All About GOD

All About GOD - Growing Relationships with Jesus and Others

Certain topics have always been controversial, such as women teaching men, women speaking in church, head coverings, divorce, going to court, praying aloud or quietly, paying our debts, tithing, etc.


One will argue against the head covering, citing it as outdated or a metaphor, while upholding not letting women teach because it's not the same and God commands it.


But as I was studying the difference between the terms holiness, righteousness and justification this morning, something I read just answered a lot of questions that are so often debated.


Laying aside all our notions and beliefs of all these matters, when Jesus said to obey His commands, just what commands was He speaking of?


Galatians 5:14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Matthew 22:36-40
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”


John 15:10-12
If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.


‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’

  1. You shall have no other gods before Me.
  2. You shall not make idols.
  3. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.
  4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.

‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

  1. Honor your father and your mother.
  2. You shall not murder.
  3. You shall not commit adultery.
  4. You shall not steal.
  5. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
  6. You shall not covet.


Every message was to love God and one another, to live in peace with one another. Even Paul's teaching on head coverings and women teaching were wrapped into that central theme. As Paul said, if his eating meat offended a weaker brother, then he wouldn't eat meat. People were offended about women speaking out or showing their head, and it was causing disagreements and dissention in the church because of customs and trivial matters. The church was against one another and divided in beliefs. Kinda like Baptist, Pentecostal, Nazarene. All because of trivial matters, churches divide and write their own "beliefs" a.k.a. rules. When the only written statement should be "Love God, believe in His Son Jesus Christ, and love others." That simple.


Jesus repeatedly demonstrated love. Love takes care of every commandment. If you steal, you hurt the one you steal from. To dishonor your parents is going to hurt them, etc. The commandments were a guide on how to love God and others...how to treat one another.


The Pharisees tried to nit pick it and make up a bunch of rules like you must pay 10% even if you don't have it, you are not permitted to speak (which wasn't even what quietness meant), you must cover your head. All this clouded what Jesus was teaching.



Matthew 23:13-15 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to. “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are.


There are 613 Jewish laws. That certainly is placing burdens on people. Just try and commit them all to memory. Some people can but the rest of the real world would be pulling their hair out.


Jesus never commanded us to keep women silent or from teaching. He never commanded us to cover our head or pay 10%. His commands were to love Him and love others. As long as we're adhering to that, truly loving others, we don't need a list of rules and regulations.

We're not going to do anything that would hurt a brother or sister. We won't covet what they have or steal it. We won't dishonor our parents. We won't lie about others or murder them. We won't step out on our spouse and tear a family apart.

But then we'd have nothing to debate and this site wouldn't exist and I wouldn't have posted this. And we'll finally have reached unity and have just one church.

Views: 3901

Replies are closed for this discussion.

Replies to This Discussion

The Bible is, and has always been, a revolutionary book. It stands like a coastal rock cliff to resist the surging, crashing waves of cultural change. And there may be no clearer demonstration of the Bible's immutable word than what it teaches about genuine femininity. 

The Bible rightly exalts women against cultures that distort, degrade, and debase them. Many in our society tout the sexual and reproductive liberation of women against the supposed oppressive, outmoded strictures of the Bible. I have to ask, "In what way are women truly free? In what way does our culture honor them?" Sure they can vote; sure they have opportunities to compete in the marketplace. But are they really free? Is their dignity and honor intact? 

I contend that women are used and abused more today than at any time in history. Pornography turns women into objects and victims of dirty, cowardly Peeping Toms who leer at them with greedy eyes. Throughout the world, women are traded like animals for sexual slavery. In more "civilized" places, men routinely use women for no-consequence, no-commitment sex only to leave them pregnant, without care and support. Abortion rights groups aid and abet male selfishness and irresponsibility, and they "free" women to murder their unborn children. Womenare left alone, emotionally scarred, financially destitute, and experientially guilty, ashamed, and abandoned. Where's the freedom, dignity, and honor in that? 

Modern technological advances have enabled the culture to mainstream the degradation ofwomen like never before; but ancient cultures were no better. Women in pagan societies during biblical times were often treated with little more dignity than animals. Some of the best-known Greek philosophers—considered the brightest minds of their era—taught that women are inferior creatures by nature. Even in the Roman Empire (perhaps the very pinnacle of pre-Christian civilization) women were usually regarded as mere chattel—personal possessions of their husbands or fathers, with hardly any better standing than household slaves. That was vastly different from the Hebrew (and biblical) concepts of marriage as a joint inheritance, and parenthood as a partnership where both father and mother are to be revered and obeyed by the children (Leviticus 19:3). 

Pagan religion tended to fuel and encourage the devaluation of women even more. Of course, Greek and Roman mythology had its goddesses (such as Diana and Aphrodite). But don't imagine for a moment that goddess-worship in any way raised the status of women in society. The opposite was true. Most temples devoted to goddesses were served by sacred prostitutes—priestesses who sold themselves for money, supposing they were performing a religious sacrament. Both the mythology and the practice of pagan religion have usually been overtly demeaning to women. Male pagan deities were capricious and sometimes wantonly misogynistic. Religious ceremonies were often blatantly obscene—including such things as erotic fertility rites, drunken temple orgies, perverted homosexual practices, and in the very worst cases, even human sacrifices. 

Contrast all of that, ancient and contemporary, with the Bible. From cover to cover, the Bible exalts women. In fact, it often seems to go out of the way to pay homage to them, to ennoble their roles in society and family, to acknowledge the importance of their influence, and to exalt the virtues ofwomen who were particularly godly examples. 

From the very first chapter of the Bible, we are taught that women, like men, bear the stamp of God's own image (Genesis 1:275:1-2)—men and women were created equal. Women play prominent roles in many key biblical narratives. Wives are seen as venerated partners and cherished companions to their husbands, not merely slaves or pieces of household furniture (Genesis 2:20-24Proverbs 19:14Ecclesiastes 9:9). At Sinai, God commanded children to honorboth father and mother (Exodus 20:12). 

Of course, the Bible teaches divinely ordained role distinctions between men and women—many of which are perfectly evident from the circumstances of creation alone. For example, womenhave a unique and vital role in childbearing and the nurture of little ones. Women themselves also have a particular need for support and protection, because physically, they are "weaker vessels" (1 Peter 3:7 NKJV). Scripture establishes the proper order in the family and in the churchaccordingly, assigning the duties of headship and protection in the home to husbands (Ephesians 5:23) and appointing men in the church to the teaching and leadership roles (1 Timothy 2:11-15). 

