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

A Southern Baptist Chaplain Ministering Christ

As promised, the following is a brief history of an extraordinary, conservative Southern Baptist woman named Paige Heard. Paige is serving as a Regimental Army Chaplain at historic West Point Military Academy. Every Sunday Chaplain Heard can be heard preaching the gospel at 10:30 a.m. during the Protestant worship service at the beautiful West Point Military Academy Cadet Chapel.

Major Heard is a life-long Southern Baptist, a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary and New Orleans Seminary, and she has faithfully served Christ as a Southern Baptist endorsed United States Army Chaplain since 1996. Paige is a conservative Christian. She believes the Bible is the infallible, inerrant, and sufficient Word of God. Yet, she is now only one of five female Southern Baptist chaplains left in the United States Army. In 2004 the trustees of the North American Misson Board voted to stop endorsing female chaplains. Major Heard had been endorsed prior to the 2004 prohibition and was 'grandfathered' in.

Paige told me via phone that her heart "aches for the Southern Baptist Convention and the stance our convention has recently taken on women in missions and ministry." On the one hand Southern Baptist churches are training girls in G.A's (Girls in Action) and Acteens that they are to listen to the voice and calling of God and serve Him. Yet, when those same girls fulfill the call of God on their lives, the very Convention who trained them then turns their collective back on them. Paige said that she is thoroughly Baptist in conviction and as conservative as a Christian can be regarding the fundamentals of the faith and views on the authority and sufficiency of Scripture. She believes that conservative, gifted females are being pushed out of the Southern Baptist Convention into more liberal denominations because of the narrow views on women in ministry that are being pushed by some Southern Baptists.

Paige grew up in Peachtree City, Georgia, a suburb of Atlanta and attended the First Baptist Church there. She was involved in G.A's, Acteens and as a young adult, Teen Missions International. She graduated from Auburn University and after college received her Master's of Biblical Arts at Dallas Theological Seminary. She attended DTS seminary to fulfill the education requirements for her calling as a chaplain. When she applied for the position as chaplain at a women's prison, the state of Georgia informed her that her home church needed to ordain her to meet the job qualifications. In 1989 the First Baptist Church of Peachtree City, Georgia, ordained Paige. When members of the congregation asked about the appropriateness of 'ordaining' a female, the pastor responded that the church was simply acknowledging the calling and gifts of a young lady they had known for more than two decades, and since 'ordination' was nowhere mentioned in Scripture, they would simply lay their hands on their member to set her apart to fulfill the call of God on her life - and that would suffice to meet the requirements of the state for her to obtain the job at the women's prison.

Five families left the church, but the majority of the conservative members supported the decision to set aside Paige Heard to Chaplain Ministry. Paige served as a Georgia State Prison Chaplain from 1990-1992, and then enrolled in New Orleans Seminary to obtain her Masters of Divinity Degree. In 1996 Paige joined the United States Army and has served the past ten years in active duty. The North American Mission Board endorsed Paige in 1996 as a chaplain for the U.S. Army. The trustees of the North American Mission Board voted in 2004 to stop endorsing female chaplains. As a result, there are only five women chaplains affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention who remain in the United States Army, including Paige.

It is interesting to note that the North American Mission Board had initially said they would not appoint 'ordained' women. But when they learned that the Army did not require ordination for a woman to serve as Chaplain, just an endorsement from NAMB, the trustees scrambled to stop the practice of endorsements in 2004. In explaining why the trustees would no longer endorse 'women' to be chaplains for the Army, the NAMB Chairman of the Trustee Board said, "we will not endorse a woman where the role and function of the chaplain would be seen the same as that of a pastor."

It can be argued that Chaplain Heard does not occupy the 'office' of pastor (as prohibited by the BFM), but it is quite certain that she fulfills the role of a pastor while carrying out her duties as a chaplain for the United States Army. Paige faithfully preaches the gospel every Sunday during the Protestant chapel service. She has had the privilege of leading over thirty men and women to faith in Christ during the past year and has baptized them all - some in makeshift baptistries in the deserts of Iraq. She administers the Lord's Supper and has performed wedding ceremonies, conducted funerals and provided encouragement and counseling to troops. She is highly respected among the troops. In fact, there are dozens upon dozens of individuals and families whose lives have been transformed by Southern Baptist Paige Heard fulfilling her calling as a chaplain to the United States Army.

In the comments to my post yesterday, one young male Southern Baptist pastor said that any female who functions in the role of a pastor is in 'rebellion to God.' The Bible compares rebellion to witchcraft (I Sam. 15:23). I served for over a decade on a law enforcement task force that investigated crimes that involved the occult, including that of witchcraft, satanism, and shamanism. I can say without equivocation that I've seen the black arts up close. To call a woman ministering the gospel of Jesus Christ, by the power of the Spirit, a person who is in 'rebellion to God' is an offense to those of us who understand what true rebellion to God is all about.

I imagine it is also an offense to those whose lives who have been transformed through the ministry of Southern Baptist United States Army Chaplain Paige Heard.

In His Grace,

Wade Burleson

96 comments:

Anonymous said...

I really appreciate the fact that you help me see the issues clearly. It should be eye-opening to some (not me), to realize that conservative, Bible-believing Southern Baptists are not uniform in their views on women in ministry. Thanks for putting flesh and blood to this issue.

Anonymous said...

The problem is in teaching that everyone should serve God with their abilities. If she'd been taught from childhood that men should follow God's leading but women should follow men's leading she might not have aspired to such a thing.

It didn't help that she was given the M.Div. degree by a seminary. What were they thinking? That she might actually use such a degree? It's scary. Like giving a degree in Hebrew to a woman and then saying she can't use it. Oops.

I've heard a slogan "Ordain women or stop baptizing them". Wonder if this sums up the problem.

Susie

Rex Ray said...

The story is told of an elderly woman started her prayers, “Lord, brush these cobwebs from my head…” Finally someone interrupted her: “Lord, kill that spider!”

We keep hearing over and over sources saying such things as the NAMB Trustee Board: “We will not endorse a woman where the role and function of the chaplain would be seen the same as that of a pastor.”

Susie, I see the day coming when you, Lin, Pamela and other women will be banned from blogging because the SBC passed a motion that women’s comments might teach men.

PASTOR, PASTOR, PASTOR. We need to go to the BFM and kill that SPIDER!

Anonymous said...

Wade
Thank you for speaking up for us silent majority.
I pray those who come after us will see the light.
Fox

Alan Stoddard said...

Good post Wade. I'm not sure you provided an answer to the question with the post. But you really don't have to provide an answer as to a chaplain being the same as a pastor of a church. I'm still not sure myself. It's not an easy issue.

Regardless, I respect what Paige is doing. 30 souls is enough for me.

I think it and pray it through. I'll be back.

Bob Cleveland said...

It seems to me that Chaplains do, as a profession, as a calling, what all believers should be doing, anyway. Comforting, counseling, listening, applying scripture to lives, being there for people, all that stuff. It now seems that folks have to be ordained to do that?

Good-bye, priesthood of the believer. Goodbye, member-of-the-Body responsibility. Hello, priesthood of the few.

No wonder we can't find 60% of our members any more.

Wade Burleson said...

Bob,

Good thought.

Though, when I argued that the privilege to baptize converts is given to EVERY disciple of Christ, John Floyd and other men who cherish Landmark principles of 'church' authority argued vehemently that only those to whom the 'church' gave authority could baptize - or serve the Lord's Supper - or preach the gospel - etc . . .

It's almost as if the 'church' supercedes Christ to some.

Blessings,

Wade

Anonymous said...

WADE:
You are re-defining 'conservative'...to the point that you really can no longer claim to be conservative.
Claiming to be a 'conservative Biblical inerrantist' is a beginning of discussions not an end of...

Anonymous said...

Rex Ray, Probably the men who don't believe women have anything to say already look at the name on a comment before they read it.

I wonder if the new SBC hymnal coming out will only have hymns written by men to avoid having women teach through that medium. The influence of theology in hymns is too important to let women have a voice there.

Susie

Lin said...

Rex,

It would not surprise me if some of these men pass over women's comments automatically because they have been taught through this belief that women have nothing of doctrinal consequence to say. It leads to an unconscious disrespect for women and their thinking (that they would deny, of course). But we know it is there. How can you help but not think that way, when you are told by those you look up to that a woman would basically never be gifted in the same way as you. You learn to dismiss their thinking over time. And you start seeing any questioning as rebellion and sin.

