Monday, October 31, 2011

An Issue of Contention

I do not normally give room for debate on my blog, but I felt that this issue should be openly addressed and given a full and fair audience with my Christian readership. The topic in question is the issue of what the function of women in the church and the world is, according to the Bible. This was a debate hed between a gentleman who owns the blog "El Shaddai Reigns." While both he and I agree that women are not meant to lead the church or the home our view quickly branched off from one another at this point and we began a lively but unfruitful debate about the matter. One of the reasons I have, after consideration, chosen to air this on my blog is due to the fact that for reasons of his own choosing Alex has refrained from printing my comments so a reader could only see what he was saying to me. I shall post the article that began the debate and then preface each remark so the reader may know who is speaking. I will not otherwise alter any commentary between Alex and myself. Judge for yourselves what the truth of the matter is. I apologize for the length. God bless.

(From Alex to a Christian woman: original post)
This is an email that I sent to a young lady who told me that she is a Christian during a conversation that we had concerning the role of women, and yes she believes that a woman can hold positions of authority such as being a pastor/Bible teacher, because her mother is one. Well, she never replied to the email [Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. (Matthew 7:20)] which is always the case for those who do not want to hear the truth of God's Word, unfortunately. The reason I wanted to share this email with those who and will happen to visit the blog is because just as this deceived (probably not a Christian) young lady, there are many out there, maybe even you that hold to an egalitarian view that men and women can share the same roles without distinction. Which of course you will read in my email to this woman that is not the case, backed up by the Scriptures. So please read and my prayer is "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free (John 8:32. KJV). Thank you.

Rhoda,

Hi, this is Yonah. We met at the Chase Bank location where you work. I wanted to say thank you for your service towards me, regarding my banking needs. But the main reason I wanted to write to you was concerning your mother, who is a pastor. I don't know if it's inside or outside the church. But we talked before about it, and you disagreed with me and still to this day you are still in disagreement with me. Now, I do not know why you're in disagreement, when the Scriptures are very clear about women not teaching and having any kind of authority over men. I will present to you God's Word on this matter again, just to show you that it is not my interpretation (like you told me previously) or my opinion. Here are some passages to look at:

Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee (Genesis 3:16. KJV).

Note: It is clear in this verse in the book of Genesis that the man is to rule over the woman. The word "rule" means: to rule, to have dominion, to reign. That is why the man, including the husband is called "lord" by their wives or women in general:

For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement (1 Peter 3:5-6. KJV).

And the servant ran to meet her, and said, Let me, I pray thee, drink a little water of thy pitcher. And she said, Drink, my lord: and she hasted, and let down her pitcher upon her hand, and gave him drink (Genesis 24:17-18. KJV).

These are examples of women calling men "lord" in the Holy Scriptures. Now, back to the subject at hand, concerning women not teaching and usurping authority over the man.

As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths (Isaiah 3:12. KJV).

Note: The women ruling over the people of Israel was one of the signs of a curse, because Israel was under judgment (read Isaiah 3:1, 8, 14). So when a woman rules or usurps authority over a household, or a country, city, state, in a church, job place, whatsoever, then that is a sign of a curse upon that place and people. Isaiah states that these women are the cause of why the people were in error and these women were destroying the ways of these people walking on the old paths, meaning obeying God by keeping His commandments. There are many women out there today who are doing these very things (for example: Joyce Meyers, Juanita Bynum, Beth Moore, Kay Arthur, Paula White, Shirley Caesar, Debra Morton, etc.). Women who are usurping any kind of authority is sinning against the Lord God.

For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. Let your women keep silence in the churches: 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 (1 Corinthians 14:33-35. KJV).

Note: The Apostle Paul makes it clear to the men in the church at Corinth that their women (yes their women because the man is head over the woman and he is to rule over her) are to be silent in the churches, and this goes for all the churches that are under the rule of Jesus Christ Himself, the Chief Shepherd. The word "silence" means to be quiet, not to say a word, to be still, because it is shameful for a woman to speak in the church and it brings about confusion, which God is not the author of. So if a woman is not to speak in church, how she is going to be a pastor?

Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression (1 Timothy 2:11-14. KJV).

