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

The Role of Men and Women in the Home and Church Is Not an Essential of the Christian Faith

A Christian's understanding of any alleged roles of men and women in the home and church often comes from listening to a pastor's rote teaching rather than personal researched learning.

"Be diligent ... to correctly handle the word of truth." (2 Timothy 2:15).

It seems clear through a casual reading of the Bible--much less robust research--that Jesus Christ treats men and women as equals, a behavior that was contrary to the views and practices of His fellow Jews during Old Covenant days (1500 B.C. to A.D. 70).

Though there's disagreement among evangelical Bible-believers on this issue, to say someone who disagrees with your view is "preaching a false gospel" is foolish.

Sinners are saved by the Person and work of Jesus Christ, not by a proper, biblical view on the roles of men and women.

So those who wrongly teach that God designed only men to have "spiritual authority" and women (not men) are to have "submissive attitudes" are directly contradicting the infallible teachings of the New Testament which clearly state that Christ alone has all spiritual authority in His Kingdom (Matthew 28:18), that leadership in His Kingdom is humbly serving others out of the power of one's spiritual giftings (I Peter 4:10), and that all Christians are to "submit to one another" and  to "love one another" (Ephesians 5:21; John 13:34).

But being unbiblical and restrictive on the roles of men and women does not mean these people lack the Gospel.

If, however, there is a demand for conformity to a particular interpretation on this issue, rather than granting the freedom to disagree over the role of men and women in the home and church, then we may be playing the fool.

Let me explain.


Spurgeon Says a Fool Focuses on the Non-Essentials

Charles Spurgeon once began a message on the text "without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins" (Hebrews 9:22) with an illustration of three fools.

The first fool, Spurgeon said, is the ship's captain who goes below deck during a ferocious storm to read an encyclopedia on the nature of Atlantic winds rather than fighting to keep his boat afloat.

The second fool is the wounded soldier on the battlefield who asks the arriving medic all kinds of questions about the size, shape, and model of the gun that fired the bullet which wounded the soldier rather than asking the physician if he's able to heal him.

The third fool is the religious person who continually argues the subtle philosophical questions about the origin and nature of evil while ignoring the absolute truth that Christ's blood is able to cleanse his sins (Hebrews 9:14).

Spurgeon said all three fools have one thing in common:
They trifle with subtleties while they ignore certainties
A fool is one who spends time and wastes energy on matters that shouldn't matter.

The "role" of women in the church and home shouldn't matter when it comes to Christian cooperation, mission work, and spreading the Good News to a world in need of deliverance.

Some Christian leaders advocate that God's design is for men to rule and lead while women are to receive and submit. Fine. But when Christians demand others churches, evangelicals, and missions organizations conform to such beliefs, then they are in danger of "trifling with subtleties while ignoring certainties."

A demand for conformity on the alleged roles of men and women is taking a non-essential belief and turning into a measuring stick for believing the gospel.


The Danger of Making the Gospel About Gender

The overwhelming New Testament teaching of the Bible regarding men and women in the church is clear -- "gender differences are irrelevant in the church of Jesus Christ."  

The Apostle Paul says:
"All of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus." (Galatians 3:27-28). 
Paul is emphatic that there is no room in the body of Jesus Christ for racial distinctions, no room for class distinctions, no room for gender distinctions. You may disagree with this assessment, but to make faithful gospel preaching hinge on an agreement with your views on gender is foolish. People are dying.

God's people in the New Covenant are called to serve based upon the giftings given to them by the Holy Spirit:
"I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy" (Acts 2:17). 
Men who refuse a woman to serve, read, lead, or teach (when men are present) seem to be twisting the gospel of freedom in Christ into a doctrine of bondage by gender. 

To restrict a Holy Spirit gifted and empowered woman from edifying other believers through the free exercise of her Spirit given gifts seems to be a resistance to the Holy Spirit.

Some of the most gifted leaders, teachers, and role models are women!


The Old Hebrew Way Is Not the Christian Way

An ancient Jewish prayer from the Hebrew Siddur (prayer book) went like this:
"Blessed are you, Hashem, King of the Universe, for not having made me a Gentile. Blessed are you, Hashem, King of the Universe, for not having made me a slave. Blessed are you, Hashem, King of the Universe, for not having made me a woman." 
Hashem was the Hebrew name for the one true God. It meant "The Name" and was used by Jews to refer to God since the days of Ezekiel.  

The same spirit ancient Jews possessed that caused them to believe that only men were created to rule and lead and that women were created to receive and submit is the same spirit now at work in more than a few evangelical Christian leaders. 

Interestingly, the rise of the Hebrew Siddur (prayer book) coincides with the glory of God departing the Temple of Jerusalem in the days of Ezekiel (see Ezekiel 10). Jewish Temple worship continued, but it was during this Spirit-less intertestamental time period that you have the rise of the Pharisees, Sadducees, and other male-only Jewish orders that were continually focusing on male "authority," male "leadership," and male "power." 

A preoccupation and fixation on authority (whether it be conservative patriarchalism or liberal feminism), is a sign that the Spirit of God has departed. 

Jesus Christ explicitly forbids any one individual assuming authority over other adults in the Christian community (Matthew 20:20-28). In fact, after describing the imperialism of political rulers and the authority fixation of religious rulers, Jesus said to his disciples:
"It shall not be so among you" (Matthew 20:26).
The New Testament covenant of God's grace through faith in Jesus Christ totally turns the world's concept of authority on its ear.

The world is concerned about position, power, authority, prestige, control, and ruling over others. Jesus Christ teaches His followers to serve, to love, to express their spiritual gifts to their fullest for the good of others, and to never fear what any person in so-called "authority" can do to them because "All authority ... has been given to Me" (Matthew 28:18).

There is to be mutual equality, respect, and submission within the home between husband and wife (Ephesians 5:21-33). There is to be mutual equality, respect and submission of men and women toward one another in the body of Christ based upon the gifts that the Spirit gives to each male and female believer who has been baptized into Christ (Acts 2:15-21; Galatians 3:28).

References to the churches' teaching ministry and other gifts are found in Romans 12, I Corinthians 12, and Ephesians 4 and not one of those passages excludes females from being recipients of any one of those gifts. 

Let me say that again in a different way:
The gifts of the Spirit in the New Covenant are never differentiated on the basis of gender.

