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

A Biblical Primer on Women in Ministry (Part 4)

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Part 1: History and Confessions

Part 2: Priesthood of the Believer

Part 3: Spiritual Gifts


Part 4: Offices in the Church

Deacon

A gray area tends to exist with reference to the differences between “ministry” and “deacons” in the New Testament. In English and in the practice of the church there is generally a clear distinction between “ministers” and “deacons,” especially where the subject of ordination obtains. This distinction breaks down in the Greek. The word most often rendered “ministry” is diakonia, simply a cognate of diakonos, which may be rendered “minister” or “deacon.” The Greek word diakonos appears as a technical term in 1 Tim. 3:8, 12, designating an office that of “bishop” and/or “presbyter” (1 Tim. 3:1; cf. Titus 1:5, 7, for interchange of “bishop” and “presbyter”). Even here the term is not fixed, for Timothy is a diakonos (1 Tim. 4:6). Another ambiguity appears in 1 Tim. 3:11, where gynaikos can mean “wives” or women,” i.e., wives of deacons or women as deacons. Outside the Pastorals, the term diakonos is so fluid that it may be used for anyone who serves in any way. Among those called “deacon” in the New Testament are included anyone who serves (Mt. 20:26), the servants who drew the water at the Cana wedding (Jn. 2:5), political rulers (Rom. 13:4), Christ (Rom. 15:8), Apollos and Paul (1 Cor. 3:5), and Timothy (1 Thess. 3:2). During the course of the first century and the realization of a more distant parousia, the term gradually acquired a technical usage for a specific church office (1 Tim. 3:8, 12; 4:6).

In Romans 16:1-2 we read: “Phoebe, who is a deaconess of the church which is at Cenchrea; that you receive her in a manner worthy of the saints, and that you help her in whatever matter she may have need of you; for she herself has also been a helper of many, and of myself as well.” Paul called Phoebe a diakonos. She is called a “deacon,” not a “deaconess.” The reference to Phoebe is unique, however, in two aspects.

First, Paul refers to her using the specifically masculine noun form diakonos, rather than some feminine alternative reflecting the more general idea of service. The term “deaconess” does not appear anywhere in the New Testament. In fact, the designation “deaconess” did not develop until the late third or early fourth century. This is significant because in Paul’s reference to women in 1 Timothy 3:11, the apostle does not use the word deacon (diakonos). His choice of a feminine noun (gynaikas) opens the possibility that he was referring either to women office holders or, less likely, to the wives of male deacons. If in the first century there existed no word for “deaconess” but only “deacon” (a word Paul applies to Phoebe), then to distinguish between men and women deacons Paul would have been without a word. Furthermore, if Paul had intended to speak of deacon “wives” he had a word to use which would not have been gynaikas.

Second, Paul places Phoebe’s ministry within a specific congregation, for she is a diakonos “of the church at Cenchreae.” This is the only New Testament occurrence of the word followed by a genitive construction linking a person’s service directly to a local church. Usually Paul uses the genitive appellation to denote a broader application as a “minister of Christ” (Col 1:7; 1 Tim 4:6). The idiosyncrasies of his commendation provide strong evidence that Paul intended to designate Phoebe as serving in some important official capacity in the Cenchrean church. She was a deacon, an office to which a congregation could appoint both men and women.

In reviewing Romans 16:1-2, a number of fascinating conclusions and questions emerge. “Phoebe, who is a ‘deaconess’ of the church which is at Cenchrea; that you receive her in a manner worthy of the saints, and that you help her in whatever matter she may have need of you; for she herself has also been a helper of many, and of myself as well.” 1) Phoebe is a “deaconess” of her church. 2) The Roman church is commanded by Paul to receive her in a Christian manner. 3) The Roman church is to help her in her ministry in whatever matter she may have need of them. If this be the case, then if she asks something of them are they to obey? Does obedience imply submission to authority? Does Phoebe, having been sent by an Apostle, have authority over the Romans? Obviously Paul implicitly trusts the judgment and decision making abilities of Phoebe. Why should he not? She has helped Paul and Paul knows her. 4) She has been a helper of Paul, now the Romans are to help her.

A further thought emerges: It is not impossible that the carrier of the Epistle to the Romans, the magnum opus of the Pauline Scriptures, the ultimate systematic treatise of grace and faith, the document that influenced Luther and Calvin and launched the Protestant Reformation to save Christianity from the Catholic Church, the Scripture that influenced Barth and launched the Neo-Orthodoxy movement to save Protestantism from German Liberalism, was entrusted to a deaconess named Phoebe. Obviously, Paul trusted her. Obviously, God trusted her.

McBeth’s argument that the expansion of ministry roles has led to the expansion of roles for women offers an intriguing and hopeful outcome to the debate about women’s ordination. Women who now serve in an unordained capacity are filling the roles that have opened as the ministry has expanded. All Christians are called to serve and some actually recognize this call. Ordination is like a baptismal ceremony. A Baptism does not make a person a believer; only the Holy Spirit makes a person a believer. Similarly, ordination is only a symbolic recognition for the church of what the Holy Spirit has already done or is doing. Whether or not the church ceremonially ordains women or not, the Holy Spirit will ordain who He wants and no tradition will impede.


Elder/Overseer/Pastor

Now we come to the heart of the argument of this paper: women can be pastors. Complementarians might welcome the conclusion that the New Testament church appointed women as deacons, which would be in keeping with their perspective on a woman’s place in God’s order – those called to serving/helping ministries. For complementarians, however, the possibility that women acted as elders is more problematic. Without question, women serving in this office would entail the “exercise of authority” that they would find incompatible with the male leadership principle.

From her study, Mary Evans concludes, “There is no woman anywhere in the New Testament who is ever described as and elder or a bishop.” This seems to confirm the complementarian contention. Evans and complementarians may be technically correct. With the possible exception of 1 Timothy 5:2, nowehere does a biblical author uses either of the Greek designations for this office (episkopos or presbyteros) in conjunction with specific women. But this must be placed within the context of two other considerations. As Evans herself then adds, “No man is ever described as being a bishop and the only men who are specifically referred to as elders are Peter (1 Peter 5:1) and the writer of 2 and 3 John, both of whom refer to themselves in this way.” As a result, we cannot build a case against women elders from the lack of personal designations in the texts. In addition, as with other “doctrines” of ordination, the New Testament nowhere directly prohibits the appointment of women to this office. Therefore, persons who would exclude women from the eldership on biblical grounds must develop their case from inferences.

It has generally been the case among Baptists that terms such as elder (presbyteros), overseer (episkopos), and pastor (“shepherd”) are synonymous terms for the same office or function within a local congregation. This view is based upon the Acts 20:17, 28. While many people and many denominations might separate the terms into separate offices, Baptists have tended to view the separate terms as describing a single office. This is much like the numerous names attributed to Jesus (the Christ, the Son of Man, the Second Adam, the Prince of Peace, etc.) All these designations refer to the same person but attribute to him different “functions.” If we then say an elder is a pastor is an overseer then we have at least simplified the discussion.

The term elder (presbyteros) (Acts 20:17; 1 Tim 5:17-18; Tit 1:5; Jas 5:14; 1 Pet 5:1-4) could refer either to chronological age or to a specific ministry within the community. The name suggests spiritual oversight, for elders fulfilled certain ministries such as anointing the sick (Jas 5:14) as well as preaching, teaching, admonishing and guarding against heresy (Tit 1:9).

The designation bishop (episkopos) means “one who supervises” (see Acts 20:28; 1 Tim 3:1-7; Tit 1:5-9). Hence this office is “almost always related to oversight or administration.” Bishops directed the ongoing functioning of the congregation in the various aspects of its corporate ministry. They were to “shepherd” or guide the people of God (Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 5:1-4). And by providing administrative leadership, they coordinated congregational ministry (1 Tim 3:5; 5:17).

