"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 VII)

This is the seventh and final part of a series on 'Women in Ministry,' written by a recent graduate of Southwestern Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Later this week I will reveal the identity of this man and direct you to where you can read more of his writings. As I have stated before, I do not agree with every view held by this Southern Baptist writer, but I find it refreshing when a person with a high view of the sacred text defends his egalitarian position with such skill. My point in posting this series is to remind all Southern Baptists that there are conservatives who disagree on various interpretations of the sacred text, but it should not disrupt our fellowship around Jesus Christ and Him crucified. The previous posts include:

Part 1: History and Confessions

Part 2: Priesthood of the Believer

Part 3: Spiritual Gifts

Part 4: Offices in the Church

Part 5: Ministries

Part 6: Objections to Women in Ministry Considered

Now, the last in a series of seven posts:

Part Seven: Creation and Conclusions


Grounded in Creation

Some who would continue to use 1 Timothy 2:12 to ban women from positions of leadership say that this text “is grounded in creation” (that Adam was created before Eve) and therefore is binding for all time.

Verses 13-15 of Timothy has confused many scholars, both complementarians and egalitarians. Is Paul arguing that all women from Eve till today have been easier to deceive than men? If this is true, it would appear that Paul is guilty of reading into the text of Gen. 3 something that is not there. To draw such a conclusion from this text would be improper and illogical. What Gen. 3 justifies the opinion that women are more easily deceived than men? The passage only teaches that Eve was in fact deceived. It nowhere asserts that this weakness has become endemic to the feminine sex.

Any proper interpreter who tried to prove such a disturbing point from an isolated occurrence would be rightly criticized for committing a serious logical error. For instance, it would be as easy to argue that all first-born sons are violent because Cain was. In both cases, a universal trait is being attributed to an entire class of people on the basis of a single incident, without any logical or exegetical reason.

Possibly Paul had a special revelation indicating that women are more easily deceived, but this does not appear to be the case. Rather than appeal to a revelation that he has received, he appeals to Genesis 3 for his evidence, and expects us to understand what he sees there. Thus we would expect to see him exhibit hermeneutical tools to derive meaning from the text.

Furthermore, how could Paul adduce the principle of deception-proneness for women from Gen. 3 when it occurred before the fall of mankind? If women had innately the flaw of deception proneness, then it would seem that they had this flaw by virtue of the way God created them.

Therefore, according to traditional thinking, Eve would seem to be the product of a flawed design by God. But God said that His creation was “very good.” These problems disappear, however, if we conclude that Paul is not arguing that women are more easily deceived than men.

Many egalitarians, Kroeger in particular, have argued that the sitz im leben of the Ephesian church in 1 Timothy focuses on the heresies that had crept into the church. They argue that these heresies were incipient Gnosticisms being taught by the women of the church. Gnosticism and other heresies included many erroneous beliefs about sex and creation. Some Gnostics taught that truly spiritual women should not marry and have children. Others taught that, since matter is evil and spirit is good, what a person did with the body was irrelevant to what went on in the inner spirit. To these Gnostics, sexual immorality was acceptable and could even be pleasing to God. Some Gnostics said that Eve was created before Adam and that she enlightened him by her superior knowledge. If this scenario is the case it would explain why Paul admonishes women teachers and states that Adam was formed first, Eve was deceived, and women will be preserved through childbearing. This scenario may be correct but it appears to be impossible to know for sure.

Isolated, the “rib story” of Genesis 2 does appear, at first glance, to subordinate woman to man; but we do not have this story in isolation. We have it only as it appears in Genesis as a whole. There are at least two creation stories in Genesis, the rib story in Chapter 2 being enveloped by a newer story in 1:1-2:4a, echoed in 5:1. The story in Chapter One is free of any subordination of male and female to the other, and this story gives new perspective on the rib story.

But what then is the purpose of the rib story? The self-evident fact that man is birthed from woman had led to the existence many fertility cults in the ancient world. These pagan religions worshipped mother goddesses and feminine nature deities as mother of all that lives. While still denigrating women, these cults stated the matriarchal view that woman was first and the creator of all the living. This belief clashes with the Israelite belief in primo geniture. In antiquity it was widely held that chronological priority meant superiority. In the first chapters of Genesis, the author or authors are refuting many of these pagan gods and goddesses and simultaneously refuting their creation stories. In Genesis 1, God creates the world not by an epic struggle like the gods in the Enuma Elish but by His deliberate, creative word.

Furthermore, the sun and moon are not regarded as gods, only lights in the sky that God as created and fixed. In Genesis 2, the superiority of woman is refuted by showing her source is from Adam. But in 3:20, the superiority of man is refuted by showing that Eve is the mother of all the living. In no way is this story intended to exhibit superiority of the man and the subordination of the woman. The story is intended to show how God created mankind male and female and how he created them equal. We can see this clearly in Chapter 2. Verse 24 is in two parts, the first part as matriarchal as the rib story is patriarchal, “For this cause a man shall leave father and mother and cleave to his wife.” The second part overcomes the patriarchal and matriarchal perspectives, “and the two become one flesh.” This gives new direction to the rib-story, explaining the drive of the sexes toward one another, this taking priority over even a man’s relationship with his parents. This is also the reason why man has authority of the woman’s body and the reason why woman has authority over the man’s body.

It was the effect of the fall of mankind that led to the subordination of women to men. This is a “curse” that was redeemed for us in Christ. We might expect the unbelieving world to hold to the subordination of women, but for believers in Christ to hold to such a view is unbiblical. If we are to say that a woman must continue to bear the brunt of the fall, we might as well deny a woman’s access to drugs that lessen the labor pains of childbirth. We then should remove all technology that lessens man’s toiling of the ground.

When Paul alludes to the creation story he is not referring to man’s superiority over woman but man’s equality with woman. If we look back at Galatians 3:28, when Paul says “neither male nor female” not “man nor women,” he is referring back to the Genesis 1 story and mankind’s sexual equality.


Conclusion

In conclusion, it should be clear through history, experience, reason and, all-importantly, Scripture, women are both permitted and encouraged by God to fill any “office” or role that is mentioned in Scripture. Furthermore, it should be evident that despite the lack of recognition given by the church through ordination, the Holy Spirit continues to empower women to serve God in the church in all roles and “offices.”

Complementarians argue that women cannot serve in the ordained office because the pastorate entails a leadership function that is appropriate only to men. In addition, they oppose the ordination of women on the basis of the teaching authority bound up with the pastoral office. Their difficulty here is not that teaching itself is inappropriate for women. Indeed, complementarians know that the Bible encourages women to teach in certain circumstances (see, for example, Tit 2:3-5), and some acknowledge that women can even teach men. Rather, they do not allow women to teach when it violates the so-called biblical principle of male leadership and female subordination. Hence complementarians conclude that the Bible prohibits a woman from publicly teaching men in the religious realm and exercising authority over men in the Christian community. Piper and Grudem write:

“We would say that the teaching inappropriate for a woman is the teaching of men in settings or ways that dishonor the calling of men to bear the primary responsibility for teaching and leadership. This primary responsibility is to be carried by pastors or elders. Therefore we think it is God’s will that only men bear the responsibility for this office.”

Complementarians bar women from the ordained office in the church because it encompasses the authority to teach men. Egalitarians, in contrast, find nothing in Scripture which prohibits women from exercising this prerogative. They also point out the absurdity or permitting women to teach impressionable children and other women but not men who should possess the spiritual acumen to discern heretical statements.

One of the problems that face those who would interpret the Scriptures as forbidding the ordination of women is that no such prohibition is directly made. In each example sited in Scripture the purpose of the verse is concerning an issue unrelated to the topic of the ordination of women. As evidence of the Bible’s prohibition against women’s ordination, at best the prohibition is implied by default.

When studying our history it becomes readily apparent that during times of great Baptist expansion and spiritual awakenings, women inevitably become active in preaching, teaching, and leading the assemblies of believers. It is only during spiritually dead and inactive periods when Baptists fall into extreme liberalism and conservatism that we see a rush to diminish the roles of women in ministry.

We see growth both in spirituality and converts corresponding with a greater role for women during the 17th century, the New Connection, the First and Second Great Awakenings, and the mid-twentieth century. Likewise, we see a decrease in converts and spirituality corresponding with a lesser role for women at other times. This is not to say that the roles for women in ministry are a cause of spiritual rise and decline: it is a symptom.

Success may not be a criterion for sanctifying a task and making it right, but success in ministry can help us to see where and when our interpretations of Scripture may be at fault. When the disciples saw that the Holy Spirit had come to the Gentiles (Acts 11), they were confronted with an experience that made them question their interpretation of the Old Testament and their hermeneutical traditions. The Scriptures were not at fault but there interpretations were. Atheists often laugh at the Bible when it speaks of the four corners of the earth as if it suggests a flat earth, but at the same time use the word “sunrise” as if the sun actually rose. When scientists began to question the Ptolemaic model of the solar system, many Bible-believing Christians yelled charges of “heresy,” saying that the Bible plainly spoke about a geocentric solar system. When new experiences contradicted this interpretation, Christian scholars went back to the Bible, reexamined the Scriptures and came to the conclusion that the Bible nowhere makes the claim that the earth is the center of the solar system. No new form of exegesis uncovered this fact of God’s creation from the Scriptures; experience as a hermeneutical tool (among others) furthered our understanding of how magnificent a universe God created and how amazingly perfect is the revelation of the Bible.

Yet proponents from both sides of the controversy are often guilty of using the question of women in ministry as a “litmus test” of conservative Christian orthodoxy. The expanding gulf over women’s roles is likewise evident in recent decisions by several churches to rescind their previous openness to women serving in lay leadership roles and in professional ministry staff positions. Some groups have enacted stricter limitations on women than at any previous time in their history. New directives prohibit women from chairing committees, teaching mixed gender adult classes, serving on the governing bodies of local congregations or being considered for nay positions on pastoral staff. This stinks in the nostrils of God.
Dr. McBeth wrote in 1979:

“If Southern Baptists wanted to arrive at an official position on ordination of women, it is doubtful they could do so. Southern Baptists accept no ultimate authority this side of the Bible and the lordship of Christ. But those who accept the Bible as the authoritative Word of God may yet disagree about its interpretation. Southern Baptists have no official creed or list of accepted doctrines and practices to which all must subscribe. The Southern Baptist Convention is a voluntary body made up of elected representatives (messengers) from churches that voluntarily cooperate in missions, evangelism, and Christian education. The Convention cannot speak officially for the churches; neither can the churches speak for the Convention.

In 1925 and again in 1963 the Convention voted to adopt a doctrinal statement of “Baptist Faith and Message.” However, this is a confession of faith and not an official creed. It was designed as a statement of what a group of Baptists believe and practice at a given time in our history. In no way can it replace or supplement the authority of the Bible, nor was it intended.

This means that any Southern Baptist individual or group has perfect freedom, under the lordship of Christ and their liberty to interpret Scripture, to favor or oppose the ordination of women as they feel the facts warrant. However, such individuals and groups have no freedom to impose their views and practices upon all Southern Baptists or to announce their preference as “the” Southern Baptist position. Ordainers and nonordainers can and should be in full fellowship among us.”

Finally, the current Biblical interpretation concerning women in ministry held by the majority of scholars has moved from a severely limited role in no office to a highly active role in all offices except one. This recent progression suggests that the tide of scholarly influence is on the side of the egalitarians.

135 comments:

David said...

Dr. McBeth had the objective findings of his research to stand upon when he wrote his text on Baptist history--though I suspect those findings were not well-received by all. Dr. McBeth, though, was one SWBTS professor--of few--who was bold enough during the early 1990's to tell our class, "Students, this denominational fight isn't yours. Put an end to it by not joining it."

That was good advice then--and it is now.

Anonymous said...

Actually in earlier times women were denied pain relief during childbirth because of this scripture, to the point of persecuting any who did somehow obtain such relief. But I do not know of any record of men not seeking easier ways to till the ground.

One need look no further for findings of Dr. McBeth (an excellent teacher and a wonderful person) not being well-received than the fact that he was commissioned to write a history of the Sunday School Board, but when it was finished and presented for publication it was suppressed (and never published) by those in power at the time he finished it. Could this have been due to a change in power between the time he was commissioned and the time he finished it?

Susie

Chris Harbin said...

Wade, thanks for this series.

I remember a discussion back in high school about Eve being deceived. It was interesting to note that in Paul's view Adam was not deceived. Rather, he partook with full understanding of what he was doing. Is that any better basis for handling authority than any supposed greater inclination to be deceived?

It is amazing to me how many do not recognize the Genesis 3 comments regarding male authority are in consequence of sin, not God's original purpose & plan.

McBeth's book came out prior to the use of our BF&M2000 as a creedal instrument of doctrinal accountability. Too bad McBeth's words no longer apply as to creedal instrumentation in the SBC.

Tim Rogers said...

Brother Wade,

The author of this piece writes; In the first chapters of Genesis, the author or authors are refuting many of these pagan gods and goddesses and simultaneously refuting their creation stories. Would that author be the Jehovist? Or would those authors be the Elohist and Jehovist?

Nothing against the author of your posts here, but it does speak to a basic flaw in the research. It appears that your author is operating on the JEDP theory when interpreting Scripture. It also seems that your author does not hold to the Sufficiency of Scripture as Jesus clearly stated that Moses was the author of the first 11 chapters of Genesis.

Blessings,
Tim

Chris Harbin said...

Tim,

Jesus' declaration is not nearly so definitive as you want to take it. Authorship was not viewed the same way we view it today. That said, he is simply setting the issue of authorship aside for the matter of his paper. His comment is essentially: "I am not getting into the authorship issue, as that would be off-topic and irrelevant for the discussion at hand."

Guilt by association to discredit an opposing viewpoint does not address the issues at hand.

Anonymous said...

Guilt by association to discredit an opposing viewpoint does not address the issues at hand.

Fri Apr 25, 08:58:00 AM 2008

That is all they have and know it. It is one reason we are seeing a complete focus on this issue, making it a PRIMARY doctrine by drawing HUMAN parallels with man's authority over women and eternal subordination of Jesus within the Trinity.

Lin said...

"What Gen. 3 justifies the opinion that women are more easily deceived than men? The passage only teaches that Eve was in fact deceived. It nowhere asserts that this weakness has become endemic to the feminine sex."

Using this logic for interpretation, wouldn't the same be true of men, then. Men are more willfull sinners than women? :o)

Anonymous said...

At the conclusion, this post states, "This recent progression suggests that the tide of scholarly influence is on the side of the egalitarians."

It is equally, if not more, probable that cultural and political developments in Western Culture continue to have an influence on the thinking of all people in our society, and that these developments are now impacting even fundamentalist Christianity.

Scholarship, however objective it may claim to be, is never free from the culture in which it exists.

That observation doesn't really solve the questions addressed by this post. But it is a truth that should be recognized when we enter the debates on this issue.

Louis

Tim Rogers said...

Brother Chris,

You seem to miss my point trying to defend yours. My point is that the author of the paper clearly holds that the JDEP theory as a relevant theory of authorship. By doing so it negates the words of Jesus. Jesus held to the writings of Moses and also referenced items in the first 11 chapters.

The author of the papers seems to argue from a flawed understanding of the Sufficiency of Scripture if the JDEP theory is given credence as one that believes in the infallibility of Scripture.

Blessings,
Tim

Anonymous said...

"You seem to miss my point trying to defend yours. My point is that the author of the paper clearly holds that the JDEP theory as a relevant theory of authorship. By doing so it negates the words of Jesus. Jesus held to the writings of Moses and also referenced items in the first 11 chapters."

