Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Sarah Palin Made the Superior Choice for Women

Sarah saved two babies that liberal women would have aborted, a child with Down's --and a child of an unwed teen mother. And they are beaming with joy as a family!

And what's not to admire about this family? O, of course, they aren't perfect and who knows if Levi, the daughter's boyfriend, will prove worthy of the decision to marry the girl he impregnated? They are sure one handsome comple --and Sarah and husband as well.

And how cool to see Mr. Palin taking on the spouse's role, to make a speech, to wave and shake hands -just as political wives do. And yet, I don't get the sense that he is at all jealous of his wife or feeling sheepish about his secondary role in the political arena. What a guy!!

I see that CNN and CNBC's Olbermann and Maddow have started to mock Palin for being religious. Silly woman--praying for good things for America and Alaska and the people. Praying specifically about a pipeline Alaska wants and so on. No, no! Not a real evangelical --possibly inheriting the mantle of the presidency from an expired McCain someday! The Liberals must be beside themselves with horror and incredulity! How could this have happened! Where did this family come from!!!????

Who would have thought a Republican could have more charisma than Obama?? O, hear the weeping and gnashing of teeth as the snakes roil in their pits! See www.manwiththemuckrake.blogspot.com for an example!




"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible

279 comments:

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steve said...

1st Timothy 2:12
Moreover, I do not allow a woman to teach or to USURP AUTHORITY over a man. Instead, she is to be quiet.

Barb said...

steve, I love it when barely believers at the Unitarian Church use scripture even though they have women ministers quite often --as your congregation did.

Did you see the Fox video last night --that had been made quite some time ago --in which she told how much her husband was THE BOSS on a commercial fishing boat when she worked with him in that business? that he was a rather hard taskmaster in the boss's seat. I get the sense that this woman would protect her marriage above all --and that Mr. Palin is no dummy and looking forward to the annual income they'll have and other perks given for his whole family for even one term in vice-presidency. Though this video was probably made during the governorship? or earlier? Seemed like the little girl was a couple years younger at least in the video.

If he's as much a christian as his wife is, then he will see this as God's elevation of his wife for God's purposes. He seems to be "man" enough to enjoy the ride. he, too, is an example of a Christian husband, hopefully, so far.

I have a neighbor whose daughter is the wife of an Alaskan commercial fisherman --there is good money there --and hard work and her whole family does a stint on the boat most every year. this is a family whose daughter, my young friend, was the state h.s. champion in cross country in Alaska and later in colo. Also of Indian descent. Ran for Duke until her knees were injured.
I haven't asked yet if the families know each other --it's not the same town.

Notice, this prohibition of women speaking was Paul's disallowance. And his reasoning isn't too sound on the topic --since he blames her for being the one deceived as though Adam were not. The Bible overall blames Adam for the original sin --mankind, wife and husband were together when it happened and she believed and then Adam believed --both were deceived and both yielded to temptation. Both were punished, and the woman with subjugation to the man and pain in childbirth. She was already his helpmeet, however, created to be by his side with him as the stronger, protective one.

However, we resist the curse in every situation --resisting death, disease and pestilence, and pain in childbirth--we make work easier, so why would we not resist the yoke of subjugation by following the Golden Rule in marriage. Mutual Christian submission in a marriage where the man leads and the woman is submissive to a man who wisely loves, is not a bitter yoke. Most women, by nature, want a man who can be predominate without oppressing.

Paul goes on to say the woman will save her soul through child-bearing --not exactly Christian doctrine when the whole NT is considered. That's what Bible scholarship is all about --gleaning the message of God from the Book as a whole --rather than proof-texting and straining at gnats and swallowing camels to protect a pet prejudice of Paul's.

Homosexuals note that the Christian churches don't ALL hold women to Paul's legalistic standards re: women and wonder why we don't let their activities off the eternal sin hook. Partly because there are other places in scripture to moderate the teaching on women. Jesus talked with a worldly woman at the well and went to her place to teach her people afterwards --this is a woman with sinful friends who need Christ and she brings Him to them. He didn't call women into the group of the 12 disciples --(that might have seemed scandalous as some of them were married) --though it says that women tended to their needs for food.

He elevates Mary to disciple status when he says she can listen to him along with the men and escape the kitchen.

Even Paul says the woman can prophesy in the Holy Spirit --along with men -an exception to his letters on women staying silent in church.

Jesus says there will be no male or female in Heaven --and even Paul says they are all one/equal in Christ Jesus --all people. Jesus prays that God's will will be done "on earth, as it is in heaven."

Probably when Paul wrote to
Timothy, he had some experiences with mouthy, bossy women seeming inappropriate. That's not good either. But neither is arrogance and superior air about one's male status --or the oppression of women as the Golden Rule forbids it.

As for the issue of the homosexuality which is always brought up when they point out that we don't make women stay silent in all evangelical churches, the whole Bible calls it sin --as does common sense for public and personal health. It is counter to Creation design and not God's best for anyone to be in this high-risk lifestyle in which there is nothing natural and procreative for such couples to do. We aren't designed for it; it is Satan's victory when we succumb to same-sex attraction and dwell on such attraction in our minds.

Matthew said...

Dear Barb,

You should be ashamed of the answer you gave Steve.

There is no need to be embarrassed by the Holy Spirit who inspired Paul to write what he wrote.

Sincerely,

Matt

Barb said...

I'm not embarrassed by the Holy Spirit. I knew this would step on your tail if you saw it.

Paul said "I do not allow...."

In this place, anyway, He didn't say "God does not allow." And He has his own exceptions --when the woman is prophesying by the Spirit.

I was raised in churches where women taught --and in church colleges where women taught --and sometimes preached. These were exceptional women.

My daughter attended a home school conference where a lady speaker didn't think she should teach men, so the men were in an adjoining room if they wanted to hear what she had to say. Talk about straining at gnats....

Scripture is inspired and we compare scripture to scripture to discern meaning and direction for our lives.

Was Paul filled with the Spirit in his every utterance? I don't know. Seems there was something about this particular passage to Timothy that was harsh and inconsistent with Jesus' own conversations with women.

Jesus trumps all the other prophets when there seems to be a variance in Scripture's implications for today.

crusader09 said...

I think its interesting that Steve quoted this verse, and not the verse in 1 Corinthians about women remaining silent, because that's the comment I hear more than anything.

I also think that it is unreasonable to use the Bible to apply a principle that Paul applied to church leadership (because the letter to Timothy was directions for him as a young pastor) to the leadership in a secular government. Whether or not we all think there should be this vague separation of church and state, this is not a theocracy and the Bible is not the governing document of our system today.

Sorry for popping in at complete random, but sometimes I just can't hold my tongue, Barb :)

Matthew said...

I don't even know where to begin to address this muddled thinking.

I don't have time to try.

Barb said...

Welcome, Crusader! Anytime! This forum is not for "holding your tongue." ycch

Say, are you interested in attending "the Truth Project" --there is funding available.

Get ahold of me. The date of the simulcast national seminar Sept. 27, 9:30 to 4:30.

After that, we will use the DVD's given to every participant --for a small group at our home --a U.T. Home Away From Home emphasis using the Truth Project DVD series for a discussion springboard.

Hoping Rob will lead or that the DVD's themselves will spur the discussions.

Matthew said...

On February 10, our pastor preached a great sermon on this text. In fact, he just finished preaching through the entire book and it was all very helpful. You can hear the 2/10 sermon here: http://christtheword.com/sermons/2008-sermons.php

Or, if you're looking for a much less helpful Sunday School lesson on a similar topic, they have my class posted here (scroll down to April 6): http://christtheword.com/sermons/2008-sundayschool.php

crusader09 said...

Matthew, I find it arrogant and ridiculous that you think that our thinking is so flawed and that you have any authority whatsoever upon which to "address" it...

Barb said...

Matt, let your light shine! Don't just curse the darkness!

There are worse things than female teachers in churches. Who is that gal who leads those highly respected Bible studies --Beth Moore. Are you critical of her?

And Henrietta Mears is quite an example for all --who advanced the S.S. movement in the US more than anyone else. She probably didn't teach men--but they sure had a lot to learn from her --and did.

And I'll never forget when both the Pope and Mother Theresa spoke before a Catholic youth conf. in Colo. and denounced abortion --with the Gores and the Clintons, fidgeting behind them on the platform.

Barb said...

In other words don't strain at gnats and swallow camels.

Matt, you must have to filter everything a woman says in the church building --wondering if or concluding that she's out of line --instead of just taking what she says at face value --when it just may be inspired by the Holy Spirit.

PS on Mother T and the Pope in front of the Clintons and Gores --the whole audience rose to its feet --on their denunciation of abortion--but the gores and the clintons remained embarrassedly seated --because they couldn't rise to the defense of life and the condemnation of abortion--for political reasons, called 'woman's reproductive (aborting) rights.'

I will go to your links when I get a chance --to see if you two sounded inspired or not!!!

We have a lot of common ground in our shared faith. More than we have with those who have no respect for the Word of God at all.

ShitStirrer said...

"And I'll never forget when both the Pope and Mother Theresa spoke "

So now Mother Theresa is a bad girl?

Wow, you got some awesome hide and a rather ultimate warped sense of what's right and wrong, woman. Don't say much about your off the planet religion.

You disgust me like no other human being ever did before.

Barb said...

I don't get you, SS --no, Mother T. was a GOOD girl in this instance --even though she was a woman speaking to an audience that included men--to which i do not object --nor does my church --but Matt and his church do object. It's probably very difficult for a woman to "mind her place" or find her place in Matt's church--and know when she can say anything or not. There is always a judgmental attitude toward women with leadership gift in such a church--and my church tried to be that way --but the denomination is NOT that way --as we even ordain women sometimes --as many of the evangelical, Bible-believing churches have done for 150 years, based on their belief in "the freedom of the Spirit in worship." And the gifts of teaching given to women.

Women surely also stepped into leadership to fill a void left by men. Thus, many missionaries are women.

Barb said...

I do prefer a church "led" by men --male pastors and good teachers of any sex.

A man can be very boring, uninspired and uninspiring, practically putting themselves to sleep, as teachers --and to let an interesting woman teacher who is excited about her faith and about teaching, sit on the sidelines while a boring man leads --well, I don't think that's what God had in mind when Paul said women should remain silent in the church.

I'm so glad, SS to see you taking such an interest in these church matters ! (wink)

Matthew said...

Barb,

Actually, by God's grace, the potential problems you describe are not an issue at all in our church. It is filled with the strongest and most godly women I've ever met.

And you're right. You and I have much more in common than we have with unbelievers. I would never dispute that but it doesn't diminish the importance of our disagreement here.

Regarding letting my light shine... have you read the stuff I've been posting on Mudrake's blog? Trying to let my light shine. I think they've taken to ignoring me.

Crusader, I didn't really claim any authority over you. I don't even know who you are. I just meant that I didn't have time to discuss it but even this needs to be understood in light of several very long conversations I've had with Barb over the years on this topic. What I was implicitly saying is that I don't have time to talk to Barb about this because it will turn into a very, very long discussion which won't lead to any change in either party. So relax... Although, one does wonder why you would take such vociferous offfense so quickly. Pricked in the conscience, perhaps?

Barb said...

I would conclude that Crusader is a woman and therefore what you said to me applied to her as well -- we take it personally when men want to laud their authority over us just for their male gender membership.

I'm glad if your church makes women feel secure, not nervous, wondering when they are saying too much, being too filled with suggestions for improvements in ministries, etc. testifying too much, prophesying too much, (referring to the word meaning "tell forth the Word." I suppose there is no ambiguity if you just aren't to speak at all in the church--except to socialize in the foyer. Such clarity!

Anonymous said...

Hello Barb,

I'm a bit troubled by your statement here:

"Was Paul filled with the Spirit in his every utterance? I don't know. Seems there was something about this particular passage to Timothy that was harsh and inconsistent with Jesus' own conversations with women."

Is it your position that the Apostle Paul's letters are not inspired by the Holy Spirit? Or, just not all the time? Like when you disagree with him.

Maybe I missed the part where God appointed you as corrections officer over Paul. Clearly, if you are not willing to submit to an Apostle, you are not willing to submit to to anyone unless it is easy.

I would even go so far as to say you are not willing to submit to God, unless He only does and says things you agree with.

Has God been doing a good job submitting to you lately? Has He been eagerly waiting for you to set Paul straight? Now that you have, I'm sure God is rejoicing in heaven that finally somebody has seen Paul's error.

Finally, somebody has stood up in defense of Jesus, and put the Apostle Paul in his place.

Would your pastor be happy with you right now?

Barb said...

8I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger or disputing.

9I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, 10but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.

11A woman should learn in quietness and full submission.

12I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. 13For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. 15But women[a] will be saved[b] through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.

Footnotes:

Barb said...

The above is the passage referenced. Notice Paul says, "I want...." and "I do not permit...."

I don't know that he's trying to speak for God in this letter as much as for himself.

Do all you critics here raise your hands in prayer? I surely hope so? And I hope you will be legalistic about jewelry and expensive clothes and modesty in yourself if you are women, wives, daughters --and who knows where that standard is? What is too expensive? where is the line? Maybe there should be no wedding bands and engagement rings. That's what my church USED to believe. In Northern Mich. they wouldn't even wear neckties --superfluous adornments that they are.

Paul's rationale about Eve being the only one deceived doesn't make sense --since Adam also was deceived. He believed too that the serpent and Eve were right to say "man would not die if he ate of the fruit." If he had not been deceived, he would not have eaten because he would not have wanted to die. They both bought the lie.

Barb said...

Anonymous --be who you are. don't hide when you feel contentious.

Rob R said...

FYI sometime by the end of the weekend, I will post a blog topic on this.

I don't think it is sufficient or good here to say paul is simply wrong about women. On the other hand I've listened to Baily's sermon and I find it fallacious. I will go into detail on this later.

steve said...

Hey gang, good questions up in dis here hizouz, looks like Paul has an answer for Barbs doubt.

1 Cor 14:33-35,37 — Let your women keep silence...: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but THEY ARE COMMANDED TO BE UNDER OBEDIENCE, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church. If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you ARE THE COMMANDMENTS OF THE LORD.

Now people can we really let this Sarah Palan character usurp power from betwixed our Godly manliness? I say nay nay!!! That is why the only biblically approved vote you can make is a vote for Obama!

Ok, I just want to say that I don't want to hear any woman on this board chime in with some nonsense. Women keep quiet on this issue and heed my authoritah.

Islam is a little more to the point:

"Never will succeed such a nation as makes a woman their ruler."

From the hadith.

"Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other"

From the Koran

Barb said...

Nothing Paul says is to be taken to a legalistic extreme --the issues of jewelry, dress, and "silence" from women, e.g.

He says, too,that everything is lawful --not all things expedient -- we aren't under the yoke of the old testament law anymore. Yet we are still called to avoid sin and press toward the high calling of Christ -running the race of faith to the finish and the reward --we are never to view grace as an excuse to sin, Paul reminds us.

I don't have my ears pierced nor does my one daughter. Seemed vainglorious to me; I was raised to see jewelry that way--but I'm not legalistic about it now. We have followed Paul on that point to a degree, however. I don't think it was Jesus who said anything about jewelry, did He?

But I understand the principle.

I do have questions about what Paul says about childbirth saving women as long as they are faithful, etc. --and where he says Adam was not deceived.

What do YOU all think Adam's state of mind was? a drunken stupor? that he should eat of the fruit though he KNEW it would bring death, since, as Paul says, he was not deceived?

I think Paul was writing to Timothy and I'm not sure every jot and tittle here is inspired.

I have a similar problem with the scripture where God is quoted as giving slaves and multiple wives to Solomon. It suggests the condoning of slavery and polygamy and that's not the overall Biblical picture of our God.

So I'm not a total Biblical inerrancy believer. I know that's heresy to some --but I just don't know what to make of those two passages. I feel we have an overall view of God --as seen through a glass darkly, Paul said --and a pretty good idea of good and evil --because of God's inspired scriptues and the convictions of the Holy Spirit.

but God does not ask us to leave reason at the gate. But I'm nowhere near to condoning sin in the name of God. I deny being a heretic --though you burn me at the stake!

Barb said...

I was going to say that Paul was writing from and to a Taliban like culture --where women were merely property, and VERY 2nd class citizens. The culture affects what he says. This is not new for an evangelical to say.

the United Brethren in Christ Church, Old Constitution, was very fundamentalist --as was the early Free Methodist Church. And Assemblies, Nazarenes, etc. They knew their Bible --Yet, some (if not all of these holiness churches) ordained women. They didn't smoke, drink, join secret societies, gamble, play cards, or dance --but they ordained a very few women. They really believed in the freedom in the Holy Spirit more than the legalistic bondage of New Covenant teaching or Old Covenant Law. Yet, they weren't in the least bit liberal. They wouldn't swim or throw the ball overhand on Sundays -or shop on Sundays either. (NO kidding, Sundays were to be quiet, meditative days without the usual labors.)

They took God and His Word very seriously--and called themselves Biblical inerrantists (?) YET, they ordained women! They knew the scripture.

So I come from this long line of Biblically devout people and church history --which allowed women to speak --even in the pulpit --and to hold office. They were godly people. And we were to be modest by prevailing cultural standards --no short shorts on their women. They didn't believe the woman was to wear the pants in the family--but they would've cheered the nomination of Sarah Palin because the battle today is not between men and women--but between believers and atheists --and whose worldview will prevail in our country.

Matthew said...

Dear Barb,

I don't want to burn you at the stake but pardon me if I step aside from the madness instead of answering your objections.

We've been through it before, haven't we? You would probably agree that it's not leading anywhere profitable.

For now I'll simply say that I agree with Mr. Anonymous. You are a rebel against God's Word and probably all authority except Barb. If you cannot make logical sense of it, then it's not inspired. Throw it out, you say.

I say, I'll stick with Paul every day of the week. I'll raise my hands in prayer, caution against vain apparel in worship and forbid women to exercise authority over men. After all, Adam was formed first, and that's enough for me.

It's unbelievable to me that you'll reject this plain teaching of Scripture even though it's found everywhere but you'll hold fast to your no piercings and no alcohol legalism. Remember, it's not legalism to actually do what God requires. Legalism adds to God's law. It's also interesting that what you hold in highest esteem is the easy stuff - no holes in your ears and stay away from alcohol. Almost anybody could do that. But the hard stuff like submitting to authority, no! To hell with Paul. He's legalistic.

Barb said...

Yes, I think I've told you before that women speaking in church and holding leadership postitions --is not about usurping authority over a man in most cases. It's about doing a job that needs to be done when a woman feels called by the Lord and is equipped to do it.

If I were hanging out here by myself, you could unsettle my thinking --but as it is, you are the novelty to me. I don't come from that religious tradition which says women should still be silent in the church and never hold positions of authority. It tended to be the lifestyle liberals who thought this--the Catholics, e.g.

I've known godly men and women all my life who believed some women sometimes were uniquely gifted for leadership and worship leading (song leaders in my church as a child were women--and are now) --and there are ministries that would not exist if women didn't lead them --because the men are out making the money to support the church. This is one way women are helpmeets in our church tradition.

Women would stand up and testify--same as men in a prayer meeting --and pray aloud.

I suppose your church has no public prayers because of Jesus' teaching about it???

there is so much work and ministry to do to reach an unsaved, unbelieving world --and there are the poor and the elderly, the children and "the least of these" who need our time.

I find Calvinists and men who are determined to define women's roles by 1st C. standards --who want to perpetuate the curse of women's subjugation and pain in childbirth, rather than saying "Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven" --I find such fellows to be a mean and unloving, judgmental group when it comes to this issue.

It's not about me being unsubmissive to anybody --except YOU guys who are legalists on this issue.

I know the scripture where Paul says we are all equal in Christ --one in Christ --no distinctions.
I remind you of Deborah in the O.T. whom God did not dispprove though she had authority over men --given to her by Him.

The Golden Rule and the equality of all persons, male and female, suggests that men are not to lord it over women in a superior or oppressive manner. I do believe the man is the head of the home and that woman's roles are helpmeets to them --but that doesn't mean Beth Moore can't teach a really good Bible Study that men would learn from.

Rob R said...

Thank you steve, you will help secure both misogyny and exogetical illiteracy for generations to come.

steve said...

I think you meant eisigesis.

;)

Anonymous said...

Barb, you put a lot of weight on culture and no weight on scripture. This is exactly why Paul takes his argument in this direction - for people like you - women like you:

"12I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. 13For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. 15But women[a] will be saved[b] through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety"

If Paul is looking to culture for authority, he must be looking to the culture in the Garden of Eden - that is where he bases his argument isn't it? Ephesus? Ancient backward customs? Second class women? You go there, but Paul goes to Genesis.

I guess when you refuse to submit to the Apostle Paul, you also loose the ability to divide scripture rightly. The proof of this is your disrespect for difficult scripture like this.

In your mind, Paul is wrong unless you decide to prove him right. You seem to want to prove him right sometimes, and wrong other times. If you embrace the notion that Paul and Adam must be in a "drunken stupor", why do you reference Paul's writings for authority on anything? You've already made the argument that his writings are uninspired opinion. So why do you even care what Paul says?

You use the Apostle Paul as your puppet. Do you do the same thing with Paul's Lord?

steve said...

This whole thread is the most surreal thing I've ever been part of... and I'm darn proud of it!

Rob R said...

If Paul is looking to culture for authority, he must be looking to the culture in the Garden of Eden -

When I post on this, I hope to illustrate this further, but now, I'll just point out that Paul is indead a genesis thinker where you have woman as a participant in the image of God, called a helper, same as God is in the psalms (meaning salvation and strength) and an equal to man (flesh of my flesh...)

Barb, you put a lot of weight on culture and no weight on scripture.

and no doubt, you'd have your cultural precursors with the ancient Jewish men who pray every morning a thanksgiving to God that he was a Jew, not a gentile, learned, not ignorant, and a man and not a woman.

Rob R said...

This whole thread is the most surreal thing I've ever been part of... and I'm darn proud of it!

And that's why you're one of our favorite participants.

Anonymous said...

Rob r,

Before you go and write a book about gender roles in Genesis, you too need to be cautioned. Paul has already defined the role of women. He has already stated his position most clearly and he has already used Genesis to do it.

Are you too setting out to show that Paul is wrong? Or, does Paul need you to prove him right?

Just remember, the longer it takes you to make your point, the clearer and stronger Paul's position must be.

And in the end, if in your own mind you succeed in defeating Paul, what will you have left? Do you really want to stand opposed to the Lord's Apostle?

Matthew said...

Dear Barb,

You said that Calvinists want to perpetuate the curse of pain in childbirth.

I cannot speak for all Calvinists but as federal head of my household, let me say that the Frenches will defend the right of women everywhere to use pain relieving measures such as epidurals during childbirth.

Crusader09 said...

I still have not received any kind of answer to the point I made about none of this having anything to do with Sarah Palin as Senator McCain's VP... This is a country governed by documents other than and not including our Bible, so I think it is completely erroneous to apply these principles in this way.

Furthermore, someone said (and I am having trouble finiding it, but I know it was in the last two-thirds of the posts) that Barb is rejecting a teaching about women that is "found everywhere." I personally have never been member of a church that did not allow the ordination of women, let alone for them to be teachers, leaders, and preachers. In fact, one of my closest friends and confidants is a woman pastor. The church she is a pastor at is a godly, upright congregation, following Biblical principles and bringing people to Christ.

Though everyone's OPINION, I'm sure, is welcome (I feel secure saying that), I find it quite interesting that everyone on this board seems to feel like they have some sort of authority from which to speak on every subject; in my personal experience this means nothing more than "my pastor said..." Where do you all get your information and authority to speak on such a matter and infer that Barb and I are, essentially, spreading heresy?

crusader09 said...

Also, I believe the writings of Paul to be some of the best possible instruction left for Christians to live by. I believe in Biblical inerrancy, but I also take that definition literally; this means that I do not think the Bible is ever NOT God's word, but I also don't thinkt hat God calls us to leave our brains at the door and NOT use our judgement to prayerfully consider what His will for us today is... individually and as a Church universal.

crusader09 said...

So, on a political note, I think that Sarah's personal choices regarding the birth of her special-needs baby and the birth of her coming Grandchild prove her to be of the best pro-life nature: one who is willing to not only speak for the rights of the unborn, but to put that into action.