The primary function of the elders is to be responsible for the caring and the teaching of the congregation. As “leaders” they give guidance and direction to the church. As teachers they oversee the life of the church, to preserve its faithfulness. Titus 1:9 say that the elder “must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to refute those who contradict it.” Elders are also the governing overseers. 1 Timothy 5:17 says, “Let the elders who rule well (or govern or oversee or manage well) be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching." So it is evident that there exists a diversity of functionality among elders. All must be able to handle the word of God and be able to recognize false doctrine and correct error; but some “labor especially in preaching and teaching.”

It is apparent from Scripture that there always existed more than one elder in each local congregation. In Jerusalem: Acts 15:22, "Then it seemed good to the apostles and the elders, with the whole church to choose men and to send them to Antioch." In Ephesus: Acts 20:17, "And from Miletus [Paul] sent to Ephesus and called to him the elders of the church." In all the towns of Crete: Titus 1:5, "This is why I (Paul) left you in Crete, that you might amend what was defective, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you." In all the churches James wrote to when he said, "To the twelve tribes of the dispersion": James 5:14, "Is any among you sick? Let him call the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord" (assuming that there are elders in every church). In all the churches in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia that Peter wrote to: 1 Peter 5:1, "So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ as well as a partaker in the glory that is to be revealed." Finally, in all the churches Paul founded on the first missionary journey (and presumably on the other journeys as well): Acts 14:23, "And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting, they committed them to the Lord in whom they believed."

It would appear that most churches today are unbiblical in that they have a single pastor or a single elder in final authority. This concept is completely foreign to the New Testament church. They always had pastors (plural) and elders (plural). No one person was ever given a final voice of authority. Elders reached unanimous decisions after much prayer and deliberation as to what the final teaching of the Scriptures meant.

W.B. Johnson, the first President of the Southern Baptist Convention (1845), wrote in 1846: “In a review of these Scriptures, we have these points clearly made out:

1. That over each church of Christ in the apostolic age, a plurality of rulers was ordained, who were designated by the terms elder, bishop, overseer, pastor, with authority in the government of the flock.

2. That this authority involved no legislative power or right, but that it was ministerial and executive only, and that, in its exercise, the rulers were not to lord it over God's heritage, but as examples to lead the flock to the performance of duty ...

3. That these rulers were all equal in rank and authority, no one having a preeminence over the rest. This satisfactorily appears from the fact that the same qualifications were required of all, so that though some labored in word and doctrine, and others did not, the distinction between them was not in rank, but in the character of their service...

4. That the members of the flock were required to follow and imitate the faith of their rulers, in due consideration of the end of their conversation, Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and today, and forever...”

Southern Baptists as a whole have significantly departed from Mr. Johnson's summary of New Testament teaching on this matter. Thankfully, the Holy Spirit is able to work around and even through our ecclesiastical interpretations. Just as there are many who serve as deacons but are not recognized or ordained as deacons, so are there many who serve as elders put are not recognized as such. If complementarians and egalitarians can agree on anything it should be that the epistles of Timothy and Titus tell us that the qualifications for appointing elders has nothing to do with professional skills or degrees. The qualifications all regard personal character and morality. Those elders who do lead, teach and preach well are due more respect, but it is not a necessary qualification. In short, eldership is based on spiritual maturity. While it may be common that an elder is of advanced age this is not necessarily so. Take a young church plant that has only young adults as members. If there are a few members who have been believers longer than the rest and exhibit spiritual maturity, even if they are in their late thirties, they are the elders. And length of belief may not necessarily be a factor. Some believers mature very quickly and might be looked upon by other believers who are older and have been believers longer. What is common in these two scenarios is that believers will be able to discern those who by their spiritual maturity are the elders of a church. Whether or not these people are officially recognized as such by the church is of no great spiritual matter. Like deacons, they fulfill their function despite contemporary ecclesiastical standards. This is why even if current Baptist standards to do not recognize the Biblical standard the Holy Spirit, despite our ignorance, makes the church go as He pleases.

Now with this in mind, if we go to 1 Timothy 5, we see both elders (presbutero) and elderess (presbuteras). In Titus 2, we have a slightly different word for elder (presbutas) and elderess (presbutidas). Both are adjectival forms of the terms of 1 Timothy 5. There is much debate on whether these words signify “elder” or merely the “aged.” In the context of the Pastoral Epistles and with regard to the similarity between the requirements of both the 1 Timothy 5 and Titus 2 chapters, it is safe to say that Paul is speaking of the same function. Therefore, a woman can be and elder. If we then assert the plurality of eldership expressed in the Bible and then assert the notion that elder, overseer, and pastor all refer to the same office, then we must assert that the Bible clearly teaches that women can be pastors.

We must further note that, as with the deaconship, whether or not women are recognized as elderesses by the church in the symbolic recognition of ordination, they are already serving the elder/pastor function. The Holy Spirit moves despite the contemporary traditions of men.

109 comments:

Tim Dahl said...

I applaud you on a well written series.

Tim Dahl

Wade Burleson said...

Remember, Tim, not mine! Part One will explain when you read it. I will give information about the author - a graduate of SWBTS - at the end of the series.

The post is to show that conservatives can have different interpretations on this issue.

NativeVermonter said...

Your position is certainly unambiguous I will say that much. I’m with you on the deacons but not on the elders. In fact, if this is a position that you believe is worth pursuing then I too believe its worth pursuing from the other side of the aisle. I’ve never had any desire to attend a state or national convention but will do so to protect the office of elders/pastors that is reserved for men. Is the tent wide enough for both men and women elders/pastors in the SBC...no it’s not. I would love to see the day where I can say madam president (just not in this election) but I don’t want to see the day where the SBC allows women to become elders/pastors.

John in St. Louis

Anonymous said...

This would explain some elements with the letters to Timothy that are obscure about women. It is obvious that the letters are probably in response to a previous questions Timothy had to Paul. I do think that there can be a woman elder to the women in the church but not the men. Discipleship in formative intimate training requires a man whereas informational or an expertise such as teaching a language should not be problematic.

believer333 said...

anonymous wrote:"Discipleship in formative intimate training requires a man whereas informational or an expertise such as teaching a language should not be problematic."

Discipleship and training should be direct works of the Holy Spirit. Is it possible IYO that the Holy Spirit is unable to use women to the same degree that He uses men?

Chris Johnson said...

Wade,

This author has given us some obfuscatised moorings from which to ascertain the meaning of “presbuteros” for the elderly women of 1 Timothy 5:2 as that of 5:17. In fact, there is no proof of connection except for the spelling. The author has taken an apple and put an orange beside it while referring to them as one and the same. Most hermeneutics professors would claim foul, not because of the aspiration of wanting to make the apple appear to be the same as the orange, but because there is a change in arriving at that decision, when compared to other decisions.

This perceived connective argument in 1 Timothy 5:2 was believed on by a friend of mine, you and I have both known… now leading in another convention, yet interesting enough he said his hermeneutic had to change in order for him to believe this to be true based upon his experience in the field. I certainly continue to consider him a friend, and at least he is honest that his hermeneutical processes must be changed in order to arrive at the finding, but none-the-less, I believe his findings are simple to refute given the full counsel of scripture that is available to us. Men and women should not be so easily swayed by an Apple posing as an Orange.

This author is up to old tricks…. :)
Blessings,
Chris

Tim Guthrie said...

Wade,
With your stated point of the series, I still wonder whether or not you support the author and his conclusions?

O RLY? said...

http://www.farfromneutral.com/exodus/wp-content/uploads/2007/03/o_rly.jpg

Wade Burleson said...

Tim,

Are you reading the posts?

Tim Guthrie said...

I would not have asked had I not. Do you or do you not support the author and the conclusions?

Tim Guthrie said...

Wade,
The question is serious since you on several occassions have stated in the past that you "do not" think women should serve as Pastors, are now saying it is ok if they do.

I am wondering which of the statements, thus authors, you support?

Steve said...

This will apparently surprise some readers, but just because Wade holds one opinion doesn't mean he won't allow differing opinions to be heard or the holders of those opinions to cooperate in fellowship; or, to be heard from here. I understood that to be true the first time I came here.