You got all that from this ONE sentence:

"In the first chapters of Genesis, the author or authors are refuting many of these pagan gods and goddesses and simultaneously refuting their creation stories."

That ONE sentence tells you the writer of this post does not believe Jesus' Words in scripture?

Wade, I hope we can ask the writer if that is so.

Lucy

Chris Harbin said...

Tim,

The paper does not mention JDEP. There are other theories of authorship that include the option of Genesis being the product of a community of faith under inspiration of the Holy Spirit aside from the JDEP source criticism. From an academic standpoint, he is simply not taking a position on that discussion in order to stay on his elected topic.

"Jesus held to the writings of Moses and also referenced items in the first 11 chapters."

I just searched for "Moses" in the gospels. Yes, Jesus accepted a link between Moses and the Torah. He also referred to Genesis accounts in chapters 1-11. What has that to do with Mosaic authorship or JDEP source criticism? The only reference I find where Jesus mentions Moses along the lines of authorship is Luke 12:26, "In the book of Moses..." We speak of two books of Samuel, even if Samuel died before the ending of the first. Other Jews and disciples in John 1:45 regard Moses as an author of at least some portion of Scripture. Jesus does not seem to go beyond that revelation was given through Moses.

Are you saying that JDEP theory invalidates acceptance of the Bible as a trustworthy record of God's revelation?

Anonymous said...

"It is equally, if not more, probable that cultural and political developments in Western Culture continue to have an influence on the thinking of all people in our society, and that these developments are now impacting even fundamentalist Christianity.

Scholarship, however objective it may claim to be, is never free from the culture in which it exists. "

Louis, 'Culture' IMPLEMENTED Gen 3 as a command even AFTER the Cross. Gen 3 is not a curse nor a command. It is a consequence of sin.

Our sinful hearts (culture) has implemented Gen 3 since the fall.

"Culture" up until a almost a hundred years ago, saw women as inferior and easily deceived ergo their status in society. Culture interpreted scripture for 6,000 years.

There are excesses in every shift of thinking but to imply that we are now interpreting scripture culturally on this issue is ridiculous.

A woman could be executed for taking a pain killer during childbirth back in the 1700's because of Gen 3. Was that 'culture' interpreting scripture?

Lucy

Tom Parker said...

Tim Rogers:
You say "It also seems that your author does not hold to the Sufficiency of Scripture as Jesus clearly stated that Moses was the author of the first 11 chapters of Genesis."



Why not attack the author the following ways by your saying:

the author is a heretic
the author does not believe in inerrancy--this one works really well
the author does not believe the Bible

I have been a SBC for 34 years but I am very tired of the scorch earth strategy that some have. It is to destroy people by calling into question certain things.

Some believe it is their view and all others are wrong. How sad.

Rodney Sprayberry said...

Does anyone else find it ironic that many male theologians point out the deception of Eve while ignoring the full-blown disobedience of Adam!

Oh and by the way...

Where did Eve get the idea that if she touched the fruit she would die?

She was not present when God gave the command "not to eat" to Adam

If Adam shared the command with Eve not to eat of the fruit (or even touch it) he is guilty not only of direct disobedience but deception as as well.

Anonymous said...

I like that word "finally".....

Anonymous said...

Just something to think about: Perhaps Adam ate the fruit to restore a relationship which was now broken. He being sinless and she being sinful could never again have the same communion. Perhaps Adam willingly took upon himself the sin and it's consequence of death so that he might be restored to his wife. Maybe he decided that he would rather die with her than live without her.

It certainly parallels what the second Adam did for his bride (Romans 5). Maybe Adam just loved his wife and was willing to lay down his life for her as Christ did the church.

Matt Brady

Anonymous said...

One more comment and then I have to get some work done.

The multiple authors approach to interpreting Genesis does indeed raise the question of just what Brother Wade defines as conservative. It seems to me that the theories of multiple authorship of Genesis and its implications is what the majority of Southern Baptists cried foul to so many years ago. I wasn't even born yet, but most Southern Baptists at the time agreed that holding to such views was in no way conservative and in no way acceptable in our seminaries.

Matt Brady

Ray said...

Matt, do you really believe that Adam was trying to restore the relationship? That is reading into the text a little too much. If you do read the text in Hebrew, you will discover that the serpent is not just addressing Eve. All the verbs in the serpent's speech are in the 2 masculine plural, indicating that he was talking to both Adam and Eve, even though he was facing Eve. Adam was right there for the whole thing.

Wade Burleson said...

Tim Rogers,

You have a tendency, unintentional I hope, to call people liberal without basis or warrant.

Ben Cole told me that you called him the other day and informed him I was a liberal. When he recounted it to me he was laughing.

He laughed because he knows you know no more about my theology and my beliefs than the proverbial man in the moon. Yet you assert to a man who works on the staff of the church I pastor, who has listened to me preach well dozens and dozens of sermons, and has watched my ministry first-hand to people that I am 'liberal.'

Lucy, there is no need to ask the author of this paper if he does not believe the words of Jesus, as you request I ask him because of Tim Rogers' assertions. Consider the source.

Bart Barber said...

The assertion that there are two creation accounts in early Genesis, each of a different age and of contradictory teachings, is a pretty strong indicator that this author writes from a JEDP perspective.

Wade Burleson said...

Bart,

Where in this paper did you read the author said the Bible was in contradiction?

Anonymous said...

Ray,

I just said it was something to think about.

As for the matter of calling a certain view liberal, I think the controversey of the 1960's gives a good indication that as far as Southern Baptists are concerned, the JEDP theory is indeed liberal. That is not name calling. It is just pointing out what Southern Baptists have already spoken to.

Matt Brady

Anonymous said...

Ray,
The second half of that last comment wasn't directed at you. Sorry about that.

Matt

Tim Rogers said...

Brother Wade,

No one is, or has, called you a liberal. I am just point to a theory that the author of this paper appears to be using.

Blessings,
Tim

Lin said...

Well, I guess if you can't discuss content, then you have to find one sentence that you can use to try and discredit the author's entire article.

I noticed that no one 'asked' if this was the case but conclusions were jumped to and now we have 'piling' on.

This tactic is getting old and I hope others are seeing through it.

Anonymous said...

"No one is, or has, called you a liberal."


Tim, Quoted from your blog about Wade:

"It is the same with some that responded to what you perceived was a tragedy, but you now realize that the injured was not part of the doctrinal family you have known as the SBC. Allow me to commend you on nurturing our Brother and being there for him. However, it is okay for you to now acknowledge what he has acknowledged–he does not embrace the BF&M 2000. Some may still be hanging on because you are still hung onto the question; “How could it be?”. That is okay, also. Back away and re-look at the posts that you see coming from this blog and you will observe the doctrinal slide toward the left. Then venture to this blog and view the post by this author and you will observe the vitriol and vengeance toward an entity president that has been duly elected by the BoT who are authorized to be in their positions by the convention."

I noticed you did not use Wade's name but linked to his blog. Since when has accusing someone of sliding toward the left NOT mean liberal?

Is this sort of like when Clinton said he did not have 'sex' with that woman? Word games?

You can claim you did not use the word 'liberal' about Wade and I guess since you did not use his name on this post, you could have plausible deniability? How very Clintonian of you.

What is it with you and the games?

I have found you to be deceitful and disingenious for sometime now. You don't fool me a bit. I am just grieved that you are a pastor.

Lucy

Tom Parker said...

Tim:
Wade B. said--
"Ben Cole told me that you called him the other day and informed him I was a liberal." Will you confirm or deny this?

NativeVermonter said...

Wade,

Well I'll tell you what buddy, the only thing I can say is...the better half of your picture seems to be missing.

M. Steve Heartsill said...

You know, nativevermonter...I noticed that too!

Maybe we should start a petition drive to have her reinstated to the blog! :)

NativeVermonter said...

I hear ya Steve, and if we had to pick between the two, well let's just say it's going to be a landslide if you get my drift :)

Robert said...

Wade,
I find it necessary to question your assessment of the author as “a person with a high view of the sacred text” based upon the apparent acceptance of JDEP theory as a relevant theory of authorship. To put it simply a persons view of the Bible is displayed in the way they approach the Bible and the authors hermeneutical technique calls into question whether are not the author truly has a ‘high view of the sacred text.”
Robert H.

Bart Barber said...

Wade,

According to the article, the "rib story" is older and apparently asserts male headship. The argument against this viewpoint asserted here is not that the "rib story" in its "original form" actually says anything different, but that it has been enveloped by a "newer" creation account that, by not asserting male headship, brings a new "perspective" to the "rib story."

1. The "rib story" said one thing about male headship.
2. A "newer" creation account did not say the same thing about male headship.
3. Thus, the "rib story" should be read in the "perspective" of the "newer" creation account.

Any way you slice it, that's JEDP. And any way you slice it, that's a "newer" account correcting the "perspective" of the "older" account.

Lin said...

1. The "rib story" said one thing about male headship.

Adam was the 'source' for Eve. :o)

Susy Flory said...

I just happened upon this blog today and have thoroughly enjoyed reading this seven-part series. As a Christian woman, and a writer and a teacher, it has given me much to think about and mull over. However, I have not enjoyed some of the petty name calling in the comments; it reminds me of the fractious business meetings in the Southern Baptist church of my childhood!

Joe W. said...

Rodney Sprayberry,

You wrote... "If Adam shared the command with Eve not to eat of the fruit (or even touch it) he is guilty not only of direct disobedience but deception as as well."

Are you suggesting that Adam sinned and fell before the fall?

Strider said...

This guy just laid down a case for total egalitarianism and the only criticism anyone can come up with is that his understanding of Genesis may be off? That is very telling indeed.

Rodney Sprayberry said...

No,

Just looking at the the text( and doing what one of my OT professors in my one of my Dmin classes at that "liberal" seminary in Lynchburg, VA encouraged us to do) and asking questions!" :0)

Maybe the "Fall" was not just about the singular act of eating a piece of forbidden fruit by the woman... or the man

RMS

Bob Cleveland said...

This string is the best laugh I've from a blog in I don't know when. And maybe ever, other than the time my older son almost dumped Aunt Jessie out of her coffin.

:)

Anonymous said...

Lucy and others who may agree (haven't read all the responses yet):

Your cultural references are noted and acknowledged.

It certainly is not outside the realm of possibility that the OT and NT believers have gotten this all wrong until, say, the last 100 years or so. And that the belief that God calls men to particular leadership positions in the church is only a culturally imposed doctrine. And that despite practice and scripture that upon first reading would indicate otherwise, that it is not so.

I understand that position.

My point is, however, that people with an egalitarian view need to be humble enough to admit that perhaps current views of scripture in their camp are equally subject influence from culture, and have at least an equal possibility of being wrong.

The point that any claim of a pattern of male servant leadership in formal spiritual settings among the patriarchs, during the Exodus, in Israel (which was not necessarily shared in pagan nations), between the Testaments, among the 12, the Apostles identified in the NT, the early church, the Middle Ages, the Reformation, and the modern church, and the belief that should continue, until about 1900 (give or take) (and again, I am talking in the main; not the occasionaly oddity, most of whom we have never heard of - I am sure some theolog here can come up with some name who is claimed in some journal to have been a woman and to have been the Bishop in some province preiously unknown) - is all just culturally imposed!

It seems to me, however, that is the harder argument to make from both history and scripture.

We may never convince one another, and that is fine. But the question remains whether the egalitarians could so much as admit that their interpretations are recent in origin (on a comparative basis),and that they are held humbly - with the possibility or error?

I have yet to hear an egalitarian make such an admission. Do you know of any who have?

Louis

volfan007 said...

if someone believes in the jedp theory, then how can they be trusted in the other things they say. it would make me severely question the low way they approach scripture. to say that jedp theory is accurate is to say that Jesus is either a liar who purposely deceived people, or else you are saying that Jesus is ignorant and didnt know all things. because, Jesus said that moses wrote it. Jesus said it. and, the only other option... if you have a high view of scripture...if you have a high view of Jesus....is to believe that Jesus said that moses wrote it, and moses did write it...if for no other reason than that Jesus said that he did. i believe that moses wrote the first five books of the bible. Jesus said that He did.

so, everything that this ghost writer has said about women in ministry, etc. is tainted by a liberal perspective. it was sounding bogus anyway. it was trying to play gymnastics with the scriptures teaching anyway. but, the view of this author really puts things in a better perspective.

david

Strider said...

I hear what you are saying Louis, I think it means that you have not heard what egalitarians are saying. I used to tow the line as a good complementarian and part of what made me feel secure in that was the fact that all those women who wanted to be ordained were angry, pushy women who obviously should not be allowed to be in charge for all our sakes. But then the Bible happened. Complementarians always say- usually loudly- 1 Tim 2 and that is the end of it! But they don't have to explain those unknown, unheard of women you were talking about like Deborah, or Mary, or Martha, or Philip's daughters who apparently prophesied to female only audiences. They don't have to explain Phoebe- 'servant'? the word was deacon or all the other women- were there more women than men?- in all the other epistles he greeted. The church in Cloe's house? She probably just served the tea right? Or as we go through history we can ignore, because we don't really know do we, the fact that more women come to faith in every new mission work going than men and were significant leaders in every single mission work from the first century on- but you don't know that so the facts don't have to bother your theology any. Man, I am getting riled as I write I had better sign off now.

Tom Parker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Strider said...

David commented while I was writing my last comment. David, please stop. He never said jedp nothin. He said there were two different creation stories and there are- Gen 1 and Gen 2. I agree that Moses wrote them down. Of course, he wasn't there when they happened so they must be oral stories that were passed down. Doesn't matter. It is one of the enemy's great schemes to get us to discount something that God wants us to hear by pointing out some abberation in the person God is using. So, you don't read the psalms of David because he was an adulterer? I don't think so. I am wrong about some things- many perhaps- but God has revealed some awesome things about Himself through His Word and through my life that you need to know. He has done the same through you. Our lack of discernment is indicative of how far we are from the Holy Spirit who trying to teach us through Men, Women, Calvinists, Armenians, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Baptists, and Donkeys.

Tom Parker said...

007:

LIBERAL--LIBERAL--LIBERAL--LIBERAL. DAVID YOU LOVE TO PAINT PEOPLE __________. THE ANSWER IS INCLUDED IN THIS POST.

R. L. Vaughn said...

Strider: "The church in Cloe's house"

Are you interpreting "them which are of the house of Chloe" in I Cor 1:11 as members of the church that met in Chloe's house rather than members of the household/family of Chloe? I am asking re studying house churches and apart from the debate on comp/egal. Thanks.

Strider said...

RL- Yes, I believe that households met together in their homes as there were no church buildings at the time. It is very interesting that Chloe is mentioned as the name to distinguish the household in what was a Patriarchal society. Stephanes' household is mentioned just a few verses later. I do not believe it was uncommon then, as it is not uncommon now that in a new CP situation more women come to faith- men are prideful creatures as we well know- and therefore they are the defacto heads of the households of faith. This is not evil- it is not second best, or the best God could do for now. It is a fact. A fact that still exists today from China to South America to anywhere you want to mention.

Anonymous said...

I'm not the anonymous posted anywhere else here--just not tech savvy enough to post under my name--Linda.

This series has been wonderful, eye opening, challenging, and uplifting.

The comments, though, smack of the old boy network so much I would think complementarians would be embarrassed.

R. L. Vaughn said...

Thanks, Strider. It is my opinion that all New Testament were house churches, but that not all houses or households refer to churches. I have always thought about the First Corithian mention as a house as in household, though I'm not adverse to looking at it the other way.