Note: The Apostle makes it very clear again that women are to learn in silence. They are not to teach and usurp any authority in the church at all. They are to be silent. And the Apostle Paul gives the reasons why women are not to teach and usurp any authority over men inside and outside the church. The reasons are because Adam was first formed, then Eve. Adam was not deceived, but the woman (Eve) was deceived and transgressed. So here we have the headship over the woman, because the man was made first and the last thing that God had made in the creation account in the book of Genesis was the woman. So that is why it is sinful and dangerous to have a woman teach and to usurp authority over men. The woman is easily deceived, and it goes against the order regarding the roles God has given to both sexes. The Apostle Paul writes about the younger widows who learned to be lazy, being busybodies, that is getting into people business, saying things they shouldn't say, when they should have been marrying, bearing children, staying at home, that is to keep the home, by taking care of it, because a woman is not to get a job outside of the home. By doing this, some of them turned to follow after Satan:

And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not. I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully. For some are already turned aside after Satan. (1 Timothy 5:13-15).

Paul even wrote about the silly women laden with sins and various lusts who were deceived by false teachers, those who have a form of godliness but deny the power of God:

Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth (2 Timothy 3:5-7. KJV).

Note: Does it make sense for God to have women teach and to have any kind of authority over the man, when they were not created first, when they were deceived, when they turned aside after Satan, when they are silly, filled with sins and various lusts?

But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God (1 Corinthians 11:3. KJV).

Note: The head of the woman is the man, not just the husband. So a woman can't be a Pastor, Bishop, Elder, Evangelist, Deacon, President, Governor, Senator, Chief Secretary, Mayor, Manager, Foreman, she can't serve on the church board, she can't vote, etc. For a woman to do these things is sin. She has transgressed the law (1 John 3:4) of God, and the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23), which means she will end up in a place called Hell forever. And speaking of Pastor or Elder, which a woman cannot be:

This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not coveith all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) (1 Timothy 3:1-5. KJV)

Note: Notice the above passage says if a "man" not a woman desires the office of a bishop, he must be the husband of one wife, not the wife of one husband. You do not see that in the text of Scripture. He, not she must know how to rule his own house, if not how can he, (the man) take care of the church of God. So it is clear that a woman has no business being a Pastor over any of the churches of God. The reason why you or others see women pastoring churches is because they are not the churches of God, but synagogues of Satan (Revelation 2:9; 3:9).

For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee: If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly (Titus 1:5-6. KJV).

Rhoda, these passages are very clear about the woman not teaching and having any authority over the man. For you or anybody else that does not agree, is to call God Himself a liar. And you do not want to put yourself in that position. Also, for you or anyone to deny these clear passages of Scripture, you and others may not be Christian, but a liar and the child of the devil. Read these words of Jesus Christ:

Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not. Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me? He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God (John 8:43-47. KJV).

That is all for now Rhoda. I hope that you share this with your mother. Bye.


From myself to Alex:
I agree with your exhortation that women ought not to be teachers in the church, brother. But you may be carrying their absolute submission to men a little far. For instance, Apollos is taught by Priscilla and Aquila: a husband and wife, Acts 18:26. Phoebe of Romans 16:1-2 is commended by Paul on her travels and described as a "deaconess." Diakanos is the Greek word for servant; transliterated into "deacon" in English.
God occassionally elevated women into positions of power such as Deborah(Judges 4)and Huldah (2nd Chronicles 34). Not to mention we are all one in Christ (no longer male or female...) The application of women in authority, so far as I have learned, does not extend beyond church authority into secular positions. Paul never forbade women to vote, etc; we are carrying Scripture too far when we state such things. Are you asserting that if a woman holds a job she is following Satan? Please help clarify this for me.