Spring Greetings from Hoptown.

Anonymous said...

It certainly seems that with each successive post, the author has less and less scripture and makes weaker and weaker arguments. IMO

To call the complementarian view point on this matter a point of "inference" is not only false, but paradoxical considering this is exactly what the author is doing.

Wade says that... "The post is to show that conservatives can have different interpretations on this issue." Clearly this not the premise or the purpose of this post. Wade's true feelings were expressed to me in comments made earlier. Wade wrote of his calling and this post... "I will take it as my calling to stretch my fellow complementarians past their comfort zones and continue to help them avoid theological smugness." In other words... Wade likes to keep the pot stirred and the spotlight on him (my inference on the subject).

Joe W.

Lin said...

I would not have asked had I not. Do you or do you not support the author and the conclusions?

Thu Mar 27, 01:01:00 AM 2008

It is like the 1930's in Germany here. Wade cannot even offer another view on a secondary doctrine without being charged with supporting that view!

It has not escaped my notice that most are not engaging content. Just the same old tired insults.

Tom Parker said...

Tim:

Is it possible to hold to one viewpoint, but to be able to understand how someone can have a different viewpoint?

Lin said...

Here is another view of 1 Tim 3. The whole article is here:

rest of article here


"So let’s review why the “husband of one wife” cannot be used to disqualify women from leadership. I think the answer will become evident from asking other relevant questions.

1. Do we stop a single male from being a pastor?

2. Do we force a pastor to resign if his wife dies and he is no longer married?

3. Do we stop a married man from being a pastor if he does not have children? After all the same passage says in 1 Timothy 3:4

He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity

We know of no church that disallows single men from being a Pastor. We also know of no church that disallows married men with no children from being a Pastor. Why is that? It is because we can understand from the passage that there is a principle being set forth. The principle is that if a person wants to be an Elder/Pastor/Overseer they must have their children under control (that is “if” they have children); they must not be a polygamist (that is “if” they are married and “if” they are a man).

The problems with interpreting 1 Timothy 3 as forbidding women from being an elder is:

1. There is nothing in the passage that says that a woman cannot be an elder in exactly the same way as there is nothing in the passage that says that a man cannot be an elder if he is single.

2. The Greek is written in such a way that allows both men and women to aspire to being a Pastor/Elder/Overseer.

1 Timothy 3:1 says: Trustworthy [is] the word: If anyone aspires to [the] position of overseer [Gr. episkope], he desires a good work. (Analytical-Literal Translation)

The Greek word used is NOT “aner” which would mean “If any male aspires…” Instead of the Greek word for males, the generic Greek word for”anyone” is used which is “tis”. “Tis” means men or women and has the exact same Greek grammatical structure as “anyone” in John 6:51 and every other passage concerning salvation.

John 6:51 “I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever”

All of the salvation verses are just like 1 Timothy 3:1 and they are singular masculine in the Greek grammar but all of them use the generic Greek wording which includes men and women. If we dispute that the Greek can include men and women because the grammar is singular masculine, then we must also be consistent and disallow women to be saved since all of the salvation passages are written in the same way as 1 Timothy 3:1 with generic words having a singular masculine tense in the Greek.

3. 1 Timothy 3:12 also says that Deacons must be the husbands of one wife and this term clearly did not disqualify women because Phoebe was a Deacon of the church of Cenchrea.

Romans 16:1 I commend to you our sister Phoebe, who is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea;

The word that the NASB translates as “servant” is “diakonos”which means Deacon. If Phoebe could be a Deacon of the church at Cenchrea and the term “husband of one wife” did not disqualify her, then why would we think that this same term would disqualify a woman from being an elder/pastor/overseer?

So the next time that someone tells you that 1 Timothy 3 forbids women from being a Pastor, you make sure to ask them if the same passage forbids single men and married men without children from being Pastors. If a person is going to be a literalist without considering the standard that is actually being set forth, then they must also follow through with the same standards for single men and married men without children. To fail to follow through with applying the principle across the board would be hypocritical."

Lin said...

"In other words... Wade likes to keep the pot stirred and the spotlight on him (my inference on the subject)."

Joe, It also has not escaped my notice that Wade NEVER insults you back.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Hey.

Glad to see that my church, which was a church start in 1992, and has elders, is considered by this author to be the correct position.

Too bad lots of folks think that because we have elders that we are Presbyterian.

I did not find the argument about women persuasive, but I did find it a good faith attempt by someone who treats the scripture with respect.

Louis

Chris Johnson said...

Sister Lin,

I am not at all saying you believe these things…. but the authors of this segment of info and the one you have referenced have exercised old arguments that are not convincing hermeneutically.

It kinda reminds me of a jockey that is entered into the Kentucky Derby riding backwards. He feels the wind at his back, but he is watching the wrong part of the race.

Blessings,
Chris

Anonymous said...

Lin,

I was not trying to insult Wade, just making an observation. I guess an insult is in the eye of the beholder. Was my statement worse than Wade's, when he suggested that I was a "theologically smug complementarian"?

You may agree with Wade's assessment, while others may agree with mine. Since Wade himself is a complementarian, one is left to wonder about the motive behind these posts. I offered my opinion, and noted it as such. I was under the impression that people were allowed to express their beliefs and opinions on this blog...

Joe W.

Lin said...

"I am not at all saying you believe these things…. but the authors of this segment of info and the one you have referenced have exercised old arguments that are not convincing hermeneutically."


Chris, that is not good enough. You sound like you are quoting your seminary professor. Where's the beef? :o)

Lin said...

"Was my statement worse than Wade's, when he suggested that I was a "theologically smug complementarian"?"

I would say that is tame compared to:

"In other words... Wade likes to keep the pot stirred and the spotlight on him (my inference on the subject)."

You DID judge motive here. You are saying that Wade is trying to make trouble and doing it so he can get attention. How do you know this?

He responded to your comments which ARE smug. Your comments speak for themselves. I cannot speak to your motive.

Why not engage content?

Anonymous said...

Lin,

You say... "You are saying that Wade is trying to make trouble and doing it so he can get attention. How do you know this?"

I know this because Wade has said as much. Wade views this as "His calling"... to quote... "stretch my fellow complementarians past their comfort zones". Wade Burleson and Benjamin Cole seek to stir the pot, that is not an insult or a guess, that is a fact.

As far as engaging content goes, to be honest, there really wasn't that much content to engage. The author begins with this statement... "Now we come to the heart of the argument of this paper: women can be pastors." The author then follows that monumental statement up, with 1,603 words proving the plurality of elders in the early church. Then concludes the argument with this statement... "Therefore, a woman can be and elder. If we then assert the plurality of eldership expressed in the Bible and then assert the notion that elder, overseer, and pastor all refer to the same office, then we must assert that the Bible clearly teaches that women can be pastors."

I guess that settles it... :)

Joe W.

Lin said...

Thanks Joe, for the explanation.

Tom Parker said...

Joe W:

Why would you say that Wade is trying to keep the spotlight on himself? That's a mighty strong charge. Do you know Wade's heart and intentions?

Anonymous said...

Tom,

I wrote... "Wade wrote of his calling and this post... "I will take it as my calling to stretch my fellow complementarians past their comfort zones and continue to help them avoid theological smugness." In other words... Wade likes to keep the pot stirred and the spotlight on him (my inference on the subject)."

You wrote... "Why would you say that Wade is trying to keep the spotlight on himself? That's a mighty strong charge. Do you know Wade's heart and intentions?"

Only God knows the heart, as far as intentions go, I gave a quote from Wade and my opinion (and I noted it as such). I don't think it is out of bounds or out of line to call attention to a persons stated intentions, especially in the light that this post is not written by Wade, and this position is not held by Wade.

From where I am standing "it seems" like he likes the spotlight. I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt on the "tongues" issue, even the IMB issue with baptism, but now he is just stoking the fire and stirring the pot. He is creating an issue here, where one does not exist. Again this is my opinion, you don't have to agree with me, you don't have to like it, but it is what I believe.