Paul's Teaching about Women

"But what about Paul telling women 'to be silent' in the presence of men, and 'to learn' in quietness and submission from men?" you may ask. For example, Paul writes:
 "A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet." (I Timothy 2:11-12). 
Scripture never contradicts Scripture. Therefore, if you believe Paul is giving a general and universal principle that no woman, at anytime or anywhere, may ever teach men or have authority over men, then you believe the Scripture contradicts itself.

All the other Pauline books, including Galatians, Romans, I Corinthians, Ephesians, as well as the other New Testament books written by Peter, John, Luke, Matthew, and other early disciples of Christ, never separate the gifts of the Spirit according to gender. 

So how does one understand I Timothy 2:11-12. I give one explanation for this text here, an interpretation that is consistent with the rest of New Testament teaching regarding men and women.

But for a fuller explanation, I'd encourage you to obtain Jon Zen's book What's With Paul and Women. After reading Zens, you will never again feel the need to restrict women in the home or in the church.


Spirit-Gifted, Humble Servant Leaders in the Home and Church


One of the advantages of being the pastor of a New Testament church where the Word of God is respected, believed, and practiced is that both men and women lead, serve, teach, and shepherd based upon their gifts.

We believe the concept of positions of power and authority held by "elders" is foreign to the New Testament. The word elder means "older." Look to your elders for wisdom.

Again, the notion of some raw authority in an office of pastor or elder is foreign to the New Testament. Every believer in Christ is a priest in the Kingdom of Christ.

Our church has a Leadership Team composed of both men and women. I am a pastor, but there is no inherent spiritual authority in me or any "office" I hold.

Jesus Christ alone is the spiritual authority over his people. I serve people. I love people.

I lead people only if they are willing to follow--and frankly, if I do a poor job of serving and loving, they ought not to follow.

One of these days the church of Jesus Christ is going to wake up to the fact that we have so twisted and corrupted the concept of authority and leadership that what we have abandoned the clear and precise teachings of the New Testament.

The ancient Jews kept women in the courtyard and placed a fence around the Temple grounds lest a woman feel compelled to enter the Holy Place. The sacred rituals were performed by male priests. The sacred services were led by male priests.

Modern-day conservative evangelicals and liberal feminists often violate clear teachings of Jesus Christ and seem to wish to resurrect the Old economy of Temple buildings, gender priesthoods, and religious rituals.


Jesus Abolished all the Old Economy (Old Covenant) the New Agreement (New Covenant). 

The Temple of God is no longer a building, it is the soul of a believer (I Corinthians 6:19). The priests of God are no longer just male, they are both male and female (Galatians 3:28). The rituals of God are no longer holy days, sacrifices, and feasts, but faith in Christ and love for God and our fellow man (Colossians 2:16; John 13:3).

The body of Jesus Christ is to make no distinctions in race, class, and gender. The gospel of Jesus Christ is a gospel that sets the captives free to serve as the Holy Spirit gifts.

To revoke the privilege of a gifted, believing woman from reading Scripture or teaching men, or to have leadership in the home or church is to violate the clear and certain teaching of the New Testament.

Is there room for disagreement on this issue among evangelical Christians?

Sure.

But if conservative, Bible-believing, Christ-loving, Spirit-filled, graced people demand conformity on over the "roles" of men and women in the home and church, then we are trifling with subtleties while ignoring certainties.

65 comments:

Jon L. Estes said...

Wade,

Even if I agreed with your premise, there are some major conflict in what you are saying.

My day is ending and I have tomorrow off so I will address these few conflicting comments on Wednesday.


Maybe I just need to find clarification of how one comment supports another... that is always possible.

Anonymous said...

I'm confused by this post also. If we truly have no head but Jesus (and I absolutely agree with you there) then if an individual has convictions that say a woman should not preach in mixed groups would that person not be sinning if they stay and listen? Should they not exit?

I freely admit to having walked out of two sermons. Both were with male preachers that I believe were preaching a false gospel. So I grabbed my stuff and quietly left.

Even if women can preach, (which not all agree to) how is it sinful to refuse to listen if personal conviction is women cannot preach to a mixed crowd?

The priesthood of THE believer should afford them that right without being labelled sinner, or am I totally misunderstanding this post?

Linda

Wade Burleson said...

Linda,

"Even if women can preach, (which not all agree to) how is it sinful to refuse to listen if personal conviction is women cannot preach to a mixed crowd? The priesthood of THE believer should afford them that right without being labelled sinner, or am I totally misunderstanding this post?

That's the point of this post. Of course you can do it - just like a captain CAN study the encyclopedia to gather information about wind rather than try to save his capsizing boat, or just like the physician CAN be only interested in asking questions about the type, size, and caliber of the bullet that wounded a soldier instead of actually healing the man shot on the battlefield, or just like a theologian can debate all the fine philosophies of the origin of evil and miss telling the cab driver that the blood of Jesus Christ can cleanse him of his sin.

A Christian CAN walk out, but what's the purpose?

To "obey" God? Then it seems to me you're viewing God as more interested in you knowing information about storms than being able to calm storms, to glean material on the power and efficacy of weapons rather than to heal the wounded, and to debate philosophical matters (can a woman teach) than to bring men and women to faith in Jesus Christ.

That's the point of my post.

We're making non-essential issues essential. We are trifling with subtleties while ignoring certainties.

Sure, one CAN walk out, but if a CONVENTION is more interested in walking out when a woman is in leadership or teaching someone truth than they are listening to the wisdom of the woman or the transformational truth she communicates, then I'm arguing we are playing the fool.

The New Testament has a message for wounded, dying, and broken sinners. Let's keep that central.

Sallie Borrink said...

Here's a way for people to think about this.

There is a church down the road from you that is preaching the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. The Gospel is transforming lives and you personally meet people who have been changed by the Holy Spirit coming in and making them into new creatures. The old has clearly gone and the new has come.

Then you discover the church is pastored by a woman.

Does it matter to you that the Gospel is being preached by a gifted woman and God is working through a woman?

Are you more upset that a woman is preaching or are you more thrilled that the lost have been saved?

Do you now become "suspicious" of the conversions because a woman is the pastor?

Would you discourage people from attending that church because it is pastored by a woman even though God is clearly at work there transforming lives?

Jacque said...