Her actions speak to her as a true evangelical Christian and someone who stands by what she believes in, no matter how big the costs.

I am joyful for her and her family to welcome a new baby into the mix, even if the circumstances are less than ideal. A baby itself is never anything but a blessing :)


I do think, however, that her pro-life stance could isolate some of the moderates who were on the fence, but happen to be pro-choice. That's okay, I still know that the McCain-Palin campaign can win this election... even the polls are tipping in our favor these days :)

Matthew said...

Dear Crusader,

You've brought up the authority thing again but I'm not sure why. I don't have any authority over you and I never claimed it. Women are to submit to men but not every woman is to submit to every man. My wife submits to me. My daughters submit to me until the time comes when they have a different federal head and then they will submit to him. Women (and men) at my church submit to me as an elder but that is a little bit different yet.

Again, if you don't see the Bible, from cover to cover, teaching Patriarchy (father-rule) with God as our Father and the Son submitting to Him and us submitting to Christ then I don't know what else to say. Actually, I do, but it would be a long post. I could recommend some books, though, if you are really interested.

You can't proof text this one - it requires thorough study of the Bible. Thorough study is required for deep understanding of it but you could also just walk by faith in what the texts plainly say.It should be obvious that Barb is jumping through hoops to explain away the passages. I am standing up for every one of them, taking them at face value. They mean what they say and you don't need to be a Greek expert to get it.

Barb can chatter all she wants about her church and her tradition but she simply cannot argue that her position isn't novel. That doesn't mean she's the first one to hold to it but she is, by far, in the minority. The church for centuries considered this boringly normal. When properly understood, patriarchy doesn't dominate women or hold them back. It frees them to glorify God in the tasks He has given them. I have a great deal of experience in Barb's church, by the way (maybe you go there, I don't know - if so you probably know me) and it is far more filled with conflict over this issue than my church. And that's not because our women hate it but keep their mouths shut. They find great joy in serving the Lord as He intends. And we're seeing God's power at work in our midst. He is doing great things through us and I believe it's in no small part because we emphasize Patriarchy. Barb's church, on the other hand, seems to always be fighting and disagreeing and hoping to just get along.

I'm not simply spreading my opinion here. This is the Word of God. My opinion doesn't matter. It's a big deal to me, though, when people spread the lies that Paul was a misogynist and that he was less than inspired in some of the Scriptures. These things are worth fighting over. Barb will have to answer to God some day for leading people astray in this area.

I wish we could speak in person about this because the internet is a terrible mode of discussion. You cannot discern people's hearts very well over the internet. I haven't written anything in this thread that isn't motivated by love for Christ's church and a desire to see her faithfully serve Him. Patriarchy is not harsh - it is gentle and loving and kind. God, our Father, is faithful and loving and kind. Submit to Him in this area and you will find yourself free to serve Him like never before. Barb is older than you and set in her ways so I avoid getting into these discussions with her but you are young with your whole life ahead of you and I ache to see you find joy in God's plan for the sexes. I don't know who you are but if you know me then I would be more than willing to speak with you more or at least recommend some reading material. If this doesn't interest you then please, please beware of anyone who suggests you pick and choose which Scriptures are accurate.

Filled with sin but trying to serve Christ,

Matt French

Anonymous said...

crusader09,

"...but I also don't thinkt hat God calls us to leave our brains at the door..."

Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems you believe your brain is capable of trumping scripture. Your experience with women trumps scripture. Your pastor trumps scripture. Your government structure trumps scripture.

Women in your position would be better off leaving your brain at the door.

Which is better; to acknowledge Paul has authority and reject it, or to simply say he is wrong and uninspired?

How are you different from Barb?

Anonymous said...

crusader09,

Please forgive my previous post. I would rather you look to the post made by Matt French. Far more profitable.

measureayear said...

From Gilbert Bilezikian’s book Beyond Sex Roles :

“Although statistically the majority of the old covenant prophets were male, The Bible mentions several female prophets and describes them as exercising the same kind of authority in the religious spheres as their male counterparts (Miriam, Deborah, Huldah, etc).”

Concerning Deborah, he states…
“In Judges Deborah played several critical roles: as prophet, she assumed spiritual leadership; as judge, she exercised judicial and political power; and eventually, she became involved in directing on the battlefield the strategy for a decisive military victory.”

“Not only are distinctions of ethnicity and social status condemned to irrelevance in the body of Christ but also the gender distinction. Because identity with Christ has primacy over all other characterizations, “there is neither male nor female.” This means that the gender difference holds no more significance than racial or class identifications in defining the workings of the new community.”

I’m not yet through the entire book (slow reader I must admit), but I would recommend it for this subject. It takes a look INTO God’s word. Gilbert is a professor at Wheaton College and a leader in his local church.

I think that it is risky and dangerous for a woman (or even a man) to not follow after what God has called her to do. If a woman feels the calling to teach/preach in a church, and she is a trained in God’s word, and her spiritual gifts are evident to her church and family, than it would be a risky endeavor in her life to ignore God’s calling. If a man is unwilling to step up, and a woman feels called BY GOD (which no one has the right to judge, because we don’t know how God calls individuals, only how he calls us) then would you rather have no godly spiritual leader leading a group of people (be it a congregation, Bible study, etc.) than a woman? That to me is a shame!

Barb said...

FYI, Matt, et al --

Our church is having no judgmental vibes anymore on this women's issue. We are what we are --and if people come in because they are disgruntled at other churches, they will see that we have a woman leading in worship music --and they can draw their own conclusions and go elsewhere if this grieves them. I'm told, and observe it to be true for myself, that this young woman's leadership has been the most tranquil period in worship music since before the Gothard people led in our church. Before Gothard philos, I was pianist, Roslyn at the organ, and Joe at the pulpit singing --and we didn't even have to practice. Everything was from the hymnal.

The Gothard folks and charismatics brought in an emphasis on charismatic-style worship --and the team concept. We have retained and developed the style such that I think we do it better today than ever before --I think the music is often quite beautiful,truly worshipful, uplifting, God-honoring and convicting to sinners and inspiring to believers --but it was a bumpy road all those years with non-musical leadership --with no one having the "authority" by virtue of knowledge to solve simple musical problems.

We had men in leadership in worship since the Gothard folks ascended, through charisma and numbers, to lead ALL our church ministries, including church music (except choir --I did that because no man was willing --I offered it to two different men who were qualified but they didn't have the time/commitment) I also always gave over the piano to more qualified people --Sharon and Lyn --when they came to our church. No one wrested it away from me --but when we went exclusively out of the hymnal to the worship music, I paved the way by getting out of the way. I couldn't play that stuff at first. I can now.

Since the young lady took over, the rehearsals have been pleasant, the harmony and singing have improved, and we don't have the striving between some of those male musical egoes who left. (And I don't mean Matt's brother who was a peach and competent and well equipped for such leadership --other men who aspired to lead didn't have the qualifications --and so rehearsals were a struggle with people who either didn't read music or couldn't read it well enough and who knew nothing about how to make singers sound better --or how to keep the sequence of verses and choruses from being a hopeless confused muddle.

The woman we have now and her sister are the most musically trained people vocally that we ever had--with years and years of lessons, choirs, ensembles, teaching, music ed, and performance experience going back to childhood. And the one in charge also leads music in jr. church, VBS and CLC --and we are learning children's songs that TEACH the Bible --the Love chapter, the books of the Bible songs, and now she is reinforcing our CLC memory verses with songs. Children's music at our church--and worship music --are doing very well these days --and the other people involved get along in these ministries. No temperamental outbursts anymore in worship team practice with striving egos seeking dominance. We used to sing songs, not the way they were written, but the way the male pianist (not your bro) could play them. We had a series of male pianists and your bro was the best of these to work with, always proficient, even-tempered.

Another was very proficient but our team authorities opposed him when he tried to improve us. A third was with us a few years until he left and was all ego and confidence and little proficiency. he was the hardest. We almost got stuck with him as the leader because some thought male leadership would surely be best but most of the team members knew this would never work.

The people who were under the almost cultish Bill Gothard home school influence were the ones upset when a woman was put on the pastor's cabinet --and when drums came to the platform --and were not around when we changed to a woman leading the worship music. They were the ones who would stick us with small group leadership that was not equipped or called for such ministry--in order to have men at the helm.

After all these people left because our denominational leadership came and stood firm on the issue of women's roles in ministry --and it was a good 70 people because of their large families -- this church has been growing in both love for each other and numbers and new young couples in particular.

YOU MIGHT ASSUME I was in the middle of or behind all this controversy --but oddly enough, I was not. I just always did my thing --which was choir and Christmas and getting the special music --because no one else wanted those jobs --until the girls came home from college. I had NO knack for worship team leadership as it was being done in those days. I couldn't make any sense out of the confusion of it. I couldn't modulate keys between songs so I never aspired to be their pianist. makes me nervous when I am called to fill in so the other can have a break. But I have improved in my ability to do this --because it is being done musically--all the singers read from the music now, instead of a lyric sheet --and that makes a huge difference in all of us knowing where we are going next --and we don't mess with the songs much--changing the order and repeating this and not that --and I've learned how to copy off my music in such a way that I'm not lost at the piano!

The first wave of departees was MATT's group which pre-dated the woman's issue --and their issue was Calvinist doctrine of pre-destination and eternal security --because we had male leadership exclusively when they were in our church except for choir--they wanted to point out in a Weslyan church that Arminian (Methodist/Weslyan) interp of scripture was heresy compared to Calvinism.

An example of arminian view is this verse (and many others): "God is not willing that any should perish but that all would come to repentance and have eternal life." It was explained to me by Mitch, a leader of the Calvinist thinking among our young collegiate folks at the time, that "all" meant "all of the elect." Even though the verse doesn't say "all of the elect." John 3:16 and 17 doesn't specify either that salvation is only for an elect group.

We agree, that we are THE ELECT --but we have responsibility to choose to be elect or not. God has the sovreinty to prevent our salvation if He wants --and to save anyone He wants for any reason He wants --but He's told us we have hope --even certainty-- that we can choose to follow Christ --and thus be saved.

Paul's account of Jacob and Esau is interpreted by Calvinists to mean that there are those predestined for salvation and those predestined for damnation and that there is no hope for the damned. Arminians interpret that whole scenario about Jacob and Esau and Paul's interp of it, to refer to God's inclusion of Gentiles into His family and Kingdom --if God wanted to prefer Jacob over Esau, He could prefer Jews in the Old testament and include Gentiles in the New. It IS HIS sovereign will to extend salvation to ALL who will believe --and you, Matt, believe God has pre-destined those who WILL believe --such that mankind has no choice in the matter. Yet, the Bible speaks volumes over and over again about man's responsibility to respond to the grace of God or not. MAN HAS FREE WILL --to choose to follow Christ or to reject Christ. MAN IS RESPONSIBLE FOR HIS CHOICE --for his belief or unbelief. If he were not responsible, then I don't believe a merciful God would damn him.

And yes, I know there are scriptures that suggest the contrary-- thus we have these 2 views in evangelical Christendom. And they don't affect much our responsibility to love all people --to live righteously, to pursue holiness, to serve God and man, to repent for our sins. We had both in our college --the Calvinist Moody Bible Institute grads would come to our Free Methodist school for certain degrees and have late night bull sessions discussing such issues. And I guess they managed to agree to disagree on certain aspects of scriptural interp. The women's issue is similar.

THANK YOU MEASURE A YEAR and Crusader FOR YOUR GOOD INPUT.

A Calvinist might be tempted to conclude that men like SS POSTING HERE and Man with the Muck Rake have hard hearts to the Gospel because God so wills it --and that they haven't a prayer to be saved --not a chance. And thus trying to witness to them MAY prove to be casting pearls. BUT, I know Calvinists DO believe in witness to all --that they are NOT the ones to decide who is chosen or not.

I believe SS and Mudly are deeply loved by their Creator and that He calls them to salvation --because "He is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life." Christ's blood was shed for the sins of the WORLD.

Even Calvinists believe that missionaries have a duty to get the word out to the elect so they will hear --for "how can they be saved if they do not hear?" Calvinists do feel the same evangelical imperative as Arminians when it comes to witness.

Our church has filtered out to be people of a more like mind --a more Free Methodist interpretation of scripture --a Weslyan emphasis on personal holiness with love as the manifestation of that holiness. We don't believe that we are "filled with sin" like Matt says he is -- when we are "filled with the Holy Spirit" --however, we acknowledge our sin tendency and the need to continually say, "Search me, O God, and see if there be any wicked way in me...."

There is now in our church an emphasis on Biblical preaching that is the best we've ever had in my history in the church. Our young pastor, raised in our church, is the best teacher-preacher we've had --speaking plainly and interestingly -and growing ever more less inhibited in his personality and style of preaching. He is a little Obama-ish in his intellectual thoughtfulness and deliberation before speaking one to one, however. I see him becoming more loving and self-examining in how he handles things.

About childbirth pain, Matt, your mercy on that point toward women is evidence of what I said --which I actually DID get from my pastor because I had not thought of it myself --He says we resist the curse of the Fall in every way --with God's help and blessing. We resist death, disease, pestilence and yes, pain in childbirth. Why not resist also the oppressive aspects of female subjugation to men --whereby a man would stand in the aisle of my church after a concert and hatefully, almost bitterly, accuse me of heresy or being a Jezebel or something like that --memory mercifully fades --because I occasionally teach adults including men in Sunday School. (I'm doing jr. high now.)

Anonymous --are you Aaron??? accusing me of the worst sort of sin? or just a 2nd opinion by Matt reinforcing himself?

crusader09 said...

Matt, I appreciate the clarification, because I think I misunderstood your motives in this conversation until that last post. I don't know you, I have only been to Barb's church a handful of times (I liked it there, just wasn't for me). I also have no desire greater than God's will: for the Church universal, my life, and the lives of my brothers and sisters. It's a hot button topic, and one that there has been much discussion and writing about... a conversation which I do not think is likely to end anytime soon, especially as other church congregations move towards seeing women in different roles in the body. Also, my authority comment was direct less towards you and more towards whomever is posting anonymously... and by authority I meant "what education and research do you hold that the rest of us do not that makes you an expert on this subject," not authority in the way that God holds authority over the church... just for clarification sake.

Anonymous, no authority in my life trumps the authority of God. I also never said (nor could I have implied, because I don't feel this way) that my brain trumps scripture. For you to turn the conversation this way shows that you are unwilling to engage in honest dialogue and in fact, incapable of even clearly discerning what someone else is saying.

My brain is certainly no better than God's word, nor is it likely better than anyone else in this conversations...

Measureayear, I think I'll pick up a copy of this book, because it's a questions I have asked and tried to find answers to (though you know which answer I lean towards) for a long time...

For anyone to tell another person that God has NOT placed a call to lead in their lives (even on the basis of gender) is wrong. You don't know how God speaks to me, or what he says, and I don't know how or what God says to you. To assume otherwise is to make give yourself a bigger role than is necessary.

I also think there are greater dangers to our churches today than women in the pulpit...

Barb said...

I MIGHT ADD --to my church history--that those who left over the women's issue, later saw the light in some cases, when their own daughters proved proficient in teaching adults --and they are all scattered at different churches now --did not stay together. I miss them socially--I do not miss the judgmentalism and air of superiority about their Gothard belief system. The male chauvinism of this group was stifling in the early days of that movement. I did admire the Little House on the Prairie-like family emphasis --but not their separatist attitude that even excused them from our church's own youth activities and CLC --for fear of the influence of kids outside their group.

Some of their kids seem to have gone a little "wild" since, in their eagerness to find mates and to experience the worldly entertainment denied them by very fundamentalist homes ---but I bet, hope and pray, that most of those children will "come out right" in the end and raise their families in Bible-believing churches. Most of these parents did model happy Christian homes, I believe. At least some of them did.

On a different subject:
I have much more reverence for the Bible and respect for Paul than indicated here by the rush to judgment here.

I never said Paul was drunk--I said, what do you all think was going on with ADAM that he would take the fruit --without being deceived about it????

Was Adam in a drunken stupor that he was willing to eat the fruit --while knowing it was going to bring death to him?? NO, he was deceived and believed what Eve believed --that they would NOT surely die --just as the serpent promised. They were both deceived.

I don't know why Paul says Eve is the only one deceived. Do you???
Explain why Adam ate the fruit --knowing it would bring death if he were not deceived like her.

Matthew said...

Dear Barb,

Wow... that was quite a history lesson. Interesting, but not exactly relevant to the discussion.

Just a couple of quick parting comments:

I have never called Arminianism heresy. Mick, by the way, was the last one to come around on the Calvinism stuff and definitely not the one leading in that direction.

Patriarchy is not a result of the fall. Remember, Paul says women cannot exercise authority because Adam was created first, then Eve. The result of the fall is that women like you hate to submit and men like me constantly fail to lead. So I fight the fall by supporting male headship, female submission, leather gloves to protect against thorns, power equipment to lighten the work load and epidurals for anyone who wants one. The Serpent's head is crushed and Christ is redeeming the Earth.

Where would you get the idea I don't believe Mudrake, Mr. Flag or the Excrement Blender can be saved? I have called on them to turn from their sins and worship their Creator. Of course they can be saved and I have great hope they will be.

I'm glad to hear the preaching has been so good in recent years. My parents say the same thing so I praise God for Keith's leadership and shepherding of my parents. This is in contrast to the last pastor. It is he I was really driving at in my last post about people just trying to get along. Pastor Neville was utterly incapable of leadership and always sought to appease everyone instead of standing firmly anywhere. This sounds harsh but shepherds must be held accountable.

Let me finish by saying that I will always be grateful for HFM. This is where I was brought to faith, where I was raised in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. I might handle things differently if I were in the process of leaving that church now. There are many things running through the head of a young man coming to Calvinistic convictions and it can be a little bit confusing. It may have been a pipe dream, in retrospect, to think that we could have any influence on the leadership there but, bear in mind, it was difficult to leave. We didn't want to leave our families and friends. That was the only church any of us had ever known.

That, however, is in the past and God has been good in the last ten years. Two out of the four men are now pastors. Two more are deacons and/or elders. Our wives are the best in the world and have given us 14 children since we left. We are all serving the Lord and I have no doubt that His leading us away from HFM was for the best.

Now I'm off. Must prepare to teach a Bible Study tonight on the first chapter of Joel.

God bless,

Matt

Anonymous said...

My identification is irrelevant. However I am not matthew, or Aaron.

My only observation in all this is that the Apostle Paul makes Barb squirm:

Rather than believing Paul, Barb is forced to attack him. She sees him as a threat to her free will. She writes book long posts calling on every authority under the sun hoping to refute the Lord's Apostle.

Barb's own words will be her judge.

Reminder. She says this about Paul (second post): "..his reasoning isn't too sound on the topic --since he blames her for being the one deceived as though Adam were not."

So she doesn't limit her charges against Paul to statements where he says "I do not permit" as if he was speaking in an uninspired off the record fashion. She even openly charges inspired scripture with error.

She charges that Paul's "reasoning", his application of Genesis is incorrect.

She then says in her post today:

"MAN IS RESPONSIBLE FOR HIS CHOICE --for his belief or unbelief. If he were not responsible, then I don't believe a merciful God would damn him."

This is proof that when Barb accuses Paul of error, she must follow-up with accusations that Genesis is also in error. How else would anybody ever assume that damnation is derived from some act a person performs AFTER they are born? Genesis clearly shows sin entering the world well before Barb was ever born. Damnation came long before Barb was held "responsible" for her first lie. None of us are born innocent. Barb's first lie took place in the Garden thousands of years before birth. By default, our destination is hell. We stand guilty in our mother's womb. Hence, we need a Savior.

Don't put your trust in Barb when she says "...If he were not responsible, then I don't believe a merciful God would damn him."

Who is this Barb, talking back to God?

Reject this women's teaching and embrace all of scripture as God's Word. Scripture is always right, and it is man that is often wrong. If you reject Paul, you will also find yourself rejecting his Lord - even hating his Lord.

Maybe we find Paul's writings to be difficult to understand and difficult to apply, but that is never a basis for charging Paul with error.

1 Cor 1:18 "For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God."

Never let a person lead you into thinking Paul's message is foolish. It is our only hope. It is filled with the power of God. And it saves us even as we wrestle to apply it.

Matthew said...

Crusader,

Thanks for the reply. You are right that nobody can fully discern God's leading. The Spirit moves as He wills and no one can predict it.

However, I do know that God's word is eternal and He is unchangeable. I trust you and I agree so far. So... then I also know that God will not lead you in a direction that conflicts with His word. This doesn't prove my point, I know, but if I am right about patriarchy then we should be able to agree that God will not lead you to the pastorate. Can I know for sure that God would never lead you to steal in order to pay your bills? Can I know for sure that God would never lead a woman to kill her unborn child even if it's really inconvenient? Of course I can know that. Same thing with women in authority over men. If I'm right on the core issue, then I can know God will not lead you to violate it.

You're right that I don't know the specifics of how God speaks to you. God is a personal God who loves us. He has given each of us His Spirit. But, again, I can confidently suggest that God would never tell you certain things. Like curse your parents, kill your baby, worship your cat or usurp authority over men. I know, I know. These examples are not equivalent in degree but I would suggest they are equivalent in kind.

Lastly, don't buy into the worldly lie that you must do what men do in order to be equal. In the family of God everyone is equal but they have very different roles. Remember, Jesus did not consider equality with God something to be held onto but humbled himself and became a man.

I wish you knew my wife. She has a Master's degree in Public Health from the University of Michigan and is a very bright young woman. Is she selling herself short by only working part-time at UT, leading women's Bible Studies, attending other Bible Studies, preparing our home so it is a welcoming place for visitors, raising our children to love and serve God, starting to pursue mentoring relationships with younger girls, serving me so that I can minister in the church and many more things that I won't list? Of course not. She doesn't need to do the things I do in order to use her gifts for the Lord.

It's not so much that feminists in the church think they can't serve in a patriarchal system. It's that they aren't willing to serve in the ways God prescribes. It's rebellion, plain and simple. And hopefully I can stop pointing out that my rebellion grieves God, as well. It does and it grieves me, too. But I don't need to be perfect in order to sound the trumpet on this issue.

You said you don't attend Barb's church. If you aren't tied to another church let me invite you to mine. If you visited, I think you'd find men and women worshiping Christ joyfully and reverently, finding glory in how He created us male and female. It's Christ the Word PCA. See www.christtheword.com for worship times and location.

Also, as long as you were planning to pick up the book someone else recommended, let me recommend my Pastor's and his brother's blog. It is a great resource for information on this topic. On the left side you'll find posts archived by topic. Click on things like Fatherhood, Femininity, Patriarch and such.

http://www.baylyblog.com/

Again, thanks for the interaction.

In Christ,

Matt

Barb said...

I once got in trouble with the Gothard group leading our church with a complicit pastor --because I said that whatever Jesus Christ said was "the pearl of the Bible." They called me and my husband before the cabinet which was supposed to be an advisory body for the minister but for a period of time, 30 years ago, tried being a court for church people.

At the time, we were having S.S. teaching for adults that focused primarily on the Old Testament and Gothard principles --and I commented on a road trip with others from our church that Jesus trumps the Old Testament with his teachings --whenever there is a difference between Old Covenant and New --as in "eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth" --an Old testament standard of justice that still is a good standard of JUSTICE --fairness --but Jesus said, "You have heard it said of old, eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth --but I give to you a new commandment --that you forgive....return good for evil, etc."

There had been a Gothard teaching presented at our church by laymen --an example from the Gothard materials --in which a grocery owner was robbed by a man who stole food for his family because he had no job and felt desperate. The question was "what should the grocer do? what is justice?" And the solution was to take the man's furniture and sell it to pay back the grocer, if I recall correctly.

I said, why wouldn't a Christian grocer try to be redemptive? perhaps giving the man a way to work off his debt and give him food as a charitable act in the meantime.

The leader looked at me as a woman who should be quiet in church --very hostile response toward my remarks. I went away shaking my head --and my comment on the road trip arose from my concern that we were too Old Testament-focused and missing the boat of love and grace as a result.

And so the minister at my "trial" (with my husband with me) said, "Is that true, Barb, that you said the Gospel of Christ is the pearl of the Bible?" I said, Yup. And He said in his soft, mellifluous voice , "Well, gentleman, she is absolutely right, you know."