The women learn to act that way, too. Being told over and over for years what your 'role' is, you start believing the Holy Spirit would never work through you to share truths with any unsaved men.

Yet, they keep repeating the 'equal' mantra. I often wonder why they feel the need if it is true.

All of it is a result of Genesis 3. The consequence of sin. They do not understand that now we are all redeemed from that.

I believe that those who believe this should stop allowing women in the MDiv and PhD programs and stop taking their tuition dollars and tithe dollars that pay their salaries. It would be more honest.

Anonymous said...

So basically the Great Commission was only for a select few and not to all of us even though it has been preached to all of us over and over again. Apparently we are not all ministers of the Gospel as we have all been told over and over again. We are not all part of a royal priesthood, just a select few. That sounds very Roman Catholic to me and that is not to put our Roman Catholic brothers and sisters down, but we are Baptist, not Catholic in our ecclesiology, or did I miss the new Catholic ecclesiology class in SBC life.

Correct me if I am wrong but the Great Commission says: Go, Baptize, and Teach. Sounds like Paige is following the Great Commission without apology.

Continue, my sister, to fight the good fight and continue to win people to our Lord until He comes or calls us home.

Vicky

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your series on women in ministry. I have changed my views over the years on this subject. I was raised in a SBC church where this subject was never even talked about because it seemed a settled fact that they could not serve in this way. Now, after searching the Scriptures and praying about it, I am convinced that this is not the case. As with everything else, I cannot rely on tradition or man made restrictions. I, like everyone else, have to be a good Berean and go to the source to see if teachings or traditions are in fact given by God. Not only can they serve but they must do so if called by God. After hearing about her leading 30 persons to Christ, I wonder how many other people through the years never heard the Gospel because we have limited God's work in our world. Shame on us.

John

Gary said...

Wade,

Thank you for once again causing us to focus on the interface between real people, hermeneutics, and issues. Personally, I can find no ‘bright line’ delineating "pastor" and "chaplain". As much as many of us would want it to be, it is anything but black and white.

At some point, the SBC must make a concrete policy call for its boards and agencies (whatever you want to call it) regarding women in ministry which the winners will call scriptural and the losers will call heretical. Depending on how it is decided, some boards and agencies may choose to ignore the will of the SBC and chart their own path, much as is being done today. But, I see an SBC policy as the only way to move towards a solution.

I pray that we search the Word and listen to the Spirit before we make that call, but fear that only agendas will be heard.

Gary

Anonymous said...

Wade -

1) The young man actually wrote that this was a "rebellion to the Word of God" not "rebellion to God." Understanding God's authority through His Word, I would say that these are very similar, but I wonder why you didn't just quote him directly and respond directly in this post.

2) Do you really equate all "rebellion" against God with witchcraft? Aren't our daily sins also rebellion against God? Aren't our small manipulations of Scripture rebellion against God's authority in our lives? Can't this happen in the life of a believer, especially in ways they don't even recognize at the time? It's certainly happened to me, and I would bet you would say the same thing?

3) It is also clear to me that arguing that God has given fruit to women in pastoral ministry does not prove that sin wasn't involved. God ordained that murderous hordes would slay the Israelites for their disobedience to Him, but that doesn't mean that God held them unaccountable for their murder. And if God can use such a great sin as murder in His mighty plan, then he can also use a woman in pastoral ministry to accomplish His will. Thus the real question is:

a) What does 1 Tim. 2:12 mean?
b) and if is does mean that women are not to exercise teaching authority over men, then the question is, "will we order our Great Commission efforts so that sin is necessarily involved?" Would we instruct M's to steal so that they can print more bibles and videos? Of course not - the real question is not whether or not God finds this as sin, not whether or not fruit has come from this strategy.


4) I think your approach to this question of women in ministry, via this blog, is creating more division than it is helping. I affirm your right and even duty to teach what you see as God's will in Scripture, but it seems that your manner is creating much division. If we all agree that God's Word is authoritative for us, then let's deal with this question EXEGETICALLY. I would really like to see you discuss what 1 Tim. 2:12 means - including responding to arguments from Schriener-Kostenberger and CBMW. I'd honestly like to see the better way of understanding this verse because my reading has always led me to the conclusions of these other writers.


your brother,
b. woodward

Anonymous said...

"I affirm your right and even duty to teach what you see as God's will in Scripture, but it seems that your manner is creating much division. If we all agree that God's Word is authoritative for us, then let's deal with this question EXEGETICALLY."

What does it mean in light of the WHOLE NT.

"Would we instruct M's to steal so that they can print more bibles and videos? Of course not - the real question is not whether or not God finds this as sin, not whether or not fruit has come from this strategy."

Why do people feel the need to equate women teaching men to crimes, sin and immorality?

That is the part that is 'divisive', sir.

Lucy

smithwe said...

Wade,

There is no organizational structure within the gathering of the people Chaplains Preach to. This Gathering is not a Church. These Men and Women have a home church somewhere (Hopefully).

In His Name
Wayne

Anonymous said...

While someone is explaining 1 Timothy 2:12 and its relevance for all time, please include an explanation of the relevance of verses 8-9 for us today. If I'm not supposed to wear gold, is silver ok? And I'd really like to learn what verse 15 means, because after much study I still haven't found a clear explanation of it. Does it mean I'm saved because I've borne children? Context, people.

And was it wrong for Jesus to send women to proclaim the resurrection to the male disciples? Or were the disciples right not to believe until he appeared to them in person?

Susie

Cindy said...

Suzie,

You can only hang pragmatic things around your neck with either a nylon, PVC, polyesther or a leather strap.

Anonymous said...

Susie...

1Timothy 2:15 -
be saved in childbearing — Greek, “in (literally, ‘through’) (her, literally, ‘the’) child-bearing.” Through, or by, is often so used to express not the means of her salvation, but the circumstances AMIDST which it has place. Thus 1Co_3:15, “He ... shall be saved: yet so as by (literally, ‘through,’ that is, amidst) fire”: in spite of the fiery ordeal which he has necessarily to pass through, he shall be saved. So here, “In spite of the trial of childbearing which she passes through (as her portion of the curse, Gen_3:16, ‘in sorrow shalt thou bring forth children’), she shall be saved.” Moreover, I think it is implied indirectly that the very curse will be turned into a condition favorable to her salvation, by her faithfully performing her part in doing and suffering what God has assigned to her, namely, child-bearing and home duties, her sphere, as distinguished from public teaching, which is not hers, but man’s (1Ti_2:11, 1Ti_2:12).

Anonymous said...

Susie,
This is the best explanation I have found of the I Timothy 2 passage. Let me first say that I still have some personal research to do on this, but thus far it is the best explanation I have found of the passage that also fits the historical record of Ephesis. First of all Ephesis was the location of the worship of the goddess of Artemis (Diana) and her temple there was one of the ancient seven wonders of the world. Her faith taught that women were the source of man, ie. that man came from woman not that woman came from man as scripture teaches. As followers of the cult came into the faith some were bringing this understanding of the origins of mankind into the church and what Paul is saying is that this is a false geneology, which he aludes to in the introduction of the book.
The greek word that we translate 'authority' in English, from what I understand, is most often translated 'source' or 'origianl' in outside biblical documents. What makes this important to this passage is that this is the only time in scripture this greed word appears, therefore, it is necessary to look at outside biblical documents for the meaning of the word.

One thing that puzzles me is both the greek words for 'teach' and 'authority' or 'source' is in the infinitive, I would like some clarification on this if anyone can and the word that is translated 'nor', can it just be a more infatic 'no' or does it have to be 'nor'. This would make a huge difference. As I understand it, as of now, it could mean "I do not allow women to teach that they are the source of man, Adam was created first......"

That translation, as I understand it at this point, makes much more since to me with the teaching of Artemis being a factor in Ephesis.

Also, in the following verses that speak about women being saved through child bearing, it is again very important to understand the context of which Timothy was living. He was living in a Greek culture that where the gnostic teaching of the body being evil was becoming more and more prevelant. With that teaching was also coming into the church that women who have had children, and therefore have such a strong connection with the physical, instead of the spiritual, that they were not elligible for salvation. Paul is saying that they are elligible for salvation and that they too much live a holy life before God, just as any man must do.

I hope this helps and again if anyone could help to clarify the above questions that I had for me that would be appreciated.