Yet women are by no means marginalized or relegated to any second-class status. The Bible teaches women are not only equals with men (Galatians 3:28), but are also set apart for special honor (1 Peter 3:7). Husbands are commanded to love their wives sacrificially, as Christ loves the church—even, if necessary, at the cost of their own lives (Ephesians 5:25-31). The Bible acknowledges and celebrates the priceless value of a virtuous woman (Proverbs 12:431:101 Corinthians 11:7).

Christianity, born at the intersection of East and West, elevated the status of women to an unprecedented height. Jesus' disciples included several women (Luke 8:1-3), a practice almost unheard of among the rabbis of His day. Not only that, He encouraged their discipleship by portraying it as something more needful than domestic service (Luke 10:38-42). In fact, Christ's first recorded, explicit disclosure of His own identity as the true Messiah was made to a Samaritan woman (John 4:25-26). He always treated women with the utmost dignity—even women who might otherwise be regarded as outcasts (Matthew 9:20-22Luke 7:37-50John 4:7-27). He blessed their children (Luke 18:15-16), raised their dead (Luke 7:12-15), forgave their sin (Luke 7:44-48), and restored their virtue and honor (John 8:4-11). Thus He exalted the position of womanhood itself. 

It is no surprise therefore that women became prominent in the ministry of the early church (Acts 12:12-151 Corinthians 11:11-15). On the day of Pentecost, when the New Testament church was born, women were there with the chief disciples, praying (Acts 1:12-14). Some were renowned for their good deeds (Acts 9:36); others for their hospitality (Acts 12:1216:14-15); still others for their understanding of sound doctrine and their spiritual giftedness (Acts 18:2621:8-9). John's second epistle was addressed to a prominent woman in one of the churches under his oversight. Even the apostle Paul, sometimes falsely caricatured by critics of Scripture as a male chauvinist, regularly ministered alongside women (Philippians 4:3). He recognized and applauded their faithfulness and their giftedness (Romans 16:1-62 Timothy 1:5). 

Naturally, as Christianity began to influence Western society, the status of women was dramatically improved. One of the early church fathers, Tertullian, wrote a work titled On the Apparel of Women, sometime near the end of the second century. He said pagan women who wore elaborate hair ornaments, immodest clothing, and body decorations had actually been forced by society and fashion to abandon the superior splendor of true femininity. He noted by way of contrast that as the church had grown and the gospel had borne fruit, one of the visible results was the rise of a trend toward modesty in women's dress and a corresponding elevation of the status of women. He acknowledged that pagan men commonly complained, "Ever since she became a Christian, she walks in poorer garb!" Christian women even became known as "modesty's priestesses." But, Tertullian said, as believers who lived under the lordship of Christ,women were spiritually wealthier, more pure, and thus more glorious than the most extravagantwomen in pagan society. Clothed "with the silk of uprightness, the fine linen of holiness, the purple of modesty," they elevated feminine virtue to an unprecedented height. 

Even the pagans recognized that. Chrysostom, perhaps the most eloquent preacher of the fourth century, recorded that one of his teachers, a pagan philosopher named Libanius, once said: "Heavens! What women you Christians have!" What prompted Libanius's outburst was hearing how Chrysostom's mother had remained chaste for more than two decades since becoming a widow at age twenty. As the influence of Christianity was felt more and more, women were less and less vilified or mistreated as objects for the amusement of men. Instead, women began to be honored for their virtue and faith. 

In fact, Christian women converted out of pagan society were automatically freed from a host of demeaning practices. Emancipated from the public debauchery of temples and theaters (wherewomen were systematically dishonored and devalued), they rose to prominence in home and church, where they were honored and admired for feminine virtues like hospitality, ministry to the sick, the care and nurture of their own families, and the loving labor of their hands (Acts 9:39). 

That's always been the trend. Wherever the gospel has spread, the social, legal, and spiritual status of women has, as a rule, been elevated. When the gospel has been eclipsed (whether by repression, false religion, secularism, humanistic philosophy, or spiritual decay within the church), the status of women has declined accordingly. 

Even when secular movements have arisen claiming to be concerned with women's rights, their efforts have generally been detrimental to the status of women. The feminist movement of our generation, for example, is a case in point. Feminism has devalued and defamed femininity. Natural gender distinctions are usually downplayed, dismissed, despised, or denied. As a result,women are now being sent into combat situations, subjected to grueling physical labor once reserved for men, exposed to all kinds of indignities in the workplace, and otherwise encouraged to act and talk like men. Meanwhile, modern feminists heap scorn on women who want family and household to be their first priorities; in so doing they disparage the role of motherhood, the one calling that is most uniquely and exclusively feminine. The whole message of feminist egalitarianism is that there is really nothing extraordinary about women. That is certainly not the message of Scripture. Scripture honors women as women, and it encourages them to seek honor in a uniquely feminine way (Proverbs 31:10-30). 

Scripture never discounts the female intellect, downplays the talents and abilities of women, or discourages the right use of women's spiritual gifts. But whenever the Bible expressly talks about the marks of an excellent woman, the stress is always on feminine virtue. The most significantwomen in Scripture were influential not because of their careers, but because of their character. The message these women collectively give is not about "gender equality"; it's about true feminine excellence. And that is always exemplified in moral and spiritual qualities rather than by social standing, wealth, or physical appearance. 

And that's setting the record straight. Far from denigrating women, the Bible promotes feminine freedom, dignity, and honor. Scripture paints for every culture the portrait of a truly beautiful woman. True feminine beauty is not about external adornment, "arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel"; real beauty is manifest instead in "the hidden person of the heart ... the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God" (1 Peter 3:3-4 NKJV).

Adapted from Twelve Extraordinary Women.

I set the record straight from the Word of God, the context of that Word, and how Christ acted towards people of any gender. God did set the order in that women are under their husbands...children are under their parents, churches are under their pastors and elders, all are under God. Submission doesn't mean you're relegated to sit on a pew and defer to a husband you may or may not have. But to that, I'd love to see a plausible reason as to why people are so firm on the belief that women are not to teach, while not believing that women shouldn't speak in church.

I've noticed many rigid beliefs throughout the different denominations, all taken from a particular set of passages, while not holding strict beliefs in other passages. We don't hold with head coverings or slaves remaining in the situation they were in when called, or sacrifices, or tithing, on foot washing, on whether it's a sin to put up a Christmas tree, on tongues and prophecy and healing, on casting out devils...

You can find any number of denomination divisions based on interpretation of certain passages while not considering other beliefs.

Just one of many examples...taken from my cousins Baptist Church website...