It was SOOO sweet! the vindication! These laymen looked sooo perplexed --but I was off the hook.

Now, why stay in a church with such leadership??? The pastor was good though too respectful of Gothard and his followers. He was actually a very inspiring preacher, uplifting, so we had our greatest church growth under him --and his wife and I were musical buddies. These young laymen all about 10 years younger than we were --were very charismatic (meaning attractive) people --the former athletic stars and popular, good lookin' folks of the area. We were attracting Gothard home schoolers as we became known as a church run by Gothard tenets --more than FM.

I stayed because I had friends, my children had friends (the Gothard kids were a little younger than most of mine), I had a ministry with choir that they had not given to a man --though I gave it up to another lady for a few years when I was busy with school board -- I liked the services even with the new style of music that was foreign to my history and experience.

And I stayed because I DID feel these people were ALL earnest Christians, who took God and His Word very seriously. And I WAS a FRee Methodist from a FM College with FM grandparents --and I like the denomination --respect it --respect its leadership at the highest levels.

I felt the only reason I would leave would be occasional anger --and that would not be a good enough or godly reason. It was only in the adult s.s. classes where I would not have wanted my family to be wrongly influenced by Gothard chauvinism, chronic guilt imposition, (we were never righteous enough to have an outreach, by the main teacher's teachings -He was always suspecting an Ai in the Camp ) --this fellow once even referred to "a choir director" and a "bible study leader in a store front" who might be Jezebels in the church. (thinly-veiled reference to me and a women's
Bible study leader who had led many women to Christ and we were both there to hear him say it --it was outrageous!! ) --but our success in our limited roles challenged his chauvinism. He as a teacher, the women's Bible study leader, and I with an active choir, were having success in our programs --as was the minister through his preaching --so we were bursting at the seams as a church. And this teacher was leery of us women who had leadership --though we were not usurping any male authority.

Anyway, I think we are in the healthiest mode as a church today --a few kinks and quirks remain--and anyone in any church has some problems --like people who want to do ministries for which they don't seem equipped --people who hurt each other's feelings --people who think some are being clique-ish--and people who ARE clique-ish, people who have no patience or time for "the least of these" and judgmental types and so on.

I do think, however, that the more intelligent and gifted and mature in Christian love, the church leadership is --and the more homogenous a congregation is --the least likely the church will manifest 'troubles." though there are always some behind the scenes.

When you have a mix of educational levels, socio-economic levels, and people coming from all sorts of Christian belief systems --there is more chance for friction--more challenge to love people who are not our natural friends.

Jesus said if we love those who love us, we are not doing anything remarkable. That has always been a reminder to not choose a church because I found soul-mates there and a social niche --but instead to be in a church for the ministries God calls us to there.

the challenge is to love and fellowship despite disagreements and differences of all sorts. Our church is more homogenous now --We don't have Gothards trying to change an FM Church to fit their precepts --and we don't have Pentecostals wanting us to be shoutin' Methodists (these went to Calvary Assembly though we hated to lose them and appreciated their exuberance in worship) and we don't have Calvinists trying to make us believe what they believe --and we are really learning to be gracious people --after all these challenges.

We are getting more and more black children in our Wednesday program --as they bring their friends. Must be doing something right.

Our strengths --some really neat young persons --an exceptionally fine teaching/preaching pastor --and good music leadership. Also youth and children's ministries are strengthening --though we took a blow in numbers of youth when we lost all those home school families.

By the way, my daughter home schools and those kids are ahead of grade level, i'm sure. They are 6 and 8 and their curriculum is excellent --no problem reading or computing. The Saxon math program is great. Solid phonics curriculum. I subbed the other day --and I'm impressed with their school work including science projects and piano lessons. Sports at the Y --and a Friday Home-school Co-op.

Barb said...

The irony here is --I DO believe in God, the FATHER --the patriarchial view as you put it. I have no quarrel with woman being the HELPMEET --as I've said so often. Yes, she was made FOR man and she was made 2nd. And she was given a good mind and good abilities for her role.

But I remind you again, that in Christ there is no distinction--and in Heaven there will be no distinction. "Thy will be done on earth --as it is in Heaven" --where there is no distinction between Jew, Gentile, slave, free, male, female.

I have no desire to hold or usurp men's authority --or to be the pants-wearer in the home or church. I don't find women pastors appealing and probably wouldn't be in such a church, by my preference. I don't think the average woman is going to be called to preach--and I'm leery when women do think this is their calling--but I have met a few women who are unique in this regard. Ohio's FM Brenda young is one who has 700 in her church. I don't think God is displeased. And I do like to hear her.

I certainly do not have a doormat husband, a milk toast. I WANT him to be decisive and to lead --as he does. He's the MAN!

But he doesn't have time or inclination to be CE Director--I do. I see my roles in the church as appropriate roles for helpmeets --doing a ministry to help the church --to which I think God calls me, a job i have more time for (and currently more enthusiasm for) than the men in our church.

My former nemesis who used to be so critical of me as a woman came to a place where he really admired the female CE director of another church--and he veered away from some of the rigid chauvinism of the old Gothard group which he had been the leader of. He is still with us --and teaches for us.

By the way, Matthew, I resent the demeaning way in which you refer to my "chatter." I find I am no more "chatty" than men I know. So THERE!

Regarding Excrement Blender and the man who rakes it, I know you believe all the elect can be saved and that you should witness to all since you don't know who the elect are. But if they never do respond to the Gospel, you will conclude that God did not predestine them to be saved --therefore they may not even have a chance, according to your doctrine as I understand it.

I really believe from Scripture that God wants everyone to repent and be saved. You don't. Right?

I marvel at the cowardly anonymity of Anonymous. Glad to know it isn't Aaron or Matt just doubling his post strength.

Anonymous, you speak very strongly and offensively --why not say who you are? Because you aren't proud of your condemning, judgmental approach for a fellow believer???

Matthew said...

Barb,

Don't resent my chatter comment. Come on, you know you do. Just embrace it. :)

I really can't believe I'm asking this, thereby inviting more dialogue, which I've said I won't be drawn into, but here goes anyway...

Where on earth do you get the idea that there will be no difference between men or women in heaven? I've never in all my life heard anyone say this.

Barb said...

I said, "MAN IS RESPONSIBLE FOR HIS CHOICE --for his belief or unbelief. If he were not responsible, then I don't believe a merciful God would damn him."

Anony: This is proof that when Barb accuses Paul of error, she must follow-up with accusations that Genesis is also in error.

How did I do that???

Anony: How else would anybody ever assume that damnation is derived from some act a person performs AFTER they are born? Genesis clearly shows sin entering the world well before Barb was ever born. Damnation came long before Barb was held "responsible" for her first lie. None of us are born innocent. Barb's first lie took place in the Garden thousands of years before birth. By default, our destination is hell. We stand guilty in our mother's womb. Hence, we need a Savior.

Agreed that we have a sin nature --we are born in sin --but will the baby go to Hell because he hasn't repented? or been baptized? We protestants don't think so. Because Jesus said, "for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven," in reference to little children.

Anony: Don't put your trust in Barb when she says "...If he were not responsible, then I don't believe a merciful God would damn him."Who is this Barb, talking back to God?

I'm not talking back to God. I'm agreeing with God that people are responsible for their choices --just as Adam and Eve were in the Garden --and so we are all responsible for the sin we all do by our sin natures --and yes, we all need a Savior. No argument there.

GOOD GRIEF, ANONY! YOU are getting carried away here attributing things to me that I haven't thought or said! By your blatant misinterpretation of ME.

I'm not talking back to God. I have thought Paul erred on his statement about Adam not being deceived in the garden --and you have not answered my question --why did Adam eat if he were not deceived? knowing it would kill him?

Paul is not God --though He is inspired by God in His writings --but I think this passage in Timothy is problematic and I haven't heard anyone give a good explanation yet.

I certainly didn't leap to the conclusion you did to think i would disagree with God and you -- and say we aren't all dead in trespasses and sins. We all are!

We all must be born again if we would be saved.

And if we are born again, "they will know we are Christians by our love" -so I think you'd do well to back off of your heresy charges toward me here.

I worship Jesus Christ --not the Bible. I believe the Bible is God's Word but Jesus Christ is the Word Incarnate--and that we can rely on the written Word for the definitions of good and evil and salvation and the true history of God and man, the Jews, the nature of God, the history of Jesus and the Church. The Book is Truth. But JEsus Christ is THE TRUTH INCARNATE. All the writings are to be measured against his teachings.

I also believe there is human element in the writings. HOw else do we get the different accounts of Judas' death? Maybe someone has an answer to that --I have not studied it and I do not have an answer when the atheistic challengers bring it up.

The beauty of scripture is that it has remained intact despite things that some translators through the ages might have wanted to tamper with. Warts and all are in the Book --just as they were written by the original writers, I believe.

I hope we don't know each other personally, Anony--you are showing a rather deep-seated lack of love, seems to me!

Barb said...

Matt: Where on earth do you get the idea that there will be no difference between men or women in heaven? I've never in all my life heard anyone say this.

30For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.

I guess I'm assuming that angels are sexless.

Antipelagian said...

Barb,

I write this affectionately...having enjoyed the friendship and fellowship I've had your family over the years...and knowing you have silently served *many* without broadcasting it.

As my brother, Matt, has noted, so will I:
I do not want to diminish where we have agreement. There is much to agree over and I have derived much benefit from HFM and love the people there...having fond memories of many, many people.

You said:
But I remind you again, that in Christ there is no distinction--and in Heaven there will be no distinction. "Thy will be done on earth --as it is in Heaven" --where there is no distinction between Jew, Gentile, slave, free, male, female.

I'm not certain Paul is teaching gender neutrality when the fullness of God's Kingdom is realized...but I'm going to grant that he did.

If you are going to apply that teaching in such a way that gender roles within God's economy are rendered irrelevant, wouldn't there be other consequences besides leadership roles in church?

Following this understanding of Paul, could you prove that a "Christian" homosexual is wrong when using that very reference to "biblically" justify his/her homosexuality?

After all, there is no distinction.

Warmly,
Craig

Rob R said...

anonymous,

Just remember, the longer it takes you to make your point, the clearer and stronger Paul's position must be.

why?

as to your question, I won't be arguing against Paul. But please elaborate on your comment above.

Would you argue against the apostle Peter who said that Paul wrote some difficult things to understand?

Rob R said...

Let me just reiterate something that was just said that I read here.

The Bible means what it says. period. So when Peter says that Paul wrote some things that are difficult to understand, then it clearly means that some of the things that Paul wrote are hard to understand.

Barb said...

Hi Craig --how's the baby?

Sex was created for mankind so he might procreate. Woman was created for man as a helpmeet and procreator with man. She is to be submissive to the husband in the home hierrarchy -- But in Christ they are one or equal, says Paul.

And Jesus says we shall be as angels when we are resurrected and no longer sexual beings --that is marrying or married.

I used to think people were fictionalizing and in error when they referred to their children who died as "little angels," until I was re-acquainted with the passage I just quoted to Matt.

The male female one-flesh unit is God's design. The male-male unit so is NOT His design or His creative purpose for our bodies.

Obedience to God in the matter of sexuality means heterosexual marriage or celibacy. The Bible is unambiguous about it in both testaments --and man's reason corroborates that homosexuality serves no good purpose whatsoever and in fact, is a public health hazard generally. It's also a pitiable condition for which we should have compassion when people say they felt they had no choice.
Of course, I always say the choice is in the first thought --just as with adultery or pedophilia or theft or murder or any other sin.

Barb said...

I TALK, Matt. I do not CHATTER! except sometimes for fun.

Again, I've known very talkative men who don't let a woman get a word in edgewise!

crusader09 said...

Rob, I'm interested to hear what you have to say on this subject, because you seem to have had thoughtful insight before, structured like an argument from logic classes...

Barb, I'm curious (and not maliciously so) about why you think that few women are actually called into leadership ministry positions? The way you phrased your speech made it seem like you think that women, as a gender, aren't as qualified as men, but a few women are. Maybe I read too much into that, but I'm wondering...

Anonymous said...

Barb,

It sounds like you are working to build a church after it crashed once. The book of 1 Timothy was written to a church builder, and explains how to build a church:

1 Tim 3: "14Although I hope to come to you soon, I am writing you these instructions so that, 15if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God's household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth."

If you reject Paul's instruction on how to build a church, which of these two outcomes will likely follow?:

Matthew 7:24-26

"24"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash."

I find you bucking against the authority of Timothy's father in the faith. You discard the words of Paul, and so I'm afraid you are building your church foolishly. Paul was even concerned that Timothy would be lead astray:

1 Tim 6: " 20Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, 21which some have professed and in so doing have wandered from the faith."

Practically every post on this blog has revolved around the book of 1 Timothy. The things Paul has entrusted to us must be guarded and applied. Yet you can not read this book without your skin crawling, nor can your church quote from it at an ordination service without skipping over entire chapters such as the qualifications of an elder and deacon.

A powerful godly church does not sprout from good preaching alone. In fact, it seems much of the instruction to Timothy deals with things other than preaching. Faithful men are required. It seemed pleasing to God to have Deborah as a judge, but does it seem pleasing to God to have women ordained as pastors, overseers, deacons, or elders? Does Paul provide exceptions when he says "the overseer must be...". Does Paul take his basis for these instructions back to Genesis so you can say it only applies in Ephesus?

Either you are ignorant, or you are dangerous.

If you were in Timothy's church he would have had to deal with you the way Paul dealt with Hymenaeus and Alexander in chapter one.

Barb said...

I don't think God calls women to the pulpit ministry as often as He calls men --perhaps because we typically are the hearth tenders at home with our hands full--and it's what we enjoy, are suited for by our natural gender interests. There may be more women missionaries, however, counting the single ones and the wives --and there are certainly more women teachers of children --

By and large, most women do not aspire to the pulpit. And sad to see today that too many of the ones who DO aspire, turn out to be lesbians --in the mainline churches.

We are a male-dominated culture still --though women who are both called and equipped can break the glass ceiling. But women in the pulpit do have an obstacle sometimes in the chauvinism of men --or the Biblical literalists on Paul's teachings.

I'm expedient --i think men pastors are more likely to be able to reach and teach and counsel men. No one should want to preach just to prove she can do it as a woman --even if it means her church will be smaller and her ministry less effectual than a man's.

There is so much that a woman can do without the obstacles of male opposition--I only ever wanted to do a job that a man was doing when I knew he was in the way hindering progress and knew I had ideas for doing it better. I can't even think of any examples now. But there's nothing worse than a "do nothing" administrator or a bad teacher in ANY organization who is allowed to hang on to his position while bearing no fruit when someone else has inspiration for the role. It's sad to see any organization advance ego or mediocrity and hold back those who are called and equipped.

Brenda Young, an FM pastor of a large church, and the wife of a minister, is perhaps like Sarah Palin -- liked by people because of the way she treats them, because of her personality, because she doesn't seem to be grasping for power, because she is a straight talker, because she is committed to Christian ideals, she is not liberal --and she doesn't seem to be all about ego but about getting things done --she conveys a sense of mission and a sense of integrity and godliness --that men and women both admire.

I don't think you can know Brenda Young and call her unsubmissive, usurping man's role, out of God's will.

She's one who said she doesn't squelch people's ministry ideas --but lets them run with it and try to get it going. She says some of these ministry efforts flop and some fly. She's not a control freak, in other words.

Anonymous said...

rob r,

It seems to take more work, more craftiness, to explain away clearly stated scripture. It's especially difficult to explain away scripture that uses other scripture to make a point, such as 1 Tim 2. The more difficult the task, the longer it takes. It's always profitable to study scripture, but never profitable to doubt it.

Barb said...

Our church is doing pretty well these days, thank you, Anonymous, for your kind words, as always.

But we still aren't real good to follow up on visitors --to encourage them to return or find out why they didn't. That's an organizational detail that a woman could probably address. I'm not sure we are good self-evaluators of our services, etc. --and I always wonder if some don't come back because we ask people to stand for worship and leave them standing for 20 minutes through all the music and a long prayer time. The worship leader now often seats them for some of the music --but many people say we should encourage the standing all the time --the pentecostals don't seem to mind. But I would think there are some people who think they need permission to sit down when most are standing. I wonder how many of the unchurched decide to stay unchurched just because they don't want to stand up all the time for music they don't know.

What's neat is how we've gotten to know the remnant and formed new and close friendships --with people we didn't know as well before --and may have held pre-conceived notions about.

Our church was never so small that the departed sunk the ship. they left a big hole in hearts and budget giving --but we've managed to continue with good vitality.

A word for the Rev. Neville, mentioned here by Matt. He was a godly loving gentleman. He was not a confronter, as you noted, but after a lifetime in ministry, he was aware of how sensitive people are, I'm sure --and perhaps was hoping the Holy Spirit would do all the work of reconciling or correcting or whatever you thought he failed to do. He did stand up to the people who wanted to change our church and make sure women didn't hold any leadership positions.

I just don't see leadership position as AUTHORITY as much as RESPONSIBILITY --and as I've said, help-meeting. Leadership is SERVANTHOOD --not authority first of all. It's foot-washing, isn't it???

Barb said...

Anony says: "A powerful godly church does not sprout from good preaching alone. In fact, it seems much of the instruction to Timothy deals with things other than preaching.

Anonymous wrote "Faithful men are required. It seemed pleasing to God to have Deborah as a judge, but does it seem pleasing to God to have women ordained as pastors, overseers, deacons, or elders? Does Paul provide exceptions when he says "the overseer must be...". Does Paul take his basis for these instructions back to Genesis so you can say it only applies in Ephesus?"

According to Pliny the Younger, a historian who despised Christians, two slave women led a church in Jerusalem. That was sinful by your reckoning -but maybe it was no different than the women who start neighborhood Bible studies that bear much fruit.

As for Deborah --she oversaw the military --reluctantly --because the military leader wanted her to ride beside him. She commanded his troop movements. God never said a word against this. Did He change His ideas re: woman's roles in the New Testament?

I think it was important in first century culture that churches be headed by men --and Paul gives his reasons. He didn't condemn slavery either. The first thing is to get people to hear and believe the Gospel --then the social reforms can evolve from the application of the Golden Rule and the whole of scripture to various social issues --like slavery and the roles of women.

yes, the gay community wants to take the social changes of Christianity's Golden Rule to eliminate the teaching that homosexuality is sin. But that's certainly different --than whether or not a woman should take a leading role because she is uniquely called and equipped. It's not immoral for a woman to serve the church in any capacity.

Yes, I agree with you Anony and with scripture that a church needs godly male overseers --and so it is that our church cabinet is all men now because no woman aspired to be on and we nominated men from the floor and elected them. We've had two different women serve in that capacity. The church board is almost all men --as before --though we have also always had a handful of women on the board by virtue of their offices --in Christian ed department and music, in particular --two departments where women often lead because they have the time and the gifts for it and the calling.

You are an angry man, Anonymous. Relax. "The anger of man produces not the righteousness of God."

Anonymous said...

Barb,

So, you would rather take opinion polls, change worship positions, and follow up with people. But not heed Paul's instruction?

You take pride in your progress, and things are being built. But those same things happen everywhere. Even in Ephesus the church existed before Paul wrote 1 Timothy. And yet, he still wrote it.

Why is it that churches today want to know what visitors think, but don't care what Paul thinks? Do visitors have secret information capable of transforming a struggling church? But Paul, who made every effort to visit his churches has nothing to offer?

I'm done. My cloths are torn to pieces. Thank goodness I'm not in a public place.

Barb said...

Once again--Anonymous and Matthew --I'm not unusual in my views of women's roles in evangelical, Bible-believing churches, today.

Nor am I coming from feminist, liberal churches with my views of women's role. I'm right there in mainstream evangelical Weslyan tradition --which believes in the male-headship in the home and strong male leadership in most roles in the church--but which also allows for God to fill women with His Spirit and gift them for His service in various capacities --even, sometimes, in the pulpit.

These churches do know what the Bible says; they use women where needed, equipped, gifted and called because there are a number of passages and Biblical implications for women's ministries --by Paul and others.

Barb said...

We care what visitors think because we want them to stay long enough to hear the truths of the Word about Jesus, repentance, and salvation.

It's not good if we just make them self-conscious and fidgety with our marathon stands. But we have never inquired as to whether standing or sitting during worship had anything to do with our visitor return rate.

The Willow Creek church movement has baptized many into faith --here in Toledo area -- and they started out by asking the unchurched why they remained unchurched. There is something to be said for knowing seekers' sensitivities.

E.G., unfriendliness is a bad sign after which visitors won't return.

If we care about visitors' souls, then of course we should care about the reasons why they don't return to a particular church.

Antipelagian said...

Hey Barb,
the baby is well...she's sitting up on her own and is getting ever so close to crawling. She is a joy to us.

-- But in Christ they are one or equal, says Paul.

I agree. The unity and equality being found in Christ. This is not to negate God's economy in the Church, however.

Your approach to Scripture pits one against another rather than harmonizing them...the clear teaching is that women are not to hold authority over men. In fact, it is a disgrace to have women that do hold authority (Isaiah 3:12).

Mentioning Gal 3 in passing to justify egalitarianism in the Church's heirarchy is a misuse of that passage. It's not talking about authority, it is (as you've said) talking about our equal status in Christ.

Matt, for example, holds authority at CTW...I do not. He is no more justified than I am, yet he is an authority over me.

Paul was dealing with Judaizers in Galatians. Many were banking their eternal destiny based on physical descent. How that has relevance to the question of who may hold office within the church has yet to be demonstrated.

The male female one-flesh unit is God's design. The male-male unit so is NOT His design or His creative purpose for our bodies.

How do you know that is true, in light of there being no male nor female? Why would that Scripture not apply equally to the sodomite?

Obedience to God in the matter of sexuality means heterosexual marriage or celibacy. The Bible is unambiguous about it in both testaments --and man's reason corroborates that homosexuality serves no good purpose whatsoever and in fact, is a public health hazard generally.

I agree...but I'm not sure how you can consistently hold that view. The Bible is also clear concerning the extension of patriarchy outside the home and also in the Church. As Paul said in 1 Cor 14:33-35,37, it is not his command, but God's command that women are to keep silent and be obedient...clearly, Paul commands from God Himself women have differing roles within the life of the Church.

You appeal to the created order when opposing homosexuality...I also appeal to the created order when it comes to father-rule. After all, Adam was created first. Our fallen state is federally linked through Adam, and our justified state is linked federally to Christ.

This is the economy of salvation. It is also interesting to consider that you agree federalism applies to the home...the most basic unit of all human relationships, marriage, is a type of the *true* state of our relationship to God. Patriarchy is unavoidable and it is a part of the Triune God's Ontological imprint on humanity.

Warmly,
Craig

Rob R said...

Craigert, it's nice to see you post here.

I've had the same thought that you put forward, that homosexuals could justify their point of view with Paul's description of barriers breaking down in Christ including gender. It is possible to take these thoughts this far, but not necessary, though I do take this possibility to be a problem worth dealing with. I would suggest that Paul's statement simply isn't absolute here such that it trumps the sacred nature of how the divine image is reflected in sexual relationships. In Christ we are all the same, and yet, In gender, we reflect the image of God and the egalitareanism through Christ is not meant to support what is a mockery of what is good about gendered creation that reflects the divine image.

So what about teaching? Well, when the father and son are naturally omniscient, we don't have such an analogy to sustain the same argument against women as teachers as an affront to the image of God. There's nothing to teach, when when all parties know everything.

Of course you might say "well, you, Rob, don't even believe Jesus was omniscient during his lifetime (and you don't believe God is omniscient to begin with[which isn't true and given whole truth of the my views on omniscience, isn't relevent to this discussion, and though I'm happy to discuss this issue, I don't think the thread needs to be cluttered up with one more topic])) so clearly, you Rob would have to believe that there was a time where the father taught the son." (The bracketted comments are my thoughts placed as to an answer to Craig's imaginary challenge, everything else between the quotes belongs to the imaginary tiny Craig that sit on my shoulder in a red devil suit as he typically does).

But alas, we were created in the image of the triune God, before the incarnation, so I don't believe this objection would hold water.

So what about Paul's teaching of the headship and authority of the Father of Christ as paralleled in the headship and authority of man over wife? Doesn't this indicate that female authority over indiscriminately gendered persons is an affront to the image of God? Well, it's not clear that Paul's discussion of headship really has to do with authority. The metaphor of headship for the native greek tongued Paul and his audience (and their septuigint Bible) rarely ever meant authority. As a metaphor, I found a scholar who points out that it is understood as source or completion.