Wade, what a powerful statement. I once heard it said like this “ why are we rearranging the deck chairs on the titanic?” I used to teach the hiearchical view of marriage to women way back in the late 70’s and 80’s. I began to learn how to study for myself and learned to use the greek and hebrew interlinear and educate myself rather than accept what others taught me without question. I will never forget the day I discovered that the Hebrew word for “helper” was a common word used in the old testament and that it is not used for a subordinate unless you read it into the passage in Genesis. In fact it is used in Psalms 54:4 to refer to God as my helper. I remember realizing what Paul was really doing in Ephesians 5 when he said to “submit to one another” then took 3 sets of relationships and transformed them. In that culture, wives were already submissive, children could be stoned for being disobedient, and slaves were owned! Paul told husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church. (By the way, what greater image of submission is there in all of history?). Fathers were told to not provoke their children and masters to consider their slaves as brother! He was demonstrating how to “submit to one another”. I cant read this passage any other way! However, if someone else can, that does not mean that they are not worthy of being my brother or sister in Christ! Or that they do not believe the Bible! Or that I cannot listen to them even if I disagree with them! How arrogant would I be if I could not do that? Actually I sat through several sermons by my own pastor several weeks ago on the Ephesian 5, messages that were painful because they were so wrong! There were gracious conversations later with him by my husband because we both decided that he probably wouldnt listen to me, but we didnt get up and leave. Nor do I believe that everything he teaches is contaminated by our difference in this area.

To determine that someone is “liberal” just because they have a different interpretation of Scripture regarding the role of women in the church and home is just legalistic and close minded. I believe it is fear that contrains us. Satan will do everything he can to prevent us from reading Scripture through new covenant eyes!

Samuel Conner said...

Am halfway through Zens' book; it is very helpful.

While I don't embrace complementarianism, I think there are some
concerns held by at least some of its advocates that may be valid.

One of these concerns, I think, relates to the idea of "representation".
Human beings are image-bearers, representations of God.

The male/female marriage relationship seems to function in both Testaments
as a representational analogy of God's relationship with His people.

I suspect that complementarians worry that churches will be unable to
function "representationally" if this aspect is not properly ("properly"
in their view) modeled in male/female hierarchy.

---

Having said all that, my perception is that complementarians are much more
concerned with female failure to image (by submission) the church/Christ relationship
than with male failure to image (by sacrificial self giving) the Christ/church
relationship. Failure to image Christ's perfections would seem to be a more serious
deficiency than failure to image the Church, imperfect as it now is. So the inverted
emphasis strikes me as puzzling and even a bit troubling.

I'll also note that it appears that God's ultimate purposes involve bringing
His people into perfect conformity with the likeness of Jesus (Romans 8, 1 Jn 3).
The idea of eternal gender-based subordination strikes me as silly. Gender relations
in the Age to Come will not be like what they are in the present age.

Anonymous said...

Wow some huge assumptions are being made here:

Why assume the preaching of any man or woman, either one, is producing changed lives and seeing folks converted?

In the case of the two MEN preachers, I left when it became apparent both of them were part of a group that holds extremely unorthodox views concerning salvation. That is to say, that Jesus did not pay for our sins on the cross, but rather paid for them when He suffered in hell. Both of them also stated that unless you speak in tongues you are not saved, and that they had a mentor who could raise people from the dead today.

So no, I did not see lives changed and people finding Jesus or the lost saved.

We have transferred a great deal and attended many different churches. I personally do not believe in the ordination of anyone, male or female. When it comes to preaching I believe the most ordinary understanding of the Bible is that in general God calls men to the task for a variety of reasons (none being that women cannot do so as they are somehow lesser) but that if men are not preaching the truth in a given a locale God may very well call a woman.

I've listened to and had women appointed as pastor in churches I attended. One I believe was truly God ordained to speak truth to power in her denomination, one that was quickly sliding into apostasy. I would put her up against Wesley or Spurgeon any day. The second time the church I attended had a woman pastor was a train wreck in the sense she did not preach Jesus at all. One sermon text was the Wizard of Oz, another a pop song, and again no lives being transformed or folks saved. This was not because she was a woman, but because she clearly was not called to preach. The third time the lady preacher was overtly and aggressively trying to bring several forms of rank sin including adultery under the shelter and blessing of the church, as in official blessing. I walked out there also at the end of that service (too squeezed in the pew to exit any earlier) and never went back.

So--many men and one woman preaching the truth and I stayed and listened. Two men and two women I will not listen to again because I believe what they taught was heresy.

My point? IN LIKE MANNER some folks believe for a woman to EVER preach in mixed company is rank heresy. For THAT PERSON, who cannot listen to her without violating his or her conscience, to stay and listen would be sin since it cannot be of faith.

That isn't playing the fool. It is avoiding playing with fire.

Either the priesthood of THE believer applies to the person who does not accept women preaching or it cannot apply to those who do.

Which is why I am confused by this post--it seems one of those "if you agree with me you are virtuous and if you don't you are merely foolish" things this blog has battled for years. Bit confounding because this post sounds like that sort of reasoning.

Linda

Debbie Kaufman said...

I am complementarian, yet I have fought for the valuing of women especially in churches and homes. I have always loved my church because women are elevated and listened to their. Our gifts are taken seriously and used to better the church and the world around us.

We do not have to ask to use these gifts, but are free to use them as God leads. Having said all of this, I am a complementarian who believes that this has developed into Patriarchy and gotten away from the very scriptures that were fought for during the Conservative Resurgence. Southern Baptists are now doing a 180 in the right direction. I do not believe Complementarians are as strict as outsiders believe them to be. I am not so far from your view, I do not believe women should be pastors, but could go to a church where there was one for the reasons given here. I am not alone. I would not walk out. I believe the husband guides the home in a servant leadership with much love and gentleness, wanting the best for the family, and trusting his wife to aid him in this as well as make the decisions if he is gone.


I have been studying scripture closely and praying for clarity for many years. I have taught, I have been taught. I do not fear or down egalitarians until they get radical and force me to be one. I disagree with Patriarchy as it harms women, children and is just a crazy doctrine.


I believe women can teach and if men willingly come hear this teacher(such as Beth Moore) that does not go against scripture. They are not her covering or giving her permission to teach both, she is willingly doing so. I believe a woman could be SBC President. I hope this clarifies what many who are complementarian believe.

David said...

Something to consider: there are many example of women leading, teaching, prophesying, serving throughout the Old and New Testament. I've never counted the number of instances, but a rough mental guess would have them at more than a couple dozen. The one thing that stands out to me is that NEVER is a woman called out by name and rebuked for doing so except for one circumstance which is in Rev. 2 where "that Jezebel" is criticized and yet it's for what she is teaching rather than the fact that she is teaching. King Josiah, considered one of the greatest kings, had Huldah the prophet advise him. If she was out of line, shouldn't Josiah have been cursed or failed?