Reading your comment came in connection with my looking today at "receive tiem not into your house" in II John. I have been meditating on whether that meant a house church or a house/home (or both) I'll always thought it meant a church.

This comment is getting way off topic, but just thought I'd give a little background to my question.

Anonymous said...

"We see growth both in spirituality and converts corresponding with a greater role for women during the 17th century, the New Connection, the First and Second Great Awakenings, and the mid-twentieth century. Likewise, we see a decrease in converts and spirituality corresponding with a lesser role for women at other times. This is not to say that the roles for women in ministry are a cause of spiritual rise and decline: it is a symptom."

This is to me very telling. It also reminds me of Joel 2. The truth is that when we all live in the fullness of the Spirit and allow Him to control our lives we all end up doing things that are "culturally" uncomfortable. We all become a part of His plan to share the gospel with a lost and dying world. We all become more than conquers, pushing back the darkness. We all go on the offensive for Him and stop trying to defend ourselves.

Seems to me that we need more Spirit filled living!!!

Anonymous said...

Vicky was the last anonymous writer. Sorry!

R. L. Vaughn said...

Oops. "receive him not into your house"

Lin said...

"But the question remains whether the egalitarians could so much as admit that their interpretations are recent in origin (on a comparative basis),and that they are held humbly - with the possibility or error?"

Louis, Haven't you been down this road before on another thread? God works within culture as we see in the OT. Otherwise, you would have to admit that slavery and polygamy were God ordained. So, to say that God ordained the Patriarchal culture is a stretch when reading Genesis 2. It HAS to be read into the account.

But as to your question, it depends on what passages you are talking about. There are early church fathers such as Chrysotom (spelling?) that wrote about Junia being an apostle. Grumden wrote that was not true and got his clock cleaned and then had to write a mea culpa.

We have interpretations that have rarely been questioned and should have been because CULTURE intepreted them. Just as an example, how strange it is that so few have questioned the teaching that a woman can be saved if she stays in her 'role' of childbearing as 1 Tim 2 supposedly teaches? That is a 'work'. But so many will argue all day it isn't a work. But there are quite a few reasons why that interpretation is problematic. It does not fit the Gospel message.

How is it that so many have ignored in that same passage the grammar that tells us Paul is talking about ONE woman? Not ALL women for ALL time? Just an oversight, perhaps? :o)

Could it be that the resources for scholarship, like the printing press did for scripture, are making hermeneutics available to the unwashed masses? Could it be that the Holy Spirit can illuminate truth to someone who did not attend seminary?
Even a woman?

Asking about interpretations that are recent, what about the state church and compulsory attendance that was considered biblical up until a few hundred years ago? How could that be? How about infant Baptism that was accepted by most for 2ooo years? Transubstantiation? Baptismal regeneration? How did those get missed by so many brilliant theologians?

Could it be that they interpreted scripture from a 'cultural' point of view in some of these instances?

Yes, we will never agree. So many are dying to blame it all what they call Radical feminists. Any women who love the Lord and want to witness to anything breathing, whether male or female is a radical feminist and does not know her 'role'.

What is it with you guys that you are so insecure and cannot learn from women or hear one preach?

Did it ever occur to you that you may be in the sin of pride and arrogance and 'lording it over' others?

It is NOT outlawed in scripture to for women to prophesy. I think I know what it really is...every movement needs a common enemy to unite around. The enemy is now women who do not know their 'role' or 'place'. Any woman outside the 'prescribed role' is a liberal feminist.

greg.w.h said...

I think the author does a great job of presenting his view. I wish he had done a better job of tackling why the Bible so consistently prefers men in those roles given that:

1. The OT requires men for the role of priest.

2. The NT echoes that requirement both in the direct choices of Jesus (the 12 men as apostles) and the Apostles (7 male Jewish Christians with Greek names) and the apparently direct (though perhaps unintentionally misleading) comments on leadership that do not seem to be using non-determinate gender but intentional gender.

I think there is room for him to do that by addressing both OT and NT examples (which he did bring up) and leaving OPEN the question of whether God intended the apparently prescriptive choices as exclusive, proportional, or occasionally exceptional.

Exclusive would be the traditional complementarian view that women can never be in positions of FINAL authority, especially senior pastor.

Proportional would be the traditional egalitarian view that any woman, any time could be called, but that God selectively calls and has so far called more men than women.

Occasionally exceptional would be the position that God makes exceptions in order to fulfill his will according to how it delights him and is NOT bound by the prescriptive comments but only occasionally finds reason to make exceptions.

No complementarian in good conscience can make the claim that God is UNABLE to make exceptions. They at best can claim he is unwilling (while ignoring the names of women in leadership that have been raised.)

No egalitarian in good conscience can fully ignore the pattern of ALMOST exclusively choosing men that we see in the OT and NT. To do so is to deny a clear pattern. They at best explain that the clear pattern is a cultural trend (which ignores that God gave the levitical/priestly requirements to Moses and Jesus made the selection of the men as apostles. That leaves the choice as oddly "genuflectionary" by God to the culture as the most generous interpretation and God as unable to overcome culture as a less generous and obviously wrong interpretation.)

Bart:

Due to the use of the word "toldot" in Genesis 2:4 and the lack of the waw connective at the beginning of that verse, the safest assumption is that the word (loosely translated "story" or "line" or more recognizeably "account" and very poorly rendered "generations" in the KJV) applies to verse 4 and onward. So two separate accounts is not an unreasoned view even if one completely and unequivocally rejects the Documentary Hypothesis.

The only real problem with the Documentary Hypothesis is its late assumption regarding redaction v. a very traditionalist view that Moses wrote every single word of the Torah. I will argue that there is undeniable proof that the latter cannot be true in the text itself. The former's problem is that it's main hypothesizers seemed intent on questioning the veracity of Scripture and appear to have invented that hypothesis for the purpose of demystifying the stories of the Bible.

A naked assertion that many people collected the stories in the Bible--for example Moses collecting handed-down oral or written stories--is one that I've heard at least one prominent, very conservative preacher make from the pulpit.

Greg Harvey

volfan007 said...

strider,

Jesus said that moses wrote them. read the gospels. are you calling Jesus a liar? ignorant? i would sure hope not.

tom parker,

you are always so negative and attacking with your comments. come on, man. lighten up a little.

david

Anonymous said...

Lin:

I'll take that as a round about way of saying "No."

You cannot conceive that your position might be wrong and influenced by culture.

I am comfortable with where I am, but would admit that I could be wrong on this point. I am just doing the best I can as a believer.

I do find that most egalitarians are so dead certain about their interpretation, and I find that curious.

As for some of those historical interpretations that you correctly cited (because it is a good aspect to think about), I think that all of them listed - baptismal regeneration, infant baptism, transubstantion, those were all held for a long time. But history shows that those positions were not the positions of the early church. Those were positions that developed decades and hundreds of years after Christ. Not so with regard to women in the pastorate role.

The NT church did not have women among the twelve and the apostles, who were the leaders of the church. So, I don't think that is a good comparison.

Lin, you are a very smart and capable woman and I agree dialoging with very much. Your arguments are good ones, but they are weakened by the unnecessary ad hominem that you slip into from time to time. I hope that you can learn to refrain from that. It would make you even more persuasive.

I would be curious to know if you are a seminary student, lay person, or on staff at a church - sort of your station in life and whether you aspire to the pastorate or to teach or what.

I am a 46 year old, soon to be 47, lawyer, co-founder of a congregation and an elder in my church. I preach about once a year and teach a class one semester a year.

Louis

Chris Harbin said...

Where does Jesus say that Moses wrote the Pentateuch?

Anonymous said...

Strider:

Why are you egalitarians on edge?

I am sorry that you felt you had to "tow a line" (is it tow or toe?) and I am glad that you do not now.

I don't have to do that. It's just that I don't agree with the egalitarian position on the sacred text and history.

That does not mean that I think the people who hold the egalitarian position are all angry feminists.

Now, certainly there are angry feminists. And - angry feminists do hold to an egalitarian position (I guess). But I don't put most women who ready and study the Bible seriously in the angry feminist camp. Feminism, as a movement, is not prevalent in the Christian community, especially among fundamentalists, such as those who comment here.

As to the examples that you mention (Deborah, Cloe, Mary, Martha, Phillip's daughters, etc.), I simply stick with the text and don't extrapolate beyond that unless I have real facts to back it up.

For example, one NT text says something like, "Greetings to the church that meets in Cloe's house..." My egalitarian friends extrapolate that to read "Greetings to the church pastored by Cloe."

I helped start a church. We met for a while in a house owned by Barbara. But Barbara was not the pastor.

It makes me wonder if 2000 years from now, if someone is digging through the rubble of what was the U.S., and they come upon a letter from a well-known evangelical leader to a church start in West Nashville that says, "Greetings to the Church that meets at McDonalds." The egalitarians of that day will conclude, "you see - the pastor was named McDonalds!" And from there, of course, they will deduce that he was the pastor of the largest church in history because he served Billions and Billions!

Have fun.

Louis

Lin said...

"You cannot conceive that your position might be wrong and influenced by culture."

I believe my position is influenced by study. You are missing a very important ingredient in all this: All official translators have been men.

"I do find that most egalitarians are so dead certain about their interpretation, and I find that curious. "

No, just excited to share what we find. Example: The grammar in 1 Tim 2 about "A singular woman" is a fact. Why has that been ignored? Why do we keep seeing sermons saying it applies to all women for all time? Can you please answer that?

"As for some of those historical interpretations that you correctly cited (because it is a good aspect to think about), I think that all of them listed - baptismal regeneration, infant baptism, transubstantion, those were all held for a long time. But history shows that those positions were not the positions of the early church. Those were positions that developed decades and hundreds of years after Christ. Not so with regard to women in the pastorate role."

Some were held as early as 200 AD. Remember, the Patriarchal Jewish, Greek and Roman culture was brought into the church in the NT. What do you think all the problems in those epistles were all about? By the way, where do you think we got the pulpit and sermons? Greek orators who came into the church.

"The NT church did not have women among the twelve and the apostles, who were the leaders of the church. So, I don't think that is a good comparison."

I know you don't like it but I am afraid you cannot ignore Junia. Chrystom (sp) writes that she WAS an apostle and he was no lover of women. And he was closer to that time than you are.

"Lin, you are a very smart and capable woman and I agree dialoging with very much. Your arguments are good ones, but they are weakened by the unnecessary ad hominem that you slip into from time to time. I hope that you can learn to refrain from that. It would make you even more persuasive."

Sorry, Louis. I am not a trained lawyer. I will try and do better. Promise. If you detect any sarcasm, I beg you to see it as passion instead as it is intended.

"I would be curious to know if you are a seminary student, lay person, or on staff at a church - sort of your station in life and whether you aspire to the pastorate or to teach or what."

Here we go...why are us humans so impressed with education, titles, positions, etc. Why can't we just discuss content? (oops, ad hominen?) My pedigree is post grad masters. I was a corporate trainer for about 18 years. Before that a partner in an ad/marketing agency. My age is a state secret.

I co-teach an SS class. Only books of the bible verse by verse.

My conservative SBC church has a woman chairman of deacons. (We have no elders...GASP)

I have no ambitions to be a pastor because I am already a minister in the Holy Priesthood according to scripture and as a believer have 'anointing'. My ministry should be everyday, everywhere I go.

Louis, Consider this, you have never been called a Jezebel because you witnessed to men and taught them scripture. You have never been told to be silent in a meeting because you are a woman and it could be construed you are directing men. I really do not expect you to understand all of this from a woman's perspective. All I ask is for people to stop limiting the gifts of the Holy Spirit to women.

But, I do believe that scripture has been interpreted culturally for thousands of years...just look at how the Pharisees interpreted the OT through the Talmud. Is that not proof of what man will add or twist in scripture what is not there? Were those 'cultural' interpretations?

Blessings to you, my friend. And thanks for the gentle rebuke. I have taken it seriously.

Tom Parker said...

007:

Man you talk about the pot calling the kettle black. I will quit being negative when you stop being negative. You fire me up and in the words of Tom Petty, I want back down.

Belief Matters said...

Tpm, that is a real Christian attitude. I bet if he was one of your CBF buddies, or a liberal woman pastor...you would claim he could do no wrong.

To quote a woman, I see your true colors....

Tom Parker said...

belief matters:

Oh omniscient one what are my colors?

Lin said...

"As to the examples that you mention (Deborah, Cloe, Mary, Martha, Phillip's daughters, etc.), I simply stick with the text and don't extrapolate beyond that unless I have real facts to back it up."

Louis, whatever do you do with those women in 1 Corin 11 that Paul assumed were prophesying in the Body? :o)

Belief Matters said...

Let's see Green with envy, and red with anger......

:)

Belief Matters said...

Still waiting for some to show me where the Bible gives requirements for women pastors in the Bible....

Strider said...

David, I said clearly that Moses wrote them (meaning the Torah). Which part of Moses wrote the Torah did you not understand? You give conservatives a bad name when you write like this. Attacks like this are exactly why our convention is shrinking.
It is interesting to me that while a couple of you complementarians have brought up other things noone here has engaged the Post that began the discussion. Nothing to say?
Oh, and Belief Matters I too think it is interesting that Paul felt he needed to give qualifications to men in ministry but women didn't need any. Apparently they all qualify? Sorry for the tongue in cheek but it amazes me we can read passage after passage about salvation which is written to males and just assume that it covers women too but when Paul addresses males on the subject of leadership we hold out for the last jot and tittle. Have we something to lose do you think?

Wade Burleson said...

Belief Matters,

It would seem to me that the requirements would be the same as that of male pastors, were I to feel compelled to defend it. The issue is a simple one - whereas there is no Biblical PROHIBITION of women pastors, that is enough for egalitarians. But you say there is no Biblical PERMISSION and that is enough for you to PROHIBIT it.

To me, it is more important that the Christian who interprets Scripture to give freedom to do that which is not specifically prohibited must not condemn those who hold to a conviction of prohibition, and in a like manner, those who interpret the Scripture to give a prohibition through lack of permission should not condemn those who don't personally have that same prohibition conviction.

Justa Believer said...

With apologies to Greg Harvey (Fri Apr 25, 07:36:00 PM 2008), and no intent to critique his post, but rather to make a point by way of paralleling one argument to another, I offer this "paraphrase"...

I wish those who spoke, preached, and wrote against the practice of slavery had done a better job of tackling why the Bible so consistently prefers the practice of slavery given that:

1. The OT requires specific treatment of slaves (while nowhere prohibiting the practice).

2. The NT echoes those requirement both in the commands of Paul on how masters were to treat their slaves fairly and in his commands to slaves to submit to their masters, and in the apparently direct (though perhaps unintentionally misleading) comments on slavery that seem to indicate that slaves should not seek freedom.

I think there is room for absolutionists to do that by addressing both OT and NT examples and leaving OPEN the question of whether God intended the apparently prescriptive choices as exclusive, proportional, or occasionally exceptional.

Exclusive would be the traditional pro-slavery view that slaves are property of their masters and do not possess real equality with their masters.

Proportional would be the traditional absolutionist view that all slavery is morally wrong, but that God merely permitted and regulated it as the cultural norm through most of history.

Occasionally exceptional would be the position that God makes exceptions in order to fulfill his will according to how it delights him and is NOT bound by the prescriptive comments but only occasionally finds reason to make exceptions.

No slavery proponent in good conscience can make the claim that God is UNABLE to make exceptions. They at best can claim he is unwilling (while ignoring the cases in which slaves have been granted freedom).

