etc.

By the way, this isn't limited to Deborah, it would also apply to any citation of any figure from Judges. We have to remember that it was the generation Joshua led into the land that actually did the best. Within the trajectory of the historical metanarrative in the OT, each successive generation got worse, some worse than others, with periods of near national apostasy peppered with occasional "revival."

The end of Joshua itself foreshadows this movement when Joshua says, "You will not be able to serve the LORD..." (24:19). The reason that Judges were needed was due to that failure. So, each judge, if we're going to use their role as a model for the order in the church, is an exception to the rule, not the normative rule.

Indeed, Judges-Ruth leads into Samuel and Kings-Chronicles. The placement is meant to get the reader from Joshua to the time of the Great Kings. The point is to get us to see the need for a king on the one hand and a stable temple on the other. Thus we have many judges arising as the nation continues to spiral toward apostasy, the tabernacle fades away, and we see them doing things like prostituting themselves before the ephod (as in the time of Gideon), and offering sacrifices on their own. We're meant to think "This is bad, real bad," and, while it's true we can find important lessons in each, we shouldn't take them as representative of God's intention for the normal or ideal working of the covenant community.

Regarding the original article, I have no problem with most of it. I guess I'm the exception to the rule, because I was actually taught these things. I was also taught Complementarianism. So, I don't see what the Complementarians are up in arms about, and I don't see what the Egalitarians find so persuasive.

We can also see these women as a type of Christ. Indeed, I subscribe to the school within the Reformed community that sees the 3 Persons of the Trinity as "autotheos." Yet, I don't equate the Son and the Father modalistically, nor do I equate them economically.

I do have one issue and that is with this statement:

Again, in summary the real women who are the heroines of the Bible define the role of women by their real lives, not a hypothetical woman created by male theologians. Well, on that basis, we could say the same thing about things written by female theologians as well. To charge sexism is to trade in the genetic fallacy.

GeneMBridges said...

Wade,

Correct me if I'm wrong here...but...did not Adam receive the prohibition directly from God BEFORE the creation of Eve from his side thus, perhaps, making her less prepared [as I read one guy say] to understand the full implications of what the tempter was doing and more easily duped since she had heard of the significance of the tree second-hand. [From her husband who told her what God had said.]

In fact, according to scripture, Adam took the fruit knowing what his choice involved being fully aware of the whole statement of God to him. Maybe that's why it is stated that by one MAN sin entered.

Pure speculation..but I wonder if Adam had even TOLD her of the certainty of death coming because of such a choice. It is clear that SHE makes no reference to that fact in responding to the original conversation with the tempter. Maybe she didn't know since she received her info about all of it from her husband. I wonder if old Adam messed up there too. Who knows? I'll just have to ask them one day.

I do know she was not our real problem..[and still isn't]..but he was.


Paul, I read this narrative along the same lines Leviticus 10.

Allow me to outline my thinking briefly.

I agree with Kline that the creation narrative, the ark narrative, and the construction of the tabernacle can (and should be) read in parallel.

See here: http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2006/07/why-i-believe-in-covenant-of-works-in.html

In short, the relationship between Adam and Eve recalls the relationship between High Priest and Priest, Aaron and his sons, and slightly differently in relation to Moses and Aaron, Moses and Miriam. So, to answer your question, ask that same question of those relationships.

Anonymous said...

I just want to say how much I have enjoyed my introduction into the world of blogging. And I have appreciated all of the comments. It has been fun.
My husband has been so proud that he took me out for dinner tonight.
Speaking of my husband, we have been married for 48 years and have 3 children who have each been married for 14 years and more. And we have 7 grandchildren whom I love to spoil.
I want to thank my pastor for being gracious enough to me to post my essay. I almost feel famous.
I certainly don't have all the answers and the more I study the Bible the more I realize how finite our minds are and how infinite is the mind of God and how inexhaustable is the wisdom of Scripture.

Mona Loewen

Lin said...

I knew that sooner or later we would hear from someone that Deborah was 'non-normative'. It always happens. :o)

"The point is to get us to see the need for a king on the one hand and a stable temple on the other."