With a couple dozen plus examples of legitimate female activity in the Bible, I consider it wise to grab the idea that I Tim. 2 is more of a local situation rather than a universal command, if someone is willing to take the time to study it out honestly. And I believe Wade alludes to that in this post.

Well done, Wade. This is a very, very good post.

Bob Cleveland said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bob Cleveland said...

God says He gives all increase.

PERIOD.

So if you repent of sin, confess and are saved, it is GOD that did it.

Scripture is a matter of revelation, not education. If someone hears a simple gospel, simply explained, and is saved, it is God (via the Holy Ghost) Who did it. Same for all other increase.

Further, not everything said .. or promised .. anywhere in Scripture applies to everyone for all time. We don't get whatever we ask for, despite that Scripture does say ask and ye shall receive. Context, please....

God appointed female judges, queens, prophetesses, deaconesses and teachers in the OT and some in the new. Are we to think He made a mistake in so doing?

Good post, Wade. And needed.

Dan Malone said...


Wade,

First, congratulations on your most recent success in bringing truth to light in the SBC and in such a compelling manner. You continue to do your best to remain irenic in the current ensuing crisis, and continue advocating for a unified SBC made up of churches who can disagree on tertiary issues while still cooperating in missions, evangelism, disaster relief, and other worthy causes.

However, by taking a stated position in this post that it is "Fine" if "[s]ome Christian leaders advocate that God's design is for men to rule and lead while women are to receive and submit," you fall into the error and thus leave the door open for SBC members and messengers – and thus SBC leaders -- to continue in Patterson's ilk. I know you don't personally believe this is acceptable, or a correct reading of Scripture. However, in allowing the possibility for acceptability of this dogma, you leave the welcome door open for the Paige Pattersons of the world – and there are many of them, including our current U.S. President -- who simply have low regard for all women. In the SBC, these men attempt to use Holy Scripture to justify it; in other nations and religious spheres, men assume this superiority because they are typically physically and/or politically able to.

It is time to proclaim that all of these men - whether in the SBC or elsewhere -- have no place in a civil society, much less in Christian denomination/convention. My charitable giving will no longer support them.

"Moderate Baptists" like former Baylor President Herbert Reynolds, a psychologist by educational training, predicted several decades ago that the SBC would continue to shrink and become irrelevant as its chauvinistic-thinking leaders devoured or excommunicated those who didn't believe like them. It has now reached a crescendo, and the moment of "no turning back" has arrived.

You are a gift to the SBC, Wade. However, if the non-chauvinistic leaders left in the SBC are unwilling to capture this moment in history to rid the SBC of its chauvinistic devourers, such dereliction of duty will become the final nail in the coffin of one of the (formerly) great movements in evangelical Christian history.

Dan Malone

Christiane said...

Hello Bob Cleveland,

I hold you in the highest respect, which I think you know, so I hope my comment will be received in the spirit of 'dialogue' that is well-intended.

You wrote: "So if you repent of sin, confess and are saved, it is GOD that did it."

And reading that, I thought I would share something from my own tradition for you to think about, this:

"“” In spite of the all-powerful strength of God’s merciful hand,
which touches, enfolds and bends the souls with so many inspirations, calls and attractions,
the human will remains perfectly FREE, unfettered, and exempt from every form of constraint and necessity.

Grace is so gracious, and so graciously does it seize our hearts in order to draw them on, that it in no wise impairs the liberty of our will…
grace has a holy violence, not to violate our liberty but to make it full of love…it presses us but does not oppress our freedom…”
(Francis DeSales)

This is a time to rejoice that justice is beginning to be done, and I do think (my opinion) that what happened with Dr. Patterson IS a part of a much larger wave of 'enough' that is coming up from the younger people of this country who want justice to be done so some of the 'crazy' in our world is no longer so easy to look away from anymore. In short, these brave younger souls are standing up and speaking out and not letting harm to innocent people be 'okay' when there is something that can be done to confront the 'crazy' actively and stop 'looking away'.

Wade was, in my opinion, one of the first to speak out against the destructiveness. And he has earned the gratitude of being one of the 'young people' to speak out against that evil which was permitted to hurt innocent people, especially women.

I do see the Holy Spirit at work in the world when justice is done and when mercy is shown. But I also see people saying 'Enough' to evil, and responding to the call of the Holy Spirit to do what is right, even when they will suffer for their stand against the evil.

I think 'responding' is not something 'forced' or 'programmed';
I think it is a 'yes' to God's grace. And that 'yes' is all the more a choice when the person knows they will be paying a price by confronting the evil, but they STILL choose to do it, because they are saying 'yes' to that which gives meaning to their very existence as children of the Creator.






Wade Burleson said...

Dan,

I'm attempting to walk the fine balance between advocating cooperation with demands for conformity.

I understand from whence you come in terms of perspective, but I'm attempting to reform the SBC from within - and to absolutely insist those who disagree with me on this point should be expelled from leadership seems to be doing the exact same thing which was done to me.

I desire no leadership in the SBC, and frankly, I'm wondering if in this day and age, the message from those who desire no leadership is actually more believable than those who seek it.

Thanks for your comment.

Anonymous said...

Agree Dan Malone. Mustn’t shrink back.

Christiane said...

"I desire no leadership in the SBC, and frankly, I'm wondering if in this day and age, the message from those who desire no leadership is actually more believable than those who seek it."

oh Wade, don't you realize that you've been 'leading' these many years? Not in the way of 'authority' and 'power',
but in the kind of service to the Church that inspires the trust of others who seek you out for help?

you are a servant-leader, there is no better kind of leader in the Kingdom of God

Christiane said...

Hello DEBBIE,

I've been thinking about your appreciation of the special REAL complimentary relationship of male to female and vice-versa.

I think what happened is that, as a result of the prideful sin of male hubris, the desire to dominate over women got out of proportion to the GIFTS that are specific to the male sex. And in the destruction that followed, women were (and are still being) subjected to a lot of that which comes not from the will of God, but from what God predicted would happen after the 'Fall'.

I agree that men, as 'males' have specific 'gifts'.
And I know that women, as 'females' have wonder specific gifts also. . . . and in many ways these gifts ARE complimentary (sp?);

but BOTH men and women and also all people who have gender issues share this:
they are all formed by God from the same elements of the Earth, and they all are children of the most high Creator who gifts them with a soul so that they are formed in the Creator's image. . . . as human PERSONS, with many gifts to share, as human persons are invited to take part in Creation using these gifts which would not be given unless they were meant to be used. In denying women the use of God-given gifts, people have made of themselves 'gods' whose lesser 'creation' is devoid of much that God intended for human persons to benefit from. . . .