Joe W.

Anonymous said...

"I am not at all saying you believe these things…. but the authors of this segment of info and the one you have referenced have exercised old arguments that are not convincing hermeneutically.

It kinda reminds me of a jockey that is entered into the Kentucky Derby riding backwards. He feels the wind at his back, but he is watching the wrong part of the race."

My brother Chris, Comments like these are meant to be 'conversation stoppers'. They are used all the time if you read comp/patriarchy blogs much. Perhaps you have been taught it is sin to engage a woman in a doctrinal discussion? So you have to condescend with such conversation stoppers.

I sometimes wonder if there is a class in seminary titled: How to stop any discussion on secondary doctrines in an insulting way using big words to intimidate your opponent. After all they are not 'seminary' educated. And we all know the Holy Spirit would NEVER illuminate truth to a woman or someone who does not have an M.Div. :o)

Sigh. One wonders why Jesus chose the uneducated Peter to build His church. Or why he chose Paul, the educated Jew, to take the Gospel to the Gentiles.

Lucy

Chris Harbin said...

As to the post and argumentation, it seems to me that the real issue is about authority and measuring greatness. We look at the positions of pastor/elder/deacon as roles of power. Jesus was very clear that being great in His reign was not about such issues. It was rather about sacrificial service. Would we be having this discussion if we understood the roles of pastor/elder/deacon as positions of sacrificial service rather than hierarchical authority/power?
If we took Mark 13:32-45 to heart, no one would be concerned with women in positions of visible ministry. Many arguing against women in ministry might actually be the first ones to push them into those roles.

Tom Parker said...

Joe W:

Thank you for your well stated opinion. I believe we can agree to disagree and I mean this sincerely.

Anonymous said...

"Or why he chose Paul, the educated Jew, to take the Gospel to the Gentiles."

Lucy,

Paul was one of the most educated Jews in Israel, a Pharisee of Pharisees. That's probably not the entire reason God chose him, but it's not correct to use him as an example of an uneducated man who is more effective than an educated one. Perhaps you meant Barnabas?

"My brother Chris, Comments like these are meant to be 'conversation stoppers'."

Lucy, your posts in response to David and Chris seem like they are meant to be conversation stoppers to me.

Anonymous said...

Chris Harbin, You are right on target!!! That is the whole issue in a nutshell. And it all goes back to Gen 3 and the result of the fall. Pride and Power=Sin.

Lucy

Anonymous said...

"Paul was one of the most educated Jews in Israel, a Pharisee of Pharisees. That's probably not the entire reason God chose him, but it's not correct to use him as an example of an uneducated man who is more effective than an educated one. Perhaps you meant Barnabas?"

Anon, You have missed the point entirely. Yes! Paul was a very educated Jew. That IS MY POINT. Why send the educated Jew to the Gentiles, who could care less about his Rabbinical education, while Peter, the uneducated Jew, was sent to Jews?

Maybe this is why:

1 Corin 1
26For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, that no human being might boast in the presence of God.

Because God gets the Glory! Praise HIM!



"My brother Chris, Comments like these are meant to be 'conversation stoppers'."

Lucy, your posts in response to David and Chris seem like they are meant to be conversation stoppers to me.

Thu Mar 27, 01:05:00 PM 2008

I am Sorry. I certainly did not mean to 'stop' any conversation. I have tried to engage content.

Lucy

Chris Harbin said...

God was not above using Rahab (harlot, pagan, woman) to communicate trust in YHWH's victory to Joshua's spies. God was not above using Balaam's ass to speak gospel truth to this male prophet. God was not above engaging a woman at the well in Sychar (Samaritan, loose reputation, and female) as emissary of the gospel of Messiah's coming to the townsfolk. God was not above use women as the first to announce the good news of Jesus' resurrection. God was not above calling both Mary and Martha to learn at Jesus' feet (position of a male disciples, responsible for teaching others what was being taught) rather observe the social conventions of the day.
It was the Jewish religious leaders who could not accept being taught by a man blind from birth. His faith in Jesus undermined the authority of their traditions. When we argue over who is qualified to serve God, it is due to the fact that we fear for our institutions and traditions. God is not threatened. In fact, we are all called to serve the world with the gospel of Christ Jesus.
In Acts 2:18, Peter reminds the crowds that God had promised through Joel to lavish His breath/Spirit upon all flesh, including women, servants, and slaves, that all might profess the message of God.
Why do we ignore this larger context of Scripture in our concerns to protect our traditions, cultural structures, and norms?

Chris Johnson said...

Sister Lucy,

I was not aware those words were "conversation stoppers". (sorry)

As far as the discussion on this subject....it really is not difficult to see that a different hermeneutical path is necessary to reach the proffered intended conclusions.

Many people will choose to take that path.

At this point the onus to produce evidence is on the authors, ….I am willing to listen, but have not heard any evidence that works within a consistent hermeneutical boundary.

I really was not trying to be coy….

Blessings,
Chris

Only By His Grace said...

Joe,

From what little I know about cooking, I think stirring the pot is a good thing. It keeps us from being under cooked on top and burned on bottom.

When we settle down with the satisfaction that we have arrived at all Truth, we have ceased to learn. I enjoy the pot being stirred.

Suffice to say, your or I would not be on this blog if Wade was not stirring the pot. None of us build our houses in Boresville.

I disagree with Lin's position of ordaining women Pastor's, but you probably disagree with my position that a Pastor must be married since it is a family type of work, and married to only one spouse at a time as a preventive against the Near East's tendency toward polygamy (Jacob, David, Solomon, and modern Muslim world). I think it has nothing to do with divorce and remarriage.

If Lin were an ordained woman pastor, I would treat her with the same respect I would treat any other Pastor. I do not have to agree with her to like her, I do not have to agree with her to respect her, and I do not have to agree with her to work with her.

I would give her every right in the world to disagree with me if she wanted to be wrong-- for I am always right, just don't ask my wife.

What does my wife know? I was told at Seminary she is not allowed to teach a man anything anyway. Right? Right.

I am glad we agree. So don't ask my wife. She in not allowed to teach you or be a referee in a man's game. Her job is to just stay pregnant and rear the kids. My job is to kill those doggone mastodon's and mammoths and get the meat off to the house.

Phil in Norman.

Anonymous said...

"As far as the discussion on this subject....it really is not difficult to see that a different hermeneutical path is necessary to reach the proffered intended conclusions."

What is your hermeneutical path?

Lucy

Lin said...

"I disagree with Lin's position of ordaining women Pastor's,"

Ironically, I am uncomfortable with a woman pastor but not for the reasons you may think. The church today resembles very little of the NT church which met in homes. When they met in Lydia's home, does anyone really believe she was silent? Do we really believe she was serving tea and crumpets and not engaged in the worship or telling what Christ has done in her life? Do we think a man coming to her home told her she could not speak or be engaged in the worship?

I believe we have institutionalized the Body and within our organizational structure today, I am uncomfortable with a woman pastor but I would not think it is sin to have one. And just like a male pastor, I would insist she be doctrinally correct on the essentials.

Think of the differences today in church and in the NT church...there were no pulpits, and it was not a spectator situation where ONE person was preaching. Most everyone was involved in some way in the NT church. And Paul said, let several speak and the others judge. There was a reason for that.

believer333 said...

Romans 16:1 I commend to you our sister Phoebe, who is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea;
The word that the NASB translates as “servant” is “diakonos”which means Deacon. If Phoebe could be a Deacon of the church at Cenchrea and the term “husband of one wife” did not disqualify her, then why would we think that this same term would disqualify a woman from being an elder/pastor/overseer?


Lin, the comment this excerpt is from was very well thought out. As a point of logic and analysis, I find it precise.

Anonymous said...

Phil in Norman,

Your comments about Mastadons and Mammoths made me laugh.

Let me make 2 quick comments.

1) You say... "I do not have to agree with her to like her, I do not have to agree with her to respect her, and I do not have to agree with her to work with her."

I ask... Can two walk together, except they be agreed?