I thought the Jews begged for a king to be like the other nations and God told them what that would mean for them. It was not positive.

sb blogger said...

So now we have a new meaning to interpretation. Now it means taking scripture that doesn't speak to the order of a church, and making it over ride scripture that clearly does speak to order of a church.

But it's what many want to hear. What their itching ears want to hear.

Darby Livingston said...

"Speaking of my husband, we have been married for 48 years and have 3 children who have each been married for 14 years and more. And we have 7 grandchildren whom I love to spoil."

Mona,

"Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates" (Pro. 31:31).

Your life obviously disproves the notion that asking certain questions comes from a hidden liberal agenda.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Benjie: Could you clarify the statement "we don't have to obey all the commands and examples of scripture?" I am not understanding what you mean by this. I should have waited to answer, waiting for someone to give you the comeback you were expecting. :)

Debbie Kaufman said...

Mona: You deserve a good night out. Job well done.

Bruce said...

genembridges,

I am not a theologian but I am a thinker, and I'm wondering if you have been able to straighten yourself back out from the incredible theological pretzel you tie yourself in to make the scriptures mean what you might want them to. That non normative argument sounds to me like a crock. It would seem to me if things were non normative then that would be the time for REAL leaders. Just a thought.

greg.w.h said...

I'm kind of surprised that we continue to fall back on legal language ("normative") when trying to ascertain God's leadership. I thought the purpose of following the Law was to show us we couldn't and that, instead, we needed to listen to and follow the prompting of the Holy Spirit, confirming all spirits by searching Scripture?

If that is the case, a woman who is experiencing the excruciating pressure of God's call would read of Deborah and feel relief that--while it is unusual that she is being called--God has acted that very same way in the past.

Only the very extremist form of complementarianism would reject that view. Are the complementarians signing up to be in the same category as the jihadists?

Or, instead, are we still required to fellowship with our brothers and sisters in the faith, observing not only the Great Commission, but also the authoritative leadership Jesus expresses in Matthew 25 (if you've done it unto the LEAST of these you've done it unto me) and John 15 (we'll be known by our love) and 17 (the High Priestly prayer that calls for unity)? Note the latter two events preceded the giving of the Great Commission.

It really is shameful when so-called inerrantists refuse to actually apply the whole Bible, and instead pick and choose what they want to believe. I think Gene's heart and his theological thought is golden, by the way, but I caution us all of falling into the trap he is falling into. Please reconsider, Gene.

Greg Harvey

Anonymous said...

"...learned Hebrew, studied theology ..."

Brings to mind the old adage, "A little knowledge is a dangerous thing."

greg.w.h said...

Wow, anonymouse...your insight is so dazzling that I can't even read your name. What courage! What character!

Wait, no...all of that is missing.

Greg Harvey

Anonymous said...

I admit that “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing” is certainly true of me. But I will never have true knowledge. I will always “see through a glass darkly” as long as I am on this planet. So do I just let my brain rot away and never try to grasp the whole truth of the word of God? Do I sit back and never take a risk and never share my insights because I might seem ignorant?
We are all God’s handiwork and are uniquely created. When we become too fearful to share either due to our ignorance or our gender then we are “hiding our light under a bushel,” and being like the “wicked, lazy servant” who “hid his talent in the ground” (Matt 25:24-26).

Mona Loewen

Anonymous said...

Wade: Concerning Article XVIII of BFM2K, you said "...it doesn't go far enough." Does that mean you now decry the Garner Resolution, or was it just too confusing to understand?

Charles

Chris Johnson said...

Mona,

Thank you for your illumination of these women from scripture. God has used women all throughout history to bring about His will among creation and you have given us a great list of women and how that God worked in their lives.

Your point as to how some theologians have misappropriated Paul’s message on women is well stated, and it does occur today as evidenced by the new perspectives on Paul. There is no reason to think that women are above following the Word of our Lord and His teachings, and you have shown that effectively.