The whole 'patriarchy' thing was an exercise in the sin of male hubris and male self-worship. The sacrifice to this 'god' of male superiority was the destruction of all the God-given benefits that women had to offer . . . laid aside, in silence, but not done without a certain pain of soul and conscience among the women who KNEW their gifts were there and KNEW that those gifts had come form their Creator to them to be used for good.

I think you are right about some of the gifts of men and women being 'complimentary' (sp?), but I think there are many more gifts God have given that aren't tied to one chromosomal difference in the formation of a human person,
and THOSE gifts were meant to be used for all of us who are creatures of the Giver of Gifts.

Anonymous said...

My whole life I have heard people use 1 Timothy 2:12-13 as their primary reason for saying women can’t have leadership in the church. When you look at the passage in its immediate context (1 Timothy 2:8-15), and the context of the Bible as a whole, the flaw in their thinking is obvious.

In verse 8, Paul says “he wants men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing.” 99% of the men in Baptist churches do not raise holy hands when they pray, and no one believes they need to.

In verse 9, Paul says, “I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes…” And yet, how many women wear gold, pearls and have braided hair? Our churches don’t believe it is wrong for them to do so. The principles is to dress modestly.

In verse 11, Paul says “a woman must learn in quietness and full submission…” In verse 12, he says “she must be quiet.” But in 1 Corinthians 12, Paul, the same writer, says when a woman prophesies… (The word prophecy mean to preach or proclaim God’s message.) How can a woman prophesy and be quiet at the same time?

In verse 14 Paul says, “And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner.” But we do not believe Eve was the only one deceived or the only one who was a sinner because The Bible says in Genesis 3 that Adam was with Eve when she sinned, and he ate too. Rom. 5:12 says, “sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people.”

Verse 15 says, “But women will be saved through childbearing…” But we all know Scripture says women just like men are saved through faith in Jesus Christ, not by giving birth to a child.

Those who say women can’t be leaders in the church disregard all of 1 Timothy 2:8-15 except verses 12-13 which say, “I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve.”

Instead of interpreting all of the Bible through the lens of 1 Timothy 2:12-13, we should interpret 1 Timothy 2:12-13 in light of all the Bible says. When we do, we will see there is plenty of room for women in ministry and leadership in the church.

Wade Burleson said...

"Instead of interpreting all of the Bible through the lens of 1 Timothy 2:12-13, we should interpret 1 Timothy 2:12-13 in light of all the Bible says. When we do, we will see there is plenty of room for women in ministry and leadership in the church."

Couldn't have said it better.

Christiane said...

“But women will be saved through childbearing…” But we all know Scripture says women just like men are saved through faith in Jesus Christ, not by giving birth to a child.

"And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us"

and

"For my eyes have seen Your salvation"
(from the Song of Simeon)

I know that 'allegory' is not a favorite way of 'interpreting' sacred Scripture, but sometimes it works to 'clarify' or put light on, the Good News :)

Unknown said...

Some Biblical concepts are so clearly true they are recognized as such even within culture and law. Therefore, issues such as this MUST move from tertiary to fundamental on theological as well as cultural grounds, so that they become "in or out" issues that define one's (or one's denomination) non-negotiable core values.

Racism and its correllary of slavery are examples of core values where the SBC took a wrong turn, thereby allowing the sin of racism to continue and multiply. Shame on those in leadership of the SBC at that time who did not, or were unwilling to because of their cultural upbringing or financial interests, see slavery for the racism it represented.

Here is my point: If the non-chauvinistic leaders in the SBC of 2018 do not capture this moment to define a clear stand on sexism, Patterson's termination and this moment of unrest and movement in the SBC will also be wasted to history -- or to correction in another 25, 50 or 100 years.

I understand the fine balance and the tightrope leaders walk on which doctrinal issues are subject to dispute and disagreement, and which are non-negotiable. But I also understand there comes a time when thought leaders must stand up and say, "This is a defining issue. We got this one wrong. Now is the time to correct this error, repent, and -- for those who are able to stay on board -- move forward together."

Aussie John said...

Wade,

Thank you for an excellent article! Far too many interpret Scripture through denominational dogma,tradition, or personal bias, rather than what Scripture says.

Bob, You too are spot on. That's exactly what Paul spoke of in the first verses of 1 Corinthians.

Wade Burleson said...

Aussie John and Christiane,

Thanks for the kind words. They're appreciated.

Anonymous said...

No time due to heavy schedule to catch up with comment stream, but here is a thought:

Just as God surely calls some to preach, He calls others to listen. If person A (of either gender) believes they are called to preach, they should make every attempt to do so. If truly called, God will send the hearers or listeners He desires the message to reach.

If a woman desires to be my pastor, and feels called to do so, I would expect God would enlighten me to hear her.

Sort of like if you consider yourself a leader but no one is following, then you are not leading.

Of course at times God does call a prophet and no one listens. But in the normal course of everyday church life, if God is truly calling the SBC to allow women preachers He will enlighten the folks in the pews to listen. And if He doesn't, then maybe they are not called to be SBC preachers after all.

At this time the SBC does not ordain women. Those that disagree might want to worship elsewhere. And should that role reverse, and those that do not believe they are called to listen to a woman preacher leave, there should be no ridiculing or castigation of them if this is truly a minor issue.

Linda

Victorious said...

We're making non-essential issues essential. We are trifling with subtleties while ignoring certainties.

Who determines what the non-essential issues are? And why is at least half of the Body of Christ considered "non-essential" regardless of the issues. Where did this division into essential and non essential originate and why does the division only pertain to women?

Anonymous said...

To anonymous

“Instead of interpreting all of the Bible through the lens of 1 Timothy 2:12-13, we should interpret 1 Timothy 2:12-13 in light of all the Bible says. When we do, we will see there is plenty of room for women in ministry and leadership in the churcH.”

Yes! Entire post was wonderful!

Anonymous said...

This is a global cultural issue that is deeply ingrained in the fabric of social ordering and the worlds influence on the church. God is apparently taking the course toward change through hard circumstances based on the erring affecting and infecting the church today.

The church should be leading change based on biblical truth and influencing the cultural as we’ve seen in the historical and glorious great awakenings.