As for Isaiah's passage, it appears that God knows his audience and doesn't intend here to teach them a lesson on the dignity of femininity. But the in the new covenant, God continues to show his love for reversals and subversion of a largely male dominated society.




Crusador09

Thanks for the complement. I hope this weekend to post something though it will largely be some observations from some bible scholars. I don't have access to some of my books currently and I am short on time. I intend to discuss the passage in timothy but mostly after critiquing the sermon by Pastor Bayly that Matt posted.







PS to mom. Yes I proofread this (strange made up Craig quote and all) and it is what it is.

crusader09 said...

So, to take this idea of gender roles in the church and society and the home farther, I want to pose a couple of questions. In the interest of understanding the positions better, if I may, not in the interest of arguing. I'm not even going to say what I think, just pose the questions:

1. Women in the miliary? What do we think about that (everyone, since there are opposing viewpoints)?

2. Single mothers... So in a single parent household, the mother must fill both roles, bread-winner, care-taker, boo boo fixer, spiritual head... what is the correct way for this to be handled, especially if she has sons who become men eventually...

3. Women in the military who serve in the Chaplain Corps... does this mean that everyone who lives on a base where a woman is the lead chaplain is being mislead?

4. Women as guest preachers?

These are just things that I wonder how both views would apply... I'm not trying to take the topic too far off course, but I really want to understand here.

Rob R said...

1. Women in the miliary? What do we think about that (everyone, since there are opposing viewpoints)?

I'll just point one thing out here. Women in combat roles means subjecting women to violence which I find more unsavory than subjecting men to violence. There are few joys as wonderful as punching a man in the face or in the words of Norm Macdonald, throwing acid into another man's face. But that image of women is just tragic.

crusader09 said...

(I promise I will not take this terribly far off topic, I only have this to say in response). Ah, Rob, not all roles in the military are on the front lines. Just like any other "business," there are human resources people, office staffers, transport, supply, etc. There are doctors, nurses, intelligence people. Not to mention chaplains (who are not even given extensive weapons training) and recruiters, as well as those who work in the private sector and are in the reserves...

But every soldier, sailor, marine, airman must be ready to engage in close combat with enemies of the United States, in order to be a defender of freedom, regardless of specialty.

Rob R said...

It seems to take more work, more craftiness, to explain away clearly stated scripture. It's especially difficult to explain away scripture that uses other scripture to make a point, such as 1 Tim 2. The more difficult the task, the longer it takes. It's always profitable to study scripture, but never profitable to doubt it.
September 11, 2008 4:50 PM



Anonymous,


so effort is always a sign of deviousnous? You might think employers would love that kind of work ethic but I think it's more a teamster thing.


Of course you are right, but you are committing a very basic fallacy here. If you would suggest that effort in exegesis is always evidence of eisogesis of some sort, then you are generalizing from the specific.

As for doubting the prima facia reading of scripture, I find it very fruitful when it leads to a deeper understanding of scripture.

I don't intend to explain away any scripture by the way. I only wish to explain it. The idea that the obvious understanding of scripture is always the correct one is unsubstantiated.

crusader09 said...

But my question is not whether it is unsavory or tragic, but whether it is unbiblical or immoral.

Matthew said...

Rob,

It is readily accepted these days that the people promoting the view that authority means source or head are simply twisting things to fuel their feminist agenda. Serious scholars (even egalitarian ones) understand the theory is laughable.

I'm glad you found a source who believes it, though. I also found an interesting source on a different topic here: http://www.theflatearthsociety.org/forum/

So... we both have sources. Sorry I don't know how to implant the fancy hyperlink.

Matthew said...

Crusader,

1. Women in combat roles is clearly forbidden. It is shameful for women to lay their lives down for men. Christ is our example. Women in other military positions would not be a problem, in theory. Here is a link to some great information on this. http://www.pcahistory.org/pca/index.html My pastor was part of the committee that wrote it. Scroll down near the bottom and you'll find a section called Women in the Military.

2. Single mothers are, obviously, in an unfortunate situation. Either a result of sin or tragedy. They should be members of a church with faithful elders that can be fathers to her children. She would, of course, be exercising authority, headship, boo-boo fixing and everything else, as you say, in the home. Faithful elders would be very proactive in caring for her, though, and this should not be minimized. The church should be a major help to her. Our church would love her, guiding her and her children.

3. Women as chaplains. That would be forbidden by Scripture unless I'm misunderstanding what it is chaplains do. I don't claim to have much information to go on here.

4. Women as guest preachers? Of course not. Aren't guest preachers usually full-time preachers somewhere else?

Rob R said...

Ah, Rob, not all roles in the military are on the front lines.

yes very true.

But every soldier, sailor, marine, airman must be ready to engage in close combat with enemies of the United States, in order to be a defender of freedom, regardless of specialty.

So if this is the case, then women in any part of the military involves some very unsavory possibilities.

Of course, it may be a moot point for me though because I have for some time had doubts about the idea of a "just war".

ah nuts, here goes another can of worms in a thread already chocked full of too many topics. But there's too much for me to write about at this point so I won't go into it at this point.

Rob R said...

Matt why is it laughable? who says it is laughable and why do they say it? I didn't think the flat earth society was into that sort of thing, but if that's what you think of as an authority, be my guest, though my appeal to authority is not a falacious one.

But, hey, I'm not commited to it though it is an interesting idea worth exploring.

Matthew said...

This post may actually get closer to the original topic of the thread. It should also be noted that I would be better off to remain quiet and only post links to valuable resources. I could never explain things as well as this guy:

http://www.dougwils.com/index.asp?Action=Anchor&CategoryID=1&BlogID=5857

He's been posting a lot on the Sarah Palin controversy lately and all the posts have been helpful. Well worth your time to browse the last week or so.

Of course, if I decide to post lots of links I will definitely need to figure out the hyperlink procedure...

Matthew said...

Rob,

I don't remember the details of why it's laughable and I don't know a bit of Greek.

I do remember that even honest egalitarians are rejecting it. I think the "source" argument was a passing fad. That's all I know, though.

Rob R said...

I do remember that even honest egalitarians are rejecting it.

Interesting, but as far as we laymen know in the immeadiate situation, the evidence has been laid out in the article I linked to and I find it compelling.

I think the "source" argument was a passing fad.

research, biblical or otherwise is not a fad regardless of the dead ends that may come up. It is in fact part of God's ongoing tutorship of the church to always seek a better understanding of scripture... unless you'd suggest our understanding (meaning your understanding) is perfect and complete.

crusader09 said...

Matthew, I'll take a look at the resource you posted, but I'm leery as to any truly Biblical evidence against women in military roles... even combat ones if they so choose... I'll look before I make a judgement though. I don't like to put the cart before the horse, so to speak.

I understand your answer regarding women as guest preachers, and chaplains... the single mother scenario is, you're right, unfortunate, but I have heard it suggested (not here, or by anyone here) that when boys reach an age of Sprirtual maturity, they take authority over even their mother. Having been raised in a Christian home, I'd like to see what happened if one of my brothers tried this move though.

crusader09 said...

Matthew, what I am reading is that the PCA condems women in combat positions, not those of support staff (office staff, for instance, are rarely deployed and place on front lines)... is there somewhere else I should be reading?

On this note, I am to bed... class and so forth tomorrow... but I look forward to being able to continue this dialogue so long as the rest of you see fit.

Rob R said...

for hotlinking here's an example

[a href="http://www.wikipedia.org"]wikipedia[/a]

but if you replace the "[" with ">"

then you get this:

wikipedia


As for the topic, we generally run a loose ship, though I think a good netiquette rule which I instituted at a theology forum I used to moderate is that a topic should be adhered to if the topic starter wishes it to be adhered to. It permitted free discussion in the forums and yet allowed for people to establish a point and stay focussed when they so choose.

Barb said...

About women in military--as a wife or girlfriend back home, I wouldn't like it much and would feel threatened by it --to think my man were on a boat for several months without me --but with other women around, some of whom wouldn't care that he was married. It's a temptation to the average folks of youthful military age, Christian or not, I dare say.

They say there are many shipboard pregnancies --even in this day of the pill and contraceptive knowledge. I hear the divorce rate for our military is higher than average. I do think women in the military are why we don't hear as much complaining about assignments several months long. It's like going away to college only with risk to life and limb.

I remember when a former boyfriend of mine went for basic training, and we thought it was forever in our youthful perspective. Of course, there was no cell phone or internet email then to help people stay in touch.

(which, parenthetically speaking, not to change the subject, brings up the issue of Sarah's daughter. Joy Behar of The View tv show suggested the girl got pregnant because of her abstinence-ed-advocating mother --that her mother neglected to tell her about birth control. In fact, daughter probably wasn't supervised well enough during a time when mother and father were busy having their baby which is the same age as the daughter's baby in utero.

Unlimited, unchaperoned opportunity is the biggest reason for pre-marital activity these days--not reproductive ignorance. That's why Paul sang, "Get you to the church, on time!" (Don't get ballistic on me about this fanciful misquote.)

If the PP-style Sex Educators were so successful with their condom and pill recommendations, why do we still have a huge abortion rate among the Planned Parenthood crowd? I don't think abstinence ed. is at fault.

Extramarital sex still produces untimely pregnancy, disease and abortion and single parenthood and financial burden on both parents. So-called shotgun weddings or adoption are the most redemptive solutions.

But it's extra shameful and sad when the parents are in the military, married or engaged to others back home --and surely the presence of women in the military has exacerbated this problem.)

Matthew said...

Crusader,

You are reading the information correctly. I think that's what I indicated my position was last night. Combat roles would be strictly forbidden by scripture whereas other roles would need to be carefully considered as you would do with any other career decision.

If you're looking for a proof-text that says "Women can't serve in combat" then you won't find it. This is why it's so important for us to not dodge any portion of scripture but rather come to a complete understanding of it (as best we can). The teaching of scripture is clear regarding roles for the sexes and men cowardly sending their women into battle to lay their lives down for men goes against the grain of scripture from Genesis to Revelation.

Barb makes good points from a practical standpoint. I agree with her but those points are only strong enough for me to counsel women against it. They wouldn't allow me to say that scripture forbids it or allow me to say the government is wrong to encourage it. So I agree with Barb but, unfortunately, her point (to my mind) reveals once again that she values her wisdom (which is right on in this case) more than the word of God. Notice how long she went on regarding practical implications of this instead of addressing your question with scripture.

Avoid the proof-text mentality or you will always be pitting scripture against scripture and in cases where you cannot find a direct commandment you will put down your Bible thinking that scripture has nothing to say on the topic. We must come to understand scripture as a whole, every word delivered to us by the Holy Spirit and applicable to our lives. Sure, it gets tricky when you're trying to apply sections of Mosaic law but, with the help of godly expositors and the Holy Spirit illuminating the words on the page, we can do it.

Matthew said...

By the way, Crusader, I commend you for your eagerness to actually read what everyone is writing and even follow the links for more information. Most people prefer to spout off endlessly instead of listening. Many Proverbs are running through my head right now which extol the wisdom of listening. God bless you.

Barb said...

Again, for Craig, I repeat: I don't see certain roles in the church as "authority" as much as "responsibility" and appropriate for the female helpmeet's role --servanthood. Complementing the work of the Pastor --who, in our case, has always been a man --and I prefer that.

Authority in such roles should come from competence, qualification, and calling. But good leadership won't be an egotistical type of leadership that lords over others.

People who lead authoritatively, self-conscious of their authority, arrogant in their role, are nearly insufferable, whether in the home or the church. We've been there, done that --and it was with a woman in leadership.

And also with a man I mentioned before in music who ducked into our church for a few years seeking to be our music leader though he was not the most qualified or capable. In the old days, our men would've stuck the music ministry with his leadership because he was willing and male. And it would have been a terrible frustration to more qualified musicians like your brother were he still with us --and to all who struggle under ineptitude in leaders. Of course, if your brother were still in town, he would have been the leader when Ike left --with our blessing, as it is a huge job that the woman leader does excellently for free. However, when we can afford to support a full-time or even part-time male music minister with a salary remains to be seen. Meanwhile, we are getting more than our money's worth.

Leaders who are self-consciously authoritative get bossy and unreasonable and irritable and temperamental and don't listen to reason or advice from others when they are "in charge." They are, in fact, 'control freaks.'

Christian leadership is servanthood. Servanthood is an appropriate avenue for a woman in her helpmeet role.

I am curious, do woman in your church speak at all in public gatherings? other than in the foyer or the children's classes? Do they ever make an announcement, give testimony, sing a solo, or get asked to pray in any meetings in the church?

If not, I bet your ladies aren't ALL as happy as you say with this ecclesiastical muzzle designed to follow the letter of Paul's letters about women keeping silent in the churches. It sounds more Talibanish than Christian --and I have never been in a church that followed Paul's zero-tolerance policy for women in services --except Catholic services --and I think women do music there --which is not silence in the church. In a Catholic funeral or wedding, I've seen women participate in reading or sharing remarks.

However, I surely wouldn't mind being in a church with all male leadership if they do their work well. But if they are limping along because they refuse the help and the wisdom of their female helpmeets, that's the sort of male chauvinism that has produced disrespect for authoritarian but partially competent charicatures of dads on TV, cartoons, etc.

Like the Berenstain's poor Papa Bear --whose wife is quiet and competent --and long-suffering in the face of Papa's chauvenistic omnicience that fails him.

Barb said...

Obviously, we have no teaching in the Bible, Matt, against women in military since we have Deborah's example; she commanded the battle and rode beside the military head at his request --and then there was the maid who chopped that same enemy's head off --and the Jews celebrated these victories in the scriptures without any chastisement from the ecclesiastical authorities concerning the roles the women played.

My "practical" considerations about women in the military are Biblically derived --I think we are tempting weaker brethren by putting the sexes together in these situations.

But I don't think of it as a sin for a woman to join the military, as it is not Biblically prohibited -and there are, again, "helpmeet roles" for women. Men and women do work together all the time stateside without falling into bed with each other --but then, they aren't deprived of their normal sex lives with spouses either --as they are in the military.

However, Crusader, you should know that a lady named Ringenburg, a devout Christian, flew planes in WWII and just died recently--active member of an evangelical church and family in Indiana, as i recall. friend of my mother in law. she was still flying planes for recreation in her 80's. her daughter leads a choir for senior citizens called "Senior Saints."

Barb said...

There was a tv special on Ms. Ringenberg sometime ago this century.

I think it's an awful idea for teen boys to think they have authority over their mothers. I trust that's not the PCA?

about scriptural interp --i find that Calvinists ignore or twist any scripture that contradicts pre-destination or eternal security and their other TULIP doctrines.

E.G. when Mitch said, "God is not willing that any OF THE ELECT should perish...." --when the scripture really says that God is not willing that ANY should perish but wants all to come to repentance and have eternal life.

Yes, all the saved are "ELECT" and I know there are verses that seem to support TULIP (acronym for Calvinism's 5 points) --but there are verses that seem to contradict TULIP also.

So, I'm thinking today that it's a bit hypocritical to hint that I'm guilty of blasphemy for thinking Adam was deceived along with his wife --since Paul says otherwise --considering the gymnastics done by Calvinists with scripture that contradicts TULIP.

Barb said...

PS --interesting about Deborah --she sort of chides the military leader for wanting a woman to lead with him in battle, as I recall. So it was unusual --it was considered that the men should be the warriors --protecting the women and children --as Matt noted.

From Judges 4:
6And she sent and called Barak the son of Abinoam out of Kedeshnaphtali, and said unto him, Hath not the LORD God of Israel commanded, saying, Go and draw toward mount Tabor, and take with thee ten thousand men of the children of Naphtali and of the children of Zebulun?

7And I will draw unto thee to the river Kishon Sisera, the captain of Jabin's army, with his chariots and his multitude; and I will deliver him into thine hand.

8And Barak said unto her, If thou wilt go with me, then I will go: but if thou wilt not go with me, then I will not go.

9And she said, I will surely go with thee: notwithstanding the journey that thou takest shall not be for thine honour; for the LORD shall sell Sisera [the enemy military leader] into the hand of a woman. And Deborah arose, and went with Barak to Kedesh.

10And Barak called Zebulun and Naphtali to Kedesh; and he went up with ten thousand men at his feet: and Deborah went up with him.

Antipelagian said...

Hey Rob,

I'm not sure why you have a mini-me sitting on your shoulder...I would ignore him for the time being since I wasn't really thinking about Open Theism :)

It is possible to take these thoughts this far, but not necessary, though I do take this possibility to be a problem worth dealing with.

One may not "necessarily" take it that far, but that doesn't mean logically it isn't the conclusion.

Besides this, as I mentioned before: Gal 3 is NOT even addressing the issue of office holders. It is dispelling the heresy that one may bank on his salvation based on his geneology when faith is what unites us to Christ, and Christ is our federal head.

Again, we're talking about federalism here, and the economy of God in Salvation is patriarchal in nature.

I would suggest that Paul's statement simply isn't absolute here such that it trumps the sacred nature of how the divine image is reflected in sexual relationships.

You may not think Paul's statement is absolute, but how are you concluding he specifically means egalitarianism is permissable in the church, but not a sexual free-for-all? If you read the text, I think you'll agree it neither is giving a sexual free-for-all, nor is it even addressing the issue of who may hold office in God' Church.

In Christ we are all the same, and yet, In gender, we reflect the image of God and the egalitareanism through Christ is not meant to support what is a mockery of what is good about gendered creation that reflects the divine image

Here you're simply begging the question. Equality is something we both agree on...egalitarianism is what we don't. Simply asserting egalitarianism is the divine image, without support, proves nothing except that is what you're assuming.

Christ submits to the Father...he doesn't do His own will, but His Father's. I think we agree that all three Persons are co-equal and co-eternal (or however you would say it)...but economically, there is heirarchy.

We see this in the Bible, and we see this in the created order. Egalitarianism is the anti-thesis of God's unity. It promotes one of two extremes:

1) pure diversity where unity cannot be achieved, or

2) some weird monistic view of humanity where there is no "many" or "individuation", just "oneness".

If pure diversity, then who you have sex with makes no difference...there is no unity that can be achieved...or, if we're all one, gender is obliterated and again: it doesn't matter who you have sex with.

God is unity and diversity: both of which are equally ultimate. We see this analogy in our own relationships, and what trumps that experience is the Word of God which states marriage is a type of the reality of the Bride to Christ. If the most basic of human relationships is a reality of God's order, don't you think you ought to have solid ground when arguing against such an order?

So I would have to disagree with you: egalitarianism *logically* leads to permissiveness of homosexuality.

I'm glad you and I agree that sodomy is evil, but I'm challenging your ability to be consistent on this (thankfully, you are not consistent).

So what about teaching? Well, when the father and son are naturally omniscient, we don't have such an analogy to sustain the same argument against women as teachers as an affront to the image of God.

Except we have Scripture where Paul states, unequivocally, that women are to submit...not by his command, but by God's own command (1 Cor 14:33-37).

But alas, we were created in the image of the triune God, before the incarnation, so I don't believe this objection would hold water.

Christ was the lamb slain before the foundation of the world. Further, orthodox understandings of the Trinity believe Christ is the eternal Son of God, not that He became a Son at the incarnation.

Further, when you were growing up, did you have command of your parents' finances? Why or why not? The analogy is based on God, though it is not an exact representation: Christ is the exact image of God in flesh.

As for Isaiah's passage, it appears that God knows his audience and doesn't intend here to teach them a lesson on the dignity of femininity. But the in the new covenant, God continues to show his love for reversals and subversion of a largely male dominated society.

I'm not sure the Apostle Peter learned the new covenant lesson:
You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered. (1 Peter 3:7)

He says women are weaker...and to honor her. There's nothing wrong with women being weaker, though there is something wrong with them leading men. Husbands need to honor their wives by being understanding of their weakness and also in light of their equal standing in Christ.

Again, the NT is rife with emphasis upon the patriarchal order of things...and equality in Christ when it comes to justification. There is nothing contradictory here.

Here
is a worthy blog post from Tim Bayly talking about his experience having ordained women and then repenting of it. He also goes into a number of the Scriptures brought up on this discussion.

Sincerely,
Craig

Barb said...

Well, Steve, see what you started!!

Are you still here?

Matthew said...

Crusader,

My pastor's brother authored another post applicable to this topic today. In fact, it specifically addresses one of your questions from yesterday. Interesting that God, in His providence, saw to it that it was posted today.

Thanks for the hyperlink help, Rob.

Barb said...

The pastor's brother sounds like a reasonable soul; I have no quarrel with what he said on the above link.

Barb said...

Matt, you have a knack for being offensive --as in the following judgmental statement:

"So I agree with Barb but, unfortunately, her point (to my mind) reveals once again that she values her wisdom (which is right on in this case) more than the word of God. Notice how long she went on regarding practical implications of this instead of addressing your question with scripture."

So disrespectful to your elders!! tsk tsk!

I don't think you have a right in God's kingdom to judge me and MY view of my thinking vs. what scripture says --saying I value my wisdom more than scripture --that's not the case. That's just your judgmental interpretation because of what I said about Paul and Adam's being deceived. Which no one has explained yet --why Adam took the fruit and the death if he was NOT deceived.

I tend to look at all aspects --using scripture, scriptural implication and derivation, and human reason founded on scripture. I also think there are usually common sensical and secular reasons to back up scripture -- on most any topic.

My view about women in the military is Biblically based but not rigid, since the Bible does not forbid a woman to be a helpmeet in the military.

Tell me where "combat roles for women are strictly forbidden by scripture" as you said. I can surely think of lots of secular reasons for it --but if you think that her comparative weakness mentioned in scripture is one of the reasons, I would say it would depend on the type of combat --thinking of Ms. Ringenberg in her airplane --thinking of a situation where a man and woman are attacked. I hate those tv dramas where the woman stands on the sidelines while her guy is pummeled instead of her bopping the bad guy on the bean with a bat! (Love to alliterate!)

Matthew said...

Barb,

I'm sorry you're offended but I think I'm being fair based upon what you've written. For instance...

First, you do chatter [oops you don't like the word chatter] or prattle on (lighten up, have a sense of humor) at great length about practical and secular reasons against women in combat. Secondly, you freely admit that you don't value parts of the word of God.

So I stand by my statement that you value your wisdom above the word of God. I'm sure there are parts of the word of God you value more than your wisdom but clearly there are others that you make subordinate to your wisdom. You've explicitly said so.

I warned Crusader and I'll warn you that if you're looking for a proof-text you won't find it. But if you open your eyes you'll see it implicitly taught everywhere.

By the way, I'm firmly committed to dodging your calvinism landmines. That's not what this thread is about and I'm not going to answer your objections again. It's been done time and again.

Barb said...

As you know, I think Calvinism is all about reason over scripture and it takes a very deep, intellectual and yet, convoluted view of scripture to get Calvinism's 5 points out of it--at the neglect or distortion of other scriptures.

I believe a straightforward view of scripture suggests that man CAN lose his salvation by his choices and by not running the race to the finish, as Paul said. There is so much warning us to watch lest we fall--and yes, lest we get pruned from the tree for not fruit-bearing. Sounds to me like loss of salvation is possible.

A straightforward look at scripture tells us that ANYone may come to Christ in repentance and be saved --not just those "pre-destined." WE are ALL recipients of the Grace of God through Christ's all-atoning blood--but we can reject it. Those who don't reject it are ingrafted into God's family tree --the family of the chosen ones --just as the Israelites were chosen under the Old Covenant. That's the point of Jacob and Esau's story --God can do what He wills --and He wills to let Gentiles be called the Children of God as the JEws were--by believing on the name of Jesus.

Yes, I interpret scriptures differently than you--as do all the churches that are not Calvinistic --

Just as you accuse me, you think your reason and interpretation are superior to the reason of others --and that you can reason away scriptures that tell us that anyone may be saved --and that anyone may be pruned from the vine.

You have never explained to me how Adam could have NOT been deceived when he took the fruit. I'm certainly open to a clear interp.