No absolutionist in good conscience can fully ignore the pattern of ALMOST exclusively permitting slavery that we see in the OT and NT. To do so is to deny a clear pattern. They at best explain that the clear pattern is a cultural trend (which ignores that God gave regulations regarding slavery to Moses and Paul did likewise. That leaves the choice as oddly "genuflectionary" by God to the culture as the most generous interpretation and God as unable to overcome culture as a less generous and obviously wrong interpretation.)

Justa Believer

Steve said...

To sign in with your name, click on the "Google account" thing in blue below this box and set up your account or sign in there. Hope this helps.


To support the egalitarian position here:

Has no one else reacted to the one report from the mission field that we have here? Time after time (apparently throughout the entire history of the international mission work of the SBC!?) much of the time the small churches set up in other countries are led by women and only continue to exist because women work to maintain them.

IF we assume that GOD is in favor of these mission churches, can we assume that He agrees that women can lead and even preach? Do the results from the real world outside of all our relentless THEORIZING carry any weight at all?

Let's say the question was race cars.
I promise that if Company X had a new engine design that didn't sound right but that, when put to the test, started winning races, success would have many fathers, the engineers would have an Acts 11 moment and all start trying to reproduce the same results in their next designs.

Can we look at the apparent will of God in the continuance of these churches on the mission field and re cognize His approval? Or can't we, and if not, why not?

Chris Harbin said...

I am still waiting for someone to point out to me where Jesus specifically assigns Mosaic authorship to the Pentateuch.

volfan007 said...

chris,

as you read the gospels, there are many times that Jesus will say moses said this, and He will quote one of the first five books. you can find those by simply going to gateway.com and looking them up.

here are just a few....

Matthew 8:4
"Then Jesus told him, "See that you don't tell anyone; but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses prescribed, as a testimony to them."

matthew 19:8
"He told them, "Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because of the hardness of your hearts. But it was not like that from the beginning."

mark 12:26
"Now concerning the dead being raised—haven't you read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the burning bush, how God spoke to him: I am the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob ?"

chris, there are others if you want to look them up.

david

ps. wade, there are many passages of scripture that make it very plain that women should not be pastors. to deny that is to deny those passages of scripture. and, what's amazing to me...is that someone so willing as you are to stand out and speak out what you believe to be true would say that he wouldnt be for women pastors based just on cultural reasons. i mean, if you really think that it's ok for women to be pastors, then why dont you come out and say so...and be for it? in your church? i really wouldnt expect you to shirk from something just because the culture of the day didnt like it.

Wade Burleson said...

Volfann 007 give me one passage that makes it very plain. 'The husband of one wife,' according to the egalitarian is a character attribute (a one woman man - the pastor is to be faithful) and if the woman were the pastor, the character attribute would be the same (a one man woman - the pastor is to be faithful), so that text is not 'plain' according to them.

So, give me another one. You said there are several.

And, before someone jumps in and says, "But that same argument would allow a homosexual to be a pastor," I reply: Homosexuality is a sinful behavior, just like adultery. It is not a sinful behavior to be a woman.

Blessings,

Wade

Tom Parker said...

007:
You continue to attack people--you said to Wade "ps. wade, there are many passages of scripture that make it very plain that women should not be pastors. to deny that is to deny those passages of scripture. and, what's amazing to me...is that someone so willing as you are to stand out and speak out what you believe to be true would say that he wouldnt be for women pastors based just on cultural reasons. i mean, if you really think that it's ok for women to be pastors, then why dont you come out and say so...and be for it? in your church? i really wouldnt expect you to shirk from something just because the culture of the day didnt like it."

When you say someone denies scriptures that is a serious charge.

Tom Parker said...

007:
You continue to attack people--you said to Wade "ps. wade, there are many passages of scripture that make it very plain that women should not be pastors. to deny that is to deny those passages of scripture. and, what's amazing to me...is that someone so willing as you are to stand out and speak out what you believe to be true would say that he wouldnt be for women pastors based just on cultural reasons. i mean, if you really think that it's ok for women to be pastors, then why dont you come out and say so...and be for it? in your church? i really wouldnt expect you to shirk from something just because the culture of the day didnt like it."

When you say someone denies scriptures that is a serious charge.

Tom Parker said...

007:

Just so my last message to you is clear--here is what you are doing to Wade--LIBERAL--LIBERAL--LIBERAL--LIBERAL. DAVID YOU LOVE TO PAINT PEOPLE __________. THE ANSWER IS INCLUDED IN THIS POST.


YOU, SIR, ARE TRYING TO PAINT WADE AS ___________.

PLEASE STOP IT.

greg.w.h said...

Justa Believer:

Surprisingly, the parallel as a whole holds up nicely. There is only one place that I think I take exception with it from a pre-American viewpoint:

Exclusive would be the traditional pro-slavery view that slaves are property of their masters and do not possess real equality with their masters.

The first phrase is absolutely true in all time periods, but the OT provides rules for relinquishing of the property rights and for re-establishing them if the slave chooses to stay at least as it applied to the national theocracy and theocratic monarchy as it existed in the Levant. There was no equivalent in the American experience and this in spite of the American basis on natural law.

The second phrase disagrees with Paul's position as expressed in the book of Philemon. The parallel to complementarians being unwilling to acknowledge female leadership in the Bible MIGHT be as apt as you have presented it, but the parallel feels somewhat dissimilar to me.

Other than that: my framework for complementarianism v. egalitarianism and yours for pro-slavery v. anti-slavery positions are both very respectful of the Bible's handling of cultural v. higher moral concerns. And both demonstrate that God works with man to right wrong and is patient to bring about the changes that most fully satisfy himself.

The one area where we still can't make a direct comparison is this:

While we all agree that slavery is morally wrong (in spite of the Bible encoding it into the theocratic CHOSEN nation, perhaps for symbolic reasons?), it is very difficult--in my opinion--to choose a perspective that says either the complementarians or the egalitarian s are completely wrong.

That is why Wade has presented it as a secondary or even tertiary issue. I think there might be more room within a single association (writ large as in county-sized or writ large as in Convention-sized) to say this group of people agree to follow this pattern and we won't seat those who choose not to follow this pattern.

It would be the kind of situation where order is prioritized over both unity and the commandment to love one another to do that, in my opinion. I don't like that prioritization myself, but I recognize that in this world filled with divisions within the church it might be the one that creates both the most peace and the most collaboration within that group of churches.

But it does NOT give us room to call the people who have come to--in good conscience--different conclusions on the readings of Scripture in this area sinful. That not only is unnecessary, but it is disobedient to the Bridegroom in several different ways. The proof (or disproof) of that statement is left to the Berean-like reader as an exercise.

Greg Harvey

ezekiel said...

Chris Harbin,

Deuteronomy 31:24 When Moses had finished writing the words of this law in a book to the very end, 25 Moses commanded the Levites who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord, 26 Take this Book of the Law and put it by the side of the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, that it may be there for a witness against you. 27 For I know how rebellious and stubborn you are. Behold, even today while I am yet alive with you, you have been rebellious against the Lord. How much more after my death!

I am not an authority on the Pentateuch or anything else for that matter, but it seems clear that Moses wrote something more than Genesis. Everything up through Joshua at least.

Mark 12:24 Jesus said to them, Is this not the reason you are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God? 25 For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. 26 And as for the dead being raised, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, how God spoke to him, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? 27 He is not God of the dead, but of the living. You are quite wrong.

For those that would assume Moses only wrote the law as laid out in Leviticus, the bush passage referred to here is in Exodus, applying authorship there.

Matthew 23:1 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, 2 The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses' seat, 3 so practice and observe whatever they tell you—but not what they do. For they preach, but do not practice. 4 They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger. 5 They do all their deeds to be seen by others.

Jesus, in his condemnation of the scribes and pharisees refers to them sitting in Moses seat. This, to me, implies that the authority they claimed came from Moses and the only way that could have happened is if Moses had recorded whatever you want to call it that they were using at the time. Jesus even confirms that what they were saying was correct, just not what they were doing.

When we think about it, seems real applicable to the teaching we see today. I don't know if this satisfies your question or not but at least didn't want to think we were ignoring you.

ezekiel said...

Reading Micah 2 this morning I was amazed at how it fits what we have been discussing lately.

1
Woe to those who devise wickedness

and work evil on their beds!

When the morning dawns, they perform it,

because it is in the power of their hand.
2
They covet fields and seize them,

and houses, and take them away;

they oppress a man and his house,

a man and his inheritance.

This to me, sounds an awful lot like what we see happening in the SBC these days. Can we call what goes on behind all these close doors "devising evil"?
They certainly have the power, and the oppression is certainly evident.



3
Therefore thus says the Lord:

behold, against this family I am devising disaster,

from which you cannot remove your necks,

and you shall not walk haughtily,

for it will be a time of disaster.
4
In that day they shall take up a taunt song against you

and moan bitterly,

and say, We are utterly ruined;

he changes the portion of my people;

how he removes it from me!

To an apostate he allots our fields.

Wow, this sounds quite ominous. It would make me think long before I was a willing partner to it. Any one else willing to look at the state of the churches today and honestly say that they appear to be on a slide into apostacy?

5
Therefore you will have none to cast the line by lot

in the assembly of the Lord.
6
Do not preach—thus they preach—

one should not preach of such things;

disgrace will not overtake us.

I can almost guarantee that someone will pop up and say this is fulfilled prophecy and does not apply to us.


7
Should this be said, O house of Jacob?

Has the Lord grown impatient?

Are these his deeds?

Do not my words do good

to him who walks uprightly?
8
But lately my people have risen up as an enemy;

you strip the rich robe from those who pass by trustingly

with no thought of war.
9
The women of my people you drive out

from their delightful houses;

from their young children you take away

my splendor forever.


By driving women out of our little playhouse, we taint forever her outlook and view of our religion, and in doing so, compel her children, our children, to turn away from something meant to free them from slavery to sin. A bunch of preachers these days talking up child birth, birth rates and replacement for all those we are losing.

I can tell you though, you will never be able to breed enough to maintain your numbers if the ones you are breeding are being turned away from the very institution that you are trying to preserve. She spends more time with your children than you do. Do you really want to tell her she can't teach, can't minister?

Splendor? Heck it is hard to even get them to go to church when you consistently tell them they don't belong or that they don't have the status you do.


10
Arise and go,

for this is no place to rest,

because of uncleanness that destroys

with a grievous destruction.
11
If a man should go about and utter wind and lies,

saying, I will preach to you of wine and strong drink,

he would be the preacher for this people!

Is this current or what?

12
I will surely assemble all of you, O Jacob;

I will gather the remnant of Israel;

I will set them together

like sheep in a fold,

like a flock in its pasture,

a noisy multitude of men.
13
He who opens the breach goes up before them;

they break through and pass the gate,

going out by it.

Their king passes on before them,

the Lord at their head.

Hope that eventually, there will be enough men to see what is happening and have the guts to stand against it.

volfan007 said...

wade,

the passage in 1 timothy 3 says that a pastor should be a "one woman man." that's MAN. in fact, that's ONE WOMAN man. how in the world can a woman be a "one woman man?" she can't.

that's really enough for me.

but also, go a few verses down in 1 timothy 3 and you'll see that the pastor ought to also be someone who rules his house well. a woman is not supposed to rule the house. she's supposed to be submissive to her husband like sarah was to abraham. (col. 3:18; ephesian 5:22) so, this passage also negates a woman from being pastor.

also, we have 1 timothy 2:12. no matter how you slice it...paul was telling women that they should not teach men doctrine as the authority in the group. now, some see this as i do, that women should not teach as the authority in a group when men are present... whether sunday school, dt, bible study, worship service, or what. but, even those who dont take it as far as i do still hold to this meaning that a woman should not be a pastor. and, when you look at the context of that passage...look at the verses that follow 1 timothy 2:12...it's an illustration of why women should not be the authoritative teacher over men concerning bible doctrine.

also, why are there no women pastors mentioned in the nt? none! they are all men.

to ignore these verses, or to do hermeneutical gymnastics to try to explain them away, is to deny the clear teachings of these passages of scripture. even history shows us that women pastors is a new thing....coinciding with the feminist movement of the 60's and 70's and continuing up to this present time. but, we cant always be scared of what the academic world thinks about us, nor do we need to be afraid of what the intelligentsia crowd thinks of us. we must stay true to the bible, and to what it clearly teaches. let the whole world be a liar, and God be true.

david

volfan007 said...

1 Peter 3:5-7 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

"5 For in the past, the holy women who hoped in God also beautified themselves in this way, submitting to their own husbands, 6 just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. You have become her children when you do good and aren't frightened by anything alarming.

7 Husbands, in the same way, live with your wives with understanding of their weaker nature yet showing them honor as co-heirs of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered."

here's a passage that i'm sure some wish were not in the bible... but alas, it is.

david

Tom Parker said...

007:

You are a pitiful human being. You are so right and every body that doen't believe EXACTLY THE WAY YOU DO IS WRONG!!

volfan007 said...

tom,

do you think that ad hominem attacks are the way to discuss issues?

God bless you, tom.

david

Tom Parker said...

007:

I am not interested in hominey grits. I eat them very rarely. Or to put it another way I could not tell you the last time I saw and ad for hominey grits.

Justa Believer said...

Greg Harvey,
I basically agree with your assessment. One thing to point out, though regarding your statement:

While we all agree that slavery is morally wrong (in spite of the Bible encoding it into the theocratic CHOSEN nation, perhaps for symbolic reasons?), it is very difficult--in my opinion--to choose a perspective that says either the complementarians or the egalitarian s are completely wrong.

Just as there are complementarians who argue that it is morally wrong for women to be pastors, there are egalitarians who argue that prohibiting women in the role of pastor is morally wrong. Such conclusions may be difficult to support in light of the absence of a direct prohibition of either practice. But just where do we find a clear command against slavery on which to base the claim that slavery is morally wrong? (To answer my own rhetorical question, we don't. Arguments against slavery are based on what is seen as compatible with overall Christian principles, not on the basis of a clear biblical injunction against slavery.)

I realize this opens a can of worms, is extremely politically incorrect, and makes me a potential target, but I honestly think that we have no more (and no less) warrant, scripturally speaking, for claiming either a pro-slavery or anti-slavery position is an absolute moral wrong than we have for claiming that either allowing or prohibiting female pastors is an absolute moral wrong.

Justa Believer

Lin said...

"...a woman is not supposed to rule the house. she's supposed to be submissive to her husband like sarah was to abraham."

1 Timothy 5:14

14So I would have younger widows marry, bear children, manage their households, and give the adversary no occasion for slander.

The word for 'manage' is:

oikodespoteō

- to be the head of (that is, rule) a family: - guide the house.

Which is where we get the word: Despot. :o)

Those male translators just could not deal with that one and softened it as much as they could.:o)

Lin said...

1 Peter 2"

13 Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme, 14 or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good. 15 For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men— 16 as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God. 17 Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.

David, Did you ever wonder how conservative evangelical Christians could read this...even pastors ..and then say things publicly against Bill Clinton? Was that honoring our elected authority? How could they do this and not submit?

volfan007 said...

lin,

the first thing you bring up.... a woman is to take care of the house, manage it, or whatever you want to call it. that is not ruling the house. it is managing the household. two completely different things. the husband should be the leader of the home. he should be a servant-leader, btw.

the second thing you bring up... conservatives did follow, or submit, to the leadership of bill clinton. i didnt see anyone with guns leading a revolt...did you? this passage doesnt say that we had to like it. it doesnt say that we had to agree with everything he said and did. it does teach that we need to be good citizens who follow the law of the land...which the vast majority of us did.

david

Lin said...