In the first part of your article you stated “Had she not taken some leadership the lineage of Jesus would have fallen apart.” …. Is probably a bit of an over-statement, (and I think I understand what you are meaning here), but the fact of scripture is that the plan of God would not be changed, even if she had changed her mind. God is never changing.

Thanks for the post,

Blessings,
Chris

Anonymous said...

Greg Harvey: I sincerely apologize for bringing out the snarkey streak in you, but I suspect its almost always just beneath the surface. Like many others here, I frequently add my name to the body of my comment and send the post anonymous. I inadvertently left my name off the body my previous comment. My name is Davis Robertson and I live in Tampa, Florida. I could post my CV, but you probably don't care. I still say, "A little knowledge is a dangerous thing" and I thank you for helping me make the point. You see, you went off based on your limited knowledge, and while it is a dangerous thing, it can also be quite ugly.

Davis Robertson
Tampa, FL

Debbie Kaufman said...

Davis: Interesting because it was a little knowledge that began to set me free. :)

Bryan Riley said...

I pray we don't desire that brothers and sisters show "snarkiness." Can't we all agree that we all are sinners and more often than we care to admit have wrong attitudes and even spout off a bit with these tongues that are restless fires? That is all the more reason why we should be very careful with our words and not say things designed to be offensive or attack words. We should all be endeavoring in every way for unity and for peace.

There really are no points for followers of Jesus who can help bring out ugliness. That's easy. We need more who will challenge brothers and sisters to be encouraging, gracious, righteous, and loving.

Wayne Smith said...

Debbie,

Do you believe or think a Woman should be a Pastor/Elder of a Christian Church??? If yes please explain.

Wayne Smith
En His Name

Debbie Kaufman said...

I'm in between Wayne. I am still not at a complete comfort level concerning women ministers,still Biblically working it out and have been for quite some time. Yet it could be in this time God is raising up women to exhort the truth of scripture. Personally, I want the truth of scripture no matter what that truth is, even if I have to change my views again. I can't get enough scripture and love to study.To be honest it's not a woman that I got all my distorted doctrine from in my early years in church, but men. I hear many men in the past and today who have completely lost what the Bible is actually teaching. Doctrine is becoming more a because I tell you brand with a agenda than encouraging and teaching people to study and check all teaching for themselves.

Lately there are those such as Emily Hunter McGowin who are dynamite. I enjoy reading her immensely. Now do I think men can learn from women? Absolutely and vice versa. I think Mona has shown this in her post.

greg.w.h said...

Davis:

Thank you for following up by posting your name. It is not unusual for folks to post on Wade's blog with comments that they prefer not to take responsibility for by posting anonymously (a nouma...without name). The appearance of someone doing that with a guest poster and commenter indeed brought immediately to ground one of my snarkier comments the way the electron holes create a lightning strike.

Whether it is just beneath the surface or not on a regular basis you can probably ascertain by reading my posts. That it appears when people anonymously comment with what seems equally snarky material is indisputable.

It is not a dangerous thing that Mona put this post together or that she gave her opinion. It is a dangerous thing when you pick off one comment she made and then turn it into a slur without giving even a specific example of what you're talking about. That's called intimidation. From what I can tell, she studied like a Berean and brought to light the results of that study. She has already demonstrated much grace in responding to other commenters and even in responding to you in the midst of your shameful anonymity.

I sincerely apologize if you didn't understand what I found offensive about your behavior or if you think you should get away with that behavior several times before it is pointed out to you.

I sincerely appreciate that you stepped up and identified yourself so I'm not just talking to the wind with what I said next.

That said: it's Wade's blog. I've actually overstepped my the bounds of decency in commenting this way. My hope is that you'll reconsider your comment and your method of posting it anonymously. I further will offer that you also overstepped the bounds of kindness, compassion, and shared fellowship as well and I encourage us both to do better next time.

Greg Harvey

Bruce said...

Davis,

I think to be more precise perhaps the old adage is wrong. A little knowledge in and of itself is not a dangerous thing. It is those that make applications beyond what their limited knowledge really allows. That, combined with agendas and mistrust of each other makes the points we make seem more important than the people we are making the points to. Maybe we all are guilty of that from time to time??????????