We believe that men and women are spiritually equal in position before God, but that God has ordained distinct and separate spiritual functions for men and women in the home and the Church. Accordingly, only men are eligible for licensure and ordination by the Church. (Gal. 3:28; Col. 3:18; 1 Tim. 2:8-15; 3:4-5, 12)

We believe that God is sovereign in the bestowing of his gifts, and that these gifts are intended to edify the Church. We believe that the gifts of healing, tongues, interpretation of tongues, performance of miracles, and other gifts associated with the charismatic movement were temporary, sign gifts that are no longer needed after the completion of the New Testament and therefor are not practiced in the Church today. We do believe that the sick may call on the elders of the Church to administer anointing oil and to pray for them. God is the great and divine healer and does hear and answer prayers of faith in accordance with His will for the sick and afflicted. (Mark 16:17-18; Rom. 12:6-8; 1 Cor. 12:4-12, 22-25; 2 Cor. 12:12; Eph. 4:7-12; James 5:13-15; 1 Pet. 4:10-11)

According to the first, they quote Scripture which says women are not to teach or have authority over a man. Yet that same passage says they're to remain silent. Notice the absence in belief on remaining silent, just no teaching.

On the second, they believe signs were temporary, even though Jesus said these would accompany those who believe...not those who believe until John writes the Book of Revelation. Stranger still are those churches that still believe in prophecy but that only the other gifts, like tongues and healing, were temporary.

These same "non"believers will claim that verses such as Jeremiah 29:11, Philippians 4:19, John 14:27, though written to specific people, are for everyone...but tongues were only for then.

And this is an issue of unity. We believe what we believe and that's that. Even when one group says it's from the Holy Spirit and another swears their opposing belief is from that same Holy Spirit.

Sound familiar? It is.

1 Corinthians 12.

7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.

This same passage continues on with, of all things, unity in the church.

Paul also wrote that...whoever has doubts is condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.

Therefore it would follow that if one believes that women shouldn't teach but lets them, or one believes they should but won't let them...they have both sinned.

Romans 14 has a lot more on this that is pretty enlightening.

So....because X denomination swears they are lead by the Spirit who tells them one thing and another swears they are led by the Spirit believes the opposite...which denomination is the false prophet? Which is teaching wrongly? Which will be judged on those beliefs missing the mark on judgment day?

Since Paul is a large part of all of this, I will attempt to put this in a similar perspective as he did...

In my judgment, I say neither will be judged on this—and I think that I too have the Spirit of God.

Char,

Woman should not teach men in the context of Church leadership/Pastoring, an office of authority, and women are told not to exercise such authority over men. They are told in scripture to teach women and to raise up Godly children. In 1 Timothy 2:11 Paul qualifies the way in which women are to be learners: They are to “quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness.” “Submissiveness” translates hupotagē, the noun form of hupotassō, which means “to line up under.” In the context of the worship service, then, women are to be quiet and be subject to the church leadership. But being silent does not apply to the entire Church experience. Women are called to learn and to teach other women.

 

What is the problem with that Char? What is the big deal with a woman not exercising authority over a man in the context of a Teacher/Pastor? The biblical model is highly controversial in today’s culture. But if we are to reflect God’s nature, we must live by His wisdom rather than the world’s.

 

I've noticed many rigid beliefs throughout the different denominations, all taken from a particular set of passages, while not holding strict beliefs in other passages. 

Issues differ in importance.  Some issues have to do with preference and culture others have to do with doctrine. We have to distinguish between the two.

We don't hold with head coverings or slaves remaining in the situation they were in when called, or sacrifices, or tithing, on foot washing, on whether it's a sin to put up a Christmas tree, on tongues and prophecy and healing, on casting out devils...

I know you are not looking for an answer to these things but….

Head covering has to do with traditions and cultural meaning associated with the practice. Slaves are called to remain in the situation they were found when called to interior freedom, but if they can gain their freedom not by running away, but by legal ways, they should. Sacrifices were abolished by Christ’s perfect sacrifice. Tithing was done multiple times which amounted to a total of about 25% rather than only 10%, it was the equivalent of paying taxes in the theocracy of Israel. It is not for the Church. The Church should give generously and sacrificially. There is no need for the outward practice of foot washing in our culture; we are not in the Middle East, where sandals were used. However the teaching of washing feet carried with it spiritual lessons which still do apply. It was mainly a teaching on being a servant. The gifts of the Spirit remain active and for the Church to practice, but even my beloved John MacArthur misses it in this point, which goes to show that we can all be wrong. That includes me of course. But I will use Luther’s words here:

 

"Unless I am convinced by Scripture and plain reason - I do not accept the authority of the popes and councils, for they have contradicted each other - my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. God help me. Amen."

 

The Church will go before the Judgement seat of Christ to receive rewards for works done on earth and not for judgement as the world will. It is our joyous responsibility to search out truth about these issues with the goal to bring God glory and praise with our practices.  Two contradicting teachings cannot be true at the same time, in the same way. 

Whose doctrine? Jesus never commanded such a thing. And being that Paul was speaking to a church that was fighting amongst itself, it's highly plausible that he was addressing that situation. Or because that was law at the time, and going against that law caused division and arguments. Paul also spoke of head coverings yet it is not considered doctrine. Since no one can travel back and ask him about this, we all may be interpreting this incorrectly. So we have to go on how Jesus treated people...of any age, gender, or race.
I'd also like to pose a question. When is a man a man? I've never seen anyone say that a woman is not qualified to teach children. Being the case, when do we separate into children and men? Is 5 a man? What about 10? 13 (Jewish custom)? 15? 18? Or how about the 30 year old man/child from a disability who has aged in body but not in mind. If we know without a doubt that Paul was laying down a doctrine, he would not have left it vague. He would have also told us at what point one is a man so we would know if we could teach them or not.

David, I have copied your comments in bold:

Carla, I like some of the thoughts/teachings in the last article you posted, I think it has some good points, yet I do not agree with the following:

Having just addressed how a believing wife ought to live with an unbelieving husband, Peter addresses believing husbands about how to live with an unbelieving wife, describing her as the “weaker vessel”. 

Peter never meant to equate the phrase “weaker vessel’ with an unbelieving wife, because I am not sure that he was saying that the disobedient husband was not a born again child of God, but possibly a brother that was messing up in some way, not obeying or believing a portion of scripture, not the whole of the word, but even if Peter was referring to an unregenerate husband, he starts by asking women to be in subjection to their husbands who are believers and just in case some were not obeying or were unbelievers they should be corrected with a quite spirit and not words, for actions are way more effective in such instances.  Good conduct will not change anyone to believe a portion of the word or the Gospel, but it does get the ground ready for the Spirit using the word of God to bring about a change, for God’s Spirit to bring the person to repentance.

I’m not sure how you can say what Peter didn’t or didn’t mean by using the phrase ‘weaker vessel’.  Scripture is a historical account of what happened and what was said, that’s what we have access to.  We don’t have access to why Peter said it except for some clues which tend to lean towards being cultural more than anything. In OT times women were generally thought of as second class citizens.

Unmarried women were not allowed to leave the home of their father without permission.