I'm really not raining on Paul's parade here --He's a big boy and doesn't need my approval --but I actually love nearly ALL He wrote --and the miracles he did --and the way he marched right back into town to witness after being nearly beaten to death--and how he fixed that sorcerer --and stayed in the jail after the earthquake --his speech in Athens,-- and his conversion story as a former Christian hater is one of the best stories and evidences of the Resurrected Christ in the Bible.

but the Church of Jesus Christ universal has really not embraced the "women keep silent in church" teaching as being for today to the extreme and rigid extent where a woman can't testify, pray, offer an opinion, teach a class with adult men in it, sing a solo, make an announcement, hold an office, or give insight in a church leadership meeting. Woman, after all, is the helpmeet and she has a brain and she has wisdom to contribute to her husband's thinking --and to the thinking of the men in the church. Just as Henrietta Mears did in the early 20th c. in her Sunday School oranization efforts. And she probably didn't believe in women speaking in church--but the men wisely listened to her on the subject of S.S. establishment and growth. She was an authority on that topic. she had been granted enough authority somewhere along the line to grow Sunday Schools.

yes, some of the Taliban culture Christians of the Middle East probably follow their cultural rigidity on the subject --A Christian woman in those nations had best be as oppressed as the Muslim women --or their testimony will be muddied.

I think men who are so taken with this issue to the extreme your church is, probably get a lot of machismo out of this priority. You all seem so threatened --not on behalf of scripture as much as on behalf of a sad sense of male superiority.

Yes, I'm a little steamed. I don't think it had to come to these denunciations of me accusing me of valuing my mind over the Scriptures --such that I'm saying Calvinists do the same. That's almost calling me a heritic in evangelicalism, is it not???

That's a pretty strong charge. I'd rather just agree to disagree with mutual respect for each other's membership in Christ's kingdom. For we are not saved by our faith in the jots and the tittles of the law (OT or NT) --but by the Grace of God through Christ's atonement.

OK --I've vented. You're forgiven --even though you're not sorry !

Rob R said...

Craig, the mini you is not so one track minded. I foresaw a relevence which I may or may not explain depending upon my level of laziness.

The essential argument you are making as I see it is that we are being arbitrary to say that the unity in Christ where there is neither male nor female dissolves any basis for boundaries against feminine authority over even men and yet we do not apply that dissolving of boundaries to homosexuality.

My point to say that it isn't necessary for us to take the argument that far is that there is no 'logical' reason to take it that far. I could be wrong but I don't believe that the arbitrary is necessarily illogical. At the moment, I think that arbitrariness in thought is logically weak. But I continued in my argument to explain why we aren't arbitrary. It's because I don't believe that Paul's statement about the equality in Christ was meant to dissolve the divine image as reflected in human sexuality. That is the difference between the possibility of female authority over even men and homosexuality. What I said next was to argue that it isn't clear that male authority over women isn't clearly a reflection of the image of God and I provided some disanalogies to demonstrate that (and I could go on, The son and the Father are infinitely and equally competent and yet there are some women that are more competent than some men and competence is a reason for authority) and I a gave a possible solution to a scripture that would be percieved as creating a problem for that explanation.

Besides this, as I mentioned before: Gal 3 is NOT even addressing the issue of office holders. It is dispelling the heresy that one may bank on his salvation based on his genealogy when faith is what unites us to Christ, and Christ is our federal head.

So what has changed for women in Christ? So there is neither Greek nor Jew, and we see that in the preceding discussion by Paul and we see that gentiles can become part of the family of God (and lead as well in that family) There is neither slave nor free (slaves also became leaders in the church even over their own masters, something the proverbs professes to be unbearable). It isn't so clear that this illustrated and directly relevant by what you discuss. Jews could be slaves to Jews, it wasn't a genealogy issue. But what about women, and what does that have to do with salvation through genealogy? It seems to me that Paul ends his discussion with a more general principal that has implications beyond what he discusses immediately before, if what he discusses before is as you say.

And I'm still wondering, what is it in Christ that has changed for women? There is no Jew nor Greek? There is no slave nor free. Because in Christ, there is a liberation and change over what was possible in the old covenant, so again, what has changed for women?

Here you're simply begging the question.

I wasn't begging the question, I was explaining my view. I know you don't buy egalitarianism.

We see this in the Bible, and we see this in the created order. Egalitarianism is the anti-thesis of God's unity. It promotes one of two extremes

Then whatever you mean by egalitarianism, it isn't what I mean.

We see this analogy in our own relationships, and what trumps that experience is the Word of God which states marriage is a type of the reality of the Bride to Christ. If the most basic of human relationships is a reality of God's order, don't you think you ought to have solid ground when arguing against such an order?

No, I'm not arguing against that order, I just recognize that the metaphor of marriage to Christ does not have a one to one correspondence with our mortal marriages. Most obviously husbands aren't the sinless saviors of their fallen wives.

I'm glad you and I agree that sodomy is evil, but I'm challenging your ability to be consistent on this (thankfully, you are not consistent).

And I appreciate it. These discussions through the years in general have stretched me and have helped me to grow

Except we have Scripture where Paul states, unequivocally, that women are to submit...not by his command, but by God's own command (1 Cor 14:33-37).

And he also says to submit to one another as husbands should of wives.

Christ was the lamb slain before the foundation of the world. Further, orthodox understandings of the Trinity believe Christ is the eternal Son of God, not that He became a Son at the incarnation.

But of course, it is exactly as I have written. I know what I wrote ahead of that is a bit convoluted. I was explaining a disanalogy as to why whether women can teach men or not is not something that is reflected in the trinity.

I'm not sure the Apostle Peter learned the new covenant lesson:

I'm not sure what you wrote is relevent. Women are weaker and God loves to use the weak to shame the strong (that's not controversial) just as I am sure that he was pleased when the women were the first to announce the good news of the risen savior to the male apostles.



Speaking of your daughter, does she have teeth yet? Can she read? It breaks my heart to see that the population of babies in america is rife with toothless illiterate babies. If you want, I would go to hollywood for you and plead before celebrities to donate so that you could get golden bejeweled teeth for your daughter.

Matthew said...

Barb,

Don't take me so personally. I've not come close to calling you a heretic. I think I've made it clear that I don't think you are. I think your doctrines are destructive but you've known that for years.

You've also told me for years that I value logic and reason over scripture. I know you think that; I disagree with you. You now know that I think you place your wisdom above scripture when you throw out apostolic teaching because you don't think it's right. I'm not twisting your words, am I? I think not because you've repeated and clarified yourself multiple times in this thread. You think Paul was wrong. I think that the passage in I Timothy is scripture therefore I say you place your wisdom above scripture. And you are offended? I don't get it.

Other than this one statement I think I've been very cordial here. I'm looking for common ground and pointing it out when I see it.

Actually, I've tried hard to not get into it with you. I'm here, primarily, to try to point Crusader in a different direction. She seems like a nice young woman seeking after the truth. If she hadn't been receptive to my posts I would have left her and you alone.

Please, go make yourself a cocktail. It will help calm your nerves.

Barb said...

I don't drink. I'm a Christian!
; )

Rob R said...

I was going to post something a bit more elaborate on the topic steve brought up and Bayly's sermon but I'm going to hold off for the time. I'm not a person with a lot of time on my hands, or at least, I don't have a whole lot of time when I get my procrastination done but it's the internet anyway, so the reality is that there is plenty of time.

Barb said...

AGain --about leadership that is NOT authority over men.

The Pastor is the head of our church--but the Leadership Team (formerly called The Official Board) also has authority. They who are mostly males could, e.g., appeal to the one over the male or female Pastor to the superintendent,( who has always been male to my knowledge --and he is under a bishop who has always been male, too, by choice of the elegible voters)--the board could appeal to these authorities to move out the pastor or to discipline the pastor if they thought he needed correction for some reason and would not listen to his advisors/elders.

I am a lowly CE Director --that does make me a member of this leadership team/board --there are adult men who teach "under" my administration --but I consider my role to be a facilitator and helpmeet, a practical function for the spirituality of the church -- a lady under me called the Adult Ministries Director helps to choose and publicize the class topics (in consultation with our various teachers and the CE Board) and determines who is in what classroom, etc. These are mundane administrative tasks for members of the Body of Christ who have gifts of "administration" --and time for administration. We don't boss these teachers around or frustrate them by making them teach what they don't feel called to teach.

If we had a problem with what a teacher was teaching, we'd defer to the pastor, I'm sure --though by virtue of my office I could address the issue, but probably would ask the pastor to do it.

I'm sensitive to not wanting to seem over-bearing, dictatorial, self-consciously lording it over men--or anyone else for that matter.

I haven't suddenly started to wear a suit and tie and take on manly traits --as have some women pastors in those liberal churches that attract homosexually inclined people because they condone that lifestyle.

Again, all leadership should be servant leadership, seeking the good of the church and its mission to make disciples of Jesus.

Jeanette said...

Hi, Barb,

Instead of going over all 102 comments I just want to say I am involved with a Beth Moore study right now.

Beth Moore ministers to women and shows how women can view the Bible as applicable to them.

She used to have a Sunday School class in her church that was made up of women but it got so big and she had more wanting to join. When a new minister came to the church she said she didn't want to steal his thunder and stopped her Sunday School classes.

When she prays with her husband she gets lower than he is and even said one time her face was mashed into the carpet because he kept getting lower and she had to be lower than he was.

I agree theologically we should not have women ministers. I won't go to a church that has them because I believe it is not Bible-based.

Now, to satisfy some of the men who want no woman above a man, let me remind you Sarah Palin is running as a vice-presidential candidate with a man as her running mate.

Golda Meir showed she was a great leader as did Margaret Thatcher.

I'm not so sure God cares if a woman is president. He's more concerned with His Church and has given us instructions for that. The political matters are just to make our lives on earth a bit easier to live, but we know our real government belongs to the King of kings.

Christian Apologist said...

Boy this is a long thread. Now that I have finally finished reading it I will try and give my take on the subject.

First I think it prudent to establish some premises which I feel are absolutely vital to proper exegises.
1. The Bible is God breathed and usefull for teaching, rebuking, and training in righteousness and should be the ultimate authority in determining God's will for us.
2. Where there is an apparent contridiction in interpreting Gods word the fault does not lie with scripture but with the fallible nature of the one interpreting. Thus effort must be made to harmonize apparent contradictions and in this way come to a better understandng of the Truth.
3. God is love. He created the heavens and the earth and sent his only begotten son, as an atoning sacrifice, to redeem his creation from its rebellion.
4. In order to understand the finer points of scripture, (i.e. the proper place of men and women) a proper and functional understanding of love must be there. If we have not yet matured past this basic mothersmilk of scripture it is impossible to digest the meatier issues.

In 2 Timothy Paul is speaking in ideals. thus he points out 3 wants:
God wants all men to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth;
Paul wants all men to lift holy hands in prayer;
and Paul also want women to be modest and to cloth themselves in good deeds instead of fine ornementation.
These are all Ideals which we all know don't actually happen, as I'm sure we all have known at least one person who has died without acknowledging the saving Truth of Christ.

We have many scriptural examples where God has used women as leaders to accomplish his will where no man has been found worthy. Women such as Deberah and Esther. Thus though the ideal is for women to be quite and learn from their husbands. Where our own sinfulness subverts the natural created order, God will use women to accomplish his will.

Barb as an aside you have asked for an explanation of the end of the chapter where Paul refers to Eve's being the one decieved. I think what Paul is saying here is that Eve is the one who was decieved by the serpent, which was her first sin. Her second was to subvert the natural created order and taught her husband what was contrary to Gods word, that the fruit would not kill him. Perhaps Adams first sin was not actually eating the fruit but subverting his own authority to the will of his wife.

Barb said...

Aaron, I just can't get around that Adam was deceived --whether by the serpent who beguiled his wife in his presence --or by the wife --he still was deceived --or he would not have eaten the fruit.

Or, like I suggested before, perhaps he was "out of it", half awake, had too much fermented grape juice -- he seemed to believe the wife who believed the serpent --because He ate even though he KNEW before that eating the fruit should bring death. His wife ate and didn't drop dead, so he was fooled or deceived into thinking that eating the fruit would not bring death, after all, but greater knowledge.

And the whole of scripture gives Adam the blame as the "one man by whom came death" --Jesus is the 2nd Adam --or the 2nd "first man" by whom came the resurrection of the dead.

Paul can blame Eve and punish womenkind thereafter for being the first to be deceived and tempting her husband to be likewise, but I don't know where he gets the idea that he was not deceived as she was.

Christian Apologist said...

Genesis 3 says that Eve gave some of the fruit to Adam who was with her and he ate it also.

Thus it appears that while Eve was actively decieved by the serpent Adam may have been unwittingly decieved by Eve. He may have not know that the fruit she presented to him to eat was from the tree.

So there appears to be two kinds of deception. One where you know that you are doing wrong but do it anyway and one where you do wrong out of ignorance. Both types lead to death.

Christian Apologist said...

Also I suppose I should comment on the women in the military issue that came up earlier since I was in the military and my opinion may have some value.

I dont really see a problem with women in the military so long as they are not in combat units. It goes against the grain to suggest that a woman should pick up a gun and fight alongside the men. This would mean that women are lawful combatants and then it becomes acceptable to hurt a woman.

Barb as for your assertion that women in the military causes infidelity amongst men is not really effective. Yes the divorce rate is much higher among service men. Yes a good part of that is because the husbands are not faithful to their wives on long tours. However having been deployed to remote locations before I can tell you that the number of women in uniform is very small compared to men. Which of course means that if a man wants to sleep with one of the few women on the base he has to compete with all the other men who are vying for her attentions. So in the end it really comes down to the fact that these men who are unfaithful would find a way to be unfaithful no matter how difficult it is to do so.

crusader09 said...

Christian Apologist said: "Barb as for your assertion that women in the military causes infidelity amongst men is not really effective. Yes the divorce rate is much higher among service men."

FYI: The suicide rate among soldiers is up again as well. According to CNN, in 2007 an average of five soldiers attempted to commit suicide each day. I only go off topic to point this out and say the troops need our prayers more now than ever.

And, CA, what military branch did you serve with, if I may ask?

Christian Apologist said...

Air Force

Barb said...

I do think there are many more women now -- than maybe even when you were in the service, Aaron? I know my nephew had 1 woman on his Army Intelligence team at one point.

I think it's just a big temptation for the married and "taken" men to be in close daily proximity to young attractive women while their own women are forcibly away from them for months at a time. If all parties are committed to chastity, there won't be a problem --but hormones push and some women dont care if men are taken --and some men don't value their vows either. And some are just weak and vulnerable to temptation, and it causes divorce.

this may have a lot to do with the high divorce rate.

Sometimes young wives and girlfriends at home are very insecure at that age, very suspicious, and vulnerable. (I used to be.) Seems like, however, I hear of more women being unfaithful here in the states than previously--(not military wives per se.) I've been shocked at how many cases of unfaithful wives I've known of personally.

Barb said...

Hi Jeanette!

crusader09 said...

I don't think that a high rate of divorce among soldiers is directly related to women in the military. I don't think it would be fixed if women were not in the military. I think that it probably has more to do with the fact that the men and women that leave and deploy to the Middle East theater come back different people.

Barb said...

I have wondered, Crusader, if the presence of women in the military wasn't what made men so much more willing to go and to return --compared to the old days --or perhaps there is cameraderie even among the males in the military that men are eager for because they didn't get it so much in our mega high schools, which only give a minority the experience of sports/team membership. I think friendhip and male bonding may be harder to come by these days in our large schools. Whatever, we hear soldiers express their desire to go back even after being injured, wanting to help their units. No one every wanted to go to Viet Nam, in the days of the draft --people only tried to get out and go AWOL. There is a difference in the morale of many involved in this war compared to my generation. I thought it might have been the increase in women. It's more like a college experience for guys who didn't go to college and experience dorm life. Yeah, I know, Iraq is not college --but military does bring young people together, to live and work and socialize together. It would potentially strain some marriages when there is long separation. True, that some return "different" from the war zone. Just as many h.s. sweethearts don't survive college separation, so with the war.

I'm not disagreeing, just musing...surmising, hypothesizing, etc.

Christian Apologist said...

Men dont join the military because there are women in the military. Men join the military because it satisfies a basic male drive to compete and dominate. Also because chicks dig a guy in uniform. The biggest difference I see between the vietnam war and this one is that the soldiers who are going over there are not drafted. America has been at war for 7 years now in either Afghanistan or Iraq. Therefore every last one of the men and women in the military less than 7 years, enlisted while America was at war, with the full knowledge that they would be going to war. I'm not even sure why I am trying to explain this to you other than that the military mindset is completely alien to the civilian and it is not something one can truly understand unless you have served. Thus your musings are completely off base, but I have a hard time explaining why.

Matthew said...

Barb,

I think your most recent comments are showing, once again, your inclination to think and muse, think and muse, wondering aloud about questions that have very basic answers.

What do I mean, you ask?

You come to the strange conclusion that women being in the military is a major factor in why men aren't AWOL as often as in Vietnam. But Crusader stated the obvious: today's men are not drafted. They all signed up. What could be more obvious? But instead, you speculate.

Now, mind you, I don't care so much about this military thing but I really think what you are doing with this issue is the same as you do with the primary issue in this thread. Paul makes statements that are clear. But instead of going with the obvious meaning you throw him out because you don't like what he said and then let your imagination run wild speculating about all sorts of other things.

Why not just stick with Scripture? Is it not all God breathed? Adam was created first, then Eve. Women, therefore, should not have authority over men. It's the created order, not the fall which demands it. This is not done away with in Christ and it will remain in heaven for all of eternity just as God will remain our Father forever. I implore you to end the rebellion.

Barb said...

About that "basic male desire to compete and dominate." It didn't seem to be the motivation of any of the guys then--they knew they were going into jungle warfare in a hot muggy wet country where you couldn't tell who was your enemy or friend to look at them. No more rules of engagement; no identifying uniforms --just snipers and surprise attacks from children and women, land mines and the like.

Some today and then say we didn't give it all we had to win, governmentally; we did cut and run after a protracted war with many losses. And then the liberals treated the vets badly upon return.

You may not remember the Vietnamese "boat people" who were the south vietnamese who took to the ocean to escape the communist take-over from the north. A blood bath was anticipated. In any case, many drowned trying to escape the invasion from the North after we left. I assume there WAS a blood bath between north and south after we left, but I don't have time to research --sorry.

Ironically, GW Bush went to Viet Nam on a diplomatic visit not so long ago --and was hailed as a hero -- they seemed to feel good toward the U.S. (after the Communists beat us there) and rolled out the "red" carpet. Maybe they thought they'd get more gov't aid and American investment and trade if they made nice with George.

Yes, the draft was dreaded. And there was no cell phone or email access to keep you close --and snail mail was just that. Women were not in abundant supply --because NO ONE wanted to go there. I used to MUSE and SURMISE THEN, that war had lost its romance for our young men because they had seen war movies --and they knew what it looked like to die on the battlefood. Whereas, in the civil war and even as recently as WWII, even under-age kids would sign up for the glory of combat ---having no idea that it wouldn't be so glorious in fact.

The warfare and the climate have to be just as horrid and scary in Iraq in "today's Army" as in Viet Nam --with all the sniper types, roadside bombs, and no way to know who's who. But there has been more money expended to keep troops comfortable and safe in the green zone with recreational facilities and I'll bet they have A/C and video games -- and yes, the companionship of many more women than in any previous war setting.

That being said, my neighbor complained on behalf of her grandson that the vehicles were not designed to protect against road side bombing --and that they could've/should've been. I understand that Petraeus has been converting the vehicles to be more safe in that regard. But the democrats resisted and didn't want to give him the extra money and the extra troops --just wanting us to cut and run and let Iraq fall to its factions and outsiders.

Civilian groups have raised funds to provide more protective armour for the troops. I KNOW that the attitude of the military and administration has been to NOT see these kids of ours as "expendable commodities" --but as someone's children whom we want to bring home safely. That was always the case, but less possible than now. The numbers we lost in WWII were astronomical. We've lost comparetively few in Iraq --4000 plus since 03? But we know many have been maimed. My cousin says more die in Detroit daily than in Baghdad through the whole war. I don't mind being corrected, BTW, if that's not accurate. When I quote my husband, I'm not sure if the details are correct 3rd-hand. he's the one who had the talk with our nephew on Iraq and relayed things to me. but I have also read similar "factoids." I believe we do lose more life due to alcohol annually on the highways here ( 17,000 annually? which is one reason given for why the FM Church recommends abstinence from alcohol --it does more harm than good --besides, we FM's, you know, are big on being "filled with the Holy spirit instead of wine, the mocker" )

Our nephew said he truly was statistically safer in Iraq than if he were home in the U.S.

As for scriptural interp, you know what i think 5 point Calvinists do to scripture --torture the obvious salvation offer for all people --saying God has already chosen the saved and some people don't have a prayer. They won't repent because they are not pre-destined to do so.

Which issue is more important? I think you torture essential scriptures re salvation --you think I torture essential doctrine about women. We agree to disagree.

Barb said...

I see an irony in that I am viewed as a reactionary nutcase conservative fundamentalist far- right-wing person on liberal blogs --and on some blogs with some Christians, I'm viewed as liberal.

Matthew said...

Being politically conservative is different than being theologically conservative.

I happen to be both but the latter is much more important than the former.

Make no mistake, Barb. You are theologically liberal. You have unashamedly proclaimed the Apostle Paul to be incorrect in more than one passage of Holy Scripture.

Matthew said...

By the way, I'm still not stepping into your Calvinism land mines but I'll just point out that we can agree to disagree on the issue. At least on that issue we're disagreeing because of different interpretations of passages.

This is a much bigger deal, though, because we do actually agree on the interpretation - it says what it says. You simply reject it out of hand as not being inerrant or inspired whereas I embrace the Holy Spirit speaking through the apostle.

This is no small matter.I don't know how many people read your blog but I want anyone who could possibly come under your teaching to know that Barb is more accurate than St. Paul.

crusader09 said...

Barb said: "No more rules of engagement; no identifying uniforms --just snipers and surprise attacks from children and women, land mines and the like."

Iraq and Afghanistan are just like this, and more so Iraq, there is no identifiable enemy. There's no way to tell. They are dishonorable fighters. But here is the difference that causes the morale you speak of:

This is personal. They came here, onto our soil, manipulated our INS system, learned to fly from Americans, and took out our people and our landmarks. That is why the morale is so much different. Vietnam was being fought on behalf of others, this war is all ours.

I am not an anti-Iraq war person, but I would be careful of saying that we've lost "comparatively few" men and women in Iraq: 1 is too many. But those soldiers and marines (mostly, a few airmen and sailors I'm sure) knew what they were getting into, and they did it anyway. It's an attitude that is difficult for civilians to understand, CA has that right.

Matthew, I appreciate this dialogue, and I have looked at many of the resources you have posted for me. I want to make a statement, but it's not a combative one. I see where Barb comes from in her interpretive view of Scripture. I believe also that all Scripture is God breathed and useful for teaching. But, throughout the Bible, God's directives have been clear and have made sense. Even the dietary laws in Leviticus that people say don't make sense, do. Jewish people continue to abstain from mixing dairy and meat at the same time: this is because the proteins in the meat hamper your body's ability to process the nutrients it needs from the milk. Everything God says has a purpose. And what I can't figure out is the purpose of women not being permitted to lead. I know very capable women leaders, women pastors, women in business. They are godly, loving, intelligent, articulate, organized and driven. Why would you put a man who has potentially lesser abilities into a spot which a woman (a particular woman, not woman as a gender) could fill better?

Barb said...

Crusader wrote, "Iraq and Afghanistan are just like this, and more so Iraq, there is no identifiable enemy. There's no way to tell. They are dishonorable fighters. But here is the difference that causes the morale you speak of:"

Yes, I know --you may have noticed that I said it was just the same in Iraq as in Viet Nam --for sheer terror --and I agree with you that those who support the Iraq "invasion" felt we were going to an alkaida friendly regime --enemy territory. But we also knew that the Shia had wanted our intervention after the Gulf War to help them oppose Hassan. That's why there was such celebration in the streets when the US came and Sadam's statues were toppled by the Iraqis.

The women's role issue is big with Matt's church obviously. I know I would always be stepping in land mines there. It was like that at our church for some years with some of the home school men --you had to tippy toe around them, to worry lest you seemed too domineering, too bossy, too talkative, having too many ideas for church improvement, out of order --blah blah blah. Instead of just getting to be a Christian, free in the Holy Spirit.