From Alex to me:
Thank you for your comments. I am glad that we are in agreement that women are not to be teachers (pastors, elders, Sunday School teachers, etc.) in the church as the Scriptures clearly teach (1 Timothy 2:12). But also as the Scriptures teach, it is not limited to the church. That is where we both are in disagreement. Clearly in the Bible, it is taught that God gave the man dominion over the works of His hands and put all things (including the woman)under the man, not the woman (Genesis 1:26-28; 3:16; Psalm 8:4-9). Also the man was created in the image of God, not the woman, who is the glory of man (Genesis 1:27; 1 Corinthians 11:7). In 1 Corinthians 11:3, the Apostle writes that the man (not just the husband) is the head of the woman (not just the wife), not vice versa or the fact that there is equality there, as the false teachers and others like to think who hold to this egalitarian belief that men and women can share equal authority.
That is why the Apostle in 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 writes to the brethren (men) in the church for the women to be silent and they (the women) are commanded to be under obedience regarding submission to the men. Not only that, but if they want to learn, then let them ask their husbands, fathers, brothers, elders, or any other sound brother in the Scriptures to teach them (outside of the church, notice Paul wrote "at home")regarding certain things that are not clear concerning a doctrine the teaching elder expounded on in the assembly.
So, it is not limited to just inside of the church. Also, when you look at 1 Timothy 2:8, when the Apostle was exhorting the men to pray "everywhere" (not just the church) and he exhorted to the women in like manner (everywhere) to dress in modest apparel (long dress, skirt, or robe) not in expensive designer clothing and expensive hairdos. But last, Paul goes on to write that women are to learn in silence. They are not to teach men or usurp authority over the man. And that is in the context of "everywhere," not just the church.


For a woman to have authority over the man inside and outside of the church is one of the signs of a curse due to disobedience to God (Isaiah 3:12). That is why you do not see anywhere in the Scriptures a female pastor, elder, preacher, evangelist, apostle, priest, king, governor, deliverer (a form of judge), etc. The Holy Spirit never moved a woman to write a book in the Bible (2 Peter 1:21). You do have one case with Deborah being a judge (and the people went to her), as you brought up in your comment, but Israel was under a curse (Judges 4:2-4; Isaiah 3:12) and Deborah was one of the signs of the curse that Israel forsook the Lord God, and them being delivered into the hands of Canaan was another sign of the curse. Also, the men did not want to step up, so God used the weaker vessel to shame the man (Judges 4:6-9). The office of "Judge" was given to men, not women in the Scriptures (Exodus 18:21-22). Concerning Huldah, yes she was a prophetess, but not a teacher or one who had authority over men, as the Bible forbids (1 Timothy 2:12). Another thing to look at too Ian is that these men went to this woman (Huldah). She was not sent to them as the other prophets (who were men). During that time, Israel was under a curse as well and of course the men did not want to step up. Phoebe in Romans 16:1, was a servant. She took care of the poor and the sick women. But she did not hold the office of a deacon, which is given to men who meet the requirements as recorded in the Bible (1 Timothy 3:8-13). Aquila along with his wife Priscilla heard Apollos speak boldly in the synagogue the way of the Lord, but he only knew John's baptism not Jesus' who came after him (Acts 18:24-25). So Aquila with his wife took him and explained to Apollos about Christ who came after John baptizing with the Holy Spirit (Acts 18:26). Notice that they declared or expounded it to Apollos, not teach. Plus, Priscilla's husband was with her and she was under his authority, so most likely he did most of the talking, but this was a situation where the both of them explained to Apollos alone concerning Christ.

Also, that passage in Galatians 3:28, Paul is writing about salvation, being baptized in Christ. We are all one, without division. This is not saying that women could share equal roles with men, the Scriptures does not contradict itself.

Regarding a woman voting, that in itself is giving her a form of authority. Before the wicked women's liberation movement, they could not vote, but after that they are given all these rights, which is against Scriptures, such as sharing equal authority. Also, many married women with a family who work outside the home is in sin, and sin is of the devil (1 John 3:8). She is to be the keeper of her husband's home (1 Timothy 5:14-15; Titus 2:4-5) not some other man's place of business or home. There are circumstances that may have a woman work outside the house if she is single and has to provide for herself or if she is married and her husband is disabled and cannot work, which is sad because the the church should step in. But because of selfishness and apostasy, it is rare for any Christian to get help from other Christians. I hope this helps, I know this may sound extreme, but now I know why few will find that narrow gate which leads to the narrow way (Matthew 7:14) because many that are heading towards their destruction (Matthew 7:13) want the Jesus that is not extreme, but soft and easy. That is what the false prophets/teachers are teaching in many churches, on t.v., radio, etc. And many are buying into it, I did at one time, until the Lord God delivered me. That's all for now.