These explanations seem to fit the holistic view of scripture must better, in my mind at least. It helps us understand that women are not second class citizens, but that Paul and Timothy were dealing with real issues in Ephesis that were affecting the church there and that these are not just theoretical concepts.

Vicky

Only By His Grace said...

Doggone it, Susie, on your first comment.

The Seminary did not give her that degree. She earned it, and the Seminary is remiss in allowing her to follow her dreams which they deem as false, allowing her to spend all that money, and waste all those most productive years of her life.

If we are going to do what we have done to Drs. Bullock and Klouda and so many others, there should be announcements in every avenue of Southern Baptist life from the local church, through the Associations, State (Area) Conventions and announced numerous times in the SBC Annual Meeting the exact roles of women entering seminary. If they are not willing "to stay at home and bake cookies," they need not apply to earn a degree which would allow them to teach men.

I have a stinking feeling that some of our Convention brothers and sisters would apply this to Baptist Universities and even to our secular grade schools and high schools for every teacher teaching any male twelve years old and older.

I have another stinking feeling that some of our SBC brothers and sisters are not being above board in telling us that is their ultimate hope.

Phil in Norman

Wade Burleson said...

B. Woodward,

You ask for an exegetical treatment of I Timothy 2:12 and act as if one has never been offered. There have been several, including Vicki's above. You must simply not be a regular reader of my blog.

Sharon N said...

Wade - I believe you have the making of a book here: "A Story of Two Paige's." (Patterson and Heard.) One who attempts - at every turn - to stop the Great Commission and another who (even in a war both literal and figuratively) carries the Truth onward.

Further, don't forget about Dr. Dan Kent (I think OT Prof.?) who wrote "Why I Believe the Bible" and was kicked out of SWTBS when the fundies took over for being "liberal" (i.e., he supported women pastors). That was a man who has also been horribly maligned by Paige P. and his group.

You're doing good work here. Don't let 'em get you down - and you should come to the next CBE convention in Toronto this year. Hey, I bet they'd even let you preach!!

GUNNY said...

I'm late to this discussion, admittedly, but I'm inclined to say that a chaplain is a pastor.

Chaplains have congregations. They perform all the pastoral roles. They administer the sacraments of baptism & the Lord's Supper.

The fact that someone may have a home church where they are actually still members is noteworthy, but how many Southern Baptists have 6-7 home churches and are not actually members of the place where they attend.

If one believes that a Christian sister is prohibited by God's Word from being a pastor, then I can certainly understand the 2004 policy.

If someone doesn't believe there is such a provision, then I can certainly understand that person thinking any in favor of the 2004 decision are a bunch of misogynistic jerks.

But, it's seems to me there are other options.

There can be those who honestly want to please God by being faithful to the biblical text.

There can be those sisters who feel trained, called, and empowered to serve in certain roles.

The caricatures are not helpful in these discussions.

Sharon N. said...

to Phil in Norman:

"The Seminary did not give her that degree. She earned it, and the Seminary is remiss in allowing her to follow her dreams which they deem as false, allowing her to spend all that money, and waste all those most productive years of her life."

See, now THAT is the issue. THAT IS THE ISSUE! I've said this for years and years. In my opinion, that is called Breach of Contract and I have wondered also what keeps any young woman from suing the seminary when she spends $100K on an education only to find out she can do little with it. That is also an issue that I think might be able to go to court in that it is not "religious" but "contractual" in nature. I could be totally wrong, but it's a thought I've had for some time now.

When I attended Criswell for that short time, there was a NT prof. there who really thought I was a rising star/scholar and really wanted me to pursue an M. Div in NT. But I had already figured out that I wasn't going to be allowed to do anyhing if I earned a M. Theo or M. Div from SWTBS. (And in fact, I worried about Sheri Klouda's future even then).

What I have also said for years is that when the SBC loses its first suit (of whatever form it is) they will suddenly "feel the Spirit moving in a different direction and because these are the end times and the gospel needs to be preached to the four corners of the earth before the 2nd coming (pre-trib of course), we feel that God is moving in a new direction with the SBC and its use of women and we will allow women to minister" blah, blah, lbah, blah, blah, blah.

Lin said...

"Moreover, I think it is implied indirectly that the very curse will be turned into a condition favorable to her salvation, by her faithfully performing her part in doing and suffering what God has assigned to her, namely, child-bearing and home duties, her sphere, as distinguished from public teaching, which is not hers, but man’s (1Ti_2:11, 1Ti_2:12)."

First of all, it is not a 'curse'. Only the land and animals were 'cursed' in Genesis. If it were a curse then any farmer who uses weed killer or pesticides is in sin. Genesis 3 is a consequence of the fall. Not something we must live 'up' to.

Secondly, to interpret this verse this way can only lead to a 'works' based salavation in a 'role' for one gender no matter how you spin it. There are too many barren Christian women to believe this is what the Holy Spirit meant. Perhaps you think all barreness is a result of some besetting sin? The Patriarches do believe this.

How would single women like Lottie Moon or Mary Magdalene be saved if this verse is for ALL women having children and staying within a 'role'?

Paul is referring to ONE woman in this passage.

Michael said...

"2) Do you really equate all "rebellion" against God with witchcraft? Aren't our daily sins also rebellion against God? Aren't our small manipulations of Scripture rebellion against God's authority in our lives? Can't this happen in the life of a believer, especially in ways they don't even recognize at the time? It's certainly happened to me, and I would bet you would say the same thing?"

Woodard,
rebellion against God is equal to witchcraft and so is lying.
The ONLY sin that is not equal in "badness"(I don't know the right word) is the unpardonable sin.

Vicky,
That interpretation makes some sense to me but I have never heard it before. Where did you hear of it?

Lin said...

"there should be announcements in every avenue of Southern Baptist life from the local church, through the Associations, State (Area) Conventions and announced numerous times in the SBC Annual Meeting the exact roles of women entering seminary."

Phil, I agree that this is the only honest thing they can do at this point. It is dishonest to take their money for tuition. It is also dishonest for pastors who believe this way to take money for an income in any form from women who earn it or have even inherited it. Taking their money implies these women have some monetary authority over them such as an 'employer' would.

But I doubt they would go that far. I am sure they think the money is 'equal' in all roles. :o)

Their position would certainly have more credibility if they followed through on this.

Anonymous said...

Michael,
I have to break that down, because it is from different sources. The part about Ephesis I learned while studying New Testament Archeology in one of our fine SBC Seminaries. I honestly can not remeber where the info about the gnostics came from, it has been a while although upon hearing it it made sense from what I had learned in seminary about gnostics. The part about the word we translate 'authority' I heard from a conservative Methodist pastor.

That word by the way is 'authentine', does that sound familiar. It is where we get our English word 'authentic'. I believe these women and perhaps even men coming into the church from the worship of Artemis were teaching that women had the ultimate authority because they were the source of man or the authentic human being. Therefore, with that understanding the word 'authority' is part of the meaning, but it comes from the overall meaning of 'source'.

This is one example of the problems we run into when translating scripture into different languages. The Greek can be very complex and rich and sometimes to simply choose one word to translate one Greek word leaves us with only a fraction of the picture in the Greek and not the complete meaning. We saw this with the word 'deaconos' in Romans 16:1 in referrring to Pheobe. Yes, it means servant, but a servant in the form of a deacon and minister. Choosing just the word servant leaves an incomplete picture of what the writer is saying. Those who originally read these words in the Greek would have gotten the complete meanings. We are depriving ourselves of that when we try to choose just one of our English words for one Greek word.

Hope this is helpful.

Vicky

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry I even mentioned 1 Timothy 2:15. I was trying to make the point that the passage about a woman having authority over a man is right in the middle of a passage which includes verses that we seem to consider cultural and thus not relevant for us today (the parts about not wearing gold, pearls, or braided hair) and a verse which is very hard to understand. Yet people make much of that one verse while seeming to ignore verses in close context.

There are enough other passages that are clear in meaning and more obviously either cultural (greet the brethren with a holy kiss) or timeless (the Great Commission).

Susie

Anonymous said...

Susie,
No need to be sorry.

That is the point. From the verse about braided hair through to the end of the chapter they are dealing with cultural issues in Epbesis. These were questions Timothy would have had about the what was all around him and coming into the church. The timeless statements in that passage are the ones about Adam being created first, Eve being decieved, and women continuing to walk the way of holiness (just as a man must).