It seems that God is bringing change through hard and difficult circumstances...the discipline of the Lord (Hebrews 12). (A side note: Al Mohler’s article assigns this to the wrath of God and basic gospel understanding and biblical interpretation would know that Jesus took the wrath for the Christian The Christian experiences discipline. Romans 1 wrath is for the unsaved who suppress the knowledge of the truth. It really should lower all of our confidence in SBC leaders/seminary pres/together for the gospel founders, etc’s ability to conduct basic gospel exegesis. We must be better Bereans ourselves rather than blindly following the PhDs and just nodding as we go along. That’s the reality band wake up call we need to face. Just why are we following men and letting them supercede historical creeds and influence church polity and write resolutions, etc. etc. who cannot perform basic bible exegesis?

Samuel Conner said...

A few thoughts on realized/inaugurated eschatology.

I think the great majority of, and perhaps all, readers will agree that in the Age to Come, when believers have been raised imperishable and are, like the angels, deathless, the "horizontal" male/female (as opposed to "vertical" God/Church) marriage relationship will no longer exist.

There will no longer be husbands and wives, but there will still be "submission one to another out of reverence for Christ," "preferring one another in love," etc.

Even granting for the sake of argument that there is in the present age a super-/sub-ordination relationship within marriage that mirrors Christ and the Church, in the Age to Come, when marriage no longer exists, that super-/sub-ordination relationship will also no longer exist.

Will there be super-/sub-ordination in terms of teaching authority in the Age to Come? I don't think so -- no longer will people command others to "know YHWH", for all will know YHWH.

It appears that the realms where complementarians assert present hierarchy are going to pass away. It seems to me that that's a pretty strong argument against claims of perpetual gender-based super-/sub-ordination, regardless of what position one takes on the question of "eternal subordination of the Son."

--

But the thing that intrigues me is that the Church is not simply a community that is stuck in the Fall, trapped between the past very good Creation and the future Restoration of all things.

The Church is a community in which the Restoration of all things has been inaugurated -- "if anyone be in Christ: New Creation!"

The fullness of God's New Creation is future, but it has begun with the resurrection of Jesus and is glimpsed in the life of the Church in the outpouring of the Spirit and the renewal of lives and relationships.

It seems to me that we are called to live the life of the Age to Come in the present age. I think this is what 1 Jn 5:13 is saying. We have not yet been raised imperishable, but it is possible to live a foreshadowing of the kind of life we will live when we finally are raised and perfected. 1 Jn describes that kind of life in a variety of ways; basically it's the familiar "love God with your entire being" and "love neighbor as self".

If it is true that the life of believer in the present age ought to foreshadow the life of the redeemed in the Age to Come, that may have significant implications for how we ought to think about gender relations in the present age.



Bob Cleveland said...

Hi Christiane:

No problem. But I lean on 1 Corinthians 3:6: "I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase."

Wade Burleson said...

Samuel Conner,

B.I.N.G.O.

Wade Burleson said...

Victorious,

If you keep the essentials small in number, the essentials are not hard to figure out.

Who is Jesus? The unique Son of God, Savior of the world.
How is a sinner redeemed? By grace through faith in Jesus the Christ.


Cooperate around those two truths.

RB Kuter said...

Samuel wrote: "It seems to me that we are called to live the life of the Age to Come in the present age."

What an outstanding perspective. It concerns me that I was not thinking in this mindset all along. It certainly simplifies the debate on an issue which should not even be controversial if we all had our heads where they should be.

Col. 3:1 "Therefore, if you have been raised with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. :2 Keep thinking about things above, not things on the earth"

Duh! Guess Samuel had his head where it is supposed to be!

Sallie Borrink said...

Paul's perspective in Philippians 1:12-18 (NIV). Emphasis mine.

---------------------------

12 Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. 13 As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. 14 And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.

15 It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. 16 The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17 The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. 18 But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.

Victorious said...

Wade you said:

The "role" of women in the church and home shouldn't matter....

A demand for conformity on the alleged roles of men and women is taking a non-essential belief...

But if conservative, Bible-believing, Christ-loving, Spirit-filled, graced people demand conformity on over the "roles" of men and women in the home and church, then we are trifling with subtleties while ignoring certainties.


I'm asking who determines whether the role of women shouldn't matter, is a non-essential, or if it's a trivial, insignificant matter? Because these words seem to marginalize the whole subject of women in the home and in the church and I think it does matter. And it's not insignificant or trivial or unimportant in the whole counsel of God as it's not treated that way in scripture.

God doesn't show partiality or discriminate and we shouldn't either.

Rex Ray said...

“Scripture never contradicts Scripture.”

Yes, but Scripture REVEALS ‘untruth’ in the Bible.

“Moses and Aaron…the Lord appeared to them, and the Lord said to Moses, “You and Aaron…assemble the entire community. As the people watch, SPEAK to the rock over there and it will it will pour out its water…Then Moses raised his hand and STRUCK the rock twice with the staff, and water gushed out…” (Numbers 20:6-11 NLT)

“And the Lord was also angry with me BECAUSE OF YOU. He said to me, “Moses, not even you will enter the Promised Land!” (Deuteronomy 1:37 NLT) VS. “But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “because you did not trust me enough to demonstrate my holiness to the people of Israel, you will not lead them to the land I am giving them.” (Numbers 20:12 NLT)

“But the Lord was angry with me BECAUSE OF YOU, and he would not listen to me...look over the land…but you may not cross the Jordan River.” (Deuteronomy 3: 26-27 NLT) VS. “…the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “The time has come for Aaron to join his ancestors in death. He will not enter the land the people of Israel, because the two of you rebelled against my instruction concerning the water at Meribah.” (Numbers 20:24 NLT)

“But the Lord was angry with me BECAUSE OF YOU. He vowed that I would not cross the Jordan River into the good land the Lord your God is giving you…you will cross the Jordan…but I will not. I will die here on the east side of the river. (Deuteronomy 4:21-22 NLT) VS. “One day the Lord said to Moses….look over the land I have given the people of Israel. After you have seen it, you will die like your brother Aaron, for you BOTH rebelled against my instructions…you failed to demonstrate my holiness to them…” (Numbers 27:12-14 NLT)

Since Moses wrote Numbers and Deuteronomy, I believe if he had his way he would have left his untruth out, but God had him put it in.

Wade Burleson said...

Victorious,

I understand.

If I were a woman, I would ONLY go to a church that saw the equality of women as ESSENTIAL. But in this post, I’m speaking only of a Convention of independent and autonomous churches (SBC) and not one single church.