2) You say... "I think it has nothing to do with divorce and remarriage."

I would not be so quick to write divorce and remarriage off as a possibility. The culture at that time (much like ours) allowed for a bill of divorcement over the simpliest of matters. Certainly, I don't believe Pastors should have more than one wife, but I also do not believe Paul was saying just have one at a time either.

Now... I am off to kill one last Behemoth before dinner.

Joe W.

Chris Harbin said...

Joe W.--
"I ask... Can two walk together, except they be agreed?" That is probably one of the most misused and abused verses of the last decade.

Amos was talking about walking together down the road (same pace, same direction, waiting for one another, sharing stopping points, etc.). He had no thought of doctrine, politics, sports team affiliations, or bodies of knowledge. Do you agree to walk together? That is the concern in the context.

If we must agree on all things to cooperate, there will be no cooperation, ever.

Jesus prayed that all believers might be united as one. Your questions at heart seeks division and separation, not unity. "As far as it depends upon, you, live at peace with one another." That is more along the line of the challenge of the gospel of Christ to walk together.

Chris Harbin said...

Lin,
My wife was also averse to a woman as pastor. During seminary, we met women who were on a feminist mission to prove their worth. We also met women who quietly prepared for ministry as did other male students. She came to say, "Not as My pastor." We came across other women whose ministry we could not help but support and aid. We encountered others whose ordination we had to affirm for having seen God minister effectively through them. Last year, our church asked to ordain her, as well.
1 Timothy was never the issue, as the Greek just does not say what our traditions dictate. Galatians 5 has the command for submission in verse 21, where it speaks to all the body, not to women. The commands to preach good news and disciple the nations are given to all believers without exception.
All along the process, God has led her to take one small step after another in following and obeying God's call over the dictates of tradition, heritage, and custom.
Such is ministry. It is not about our druthers, but our obedience beyond the limits of our personal comfort. I asked her recently what else she has said she would "never" do. Never be a missionary, never be a pastor's wife, never preach, never be ordained, ...
The problem has been that God is a master of surprises, calling us to leave all that behind and simply obey in faithful service.

Chris Johnson said...

Sister Lucy,

Thanks for asking....

I follow the hermenuetic of "Historical-Gramatical" (Contextual)pattern of interpretation.

Blessings,
Chris

Anonymous said...

Chris Harbin,

As Barnes notes in his commentary... "Sacred parables or enigmas must have many meanings. They are cast on the mind, to quicken it and rouse it by their very mystery. They are taken from objects which in different lights, represent different things, and so suggest them."

You say... "That is probably one of the most misused and abused verses of the last decade."

I do not think I have misused or abused this text. Here in the text the question is asked and answered. Two cannot walk together except they be agreed. The two in the parable are just two people, the spiritual context is God and Israel, but the overall factual statement must still stand... unless two meet together, at the appointed time and place, when and where they set out, agree on what road they will take, and where they will go... without such agreement it cannot be thought they should walk together.

Thus... in response to my brothers statement... "I do not have to agree with her to like her, I do not have to agree with her to respect her, and I do not have to agree with her TO WORK (emphasis mine) with her." This text in Amos 3 most certainly applies.

I agree with your statement... "If we must agree on all things to cooperate, there will be no cooperation, ever."

We do not have to agree on everything... that is why the Southern Baptist has a consensus statement (the BF&M 2000) that has been approved and seconded with the Garner Motion as a sufficient grounds for fellowship. The BF&M states... "While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture."

I thank the Lord more each day for the leadership and foresight God gave to the late Dr. Adrain Rogers.

Joe W.

Anonymous said...

Of course you know I meant "Adrian Rogers" not Adrain. That is what happens when you do not proof read twice.

Joe W.

Tom Parker said...

Joe W:

Very few people attend the SBC meetings and sadly people who might have different viewpoints than the majority stay home. The 2000 BF&M should never have included the statement--" While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture." While some will conclude that is what the Bible declares, others will conclude that women are called by God to be pastors. I think it is very important for women to take notice of where it looks like the SBC is headed.

Ish Engle said...

Two points I'd like to address here...

First, are we really saying "God, I know that you can create the universe with nothing but a word; that you can form dirt into a body and breath life into it; that you can cause a virgin to conceive; and that you can save me from my sin with Jesus' sacrifice on the cross; but you can't use a woman to preach your word!" Wow, I didn't know I could put limits on God! :-D (Some here listed several women who spoke for God, so I think Paul's words to Timothy should be the ones questioned when compared to the numerous examples of God using women for ministry in Scripture).

Second, Charlie Daniels once sang, "And we may have done a little bit of fighting amongst ourselves
But you outside people best leave us alone
Cause we'll all stick together and you can take that to the bank
That's the cowboys and the hippies and the rebels and the yanks." I think that is a great example of people who walk together agreeing on a primary point while disagreeing on secondary issues. Jesus called us to 'agape' love, not 'phileo' love. That is, He called us to love all, not just those who are like us. Making everyone agree on every issue in a rigid, dogmatic, lock-step fashion and telling them "don't think, just accept what you are told" is not agape.

Chris Harbin said...

Joe W.--
The BF&M 2000 was not a consensus statement, regardless of the rhetoric behind it and the way it has been applied. The vote in 2000 was not unanimous. There was not open discussion of the statement along the lines of 1963, when it was run in state papers, considered by seminary professors across the denomination, and subject to months of scrutiny before being presented for debate at the convention.

It was a statement that a slim majority at one gathering managed to pass and subsequently enforce on SBC entities.

The denominational agencies are now using the document as a wedge issue to force conformity, not unite people in agreement.

As to Amos, your question posed to Phil, presumes that he must agree with the ordination of a woman in order to work with her. That does not seem so different from forcing agreement on issues other than the one at hand--traveling together along the road of faith, despite our differences.

Tom,
By and large the SBC (national entity) has been abandoned by the rank and file Southern Baptist just as the national SBC has abandoned its local expression. The current generation has no allegiance to the SBC, other than its name and some sense of heritage. Too many could not care less of its direction, neither are they going to continue to fund it into the future. It is long past the time when the folks I know who care about its direction would be willing to stand up and assume responsibility. At some point institutions exists for self-preservation, rather than accomplish their mission. 1979 marked the demise of Bold Mission Thrust in order to wage an internal war against the Body of Christ. Interesting that a Battle for the Bible took our eyes off a world dying without Christ.

At heart, it is the same issue about women: "Only those we deem appropriate vessels are allowed to serve God."

Anonymous said...

There was a study done of the history of women as deacons among Baptists.

When the office of deacon was viewed as a board (administrative function) who - often - ran the church, it was limited to males. When the office of deacon was viewed as a service ministry it was usually open to women.

Does that tell you anything about the whole issue being related to power?

Susie

Anonymous said...

Chris Harbin,

You wrote... "The BF&M 2000 was not a consensus statement, regardless of the rhetoric behind it and the way it has been applied. The vote in 2000 was not unanimous. There was not open discussion of the statement along the lines of 1963, when it was run in state papers, considered by seminary professors across the denomination, and subject to months of scrutiny before being presented for debate at the convention. It was a statement that a slim majority at one gathering managed to pass and subsequently enforce on SBC entities."

Chris... I know it seems like I am always raining on everyones parade around here, but these statements are ALL catagorically false!

For anyone who would like to know the truth, you may follow this link... http://www.sbc.net/redirect.asp?url=http://www.sbcannualmeeting.org/sbc00/news.asp?ID=1927611432

Southern Baptists overwhelmingly adopted this statement, it was published in the papers weeks before the convention, and it was open to debate (although there was not as much debate as there was applause). Another interesting note... Dr. Rogers said... "that only one-tenth of 1 percent of Southern Baptist churches have women as pastors (or a total of 35 or less churches among the overall 40,000-plus SBC churches."

If you are going to voice your opinion to the world, you should at least get your facts correct first.

Joe W.

Bill said...

When our church adopted an elder system and opened the office of deacon to women, there was an interesting reaction. Many felt that women could and should do the service activities that we assigned to the deacons, but that we shouldn't call them deacons. I asked if God was fooled by that.