Though it had its sad aspects, many have remarked since that it was like a breath of fresh air blew through the church when all the chauvinists who were so fixated on this issue finally, angrily, left.

I hope, Crusader, you will consider the Truth Project - a home away from home ministry at our house come October 12, 7 PM. And if you are a singer, we need singers for cantata choir.

Are you who I think you are? you've been in my house before???

Were you Rocket?

crusader09 said...

Barb, I was agreeing with you about the resemblance between Iraq and Vietnam: just to clarify that.

Yep, I'm who you think I am. I have been to your house before. I probably did post under Rocket here, because I was elsewhere at the time, but I confused myself and just went back to this one, it's easier and I blog elsewhere under this name from time to time... I'm a dabbler.

I think your ministry sounds wonderful, I am hooked into a great UMC church for now though. And I intend on seeking ordination to pursue a career as an Army Chaplain (hence my interest in this conversation) in the United Methodist Church.

I'm sorry that you have had experiences where you felt like you had to be something you're not so as not to be a stumbling block to others; I have been in this position many many times (you know the high school I went to, I assume) and it's unpleasant. But I have become, recently, unapologetic for my pursuit of what I understand as God's will for me. So I don't tiptoe anymore. While I am always up for fair discussion, debate, and idea exchange, I'm not going to pretend to be or believe something I'm not or don't.

And, for the sake of this topic, I have gotten frusturated lately with the celebrities who are coming forward to bash Sarah Palin. Today, I read a story about how Chevy Chase thought that Tina Fey wasn't hard enough on Saturday Night Live (if you haven't seen the skit, they make fun of Palin and Hilary at the same time, it was amusing. And Fey does a great job... she could pass for Palin anyday if she weren't such a Lib). I, for one, do not care at all what a celebrity thinks of the candidates. I don't vote that way. And I don't know anyone who does... celebrities think they make the world go 'round...

Matthew said...

Crusader,

I hope you noted in Barb's last comment that she basically called Paul a chauvinist along with the men who were obsessed with actually trying to obey scripture. It's interesting how people who actually attempt to obey God are legalists. Legalists always replace God's laws with things that are easier to keep. So out with Paul and his chauvinistic babblings and in with prohibition.

This whole debate really boils down to whether we are willing to walk by faith and obey God.

I think I mentioned this before but neither is the issue about what women cannot do. It's about what women are unwilling to do. Women aren't willing to do what God HAS called them to do and they want to do what God has called men to do. Incidentally, men are quite often unwilling to do what God has called them to do and instead prefer to be like women. This is the result of the Fall, where Eve was deceived by the serpent. Praise be to Jesus who is redeeming all of creation and will someday crush all enemies, including this type of feminism. When we're in heaven we won't fight these sins any more.

I think we're pretty much done here but when you're weighing these two positions keep in mind the different angles Barb and I are approaching this from. I am embracing the Word of God whereas Barb hates certain parts of the Word of God and even calls them incorrect, uninspired, errant and chauvinistic. So you may like where Barb ends up but if this is the route necessary to get there then most Christians will see the problem. Barb really is a radical liberal on this one - how many people are actually willing to publicly state that sections of the Bible are wrong?

I understand you feel led toward a certain career path. No doubt you are specially equipped by God in ways that would make you good at it. I'm confident that God gave you these skills and interests for a reason and He'll use them for His glory when you are willing to submit to Him in this key area of life.

God bless.

Barb said...

Now, Matthew, I was talking about chauvinist men in my church who weighed everything the women did with judgment instead of just listening to what a woman said to see if there was any value to it. It is a form of legalism. Does your wife wear a hat to church, I wonder?

I was not talking about Paul but about men for whom the silence of women in the church is so important.

Paul is speaking from a whole culture that basically agreed with him about women's silence in the synagogue --and later in the mosque. I don't hate Paul or what he says --or any scripture. That's a pretty blatant judgmental statement --not a truthful one that reads my heart. I'm actually quite a fan of Paul's.

There are 4 passages I just don't understand as being God's Word for today's Church --and a couple of them are loved by the atheists. One is where God says the Hebrew slave may be set free on the 7th year of his servitude, but can't take his wife and children with him. The other is where God says He gave Solomon (I believe) all these wives, etc. and would've given him more.

Always interested in a good explanation of perplexing scriptures rather than a wild-eyed denunciation of myself as a "hairy tic"!!!

Odd your last paragraph to Crusader --about her being gifted such that she would be good at being a chaplain. Except that God wouldn't want that for her.

Perplexities!

crusader09 said...

Matthew,

It sounds as though you intend to disengage from the conversation, and I respect and understand that. I appreciate your willingness to engage with me becuase I honestly wanted to know :)

I have some theological issues with both of you (you and Barb), to be honest. It seems that my understanding of what "God breathed" differs from each of yours. But what is even more important is that we are all three called and saved by the same Savior and I believe that we all have the desire to serve Him in the best ways possible. And I am a big believer in eccumenical work: we all serve the same God and are saved by Jesus. My pastor always said, when there was division among us: "In the essentials, unity. In everything else, liberty." He always said that we are all starting at the same point: we've been saved by grace through faith. Everything after that is... well, it just pales in comparison to our salvation.

I appreciate the perspective, and I do not intend to throw it out: I will consider and use it.

I have enjoyed our conversation :)

crusader09 said...

In light of Barb's last comment, I would say I probably have less theological differences with her than I would have been inclined to think... Just thought I should throw that out there for clarification :)

Matthew said...

Crusader,

Thanks for your kind words. I'm not insisting on withdrawing from the conversation. I just have the impression we've said all there is to say. Maybe I'm wrong, though, and I'll happily keep checking in.

You've probably noticed that I'm pretty much refusing to answer Barb's questions on particular passages. Two reasons for this: First, I've been down the road before. For instance, with the text she uses underneath each post, Barb knows full well what commentators far wiser than me have said for centuries. She insists on a proof-text Christianity and is unwilling to look at the context of the passage. I'm simply not willing to give another explanation. I'll just end the day wishing I had that hour back. My second reason I won't give her an answer is that my reply would be (to some degree) granting that she has a leg to stand on. If she was willing to struggle with the text instead of chucking it out the window I might give her an answer. Really, though, who am I? She doesn't need my answer when godly commentators have written on the texts for centuries.

Don't let her off the hook so easily with the apostle Paul. Sure, she likes some (even most) of what he wrote but she IS calling him a chauvinist.

You are right about all of us being on the same path headed toward the same goal. Remember, though, that scripture is full of people willing to stand up for what is right. Paul, himself, warned day and night with tears against this kind of error. He stood up to Peter. Church history is full of examples of godly men standing against the errors of their day. Lastly, I've said it before but I'll say it again: it is not legalism to try your best to do what God requires. Legalists put up a wall ten steps away from what God requires because they think it's wiser to not get near it. Prohibition, Little House on the Prairie dresses, no playing cards, etc. Legalists derive their justification from their adherence to these man-made standards.

There's nothing wrong with God's standards. He gave us His law and it is not wrong to *gasp* actually try to obey Him. Whether it's in modesty, honesty, taming the tongue or not allowing women to exercise authority over men. Obedience is not legalism. Don't fall for that. It will stifle your sanctification and hinder your holiness, lead you instead to strange Wesleyan ideas of holiness.

God is to be feared. True holiness is what we're called to. This will begin with obeying God on something as fundamental as roles for the sexes. This issue is foundational - that's why I am disagreeing with Barb so strongly.

Matthew said...

Barb,

You said, "Odd your last paragraph to Crusader --about her being gifted such that she would be good at being a chaplain. Except that God wouldn't want that for her."

Is it odd that God would give me gifts that would cause me to excel at money laundering and embezzlement? The skills that I and Crusader have could be used in God honoring ways or other ways. Just because you're good at something doesn't make it a worthy pursuit.

You should really think about how silly the things you write sound as soon as they're given a few seconds consideration.

Christian Apologist said...

How in the world do you figure that the role of the sexes is foundational? That is taking this whole concept to an extreme. I would be interested to hear your response to the position I posted a while ago.

Matthew said...

Mr./Miss/Mrs./Ms. Apologist,

How could it *not* be foundational? Foundational means that other things are built upon it. Do you disagree that our understanding of God's plan for the sexes leads us to conclusions on other, very practical matters?

The incredulity with which you ask the question leads me to believe this will be a waste of time but here goes:

God is our Father, not our mother.
Christ is the Bridegroom.
The church is His bride.
Entire sections of Scripture are devoted to it.

How's that to get started?

P.S.
I'm not sure what position you are wanting me to comment on, though. Please explain.

Matthew said...

Crusader,

Many, many posts ago I mentioned that I could refer some reading material. In addition to the blog I pointed you to, this book would be a great one to read.

I would be happy to send you a copy if I knew where it should go. I understand it's dangerous to give out personal information to strangers so I'm not asking you to. I'm just trying to stress how helpful this book could be.

Matthew said...

This is a very good article, as well. It won't mean much to Barb as it references many Scriptures no longer to be found in her Bible. Maybe some others could benefit, though.

Barb said...

O don't be so smarmy, Mr. Matt.

Or snide? what would be the word to describe the little digs...?

The western evangelical, NT-based church today does not resemble a first century synagogue or a 5th c. mosque --or a middle-eastern worshipping group of any sort today. the Holy Spirit has been poured out upon women and men that they may "tell forth the Word"

Do your women wear braids, jewelry or hats in church?

the church of Jesus Christ has elevated women above property status, liberated her from oppressive yoke of subjugation. Just as Christ did for Mary when He let her sit at His feet beside the men to learn.

As for authority, I'm currently doing things no man wants to do or has the time or inspiration to do at this time. I didn't have to "usurp" to do what I do. I did volunteer at some point leading to today's position.

I'm a servant, a helpmeet, appropriate for a woman in these "last days." I don't have any men "under" my authority per se --but I do lead a meeting with men in it and there are men who teach in our CE program organized by 2 women --I am a facilitator, not a boss, in the church.

IN the western Christian church of the 21st C. women are not necessarily silent in the church building or in church gatherings --because, for one thing, our church authority doesn't ask or want us to be silent in this post-middle-eastern church era. As helpmeets, we have wisdom and help to share with the men. I was raised in a rather legalistic church with female song leaders --and soloists --and teachers of adults --the male /female thing was just not a big concern. (United Brethren Church) Yes, Christ is the Bridegroom and the Head of the Church. You and we women are the Bride together, the Church. You take on the feminine with us in the symbolism. We are all subordinate to the Lord.

Yes, God is the Father and Jesus the Son. And male and female are created in God's image as a unit, as individuals as well. And man is the head of the home.

I like a male-headed church, a male pastor. We have very few women who aspire to be pastors --and the one I know is super effective.

You mentioned Paul and Peter not seeing eye to eye --and we know that Paul and Barnabus didn't --

I guess on this one issue of Women's silence in the church, I am just baffled more than in disagreement --just like about the slavery edict from God and the words to Solomon about the women.

And again, I do think the Calvinists twist Scripture --as you think I ignore or disagree with it.

again, we can civilly agree to disagree -without either of us being called the hairy tics.

the Church of Jesus Christ is to be known for its love to each other -- and we do spend a lot of time and energy quibbling over dissensions, etc. maybe we are straining at gnats and swallowing camels here when the church has so much responsibility and work to do. Work about which we DO agree.

Matthew said...

Barb,

I'll say again that we DO agree on much. These disagreements are not distracting me from the positive work that needs to be done. I hope the same is true for you. You're probably just getting home now from CLC, which I've said is a great program and I rejoice to hear that you're bringing in children from outside the church. Just don't send them to I Timothy if you're still doing sword drills these days.

This disagreement doesn't mean I dislike you personally or wouldn't enjoy having a cup of coffee with you sometime. Really, that would be nice. Bring Rob along - I'll promise to avoid open theism and inclusivism you could promise to lay off the Calvinism stuff. we could, instead, discuss the warmongering neocon takeover of the GOP and have a nice time.

But I'll continue my little jabs and digs as long as anybody will listen. Call it smarmy or whatever you want but I will continue to remind everyone (sarcastically, if necessary) that you disagree with Saint Paul and would rather he hadn't written certain parts of the Bible. Why shy away from it, anyway? Own what you said and proclaim it with me.

Christian Apologist said...

Matt,

My name is Aaron and I am male if they makes a difference to you. I would have to disagree that biblicaly defined gender roles lead to conclusions on any practical matters. I instead draw my conclusions from Gods love for me and the love he requires me to show to others. At best the subject of gender roles is a load bearing wall, but certainly not foundational.

Your statement: " The incredulity with which you ask the question leads me to believe this will be a waste of time but here goes:" is really disturbing to me though. It indicates two things to me. The first is that you have already judged me to be closed minded on the subject. The second is that you are assuming that your opinion on this subject is the correct one. Instead we should come to a debate hoping to come to proper conclusions on the truth of a subject. Any other reason for talking about a subject is merely boasting of our own "brilliance" and has no place in the kingdom of God.

here is what I was asking for comment on:

First I think it prudent to establish some premises which I feel are absolutely vital to proper exegises.
1. The Bible is God breathed and usefull for teaching, rebuking, and training in righteousness and should be the ultimate authority in determining God's will for us.
2. Where there is an apparent contridiction in interpreting Gods word the fault does not lie with scripture but with the fallible nature of the one interpreting. Thus effort must be made to harmonize apparent contradictions and in this way come to a better understandng of the Truth.
3. God is love. He created the heavens and the earth and sent his only begotten son, as an atoning sacrifice, to redeem his creation from its rebellion.
4. In order to understand the finer points of scripture, (i.e. the proper place of men and women) a proper and functional understanding of love must be there. If we have not yet matured past this basic mothersmilk of scripture it is impossible to digest the meatier issues.

In 2 Timothy Paul is speaking in ideals. thus he points out 3 wants:
God wants all men to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth;
Paul wants all men to lift holy hands in prayer;
and Paul also want women to be modest and to cloth themselves in good deeds instead of fine ornementation.
These are all Ideals which we all know don't actually happen, as I'm sure we all have known at least one person who has died without acknowledging the saving Truth of Christ.

We have many scriptural examples where God has used women as leaders to accomplish his will where no man has been found worthy. Women such as Deberah and Esther. Thus though the ideal is for women to be quite and learn from their husbands. Where our own sinfulness subverts the natural created order, God will use women to accomplish his will.

Matthew said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Matthew said...

Sorry about the deletion above. I wanted to re-word a couple of things.

Aaron,

You have fallen prey to the effeminate Christianity that pervades evangelicalism today.

God is love; you are correct. But God is not Oprah and it sounds like you're looking for a tender moment on Oprah's couch. How quickly you point out that you are offended. As if the worst thing I could do is offend you. You also brought up judging. Don't you know that we are *supposed* to judge each other? That said, I actually wasn't judging you to be closed minded, I was simply drawing an inference from the way in which you made a statement.

How on earth can you say that our understanding of this issue does not have any practical implications? Have you read any of this thread? Seriously, I don't know where to begin. Why do you think I've spent so much time answering Crusader's questions? It's because this disagreement is very practical and works its way into every nook and cranny of our lives.

Since you've asked again for a response to your points, I'll respond using your numbering system:

1. I agree. Barb does too, unless you start the first sentence with "All of the Bible." Then Barb disagrees strongly and would rather not have certain parts of Scripture included in the canon.

2. I agree. Barb does not but, instead, blatantly states that the problem lies with Scripture. I'm not making this up. She really said that. See her comments toward the beginning of this thread.

3. I agree. I think Barb does, too.

4. This issue is not a small issue as you have been duped into thinking. But your point is well taken because love is greater than even faith or hope.

Love doesn't sit around while people grieve God, though. Real love is challenging. Real love guards the good deposit that was given to us by God. Real love protects the sheep that others would like to devour.

This whole thing is a muddled mess. It's sad for me to see that Barb argues in a manly way while the one other man currently contributing to this forum argues like a woman. God save us from this evangelical wasteland.

Christian Apologist said...

Nice strawman argument matt.

First of all I never said I was offended. I said I was disturbed. I am disturbed because you are elevating this issue to a place of importance in scripture much higher than it actually is and that is the beginning of deception. Second why are you using your response to me to attack Barb? respond to what I said not to her. The true strawman aspects come in however when you say that I am talking about some soft and squishy love. I never said any such thing. Perhaps I was wrong in my assumption that you would understand what I meant when I said God is love.

I am glad we are agreed on the 4 points of interpretation I gave. Since the whole argument really hinges around the importance of the place of women in the church I would say the best place to start would be for you to prove to me, from scripture, why you feel that it deserves a place of pre-eminence. Who knows maybe you are right and I just havent thought in those terms before. Or perhaps you are wrong and this will give you a chance to re-evaluate your assumptions. Either way we will both end up spending time studying Gods word and that is never time wasted.

p.s. Thanks for that highly offensive last statement calling me a woman. It gives me the opportunity to resist becoming angry, which does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. And to the prayer that God will save us from this evangelical wasteland I say, Amen.

Matthew said...

Aaron,

I am addressing Barb even while writing to you because this whole thread is a conversation between many people. And, as I stated recently, I will use every opportunity I have to point out to people that Barb doesn't like certain parts of the Bible.

I'm not calling you a woman. If I thought you were a woman I wouldn't mind you arguing in a womanly way.

For a defense of why this issue is so important, I would just refer you again to the links I've posted. The authors are much more articulate than I.

Lastly, I'm glad to give you opportunities to advance your sanctification. Brothers helping brothers...

Christian Apologist said...

Matt, I'll respond here to what you said of Barb as it seems relevant to our conversation.

1. I agree. Barb does too, unless you start the first sentence with "All of the Bible." Then Barb disagrees strongly and would rather not have certain parts of Scripture included in the canon.

There is a difference between saying something is not applicable in all situations and saying something is inspired. For instance God's prohibition of pork was lifted later on by God. This is not to say that the initial prohibition was not inspired. It simply means that it is not a hard and fast rule for all eternity. There is also precidence where Paul speaks on his own behalf and not that of God. See 1 Corinthians 7. There is a possibility here that This thing with women in the church is of the same bent especially as Paul say "I do not..." And since he is speaking to his closest disciple he may have not felt the need to express that this was his own opinion and not that of God as he does in Corinthians.

2. I agree. Barb does not but, instead, blatantly states that the problem lies with Scripture. I'm not making this up. She really said that. See her comments toward the beginning of this thread.

You are right her statement that "Paul goes on to say the woman will save her soul through child-bearing --not exactly Christian doctrine when the whole NT is considered" is a shaky statement at best. I think what she is saying that at the surface this statement is discordant with the rest of scripture. Which is true. However when something like this happens it is important to look into the matter more deeply and figure a way to harmonize it.

For instance if we look back at the curse for women we see "To the woman he said,
"I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing;
with pain you will give birth to children.
Your desire will be for your husband,
and he will rule over you."


Thus the secondary curse for women is pain in childbirth but the bearing of children saves them from this curse, since the pain is over once the child is born. It is also highly interesting to note that mans rulership over women is part of the curse!

In case your wondering what I mean by secondary curse. The primary curse was death, both physical and spiritual which only the name, and blood of Christ can save us from.

Matthew said...

Aaron,

You said:
There is a difference between saying something is not applicable in all situations and saying something is inspired.

That's probably true but the problem is that Barb said these things:

Jesus trumps all the other prophets when there seems to be a variance in Scripture's implications for today.

I think Paul was writing to Timothy and I'm not sure every jot and tittle here is inspired.

So I'm not a total Biblical inerrancy believer.

I have thought Paul erred on his statement about Adam not being deceived in the garden

Paul can blame Eve and punish womenkind thereafter for being the first to be deceived and tempting her husband to be likewise, but I don't know where he gets the idea that he was not deceived as she was.


You are too nice when you call things like this shaky at best.

For what it's worth, I agree with you on the primary curse and secondary curse stuff.

Christian Apologist said...

I'm pretty sure now that what Paul meant when he said man was not decieved is that while Eve was tricked into eating the fruit, Adam ate the fruit in the full knowledge that what he was doing was wrong. This is not being decieved this is outright rebellion.

I hear an echo of Peter's statement that many things that Paul wrote:
"just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. 16He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction."

Christian Apologist said...

For a defense of why this issue is so important, I would just refer you again to the links I've posted. The authors are much more articulate than I.

This is simply an unnacceptable response. If this issue is really foundational, as you claim, you ought to be able to give a defense of it yourself. It ought to be such an intrinsic part of your theology that explaining it is not a problem and the supporting scriptures come to mind with ease. Regardless I will still take a look at your links. I've looked at the first one I got to by scrolling up, the balyblog one, and I found the argument seriously lacking.

crusader09 said...

Not to be a smart mouth, but what is the difference between arguing like a woman and arguing like a man, Matthew?

crusader09 said...

Matthew, I thought I should clarify my questions, lest this turn adversarial:

I have not, thus far, gotten the impression that you think that women are actually of less intellectual capacity as men. So I don't think you can mean that CA's arguments are intellectually weak (when you accuse him of 'arguing like a woman'). So what I am left to suppose is that you don't think women should be entering into arugments or debate at all... which, even if you think that women shouldn't have authority over men, doesn't make sense to me. That would mean that, not only do they have no value as leaders, but they do not even have value in discussion or for their opinions... and it doesn't seem to me that you actually hate women, or have no value for them. In fact, it appears quite the opposite... it's just inconsistent with the rest of the conversation and I'm perplexed.

crusader09 said...

(p.s. off topic to Barb):

I don't know if there is an option to private message or something to you here, but I looked and couldn't find one. I have a question for you, and I don't know how you'll answer this without staying off topic (but it's your blog...), and I'm asking it in earnest:

I wandered over to a couple of the blogs of the people who blog here, and I was appalled and disgusted. Why do you engage with those people? They are filthy, and you seem to have done your best to share the Gospel with them. If they refuse it, it's not on your head. But I feel insulted at some of the words, and most certainly by some of the images I saw... I will not be visiting those blogs again... Do you think that (and I mean this earnestly) we, as Christains, are called to subject ourselves to those things in order to share the Gospel? I was always taught that you offer the gospel in earnest and, if it is rejected, you have a right to move on... do you think our duty goes further than that?

Barb said...

Where did you go, Crusader? To the French blog where SS posts or to Man with the Mud Rake?

Yes, I did present the Gospel to these fellows. The spiritual ball is in their court and they don't have the eyes to see or the ears to hear the truth and and accept the grace God offers through Christ.

I don't go to either blog much anymore --especially not the French blog because they don't talk about anything of interest --just filth most of the time. The blog host is in a bad way with prostitutes, multiple women, and alcohol addiction. And it affects his blogging. He used to be a welcoming host to all views but his 3rd wife left him. Correction: he had kicked Jeanette off before 2 years before I went there --because of her Christian and pro-life views, I guess. But I endured for several months.

Mudrake is a miserable fellow who hates what he calls right-wing homophobes, etc. Has a whole side blog dedicated to his negative, bitter views on evangelicals/fundamentalists, GOP and the like.

Other than those 2, I don't know who you would mean.

I followed a Parisian lady to the French blog beause she first visited mine. I learned about Mudrake because he was blogging about me for a letter I wrote to the editor about election of judges. He had a whole spiel that showed he knew me from when I was on school board --said I didn't care about the kids --just my right wing religious agenda. So, naturally, I responded to set his skewed record straight --and the war was on.

I have a view of blogging and forum participation: People are saying things and thinking things without any truth from the opposite side of their world view; I think they should be rebutted --if not for their own sake, for the sake of those who might stumble onto the conversation.

What is it to be light and salt if you never go into the darkness where the light is needed? That they don't welcome the light because their deeds are evil, Jesus said, but that doesn't mean the light shouldn't go into the world.

I don't think we always know when we are casting pearls --or suffering persecution for righteousness sake. I'm willing to do the latter.

Barb said...

I posted scripture a lot --pertinently --"teaching"--they reacted much as the masses who shouted "Crucify Him!"

Matthew said...

Crusader,

Women are definitely intellectually equal with men. Of course, many women are smarter than most men and many men are smarter than most women. One's sex has nothing to do with intellectual capacity.

Women have equal standing in Christ. There is neither slave nor free, male nor female, etc.

Women come to God the same way as men, by grace through faith in the Son.

Women are equally filled with the Holy Spirit.