From me to Alex:
Thank you for sharing your own insights on Scripture with me, Alex. I would like to continue this discussion if you are willing, since it may prove edifying for the both of us. First allow me to clarify: I am fully agreed that women ought not to hold positions of authority within the church. I am also convinced that the title of pastor does not exist, but that the church is supposed to be governed by a plurality of elders, all of whom ought to be capable of teaching. The only time we find the word pastor so translated in Ephesians it is the same Greek word used for shepherd, such as the term Peter used in 1st Peter 5:2. Peter explains as a fellow elder that all elders should be shepherds/teachers while deacons are not required to teach: it is not one of their criteria, 1st Timothy 3:8-13.

I would like to say that if we reject Deborah as an example we must jettison all of the Judges, since they were appointed at the times of Israel’s various apostasies. Second: other prophets were sought out besides Huldah; this does not demonstrate authority or lack of it, 1st Kings 14:2; 2nd Kings 3:12; Isaiah 37:2. Prophets always spoke in God’s authority (thus sayeth the Lord) and not their own; this should certainly supersede male/female boundaries. The prophets were generally only sent to Israel while they were cursed—male or female—because the people were rebelling. Jeremiah confirmed that God’s prophets tended to speak for the primary purposes of warning and correction, Jeremiah 28:7-8. This is an assertion on your part, and I believe it is groundless at that.

To quote: “Phoebe in Romans 16:1, was a servant. She took care of the poor and the sick women. But she did not hold the office of a deacon, which is given to men who meet the requirements as recorded in the Bible (1 Timothy 3:8-13).” The Bible records that Phoebe was a servant “of the church in Cenchrea” and a helper of Paul’s, among others. I fear that you are reading into this passage your own interpretation rather than what the Bible affirms. Phoebe was a servant of the church (same word is used in 1st Timothy 3:8-13 as Deacon) and a helper of Paul’s; many believe she conducted the letter to the Romans to that church. Your description of her duties is your conjecture; not what is written.

As far as men having authority over the woman, the general statements Paul makes saying “the man has authority over the woman” is just that: a general statement. It does not mean that I, because I am a man, I have authority over all women; that would be the ultra-literal rendering.

In Genesis 3:16 when Eve is cursed, it is said that her desire is for her husband, but he will rule over her. This is affirmed many times in Scripture that just as men must lead God’s church, a godly husband must lead a marriage; the wife is not meant to be the leader domestically or within God’s house. Women are under two types of “authority” outside the church. First she is under the authority of her father, Ephesians 6:1; 1st Corinthians 7:36-38. Then she is under the authority of her husband, Genesis 2:24; Ephesians 5:22. I find nowhere this oppressive doctrine you present, which sounds more like ancient and modern Islam as practiced in countries where it is dominant. Women are kept at home, kept in silence and kept in bondage. Men have authority over women as those who must give account, to whom the burden of responsibility has fallen by God’s command. We are stewards who are meant to protect and care for our wives and daughters, Ephesians 5:25; 6:4.

Women worked in the Bible, as we often read. They worked in the fields (Ruth 2:3) made clothing (Acts 9:39), were merchants (Acts 16:14) and tentmakers (Acts 18:3). Some were paid, others did it freely; but the fact being their positions went beyond simply rearing children and preserving the home. To relegate women to the position you suggest is Scriptural essentially brings us back into legalistic bondage. To furthermore suggest that women who preach or hold jobs will find themselves in Hell troubles me greatly. The criterion for reaching Heaven is whether or not we have heard and believed the gospel, John 3:36. The New Testament is filled with correction and admonition because the Holy Spirit knows that His children (men and women) will ignorantly or willfully sin many times after being saved; anyone who suggests otherwise is lying, 1st John 1:8.

Verse 1 of 1st Corinthians 11 has Paul commending the church for keeping the tradition he passed down to them. He reiterates the divine order in the home and the church that man as God’s image is the head; while the woman being made from man is his glory. Paul is giving rule and structure to the church and home alone; which he clarifies by saying, “if anyone seems to be contentious, we have no such custom, nor do the churches of God,” verse 16. Even here in this passage Paul concedes that women can and do prophesy, verse 5. Later he details the fact that prophesying edifies the church; that is its sole function, 14:3. It may have been (this is only my opinion as I understand things) that Paul commanded the women of Corinth into silence because they were being unruly and disrupting the church. This may at least be implied since Paul first says that prophet’s spirits are subject to them, and that God is not an author of confusion but of peace, as in all [local] churches, 1st Corinthians 14:32-33. Clearly Paul was implying Corinth was unruly, and in verse 34 he may be informing the Corinthians what the cause of that unruliness was, followed by a severe injunction for women in that church to keep silent.