So in terms of a CONVENTION that works based on COOPERATION, make the issue a non-essential. In such a scenario, there should be an agreement that churches which differ on this issue should cooperate in terms of missions.

I should have made myself clearer.

Wade Burleson said...

Rex,

Good point.

Christiane said...

Hello Bob Cleveland,
Yes, now I understand better. I had taken your comment a different way.

I also believe in that Scripture.

It figures in a prayer of someone in my Church, this:

"“A Prayer by Oscar Romero:
“It helps, now and then, to step back and take a long view.
The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts,
it is even beyond our vision.
We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction
of the magnificent enterprise that is God’s work.
Nothing we do is complete,
which is a way of saying that the Kingdom always lies beyond us.
No statement says all that could be said.
No prayer fully expresses our faith.
No confession brings perfection.
No pastoral visit brings wholeness.
No program accomplishes the Church’s mission.
No set of goals and objectives includes everything.
This is what we are about.
We plant the seeds that one day will grow.
We water seeds already planted,
knowing that they hold future promise.
We lay foundations that will need further development.
We provide yeast that produces effects far beyond our capabilities.
We cannot do everything,
and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that.
This enables us to do something,
and to do it very well.
It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way, an opportunity for the Lord’s grace to enter and do the rest.
We may never see the end results,
but that is the difference between the master builder and the worker.”

Bob, maybe if Francis DeSales got together with Oscar Romero, they might have sorted out the 'free will'/ 'determinism' conflict. Perspectives shared do help us to understand.
Thanks for responding. :)

Jacque said...

Rex,

I am missing your point. Not being critical. I just dont understand.

Bob Cleveland said...

Christiane: Thanks. I'm a bigtime Calvinist, and I recall asking my first RPC pastor to explain the free-will/election thing to me. He told me first to accept the fact that we just cannot understand some things. How we can make a choice to be saved, but God already knew about it.

I think that thought .. or dark view through that glass .. explains a lot. I know it does, to me. We cannot really comprehend Heaven or Hell, why God chose satan to bring about our salvation, etc etc.

Or even simply look on His face...

L. Lee said...

TWO links that may be of relevance:

http://sbcvoices.com/the-handwriting-on-the-wall-what-we-can-all-learn-from-the-paige-patterson-scandal/

https://www.christianitytoday.com/women/2018/june/karen-swallow-prior-sin-is-like-walking-in-front-of-bus.html

Rex Ray said...

Jacque,

Many people believe Moses only hit the rock because he was angry. If that were the case Aaron got a raw deal of being punished for the action of Moses.

But, “Lord said to Moses and Aaron, because you did not trust me…”; “…because the two of you rebelled…”; “…for you both rebelled…” (Numbers 20:12, 24, 27:14)

I think they got their heads together and decided that striking the rock would be best because they knew it worked once, and just speaking to the rock would leave egg on their faces. In the long run, they did not trust God.

Rex Ray said...

Jacque,

I guess I left out the main point.

To know the truth and tell it different, in my book, is a lie. And that’s what Moses did when he told the people that it was their fault for his and Aaron’s death which would indicate God was not just.

Anon1 said...

There is a wonderful saying that I try to live by. Some attribute it to Richard Baxter but I haven’t been able to actually pinpoint it’s origin,

In essential things unity,
In doubtful things liberty,
And in all thing charity or LOVE!

What ever we do, it should always be done in LOVE! Love is, or at least according to Jesus and the Word of God, should be the number one attribute of a follower of Christ!

Tom Ross said...

Last year I suggested to a pastor that He should be considering what is God's "cultural requirements" as revealed within the scriptures. I also suggested to him to not impose the world's cultural, i.e. his countries worldly cultural norms, as requirements on the congregation that he was leading.

When we impose God's cultural requirements to the things that we do in our lives, we are observed as being God like in the things that we do.

When we impose man's cultural impositions to the things that we do in our lives, we are observed seen as acting God like, i.e. do as I tell you, and not necessarily as I do.

When we follow God's cultural requirement in our live we have an impact on the people around us as they learn from us what is required have a nature after God's own nature. As Christ lead by example, so we too should provide the example of Christ's heart for the people around us as we interact with them.

In imposing a cultural requirement that is other than God's, within the body of Christ, is to openly sin and to act as if we are God. In doing this, we are effectively turning away from God, and not walking in step with Him. That of itself is a calamity that we bring upon ourselves, and sadly on those who we influence, and enters us and them into the sinners’ outcome. When this happens we/they need to repent of our/their sin of rejecting God and His cultural requirements and humbly throw ourselves once more on His mercies and Grace.

Who God calls to disciple us is God’s to decide and gender is the least of God’s concerns when he does so.

Shalom

Victorious said...

Ahhh, Wade!

Thank you so very much for explaining your statements to me!

I went to bed with a heavy heart, but woke this morning with a very different understanding. It's true...."joy comes in the morning."

Anonymous said...

Rex,

Thanks! Now, I understand!

Jacque said...

Rex,

Thanks! Now, I understand! Sorry I didnt sign the above! Scapegoating others for our sin is always a lie! May our Lord lead us and guide us in the days to come and may we be become a people full of our Lord’s grace and truth! May we handle this begining of a new era in the life of our denomination in such a way that the world sees Christ in us! May we allow scripture to interpret scripture and love one another even as we work our way through difficult conversations.

Rex Ray said...

Jacque,

Well said.

Anonymous said...

I have been a pastor’s wife for 44 years. My hope and desire is that our SBC can see how we have allowed the “traditions of men” to influence our denomination more than we have the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. While we seem to be imploding as a denomination, the “lost and dying” are losing out the most. Our denomination has become an embarrassment and a laughingstock to the world around us.

I will never understand the thought process — that we need only men at the forefront leading the charge when — both men and women shouting out that “Jesus saves” promotes more to come to Christ not less!!

I thought the same Holy Spirit lives in both men and women, plus the Holy Spirit is the one who gives us our giftedness not men.

The only thing I can deduct that is happening is the continuation of women still being held in bondage not freedom [similar to the Taliban]. This — in essence — has been happening more so than less for the last 20+ years. Taking a few scriptures out of context is not revealing the Biblical testament [Old and New] of so many women’s effectiveness in bringing forth the Gospel.

Men cannot continue to be effective in this day and time by stifling a woman’s giftedness. Let’s get real — we are talking about half the Body of Christ!!

Christiane said...