Women's status before God is the same as men's. But the difference is one of role. Just as Christ Himself is fully God but has a subordinate role to that of the Father. Same thing with the Spirit - He's fully God, also, but He doesn't complain that he didn't get to redeem God's people. He happily fulfills His role as an integral part of the Godhead.

Now... back to your question: What is womanly argument?

Maybe I misunderstood Aaron but I thought he was urging a "let's just get along" philosophy. Women (rightly) are nurturers. Men (rightly) are defenders. All I meant was that Aaron seemed to be diminishing the importance of the argument and was trying to coddle everyone while Barb seems fine with the confrontation. I didn't mean it would be wrong for either of them to do what they were doing. I'm fine with Barb's approach to this and it's not wrong for men to want to get along. So I was speaking generally. Women tend to nurture, men tend to fight. I probably should have bit my tongue and stepped on my typing fingers.

Also... you said something in your last comment about women not having value as leaders. This is not what I believe at all. Women have all sorts of opportunities in God's kingdom to lead. They just cannot exercise authority over men. So, again, women cannot claim they just want to exercise the gifts God has given them. Women actually refuse to exercise their gifts in areas God has commanded and would rather do things He has forbidden.

Last night my family hosted a weekly Bible Study and fellowship time in our home. My church does not yet own a building so we strongly encourage everyone in the church to be an active part of these groups. The meeting in my home is one of about a dozen that meet weekly. Last night we studied Joel chapter one and some of the most insightful comments came from women. My wife is a great example (sorry to brag) of a godly woman striving to obey God in the area of submission. I could never accomplish even the little I do without her. She enables me to serve God in a way that would be impossible without her. She leads a Bible study for women on Wednesday mornings. She's an active participant in a very in-depth study on Tuesday nights. She prepares our home to be a welcoming and comfortable place for the study we host on Thursdays. She has been a great help to me as I lead the evangelism efforts at our church - helping immensely on the nights I lead Evangelism Explosion. She is diligent in her service to the church as a deacon's wife - I sometimes think the wives of deacons have a harder job than the deacons, themselves. I highly value her wisdom in spiritual matters and otherwise. She's the first person I go to for counsel and advice. She is the primary caregiver for our children and there is nothing more important than that. The importance of my daytime job pales in comparison to the importance of raising our children. She is constantly of service to the individuals and families we bring into our home for dinner and fellowship. We've found this to be a great way to minister to people - just have them into your home and love them. I couldn't do this without her and she doesn't just vacuum and put food on the table for us. She's an integral part of the personal ministry of it.

So... everywhere I look I see my wife leading. But she doesn't hold authority over me or other men in the church. Is God using her gifts? I think so. Was it a waste of time and money for her to pursue a Master's degree? I don't think so.

Women have a high calling and it's an insult to them when people insist that they need to do the same things men do in order for them to have value or importance in God's kingdom.

Matthew said...

Aaron,

I'm sorry. I don't want you to think I'm unwilling or unable to engage you more in conversation.

When I wrote to you yesterday afternoon I knew, in my own mind, that I would be unable to comment any more that day so I thought it would be better to refer you to the ones who have influenced my thinking the most. I still say they will explain it better than I can but I am more than willing to discuss it.

Maybe the post I just addressed to Crusader will help you understand where I'm coming from. I have a busy day today, as well, so I don't think I'll have any more time until possibly this evening after kids are in bed. I'll try, though...

crusader09 said...

Barb: Those are the blogs to which I went. I have no desire to become their new target, but I just had to comment on that. It's hard because they come here to poo on you for not being tolerant and open, but when I go there, I see the same kind of behavior: they are open to everything BUT Christianity. Heaven forbid (not literally) that you have something to say about Christ or absolute truth! That was just so shocking to me that I had to say something...

Matthew, I'm glad that your wife fits into those callings in her life. And I'm glad you clarified about the womanly argument, because I was thoroughly confused.

I'm still confused, though. I'm not trying to be difficult with you, I promise, but I'm having a hard time finding this attitude (for lack of a better term) of women as not having authority over men in the rest of the Bible. I come up against the most resistance towards this is in Judges. Deborah was "leading Israel." I don't understand how this was not exercising authority over, not only a man, but the whole of the nation of Israel.

In the NT, Christ allowed Mary (as in the story of Martha and Mary) to come in with the men to listen to him talk. Martha was super upset about it, but Jesus said she had chosen what was better, and permitted her to not "act like a woman in the kitchen," but to sit and listen like the men.

And in Proverbs 31, where it talks about the woman to be praised, it says lots of things about what a woman who is to be praised does, but nowhere does that say anything about no authority either... I'm just confused as to why, if it is such an important aspect of the Christian life, it isn't a more prominent focus of the Bible as a whole and, more importantly, what Jesus preaches during his lifetime?

Barb said...

NOOOOOO, Crusader, you do not see the same sort of thing on their blogs as you see on mine. You DO see on their blogs the bigotry and vitriol that they accuse me of. I hope that's what you meant.

Mud-rake really thinks evangelical/right wing Christians are a threat to liberty in the U.S. --that we want a theocracy and are thus dangerous and ought to be locked up --and we have no virtues whatsover --we're all hypocrites and selfish, racists, bigots, etc. Especially if you say anything about the controversial "social issues."

I think even when Christians disagree in these discussions and the Calvinists get offensive (we Weslyans aren't ever offensive : )
the disagreements aren't fueled by hatred. I think the Calvinists get pretty hard-edged and even arrogant about their views and sometimes despiritualize those who don't agree with them. But Christians disagree better in blogging than unbelievers, agnostics, liberals, et al. Usually--until they start to tell each other how to blog. There are believers who complain about other believers and their blogging --which is judgmental and unnecessary.

I personally think it takes intellectual gymnastics to come up with Calvin's T.U.L.I.P. It's not the obvious Gospel message --to say the Bible says all the redeemed are predestined to be so, can't resist being so, are totally depraved until redeemed by God's choice (we would say, yes, sinful, but not without value as implied in total depravity) since we are made in God's image). Some people in the Bible even found favor with God because of their desire to know God--before the Savior came --before a redemptive Covenant was established and obeyed --and before they heard of Him (the Ethiopian eunuch, e.g. also Abraham, Job and Noah).

Calvinists also believe we can never rebel or start to disbelieve or otherwise sin our way out of salvation by choosing the broad road to destruction-- but they believe the chosen will run the race to its successful competion because we are pre-destined to be saved. (even though Paul said we need to be careful lest we don't finish the course --and Jesus says we can be pruned off the vine)

I never liked this Calvinist interp except for "eternal security" and I do think we have eternal security if we WANT to, but not as an excuse for living like the devil--I remember when one of those fellows said it was such a relief to him to learn from Calvinists that he could not lose his salvation and he just assumed he was chosen. I, on the other hand, when I heard about pre-destination, found it alarming --to think a person might want to be a Christian but just wasn't pre-destined. I think Calvinists would say, if you WANT to be a Christian, chances are good you are pre-destined. But I remember thinking that I didn't feel like weeping at the altar --and didn't express my faith emotionally as others did --and wondered, "Gee, maybe I'm not one of the chosen." I remember a guy praying for a healing who figured he wasn't "chosen" since his prayer wasn't answered. He became very bitter spiritually and otherwise.

Those who were worried about losing their salvation because of their chronic sin tendency were comforted by Calvinism; I found it scary and would've feared the chronic sin tendency or lack of spiritual or moral victory was a sign of not being predestined.

Overall, I don't see predestination as a Biblical theme as they do --but they can put you through a Bible study where they will see their interp of "chosen" in many many passages.

Jews for Jesus had a classical debate on this in San Francisco at their headquarters when we visited them --they did it in formal debate style, used only the bible as evidence, and consensus seemed to be that the Arminian side won the debate --that their scriptues were more compelling --that "whosoever will to the Lord may come." "God is not willing that any should perish...." "that whosoever believes in Him, shall not perish but have everlasting life." "To those who believed in the name of Jesus, He gave the power to become Children of God."

Seems to me we have choice, just as Adam and Eve did in the Garden.

I don't know what the 5th TULIP doctrine is.

Matthew said...

Crusader,

I'm happy to answer your questions but, before I forget, let me do my best to convince you to disregard everything Barb just said about Calvinism. She didn't come close to giving an accurate description of what Calvinists believe. I'll leave it at that since I'm firmly committed to not discussing these issues here...

You are right that Deborah exercised authority in her position. I don't totally know what to say about it other than God ordained it AND continues to prohibit women from exercising authority over men. I embrace all of scripture even when I don't understand it completely. It's important, though, to not just throw out one because you can't make sense of it. If I were to throw one out, though, wouldn't I throw out what seems to be the exception? Never mind... stupid question. Let's just not throw any of them out and let God be God. There is mystery here and the hidden things belong to the Lord.

You are also right that Jesus allowed (even encouraged) Mary to sit at his feet instead of worrying about dinner. I'm not sure this has much to do with women exercising authority over men, though. I (and everyone I know) encourage women to listen.

Proverbs 31, as you point out, is a great text for learning about how a godly woman behaves. The woman is praised for all sorts of things but not for exercising authority over her husband. Why would you look here for an explicit prohibition against authority? I would suggest that since the whole passage is full of positives (she *does* this and that) as opposed to negatives (she's *not allowed* to do this or that) we would expect to see her praised for her authority over men if she, indeed, held any. The fact that it's not mentioned is good indication she did not exercise authority over men.

I disagree with your statement at the end about this not being a prominent focus of the Bible as a whole. Maybe this gets back to the idea of avoiding proof texts, although the 1 Timothy passage remains a strong proof text as long as you don't throw it out of your Bible as Barb does. Have I mentioned that Barb threw that (and probably other) passages right out of her Bible long ago? Did I mention she believes she is right about some things that the inspired Saint Paul was wrong on?

Paul rooted his argument in creation, not the fall. Adam was created first, then Eve. You have God the Father filling a different role than God the Son all throughout scripture. Christ is subordinate to the Father even though He is God Himself. The church submits to Christ as He is the bridegroom. There are several texts that teach us on this matter. For instance, we haven't even touched on the book of Ephesians here. There are many passages dealing with the helpmate role of women. Scripture always commands men to lead and (with one possible exception) commands women to follow.

So, Crusader, your claim that the Bible is relatively silent on this issue is not accurate. There are many, texts that address it explicitly and many, many others that address it implicitly. How many inspired words to you need before this becomes a "prominent focus" of the Bible?

I would love for you to meet some of the women who I believe live this out in a godly way, to the glory of God our Father. I almost wish you weren't so happy at your church so that I felt comfortable inviting you to worship at my church one week. But I'm not looking to steal members from other congregations.

crusader09 said...

Barb, I phrased my comment wrong. I see them doing the same things they accuse you of doing, being intolerant.

I had a theology class once (I promise this has a point): It was a sought after class because the professor was a retired Lutheran pastor, and a brilliant author (several times published) and eloquent speaker. And there was a boy in the class who was Calvinist (he went to the same church as me, so I'm not sure how that all worked out for him, since I am certainly not a Calvinist) and the professor just kind of shredded the Calvinist arguments. I wish, now, that I had paid attention, maybe taken some notes on those discussions (there were never exam questions or essays about that kind of stuff) because the prof had a greater depth of knowledge than I do...

I don't put a lot of stock into Calvinistic ideas about pre-destination. I realize this creates all kinds of problems for me in the book of Romans, and we (my friends, my church family, and I) discuss this at length. But I can't reconcile the idea that God chooses some and not others with the personality of the God I have a relationship with... and it most definitely doesn't jive with the idea of God as a Father... I just can't make that leap.

Barb said...

Matt: "....don't throw it out of your Bible as Barb does. Have I mentioned that Barb threw that (and probably other) passages right out of her Bible long ago? Did I mention she believes she is right about some things that the inspired Saint Paul was wrong on?"

O that's cold, Matt! and judgmental! Doesn't reflect my heart's thinking at all. Let's just say I don't understand how Paul was right on saying that Adam was not deceived when he partook of the forbidden fruit. So be it, if he was not deceived as Paul said. Adam still gets the blame in most scripture.

The story of Deborah is a thorn in the flesh for those who think it's forbidden for woman to have authority over men.

My desire is not for authority over men --and I don't see women as usurping or exercising such authority just because they have an overriding responsibility in their assigned servant/helpmeet role.

Barb said...

My interp of TULIP --what was the 5th point that I left out? Without looking it up, my vague recollection is as follows

Total Depravity of man, Irresistable Grace, Eternal Security, Predestination of the Elect

crusader09 said...

The Ephesians text suggests that women submit to their husbands. This is not a greater statement about women and men. Women are to submit to their husbands as unto Christ (I don't want to put quotes 'cause I don't promise that's the exact quote, I might be mixing versions in my head). And husbands are to love their wives and give themselves for them even as Christ laid down his life for His Church. Okay, I've got no problem with this statement. It only addresses the husband-wife relationship. Who is to say that, while Sarah Palin is kicking butt in the White House, she can't be submissive to her husband at the same time?

Again, I have to ask, if it is really a foundational problem for the Church, why didn't Jesus address it himself.

The story of Mary and Martha, on careful study, is a complete upset of traditional gender roles. The household, at that time, was divided up: the women were in the kitchen, in the bedrooms, cleaning, keeping the house, cooking, etc. But the sitting room was for the men. They were to relax, socialize while the women took care of the woman things. But Mary shirked those duties. Martha wasn't mad because she had to wash the dishes by herself; Martha was appealing to Jesus to tell Mary to act like a woman, stop socializing and listening with the men. And Jesus didn't do that. This was as much a social statement as it was a statement that its better to listen to Jesus than it is to worry about earthly things.

You seem to be quite against proof texting and surface reading of Scripture (you've gotta be if you want to make Calvinist arguments, which is fine), and I am too. I think it's important to make sure we've dug deep enough to see what God is saying, now, then, and always.

If it were, as you claim, so clear and consistent in the Bible that women are to exercise no authority, then why are there so many Christian churches and denominations that don't act in that way?

Matthew said...

Barb,

How are my words cold? You said you think Paul is wrong in this text. Do you want to retract that statement?

Barb said...

Let's just say, I don't get it --Paul's statement --in light of other Biblical teachings. So why was it that Adam ate the fruit even though he was not deceived and thus knew eating would bring death?

Aaron attempted an answer. I don't think I've heard yours.

this is a mUUUUCH bigger issue to you than to me --of course.

Matthew said...

Crusader,

I guess I just can't relate to notion that if Jesus didn't say it Himself it's not as important as if He had.

If all Scripture is God breathed then what Paul and Moses write is just as inspired as what Jesus said.

Furthermore, Jesus did address the issue of women in authority by NOT doing away with the principle of submission. He, in no way, changed it. The issue with Mary and Martha proves this. Jesus encouraged Mary to sit at His feet and learn. Did Moses ever prohibit women from learning? No, of course not. This demonstrates the continuity between the Old and New Testaments. The Jews of His day had a lot of things wrong such as Pharisaical interpretations of Sabbath observance, tithing and many, many others. One of the things the Jews had wrong was domination of women. Again, how do you make the leap from Jesus allowing Mary to sit at His feet to Jesus (by His supposed silence on the issue) overturns the order of creation?

Regarding the fact that many churches and denominations have this issue wrong. You cannot prove a principle to be false because many people disagree over it. Christians disagree over every imaginable doctrine. It should be pointed out, though, that it is only recently that there is any significant disagreement over this one. For hundreds and hundreds of years the church was unanimous on this one. Unlike justification, calvinism and gifts of the spirit, for instance. Those disagreements have been around for a long time. Do you think it's significant that the church's conflicting opinions on this are new?

Matthew said...

Barb,

It seems like you could easily look this up if you really cared. But, unlike your strange TIEP acronym, Calvinists generally adhere to:

T = Total Depravity
U = Unconditional Election
L = Limited Atonement
I = Irresistible Grace
P = Perseverance of the Saints

Matthew said...

Barb,

I'm fine with you not getting it. I've admitted there are many things I don't get. That's a lot different than saying Paul was wrong, though.

Are you changing your position?

By the way, I agree with Aaron's answer regarding why Adam ate the fruit. Sorry if I failed to state that earlier. His interpretation seems to be obviously correct.

I know this is a bigger issue to me than to you. I would downplay the importance of willful disobedience and rebellion if I were you, too.

crusader09 said...

Matthew said: "I guess I just can't relate to notion that if Jesus didn't say it Himself it's not as important as if He had.

If all Scripture is God breathed then what Paul and Moses write is just as inspired as what Jesus said."

That's not what I said, nor is it a fair conclusion from what I've said. What I did say, however, is that Jesus didn't address it. And if it is such an important issue, why didn't He? I didn't say that what Paul and Moses wrote was any less pertinent or inspired. But if I had something to say that was foundational, I'd say it myself, loudly and clearly, rather than send someone else back later to say it. I know Jesus is cooler than me, and can
do what He wants, He is Jesus, after all, but it doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

I'm glad that you're very grounded and comfortable in your beliefs, and that you've found a congregation that feels the same. I just can't agree with it. I think the fact that this is a newer argument than others is due to social station. Women, almost exactly 80 years ago, were recognized as having the right to vote. It has only been in the last century that women have striven for the right to be called equal.

I am a believer in the first movement for suffrage: women are different, but equal. And I think women should have choices: if women want to stay home and fill that role, they should, if they want to work, they should. That's between a husband and his wife. Women are different than men, but not lesser.

I, in fact, don't even agree with Barb when she says that it is less often that women are truly called to ministry. I think that it is completely unrelated to gender, and God calls and uses those whom he wishes in the way He wishes. Some congregations are suited for women pastors and some not; much in the same way that some churches need someone who is a strong preacher and others want someone who focuses on evangelism.

The point I think this all comes back around to is the beauty of the fact that, woman or man, Armenian or Calvinist, Barb or Matthew, we all love and serve and have been saved through the same Lord.

I have appreciated this dialogue, but I think there are other things to do than just keep going back and forth about this. I appreciate and respect your point of view and I hope you can do the same. But most of all, I enjoy the fact that we can have respectful conversation about it :)

Matthew said...

Just a brief disclaimer for anyone observing here who might think I'm being much more harsh with Barb than with others:

Barb and I have a long history of disagreeing on all sorts of things. The discussions are never fruitful so I don't tend to give her the answers I give others. Some examples of things we've disagreed on over the years are:

1. God's sovereignty - I'm a Calvinist and Barb is an Arminian. I've answered her questions and complaints many times and we just disagree. I'm happy to move on.

2. Feminism - Barb is a Christian feminist when it comes to roles of women in authority. I am not.

3. God's omniscience - Barb believes (or at least entertains the notion) that God is unaware of the future.

4. Salvation - Barb believes that "good" people from other religions will be saved. I won't attempt to explain this any further because I don't understand all the details of this twisted theology. I strongly disagree with her.

So... there is a lot of history here and I hope it explains why I don't have the patience to answer all of her posts. I find it appalling that she is allowed to direct all of CE at her church while holding to these unorthodox positions.

Matthew said...

Crusader,

Before you go, what *do* you make of Paul's statement, then? He says that women are not to exercise authority over men.

Antipelagian said...

My 2 cents on the deception of Even and Adam:

From a simple reading of the passage, Eve was deceived by the serpent...and Adam plunged the human race into sin by submitting to Eve.

The Fall was precipitated by the pernicious error of egalitarianism.

crusader09 said...

Paul, in his letters to the various churches, gave lots of instructions. Some of this, Paul says, is from God and some is from Paul.

The way this is phrased in I Timothy, Paul says "I do not permit a woman to teach." (NIV, sorry if you use a different one, but that's the version my Study Bible is in).

Paul doesn't say that God doesn't permit women to teach. He says that he, Paul, does not. [Now I love Paul, and I love reading his letters and I know that God inspired his words, so I don't dispute the inspiration of these words, not one bit (just to be clear). ]

Paul also said things like (not a direct quote): "I think you shouldn't get married, I'm not married, but if you can't help but be tempted by the flesh, then go ahead and get married." So then, is the rule that Christians should be single and the exception that they be married? No, we don't take that scripture that way.

So Paul says to Timothy "I do not permit a woman to teach, instead she is to be silent." Well, then, by this scripture, women shouldn't even be voting members of a Church, but simply there to sit in silence and submission and learn quietly. If you choose to take this verse as instruction for how women are to behave, it seems that this directive goes even farther than just "women can't be in charge of men."

That's what I make of this passage. I don't doubt its inspiration, I don't doubt its veracity or its usefulness. I just think that Paul was telling Timothy something for his ministry that doesn't necessarily translate into the same things today.

crusader09 said...

I apologize for the lack of linear thought in the last post, and if its not clear to you, let me know and I'll try to redo it... I'm blaming it on the cough medicine today :)

Christian Apologist said...

I've discussed this verse with my pastor. His response was that the verb that Paul used 'i do not permit' is always used in a conditional sense.

The greek word used here is 'epitrepo' which according to my Greek-English lexicon means:
To allow someone to do something - 'to allow, to let, to permit.'
examples given of where this word is used elsewhere are:
Acts 14:16 "in the past he allowed all people to go their own way"
Acts 16:7 "The spirit of Jesus prevented them from going on"
Mark 10:4 "Moses allowed a man to write a divorce notice and send his wife away"

Another very important word here is the word the NIV translates as to have authority ('authentein' is the word in my greek bible)
This is my lexicon entry for that word:

To control in a domineering manner - 'to control, to domineer.'
examples:
1 Tim. 2:12 "I do not allow women...to dominate men"
then it says:
To control in a domineering manner is often expressed idiomatically, for example, 'to shout orders at,' 'to act like a chief toward,' or 'to bark at.'

Suddenly, after looking at the greek words this passage is less problematic than it once appeared.

crusader09 said...

CA, could you clarify what you mean by "in a conditional sense"?

Antipelagian said...

Crusader and Christian Apologist:

You're ignoring a verse Steve brought up a long while back and I've pointed back to it twice...

1 Cor 14:33-35,37 — Let your women keep silence...: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but THEY ARE COMMANDED TO BE UNDER OBEDIENCE, AS ALSO SAITH THE LAW. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church. If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that THE THINGS THAT I WRITE UNTO YOU ARE THE COMMANDMENTS OF THE LORD.

Even if in 1 Tim Paul is simply spouting off mere opinion, he is speaking unequivocally on behalf of God in 1 Cor 14

Barb said...

DOesn't bother me if you answer my posts or not, Matt.

But it does bother me when you conclude you know exactly what I believe and espouse and then give a skewed version that I don't even recognize. I, e.g., am not in the least interested in having authority over men.

Crusader --about God calling women to be pastors. I don't think He does call very many as there are NOT very many in the Bible-believing churches. Yet, many of the most "spiritual" and conservative of those denominations have ordained women since the 19th C. --just not many --because not many aspired and probably weren't called to that role --as there are so many other "helpmeet" roles that fit our gifts. I'd far rather work in music or teaching (any age and sex) than have to go to the hospital daily and craft a weekly sermon and deal with all the troubles and troubled people in the church. NOt that I don't deal with some of those, but he really can't escape troubles.

Women need a good support network if they have husband and children and hold leadership positions, because we DO (should) feel our responsibility to our man and children first of all. I accept the headship of the male --and have no desire to lord over the man in my life or he wouldn't fit my idea of a man. We women like being Jane to Tarzan! If he's nice.

I and my daughter and many other women in leadership in churches do what we do with the blessings and support of our husbands. Our services are part of THEIR ministry to our church --as helpmeets to them. My husband doesn't have time to hold a board position; I do. I do what I do for the church as an extension of Him --with HIs blessing.

There are more women pastors, seems like, in denominations that welcome homosexuals into ministry --there are lesbian pastors who dress like men. They are not the ones whom I consider "called and equipped" to be pastors.

The effective ones who can head a church and see growth are rare, from what I've observed. Some men pastors have the same problem, however, and don't seem to be gifted for the role.

It was neat to hear our pastor quoting Brenda Young Sunday, our female FM pastor with the mega-church. She does say good things --inspired things. She is a uniquely qualified woman for the role of pastor.

I think there is a barrier to women in pastoral ministry where men (and even women) will not respond to them favorably, generally. But again, the exception exists, like Brenda. Just as Sarah Palin is an exceptional woman in politics for being so well-liked and having such a good reputation with most of the people in her state --CNN can dig up some who don't like her , but apparently it is difficult.