Honestly Baptists have had this screwed up for a long time. Single pastor in ultimate authority. Deacon board who act essential as lesser elders. Not biblical at all.

Anonymous said...

"I follow the hermenuetic of "Historical-Gramatical" (Contextual)pattern of interpretation."

Thanks Chris. I use the PreHistorical Pneuma-Poseuchomai method which is always contextual. :o)

Lucy

bryan riley said...

I'm trying to figure out how this article represents less and less scripture usage - it is filled with scripture. I suppose that is my first question. But here are a few more.

Does anyone here believe we will "win souls" with these arguments?

Does anyone here believe we will with our reasoning and words "win over" people from one position to the other with regard to complementarianism and egalitarianism?

Does anyone here who is an egalitaraian believe that a complementarian is someone to war against? Conversely, does anyone here who is a complementarian believe that an egalitarian is someone to war against?

Is everyone 100% convinced that they are 100% right on how they interpret all the scriptures with regard to male and female roles in this world?

Anonymous said...

"Does anyone here believe we will "win souls" with these arguments?"

Hi Bryan, I agree with you. You have no idea how devastating it is to have some man tell you that you are in sin when you witness and teach men about Christ even if you are not in the 'church building' while doing this. (Too many think the church is the building where the pulpit is when it is really US)

They do not even like it in the workplace, etc. You learn to keep your mouth shut about your witnessing, etc.

They can get so nasty about it.
So, when we witness as women should
we have to tell them to hold on until we can get them to the proper authority to teach them in the Word?

I really wish some of the comps on this comment stream would tell me at what age a boy becomes a man and I can no longer teach him from the glorious Word. Is it 13? 18? 21?

It is probably hard for a man to understand what is really going on out there. The worst are the young guys out of seminary. If you are in a joint Bible Study, many get very upset if a woman talks and many times dismiss any input she has. It is getting that bad out there...in SBC circles. Many women just shut up. Their gifts are being trampled on.

I know many do not believe this but it is true.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that not many are actually referring to the content of the post. The author, if I understand it correctly, is stating that a woman may be a pastor in a local congregation as one of many. In other words, she would not be alone in that role in her church.

Also, that scripture is explicit in describing her role in Titus 2, while the other passages describe her character. Sounds like a women's minister to me. How many of us have women's ministers in our churches. These women are pastors to a portion of our congregations, the women.

My husband and I met a SBC seminary president of one of our seminaries in Nigeria, Africa while serving at a church in Missouri and he was astonished on our stance in the state on women. They find it common place to have women deacons. These women minister to women whose husbands are traveling on business and are gone for months at a time and it would be inappropriate for a male deacon to enter there home and minister to them.

That brings me to another point. We in the states are very arrogant on a lot of things when it comes to the church. If persecution were to enter our lives how quickly would we be putting off our institutionalized understanding of the church and return to the house church model seen in scripture where everyone is expected to participate and bring something to the worship. Would we once again meet daily and begin to see meeting and worshiping together as our life line.

As far as the argument of service verses administration, where does it say that the gift of the Holy Spirit called the gift of Administration was confined to men? How I pray that we in the church would stop arguing over such things and just let people, be they male or female, serve according to God's call on their lives. If we did could you imagine the effectiveness the church would have? We have too many people in our congregations sitting doing nothing for the kingdom. God, please bring the day we all serve You with all that we are and how you have equipped and called each of us.

In His Joy,
Vicky

Anonymous said...

Wade,
I am truly enjoying this series. Thank you for publishing it.
Vicky

Tom Parker said...

Joe W:

I had a conversation with a friend of mine today. She and her husband have recently joined a local Baptist Church. She told me that if she wants to say anything in the sanctuary she has to whisper it to her husband and then he can speak for her. Are you for this approach for women in the church?

Tim Guthrie said...

Tom,
Thanks for sorta answering for Wade. Yet...

Wade,
Do I not get answer on the question? If you are not the author, have you or are you changing your position on this issue? It is a fair question.

Tom Parker said...

Tim:

Why do you need to know Wade's position in this issue. Is there some sort of litmus test. I sure hope there is not.

Anonymous said...

"Do I not get answer on the question? If you are not the author, have you or are you changing your position on this issue? It is a fair question."

In case you have not noticed, Wade is the new SBC whipping boy since he dared to dissent on the IMB board and to help Dr. Klouda.

We all know, who have read the series from the beginning, that Wade said he was putting up other views from conservatives. They cannot accept that there are other views on secondary doctrines from CONSERVATIVES and that adults can discuss them.

I am just glad it is not the
1500's or they would call the magistrates in to arrest him.

Lucy

Tom Parker said...

Lucy:

I still find it hard to believe that not one of the other IMB members would join with Wade in his reasoned dissents. For me it shows just how afraid each one of them must be to ever not agree with all of the others. May God raise up people who follow their conscience and not just what the Leader wants them to vote.

Chris Johnson said...

Sister Lucy,

Can't do without that of course, that's what is given to all believers.

Blessings,
Chris

Only By His Grace said...

Joe, your first question answer is short; your second question answer is long.

Just got back from my mammoth hunt; couldn't find one anyplace. Wife is gonna be mad. I will probably have to stir the pot myself.

Well, "Can two walk together unless they be agreed?" It probably depends on what the disagreement is about.

My wife's Mom was a life long Republican and her Dad was a life long Democrat. They were married sixty-two years and politics was not their only disagreement. They were fabulous Christian servants of the Lord, except Nettie was mixed up on her politics.

I think I can use my DOM as a good example. He is an avid Republican that I call just to the right of Ghangis Khan and right next Attilla the Hun. We are very close friends. We argue politics and play golf at the same time. The more we argue, the worst he plays and the better I play. He would fight for me and I would fight for him; but we really disagree about a lot of things and both are sort of hot tempered. I will eventually get him straightened out on his politics.

Our agreements are on primary issues and our disagreements are over tertiary matters. If we disagreed about whether it is a sin to place golf, we probably could not walk together. We would have to ride.

Tim Guthrie said...

"some sort of litmus test" ???

Why is it that your persist in trying to answer and justify the question? Are you a gate keeper?

Rev. said...

(Mrs.) Dr. Gritz's dissertation?

Tom Parker said...

Tim:

Yes, I am the gatekeeper. You do not get an answer.

Tim Guthrie said...

Do not matter from you - it is Wade who is respectful and accepting of all that I ask.

Maybe a no answer is indeed a revealing answer? Could be unless otherwise noted from Wade himself.

Only By His Grace said...

Joe, your second inquiry,

I do not dismiss the other interpretation lightly. I did not mean to leave that impression. I have fought this question the whole forty five years I have been a pastor.

I realize that some say the Greek in I Timothy is saying that the Bishop is to be "the husband of one wife" means he is to be "a one wife type of man." To me that changes nothing. There are a number of reasons I believe divorced men should be ordained though I have never been a part of ordaining a divorced person for anything, minister or deacon. I knew what my church believed when I came here fourteen years ago and I chose not to change their stance.

You must understand I take a pretty much of a literalist interpretation of the Bible in that I really dislike using analogy and metaphor.


1. II Corinthians 5:17- When a person is saved he is either a new creation or he is not; old things are passed away and all things are become new or they are not.

2. A person is married divorced, married and divorced and married. He is and his third wife are gloriously saved. He just turned twenty-four years old. Ten years later he says God called him to preach the Gospel. He lives a godly life, is an exemplar father and husband and is the husband of one wife; who am I to say God has not called him to the pastorate ministry or to be missionary or anything else?

Not hypothetical. Happened when I was pastor at FBC Springtown, Texas.

3. A man is married for ten years to a member of the church. He is a wonderful Christian man. One day he comes home to find that his wife has had a year long affair with his best friend. Both adulterers are leaving their spouses to marry each other. I do not believe we should take this man's deaconship away from him just because his wife sinned in leaving him for another man.

Not hypothetical, happened when I was pastor at FBC Watauga, Texas.