You state: “Clearly in the Bible, it is taught that God gave the man dominion over the works of His hands and put all things (including the woman)under the man, not the woman (Genesis 1:26-28; 3:16; Psalm 8:4-9).” Hebrews chapter 2 brings greater light to this subject than the Old Testament passages. We read of Christ Jesus our Lord bringing many sons to glory and tasting death for everyone so in due time those who have been glorified with Christ may reign with Him. Are women excluded from this future state? If all are one in Christ by way of our mutual salvation (as you confirm) then the same future glory awaits man and woman alike. Jesus confirmed this when he said that the saints shall not give in marriage or be given in marriage but shall be like the angels of Heaven, Matthew 22:30. Our gender is only important here on this earth where rearing a family and raising children in a godly home matter. Verse 7 (of Hebrews) says that man (presumably woman included) was made temporarily lower than the angels but will in due time be crowned with glory. Unless you can demonstrate scripturally that men and women will not be treated alike in glory I humbly ask you to reconsider your stand on this point.

In 1st Timothy 2:12 Paul is teaching Timothy that women ought not to rise up to positions of authority within the church; a point we have already seen that we agree upon. The context of the passage clearly puts this admonition as a command exclusively in the church; since the entire epistle is about conduct within the church for elders, deacons, men, women, etc. Eve was deceived by the serpent and by said deception fell into transgression. Therefore men would teach doctrine to women and it was her part to submissively learn. Yet women, like men, are accountable more to God than their husband, and if they must choose to heed one or the other it must be God; especially if the man is leading her into sin, Acts 5:29; Exodus 1:19-21; Joshua 2:3-4. In this regard we could quote Paul as saying, “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ (or as far as I imitate Christ),” 1st Corinthians 11:1.

I hope this makes sense to you; I appreciate you taking the time to answer me. I do not want any contention between us, but rather an honest exchange of our mutual understanding of Scripture. If you have more to say I welcome the reply. Yours in Christ, Ian.

From Alex to me:
Where in the Scriptures is the authority of the man over the woman limited to just inside the church? But on the other hand, you stated that the husband is the authority over his wife at home, which is outside of the church? There seems to be an inconsistency in your response. The Bible is very clear about women not teaching men or having any kind of authority over them (1 Corinthians 11:3; 1 Timothy 2:12). Why? Because for women to rule over men is one of the signs of a curse from God (Isaiah 3:12). The issue with Phoebe being a servant in the church serving the poor and sick women is clear in the Scriptures, just look up the word "servant" in the Thayer's Lexicon and you will see why I mentioned Phoebe's duties in the church. She did not hold the office of a deacon, you will not see such a thing in the Bible, at all. The office of deacon is for a man, who is the husband of one wife, ruling their own homes (1 Timothy 3:12). The first seven deacons in the book of Acts 6:1-6 were men, not women.

Yes there were women who served in the church and outside, in the function of a deacon but were not in the position of authority over men. So this idea that you have of Phoebe having the office of deacon is not in the Bible. Unless the Holy Spirit has contradicted Himself? I do not think so, and I am pretty sure you do not think so either. Have you read 1 Timothy 3:12? What is Paul clearly writing to Timothy concerning who should be in the office of deacon? Regarding Hebrews 2:10, I do not understand why you brought up this particular passage. Yes, Jesus is the captain of the salvation of His very elect which consistS of men and women. Men and women are equal in regards to salvation (Galatians 3:28; 1 Peter 3:7) and the fact they are human beings (Genesis 5:2). The Bible is very clear on that, but when it come to specific roles given to both sexes, there is no equality (1 Corinthians 11:3, 8-9; Ephesians 5:22-24; 1 Timothy 2:12-13; 3:2-5, 12).