Married women were not allowed to leave the home of their husband, without permission.

They were normally restricted to roles of little or no authority.

They could not testify in court.

They could not appear in public venues.

They were not allowed to talk to strangers.

They had to be doubly veiled when they left their homes.

Women were considered to be inferior to men.

Jesus revolutionized these cultural limitations.  He affirmed, honoured and encouraged women in their faith, treated them with dignity, equality and value.  Regardless of their race, culture, age, social status or sin, Jesus only required the women he met to have faith, so that He could minister to them, heal them and allow them to participate in His ministry.  Jesus continually broke with the traditions, religious law and attitudes of the time regarding women.  In fact He radically changed and revolutionized the way in which women were treated.  Jesus saw women as equal to men in all things.

You say: I would absolutely agree that a weaker vessel has to do with 'physical' attributes.  But it ends there. Personally I am not sure that it ends there.

It is obvious that men in general are stronger than women physically, but I still think there is something about women’s make up that makes them weaker than men in what I am calling an “emotional sense,”  because I lack the correct word or maybe that is the correct word.

 

I guess in a way I am saying that men are stronger in committing emotional evil. Yes, I know, we all know that we had a few crazy women in history, but we men outweigh the count, then again is not that women don’t think it or desire to do great evil, is just that women know that men will dominate them,  if they have to with their superior physical strength. I am partially thinking out loud here, for I am not sure how to communicate what I mean to say.

I don’t know that I can agree that men are stronger in committing an emotional evil….unless you will translate this to a physical(ness), which you seem to be doing.  Women and Men are both capable of emotional evils.  Women seem to mess more with the psyche (mind manipulation), and men seem to mess more with the physical.  These are both generalizations.  I see both as a weakness…an unredeemed sin nature rather than a strength.  I don’t think this is what Paul was referring to in regards to a ‘weaker vessel’, because we are all weak in that sense but in different ways.  I have also seen women act out physically and men act out in ways of mind manipulationabusers and control freaks.

Any man who habitually “walks” in any sin is not fit to teach. Whether he is a child abuser, wife beater, drunk, thief, arrogant or prideful etc.…

Yes I agree… When does repentance come into the picture?   I believe that we agree that repentance doesn’t always lead to reconciliation.  If the wife doesn’t feel safe to return to husband who abused her, she may not feel that he has repented in ways which allow for true reconciliation, and therefore she may not feel safe.  Due to a physical threat she feels as though it is not a good situation to be in for herself or her children.  If this is the case, should he still be able to teach?

Good conduct will not change anyone to believe a portion of the word or the Gospel, but it does get the ground ready for the Spirit using the word of God to bring about a change, for God’s Spirit to bring the person to repentance.

True.  We agree.  Abusive behaviour especially by a professing believer and aspiring teacher is most damaging, it is not good conduct.

I do not care and will never care how highly respected a person maybe in the Church to simply receive an erroneous teaching they have about a subject. If their interpretation of scripture is wrong, in a particular subject, is wrong. Calvin, John MacArthur, Luther etc are wrong about some of their interpretations of scripture, very few errors I might add, but though I love them dearly and can only hope to reached a small degree of their incredible insight into scripture, I am not blinded by my love to simply agree with them in a matter where they are wrong and neither should you or anyone else.

I think it’s extremely important how respected a Pastor is in their community.  If the Pastor has a poor reputation why should anyone listen to him/her?

 

EVErything, absolutely everything God has written in scripture is of immense value and should be regarded as excellent. We MUST seek truth beyond all else, since ONLY with truth can we truly LoVE.

I agree 100%  that everything written in scripture is of immense value and must be tested against what God’s word says….but people misread and misinterpret all the time because they are not reading it through the Jesus lense.  Everything we read and study must be read through Jesus glasses.  Where is Jesus in this?  What is the principal that we can take from this In Christ?  Did Jesus teach specifically on this?  What cultural considerations are there?  What historical implications are there?  How does this align with the character of God….the very Character we know and see because we know Jesus?  Jesus is at the centre of everything.  If we read God’s word without Jesus, we will commit many atrocities, and if it is a teacher committing these atrocities, they are accountable for misleading others.

I have been taught by women and men and have learned important things from each. I actually prefer being taught by a man.  But it is of enormous importance that I trust and respect the man who is teaching.  The men I have seen teach in my church and home groups have an incredible gentleness and humility about them, they are upstanding in our community and in their families.  These are the ones I trust and respect.  If there is no trust or respect, why should anyone listen to them?  Their reputation matters as 1 Tim 3 outlines.  Even then, sometimes they fall.  No human is perfect man or women (that a redundant thing to say…obviously we all know that)

When they fall it may take a while to regain what they have lost, they can’t immediately return to teaching and expect the same respect and trust that they once had…It must be earned, and sometimes it takes a long time.   We always forgive…. But that’s not the same as trusting a teaching from a person who can’t seem to live it out themselves.

I have gone through 4 personal trainers in one year.  I hired them to help my get back into shape a few years ago after my heart surgery.  My first one was in very good shape, but unsympathetic… He was young and kind of egotistical, but friendly enough and able to joke around.  I liked him, he taught me lots but he lacked empathy and humility.  He stopped being my trainer because he left the gym and moved on referring me to someone else.  My second trainer was my favourite.  He was tough on me, in excellent shape, funny, humble, kind, but made me work.  He was a bit older than the first guy, so he quit training to get what he called a ‘real job’.  I was disappointed because with him I made the most gains in my fitness journey.  He obviously loved what he did, and he had a real passion for it and was good at it.  I guess it didn’t pay enough money.  My third one was a women…I only had her for a short time.  She didn’t challenge me nearly enough.  She was in decent shape.  She wanted me to do pushups against the wall (she was worried about my open heart surgery), even though I told her my previous trainer was teaching me to do one arm pushups on the ground.  I wasn’t challenged at all… I felt like she didn’t believe in me…I had her for only a couple weeks, then I think she got fired.  My fourth trainer was also a women, I liked her a lot because she was funny and made the workouts enjoyable, but I felt she didn’t challenge me nearly enough.  She wasn’t in good physical condition at all herself…probably about 50lbs overweight, so I could tell she wasn’t doing the things she expected of her clients. 

The common traits I experienced with the men, was that they were both really tough on me.  They knew the value of hard work and how much commitment and sacrifice it would take to reach my goals.  They were funny and kind, and they both required the same commitment of themselves as they did from their clients.

The common traits I experienced with the women, was that they were both really easy on me.  They didn’t necessarily push me.  One of them was funny and kind, the other one I wasn’t with long enough to really get to know her.  They didn’t necessarily put in the time themselves to be in shape, and even admitted that to me.