Hello Bob Cleveland,

I wanted you to know that I thought your comment was so beautifully said, this:

"I think that thought .. or dark view through that glass .. explains a lot. I know it does, to me. We cannot really comprehend Heaven or Hell, why God chose satan to bring about our salvation, etc etc.

Or even simply look on His face..."

David Rogers said...

From the perspective of theological triage, I know of very fee people who would truly consider the evangelical egalatarian/evangelical complementarian divide a true level one, essential of the faith issue. Thst being said, I think there are some good reasons for looking at it as a level 2 (barrier to full cooperation) issue rather than a level 3 (no barrier to cooperation) issue. It is not possible to have both female elders:pastors and not have them in the same church. One position will always take precedence over the other. Likewise on several other issues on the egalitarian/complementarian spectrum. Perhaps there can be room for cooperation across the spectrum on a denominational level, but in my opinion, these differences will almost inevitably lead to strained relationships that may perhaps not be quite so strained if the differing parties agreed to work separately under separate organizational umbrellas without feeling the corresponding need to mutually anathametize each other.

David Rogers said...

“very few,” not “very fee”

Anonymous said...

Was not Timothy taught by his mother and grandmother? Second Tim 1:5. Personally I believe there are many women who are better at delivering the message than some pastors including the so=called cream of the crop. Each of us have gifts from God to be used in His service, unfortunately if you disagree with the "pastor" your gift can be taken away. That is in my opinion why big conventions were never devised by Jesus as He told his disciples to go 2/2's. Additionally, Paul and Luke traveled preaching the gospel.I also think some men see the pastorate as a money source rather than a true calling from GOD. A simple Bible believer over 75.

Nancy2 said...

David Rogers,
So do you believe the only solutions are: 1.) a split, 2.) unconditional surrender, or 3.) a civil war to free us women???

David Rogers said...

I believe denominations and church networks allow us to partner with other local congregations who agree with us on the distinctives we consider important. Each denomination/church network must mutually agree on their own parameters of cooperation. The important thing for me, in what I am saying here is, just because it may not be practical to cooperate with someone else on this project or that project, that does not necessarily preclude sharing fellowship based on a common faith in a common Lord, and MAY not totally preclude cooperation on other projects. The devil is in the details.

Rex Ray said...

David Rogers,

Is your father Adrian Rogers who was president of the SBC three times?

If I’m not wrong, you wrote many years ago on Wade’s blog something I liked very much.

Would you consider running for president of the SBC?

David Rogers said...

Rex, Yes, I am that David. I am happy you liked what I wrote back then. I am fairly certain God has not called me to denominational leadership right now. I am flattered by your question, though.

Jon L. Estes said...

This no authority in the home stuff is pretty cool. It reminds me when my wife and I were sleeping and I heard a noise downstairs. I woke her up and asked her to listen. There it was again. My wife looked at me and told me to go check it out. I told her no, she can... you can't tell me what to do. You have no authority over me.

We bantered back and forth for a few moments and then we heard the noise again. I asked her to go and check it out (I did not tell her too). She said... You the man... GO!. I said, I am from Virginia and you are from Texas - YOU GO!

So, neither of us went and in the morning we found that about everything in our downstairs had been stolen.

The above story is fiction. Without authority (not to tell the wife to go check out the problem, but to be the one who manages and leads when called upon. The buck must stop somewhere... and men - God is not going to ask your wife if she led (through servant leadership) the household well.

Victorious said...

God is not going to ask your wife if she led (through servant leadership) the household well.

Are you sure of that, Jon?

I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide (G3616) the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully. 1Tim. 5:14

Strong's G3616

oikodespoteō

From G3617; to be the head of (that is, rule) a family: - guide the house.

Strong's G3617

oikodespotēs

From G3624 and G1203; the head of a family: - goodman (of the house), householder, master of the house.

Jon L. Estes said...

Victorious,

Yeah, I think I am right. The passage you speak of is what to be in reflection of what was said not to be just prior. Context is critical.

John Gill says it well.

"manage domestic affairs, direct, order, or do what is proper to be done for the good of the family; which is much more commendable than to throw themselves upon the church, and live an idle and wanton life, and after that marry"

This is not the same meaning as deacons are to lead their family well. Something that must be done prior to becoming a deacon. Interesting that the guidelines for such a role do not include women. Before anyone goes berserk. I support women teaching and speaking outside the confines of the church setting, to which I see Timothy speaking of.

Gosh, If Beth Moore were nominated for President of the SBC this year (and JDG wasn't), I'd vote for her. The SBC is not a church (local assembly of God's people gathered). neither is the seminary.

Rex Ray said...

Jon,

You really had me going on that story…funny. I’d vote for Beth Moore regardless who was running.

Victorious said...

Context is critical.

I agree wholeheartedly. The passage speaks of "older" men and "older" women and how they should be treated with respect. And those "olders/seniors" who rule are to be treated with honor.

1Tim. 5:1  Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren; 
1Tim. 5:2  The elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity.

These are older, mature men and women. Both are spoken of as elders who may rule without specifying that they must be male.

1Tim. 5:17  Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. 

But clearly when the younger women spoken of in 1 Tim. 5:14 get married and "rule" their households, they will continue that rule when they are "elder." 

And while we're at it and both agree that context is critical, I'd be interested in seeing a verse where males are specifically admonished/commanded to lead their wives or have some sort of authority over them. I trust you are not saying that women cannot be "servant leaders." I've posted several times a list of 59 "one-anothers" in scripture where there is no exemption for males. Ephesians 5:21 is an example but if you'd like, I can post the link to the other 58.

The whole NT is about serving one another. We get into trouble when we practice "selective literalism" that makes some verses literal (where we want them to be literal) and ignores others (because they don't fit our agenda.} So yes, context, grammar, history, circumstances, and how the author knew his statements would be understood are critical to our understanding.


Wade Burleson said...

Jon,

NIce story, but let me tweak it.

“Honey, I hear a noise downstaris. I’m going down to see what it is. I wouldn’t want anything to happen to you.” Response: “No sweetheart, I’m coming with you because I don’t want anything happening to you.”

Great love has no person than this ....

Robert Palculict said...

Wade,

"gender differences are irrelevant in the church of Jesus Christ."

I disagree. Gender Roles reflect the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They are essential to our Faith. Husbands reflect Jesus Christ. Wives reflect the Church. The roles of Christ and the Church are absolutely not confused. The Scripture is clear... the perspicuity is a great doctrine. The clear reading of the Bible says what it says which is why people get nervous when passages like 1 Peter 3:1 are read aloud.

Robert Palculict