We must understand the cultural verses the timeless, you are absolutely correct.

Vicky

Lin said...

"I was trying to make the point that the passage about a woman having authority over a man is right in the middle of a passage which includes verses that we seem to consider cultural and thus not relevant for us today (the parts about not wearing gold, pearls, or braided hair) and a verse which is very hard to understand. Yet people make much of that one verse while seeming to ignore verses in close context."

Susie, You were right. They do the same with 1 Corinthians 11 which is about freedom to cover or not cover their heads while prophesying.

They always seem to miss the verse where Paul ASSUMES the women are prophesying and praying in the Body right there with the men.

And in 1 Corinthians 14, no one can tell me where we can find in the OT or NT the 'law' Paul refers to about women must be silent in church.

Anonymous said...

lin...

You wrote... "It is also dishonest for pastors who believe this way to take money for an income in any form from women who earn it or have even inherited it. Taking their money implies these women have some monetary authority over them such as an 'employer' would."

There are least 3 major problems, Biblically speaking, with these 2 statements.

1) Pastors don't "take" money...
2) Church members do not pay Pastors...
3) Pastors are not (at least should not) be controlled or under any kind of monetary authority.

As the good book says... "the labourer is worthy of his hire."

Joe W.

Jay said...

I have a man in my church who bemoans the fact he is never selected to be on the elder board. He speaks only to me about not being selected and doesn't let it create a root of bitterness. This wouldn't qualify as murmuring or dissension. He's a good man. Benevolent, selfless and has a good family.

But he's quirky enough that he wouldn't make a good elder. This is my assessment, and others would agree.

But when this man has complained I simply respond by telling him. "Then go be an elder." "Do you need the office or the title to do the ministry?" "Go do elder work and then thank the Lord you don't have to come to Sunday night elder meetings!"

If all we are talking about is recognition of the office of pastor, then who cares. Tell these women to go do pastoral work, and if they can't get the work they want in the SBC go find it elsewhere.

The SBC hasn't cornered the market on Kingdom work!

Robert said...

First, we know that the Bible clearly addresses the qualifications for pastors. One of which is that pastors are to be men.
Second, we know that God will never call us to do something that is in violation with His word.
Therefore, if a someone feels God is calling them into a role that the Bible says they are not qualified for then we must assume that they are not hearing from God.

Tom Parker said...

Robert:

Your type of comment is why many women called of God will leave the SBC to go elswhere to minister. It is becoming more evident everyday where some in the SBC want to take women. I look for more changes in the BF&M as to what women ar allowed and not allowed to do.

Robert Hutchinson said...

brother roberts,

first of all we know that the bible clearly addresses how we should greet the brethren; with a holy kiss.

and we know that God would never call us to do something that he did not expect us to do.

therefore, anybody who only shakes the hand of his brother is not hearing from God.

so, have you heard from God lately?

Lin said...

Joe, I think I may have hit a nerve. But I am glad to hear you 'pastor' for free and don't 'take' any money for it. That is good as Paul made tents so as not to be a burden. (wink)

Robert,

There are no qualifications for 'pastor' unless you mean 'elder' of which the 'pastor' is one.

There is no prohibition in scripture except what is read into it. If we go by your interpretation then Lottie Moon and Elizabeth Elliot were both in sin. Is it ok for them to 'oversee' when it is uneducated foreign men?

Anonymous said...

Wade,

Thanks for the link to the article - I was not a reader a year ago and it will take me a while to read that full article.


Vicki,

I find your suggested translation of 1 Tim. 2:12 very problematic. My Greek lexicon lists the semantic options for "oude" as: "neither, nor, not even, not." The infinitives of "to teach" and "to domineer" seem to be in parallel and thus Paul seems to be telling us that he doesn't allow either of these things. It should also be telling that every major Bible translation I can find takes the "oude" as a disjunctive rather than as a introduction to a content clause as you suggested might be possible.

This doesn't eliminate all of the exegetical difficulties of this passage, but it seems clear to me that this passage should not be translated to mean that Paul was forbidding "teaching that women were the source of man."


God bless,
b. woodward

Anonymous said...

Michael,

I recognize that, in one sense, all sins are equal in that we can be condemned to Hell by even one. This is a sobering thought. My question to Wade was why would he choose to equate this man's statement with charging him of witchcraft specifically. If all sins are equal, then why not call every sin we commit "witchcraft" and "black magic?" And if we do equate all sins with "witchcraft" then why make such a big deal that this man actually calls such opposition to God's word as "rebellion?" I think the real surprise for many is not that this man considers advocating women in pastoral ministry to be "witchcraft" (which he didn't say) but that he considers it sin at all.

But - it should also be recognized that even Jesus recognized that even though one sin would earn a man Hell, not all sins are equal in another intentionality / blatantness / consequences: "Jesus answered [Pilate], “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.”" - John 19:11.

Taking the words of our Lord into account, I do find it odd that Wade would so quickly assume that by this man using the words "rebellion to the word of God" he meant something equal with "satanism." Clearly, the man could (and likely does) have very different ideas of the general idea of "rebellion to God" and black magic in particular.


God bless,
b. woodward

Bruce said...

This may be an extraordinarily stupid question, but if someone accepts Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour while listening to a woman in a "pastor" role, then what the heck are we arguing about? Is God gonna allow something good like that to happen if the woman is acting in a role prohibited by scripture? Wake up folks!!!! We have bigger fish to fry. Between Home Depot and Lowe's there's not enough duct tape to wrap my head in to keep it from exploding.

Pamela said...

Pastor Wade just quoted a verse from the Bible that says that rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft. In the context of whether women 'should lead men or not' this was a perfect verse to use. Too many men in and out of the church accuse women of being manipulative and controlling in many cases just because they do not agree with them. The black arts and works of the flesh (another Biblical description of witchcraft) deal with manipulation and control in some form.

Ladies I guess we have read about one fellow that is basically saying if you cannot get done what you want to then you can just leave the SBC. From what I read some good women are doing just that. I cannot blame them. We will all answer to the Lord for allowing humans to stop us from what they sincerely believe the Lord is calling them to do.

I also suppose that if this chaplain is guilty of witchcraft because she is doing the great commission those people she led to Christ are not really Christians at all. The idea that she may have led some men into believing in Jesus and confessing him with their mouths means nothing. This also suggests that the great commission can be only done by male believers. I don't see anywhere that there is a gender distinction in Mark 16 on who would be considered a believer that make disciples, heals the sick, raises the dead, etc. To make a disciple you have to teach the the ways of God. Where does it say that a female believer cannot make a male disciple?

Whoever said that Pastor Wade's series on women was causing division is truly mistaken. It only exposed what has been around for a long time. It may seem like a new division because women and maybe some men that silently agree are finally speaking out. My generation (young end of the baby boomers) and younger will question things trying to sort out why we believe what we do. This series has probably allowed SBC women that did not have a voice to speak what they have been feeling for many years in some cases. Just because people are quiet does not mean there is peace and harmony. There obviously has not been any in dealing with this issue in the SBC and other religious groups. Every woman must decide for herself according to her conscience and the word to obey what they truly feel the Lord wants her to do. As that fellow suggested leave the SBC or whatever group you are in if you cannot get where you feel the Lord wants you to go. If you are wrong the Lord will graciously lead you into the right direction. That also goes for men. No gender bias intended here:)

Cindy said...

Robert wrote: Therefore, if a someone feels God is calling them into a role that the Bible says they are not qualified for then we must assume that they are not hearing from God.

That's a reasonable statement, but only if the interpretation of the Bible concerning roles for women is correct.

Some pastors believe that women are not to speak at all in the sanctuary, and taken to the nth degree, this means that they cannot sing during the worship or say "Amen" after a prayer. Do women feel called to sing in the sanctuary?

This is not a matter of whether women have hearts and minds that are right before God but a matter of interpretation.

Maybe God is telling them to get out of SBC as someone suggested earlier? There are hosts of other mission fields and denominations that will take women and many people in need that will receive them.

Cindy said...

Sorry folks...

Should have read on before I commented...

GUNNY said...

The assertion that if people are getting saved it doesn't matter or that if the female chaplain is wrong, then her conversions are bogus, are both fallacious.

I'm preaching on Philippians 1:12-18 on Sunday. Paul rejoices that the gospel is being preached, even though the motives behind some are clearly sinful.

In other words, the ends do not justify the means.