David, You are like talking to a brick wall. You don't see the disconnect in your logic at all. If you go back and read your comment about 'a woman is not supposed to rule a home'...I just gave you biblical proof of the opposite. DESPOT...remember?

Many of our leaders did NOT submit to Clinton. They were constantly speaking out against him and publicly supporting his impeachment. They were not following the admonition of 1 Peter 2 in their behavior so as to HONOR THE KING. Clinton was our 'king' at the time. Whether you like it or not. One does not have to have an armed insurrection to 'dishonor' the king.

I can certainly understand why you do not like what this passage says. :o)

Anonymous said...

One thing that I noticed when studying the account of creation and the fall was that in Genesis 3:14-19, where God is listing the sins and punishments of the guilty parties, the indictments levelled against the serpent, the woman, and the man are different in number. The serpent has one indictment: “Because you have done this, cursed are you...”; the woman has no indictments (and there is no statement of cursing), God goes straight into: “I will greatly multiply your pain...”; and the man (Adam) has two indictments: “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and [because you (singular)] have eaten of the tree...cursed is the ground...”. The man is indicted on two counts: 1) listening to the voice of his wife and 2) eating [the fruit] of the tree, but the woman on none – it’s hardly egalitarian treatment, is it? We presume that God is acting justly here, but how on earth can that be justice, unless the man was in a position of spiritual authority over the woman, and hence a position of spiritual responsibility? And therefore in the position where he ‘carries the can’ for both of them. If you’re in authority, you take the responsibility for the actions of a subordinate, and the blame if they do wrong. Sure, both the man and the woman get punished, but only the man gets indicted.

It’s also notable that the first indictment to the man is ‘because you have listened to the voice of your wife’. This phrase occurs in another story in the bible, in Genesis 16:1-6 (et seq.) where Abram ‘listened to the voice of Sarai’ in her instruction to him to take her maid Hagar as his wife in order to conceive an heir. This error brought ignominy on Abram and conflicted with God’s intention for Abram to be the father of the Jewish nation by Sarai. The spiritual circumstances of the origin of Abra(ha)m’s two sons were expounded by the apostle Paul in Galatians 4:23, where Ishmael the son of Hagar is spoken of as ‘he who was born according to the flesh’ and Isaac the son of Sarah (as her name was when Isaac was born) is referred to as ‘he who was born according to the Spirit’. Both instances of Adam and Abram show a major wrong turning and diversion from the path of Godliness by the action of a man ‘listening to the voice of [his] wife’.

All the biblical teaching hangs together coherently if you admit that the first sin which Adam committed was to ‘have listened to the voice of your wife’ and thereby turned upside-down the God-given leadership position with regard to his wife which his prior creation gave him. That leadership which Paul in all his writings uses as an example and pattern for the relations between men and women (since Adam and Eve are the spiritual archetypes for all men and women). Especially in 1Tim2:8-15 when he does not allow a woman to teach or have authority over a man, since to do so would put the man in the same position that Adam was in with regard to Eve when he disobeyed God. Please note that I am making no reference to the thorny topic of any susceptibility Eve might have had to being deceived. The relevant facts are plain – Eve was deceived, and led Adam astray, but Adam was the one indicted.

So what might happen if women are allowed into positions of spiritual teaching and authority in the church? Perhaps we should apply the precautionary principle and look at the consequences if we get it wrong. Suppose the egalitarian position is right but the complementarians win, what’s the result? Many women would be frustrated in being barred from roles that they would like to undertake, and the church loses their ministry, but in just one area – there are many others that Paul does not disallow women from, and it’s not as if there will be no teaching at all, there will still be men to undertake it. Not good, but not a total disaster.

Suppose the complimentarian position is right, but the egalitarians win, what’s the result? What’s the Scriptural precedent? In the case of the man (Adam) and the woman in the garden of Eden, it was the spiritual death of the whole human race. In the case of Abram and Sarai it was at the very least a diversion from the path God intended, and produced a relationship of enmity between Ishmael and Isaac (Gen 21:8-9) – an enmity which some interpreters would say carries on between their descendants to this present day. So, it would seem, pretty disastrous. To what extent these precedents would be seen to work out in the church nowadays is hard to say, but the principle is there. Of the two ways of getting it wrong, the second seems to be far worse. I wonder if this accounts for the strong opinions and feelings that this debate provokes – the stakes are so high.

Given that this is my understanding, I find myself personally convicted by the words of Ezekiel 33:1-6, which is why I have decided to not keep silent.

Angus J.

volfan007 said...

lin,

you are like talking to a brick wall. :)

i just showed you that you were stretching those passages out to a limit that they were intended to go. you are taking them out of context as well.

we(conservatives) did submit to bill clinton's rule over our land. we obeyed his laws. we did not rise up in arms to overthrow him. we did not like a lot about him. we did want his impeachment. nothing wrong with that. it's how our country works. but, we did follow his leading. i didnt see any conservatives shooting bazooka's at the white house...did you?

also, the verse about the wife being a homemaker and a mom does not mean that she should lead, or rule, the household. the husband is to rule the house....if he's a man. wives are told to submit, or follow, the leadership of their husbands. therefore, you are taking that passage of scripture way out of context, and you are stretching it too thin to make it say something that it does not say.

there is no disconnect to my logic. i'm simply sharing with you what the bible clearly teaches.

but, a special thanks to you and tom parker for calling me a brick wall(hard headed and dense, stupid) and a pitiful, human being. wow! i get called all that for just sharing what the bible teaches about the role of men and women....and, it doesnt agree with what you want to believe.

God bless you, lin.

God bless you, tom.

may the Lord do wonderful things in your lives that astound you and lift your hearts to the heavens.

david

Lin said...

David, You are ignoring the meaning of the verses...on purpose. How many times do I have to show you the
Greek word for 'manage' the home means to rule the home? It is where we get the word, Despot.

Prove to me that is not the Greek word used in that verse. You cannot.

Also, We cannot 'honor' the king when we are speaking out against him publicly and supporing his impeachment. Many of our leaders were even calling for it!

Follow 1 Peter all the way through.

Ist he talks about sumbitting to government...kings, governors, etc. Then it is submit to 'masters' if you are a slave.
Then wives to husbands. and then husbands to wives (see below)

What is the common denominator here? He tells us as he starts this teaching:

9But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

(We are all ministers and should act like we have receieved the mercy we have received)

11Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. 12***Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us****.

Then look at the progression: He is talking about those unsaved people around us: government, masters, husbands and wives.

So he tells the wife of an unbeliever:

1Wives, IN THE SAME WAY, be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, 2when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.

THEN look at verse 7

7Husbands, IN THE SAME WAY be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.

This is all about suffering for doing good. Modeling Christ to unbelievers in our everyday lives.

It is not about taking authority over another, being in charge or in control. That thinking is sinful.

Anonymous said...

Anonymously Linda--working on the google thing--

The stakes are indeed high--and reading all these comments I have to ask: are we talking about follows of JESUS?

You know, the Lord who tells us it is the meek and humble who will be blessed?

The same Lord that told us some of the hookers and criminals are going to get into Heaven ahead some of the religious leaders?

The same Lord that told us when we go to a fancy dinner to take the lower seat?

The same Lord that blasted the guy who loves long prayers in public, long tassles on his robe, and generally being thought of as religiously high and mighty?

HIM??

It seems we seriously have some wrong priorities here. Rather than exhorting each other to love, to serve, to tend and care for the least of these, we fight over who gets to sit at His right hand and at His left.

No wonder my neighbors love Jesus mightily and want nothing to do with the church, most especially Baptists!

They get the sheer unmitigated greatness of His acceptance and love!

And they watch us fighting over who's number one.

Now a challenge and a question:

What would happen to our theology if words were translated from Hebrew and Greek to English in a rote manner? By that I mean, for example, the word we translate deacon for males and servant for women is always translated servant?

If we translate a word rule for the guys, we do the same when addressed to women?

If we stop ASSUMING a word cannot mean the same for both because that might change our deeply held beliefs?

What if we just let the Word be the Word, and tried to live up to it?

Nah, if we did that, it would change the world! But wait----isn't that what they accused those first twelve guys of doing? Do we really want to do what THEY did?

Belief Matters said...

Tom you are too funny. You accused David of attacking people and you call him a pitiful human. Get a chair put it in front of a mirror and look at yourself.

If someone is a friend of Tom tell him how he is doing more attacking than David ever dreamed up.

Please for his sake do this.

R. L. Vaughn said...

Justa Believer: But just where do we find a clear command against slavery on which to base the claim that slavery is morally wrong?

I recently purchased and read Slavery & Christianity: Paul’s Letter to Philemon by John W. Robbins. He makes the case that Paul's letter to Philemon shows slavery is morally wrong. I won't say it is "clear", or that I agree with all he writes. But this little book challenges the status quo thinking on the matter, and should be read by anyone interested in the subject.

The website blurb includes, "Paul’s letter to Philemon is a masterpiece of divinely inspired political philosophy. It provides the basis for the non-violent abolition of slavery wherever the Gospel of Jesus Christ is preached and believed."

Justa Believer said...

R. L. Vaughn,
I recognize that there are good, biblically-based arguments against slavery. But I chose the words "clear command" on purpose, to indicate that no matter how persuasive or convincing anti-slavery arguments may be, there is no specific biblical law absolutely prohibiting slavery. Likewise, no matter what pro-slavery arguments may have been put forth in the past based on biblical regulations regarding slavery, etc., there is no specific biblical law that requires it.

My point is not about slavery, but rather that both egalitarians and complementarians must base their conclusions regarding the moral rightness or wrongness of women pastors on what they see as the relevant biblical principles because there is no clear command either prohibiting women pastors nor demanding them.

Justa Believer

Justa Believer said...

Angus J.,
Your desire to speak for truth is admirable. But your assumptions are flawed, and thus your logic flows to faulty conclusions. You argued that the greater indictment against Adam is evidence that he was in a position of authority over Eve before the Fall. But your argument falls short on three fronts: (1) Since Adam stood as representative of the entire human race, which includes Eve, any condemnation against him included her; (2) even though God called Adam to task more He did Eve, it is at least as likely that it was because Eve was deceived and Adam was not (which the Bible makes clear elsewhere); (3) the sin of Adam (and Abraham) in "listening to the voice" of their wives was not in their willingness to consider and follow their wives' advice, it was in their willingness to follow bad advice. The source of the advice wasn't the issue; the soundness of it was.

Justa Believer

Only By His Grace said...

Justa Believer,

Many take Genesis 1:1-2:3 as a preface much like Romans 1:1-17 with the rest of the Book being the body.

I do not believe in the JDEP Theory, yet I do not believe that Moses actually wrote every single word or sentence, again, as the Apostle Paul did not write any of the Pauline letters with his own hand and blinded eyes. I doubt if Moses wrote the last part of Deuteronomy recording his own death and place of burial.

But on slavery:

If closely comparing Western slavery, especially American slavery, to Hebrew slavery, I think you would find Hebrew slavery light years advanced both to American slavery and the slavery of the people of the Old Testament days.

American slavery was not just for the life of the slave, but for the slave's children and their succeeding generations to come.

A Hebrew could become a slave due to indebtedness, but his slavery was ended every forty-ninth year on the Hebrew calendar or when the debt was paid off. If a Hebrew became a slave due to indebtedness on the day after the Year of Jubilee ended, the longest he could be a slave was forty-nine years; however, if the Hebrew slave wanted to remain a slave of his master, the slave would have his right ear to be augered.

The Hebrew slave's family was still free, his wife did not become a slave and his children did not become slaves; in other words Hebrew slavery was not slavery in the sense of any other nation, especially American slavery which was a very real holocaust perpetrated on the African American slave of which we all should be deeply ashamed.

I always wonder when the Apostle Paul calls himself a slave (doulos) of Jesus Christ, was he talking in the sense of Hebrew slavery or in the sense of Egyptian, Akkadian, Sumerian, Hittite, Canaanite, Roman, or Greek slavery.

I personally believe he was talking in the sense of Hebrew slavery with the Lord's Second Coming being the Great Year of Eternal Jubilee and we will be crowned not as slaves, but as Princes and Princesses.


Phil in Norman

PS-- Just came home form the Men's Retreat at Falls Creek.
pr

Tom Parker said...

007:

Please do not say to me--"God bless you"--when I am very confident you do not mean it.

Belief matters--you said--"If someone is a friend of Tom tell him how he is doing more attacking than David ever dreamed up.

Please for his sake do this."

No takers on your advice yet.

Belief Matters said...

I am sorry that you have no friends, or have done who will be honest with you. But to call David the name you did is wrong.

I am even more sorry that Wade has chosen not to rebuke you.

Tom Parker said...

BM:

If Wade rebukes me I am deserving of it, but from you I could care less.

Belief Matters said...

Tom, I'm sure glad that you don't live in Arkansas. But I can overlook your youthful mistakes.

K. Michael Crowder said...

Wade, Wade, Wade,

You sadden me with this poor logic:

"And, before someone jumps in and says, "But that same argument would allow a homosexual to be a pastor," I reply: Homosexuality is a sinful behavior, just like adultery. It is not a sinful behavior to be a woman."

One must look at it from this perspective:

Q: A Pastor must NOT be:

A. A homosexual
B. A Woman
C. A Wade
D. All of the Above
E. Both A and B
F. A, B and sometimes C

???


PS: Wade, you have exactly 2 hours and 11 minutes to reveal the heretic from SWBTS else you have made yourself out to be a liar and have thus denied Scripture. :)

PSS: Assuming for a moment that I allow the heretic egalitarians to have the "husband of one wife" argument," I simply cannot allow them to squirm and wiggle their way out of 1 Tim 3:4 "One that ruleth well his own house...""One that ruleth well his own house...""One that ruleth well his own house...""One that ruleth well his own house...""One that ruleth well his own house...""One that ruleth well his own house...""One that ruleth well his own house...""One that ruleth well his own house...""One that ruleth well his own house...""One that ruleth well his own house...""One that ruleth well his own house...""One that ruleth well his own house...""One that ruleth well his own house...""One that ruleth well his own house...""One that ruleth well his own house...""One that ruleth well his own house...""One that ruleth well his own house...""One that ruleth well his own house...""One that ruleth well his own house...""One that ruleth well his own house...""One that ruleth well his own house...""One that ruleth well his own house...""One that ruleth well his own house...""One that ruleth well his own house...""One that ruleth well his own house...""One that ruleth well his own house...""One that ruleth well his own house..."

Only one who denies Scripture could get a woman out of this verse. A Pastor MUST be a man! Anything else is heresy! The "action" of "overseeing a flock" by a woman is as much a sin as homosexuality, adultery, gossip, and being a stumbling block.

Millstones for Femipastors!!!

Tom Parker said...

BM:

What say you to KMC?

Justa Believer said...

Phil (aka Only By His Grace),
I concur with your statements about Mosaic authorship and about Hebrew slavery. But slavery in the Graeco-Roman world (as in American history) was not at all like the Hebrew practice, yet the NT never directly prohibits it.

Again, my point is not really regarding slavery, it is about the parallels of the arguments for and against it with those for and against women pastors. Some used to say (though not much recently) that owning slaves was morally justified on the basis that the Bible does not directly forbid it. Others have said (most people these days, I'm sure) that owning slaves is morally wrong, even though the Bible does not directly forbid it. Absent a direct biblical command either way, arguments pro and con must be based on inference from other biblical passages and principles.