Only By His Grace said...

Davis,

You may not have meant it the way it came across and I sincerely hope you did not (caddy and arrogant), but

what you said about Mona was ugly and Greg just responded to someone who did not put a name on the ugly comment. I admire anyone who goes to the trouble to learn Hebrew and/or Greek to better understand His Word, and you should, too. Everyone of us just has a very "little knowledge" including you.

Phil in Noman.

PS. on some things I am very egalitarian and some things I am complementarian. When I want something from my wife, I am one and when she wants something from me I am the other. I am the other. I think there is something about both in most of us.

Lin said...

"I admit that “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing” is certainly true of me. But I will never have true knowledge. I will always “see through a glass darkly” as long as I am on this planet. So do I just let my brain rot away and never try to grasp the whole truth of the word of God? Do I sit back and never take a risk and never share because I might seem ignorant? "

Amen! Thanks Mona for the post.

Anonymous said...

Greg: As for one's penchant for the snarky, my observation is that it is almost always an extremely emotional reaction to that which one perceives as objectionable. It is never the product of an objective and reasonable thought process, and, as popular as it is on blogs these days, it is never excusable. Having said that, your apology is accepted.

Clearly, by the writer's own statement, the essay is her opinion and is not intended to be a Biblically through or academically critical analysis of the subject. Unfortunately, many responders have ignored that fact and as a result, we see an outpouring of emotion.

Go back and re-read the essay and then the complete comment thread. You can very easily detect an emotionalism which divides and excludes solely on the basis of opinion, regardless of the particular camp with which one identifies.

In the big picture, a thousand-word opinion piece is by definition "a little knowledge" and the overtly emotional and divisive response "is a dangerous thing."

By that I intend no ill will toward anyone.

Davis Robertson
Tampa, Florida

greg.w.h said...

Davis,

Apology accepted and forgiveness extended unconditionally. You are certainly a cut above the typical anonymouse. ;)

Greg Harvey

Wade Burleson said...

Davis,

You make an interesting observation. One with which I do not necessarily disagree.

The million dollar question for each of us is if we are strong enough in our own beliefs to allow someone who differs with us, even emotionally, to feel as if we affirm them as people, cooperate with them as Christians, and join hands for the sake of the kingdom.

I am hoping that the number of those in the SBC who can do the above grows.

theroses3 said...

Mona,
Thanks for giving me some great reminders to use with the women that I mentor. And as others have pointed out, there are many more.

I think we tend to forget that God gives both men and women leadership opportunities...what those are are really based on ones calling not what someone else says about that persons calling.

Women have been in leadership roles for centuries in the church..this is nothing new and why are we so surprised that God ALmighty chose to use women?? Why do we still argue over who is used by God more...He uses us equally!

Thanks again Mona for reaffirming what I already know!

John Moeller said...

Thanks MOM for having a passion for Christ and teaching me that.

Thanks Mrs. Silva Sue Utley for teaching me the Bible in SS class.

Thanks to all the LADIES who are so willing to teach Bible classes each week.

Shame on us men for even thinking that LADIES are second class citizens who somehow know less about scripture than we do...... as men sit on our butts in the sanctuary while the LADIES do all the teaching of the children.

Put up or shut up! If you don't want LADIES teaching men, then replace them in each and every class, from diaper babies all the way up to gray hairs.

I say; PRAISE GOD for women. Without them we would not have a new generation of Christians being raised up.

Lin said...

"You can very easily detect an emotionalism which divides and excludes solely on the basis of opinion, regardless of the particular camp with which one identifies."

This always confuses me. Is 'passion' about an issue bad? Certainly a passion for Christ is not bad...yet it is emotion based.

I grew up in a home where emotionalism was NOT allowed at all. My dad would have us debate issues and the rules were we could only use facts and logic. It is a good training ground.

What we do not realize is that everything has a taint of 'emotion' about it: Anger, compassion, arrogance, pride and even leadership! Even Jesus who wept.

Our 'feelings', while coming from a depraved heart, come out from our thinking. So even the coldest of hard facts have an emotional taint to them.