I didn't know any women pastors and never aspired to be one and would not seek out a church because it had one. It would take a really rare woman--like Brenda --for me to be interested in attending her church. So I may be just as chauvinist as Matt's church --which could aptly be re-named: "The Church for the Subjugation of Women." It's SUCH a theme with them to worry about what OUR church is doing --and to run over to our minister and members to tell them that their CE director is a "hairy tic."

next post --answering Matt's allegations

Barb said...

Matt says we disagree on:

1. "God's sovereignty - I'm a Calvinist and Barb is an Arminian. I've answered her questions and complaints many times and we just disagree. I'm happy to move on."

The implication may be that I don't think God is entirely sovereign. I certainly do. He is the all powerful ONe and can do whatever He wishes. We just disagree on how we see God applying His Sovreignty. I think Matt thinks nothing happens out of the will of God? And there is scripture to support that. My churches always acknowledged the permissive will of God --that He does certainly allow things that He does not agree with or cause. when I talk with a Calvinist, I almost think they believe that God causes everything that happens--but surely not.

2. "Feminism - Barb is a Christian feminist when it comes to roles of women in authority. I am not."

Maybe --I'm not sure what a Christian Feminist is. I can find you feminists who claim to be Christian who think God allows them to marry their own sex and abort babies. I'm surely not that kind of "christian feminist."

I'm nothing new. My position is the same as the position of several holiness, fundamentalist, evangelical and pentecostal churches which have held this more egalitarian view regarding the gifts of the Spirit and the God-given roles of women, for 150 years. Oddly, it was the liberal mainline and Catholic churches that wanted to make sure that slaves and women were kept in their proper, subjugated positions.

3. "God's omniscience - Barb believes (or at least entertains the notion) that God is unaware of the future."

NOt exactly--He plans the future -and knows exactly what He is going to do and when -He knows when we will die and when Christ will return --and He causes many of the events in human history and future --but I don't believe He causes man's inhumanity to man --that is sin. And so sinful men wreak havoc that GOd is not responsible for --He allows it because we are NOT puppets. We are free to sin --and reap the natural consequences for our sin. The idea that He doesn't see everything in the future has to do with the dimension of time--and free will --and the question of whether we really have free will if God already knows every choice that we will make in the future. Evangelicals tend to believe that what they do and whether or not they pray will affect what God does. We have scriptural indication that God responds to man and his choices. If all our future doings and choices are already known, though they have not happened, is man really free to choose? and if He isn't, is He responsible for His choices? That is a philosophical ponderable to me --not so to Matt. And I really never gave it much thought until Rob discussed it --and I'm not fixed in my philosophical views on the future vs. man's free will at all. and I don't always understand Rob--or he says I don't.

Evangelicals on the one hand say they believe that God knows ahead about everything concerning us --on the other hand, Evangelicals typically pray as though they could move God to act, as if their prayers could avail much --as in Christ's parable of the person who repeatedly begs his neighbor for bread until the neighbor gets out of bed to give it to him. Jesus teaches us to persist --that our persistence can effect a response from the one to whom we pray.

4. "Salvation - Barb believes that "good" people from other religions will be saved. I won't attempt to explain this any further because I don't understand all the details of this twisted theology. I strongly disagree with her."


Barbara doesn't really believe this. My son might. I allow for God's sovreignty, however, to save anyone He wishes to save for whatever reasons He has. People who were not Jews and not Christians were mentioned in the Bible as finding favor with God --I don't think they were into "false religions" an idolatry, however. We know that people aren't "saved" by good works --since they are as filthy rags -- The Ethiopian eunuch, if I recall, however, found favor with God because He did alms and worshipped the Creator. and so Philip taught Him about Jesus so He would have salvation through His name.

We certainly believe there is an imperative to witness and make disciples --just as your church believes. I believe the people of other religions are dwelling in darkness without the Light who has come into the world. I think their ability to please God is limited because they lack the light and the presence of the Holy Spirit. But is there any possibility that someone of another religion loved and served a Creator God as best He could wihtout knowledge and thus God in His mercy would either save Him or see that He got a saving knowledge from missionaries, etc --or direct revelation--as is happening to Muslims who are having dreams about Jesus and coming to faith.

we know Jesus is the doorway --He will judge. We have guarantee that faith in Him, repentance for sin, a desire to be clay in the potter's hand -- leads to being 'born again' --no longer dead men walking.

Antipelagian said...

when I talk with a Calvinist, I almost think they believe that God causes everything that happens--but surely not.

Here's what Calvinists do believe...you may be surprised:

God, from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of his own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass: yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin, nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established. WSC 3.1

Matthew said...

Barb,

I have never "run to your minister or members." I haven't ever spoken to Keith about you. I haven't talked to any members of HFM about you, either. I've also never called you a heretic.

You're making up stories, Barb.

Antipelagian said...

When Matt says:
You're making up stories, Barb.

I'm going to have to disagree...when Barb says:

Matt's church --which could aptly be re-named: "The Church for the Subjugation of Women." It's SUCH a theme with them to worry about what OUR church is doing --and to run over to our minister and members to tell them that their CE director is a "hairy tic."


it is more akin to libel with a side of name calling:

In law, defamation (also called calumny, libel, slander, and vilification) is the communication of a statement that makes a false claim, expressly stated or implied to be factual, that may give an individual, business, product, group, government or nation a negative image. Slander refers to a malicious, false, and defamatory statement or report, while libel refers to any other form of communication such as written words or images. Most jurisdictions allow legal actions, civil and/or criminal, to deter various kinds of defamation and retaliate against groundless criticism. (from wikipedia)

Barb: please stay on topic and avoid the mud-slinging. No one here has tried to demonize HFM...and I know neither Matt nor myself have called up Keith to tell him you are heretical. Your ideas are within the scope of "orthodoxy" when it comes to Free Methodism...the Basinger brothers, after all, are Free Methodist (if I remember correctly).

It's an embarrassment to Christianity when libelous statements are deemed "appropriate" for a Christian blog...I could be wrong, perhaps that's seasoning your words with salt.

crusader09 said...

Whoa, this whole thing blew up into personal fights in zero seconds flat!

antipelagian:

My response to you is the same as the response to Matt in the I Timothy verse. Paul wrote these specific directions to a specific church at a specific time. In fact, Paul was talking to a church in trouble here... and the women were going to get them in trouble for speaking out of turn because it was socially unacceptable for them to do so. It would have drawn unnecessary and dangerous attention to have gatherings at which women spoke or preached.

But, sir, if you take this verse in the most literal sense, as you suggest I do, do your women in your church vote? Do they sing or pray or read scripture aloud? Do they speak in the church, even if it is only to other women? Because this is less of an issue regarding authority over men, and more of one simply of women being silent period. Is that the case where you worship?

kateb said...

I absolutely believe in God Almighty and I believe that God believes in free will for his children.

To say that he has pre-ordained all that has and will happen is to say that he did not ordain free will for us. And that's certainly not true. He asked, the most predominant example would be the mind boggling sacrifice of his own son for our salvation and that we would come to love God and be forgiven. What an awesome example of love. No greater love than this has ever or will ever exist. I adore him :-)

It isn't honest dialogue to take writings out of their historical context and to use them to make a point that was not the true purpose of the letter under discussion - take the writings of Paul to the church in Corinth discussed above. What was written using some of that letter would leave a reader with a very different impression of what happened during that time, why Paul wrote the letter that he did and what he was trying to do.

Paul wrote the letter to that specific church at that point in history because it was in turmoil. There is great debate also, amongst Biblical scholars about the 'in all churches' addition.

The church was in turmoil for a number of reasons, there were pagans attending who were trying to change the subject of worship, there were gossiping and arguing women in the congregation.

Some followers wanted to worship other congregation members because they had been baptized. There was false prophecy (some saying obviously from Paul's mention that of believers not saying "Jesus is accursed" This church was fractured. And it was also drawing attention to itself with its' discord. That wasn't really such a good idea at that time in history.

Paul was obviously trying to teach that church to discern false prophets from true prophets and about gifts given by God and how they should be used.

The women in that church needed to be silent. That is evident because they were causing such turmoil that this church was nearly broken apart.

kateb said...

Sorry for the double post - but I did leave out the fact that in our society the roles women play are far different than they were in Paul's world so many years ago.

If Paul were here today - do you think he would tell women, in America where most husbands abdicate their duties in the home and the church, that their homes should be leaderless? That they should let their churches die?

I think he'd say that was a preposterous discussion and move on to something actually productive. And I don't think he'd appreciate being part of a discussion that turned so nasty. He wasn't really that way.

Barb said...

I don't know who talks with Keith about what --I was surmising --with some reason.

2ndly, I'm glad you see that i am in the mainstream of my church on these matters.

3rdly --a true story would be the verbal attack I got from Matt in the aisle of my church --because I was teaching adult S.S. at the time and adult ministries director at the time. I had gone to hear your brother's college quartet sing --remember? and afterward, you made an unprovoked verbal insult to me.

I forgave you. But you did vent some hostility on that occasion for no provocation except your sense of "righteous indignation."

Civility--always a good thing.

I do think your church is overly self-conscious about female subjugation --and Yes, I understand that all the women are happy, without their braids, with their hats on for worship --and they never wear jewelry. Right?

and I wonder too if they can ever sing a solo, give a testimony, make an announcement, talk to each other in the sanctuary --or are they really to be silent as Paul explicitly said.

Barb said...

What brought you to this blog, kateb?

Barb said...

I really don't want to fight with the French bros, being one of my favorite families, actually!

Again --we must agree to disagree --and we are all Christians --who will be known by our love for each other.

But seriously, do the ladies wear hats in your church --and if not, why not? Why would that be legalism while being silent in church is still valid?

kateb said...

Hello Barb. Crusader sent me a link. We had blogged together on another wet and marshy toledo blog that turned out to be incredibly hostile to Christians.

It's great for Christians have an opportunity to honestly debate and exchange ideas.

So I was happy to hear there was a Christian blog. Thanks for the opportunity.

kateb said...

Jesus Himself told a woman, Mary, to go preach the gospel to men.

Did He disobey His own command?

Jesus didn't have a problem with women preaching – and specifically preaching to men!

Jesus said, “...go to my brethren
and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God and your God.” John 20:17

(Did Jesus violate a command that
women must be silent and not teach men?)

Jesus ministered to the woman at the well and she preached to all the men in her city... “she left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the
men, ‘Come see a man, which told me all things that ever I did; is not this the Christ?’” John 4:28-29 Talk about a lady preacher?

When this woman opened her mouth the entire city got saved!

These women are mentioned as church leaders in: Romans 16 - Phebe, Priscilla, Mary, Tryphena, Tryhosa, Persis, and Julia, Philippians 4:2 - Euodias and
Syntyche.

Antipelagian said...

Crusader-
My response to you is the same as the response to Matt in the I Timothy verse. Paul wrote these specific directions to a specific church at a specific time.

I'm not sure we're on the same page...I was referencing 1 Cor 14...and just in case you think that is just about Corinth...Paul says in 1 Cor 14:33 As in all the congregations of the saints,34women should remain silent.

Lest you say this is just about the congregations of those times...Paul said:"They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says."

Paul appeals to God's Law. God's unchanging principles. Apparently, this is meant for all people at all times.

It is difficult to accept these words when we're immersed in a feminist culture...but this is the Word of God. If you want to say that such and such was written for a certain time, as though it is not binding, welcome to the world of relativism and mere opinion.

Christians that believe God's Word is authoritative will recognize Paul was speaking for all times:

37 If anybody thinks he is a prophet or spiritually gifted, let him acknowledge that what I am writing to you is the Lord's command. 38 If he ignores this, he himself will be ignored

Not only is Paul teaching patriarchy...he's telling believers to actually shun whoever ignores this teaching. Stop pretending the Word is a product of your own imagination (v36).

...the women were going to get them in trouble for speaking out of turn because it was socially unacceptable for them to do so. It would have drawn unnecessary and dangerous attention to have gatherings at which women spoke or preached.

This is reading into the text far more than in warranted...as I've already noted: Paul says this principle of women submitting applies to all congregations. Bolsters it with an appeal to God's unchanging Law. Exegetically...you're up a creek without a Bible.

But, sir, if you take this verse in the most literal sense, as you suggest I do, do your women in your church vote? Do they sing or pray or read scripture aloud? Do they speak in the church, even if it is only to other women?

I do take this Scripture very literally. What my church does is immaterial to what you and I are discussing...but in case you're wondering: Women do not read Scripture aloud as part of our worship. They do not pray aloud. Further, women are permitted to instruct other women...Paul instructs the older women to teach the older...and the capacity to which Paul is speaking in 1 Cor 14 is a teaching/authority capacity (consider the context is about prophecy). It is also addressing the proper time and place for questioning teaching.

In regard to women singing solos:
I'm of the personal opinion solos do not belong in corporate worship...but I'm not a stickler on that.

If you find me inconsistent, that is of no concern to me. No one applies all the Bible's teachings perfectly, but when we are subverting clear teaching we are in greater sin than doing so ignorantly.

If I'm to choose between scrapes and bruises from falling and falling off a cliff...I'll take scrapes and bruises, please.

kateb said...

Strange that one would skip over what Jesus actually did. ?? I don't understand?

Antipelagian said...

Barb
3rdly --a true story would be the verbal attack I got from Matt in the aisle of my church --because I was teaching adult S.S. at the time and adult ministries director at the time. I had gone to hear your brother's college quartet sing --remember? and afterward, you made an unprovoked verbal insult to me.

You started by saying Matt verbally attacked you then said "you made an unprovoked verbal insult"...I'm not sure if "you" was in reference to me, or to Matt. I doubt me since I have made it a point to avoid discussing Reformed teaching with you since I graduated from HC...it was always lively and I enjoyed our discussions...but I don't think it's profitable any longer. I also am not comfortable insulting people, which is why I'm certain you don't mean it was me that insulted you.

I do recommend you delete your comment concerning CTW and members reporting to your pastor how "heretical" you think we think you are...also, the comment has an unsavory insult...for the sake of Christian propriety, I recommend you delete it. If you have forgiven Matt (I don't recall him hurling an insult), then don't mention the incident ever...forgiveness would hide such occassions and wouldn't pull them like a sword after being forgiven.

If you haven't forgiven him (again, I do not know if there was anything he did to injure you by way of insult), then email him. This is not the place to air personal laundry.

Also: If you do delete your comment in question...feel free to delete this comment as well as the one where I likened your statement to libel. I'm fine with lively discussions...but lets keep things clean.

Antipelagian said...

KateB
I think he'd say that was a preposterous discussion and move on to something actually productive. And I don't think he'd appreciate being part of a discussion that turned so nasty. He wasn't really that way.

Well, this is pure conjecture on your part...and Paul was quite divisive and quite the "meanie"...wishing the Judaizers would castrate themselves and all (Gal 5:12). Mockingly refers to false teachers as "Super Apostles".

Too often, Christians read PC niceness into the Bible, as if God has called us to passivity when it comes to truth...this is not godliness, KateB...this is disregard for truth. Today people value "getting along" over pleasing God...after all, the Apostle Paul was not the Apostle of "Niceness" when he said:
Gal 1:10 Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.

Moving along...
Mary did not "preach" to the disciples...she reported Christ's resurrection.

Further: in her reporting to them, she was not functioning as an officer within the Church nor exercising authority. Are you suggesting that Mary held authority over the Apostles?

(Did Jesus violate a command that women must be silent and not teach men?)

Are you suggesting a more literal reading of 1 Cor 14 means a woman is to never speak...as in, not ever?

I don't think you intended to argue anything, really, as much as spout out a number of non sequiturs.

crusader09 said...

Antipeligian (I know I butchered that spelling, sorry): This is the beauty of Christianity. I disagree vehemently with you and the way you are interpreting these scriptures. And you disagree with me. But it isn't salvifically relevant: we are still called and saved by the same God.

I have outlined how I read Paul's letters in scripture (and Paul was really careful not to elevate his words to the same platform as Jesus'). His instructions were to those churches then. Our job is to decide how best to apply that wisdom and knowledge now. You feel that that is to have women fulfill a really specific role, that of only teaching to other women and, otherwise, remaining silent in church. My feelings are that God equips each one different from the other and that He can and does equip women for ministry, even over and to men.

I think kateb makes an interesting point about the fact that Jesus made some remarks and commands, in fact, regarding this, but you didn't respond to those.

The point is that none of it affects my salvation or yours... and this conversation has outlived its usefullness for me because it seems that the idea exchange has stopped and some bludgeoning has begun. And I don't really do that...

crusader09 said...

Antipelegian: (again, sorry for the butcher of the name, I'm not going to bother copying it to paste it):

It seems less that you are here to express your ideas and exchange them honestly and more to declare that yours is the right way and that anyone who differs, digresses, or questions your view is just... well, you seem condescending towards those attitudes. In case you didn't read the rest, Matthew and I were engaged in a conversation, not a lecture, and neither of us has tried to be mean or condescending. The truth is that this doesn't matter... not as much as I think you would like it to. It doesn't relate to salvation, which is the key issue of Christianity. "In the essentials, unity, in everything else, liberty."

I'm exercising my Christian liberty to disagree from and differ with you... and still call you brother if you serve the same Risen Lord that I do.

crusader09 said...

p.s.: The real quote I was trying to get at was this one from St. Augustine:

In the essentials, unity
In the non-essentials, liberty
In all things, love

Antipelagian said...

Crusader-

I did address KateB's references to Jesus...

It doesn't relate to salvation, which is the key issue of Christianity. "In the essentials, unity, in everything else, liberty."

And this is where it all gets reduced to...if it's not about salvation, then it is not essential. One wonders why so much of the Bible is dedicated to a complete worldview.

Go ahead and designate God's created order to the status of "non-essential"...you're simply employing unbiblical and circular thinking.

I am not here to have a dialogue with you...my brother did that...he did that quite well.

Whether you will submit to God's teaching on this or not is not on my shoulders. You've read the truth in the Bible, you've read what Matt said, and you've read my "condescending" posts. As Paul says in 1 Corinthians 14:38 in regards to the person that ignores the clear teaching that women are to be quiet, submissive, and wielding no church authority:

he himself will be ignored

Paul thinks his teaching is essential.

Ignore mode on.

Matthew said...

Did the entrance of KateB signal my exit into an alternate reality?

She quoted the woman at the well saying, "Come see a man, which told me all things that ever I did; is not this the Christ?" and then she likened that to preaching???

So suggesting others listen to Jesus is preaching?

Seriously, people. This has got to send up red flags all over the place. Barb argues for her position by saying that Paul was wrong and she is right. Then KateB says that telling people to listen to Jesus is preaching.

Crusader, listen to these lines of reasoning. This sort of logic is not pulling you in their direction, is it?

crusader09 said...

I don't know precisely who you think you are that you are right and I am wrong and have an unbiblical worldview. Quite the opposite is true.

And my comment about essentials is to say that we can disagree respectfully about this and it doesn't affect anything on an eternal basis.

I'm glad that you choose to ignore me, but I wonder why you chose to butt in here in the first place, if you should be ignoring myself and Barb.

I will not be engaging with you going forward.

crusader09 said...

Matthew, that last post was not directed at you, but at your brother (who I think is rude, for the record). I hope that won't affect our ability to have dialogue in the future.

crusader09 said...

Matthew, I started out on their side and have not, as yet, been moved. Your brother and his... well, for lack of a better term, "arguments" haven't helped this at all because he seems harsh in his approach to women, rather than the value you seem to have for them in what you think is their proper place.

I think that there were early church leaders that were women (I will do some really serious research on this topic too, on my own), at least I have grown up thinking that. I think that it is less of an issue than some people want to make it and that it would be pleasing to God if we were able to move past and love one another, share the Gospel, and do His work in spite of this difference. Only one side can be right, but I really don't think that you or I or KateB or Barb or antipelegian will be denied access to Heaven based on our views of gender roles. Does it bear discussing? Yes. Is it worth division, infighting, and not doing other work in order to discuss it? Nope.

Matthew said...

Crusader,

You're right about all of us being in heaven, I trust. I cannot judge anyone's heart and as long as we come to the Father by faith in His Son, we will be saved.

Matthew said...

Well, I just had an epiphany and I owe it all to you folks. I cannot believe I didn’t think of this on my own. I feel such a relief; like a massive weight is lifted off my shoulders.

It started with Barb. She said, “Notice, this prohibition of women speaking was Paul's disallowance. And his reasoning isn't too sound on the topic --since he blames her for being the one deceived as though Adam were not.” At first this really bothered me because I grew up in Barb’s church and was always taught that everything in the Bible was true.

Then she said, “Paul goes on to say the woman will save her soul through child-bearing --not exactly Christian doctrine when the whole NT is considered.” Seemed like a good point but I was still holding onto the teaching from Sunday School and CLC at HFM.

Then she said, “Was Paul filled with the Spirit in his every utterance? I don't know. Seems there was something about this particular passage to Timothy that was harsh and inconsistent with Jesus' own conversations with women. Jesus trumps all the other prophets when there seems to be a variance in Scripture's implications for today.” Sounds good to me. You can’t go wrong with Jesus, right?

I can be a little slow, though, so repetition always helps me. Thankfully, Barb repeated “Notice Paul says, "I want...." and "I do not permit...." OK, so maybe Barb has a point. But something was still missing for me. If only I had a grasp of the context of these passages…

Then it was like she read my mind. She said, “I was going to say that Paul was writing from and to a Taliban like culture --where women were merely property, and VERY 2nd class citizens. The culture affects what he says.” Now we’re getting somewhere.

These two comments from Barb were helpful: “Paul is speaking from a whole culture that basically agreed with him about women's silence in the synagogue --and later in the mosque.” And “There are 4 passages I just don't understand as being God's Word for today's Church.” Yes, the veil of darkness is lifting.

At this point I was hoping for a little more from Barb when she said, “The western evangelical, NT-based church today does not resemble a first century synagogue or a 5th c. mosque --or a middle-eastern worshipping group of any sort today.” True, that.

Then, thankfully, KateB stepped in to help. She pointed out, “Paul wrote the letter to that specific church at that point in history because it was in turmoil.” A few sentences later she said, “The women in that church needed to be silent.” Aha! This is where the weight began to be lifted.

She continued, “In our society the roles women play are far different than they were in Paul's world so many years ago.” Yeah, way different. Plus we have cars, electricity and toilet paper. She’s right. It’s, like, totally different today. In fact, the more I think about it I don’t think very much of the Bible is pertinent for today. Think about it… the New Testament is mostly a bunch of letters by a handful of men to churches or individuals – not me. I need to give this some more thought but I’m really thinking this is the reason I find so many commands oppressive and difficult to keep. They were never really meant for me. Let’s take a closer look.

Deuteronomy: That’s a tedious book written to a bunch of indigent Jews.
Isaiah: He prophesied a long time ago. Things were very different then.
Jeremiah: He prophesied to an idol worshipping southern kingdom. I don’t have any idols.
Ezekiel: This guy prophesied from Babylon. What does Babylon have to do with me?
Daniel: Babylon again. Plus all the dreams. Surely dreams from thousands of years ago don’t have any significance to us today.
Hosea: Come on. Marry a prostitute? Not exactly sound doctrine as Barb might say.
Joel: His prophecy came right on the heels of a locust plague. The closest I’ve come to this is a few noisy crickets in my yard.
Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, etc… Such a long time ago.
Romans: Maybe if I were Catholic but what does this have to do with a Midwestern Protestant?
Galatians: That church was ravaged by Judaizers. I’ve never even met one of those.
Ephesians: One would really need to study the specifics of first century Greece to glean any wisdom from here.
Philippians, Colossians, I and II Thessalonians. All Paul’s personal letters to specific churches.
I and II Timothy, Titus, Philemon. I almost feel voyeuristic reading Paul’s personal correspondence with these guys. None of my business, really.
Hebrews. Can you really trust an anonymous source?

Well, you get the idea. I’m really feeling relieved. There’s so much less to worry about now. I’ll just listen to Jesus.

Christian Apologist said...

crusader09 said...
CA, could you clarify what you mean by "in a conditional sense"?


I mean that what he is saying only applies to a specific context into which he is speaking and not in a broad sense.

Matthew said...

OK, OK. Some people probably thought my last post was rude.

Clearly I was being sarcastic but I don't think in a mean way. Sometimes sarcasm is an effective way to get your point across. Don't anyone take it personally.

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