I'm not insinuating anything about the female chaplain's motives, which I presume to be good.

Yet, I recognize the potential in all of us to do the wrong thing with the right motives, just as we can do the right thing with the wrong motives.

God can and will bring good out of wrong doing (e.g., Gen 50:20), but that doesn't mean the means are immaterial.

I also just wanted to weigh in as being one who doesn't see all sins as equal. On some level they are all of infinite offense because they are against a holy God, but Scripture lists some as abominations and judgment seems greater for some than others.

Tom Parker said...

Gunny:

Could you help me please? I just do not know what you are trying to say in your last post.

Kelly Reed said...

B. Woodward,

The point that I see Vicky trying to make is that the cultural context in which Timothy was dealing with presented a specific problem.

In Ephesus, was Timothy dealing with issues of genealogy and human descent? Yes, Paul tells him to not waste his time on them.

In Ephesus, was Timothy dealing with a popular belief that women were created first? Yes.

Timothy, dealing with that situation appears to have written Paul and asked something to the effect of, "what should I say?"

Paul's answer in effect is both an Apologetic--for those outside the church and a Polemic--for false teaching within the church.

To make Paul's answer one of Ecclesiology--how the church is structured and organized, I believe is missing his point and the questions that Timothy needs addressed.

Paul's answer is in essence--"read your Bible--Adam was created first" "Rest on the authority of the Word of God that points to Jesus Himself and not on the pagan superstitions and false genealogies."

If present, Paul would not allow such concepts to be taught by anyone in the church because they do not reflect biblical truth.

People who hold such views are not permitted to teach them, and clearly they are not ready, doctrinally, to be teachers nor in any authority or leadership within the church. They have not grasped the elementary truths of the faith and are not ready for any position of leadership--teacher, elder or pastor.

So in essence, they are disqualified from that authority because their doctrine is not sound--not because of their gender.

GUNNY said...

Sure, Tom. Thanks for not just assuming I'm an idiot (which may not be far from the truth) or a jerk (that's in remission, I hope).

Is there any particular part?

It's tough because I'm trying to respond to various posts with one, so that makes it less clear, I'm sure.

Working from the bottom up ...

1. I don't equate all sins, so that they're the same. This is not just in the little world KATA Gunny, but I think biblically some are regarded as more heinous, particularly by Jesus. He was NOT a fan of pride, for example.

2. I was picking up on a vibe that good things have come from women doing things that some think only men should do. The connection was that good results validated the doing.

Merely from a rhetorical and biblical standpoint, I was questioning the link, seeing it as a non sequitor.

It's hard to be concise and clear in comments, so I apologize if I was unclear, since I was already feeling I was failing in the goal of being concise.

There's not much worse than being verbose AND being foggy.

Alan Paul said...

Robert said: First, we know that the Bible clearly addresses the qualifications for pastors. One of which is that pastors are to be men., etc., etc., not ad nauseum... just plain nausea

Well PRAISE the Lord - I am SO glad you came on this board and set everyone straight. I now know for sure that women can't do anything in church.

Good grief.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Gunny: I'm having a hard time with your statement "wrong thing for the right motives." Is there anything a man is limited in or he is free to do whatever role he desires in ministry?

Debbie Kaufman said...

I should add, providing he has the spiritual gift and is equipped properly. :) Didn't want you to wriggle out on a technicality. :)

Rex Ray said...

Tom Parker,
I too, was confused by Gunny’s first comment. His: “In other words, the ends do not justify the means” implied that people being saved (ends) did not justify women being chaplains (means)

Gunny’s second comment was clearer: “I was picking up on a vibe that good things have come from women doing things that some think only men should do. The connection was that good results validated the doing.”

It’s been said that God can hit a lot of licks using crooked sticks.

I’m not implying women are crooked sticks, but fundamentalists are worrying too much about giving God a perfect stick when God can take any stick and make it perfect for his use. He can even use a donkey to teach a man.

Bruce said...

Gunny I just had to go get another roll of tape. I'm incredibly confused. Are you saying a woman preaching is doing the right thing with a wrong motive or doing the wrong thing with a right motive? Help me out.

Justa Believer said...

For those who might be interested, here is a sample of Chaplain Heard's preaching.

Some other samples are here.

Rex Ray said...

Robert,
Where does the Bible say women cannot be pastors? You’d be correct if you said, ‘In American, most Baptist traditions limit the pastor to men.’
That’s much like the burden put on Gentiles because of James saying these things have been taught for many generations.

Do you remember Jesus saying you’re walking on God’s laws for the sake of tradition?

Anonymous said...

I am Orthodox.

At one adult ed class, the question was posed to our pastor (also called "priest" in our church) as to why women cannot be priests, since we have the examples in the Bible of Deborah and Phillip's daughters who were prophetesses. (The Orthodox Church does not ordain women.)

The pastor responed with, "Oh, really, now! Doesn't anyone understand that prophet is the higher calling? A woman doesn't have to be a simple priest! A priest does all the "dirty" work. Imagine having to slaugher/sacrifice all those animals day after day like the priests in the Bible! The prophet speaks the words of God to the people. Women are not called to the priesthood, but they may be called to be prophets."

(Perhaps I should add that at our church, the pastor really does "dirty" work - cleaning, sanding, painting, etc., in addition to his pastoral and administrative duties. He considers all of that part of his job as serving his parish. He sees the priesthood not as a higher position, but as a way to serve God and God's people.

He has been a true blessing to our church as we see him model how we should humbly live to serve others. He shows love, compassion, and mercy to all who come our way, whether Orthodox or no, inquirers or just simple human beings in need of a helping hand.

Would that all pastors viewed their jobs in the same manner.)

Anonymous said...

B. Woodward,
Thank you for the clarification on the word 'nor' in I Tim. 2. In other words it does not have to be 'nor' and can be 'not' a more emphatic 'no'. This does not necessitate us completely separating the two infinitives. It is a translational choice to do so.

I must admit I feel more comfortable in an hermeneutical sense to take the full meaning of the word 'authentine' instead of just a portion of it. Women were claiming authority based on the fact that they were claiming to be the 'source' or 'authentic' beings. That is where their authority in their minds came from and that is a violation of scripture.

Kelly makes a good point about this being a polemic and apologetic moment of teaching, not ecclesiological. This teaching of Paul's to Timothy was about real issues and real people in a real place.

I also want to say something about the I Cor. 11 passage on women praying. It seems obvious to me that Paul was not saying a woman could not pray in worship, but he put cultural stipulations on that time of prayer based on cultural propriety.

This is important not because of the cultural rule, but because of what prayer is. It is one standing in the presence of Almighty God in the Holy of Holies as the representative or authority figure for that congregation in that moment. They are the priest standing at the altar of incense offering up prayer to God on behalf of the masses. Again, Paul does not forbid a woman to do this.

If the I Tim. passage meant what we have traditionally translated it to mean in English for the last 500 years then Paul would obviously be contradicting himself. But scripture never contradicts scripture. So could it be that we have missed the larger picture of what God through Paul was saying? I believe so. This is not a low view of scripture, but more of a bad traditional translation choice based more on our roots of Catholicism instead of an honest accounting of the Greek.

Vicky

Bob Cleveland said...

Hmmm ... I just have to wonder if, were pastors and chaplains in the SBC mostly women, would we be able to find over 40% or so of our members? That seems to be about where us guys have brought the SBC .....

Anonymous said...

Vicki & Kelly,

Thank you for expounding on your understanding of 1 Tim., it has helped me understand your position. I would be very interested in your suggested translation of 1 Tim. 2:12 in light of your understanding of the whole passage. Or - if you are fine with the common translation, I need help understanding how it jives with your what you suggest is Paul's goal in this book.


God bless,
b. woodward

ezekiel said...

Sorry for the length here but all this wrangling is making my head hurt.

Galatians 3: 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, 26 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise.

Folks, if we truly abide in Him and He abides in us, then we are in Christ. No longer male and female. It is then the Father’s work that we do and that only by His power and His authority.(John 14:10) They are His works, not ours.

Phil 2:2 1 So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

When we say that women can’t teach men we come dangerously close to questioning the Potter in my opinion. After all, He makes the vessel as he wishes and it accomplishes His work.
Not ours, His.

What we see in this endless wrangling are those that would seek to establish a pecking order amongst His vessels and that too I think very dangerous.

Mark 9:34 But they kept silent, for on the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest. 35 And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.