I have had to come to terms with 'emotions' being ok but I know that I still get squeamish about them and have to admit that thinking I am right is in itself an 'emotion'. :o)

Anonymous said...

Pastor Burleson:
I agree as to the million-dollar question, but I confess pessimism. The remarks on this thread do not lend themselves to optimism. With no fault implied, neither does your own recent furball at IMB. It is my observation that over the years the chasm between factions has become much more perilous. There are, I believe, two factors contributing to the peril we face.

First, there are the disingenuous arguments - that is, an issue will be initially "marketed" as a secondary or even a tertiary matter. At some point it is discovered that the "real" issue turns out to be significantly more foundational. Neither camp will ever compromise any issue it deems to be of primary importance.

Second, when emotionally charged personal attacks dominate the conversation, you can be assured that God will not find glory in either camp.

So long as those two factors predominate we will remain divided.

We cannot assert that only the other camp needs to "get right" on theses factors. These are individual defects of our sin nature that can only be dealt with privately by prayer and fasting, begging God to be delivered of the bondage that is OUR agenda and filled with the freedom of His.

It isn't about liberal or conservative, Arminius or Calvin, egalitarianism or complimentarianism, or any of the thousand other points over which we may not agree. Can you imagine someone of either camp walking along with Jesus attempting to convince Him of the rightness of their particular position - trying to justify their agenda to Him? I promise you His focus will be only upon that which most Glorifies God, and if we would walk with Him, our focus must align with His. Else we walk alone.

Davis Robertson
Tampa, Florida

Anonymous said...

Thank you, John Moeller!!! That's what I'm talkin' about!

I was conceived a Southern Baptist, born a Southern Baptist, raised a Southern Baptist, spent several years doing battle with the Southern Baptist Hierarchy, and I once again recently joined a Southern Baptist church..........

As a Southern Baptist, I have discovered through the years that it can be dangerous for a Southern Baptist woman to love herself and to trust her heart and mind. I remember years ago going to my pastor and asking him "why in the WORLD God would require something superior to submit to something inferior." The funny thing was, I was serious........ He leaned back in his chair and laughed and told me I was probably "right on the mark!" I remember telling him I knew it was a man's world and that they could have it!!!

We're commanded to love ourselves. When you do, you will typically treat others, men AND women, with love and respect.

At the moment, I am at peace with all men!!!!!

Thanks- Debi L. Maestri- Bella Vista, Ar

Anonymous said...

"We cannot assert that only the other camp needs to "get right" on theses factors. These are individual defects of our sin nature that can only be dealt with privately by prayer and fasting, begging God to be delivered of the bondage that is OUR agenda and filled with the freedom of His."

I sure wish you could post this comment on the CBMW site, too, but they do not take comments like Wade does. :o)

Mills

Wayne Smith said...

Debbie,

Thanks for your reply. I believeand know The Bible says the Pastor/Elder of a Christian Church should be a Male, called by God/Holy Spirit. Women in the World can be Teachers and have Ministries such as Anne Graham and Beth Moore.

In His Name
Wayne

Debbie Kaufman said...

Wayne: Anne Graham Lotz I believe is an ordained minister. I could be wrong on that count. But she believes in women in ministry and she has spoken to mixed audiences in seminaries, churches to a mixed group during the morning services as well as many other places around the world.

Jack said...

Debbie & Wayne:

I think you may both be surprised to hear what Anne Graham Lotz said about this subject on The Larry King Show on May 18, 2000:

LOTZ: For 12 years I taught a large Bible class for women in my city of Raleigh, North Carolina, about 500 ladies, Never missed a class in 12 years, every call, and then God called me out of that into an itinerant ministry so that I've accepted invitations from around the world, and for the last 12 years, I've just traveled -- I call our ministry Angel Ministries. Stick my initials AGL, put the angel in between, because angels in the Bible were messengers of God, and they went where God sent them and they give the message you put on their heart, and I felt that describes what I do.

KING: You are not ordained though.

LOTZ: No.

KING: So you're not Reverend Anne Graham Lotz.