Likewise, some (complementarians) say that it is morally justified to prohibit women from being pastors, even though there is no direct biblical injunction against women as pastors. And others (egalitarians) say it is morally wrong to prohibit women from being pastors, even though the the Bible does not directly command that churches have women pastors. So, as with the slavery issue, absent a direct biblical command either way, arguments for and against women pastors must be based on inference from other biblical passages and principles.

I haven't looked at the source documents, but I strongly suspect that slavery proponents viewed anti-slavery arguments based on biblical principles as a "faulty hermenuetic" and evidence of liberal cultural influences on biblical interpretation and an erosion of biblical authority.

I am firmly with Wade in the conclusion that women in ministry, including the role of pastor, is a tertiary issue on which inerrantist, Bible-believing Christians can and do disagree, and, as such, it should not be a hindrance in cooperation for the sake of the gospel.

Justa Believer

Wade Burleson said...

k michael crowder,

If I didn't know any better, your last comment might just convince me you traded in the Welch's grape juice for a little too long of a pull on the real stuff.

Only By His Grace said...

K Michael,

Do you know that millstone murdering was a practice of the Church (Congregationalist, Presbyterians, Lutherans, Anglicans, and Roman Catholics) during the Dark Ages and the Reformation?

Read the intro chapters to "The Anabaptist Story" from which our Baptist roots are deeply immersed. Whole families of Anabaptist were taken out on lakes with mill stones tied to their bodies to be thrown out of the boats into the lakes just for being what you call heretics. When you combine the Salem witch hangings of women (by Puritans or Pilgrims), your analogy is not humorous at all.

You seem to find labels as liar, heretic and liberal easy to throw on someone like Wade. You may think it funny and say you're teasing if backed into a corner, but with the testy epithets continually thrown at him, I do not see much to be very funny.

Jesus spoke about us putting labels on people. Remember what He said about those who would call someone fool?


Justa Believer,

I, too, think these issues are tertiary, but the way some attacks on Wade are carried on, you would think he is a heretic or worse, a liberal. He is neither.

I believe the Bible forbids slavery as it was typically practiced and presently understood in America.

Love your neighbor, Good Samaritan, the stranger in the land and on it goes. It is one thing to have a person to work off debt (Hebrew slavery). It is another thing to make him and his children slaves as long as the time shall be.

Niether one of us knows what type of slavery to which Paul refers to in using doulos. I believe he is refering to Hebrew slavery, not Roman or Greek slavery which was much like American slavery, but did not break up the family unit.

Phil in Norman.

K. Michael Crowder said...

Norman in Philly,

By stating or implying that I might somehow change my story of motive if or when I was "backed into a corner" is to say that you believe that my present motive, which is neither stated nor implied, is a lie. All lies come from liars, and therefore you have called me a liar. Now, for the record (again) I did not call Wade a liar, but stated that by not holding to his promise, a liar he would become. But, using your charge, you in comparison sir are a blatant hypocrite. :) Now it is YOU who are in the corner. ;)


Wade,

At least you knew better. :)

Stephen Pruett said...

KMC and 007,

Your assumption that "ruling his own house well" is a universal qualification is just that -an assumption. A more appropriate interpretation would be that if you are a man and have a family, you must rule your house well. Otherwise, Paul, who had no wife, would not have been qualified to be a pastor. You are reading this passage to mean, "you cannot be a pastor unless you are a man, married, and rule your house well". This would indeed exclude women as pastors. However, this interpretation would also exclude Paul and other single men, which indicates to me that your interpretation is wrong. If a single man can be a pastor without violating this scripture (and I believe he could), then a woman could also be a pastor without violating this scripture. How? Because this scripture was not intended to be a universal legalistic requirement but advice to men who were already in the pastorate.

Jesus (and later the disciples) studiously avoided having the gospel hijacked to serve social issues that, while important and needing to be addressed, were not as important as the gospel-and could ultimately be solved only by promulgation of the gospel. Thus, the Apostles and the early church did not crusade to prohibit slavery or to promote equality of women. To have done so would have been to promote causes that would have distracted from the gospel and marginalized the church. However, we have now decided on the basis of a more general assessment of scripture that slavery is wrong. In the absence of explicit and unambiguously universal and eternal prohibition of women as pastors (the verses cited to establish this prohibition do not state with absolute certainty that the prohibition is universal and eternal, and there are solid reasons to think they are not intended in this way), we should not be afraid to consider that this is also a proper biblical approach to this issue.

The bottom line is that I respect that many who hold complementarian views do so because they are convinced of the absolute veracity and sufficiency of scripture. However, none that I have read has been able to refute any number of egalitarian objections to their interpretations. It should be noted that many egalitarians approach scripture with precisely the same belief about scripture as complementarians. There are indeed dangers in allowing relativism into the church and allowing culture to influence the church in opposition to scripture. However, there are also dangers of an insulated, self-righteous, non self-critical church which places undue importance on disputable interpretations and opposes cultural influences, even if they are not in opposition to scripture. As Southern Baptists, we should have learned this well because cultural influences finally forced us to abandon our unscriptural support of slavery, segregation, and racial hatred. Can we be absolutely certain that this will not prove to be the case with regard to women pastors as well?

Again, if scripture absolutely, unequivocally forbade women as pastors for all time and in all places, I would support that position. It does not. I respect the complementarian view and I can understand how scripture could be interpreted to reach this view. However, it is possible to have an equally high view of scripture and come to a different conclusion. I am not sure which is correct, but I am sure that this is not something Baptists should be using as a test of cooperation.

I just heard that baptisms declined in the SBC for the third year in a row. There are probably many reasons for this, but it is striking that the rise of legalism and narrowing the parameters of cooperation has coincided with this decrease. While we argue about tertiary issues, Southern Baptists are becoming less effective by the year and less relevant. This is really sad, and I hope it will change.

K. Michael Crowder said...

Ok Stephen Pruitt,

I am going to give you your argument for the moment (for the sake of argument). But herein lies the problem. Paul does not write that way. Paul calls a spade a spade and he does so by describing the spade from all points of view so as to make certain that there is no question. Now of course one could indeed misinterpret all of Paul's writing on a topic equally (i.e. RCC on faith plus works). But on this issue, you insult the intelligence of Paul and indeed the Holy Spirit by thinking that he (Paul) could not have foreseen the problem of writing gender specifically when really meaning to imply gender neutrality. Nowhere in the NT is Paul so sloppy as he is (or would be with your interp) in 1 Tim 3. I submit that you are wrong and that a literal interp, in this case, is the best interp. Scripture cannot mean for us today what it could not have meant for those specifically to whom it was originally written. (Paraphrase of Gordon Fee I think). We do not see female pastors and bishops in early Christianity because neither Christ, nor Paul, nor any other Apostle authorized it and specifically wrote to the contrary. Not because the "culture of the day" would not allow it. We see female gods and priests, etc. If Christianity would have wanted female pastors, it most certainly could have had them. But God through Paul, et al, forbid such apostasy.

K

Belief Matters said...

I am always open to a rebuke from anyone. I listen, pray, and discern the truth of their rebuke. Perhaps age will help you to see the wisdom of always listening.

This is one thing I like about Wade---it appears he always listens and then decides.

God Bless You Tom---Proverbs 3:5-6

Tom Parker said...

BM:

I think your true colors are showing by not answering my question.

Anonymous said...

Angus J. said:

Justa Believer,
Thank you for your response to my previous post, I will consider your points thoughtfully.

One immediate response to your last point about God rebuking Adam and Abraham for following bad advice rather than the source of it is this. Firstly, I disagree with your use of the word ‘advice’ which implies something provisional and hesitant, I suggest from the contexts that the word ‘instruct’ would be a better description of the activity. (I admit that I’m not enough of a Hebrew scholar to say whether ‘listen to the voice of’ conveys this shade of meaning in the original language – can anyone out there help here please? Other examples from the OT?)

Secondly, God didn’t actually say something like ‘Because you have listened to bad advice (which happened, incidentally, to be given to you by your wife)’. He did actually point to the source of the advice/instruction, not the quality of it.

We could perhaps look for more evidence on the subject to determine whether it is the source or the quality of the instruction that is in question. Are there any instances in the bible (probably only from the OT) where God condemns someone for following the quality of the advice/instruction rather than the origin of it? Are there any instances where a man follows the advice/instruction of his wife (or another woman) and is complimented for it rather than rebuked?

On this point, I can as yet find one other example. Genesis 21:8-14 has an account where (v.10) Sarah ‘said to Abraham, “Cast out this slave woman with her son...”’ but Abraham didn’t like this (v.11). However, God intervened in v.12: ‘God said to Abraham, “Be not displeased ... whatever Sarah says to you, do as she tells you ...”’ (Italics added for emphasis I hope they come out in the posting process).

I suppose this passage could be interpreted in two ways. The egalitarian interpretation would be: Sarah has a perfectly good request to make of Abraham, and his stubborn personal preference is not to accede. God intervenes and says to him that he shouldn’t be so obstructive and patriarchal (sorry, I couldn’t resist that) and get on and do what she says – she is, after all, his equal.

The complementarian interpretation would be: Abraham doesn’t want to do what Sarah is telling him and is reluctant to listen to the voice of his wife, but God intervenes to give him permission to follow her instruction, thereby Abraham follows God’s higher authority, and so isn’t overturning God’s ordained leadership pattern.

Which is the most coherent and accurate interpretation? I wonder. How does Paul use the example of the relationship between Abraham and Sarah in his instructions to the NT church regarding the relationship between husbands and wives?

In retrospect I regret using the word ‘authority’ in my previous post because of the negative connotational baggage that it carries with it. (Mostly due to the chauvinist abuse of it perpetrated throughout church history – an error following the antagonistic attitude between the sexes foretold in Genesis 3:16b: ‘...and he shall rule over you’ – an attitude of domineering control, not servant-like spiritual leadership. While on Gen.3:16b, the corresponding antagonistic attitude that women will show to men is to have an ambition to control, manipulate, overrule and possess, and we have certainly seen that in human history. The phrase ‘your desire shall be for your husband’ is an obscure Hebraism with this meaning – see Gen.4:7 for another instance.)

On the point of Adam being the representative of both himself and Eve before God, I agree entirely. Where we diverge is on the point of whether this has associated responsibility and therefore (spirit-led, servant-like) leadership. I will ponder on the subject. The warning to us from the precedents in the bible make this an essential subject to get right.

Angus J.

Anonymous said...

Angus J. said:

Since this thread also contains a debate about slavery, I’d like to contribute to it as well.

The evil of the African slave trade is predominantly due to the fact that it was a trade in which men and women were sold and bought as commodities. What might come as a surprise to readers of this blog is that the apostle Paul specifically condemns this.

In 1Tim.9-10 he lists those who are lawless and disobedient, ungodly and sinners including (v.10 third word) ‘slave traders’ (NIV). A study of the Greek word here is a fascinating diversion (if you like that sort of thing). It is ‘andrapodistais’. When in first century Greek culture there was the equivalent of a house clearance sale, the animals would be listed under the heading ‘tetrapoda’, that is, ‘four-footed [things]’ and the household slaves would be referred to as ‘andrapoda’ i.e. ‘men-footed [things]’. So Paul lists among the ungodly those who trade in men as though they were household chattels or animals. The older translations of ‘menstealers’ (KJV) or ‘kidnappers’ (RSV) comes from the fact that the slave-traders would often gain the people in which they traded by kidnapping them.

So an accusation sometimes levelled against Paul, that he endorsed slavery (and hence the evils associated with the slave trade) is a totally false accusation and an unjustified maligning of his character.

Regarding the practice of slavery by the Jewish people in Old Testament times, I would like to reproduce the following commentary on Deuteronomy 15:12-18 which I think to be a good explanation. It comes from: How to read the Bible for all its worth / Gordon D Fee and Douglas Stuart. 2nd ed. Scripture Union, 1994. pp157-158

First, although we personally might not keep slaves, we can see that God’s provision for slavery under the Old Covenant was hardly a brutal, harsh regulation. We could scarcely justify the sort of slavery practiced in most of the world’s history – including American history, for example – from such a law. Letting slaves go free after only six years of service provided a major limitation on the practice of slavery, so that the practice could not be abused beyond reasonable limits.

Second, we learn that God loves slaves. His love is seen in the stringent safeguards built into the law, as well as in verses 14 and 15, which demand generosity toward the slaves, inasmuch as God himself considers Israel, his people, a group of former slaves.

Third, we learn that slavery could be practiced in such a benign fashion that slaves were actually better off in bondage than free. That is, the slave owner, by assuming the obligation to provide food, clothing, and housing for his slaves, was in many cases keeping them alive and well. On their own they might die of starvation, or perhaps exposure, if they lacked the resources to survive in the harsh economic conditions that prevailed in ancient Palestine.

Fourth, the slave owner did not really own the slave in a total sense. He owned the slave subject to a host of restrictions spelled out or alluded to in a number of other laws on slavery. His power over the slave was not absolute under the Law. God was the owner of both the slave owner and the slave. God had redeemed (bought back) all the Hebrews, as verse 15 states, and had owner’s claim on all of them, slave or free.

...This law, then, provides us with...a clearer picture of how Old Testament slavery was quite different from what we usually think of as slavery...


I have also in my reading encountered a description of the practice of slavery in Roman culture, which again showed that if was far from entirely malign, but I can’t find it just at the moment.

Angus J.

Rex Ray said...

Rodney Sprayberry,
I guess you know why I’m asking you questions that have not been mentioned on this post about the creation.
1. Would you agree that NOT much is recorded of the dialogue between the created and the creator during their fellowship together before the fall?
2. If so, how can we conclude that Eve was not told by God not to eat the forbidden fruit?
3. Likewise how do we conclude a woman cannot be a pastor because the Bible does not say specifically ‘a woman can be a pastor’?
4. Was the punishment of “death” for Adam and Eve (I’ve been brainwashed into not saying ‘Eve and Adam’) ‘spiritual death only’ or ‘spiritual and physical death’?
5. Was the only addition in their knowledge, actions, and feelings by eating the ‘forbidden fruit’ their knowledge of right and wrong?
6. If so, could we conclude ‘three is not a crowd’ in their arguments, etc. and even sex? (There again, because the Bible does not tell us, we cannot conclude they didn’t know what sex was…enough said.)
7. Over all, it seems men have always ‘chased’ women. With that said, could that be an inherited trait because Eve was never lonesome in the Garden and Adam said, “At last!”? (This question is so unimportant that I’d accept an answer of ‘Ha’.)
8. You were asked by Joe W. “Are you suggesting that Adam sinned and fell before the fall?” Your answering, “No” is correct but did not explain that NOTHING he did or could have done was a sin except eating the ‘forbidden fruit’.
Let’s see, I need a question here…was it impossible for Adam to fall before the fall?

PS, if you catch me going to sleep in church today, I’ll blame it on blogging.

greg.w.h said...

Justa Believer:

The advantage to Angus and Phil making their comments is that they're both well thought out. I considered saying essentially the same thing, but realized it would put you in the position to further explore the off-topic slavery issue.

I'm going to offer--for the sake of the on-topic issue--to switch us back onto the main track so to speak with an interesting observation:

To a great extent, the same framework that we found applied well to women and men, to slave and free is hung on Paul's words regarding Jew and Greek standing in Christ. Paul obviously teaches without direct command preferring Jews in leadership while we all recognize that Jews WERE in leadership out of necessity at the beginning of the church.