When we have those among us that would hang their desires to exalt themselves above others with harping about one verse of scripture (not suffer a woman to teach) at the total neglect of all other scripture saying otherwise we need to re-evaluate whether or not they are doing the work of the Kingdom or their own. Are they clamoring for the higher seat or seeking to be the servant of all?

If in fact we are in Christ, having been crucified with Him and raised with Him, we are in fact sons of God.

Romans 8ff,

8:12 So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.

Way too many here appear to be walking in the flesh and arguing that way. Muddying the water and trampling the grass and totally discouraging rather than exhorting your BROTHERS to keep the faith and contend for the WORD. Scattering the flock or at least half of it.

Ez 34:17 As for you, my flock, thus says the Lord God: Behold, I judge between sheep and sheep, between rams and male goats. 18 Is it not enough for you to feed on the good pasture, that you must tread down with your feet the rest of your pasture; and to drink of clear water, that you must muddy the rest of the water with your feet? 19 And must my sheep eat what you have trodden with your feet, and drink what you have muddied with your feet? 20 Therefore, thus says the Lord God to them: Behold, I, I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep. 21 Because you push with side and shoulder, and thrust at all the weak with your horns, till you have scattered them abroad, 22 I will rescue my flock; they shall no longer be a prey. And I will judge between sheep and sheep. 23 And I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd. 24 And I, the Lord, will be their God, and my servant David shall be prince among them. I am the Lord; I have spoken.

David Wilson said...

I'm not getting into this except to say it saddens me deeply. But then, that seems to be what happens to me when I drop in on Ethics Daily, Baptist Press (at times), and some of the leading SBC blogs. I long for the day when the headlines read "30 souls claimed for Christ at West Point" instead.

Lyn said...

So many have suggested that those women who feel called to ministry just pick up their tents and head to another denomination. What if, except for matters of tertiary importance, you feel your beliefs/convictions align most closely to the SBC and would prefer to minister within that denomination? I just don't think the answer for these women is the "take their toys and leave."

Pamela said...

This is a sincere question that many women ask. Ultimately each woman will answer the the Lord for what they have done with what the Lord has spoken to them. I humbly feel that we are ultimately responsible for that, not where that call is fulfilled. The sad fact is that many groups will not accept us in certain aspects of ministry, even ones that we cherish. Many groups are not changing any time soon. How long should a woman wait on the hope that the leadership of a group they love change? Unfortunately His answer for them may be to take the toys and leave even though the idea may not be what is desired. This is a very difficult position to be in.

Others face similar issues when it comes to being a part of a group that is hostile to the moving of the Holy Spirit (healing, speaking in tongues, etc.). They have experienced this but feel like cow chips because of disdain being expressed for something they treasure. I have a good friend now that is struggling with this. He has been a part of a denomination that has been neutral on the matter. He told me over a year ago that he would probably leave the denomination. After a few months he had not left because the group was really a part of him. As of a couple of months ago he still has not left even though being there is hindering him. He not only feels that in most things he agrees with the doctrine. He also loves the people as well.

No Christian should have to make choices like this. Unfortunately they may have to be made in some cases.

Those that suggest that you take the toys and leave are revealing their disdain for you. There is no nice way to put it.

Tom Parker said...

Lyn:

I agree with what you are saying, but what if those in power will not allow women to serve in positions women feel they are called? I have two daughters, both of them christians, and particularly one of them, 19 years old, is dismayed at how women are viewed. She feels like there is no place her service is welcome in the SBC. I wish I had the answer for what is going on, but I do not.

Debbie Kaufman said...

David Wilson: I agree!

creed said...

Perhaps it would be germane to know that Paige Head stands on the shoulders of several who have gone before. I was at SWBTS in the
1970's with a young lady named Gloria Orengo who graduated from SWBTS with the MDiv, and sought without success to be ordained so she could become a military chaplain. She finally went to another denomination. Unless my memory is faulty, Gloria was the first female Chaplain in the Air Force and served her Lord and country for more than 20 years.
I heard Gloria preach while at SWBTS. I heard Gloria's testimony while at SWBTS. I was a friend and believed in her ministry. To bad her ministry and Paige's ministry must be so scrutinized because they are female, rather than the Gospel ministry they have and are doing.

Sam Creed

creed said...

Perhaps it would be germane to know that Paige Head stands on the shoulders of several who have gone before. I was at SWBTS in the
1970's with a young lady named Gloria Orengo who graduated from SWBTS with the MDiv, and sought without success to be ordained so she could become a military chaplain. She finally went to another denomination. Unless my memory is faulty, Gloria was the first female Chaplain in the Air Force and served her Lord and country for more than 20 years.
I heard Gloria preach while at SWBTS. I heard Gloria's testimony while at SWBTS. I was a friend and believed in her ministry. To bad her ministry and Paige's ministry must be so scrutinized because they are female, rather than the Gospel ministry they have and are doing.

Sam Creed

creed said...

Forgive me for striking the "rock" button twice and sending the same comment twice. I hope to still make it to the promise land.

Sam Creed

Jamie Steele said...

Wade,
Sounds to me like your doctrianl beliefs line up more with the New Baptist Covenant or the CBF.

GUNNY said...

Whoa!

You can't walk away from these comments for long, can you? The stream picks up steam and keeps on going.


Debbie asked me:
"Is there anything a man is limited in or he is free to do whatever role he desires in ministry?"

By that are you asking, "Is there anything from which a male is forbidden necessarily because he is a male?"

If so, I think the answer is no, other than the obvious childbearing privilege.

In other words, just because he is a male doesn't mean he can serve anywhere/anyway he wants.

Obviously, there may be many different things that can disqualify a male from various means of service, just as certain things were limited to the Levites under the Mosaic Covenant.


rex ray wrote:
"It’s been said that God can hit a lot of licks using crooked sticks.

I’m not implying women are crooked sticks, but fundamentalists are worrying too much about giving God a perfect stick when God can take any stick and make it perfect for his use. He can even use a donkey to teach a man."

While I think RR makes a valid point, one must be careful in how to take it.

Sure, God can take any stick and use it ... use it well, in fact. But there's a reason we train people and equip them, etc. It's because we think that a less crooked stick is more usable to God.

He has used a donkey, but he did so because it was Balaam who was being a ... well, slang term for donkey.


Bruce said...
"Gunny I just had to go get another roll of tape. I'm incredibly confused. Are you saying a woman preaching is doing the right thing with a wrong motive or doing the wrong thing with a right motive? Help me out."

Happy to hear I'm making happy those with stock in tape companies.

;-)

The concise answer to your specific question is, "No." That's because there's no biblical prohibition against a woman preaching.

However, I'm convinced the Scriptures teach that there are certain settings and audience in which a Christian woman ought not to preach.

With that in mind, the answer that you're probably really wanting to know is whether or not I think a woman preaching in a scenario such as one I've described is doing the wrong thing with the right motives.

I would say, "Yes."

Of course, some may not even agree with me that it's possible to do the wrong thing for the right reasons.

But, for example, I think it's wrong to lie to my children even though it may be expedient or make them feel better or whatever.

That's the only thing that comes to mind at the moment as an example.


Ezekiel said ...
"Folks, if we truly abide in Him and He abides in us, then we are in Christ. No longer male and female."

Just to be sure, Paul's words in Galatians aren't intended to remove all distinction, at least according to the same guy who made some of the distinctions/prohibitions that we're bantering back and forth.

Tom Parker said...

GunnY:

How do you think women could be helpful in the spiritual area as far as the military?

GUNNY said...

Having grown up in a military family, I honestly think the military spouses (generally wives) are a very neglected population.

They're away from their families, their husbands may be overseas or work crummy hours.

Some are recently making the transition from career to housewife and/or mother and have no familial support group.

A female would be vastly more effective in helping that population some man who cannot really relate or help by tapping into his experience.

I'm thinking we overlook the vital insight of Titus 2:3-5. As such, 60 percent of our congregations (among those we can find) wind up getting minimal spiritual coaching or guidance.

And far too often when they do get counsel, they wind up getting preyed upon by some maggot who takes advantage of her vulnerability, and we all know what I'm talking about.

Pamela said...

I was a military brat:) My Dad was in Germany when I was maybe 5 or 6 years old. A wonderful lady reached out to her while he was gone. I don't know how they met. I do not remember all the details but when Dad left my Mom was not a believer but when he came back she was. Eight years later he became a Christian. He just moved to heaven on 03/11. That lady has some good fruit for her labors.