My experiences in NO WAY create a stereotype between women and men, because I know a women athlete personally who runs 45km marathons regularly in order to raise money for children in third world countries.  I know men who are so out of shape that they sit on the couch eating potato chips scoffing at the pro-athletes they watch on TV calling them ‘bums’ and criticizing how they play their sport.

 

The qualities I want in a teacher are first and foremost, that they will be teachable themselves.  I want to know they understand the difficulties of what the journey entails, but I also want to know they have overcome and are overcoming.  I want to know that they are trusted and respected in the community with an upstanding reputation, but most of all I want to know that they love Jesus.  Loving God’s word is good…. Studying the bible is important.  BUT I want to know that they LOVE JESUS.  I want to know that they are passionate lovers of Jesus and following in His ways no matter what.  People study the bible all the time---even atheists.  Sometimes people study the bible and get the wrong message from it because depending on how you read it, almost anything can be justified.  War, Murder, human sacrifice, following the rules to lead a good life…..  I want to know that my ‘Teacher(s)', or anything that I will allow myself to be taught comes from someone who is following it themselves.  That’s how I trust them.  Family lives, marriages etc…  those are clues… to if the person can be trusted as teacher or not.  Even thought I prefer a male teacher, I don't care if the teacher is a man or a women as long as they meet the other criteria...male or female is secondary.

Carla,

 

You said:

 

I’m not sure how you can say what Peter didn’t or didn’t mean by using the phrase ‘weaker vessel’.  Scripture is a historical account of what happened and what was said, that’s what we have access to.  We don’t have access to why Peter said it except for some clues which tend to lean towards being cultural more than anything.

 

I disagree with you that Peter’s used of the words “weaker vessel” leans more toward a cultural reason. It might have a minute part of that, but I don’t think that is its main thrust. Part of studying God’s word correctly is understanding that when we are dealing with difficult or obscure passages we must take the whole of the word on the subject and use the passages that give us stronger light about the subject, to help us interpret the difficult/obscure ones, it’s part of good hermeneutics. There are other passages that give us light on why women are consider weaker than man and not just on a physical sense.  

 

Isaiah 3:12

12 O My people! Their oppressors are children,

And women rule over them.

O My people! Those who guide you lead you astray

And confuse the direction of your paths.

 

Isaiah indicates that God allowed women to rule as part of His judgment on the sinning nation. Is not for women to rule a nation, the home or the church, Deborah, the judge of Israel was the exception, not the rule.

 

Babylon's army was compared to women because it was afraid, without strength, and defenseless.

 

In Jeremiah 51:30 we read, "The mighty men of Babylon have ceased fighting, they stay in the strongholds; their strength is exhausted, they are becoming like women; their dwelling places are set on fire, the bars of her gates are broken"

 

Isaiah 19

16 In that day the Egyptians will become like women, and they will tremble and be in dread because of the waving of the hand of the Lord of hosts, which He is going to wave over them.

 

Jeremiah 50:37 “A sword against 1their horses and against 1their chariots

And against all the 2bforeigners who are in the midst of her,

And they will become cwomen!

A sword against her treasures, and they will be plundered!

 

From our good friends at Gotquestions.org:

 

Question: "What does it mean that women are the 'weaker vessel' (1 Peter 3:7)?"

Answer: 
The context of 1 Peter 3:7 is the Apostle Peter’s instructions concerning living as godly believers toward one another beginning in the home (1 Peter 3:1-12). The wife is addressed first and then the husband. This is the same order the Apostle Paul uses in Ephesians 5:22-33. The husband is to “dwell with his wife according to knowledge, giving her honor as the weaker vessel” (KJV). The word “dwell” is in the imperative and has the idea of standing beside, dwelling with in a presiding position. In other words, the husband is to take his place as the head, according to God’s order.

The word “knowledge” in 1 Peter 3:7 could be translated as “understanding.” Both men and women have difficulty understanding their spouses. It takes commitment and surrender to God’s order on the part of both partners to come to a place of true understanding. Understanding is the basis for seeing one’s wife as a vessel to honor, respect and care for because she is weaker. This is not a popular idea among many women or even many men. However, the Scripture tells us that the woman was deceived (1 Timothy 2:14), she is subject to her husband (1 Peter 3:1) and that she is a “weaker” vessel. That women are usually physically weaker is undeniable, but the implication of the fall is that by virtue of her being deceived by Satan, women may also sometimes be weaker in other ways. That definitely does not mean she is less valuable (Ephesians 1:6) or that she does not have equal access to grace (Galatians 3:28). Rather, it is a basis for a husband to treat his wife with understanding, tenderness, and patience. 

The Apostle Paul adds a lot of weight to this idea because he writes that the husband is the head of the family as Christ is the head of the church (Ephesians 5:23) and because of that the husband is to love his wife “as” (sets up the comparison) or in the same way that Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it (Ephesians 5:25). That means the husband has a great deal more responsibility in the marriage than the wife does. He is the leader, and he is to set the tone for the relationship, and a man who honors his wife and puts her first before all but God will have a wife that responds. The way a husband gives himself for his wife is that he understands she is to be honored for the fact that she is his wife. Of course, this is the ideal and it is not something that happens overnight. A man and a woman begin their relationship when they are married, but whether or not that relationship works is in direct correlation to both the husband and the wife taking their place in God’s order and their submission to obey God. The principles here are given to believers; however, these principles work whether or not the couple are believers or even if only one is. 

As Christians, we understand the dynamics at work which are totally at odds with human viewpoints and worldly “wisdom.” This word “weakness” can cause great offense when there should be none at all. Women are weaker and need to be treated with understanding and respect. A husband shows his love for his wife by putting her first. A woman who resists this loving care by her husband is robbing herself of the joy of being the “weaker” vessel.

 

You said: In OT times women were generally thought of as second class citizens.

 

Yes, I am very familiar with that. I understand very well that God created women and men in his image and that Jesus revolutionized how women were to be viewed, yet he (Jesus) instructs the church through his apostles on what women’s role should be and their role differs from that of men.

 

 You said:

 

I don’t know that I can agree that men are stronger in committing an emotional evil….unless you will translate this to a physical(ness), which you seem to be doing. 

 

No, I am not equating emotional evil to physical evil at all. That is why I have said multiple times that throughout history it’s been men who break women’s heart, a lot more than women breaking men’s heart. I dare say that there is no comparison in the matter. Men are way more deceitful than women in general. Women are more incline to be deceived, because they want to believe. We have seen that throughout history, men deceiving women.