4. Last, a man can sleep with every woman in town, come to church recommit his life to the Lord, live faithfully to God for five years and there is not a church in Union Baptist Association that would not ordain him. He had multiple affairs but he never was married. The previous man had no affairs. We ordain the second one and tell the other one he is inferior, a second rate citizen, and must give up his deaconship.

Not hypothetical. Happened in every church I have pastored at one time or another.

5. No thanks. That is not how I read my Bible. I am not interested where people have been in their past sins. I want to know where they are right now.

Wife is hollering. I have to go stir the pot.

Phil in Norman.

Tom Parker said...

Tim:

Why is an answer so important to you? You must have a reason?

Tim Guthrie said...

Tom,
Why are you so concerned about my question to Wade? This IS his blog. Is this a test from you?

Anonymous said...

I had a conversation with a friend of mine today. She and her husband have recently joined a local Baptist Church. She told me that if she wants to say anything in the sanctuary she has to whisper it to her husband and then he can speak for her. Are you for this approach for women in the church?

For what its worth, my advice would be to find another church. However, let us not forget, the local church is responsible for making decisions regarding these theological issues...not a convention (SBC) or opinions in the blogosphere.

One of the aspects of a cooperative spirit (i.e. the SBC and the Cooperative Program) is that we will have differing opinions regarding some issues. This is healthy...both for churches and conventions!

Thank you, Wade, for desiring to show "that conservatives can have different interpretations on this (and other) issue(s)."

Reading with interest in Wyoming

Anonymous said...

Maybe a no answer is indeed a revealing answer? Could be unless otherwise noted from Wade himself.

Thu Mar 27, 10:53:00 PM 2008

Can't you just hear the Bishop shouting: RECANT! RECANT!

Lucy

Tim Guthrie said...

Lucy,
Tom is writing as if I am asking him the question - you read too much into my response to Tom. But, nice try.

Only By His Grace said...

Lin,

You and I are not very far apart, and believe it or not, I do not believe you and Joe are far apart either.

Women in my church are in charge of our Homebound Program. They visit homebound men members, share Scripure, pray with them, give them any church literature and bring word to me about what is going on and whether or not I need to drop by to see one of them. Are they teaching men? Yes. Do I care? Only if they do not keep doing what they are doing in this godly ministry.

Phil in Norman.

Anonymous said...

Tom is writing as if I am asking him the question - you read too much into my response to Tom. But, nice try.

Thu Mar 27, 11:09:00 PM 2008

Tim, you sound like my daughter's scratched CD of Alvin and Chipmunks...the same words over and over and over.

What EXACTLY is the big deal? Can you explain why it is such a big deal to you that Wade has this series?

Can he not have a series without changing his mind?

Please tell me that you and the other 'Tim's' et. al. are not running around now telling SBC people that Wade is a liberal because of this. I know how you guys spin. I have read SBC Today before, ya know.

Wade, are you sure you want to reveal the author's name?

Lucy

Lin said...

"They visit homebound men members, share Scripure, pray with them,"

Phil, I do the same thing in nursing homes. Ironically, one gentleman I vist was a former SBTS professor and loves my coming. I am sure many reading will think he was one of the old liberals but they would be wrong.

And I do not plan on stopping anytime soon, Lord willing. :o)

Tim Guthrie said...

Lucy,
You do pretend more than even I of my own thoughts and actions. I am not a contributor of SBC Today. Never have been asked even.

As for running around in the SBC telling stuff - I got more to do in ministry than do that. You obviously do not know me.

As for asking Wade a question - had Tom stayed out of it I would not have had to ask Wade again.

And, why can others ask questions yet I must be "up to something" when asking?

Your jumoing in as Tom's is saying much IMHO. If he is the gatekeeper, you must be the receptionist.

Lin said...

"I really wish some of the comps on this comment stream would tell me at what age a boy becomes a man and I can no longer teach him from the glorious Word. Is it 13? 18? 21?"

You know, I would be interested in hearing an answer to this question from some of the complimentarians here. Joe? Tim? Anyone?

It would be interesting to hear at what age a male would have to be for it to be considered a woman having authority over him in the church? I am thinking of someone outside her family. For example, males at church she was teaching as a teens or something similar.

Anonymous said...

If he is the gatekeeper, you must be the receptionist.

Thu Mar 27, 11:28:00 PM 2008

Because I am woman, no doubt. Why can't I be Tom's CEO boss? :o)

We are just razing you and wondering what your motives are. Care to share?

Lucy- Thanks for calling.

Tim Guthrie said...

lin,
I really hate to disapoint you but my wife teaches men in a Wednesday Bible Study group. Soooo sorry to blow your theory. And I have a lady who leads music in a contemporary worship service along with a male Min of Music.

You guys must be more careful with your jumping to conclusions. You assume more than is real.

Lin said...

"I really hate to disapoint you but my wife teaches men in a Wednesday Bible Study group. Soooo sorry to blow your theory. And I have a lady who leads music in a contemporary worship service along with a male Min of Music. "

In the words of Caroline Bingley, "I am all astonishment!"

(Pssst: Does Patterson know?)

Tim Guthrie said...

Thus you have proven how totally off the beaten path these arguments of scare truely are. Lets see. Criswels wife taught. Many other shave females in staff positions such as I do.

You guys are creating bogus myths with scare tactics.

(pssst: Patterson knows - big deal. Check out his appointments as SBC President. You guys and gals just ran out of straw.)

Only By His Grace said...

Tim,

I think Wade answered your question. Did he not say that after the series is over he would reveal the author? Like every kid on Christmas eve, you will have to wait with the rest of us.

I am a amzazed at how much we agree on things on this blog and how we state too harshly on that which we disagree. I guess that is the way families usually are. I like the Charlie Daniels example. Fits here. I like the Dixie Chicks, too.

Phil in Norman.

Tim Guthrie said...

Phil,
I did not ask who the author was. Sorry. I asked if Wade was changing his position?

That is all. Tom and Lucy seem to have muddied up the water so to speak. But, that is ok. I like to disappoint people when they feel as if they have me figured out and really do not.

But I will state here to you, I do not nor do i believe in ordaining women nor in them preaching. No way no how. Simply because the Bible is clear on that (women not being Pastors) when you get the liberal human mind out of the way.

believer333 said...

Tim,

May I ask what you consider to be the difference between authoritatively teaching a Bible study and authoritatively teaching in a Sunday sermon in front of the church. Is it the number of people present, whether or not she stands or sits, or ???

Tim Guthrie said...

333,
The Bible!

believer333 said...

Tim, but she's teaching the Bible in both instances. Please expand. I would like to know your reasoning.

Wade Burleson said...

Tim,

Sorry for taking so long to answer your question. Been very busy this week. My position on this issue has not changed. I do remain open to both the complementarian and egalitarian views - both have good arguments and the issue is not an essential of the faith, nor should it be a dividing point in fellowship. I am attempting to help us see that a 'cooperating' Convention - by definition - accepts people with various and different views on non-essential issues and partners with them anyway for the sake of the Kin

Lin said...

" believer333 said...
Tim,

May I ask what you consider to be the difference between authoritatively teaching a Bible study and authoritatively teaching in a Sunday sermon in front of the church. Is it the number of people present, whether or not she stands or sits, or ???

Fri Mar 28, 12:51:00 AM 2008


Tim Guthrie said...
333,
The Bible!

Fri Mar 28, 01:01:00 AM 2008

Tim, Really. What is the difference? How is it different Biblically?

In the early NT church they sat around and many were involved, teaching, prophesying, etc. It was not the spectator type of venue we see today. Paul said to have others judge what was said.

What carries authority? The Word of God or the messenger?

Only By His Grace said...

Tim,

My mistake, the first in my life, and I stand corrected.

Tim,

You just used the word, "Liberal" again,

You commented,
"Simply because the Bible is clear on that (women not being Pastors) when you get the liberal human mind out of the way."