Tom Parker said...

Gunny:

Are you saying women should minister to women in the military but not men?

GUNNY said...

Tom,

You crack me up.

;-]

I'm just trying to answer your questions, I guess, more than make an argument.

But, I guess a lot of the answer to your question depends on what you mean by "minister."

But in general I think men are more effective at discipling men and women with women.

So, in that case I would use "should" from a practical standpoint.

(Of course, I could write volumes on how I think we really don't fulfill the Great Commission because we're not really discipling.)

It seems to me that we really get hung up on "pulpit proclamation" as though that's the only thing that can be done of any substantial consequence.

I do that every Sunday morning and for years have taught its importance in seminary classrooms, but I have been humbled over the years as to how ineffective that really is in changing lives to the glory of God.

Or, perhaps a better way to say it is, I've been humbled by how much more effective in changing lives are the other things that take place in the life of the church.

Anonymous said...

B. Woodward,

I wonder if you would share what you hold to be the "common" translation of 1 Tim. 2:12.

I am aware of two "common" translations,

ocere autem mulieri non permitto neque dominari in virum sed esse in silentio The Vulgate

But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. KJV.
.

- dominari and usurp authority

(We know that hesuchia means quietness as well as silence since it is translated as "quiet" in verse 2.)

We do not know what authenteo means as there is only one other use of the word in the same century as the epistle. It appears to mean "coerce" or "compel" in the other citation.

I would appreciate it if anyone could offer one example of the use of authenteo where it means "to have authority" for a human being. I have read all the studies and curiously I have not seen even one example of this.

I have been asking on the internet for two years and have written to many theologians. I do not believe such an example will ever come to light.

Suzanne

Anonymous said...

B. Woodward,
First let me say that when it speaks of a woman learning in silence and in full submission in verse 11 I think it is a better understanding of the text to understand that her learning and submission is the learning and submission of and to the Word, not a man. Paul speaks of her being silent here and at the end of 12. It is what is in the middle of those two book ends that she is to be silent about.

With that in mind, here is an attempted translation of I Timothy 2:12.

"No, I do not allow a woman to teach (she is) to dominate (ie. have authority) on the basis of being the source of man, but in (this) to be silent."

This was a false doctrine woman from the Artemis cult were bringing into the church and Paul was answering the question of how to deal with the discipleship of these women.

This chapter begins with Paul telling Timothy he needs to be in constant prayer for the authorities in the civil realm. This was important because the discipleship of men and women coming into the church from the Artemis cult, Gnosticism, and other cults would turn heads and could easily bring persecution.

First, he talks about the attitude of the men and how it needs to change. Then he goes on to talk about the women who through constant exposure to the Artemis cult, whether they have been temple prostitutes themselves or wives of men who constantly had to compete with the temple prostitutes for their husbands attention. The first area he addresses therefore is their way of dress. This makes perfect since to me. They would have had to learn how to be Christian in every aspect of their lives. They would have had no idea how a Christian woman acts or dresses, these had to be learned. Then he talks about the false doctrine and false genealogy these women were bringing with them into the church.

In Chapter 3 Paul goes on to discuss those who have been a part of the church for a while and were possible candidates for leadership. The above group, both male and female, were not yet ready for that. They were still two young in the faith and still needed to leave certain things behind. This is simply the reality of discipleship. Paul deals with the new believer first, and the issues he knew, based on experience, that Timothy would be dealing with, and then he talks about those who had had time to grow in their faith.

Suzanne,
I am sure that coercion was probably a part of how they were trying to teach this false genealogy and doctrine.

Vicky

g."bear"allen said...

"witchcraft" comment?? Good grief we are going back to dark ages. I am not personably comfortable about the conducting marriage part by the chaplain but she has a great outreach to the troops. I personally believe that there is an accountability aspect by pastors when they marry a husband and wife. It is not just an matter of observance of a marriage.

Anonymous said...

I think there is a huge elephant in the room that some people are ignoring. If we stopped women from doing any ministry in the church, most churches would cease performing ministry in a few days. In every church I have ever been a member of, the women of the church did the vast majority of the ministering, particularly in the smaller churches. Say what you want about teaching or having authority over men, etc., but when the rubber hits the road women do the lions share of the real ministry in the church. Any one who does not see this is blind. In most churches I have seen, the majority of the men sit back and watch the women do the work. The men only get involved when there is going to be a good fight in the business meeting.

DLF

Lin said...

"Folks, if we truly abide in Him and He abides in us, then we are in Christ. No longer male and female."

Just to be sure, Paul's words in Galatians aren't intended to remove all distinction, at least according to the same guy who made some of the distinctions/prohibitions that we're bantering back and forth.

Tue Apr 08, 06:12:00 PM 2008

That is the WHOLE point. It is YOUR interpretation that he did contradict himself such as 1 Corin 11 to 1 Corin 14. How can that be? How can there be so many other contradictions? There aren't. Only faulty interpretations which seem to come from 'men'. :o)

ezekiel said...

lin,

Exactly. What we have is people proclaiming that women can't teach men in spite of numerous contradictions throughout scripture. To pick one and fight to the death over it and totally ignore the other is a bit suspect in my opinion.

Especially when it is used to discriminate against our Brothers.....Brother.

It is time, I think, to come together as the Body of Christ with one head and hopefully, we all know who that is. We are not going to do that as long as we have leaders that insist on creating divisions in the body by selectively applying scripture or not being man enough to simply say that we don't understand it. Then let the command to love our neighbor and love God be primary rather than a fight for status.

Jesus tells us that there are going to be those that pride themselves as workers of the kingdom that he is going to tell "depart from me" "I never knew you"
(Mat 7:22-23) I can't help but think some of them will be those that teach women as being somehow inferior in the Kingdom.

GUNNY said...

Lin,

I would lay Ephesians 5:22-33 in there as well, where there is clearly distinction made for the New Covenant believers/community.

I guess I could have spent more time exegetically trying to demonstrate that Gal 3 doesn't mean there are no distinctions whatsoever, but I guess I was figuring that was obvious because of those referenced passages.

But, it didn't occur to me at the time that there were so many that see no distinctions or stipulations whatsoever with regard to women in ministry.

I'm not foolish enough to think I could persuade someone so inclined in the comments section of a blog, however.

;-)


DLF said ...

"If we stopped women from doing any ministry in the church, most churches would cease performing ministry in a few days. ... Say what you want about teaching or having authority over men, etc., but when the rubber hits the road women do the lions share of the real ministry in the church."

Undeniable truth has been spoken.

Anonymous said...

Suzanne,

1) When I mentioned the "common translation" of 1 Tim. 2:12, I didn't mean that all translations understand the verse is essentially the same way, but in response to the discussion we were having over the conjunction "oude", I was suggesting that all modern translations take this as a disjunctive, not an emphatic or the introduction of a content clause, as some others were suggesting. It seems from your referencing of the Vulgate that it too takes "oude" to be a disjunctive, not an emphatic particle. (that means Paul is saying, "I do not permit a woman to x NOR to y" not "I do not permit a woman to x THAT y.")

2) And if the issue were pressed, no I wouldn't consider the Vulgate a "common translation" but a "historic translation." By saying common I simply meant that all the modern translations I looked at took the "oude" as an disjunctive (which is also how lexicons list this word.)

3) I did admit in a previous comment that my thoughts on this little conjunction did not exhaust "all the exegetical difficulties with this passage" and yours is a valid difficulty. You've clearly studied this more than me and I don't really have anything to offer to your question as I haven't studied all the uses of that verb.


PS - for the record, I do not accept that there is a preponderance of evidence for the abolition of all role distinctions between genders in the Bible (or the NT for that matter), to which I and many other simply rebel against in order to suppress women. I am sure there are those who twist the Scriptures intentionally (some to suppress women according to sinful patriarchy, and others to exalt women according to sinful feminism of the past century). I also understand what the Bible says about my heart enough to admit that my heart may have biases that I am still not aware of, but I (like many of you) am just trying to make sense of the whole Bible's teaching on this matter and thus follow the teaching of my Lord. (Gen 1-2, Eph 5, 1 Peter 3, 1 Tim. 2, etc.) Anyone who suggests that this is a straightforward issue that can be concluded by one blog comment doesn't understand its complexity and hasn't read the arguments by the scholars debating this issue.