 

It’s debatable whether men or women mess more with mind manipulation. Men are experts at mind manipulation. We are number one at turning things around to make it women’s fault. Example, the guy gets caught cheating or he hits his wife. The guy turns that around in a million ways to make it her fault. I am not referring to a Christian couple, but in the world in general. I cheated on you bade because you don’t (fill in the blank), we will come up with something that makes it her fault. I hit you because you just won’t shut up and you are disrespectful, etc., the thing is that we will come up with some lie and deceive the women again and again, until she is completely fed up with the lies. By God’s grace there are “good men” out there, but I am speaking in generalities.

 

You say: I believe that repentance I believe that we agree that repentance doesn’t always lead to reconciliation.  If the wife doesn’t feel safe to return to husband who abused her, she may not feel that he has repented in ways which allow for true reconciliation, and therefore she may not feel safe.  Due to a physical threat she feels as though it is not a good situation to be in for herself or her children.  

 

It is unfortunate that repentance does not always lead to reconciliation, which is due to our flesh and not God’s will. True repentance should always lead to reconciliation even if adultery or physical abuse was involved. That is better than destroying a family, but due to the hardness of our hearts God does allow divorce in the case of adultery. Each situation is different, but God NEVER said it was ok to divorce due to anything other than adultery. As far as a person not feeling that an offender has truly repented, that is a very delicate matter, because none of us know the heart or mind of another person. There are obvious reasons to believe that a person has not truly repented of their sin, but we should be very careful not to have a set of actions though out in our mind that must be met for us to believe someone is truly repentant of whatever it is that has been done. When a person tells me that they are repentant of their sin, I believe them, unless they have a track record of crying wolf. We love God for a million reasons and not one is greater than his faithfulness through his grace. Yet we fall so short of exercising that grace with others. My mother was in an abusive relationship with my father until he died, it stopped being a physical abusive one when we grew up and were able to restrain him. She could have left my father when we grew up and were able to support the house, but my mother never did. She kept taking care of my father. To the world that is insane, the world doesn’t understand that and sadly enough many Christians who cried out “My rights, my rights” have been violated don’t understand that either. We have receive a ton of grace and will receive a ton more by the time we died and yet it is so hard for us to give it when someone falls short. A million Christian women would have left my father, but my mother never did and I am sure a great reward awaits her for being faithful to God and not men’s philosophies. God does allow for separation if a wife doesn’t feel safe and the thread of further abuse is real, but this is a difficult topic that pastors deal with in counseling sessions, where one can, with the help of the Spirit, discerned and help the situation.

 

I have been abuse in multiple ways throughout my life, but we live in a fallen world where we hurt one another and learning to give grace and to forgive is essential to being Christ like. I been beat up before for absolutely no reason and could have call the cops, fallen into deep hate etc., but I chose to give grace and to continue to love that person and to trust them, for I knew that this was not part of their character, they were paranoid about a fictitious situation that they had conjured up in their head. I was sexually abuse as a little kid and to make a long story short, I led that man to Christ when the opportunity came.

 

Repentance should always lead to reconciliation, unless of course the abuser, in whatever type of abuse, continues with his abusive behavior, which will obviously mean that the offender never truly repented. We, Christians should be the perfect example of giving grace for so much grace has been given to us, but sadly we are the first to hold it back at times, it is really sad. We even come up with sayings that comfort us in order not to exercise grace.

 

Sayings like, well there are consequences to sin, so now they have to live with their consequences, indeed there are and God who is the perfect judge and applies justice perfectly will take care of it. God has taken consequences away from all of us in more than one occasion, I am sure; he has done it in my life a thousand times.

 

You said: If this is the case, should he still be able to teach?

 

It depends, is the whole thing about her not feeling safe a “real thing” or not? Is she using that as an excuse to accomplish some private goal of hers or is the thread of being abused again a real possibility? Do they remain married or are they divorced and who chose to divorce, he or she,  etc.… too many things to consider for a simple yes or no answer. What made the women or men blow up? What is the real reason behind the physical confrontation? Beyond self-defense and protection of love ones against an attack, there is not much that can justify physical aggression against a spouse, but was the person abuse themselves in other ways? There is much to consider in such a situation?

 

We have sayings like: Just because I forgive you, it doesn’t mean I trust you. That may fly in a friendship or in the world, but not in a marriage situation, much less in a Christian family. If I forgive you, I again trust you and open myself up to being hurt again, anything less than that is not real forgiveness. Example:  a brother at church falls into addiction and hurts my trust in him because he used the love of the brethren to borrow money from me to spend it on drugs. He asks for forgiveness, I discerned that he has truly repented and forgive him. He happens to have a financial need due to the troubles he got into with his drug use and asks me for a loan, do I tell him, well brother your sin has consequences or brother I forgave you, but don’t trust you? No, absolutely not, I will place myself in a position of being hurt again, but is ok, God is watching the whole thing, he will honor me. You will say, there is big difference between trusting someone for your physical safety and your kids, as oppose to losing money, indeed there is, but we must fight for our marriages and trust that God will take care of us; we must not live in fear. It’s really a big topic and a complex one where many variables have to be taken into consideration like I said. Another example: My oldest brother one day beat me up real bad and I was completely innocent of what he accused me of. I did not avoid him and didn’t stop trusting him, no, not at all, if anything I was hurt that he would think that I would sleep with his wife. I didn’t stop trusting him nor did I avoid him. He didn’t have a track record of acting like that, so I loved him and by doing so, I opened my self-up for him to beat me up again, but he never did it again. The day he beat me up he put a knife to my throat, so it wasn’t a little thing, it was a big thing. There are family members who have not spoken for decades due to an old incident, to me that has always been detestable and Christians also do that. Our Lord was tortured and was the perfect example of forgiveness.

 

I once went to jail for having a false ID on me, it’s a long story, I had changed my identity because I had a warrant for my arrest and was looking at getting 25 years to life in prison if caught, I was already a Christian and had worked as a pastor already, but I had obviously fallen from my walk with the Lord. . Anyways there I was in the holding cell of a police station, while they were running a national 24 hour FBI search for my true identify. I had not been working as a pastor during the two years I had a false identification. I was not fit to do so; I was still struggling with demonic possession and drug use. There I was in a cell thinking my life was going to be in prison for a very long time, when the Lord tells me, talk to your cell mate about me. I didn’t want to. I was embarrassed to even say I was a Christian because I was in jail and a Christian is not supposed to be in jail. God’s command to speak to the guy about him was strong enough for me to do so and lead him to Christ. I was released in the morning with a misdemeanor. God had not allowed them to find the warrant. I kept struggling with the drugs and demonic activity and the next time I was arrested God allowed for my warrant to be found, but his grace blew me away again, but that is another story. God forgives and can use the person as he wills, but is us who have trouble with forgiveness. The bylaws in churches to have a time of restoration and trust building are fine and they serve as a safety for the congregation. However each case must be assess and dealt with individually.

 

You say:

I think it’s extremely important how respected a Pastor is in their community.  If the Pastor has a poor reputation why should anyone listen to him/her?