I have two simple, easy to understand questions:

1. What is your definition of Liberal?

2. Whom do you consider Liberal on this blog (probably keeping to Wade, the author of this article and those making comments under this article)?

We just need to know what and whom when you use the word, "Liberal".


I hope God is a Liberal. When it comes to grace, if he conserves it, I am in deep do do (just couldn't pass up the aliteration like great green gobs of grimy gressy gopher guts).

Phil in Norman.

Justa Believer said...

Observations:

(1) Seems like just about every time a blog discussion starts getting interesting, someone bemoans a lack of unity, while someone else questions others' "real motives".

(2) Seems like some folks would rather just proclaim the wrongness of a position they do not agree with than make a genuine attempt to demonstrate exactly what is wrong about it

(3) Seems to be a very common human trait that we take ourselves too seriously and others not seriously enough.

Tim Guthrie said...

Simply put - I do not believe that the Bible allows for women to serve as Pastors. Now I realize that we all can question the "what if's" and probably cause blogger a shutdown on bandwidth issues, but, simply put, that has been and will be my position. As for cooperating with those who do believe etc., I think they have the right to believe how they wish, whether it is wrong or right. Yet, I would not condone nor encourage and thus feel free to speak against. I also think that this whole idea of "secondary" issues is being used to slide major changes into acceptance. It is dangerous IMHO. Thus Wade lesson or attempt at educating us is not impacting other than raising issues that do define and have define liberal rather than conservative. I am not for changing those definitions.

Tim Guthrie said...

As to what carries authority and the difference in teaching vs. preaching:

The Bible states the positions and it is the authority whether we can accept it logically, intellectually or...

Ish Engle said...

Tim, you wrote, "I also think that this whole idea of "secondary" issues is being used to slide major changes into acceptance."

Wow! Am I right in understanding you to say that my salvation by Jesus' blood and the Father's grace is negated if a woman's preaching is what finally reaches me? Are you saying that the efficacy of Christ's sacrifice is dependent upon the sex of my pastor?

I ask because it seems that, if there are no "secondary" issues, then these issues must, logically, be of PRIMARY importance to the work of God in our lives, and thus on the same level with grace, atonement and the cross.

Please tell me that you don't really believe that God would deny people grace because their pastor happened to be a non-man.

believer333 said...

Tim,

What I’m trying to wrap my mind around Tim is that you seem to be proud of having a woman teach men the Bible in a Bible study setting, but you think that teaching in front of the church is different.

Now I’m assuming that you are using the 1 Tim. 2:11-12 verses to justify a woman not being a pastor, but the passage says nothing about pastoring, it only speaks of teaching and usurping authority. And I’m assuming that you think pastoring is usurping authority that belongs to a man, but that is circular reasoning. It doesn’t say that pastoring is an authority that belong to males only. It only speaks of teaching. So it all seems to boil down to how teaching in front of the church is different than teaching in a smaller setting sitting down (or she could be standing then too ???)

Tim Guthrie said...

ish,
WOW, you had to leap far to come up with that one.

NO, I have never said that thus you could not possibly be understanding me to say that. The gospel can lead people to Christ no matter who or what presents it.

You can surely come up with a better discussion issue than that.

333,
First when you acknowledge that you are assuming - you are indeed making a mistake.

Second, no pride in what I wrote or what my wife does etc.. That was listed to prove that those who claim guys like me want to prohibit women from ministering are clueless. Read what i wrote to 333 - it does apply here as well.

believer333 said...

Tim, you wrote, “333, First when you acknowledge that you are assuming - you are indeed making a mistake.”

I don’t understand your answer. Are you saying that you are not using 1 Tim. 2:11-12. If not that Scripture then what Scripture. What Scriptures are you interpreting to say that women cannot be pastors. And you still haven’t told me what in your opinion is the difference between preaching/teaching in front of a church and teaching in a Bible study setting.

I would really like to know how you are coming to your conclusions.

bryan riley said...

One Christian says:

Simply put - I do not believe that the Bible allows for women to serve as Pastors.

Another Christian answers:

Simply put - I believe that the Bible allows for women to serve as Pastors.

What then? What is the biblical response for both of these Christians?

Lin said...

The Bible states the positions and it is the authority whether we can accept it logically, intellectually or...

Fri Mar 28, 02:00:00 AM 2008

Do you mean 'functions'? How is it a 'position'?

And how can a servant have authority 'over' others? What about the Body? Does the Body follow a 'person'?

Tom Parker said...

Tim:

We are still waiting on your definition of a Liberal?

Tom Parker said...

Tim:

We are still waiting on your definition of a Liberal.

Wade Burleson said...

Tom,

I, along with others, wait with you for Tim to define 'liberal.'

Ish Engle said...

Tim,

Wow, you can't give an answer to someone's objections without it being condescending.

Seriously, you state that "secondary" is not a legitimate term (or at best a misleading term), and then you ignore your own implications.

Since you obviously did not read my post (if you did, you would see that I made no leaps, just followed your argument), let me restate it:

1) You say no "secondary" issues.
2) Thus, women pastors is a "primary" issue.
3) Primary issues deal with soteriology, Christology, hamartology, etc. That is, sin, salvation and Christ's role.
4) Thus, with points 2 and 3 in mind, you are questioning salvation when women pastors are involved.

I, however, do not. I, like many others here, see this as a "secondary" issue, therefore I don't fall into this logical trap. I think I have shown (twice now) how I CAN POSSIBLY hear you making this argument when you state that there are no primary issues.

Rather than just wishing away others arguments with dismissive, condescending "surely you can do better" statements, try to engage them. When you shut out all lines of thought, you are not thinking.

"I am right because I am right" does not equal a good argument. Yet so far, your answer to ALL counter points has been to dismiss them and belittle the person who raises the point.

Do you believe your position so weak that you can't defend it with a logical argument? If not, please try to show where the counter point is wrong instead of just belittle the person who posted the point.

Tim Guthrie said...

We might have to wait as long as Wade is waiting to reveal certain issues. Fair is fair! :)

Tom Parker said...

Tim:

You are a very hard person to take seriously!!

Rev. said...

Ish - you are such a trouble-maker!

;)

Ish Engle said...

Rev.

Well, I try! :-D

Tim,

I must apologize for the tone of my reply. I stand by the thought (that your statement about "secondary" issues being an excuse is a slippery slope that undermines your main argument.)

I'm still not sure where I stand on women pastors, frankly. I've heard women preach a Biblical, provocative, Spirit-filled sermon. I've heard men that could barely spell Scripture preach questionable doctrines from the pulpit. So... I listen to both sides arguments for and against.

That is why I took issue with your comment; you struck down your own arguments with what I'm guessing was a mis-stated (or stated in such a way that I easily misinterpreted) comment about issues and the point of discussing them.

I do not question your conviction; I do not question your objective. But I do not like to see ad hominem, slippery slope, or circular argumentation. Convince me, don't belittle me.

Tim Guthrie said...

Tom,
As are you! :)

Ish Engle said...

Tim, you also wrote, "I also think that this whole idea of "secondary" issues is being used to slide major changes into acceptance. It is dangerous IMHO. Thus Wade lesson or attempt at educating us is not impacting other than raising issues that do define and have define liberal rather than conservative. I am not for changing those definitions."

In the 1500's a lot of theologians and church leaders were writing the same thing. Fortunately, "semper reformanda" won out, and the church's course was corrected back to Biblical fidelity.

Since you've told someone else not to assume about your position, let me ask this, do you believe that questioning "secondary" issues like printing the Scripture in common language, the use of "popular music" as worship music and penance (OUR repayment for sin) should not have been addressed? Do you think the changes brought about by these "secondary" issues were bad?

What about other famous "secondary" issues? Issues like the Trinity, slavery, what books are canonical (both OT and NT), and icons (or images of God) in the worship building?

My point is that Wade is doing us a great service by raising these issues. Many we will confirm as they are; some we will find need change. The greatest danger is not is placing labels (like liberal or conservative) on people, but in failing to "continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose."

Tom Parker said...

Tim:

Finally you and I agree on something.