LOTZ: No.

KING: Did you think of ordination?

LOTZ: No.

KING: Why not?

LOTZ: Well, I just don't feel that that's what God has for me. You know, in the Bible, ordination, I don't see that in the Scripture. In the Bible, it's whether you're filled with the Holy Spirit, whether you're anointed by God, whether you're called by God, whether you're obedient to him. I want to be those things, but I don't see any purpose for me in being ordained.

KING: And some don't think a woman should be a preacher, right? There are some in the old Southern Baptist folk who think that's that -- do you respond to them?

LOTZ: Well, you know, I feel like I'm not accountable to them. I'm accountable to God and his call in my life, and I think each of us needs to study the Scriptures for ourselves and determine what we believe the Bible is saying, and I think there are a lot of things out there that have been passed down from generation to generation that aren't true, and so the thing about blacks not coming into the church, that somehow they're not equal, that wasn't true, it never has been true, but it just got passed down and within the church, and it's a shame. And so what I'm trying to do is teach the Scriptures in such a way that people who call themselves by God's name will know really what God says so that we could live accordingly to his word.

-Blessings,

-jack-

Corrie said...

"Even when the Lord wanted to get Peter's attention... he choose a rooster, not a hen. On the farm they say when a hen crows, we have dumplings for dinner."

And God used a she-ass to rebuke His prophet, Balaam. The Lord chose a "jenny" and not a "jack".

I don't get what male roosters have to do with leadership? A rooster crows at sunset. Hens don't. It seems to have nothing to do with gender at all.

Corrie said...

"Non-normative" is when God chooses the base and weak things of this world to confound worldly wisdom. How many people who are highlighted in the Bible "normative"?

Jesus turned everything upside down. Authority is no longer top down but bottom up. The first shall be last. Very non-normative stuff.

Corrie said...

Mona,

I enjoyed your post and I was encouraged by the examples of real women and not the wooden prototypes we are so frequently *subjected* to.

Each woman, as is each man, is so very different and unique and if these women that you highlighted thought they had to stay in the box assigned to them by the worldly thinking of manmade systems, just think what a loss that would.

Robert:

"Creation? God made the bluebonnets but they are not responsible for leading me (though better-looking)."

Bluebonnets? Surely there is a difference between a bluebonnet, no matter how good looking it happens to be, and a woman made in the image of God? Comparing a woman to a bluebonnet? Comparing a woman to a 9 year old child? Surely a grown, adult woman's input and opinion and wisdom would be regarded with more respect?

I am not sure where you get the idea that anyone is saying that women should be leading you from this post or the comment you were responding to. Can we just agree that women are a vital and integral part of the development of God's kingdom and the doctrine of the Church? Surely we would not want to cripple the church by reducing Christ's body to one-half? I mean the contribution that women bring to the church is much more than baking pies and changing diapers.

We can also agree that there is a certain unbiblical stereotype concerning women foisted upon the church by those who have a false view of submission.

Furthermore, the Paraclete- Holy Spirit/Helper, is responsible for leading you. We are not to follow where He is not leading. The sheep know His voice and they are called out by Him and they follow Him.

It is not insulting to scripture to recognize that people are teaching manmade traditions as the very precepts of God. If that is, then Jesus was wrong to go against the religious leaders of the day and expose their tradition as not being the Word of God.

Again, I do not see the author of this post saying what you say she says. She is merely showing us that the women of the Bible operate outside of the manmade box that the surrounding religious culture tried to stuff them into. I do not see Mona making any sort of argument for women being responsible for leading men! Perish the thought! ;-) But, as far as your bluebell comparison goes...He could very well use a flower to lead you. Or a rock. Or an female donkey. In fact, He will use the base and despised thing of this world to confound the "wisdom" of man. A little child will lead them.

Don't be surprised if the thing that you look view as unable to "lead" is the thing that ends up teaching you the greatest lessons. God can make children out of rocks. He doesn't need us. He is responsible to lead and guide us.

I think what she is trying to get us to see is that biblical womanhood colors outside of the lines and that it looks different for every woman.