 

We agree.  We should not be under the leadership of a man who professing to be a Christian has a poor reputation, if that man really has a bad reputation due to his lifestyle and not just rumors.

 

You say:

We always forgive…. But that’s not the same as trusting a teaching from a person who can’t seem to live it out themselves.

 

This is another topic that must be looked at in an individual basis. When I forgive someone I trust them and open myself up for further abuse. Not saying I want to be abuse or place myself on a position of being abuse, but if I forgave you, you will have the opportunity to hurt me again, because I truly forgave you. Can one truly forgive and not have anything to do with the offender, yes of course, but every case is different and that is not an option for marriage unless you are dealing with adultery. What the person you truly forgave does with your forgiveness is on them and if I get kill for choosing to love and believe, then I die, simple as that. Death is not a bad thing for us in Christ. Truth is truth, no matter who it comes from, period.  Of course the church leaders we seat under have to be of good reputation, but trusting someone’s teaching is easier done when the person teaching is of good reputation, but truth is truth from whoever it comes from y has nothing to do with whether they live it out or not, it has everything to do with it aligning to God’s word.

 

God forgives us and continues to use us at his will, it is us who don’t know how to forgive as God forgives, He forgives and restores. We forgive and keep our reservations about the person that fell into sin. God doesn’t do that, I will follow God’s example on this and not men’s fears. There are cases were a Teacher/Pastor has to work through the whole restoration process and rightly so, but we hide behind our fears at times to generate excuses not to trust again, rather than looking for ways to love and restore. I agree that there are cases where trust needs to be earned back not just given.

 

A teacher/pastor must be above reproach. If a man of God falls short/sin how long until he can teach again? Well that depends on many things, what was the nature of his sin, the by-laws of the church he attends and what is God telling the people over him to do? It is extremely important that the men who teach and preach live a life worthy of the Gospel. Any one in ministry for that matter must live above reproach.

 

Personally I have never cared about my rights, which doesn’t mean for one minute that I do not care about the rights of others, it simply means that in my life up to now  I have chosen to ignore my rights, with the hope that Grace will accomplish a higher purpose in life. Life is short and eternity is pretty amazing. I know God is in control.

Mother may I? LOL

Just some little intriguing thoughts that come to mind as I read this.

Another angle to consider with God having the husband to be the head and admonished to love his wife is that because though Eve allowed the serpent to have her second guess God, Adam went one further. He wasn't deceived by the crafty serpent but by the companion he wanted and who wasn't cunning and deceiving. Maybe he listened to her because he loved her and momentarily forgot about God, maybe because the promise of knowledge was too appealing. So it may be he was given a greater weight of responsibility towards her rather than seeing it as Eve receiving a greater punishment.

As for the weaker vessel, God did tell the man to love his wife. Yet knowing many men don't adhere to that, and knowing the woman to be called weaker, can we be surprised if she is too weak to stay abused and flees for safety? ;-)

To pastors being able to preach even while sinning... they can BUT...why are they told to be above reproach? It may be that they can do more harm than good. A sinner being preached to by another sinner may just confirm that person's assessment about hypocritical Christians. And it will be hard for even a believer to be taught by them as their sin is going to be on the person's mind and therefore divided from the message being preached. It is one thing that can cause major dissention in the church. I've witnessed a church destroyed over such a matter. The building now owned by our main campus and renamed to bring life back into it and break the dark pall that's existed since my former pastor murdered his wife in 1997. They've never been able to grow since and a large church has remained fairly empty, with maybe 25 at most, for 19 years and is now seeing 75-100 in attendance. One sin. And because he was the one they entrusted to be leading based on his own adherence to the Word, it ripped that church apart all this time. It is still the church whispered about throughout this region. This is why they carry a heavier burden. One may turn a sinner away because of their own sin, but a pastor can destroy the faith of a large number of the congregation.

On forgiveness and trust:

God also instructs us to use wisdom and be discerning. Scripture states to forgive your brother. So if they're known by their fruits are absence thereof calls to question if they truly are a brother in Christ, it may call for wisdom. Distrust based on repeated offences or the nature of an offense does not equate to non forgiveness. If you are molested, you may forgive them, yet their track record says you are not using wisdom to put you, or your children, at risk. And forgiveness doesn't lead to forgetfulness. If ones sin was such that it leaves a severe mark on the victim, they may forgive from the other side of the prison bars but it doesn't mean they won't suffer flashbacks and won't be prone to asking to be locked in the cell with them and left alone.

Wisdom says:

Proverbs 17:9 Whoever covers an offense seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates close friends.

The understanding of forgiveness towards the truly repentant brother is laid out in 1 Kings 8:

46 “When they sin against you—for there is no one who does not sin—and you become angry with them and give them over to their enemies, who take them captive to their own lands, far away or near; 47 and if they have a change of heart in the land where they are held captive, and repent and plead with you in the land of their captors and say, ‘We have sinned, we have done wrong, we have acted wickedly’; 48 and if they turn back to you with all their heart and soul in the land of their enemies who took them captive, and pray to you toward the land you gave their ancestors, toward the city you have chosen and the temple I have built for your Name; 49 then from heaven, your dwelling place, hear their prayer and their plea, and uphold their cause. 50 And forgive your people, who have sinned against you;

What is repentance is the question. We have no problem with recognizing that God only saves those who truly repent and desire His forgiveness. Therefore since the meaning of repentance doesn't change, God in no way expects us to be more righteous as that is impossible. And He knows repentance. So as He forgives the one that repents, we too forgive them which repent. Repentance is not a matter of asking forgiveness but of truly being sorry and having a changed heart.

To the weightier debate...the D word.

What is adultery? Jesus said even lusting in the mind is adultery. What else does Scripture say on this?

Jeremiah 3 begins with a discourse of the unfaithful wife. Drop down to Jeremiah 3:6. Right after speaking of the adulteress unfaithful wife, now comes the charge against unfaithful Israel. Israel had turned to worship idols and had turned their back on God. They lusted after something other than God. Spiritual adultery, idolatry, covetousness, turning away.

Ezekiel 16 35 “‘Therefore, you prostitute, hear the word of the Lord! 36 This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Because you poured out your lust and exposed your naked body in your promiscuity with your lovers, and because of all your detestable idols

Hosea 2 and Revelation 2 also address idolatry as adultery.

One could argue that abuse is not adultery, but as God admonished man to love his wife, to abuse her is turning away from loving her. It is an adulteress and unfaithful heart. We either lay hold on the word adultery as defined by Webster's or as defined by God.....And then of course we toss in that weaker vessel argument. LOL

Off my soapbox and off to bed. Just some of my observations. Goodnight y'all.