I'll let someone else have the last word now.

God bless,
b. woodward


PSS - Vicky, thanks for your thoughts on this passage. I'll have to study on my own to weigh your ideas.

Lindon said...

"I guess I could have spent more time exegetically trying to demonstrate that Gal 3 doesn't mean there are no distinctions whatsoever, but I guess I was figuring that was obvious because of those referenced passages."

Gunny, I believe the key to Galatians 3 is "In the Lord"..there is no....

We know Christ did not dimantle the structure of society as in ending slavery or the household codes of Greco-Roman culture. But Christians were to be different than their culture. It was quite the scandal that women learned at His feet and followed Him around even paying for his needs!

So a slave who was saved was legally still a slave in that culture but between Christians he was a brother in Christ and treated as a co-heir with all the benefits of being a co-heir within the Body. That slave was part of the priesthood and had the same standing as his master before the Master. Same with women and Gentiles.

Lindon said...

"I would lay Ephesians 5:22-33 in there as well, where there is clearly distinction made for the New Covenant believers/community."

Take out all the verse numbers of Eph 5 and read it straight like the letter it was intended to be. :o)

greg.w.h said...

Ezekiel said:

Exactly. What we have is people proclaiming that women can't teach men in spite of numerous contradictions throughout scripture. To pick one and fight to the death over it and totally ignore the other is a bit suspect in my opinion.

I think that argument is a strong one. And it goes both ways: where Scripture has clearly spoken, even if there seem to be contradictions, we need to acknowledge its clarity. When it has ambiguously spoken, we need to acknowledge its ambiguity.

I don't know, though, given the history of division in the church that we can ascribe motives to those who choose distinctions that lead to further division. That seems to be a road that runs both ways, to me. Someone facing one direction on that road only sees the faults of those going in that direction while another facing the other direction only sees the faults of those going in THAT direction.

Greg Harvey

Debbie Kaufman said...

My next question would be one I have asked before: First I obviously do not have enough space to address the scriptures given here, I think the two questions I would have is one I have asked before, does the Bible teach that God has a gender(male) or that He is genderless and Spirit? Second: Could those of either view cooperate with one who does not share their view in the SBC. Would there be a place at the table for one who was not fully complementarian? Are they considered Southern Baptist?

Debbie Kaufman said...

Gunny: I for one appreciate your honesty, your willingness to answer the questions and your attitude. I still think we need more like you in our seminaries.

Anonymous said...

There is one thing that seems to be missing in all this dialogue, the premise of women not leading or teaching over a man is really not about any aspect of a womans incapability. It is when they are incapable or teaching falsely about a matter that seems to be what Paul is indicating. A good example recently is that of Oprah Winfrey and her church. She is great person that is very altruistically motivated but if I were to be taught by her because of such charity I would be led into apostasy.

Anonymous said...

I don't really have anything to offer to your question as I haven't studied all the uses of that verb.

There is only one and it appears to mean coerce.

Suzanne

Anonymous said...

Smme clarity with the previous response. I may be so taken by her charity that I may be led into accepting her strange teaching of God. Her altruism should still be highly commended. Interestingly enough there are influential males in this country that are much like Oprah. We don't see the SBC kicing them out of their deaconship.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Wade, for sharing this post. I find it disturbing that the SBC is consistently choosing not to fellowship with women who minister in the name of the Lord. Do we really believe that God does not call women to ministry? Do we really believe that women can minister only to women, children, and their husbands? These are certainly great ministries, but what about counseling, witnessing, testifying before an audience, preaching the Word of God, etc. I do not see anything in Scripture that prevents women from doing these things. Am I wrong here?

Pamela said...

Unfortunately a lot of men say they believe it. However it does not appears to be applied across the board. In many groups if men are not on the foreign field they have no problem with a woman in the pastorate. However when those women come back to the US they are 'out of order'. Women accept it if they happen to be in groups that teach it but I doubt deep down there are many women that truly believe that is correct. Those that do are probably married to men that do.

I agree that it makes no sense and appears hypocritical to me.

This is just my opinion.

Anonymous said...

I have said this before about the legalism with this issue..It is not about a woman's capabilities to read, teach or lead discussions. In many cases, it is Biblically supported to do so. A man that is in the formative development of discipleship needs a male mentor. The Bible supports this. Now the talk about a women's place should be, etc, etc, by some is garbage and not really addressing the problem with modernism properly. If I remember rightly most all of Western liberalal thought originated with males..not females.

Charlotte Fairchild said...

Hey Ya'll,
Imagine Jesus in a recliner drinking a beer and watching a sports game, and eating chips while the wife does the laundry, dishes, diapers and bills, and maybe garbage. Imagine the church working harder than Jesus. Imagine Jesus calling his wife names and beating her and telling her she can't talk because it would make Satan unhappy if she brought anyone to believe in God--because Salvation is not so we can pray to Jesus, but only in his name to Goo be responsible for all souls and men really need it. Imagine tearing out words from women and everything a woman says that men quote out loud in the Bible because these women would be teaching and having authority over men? Imagine if women left the church and only the men would teach, sing, and support with tithes and cooking.
The University of Minnesota has stats that fundamentalist churches have the same rate or probably higher domestic violence than non-church goers and more than those awful and peaceful liberal churches where they don't have as much domestic violence because submissive women are supposed to suffer so men can be forgiven more and women can be better than Jesus in suffering? Statistically, how many children are molested by the women preachers out there? Since 95% of all molestation of children is only from males, and every denomination has too much of molestation of children maybe we could consider all female ministers in the future? And then chaplains deal primarily with trauma, whether in war or in hospitals or in nursing homes. Can you imagine just how much good a male chaplain is to a woman gang raped? Or to a woman who just lost twins and was molested by a man as a child? Mather wrote the only spiritual book on molestation with stats that I have found from the US Justice Dept., and it is on Amazon.

Was anyone ordained for anything in the New Testament except waiting tables? Oh, and anyone can join this and go about doing ministry and accepting donations with tax benefits from Uncle Sam: http://tmcimissions.org/members.htm, and if anyone gets backing from a church and isn't divorced they can become a marketplace chaplain. No denomination needed.

If it is true that we are subject to men and Gen. 3 is still in place because Jesus dying on the cross didn't change the plight of women, then all the women need to quit using pain meds for childbirth, because it is a requirement to suffer--because everyone knows the church is competing with Christ, and we as women have to work harder than Christ would, suffer more than Christ would, and be more of a servant than Christ would because Christ is stuck in that recliner. I didn't even mention promiscuity, sexually transmitted diseases, and babies dying because Daddy gave it to Mommy, which happens a whole lot more than Mommy giving it to Daddy and him breast feeding that baby and the baby dying of AID's. So if all the men in the world disappeared tomorrow, exactly how many wars and murders and how much violence and rape would we expect? Maybe we don't want women teaching and having authority because women who teach and have authority need protection because men are too kind and compassionate and chaste and loving and supportive and non-competitive? It is like proof texting, "Judas hung himself" page turn, page turn, "Go and do thou so likewise." If we give women power, they will be hurt by men because. . . men don't want power and money?

Is the world better with the SBC having mostly male leadership? How? Is Satan happier with women silent and unable to buy things for people in ministry because they aren't paid and they don't have the resources to do things for people? In my neck of the woods, all the chaplains are male, except one woman who works in a nursing home. So all the women raped, beaten, losing babies, or experiencing any trauma get a man, and so do the 85% of the staff who are female. They accept women volunteers with all the same credentials--but they never get paid and they aren't covered for counseling even if the women are ministering during the most horrible traumas over and over again. I was the only chaplain at one hospital to show up for 9/11, and I stayed for 3 shifts, but they wouldn't hire me (Emory Medical Center) because Baptist ministers who didn't show up disapproved of a woman at Emory Parkway Medical Center in 2001. They accepted the same ministry, but I was not allowed to make money, so I didn't adopt a child and some of the ministry I would have liked to do is waiting until I get money from a murder mystery. (Murder On The Silver Comet Trail which is on Amazon) If I could wave a magic wand, I would take away all pay for ministry and give men periods. We would see who the real men are then. Love in the name of the Christ who never sat in the recliner,
Charlotte

Anonymous said...

Wade, i was searching the NAMB website for Paige and she isn't listed as a chaplain there. is she still sponsored by the NAMB or has she had to go another route? By not posting her name, are they disavowing any knowledge of her?