I am sure that Jael didn't get the "Gentle Spirit" award the year she obeyed God's role for her life. ;-)

Bryan Riley said...

I think what Anne Graham Lotz says is very consistent with women in ministry. Great quotes Jack. Thank you for sharing. And she is right about ordination. It is really something that pastors get a tax break through as much as anything. a creation of man. There are great ordination boards and good discussions that are a part of ordination in many instances, but it doesn't stem from the bible. Anointing comes from God.

P. Rogers said...

Hi, Just because they were assertive does not mean they were correct in what they did. Eve was forgotten and we all know how rebellious she was. Only in christ can a womans position be restored, becasue of the Holy Spirit. Esther was a concubine...she had sex with the king as a jewess...if she was really brave she would have rejected being taken to the king and been killed for it. Rebekah manipulated her spouse and had her son lie. God did not need these women to sin to get his will done with the men. Sarah reaked havoc in her relationship with her husband and family. God blessed Ishamael inspite of what Sarah did. Mona with all do repect I think you are looking at these sinful women with a set of eyes that praises their sin as a good thing. God uses /used sinful men and women because that is all he had to work with. None of these wome should be applauded except for the work God did in them.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Rogers
I agree with you that all of these women were sinners, as were all of the great men in the Bible except Jesus. “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Even Paul by his own admission was the “greatest of sinners.”
But the sin of these women was not their leadership in the church. Phoebe did not sin by being a deacon. Phillip’s daughters did not sin by prophesying. The Samaritan woman did not sin when she went back to her village and evangelized. Lydia did not sin by leading a church in her home. And Priscilla did not sin by teaching a man—Apollos.
Tradition forbade women from being taught by a Rabbi in Jesus’ day. When Mary sat at his feet and listened to his teaching, her sister was upset because Mary was not in the kitchen where she belonged. But Jesus himself said that Mary had chosen the better thing.
Yes, these women, as well as I, have sinned but they are forever memorialized in the Bible for God's use of them as assertive leaders for His purpose and His glory.
Mona Loewen

P. Rogers said...

Hi...P. Rogers was for Pege...so that would be Mrs. Rogers. There were many women used by the Lord in the new testament which if you look at my post I did not comment on... I only addressed Old testament women. I take issue with the word assertive. I think the women mentioned..lydia, pracilla et al... were only telling people and serving out of thenkfulness and love using what ever means to reach the lost. Using their homes or their businesses as we do today. We do not need to be assertive women only humble women willing to be ised in what ever matter the Lord shows us to reach out to men women and children. I personally belive the attitude of the feminist movement has found its way into the church and we as believers need to be ever viligent to test our hearts and motivation in our service to the Lord that we do not have a spirit of rebellion and pride. It is not the work we do as women who are followers of Christ it is the heart in which we do it in.

Anonymous said...

I believe what the Bible says, I do not attempt to interpret it as to what I think it means, but take it to mean exactly how it's written. Right and wrong has been engraved upon our hearts, so we can not claim ignorance or misunderstanding before God, whose witness therein ourselves bear witness for us, or against us; My suggestion is to listen to our inner convictions, and not judge one another, or create walls that separate, for all those who love God will as well, obey His commands. First and foremost, be sure as Christians we do not lean on our own understanding, or interpret the Bible as would suit our purpose, for even I can take scriptures out of context to suit any worldly view I want, but such would be a sin.

My beliefs on the matter are what is written in the following Scriptures, but I will not ever debate the matter, because two opposing views will never find a compromise, so let us instead focus on what we share in common, and God alone shall be the Judge of our sins, again, for which no one can claim ignorance of.


God Bless

1 Timothy 2:12 ESV / 184 helpful votes Helpful Not Helpful

I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.

1 Corinthians 14:34 ESV / 156 helpful votes Helpful Not Helpful

The women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says.

Titus 2:1-15 ESV / 112 helpful votes Helpful Not Helpful

But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine. Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. ...

By: Harold McBroom (harold5187@hotmail.com)

1 Corinthians 11:3 ESV / 31 helpful votes Helpful Not Helpful

But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God.