Nowhere does the Bible speak of a woman pastoring a church, being a deacon or teaching a man. In fact, it teaches quite the opposite forbidding women to occupy the role of pastoring or having authority over men. There are lots of passages throughout Scripture that speaks of many awesome Godly women: Sara, Ruth, Esther, Rahab, Mary mother of Christ, Mary Magdalene... They had very important roles in God’s service. Who knows what the health of the church at Philippi would have been like if it wasn’t for our girl Lydia and others such as Euodia and Syntyche? And of course, women made a significant contribution to Jesus' ministry. Luke spoke of his appreciation for their financial support and company with him. Paul speaks highly of Timothy's mother & grandmother. They were the last to leave our Lord’s cross and the first to see Him resurrected. There were women who followed Jesus as He traveled about & supported Him and His disciples. 

We must also recall what women did not do to minister when they accompanied our Lord. Our Lord did not choose women to be among the 12 apostles. He did not send women to teach, preach or heal. So far as we know He did not invite women to the Lord’s Supper in. The great commission was given to men. In brief, women did minister to our Lord and with our Lord, but never in a capacity of leadership or of authority such as teaching or preaching.

David has already mentioned the Scripture in Timothy: "I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man". Before that verse is the statement that says women should learn ‘in silence’ & is followed by the statement that ‘she must be silent’. The word silence means being possessed by a calmness of spirit, tranquility and peaceful disposition. Paul does not expect that women will not or can not learn or teach. He states that they cannot teach or have authority over men. Who knows what the health of the church at Philippi would have been like if it wasn’t for our girl Lydia and others such as Euodia and Syntyche?

Biblical exegesis requires sensitivity to the context of a passage. When Scripture is taken out of its context, we all know the damage that can be done with many examples from prosperity preaching to healing ministries. For example, in this case, what leads some to translate the Scripture as anything besides what it is? Why is it that women have such an issue with these Scriptures & decide that it must have been a cultural thing? Surely Paul couldn't mean this in our day because times change & cultures are different, right? Surely, he just meant this for the churches he was writing to. Why would this apply to some churches but not others? Why is this cultural & not God's commands? 

Here, we’re trying to decide if it's literal context or cultural context.

In the first century churches, there was a constant challenge for power and leadership. The church at Rome was divided partly  over the questions of Jew/Gentile equalities. Officially, the Romans disliked Jews and racial tensions were high. These issues threatened the church. Paul, therefore, appealed to their equality in Christ. While Paul clearly affirms the equality of all in salvation, he also affirms the priority of men in church leadership. The contextual issue is crucial for an accurate interpretation of this Scripture as well as in all Scriptures.

Biblical teaching regarding church order goes hand in hand with its teaching regarding family order. The instructions for one often aligns with instructions for the other. Marriage is to be a companionship of equals. It is never biblically warranted for either spouse to depreciate the other spouse.

On the flip, the Scriptures teaches a pyramid-type of responsibility. The wife is to submit to her husband & husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church. This interpretation is confirmed in Colossians 3:18 and 1 Pe 3:1. In these verses, submission is specifically commanded of the wife. The Greek term used for submission is hypotasso. It’s a voluntary submissive commitment to God’s order. There are designated functions for a husband and a wife which man cannot change because God has ordained them. This is not due to her being inferior to her husband, for they are both equal before God. They are different not because we want them to be, but because God made them to be so.

This structure also relates to the Godhead as God is the Father, Christ the Son & the Holy Spirit. In the Godhead we see equality as well as submissiveness. One is not greater than the other. Their shared deity has a common mission - REDEMPTION. They have a hierarchy. Jesus said as much in John 20: 21 "As the Father hath sent me, so send I you." God the Father planned the creation. Jesus spoke it into existence & the Holy Spirit "hovered upon the waters" to complete creation's process. Same with redemption. God the Father planned it, Jesus died for it & the Holy Spirit applies the work of Jesus. 

The church & the family were both institutions ordained by God. The Scriptures frequently interrelate the family and the church. Paul tied the two together in 1 Corinthians 11:2-16. There was chaos caused by some of the women in the church over head covering. If a married woman will not proudly wear a symbol of her right relationship to her husband, her "head," she forfeits her privileges of praying and prophesying in church fellowships. Her ministry in the church is directly linked to her submission to her husband. Proper family order is required for a  woman's participation in the church. The God-ordained leadership structure in the church is reflected in the family, and vice versa. Proper relationships require the husband to function as the head and the wife to willingly submit to his leadership. In the church, wives, submissive to their husbands, are not to "have authority or be the teacher" over men. 

Paul addresses the roles of women in the church & his views are always consistent regardless of what issue he was addressing. They all involve the issue of women's subordination. The same pattern is found in any passage concerning the church. Paul never addressed the issue of whether Jews or Gentiles, or slaves or masters, could be pastors. Racial and economic circumstances did not matter. However, male/female relationships did have significance in organizational hierarchy. When Paul addressed them, he appealed to the model of the Godhead

In Corinth, some women in the church were imitating the religious leadership of the Greek women in the community. These Greek women seduced men for "religious" sexual acts in the name of their gods. In their "religious" service, these women disregarded marriage relationships. Some women at Corinth also took initiative in the worship services, disregarding their relationships with their husbands. In addressing that church problem, Paul had the perfect opportunity to commend a form of church order that allowed for women in pastoral leadership. It certainly would have been relevant to the issue. Paul's argument was instructive. Rather than arguing Jewish culture against Greek culture, he tied his organizational instructions to his understanding of the hierarchy of the Godhead.

I think what has happened over the years is that churches didn’t have the leaders that God commanded was needed so women had to step up & fill in the gaps. As in the WWII, when the men went off to battle, the women started working & filling in the spaces that the men left behind for a bit. When the men returned, many didn't want to leave & fought to keep those jobs. I see more men fulfilling their roles as leaders of their churches than I once did. Because of this, women can now serve as they’ve been called to serve – with a gentle & quiet spirit, teaching the younger sisters in Christ, worshipping in a spiritual peacefulness & submissiveness among many other things. However, you have those fighting to maintain that position that they've experienced during the absence of Godly leadership. Also, you have the new thinking of the up & coming generations. Their ideas are more laid back, relaxed, whatever happens happens type of thinking. I believe this has a lot to do with women serving where they aren't called to serve. 

This reply is soooo long. Sorry about that. I think it's bouncing all over the place as well but I'm sure you understand what my position is in it. 

  

WoW ,Dang, all that came from you Tammy?  That's a lot of typing. Looks like good teaching though so thank you. I think if I remember correctly this is what Amanda was saying too.

Ribbon,

It is good to see you are around. 

Thank you..

RSS

The Good News

Meet Face-to-Face & Collaborate

© 2022   Created by AllAboutGOD.com.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service