As "Greeks" (or, more accurately, goyim/Gentiles), we easily see that we're not forbidden from leadership on this account. Yet many of the arguments regarding Judaizaition that Paul opposed fought directly against the viewpoint that all of the apostles were, indeed, ethnically (using a word we would apply today) Jewish. So they mixed up the ethnic fact with the religious prescription.

Now I'm not saying that from my perspective they were wrong to do that. I don't have a dog in that hunt, so to speak. But Paul did and he insisted that the church abandon its natural inclination towards treating essential nature of the Jewish nation--it's gift of the eternal Law--as central to Christianity. He does that in manifold ways, but especially in Romans where he, indeed, deconstructs the Law in order to determine it's actual purpose in the Church.

We can make no mistake about this: his deconstruction was just as difficult for the Jew as Rudolf Bultmann's (and others) has been for the Christian. The only difference being, of course, that Paul was writing from truth. (Though we should take to heart Bultmann's premise that our faith can easily be corrupted by what we humans read into it...sage advice in just such a discussion as this.)

Completing the switch back to the original topic: The appropriating of the full promise of Galatians 3:28:

"Not in (the whole) is Jew not/nor yet Greek, not in (the whole) is doulos not/nor yet eleutheros, not in the whole) is male AND female for you are one in (the anointed) Christ Jesus." (Pantes occurs before the conjunction, but it fits in English after the 'not in'...so I re-arranged accordingly.)

is not only a mystery, but Paul clearly did not--as Justa Believer notes--fully command us to behave according to that future reality today. But the fact that it is a reality that will be true should temper our desire to lawyer text that provides role differences in the church that happen to occur along one or more of those fault lines that we deal with in daily life.

Therefore, both the complementarian and the egalitarian position should be carefully framed in love and not in arguments of legalism and sinfulness. And both should keep in mind that the careful distinctions we adhere to here on earth might be one day wiped away by God himself.

The lawyering of Law was present in the religious system of Jesus's day. He DIED to get rid of that cynicism and gaming of HIS faith that HE gave to the chosen nation of Israel. Heaven forbid that we would return to that behavior or that we would be gleeful in saying hurtful things to other Christians because of it.

I really would rather that God vomits us out of his mouth than tolerate that behavior even for a single day, myself. Our only hope as to why he wouldn't act immediately is that he understands it is the residue of the sin nature that still influences us. And that means he is permitting the impact of our sinfulness to rub up against the same impact in others so that we can be appalled and aghast at it and--one would hope--commit to stop the behavior in ourselves FIRST.

Greg Harvey

Stephen Pruett said...

OK KMC, You still haven't explained how your interpretation could be correct and NOT exclude Paul and many other single people from the office of pastor. I do not concede that there were no examples of women leaders in the early church. Junia and Phoebe are associated in scripture with positions we would now regard as leadership positions, women are encouraged to prophesy and pray in church, church groups met in houses belonging to women, and the phrase "leading women" (Acts 17:4, Amplified Bible) is used. How many men are specifically named in scripture as pastors or deacons? Not many.

I would never ever insult the intelligence of Paul or the Holy Spirit. However, you may want to consider that your interpretation could more easily be taken that way than mine. Do you think God did not know that these issues would arise and that explicit rules prohibiting women from being in specific offices would be needed? If there were such rules in scripture, I would support them no matter how out of step they might be with popular culture. However, I believe God did not give explicit unambiguous rules, because He did not intend to prohibit women from leadership in all times and all places. All it would have taken is "women shall not be bishops, elders, or pastors ever or anywhere", and you and I would be in complete agreement. As you noticed, scripture makes no such statement. You have to bring your assumptions to the table to get your interpretation. Different (not worse, not better, just different) interpretations lead to different conclusions.

Only By His Grace said...

KMichael,

I admit to being a hypocrite and am able of committing at any other sins.

I sincerely hope you are not a bishop/elder.

2 Timothy 2:3-4, "A bishop then must be... no striker (pugnacious, quarrlsome, violent), but gentle (patient)."

Titus 1:7-- "not self-willed, not soon angry (quick tempered) , not given to wine, no striker (violent, pugnacious), not given to filthy lucre."

I do not think you are a liar or a hypocrite.

I think you have an uncontrolled temper that has ruined the transmission of your brain which harnesses the words of your tongue.

I think you were born in Texas or at least spent some time there because you have caught there a disease that is prevalent in the bovine species and not in human species; whereas I think there is little doubt that you have contracted that dreaded "hoof and mouth disease" as you are always putting your foot in your mouth biting off your foot well nigh unto your knee.

Hypocrite Phil in Norman.

Anonymous said...

Lin:

Thanks for the response and your good arguments.

I thought that an apostle had to be one who saw Jesus. Thus, Paul was born out of season.

Haven't read that much of John Crysostom (sp?), but believe he wrote over 100 years after Jesus died. Not sure any woman that he would have known personally.

Also, I am not comfortable in general basing doctrines, and avoiding the natural meanings of words, on such scant support. If the NT church had female apostles, surely there would be numerous references from all of the early church fathers (btw, that's why the early church has "fathers" and no "mothers").

I happened to read one exegetical commentary this morning (Nicole) on the Greek text in I Tim 2-3. I also simply read the text from both chapters in different versions.

I, frankly, do not see how someone can really conclude that Paul's statements, and his qualifications for overseers, do not apply to males. For example, Wade concludes below, that what Paul really meant was that an overseer be "faithful" and that is what "one woman man" means.

If one wants to argue that Paul's statements are in a cultural context, and thus not mandatory now, that seems to be the better argument.

It does seem dubious to me that the church got all this wrong for 2000 years (except for one supposed reference from Crysostom), and that all of the scholars over the millenia, who gave not just 2 or 3 years to the study of Greek (I had 2 years of Koine Greek study in undergrad), but entire lifetimes, just missed what appears to be obvious. It also fits with the historic precedent and practice. And, after all, that's why all of my non-believing feminist friends in law school hated Paul. They could read plain English, and understood what he was saying in I Tim 2-3, and it enraged them.

The better argument, in my view, is to just say that what Paul was saying there was not restrictive for all times. All of this new fangled exegesis doesn't seem to really fit.

I understand your passion and appreaciate it.

By the way, what happened to this thread after I left it? Whew! Talk about some folks on edge.

And nobody even acknowledged my McDonalds joke.

I just respectfully request that all of you preachers out there, if you ever use that McDonalds' illustration, that you at least credit an anonymous blogger named Louis. I have so few moments of inspiration. I am trusting that you fellow believers will not appropriate it.

Louis

John Fariss said...

The posts on women in ministry have been thought-provoking, and in my opinion, very good. Back when I was a police officer, we had a saying, "Opinions are like noses: everybody has one, and some smell better than others." Of course, with my conversion thirtish years ago, I cleaned it up. We really named another part of human anatomy rather than "noses." I'll leave that to the imagination.

Some of us--on both sides of the debate--need to take a chill pill. Even when provoked, and especially when disagreed with, we must find ways to disagree without being disagreeable. For sake of accuracy, I will say that I agree with the writer, and the positions taken by such contributors as Lin, Stephen Pruitt, and Chris Harbin, and I have (what I think) is a high view of Scripture.

One point on that regard: several have stated that Jesus affirmed the Mosaic authorship of the Pentatuch by referring to "the books of Moses" or "what Moses wrote." I would point out that even a cursory understanding of Greek and Hebrew reveal the ambiguity of this little word "of." It certainly can imply authorship, but even in English, does not always do so. It can about equally mean "about," "in honor of," "concerning," and possibly more. To refer to a "book of Moses" in fact may be nothing more than an identification of a particular work, with no reference to authorship in the modern sense (which is somewhat different from that of the ancient world). One example: the Book of Hebrews. Does that mean that the author was someone named "Hebrews"? Of course not! Another example is the Book of Proverbs. It is commonly regarded as being by King Solomon, but not even the Bible regards Solomon as its sole author. And, being a book of wisdom, there is nothing to indicate that Solomon was the originator of everything that goes under his name. He thought, prayed, and communed with God, yes, but he also studied others (now nameless for the most part) who preceded him in wisdom, and passed on the Godly parts. Moses was not an eyewitness to events in the Garden, aboard the Ark, to Joseph in Pharoah's prison, or many other events. Speaking from a "minimalist" perspective, from various sources (written? probably not; oral? most likely) someone, maybe Moses, maybe not, compiled, or edited, or redacted, material. And unless one take the unBiblical view that Moses prophetically wrote of his own death and burial, someone else did the same with at least some of the material after his time. But the truth is: I think that is a red herring, because I saw nothing in the series which proves that the author (of the Primer) subscribes to the JEDP theory anyway. That is a tangent, and the fact is, some people like to go off on tangents. Sometimes it is we just like where the tangent goes; sometimes it is because we have tunnel vision, and can only see the tangent; and sometimes it is because our position is weak and we have to veer away least we be out-debated. Could I be wrong? Of course; but so could each of you with the opposite viewpoint, and unless we all acknowledge that, we are goinmg to get into modes of attacking each other instead of debating the issue.

K. Michael Crowder said...

Norman in Philly,


Nice post. I am in fact the Southern Baptist Bishop of North East Cuba. :) It’s not a glamorous job and it doesn't pay all that well. I have never been to Texas. I am where God has called me.

The 1 Tim 3 passage does not explicitly exclude single men. It is widely held that this passage addresses polygamy and/or divorce, neither of which a single man would need to worry. But the passage does exclude women by virtue of its explicit direction TO men. “Junia” and Phoebe were not pastors and as everyone knows the gender of the first is in question to this day. We are discussing Sr. Pastors in this general context and thus Phoebe’s role is moot in this discussion.
K

Rex Ray said...

Wonder if the ‘recent graduate of SWBTS’ would have been allowed to graduate if his ‘paper’ was known by Patterson?

Would Patterson have removed ever seat the student used since they had been ‘contaminated’?

I hear the school’s masters program has shrunk dramatically.

Wonder if the SBC will ever realize they need to decide between saving his ego and saving the school?
Or maybe they already have.

Chris Harbin said...

Volfan,

The passages you cite do link content in the Pentateuch with Moses. They do not prescribe authorship, however. The closest is "book of Moses", but that is no different from "books of Samuel" (he died before the end of the first one). OF: about; concerning, pertaining to; related to; from.

Ezekiel:

Yes, Moses wrote something, but there are 24 books mentioned by name in the OT that we no longer have. The fact that he wrote something does not tell us that the texts we have came directly from him. You really think he wrote the entire Pentateuch, including Joshua, even though he died before the end of the Pentateuch and all of Joshua?

The arguments do not convince that Moses did the writing. They record that the content has some relationship to Moses. That is all.

Chris Harbin said...

Wade,

Any word yet on whether we can get a pdf of the entire primer, bibliography, and footnotes included? I would be glad to host it on www.theotrek.org.

Rex Ray said...

Chris Harbin,
I’ve enjoyed your many comments through the days. Thanks for giving the number (24) books mentioned by name in the OT that we no longer have.

Maybe those books gave Paul the knowledge that Moses had enough pride to keep wearing the veil to hid from the people that God’s glory was no longer on his face.

“…not as Moses did, who put a veil over his face so that the Israelis could not see the glory fade away.” 2 Corinthians 3:13 Living)

Since Moses was the most humble man on the earth, (Numbers 12:3) why would he have so much pride to wear the veil after God’s glory had vanished, and also hide from the people his sin that prevented him going to the Promise Land?

God told him three times why he couldn’t because of his sin (Numbers 20:12, 24 27:14), but Moses lied three times to the people he couldn’t go because God was angry with him because of them. (Deuteronomy 1:37 3:26 4:21)

The people that wear ‘glasses’ that all words spoken by ‘white hats’ are breathed by God will argue Moses’ lies are not lies because God wouldn’t lie. Those ‘glasses’ produce tunnel vision that hides truth.

God breathes all words that are truth, but NOT untruth. God did not breath, “I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius” (1 Corinthians 1:14) as shown by verse 16 “(Oh yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that, but I don't remember baptizing anyone else.) NLT

Lin said...

"Also, I am not comfortable in general basing doctrines, and avoiding the natural meanings of words, on such scant support. If the NT church had female apostles, surely there would be numerous references from all of the early church fathers (btw, that's why the early church has "fathers" and no "mothers")."

Louis, Here are other Greek and Latin commentators who affirm Junia, sometimes Julia in the Latin, as a female. These writers include: Origin (185-254) as translated by Rufinus (345-410); Ambrosiaster (ca 375), though he uses Julia; John Chrysostom (Ca 345/354-407); Jerome (Ca 345-419); Theodoret of Cyrrhus (Ca 393-458); Ps, Primasius (died ca 567); John Damascene (Ca 675- ca 745); Hraban of Fulda (780-856); Haymo of Halbenstadt (840-853 writing); Halto of Vercelli (Tenth Century), who names Junia; Oecumenius (first half Sixth Century); Lantrauc of Bec (ca 1005-1089); Brum the Carthusian (ca 1030-1101); Theophylact (1095-1169)). Ambrose (339-397); Claudius of Turin (died 827); Sedulius-Seotus (848-858); Guillelmus Abbas (1085-1147); and Herveus Burgidolenis (late edition 1151).

John of Chrysostom’s statement is pointed and unambiguous.

“Greet Andronicus and Junia…who are outstanding among the apostles.To be an apostle is something great. But to be outstanding among the apostles just think what a wonderful song of praise that is! They are outstanding on the basis of their works and virtuous actions. Indeed how great the wisdom of this woman was to have been the one deemed worthy of the title Apostle” (In ep ad Romanos 31:2 PG 60.669-700).

Theodoret (ca.393-458), Bishop of Cyrrus, echoes the same sentiments; he says that Junia is a woman and Andronicus is a man.

"They are to be called ‘of note’ not only among the disciples but also among the teachers, and not just among the teachers but even among the apostles (Interpretation in quat vordecum epistolos. S. Pauli 82-200)."

John of Damascus (CA 675-749, concerning Junia

And to be called ‘Apostle’ is a great thing but to be even amongst those of note consider what a great encomiom this is. (Commentary on Paul’s Espistles 95:565).

I have no problem with the inerrancy of scipture but I do have challenges with the inerrancy of translators. :o)

As one scholar put it:

For almost 1300 years, the Early Church Fathers and the Patristic Fathers wrote about Junia as the woman apostle and translated the verse “outstanding among the apostles.” Many of the church fathers were Greek educated, not pastors who went to seminary and got a smattering of Greek second hand and use Strong’s Concordance. They were Greek speaking, Greek educated, and Greek academicians.

The Greek word, “episemoi” means “marked or stamped.” Junia is marked as outstanding among the apostles. Incredibly, Wallace never presented a single case (not one) of personal “episemoi” that are inclusive (by, etc) from papyrus, inscriptions, or classical literature, a deadly blow to his case.


But, I ask you, Louis, why would you expect 'numerous' women apostles, elders, etc., in the early church? Considering the Patristic culture,what we see in the NT is quite radical for that time. We must also take into consideration verses that do not speak of 'positions' as you all care to see them, but of 'behavior' that was totally foreign in those days: Mary learning at Jesus' feet, the Samaritan woman, Mary M following Jesus around, etc, etc.

Jesus was turing the Patristic culture on its head by His behavior toward women.

"I, frankly, do not see how someone can really conclude that Paul's statements, and his qualifications for overseers, do not apply to males. For example, Wade concludes below, that what Paul really meant was that an overseer be "faithful" and that is what "one woman man" means."

Again, these words do NOT disqualify a single man. Nor do the words 'rule his home well' disqualify Paul who had no home that we know of to 'rule'. Nor Jesus, for that matter.

But let's look at 1 Tim 3:4. The word for 'his' in Greek is Idios, an adjective that means:

Pertaining to one's self, one's own, belonging to one's self.

It relates to the word 'man' that was used by the translators at the beginning which is really the Greek word: Tis which means:

- a certain, a certain one

This word is used in verse 1, too.

It should read, If ANYONE...

Again, the qualifier, a husband of one wife, does not exclude single men, either. Just as it does not exclude women. And since we know polygamy was legal at the time, it is quite obvious what Paul is referring to.

Louis, The biggest frustration is that your side does not want to dig deep into words and grammar of passages and see how they relate to the whole of scripture. They want to repeat mantras that is means what THEY say it means without engaging in any fact checking or scholarship.

We do not have to agree. That is not the point. The point is that we are not making this stuff up. There are legitimate concerns about translations and limiting the giftings of the Holy Spirit to women because of personal reasons and faulty sholarship.

Another concern of mine is the emotive stance of the hyper comps. Such as the reactions we have seen here from kmc and david.

This is more of a political stance than it is a scriptural stance. There is almost a frenzy involved in wanting scriptural proof of being able to 'lord it over' others and having 'authority'. That is not scriptural and has nothing to do with what Jesus Christ taught for anyone within the Body. Too many have taken service and servanthood and turned it into authority.

Blessings!

R. L. Vaughn said...

Justa Believer, I think I was not clear in my post. I do not disagree with you when you say there is no specific biblical law prohibiting slavery. I was just recommending a book that takes a different view.

ezekiel said...

Chris Harbin,

"I am not an authority on the Pentateuch or anything else for that matter, but it seems clear that Moses wrote something more than Genesis. Everything up through Joshua at least."

A better word for "through" would have been "to" I guess, that is what I was trying to communicate.

But while we are on the subject, how do you interpret this?

Deuteronomy 31:24 When Moses had finished writing the words of this law in a book to the very end, 25 Moses commanded the Levites who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord, 26 Take this Book of the Law and put it by the side of the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, that it may be there for a witness against you. 27 For I know how rebellious and stubborn you are. Behold, even today while I am yet alive with you, you have been rebellious against the Lord. How much more after my death!


Do you really think if it was this important, the witness against them, that the Lord would have had it left incomplete? If he knew what was going to happen after his death, do you not think he could document his own death?

Moses spent 40 days and nights on the mountain. Is it that hard to believe that Moses recorded the history of Israel up to that point as dictated by the WORD? The Lord knew him face to face.

Deuteronomy 34:10 And there has not arisen a prophet since in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, 11 none like him for all the signs and the wonders that the Lord sent him to do in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh and to all his servants and to all his land, 12 and for all the mighty power and all the great deeds of terror that Moses did in the sight of all Israel.

There was something more than Leviticus riding in that ark, I think. Probably the record of the complete history of the world up to that point. Recorded as an example to the people that were there and those that were to come.

1 Cor 10:10 1 I want you to know, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, 2 and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3 and all ate the same spiritual food, 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ. 5 Nevertheless, with most of them God was not pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilderness. 6 Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did. 7 Do not be idolaters as some of them were; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play. 8 We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day. 9 We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents, 10 nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer. 11 Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come.

Jude 5:5 Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.

I think we can sit around and argue authorship all day long and still fall woefully short of getting the message that was intended regardless of who wrote it, when they wrote it or whether or not we have all of it today as it was written. At the end of the day we have to believe we have enough of it, and that the authority with which it is conveyed is without question or we really have no basis on which to lay our faith.

Jude says it pretty well.

1 1 Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James,To those who are called, beloved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ: 2 May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you. 3 Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. 4 For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

We can do what feels good (sensuality) and deny the WORD and its authority, question its completeness and sufficiency. By doing so, we question His grace, did or did He not give us enough to guide and deliver us?

5 Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.

A pretty stern warning for those that claim to believe today yet deny Him by our works. A million or more that died in the wilderness, that witnessed all sorts of miracles, clouds, pillars of fire, plagues and quaking mountains, died because they didn't believe. And the peaceful, mild, calm, forgiving Jesus that we teach and preach is the one that destroyed them for their unbelief.

6 And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day— 7 just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire. 8 Yet in like manner these people also, relying on their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious ones. 9 But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, was disputing about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, The Lord rebuke you. 10 But these people blaspheme all that they do not understand, and they are destroyed by all that they, like unreasoning animals, understand instinctively. 11 Woe to them! For they walked in the way of Cain and abandoned themselves for the sake of gain to Balaam's error and perished in Korah's rebellion.

Cain wanted his best life now, Balaam preached for money(hireling) and Korah led a bunch of priests to rebell against Moses. Today, we have Jesus (better than Moses) yet some preachers seem intent on rebelling against the Word by setting up all sorts of religious rites, regulations and divisions within the body of Christ.

12 These are blemishes on your love feasts, as they feast with you without fear, looking after themselves; waterless clouds, swept along by winds; fruitless trees in late autumn, twice dead, uprooted; 13 wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever.

Look back over some of these posts and ask yourself, do you see the wild waves, the foam and wandering stars?

14 It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, Behold, the Lord came with ten thousands of his holy ones, 15 to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him. 16 These are grumblers, malcontents, following their own sinful desires; they are loud-mouthed boasters, showing favoritism to gain advantage.

Advantage over what or whom? Women? Their pews, the SBC? Each other?

17 But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. 18 They said to you, In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions. 19 It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. 20 But you, beloved, build yourselves up in your most holy faith; pray in the Holy Spirit; 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. 22 And have mercy on those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh. 24 Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, 25 to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

Much of what we see posted today regarding male dominion and authority is derived from teaching and customs of the old covenant I think. We would do well to understand that when the veil was torn from top to bottom, giving the believer unrestricted, equal access to God, the old covenant passed away. The new ushered in and those in Christ, no longer male or female, slave or free.

2 Cor 3:12 Since we have such a hope, we are very bold, 13 not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not gaze at the outcome of what was being brought to an end. 14 But their minds were hardened. For to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away. 15 Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts. 16 But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

In the flesh, there will always be a difference between men and women. But we are supposed to be in the Spirit, having been crucified with Christ and raised with Him. Believers in the New Covenant.

If you will look closely at Hebrews 10, you don't see any he and she, just them, their, we and us. Brothers. Sons of God. Galatains 3:26

Anonymous said...

Louis - my understanding is that Paul was counted as an apostle (as he describes himself in Ephesians 1:1) because he met the risen Christ on the road to Damascus. I haven't had time to check this, though.

I wonder whether in the end the egalitarian/complementarian controversy will have to be decided by the Gamaliel test (see Acts 5:33-39). In other words, do not try to oppose the egalitarian movement - if it is of God, it will cause churches that follow it to flourish, if it is not, it will fail. (see verse 38-39). Please note that I am not making any allusion at all as to whether I think that egalitarians are like Theudas and Judas the Galilean or like the apostles.

It's certainly a tough one. I'll say one good thing about a debate like this - if you want to find the flaws in your own arguments, don't tell them to people who agree with you, tell the people who disagree - they'll certainly pick up where you've gone wrong! :-)

Angus J.

Lin said...

"In other words, do not try to oppose the egalitarian movement - if it is of God, it will cause churches that follow it to flourish, if it is not, it will fail."

You mean like the Catholic church up until a few hundred years ago? Or the Mormons, JW's and of course, Islam? All are growing.

Numbers are NOT an indicator God's blessing. Just take a look at Lakewood where the Gospel is never preached but 'Your Best Life Now' certainly is.

Chris Harbin said...

Ezekiel,
Been away from the computer...
"Deuteronomy 31:24 When Moses had finished writing the words of this law in a book to the very end,"

Moses wrote in a book, but likely one we no longer have, or that was subsumed into the Pentateuch.

Do you really think ... the Lord would have had it left incomplete? If he knew what was going to happen after his death, do you not think he could document his own death?

What Dt. records is sufficient witness to what Moses states, as well as the f/u witness in the book of Joshua. I doubt we have really lost anything, but that does not mean that the Pentateuch as we know it was Moses' work. He could have recorded his own death, but that is not God's normal way of operating.

Moses spent 40 days and nights on the mountain. Is it that hard to believe that Moses recorded the history of Israel up to that point as dictated by the WORD? The Lord knew him face to face.

40 days is not much time to write the Pentateuch, especially not on clay tablets, the writing medium of the day. God also knew others nostril to nostril, such as Elijah.

Deuteronomy 34:10 And there has not arisen a prophet since in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, 11 none like him for all the signs and the wonders that the Lord sent him to do in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh and to all his servants and to all his land, 12 and for all the mighty power and all the great deeds of terror that Moses did in the sight of all Israel.

This text is written from the perspective of a time period after the establishment of Israel (Saul to Solomon).

There was something more than Leviticus riding in that ark, I think. Probably the record of the complete history of the world up to that point. Recorded as an example to the people that were there and those that were to come.

The number of clay tablets needed for that would not have fit in the ark.

1 Cor 10:1-11 Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come.

Written when? in what form(s)?

Jude 5:5 Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.

Sorry, I did not catch the pertinence of that quote.

I think we can sit around and argue authorship all day long and still fall woefully short of getting the message that was intended regardless of who wrote it, when they wrote it or whether or not we have all of it today as it was written. At the end of the day we have to believe we have enough of it, and that the authority with which it is conveyed is without question or we really have no basis on which to lay our faith.

Sure. The argument on defining Moses as author distracts from the fact of the Pentateuch as God's message to us.

Jude says it pretty well. 1 Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James,To those who are called, beloved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ: 2 May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you. 3 Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. 4 For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

We can do what feels good (sensuality) and deny the WORD and its authority, question its completeness and sufficiency. By doing so, we question His grace, did or did He not give us enough to guide and deliver us?

Agreed.

5 Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.

A pretty stern warning for those that claim to believe today yet deny Him by our works. A million or more that died in the wilderness, that witnessed all sorts of miracles, clouds, pillars of fire, plagues and quaking mountains, died because they didn't believe. And the peaceful, mild, calm, forgiving Jesus that we teach and preach is the one that destroyed them for their unbelief.

I am reminded of "Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling..." lulling us to sleep and avoidance of issues of faith and discipleship.

Jude 6-11 Woe to them! For they walked in the way of Cain and abandoned themselves for the sake of gain to Balaam's error and perished in Korah's rebellion.

Cain wanted his best life now, Balaam preached for money(hireling) and Korah led a bunch of priests to rebel against Moses. Today, we have Jesus (better than Moses) yet some preachers seem intent on rebelling against the Word by setting up all sorts of religious rites, regulations and divisions within the body of Christ.

Preach on!

Jude 12-13

Look back over some of these posts and ask yourself, do you see the wild waves, the foam and wandering stars?

From comments, it depends on one's perspective and interpretation how you would define what is what.

Jude 14-16 These are grumblers, malcontents, following their own sinful desires; they are loud-mouthed boasters, showing favoritism to gain advantage.

Advantage over what or whom? Women? Their pews, the SBC? Each other?

Yes, I have seen this in SBC life of late, having also been the brunt of it.

Jude 17-25

Much of what we see posted today regarding male dominion and authority is derived from teaching and customs of the old covenant I think. We would do well to understand that when the veil was torn from top to bottom, giving the believer unrestricted, equal access to God, the old covenant passed away. The new ushered in and those in Christ, no longer male or female, slave or free.

I agree in principle, though I would take issue with the "Old Covenant" language and say traditions of men. Jesus brought to light aspects in the Old Covenant that were not yet clear. As I read Paul in Romans (esp. ch. 4), however, it was ever the same covenant based on God's grace.

2 Cor 3:12-18 ...And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

We are to have the courage to face God directly based on the unmeasurable quality of His grace. One passage says that the people were afraid to come into God's presence, therefore the veil worn by Moses (not God's plan, but ours).

In the flesh, there will always be a difference between men and women. But we are supposed to be in the Spirit, having been crucified with Christ and raised with Him. Believers in the New Covenant.

Amen.

If you will look closely at Hebrews 10, you don't see any he and she, just them, their, we and us. Brothers. Sons of God. Galatians 3:26

Amen.

Chris Harbin said...

Rex Ray,

"24 books mentioned by name in the OT, but no longer known" came from:

PRICE, Ira Maurice. The Dramatic Story of the Old Testament. New York: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1935, p.32.

Thanks for your affirmation.

Anonymous said...

Er, no, of course the numbers of people following a church or movement aren't necessarily an indication of spiritual growth. The evidence would be the growth or otherwise of Godly spirituality, which because it is attractive and feeds people's souls, would be very likely to cause numerical growth. Godly spirituality leads to numerical growth, but not all numerical growth comes from Godly spirituality.

Would egalitarian churches lead to spiritual life or (following what I suspect might be the precedent from the bible) spiritual decay and death? I would actually prefer to be proven wrong, but on the balance of probabilities my judgement is at the moment on the complimentarian side, and I fear for the spiritual harm that could be done by the trial.

Incidentally, Lin, what is your response to my explanation of the precautionary principle that I gave in my first post, where I compared the harm done if (1) the egalitarian argument is correct but the complimentarians win out; or (2) the complimentarian argument is correct but the egalitarians win out?

Angus J.

Anonymous said...

Er, no, of course the numbers of people following a church or movement aren't necessarily an indication of spiritual growth. The evidence would be the growth or otherwise of Godly spirituality, which because it is attractive and feeds people's souls, would be very likely to cause numerical growth. Godly spirituality leads to numerical growth, but not all numerical growth comes from Godly spirituality.

Would egalitarian churches lead to spiritual life or (following what I suspect might be the precedent from the bible) spiritual decay and death? I would actually prefer to be proven wrong, but on the balance of probabilities my judgement is at the moment on the complimentarian side, and I fear for the spiritual harm that could be done by the trial.

Incidentally, Lin, what is your response to my explanation of the precautionary principle that I gave in my first post, where I compared the harm done if (1) the egalitarian argument is correct but the complimentarians win out; or (2) the complimentarian argument is correct but the egalitarians win out?

Angus J.

Wade Burleson said...

The author of this series is a Southern Baptist pastor named Nic (Nicolas) Gold. He is the Administrative Pastor at Christian Freedom Southern Baptist Church in Kings Mountain, North Carolina.

Nic graduated from Southwestern Theological Seminary in May 2007 with a Master of Arts in Theology Degree. He wrote the paper produced in this seven part series for his systematic theology class during the 2002-2003 school year.

Nic is an inerrantist and began the paper with a view of women in ministry that he called 'traditional,' but allowed the sacred text to guide his conclusions for the paper. During his study, his views changed, under no influence but the Bible. He now views himself as an evangelical egalitarian because of his studies of the sacred text on the issue.

His church is Southern Baptist and gives to the Cooperative Program, Lottie Moon, and all the other designated missions offerings. Nic and his wife Lisa and their children absolutely love the church where they serve and minister to a congregation of about 800 in weekly attendance (and growing).

Lin said...

"Incidentally, Lin, what is your response to my explanation of the precautionary principle that I gave in my first post, where I compared the harm done if (1) the egalitarian argument is correct but the complimentarians win out; or (2) the complimentarian argument is correct but the egalitarians win out?"

Oops, I did not see this last comment until now.

I am confused how any harm can be done when anyone proclaims the Gospel to anyone else regardless of gender. It is the Truth of the Word that carries authority. Not the messenger. He/she is but a mere servant of the Lord.

Anonymous said...

Did Christ Himself not ordain Mary of Magdala to give this great sermon to the Disciples: 'He is risen.'