The title pastor is found in Ephesians 4:11, along with apostles, prophets, evangelists, teachers, for the perfecting of the saints (Ephesians 4:12-13). I hope you don't have a problem with the title pastor? Whether you are a bishop, elder, or pastor, the qualified men have the same responsibilities. We should not split hairs here. When the Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians that men were the head of the women, that is what he meant. He did not limit it to husbands, fathers, elders, etc. But all men. Even the women of old referred to the men as lords (Genesis 18:12; 24:18; 1 Samuel 1:25-26; 1 Peter 3:6). In Romans 1:26 it says "their women" did change the natural use into that which is against nature... Whose women? I do not think the Apostle was just referring to just husbands here. But to all men (Romans 1:18). That is why Paul wrote: "and the head of the woman is the man" (1 Corinthians 11:3). Regarding Deborah in the book of Judges 4 and 5, she was a judge who handled disputes, which was an office that able men were to hold (Exodus 18:21-22). That is why I stated that Deborah was one of the signs of a curse put upon the children of Israel (Isaiah 3:12). Also, the men went to her (Judges 4:5). She was not a judge in the sense of a deliverer, like Sampson, Gideon, Ehud, etc., whom God raised up when Israel was being oppressed by other nations God used. You do not see Deborah being raised up as a deliverer, but Barak (Judges 4:6-7; Hebrews 11:32-33). Huldah as one who had a husband over her was not in the position of authority over any man. She was a prophetess who the men went to. Were they sent to her specifically from Josiah the king of Judah at that time? It does not say but Josiah told the men to enquire of the Lord for him and those who were left in both Israel and Judah (2 Chronicles 34:21). And they decided to go to Huldah, she was not sent to them. It's true that those passages that you brought to my attention does show that the past kings of Judah and one of Israel sent men and a woman in one case to the prophets who were men and was known to them and sent directly to them. But not in the case of Huldah (but I know you will not buy that). But also in Jeremiah 28:7-8, these prophets were sent by God and they were men, not women (Jeremiah 28:9). God in the Scriptures never sent a woman prophet to the people to either speak judgment and wrath that was coming upon the people. Show me book, chapter and verse please, if you think that is the case.

In no way am I presenting oppresive doctrines as you call it. I did not say that a woman is forced to stay home, to be silent always, and in bondage. It sounds to me like your emotions are getting the best of you. You are not thinking rational here. The Scriptures clearly teaches that the married women are to be keepers of the home (1 Timothy 5:14; Titus 2:5), and they are to be silent when taught (1 Corinthians 14:34-35; 1 Timothy 2:11), as a matter of fact they are to have a quiet and meek spirit about them (1 Peter 3:4). You do not want a woman who is contentious and cannot keep her mouth shut, that is the sign of a whore or a foolish woman (Proverbs 7:11; 21:19; 27:15) you do not want to be around. Women are to dress modestly too with shamefacedness and sobriety (1 Timothy 2:9). That means a woman is not to wear pants, tight skirts, tight dresses, tight tops, showing skin, anything to cause a man to stumble, because that is a sign of whoredom, the attire of a harlot (Proverbs 7:10). She is to wear a long loose skirt or dress covering her legs and thighs (Isaiah 47:2-3). If not, then it is nakedness on her part. A woman is not to cross dress, which means to wear pants or anything which pertains to a man (Deuteronomy 22:5). She is not to shave her head bald or cut it short because it is a shame for a woman to do so (1 Coritnhians 11:5-6) and she is to wear a headcovering (a cloth veil) inside and outside the church (1 Corinthians 11:1-16). This is what the Bible teaches. This is not oppresive doctrine. The commandments of the Lord should not be grievous to us as Christians (1 John 5:3), if we love Him. And that is why I say if women are not obeying these commandments and rebels against them when you present it to them, then probably they are not of God (John 8:46-47). That is why I say that any woman who profess to be a Christians but rebels against passages that clearly teaches she is not to teach and to usurp authority over men, then she may not be a Christian. And I know that we are saved by God's grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9) not by works. But this same grace teaches us to deny worldly lusts and wickedness (Titus 2:11-12) and to live godly. Let us not use grace as a license for sin. I hope that is not want you are hinting at, because that will trouble me. I am not teaching legalistic bondage. Is obeying the Scriptures legalistic? Did not Paul write that the law is established (Romans 3:31) by us as Christians keeping God's law out of obedience and love to Him? (John 14:16). That is all for now.

From me to Alex:
Thank you for responding, Alex. Allow me to clarify that I am not being emotional; I merely illicit a tacit comparison between Islam as it is practiced and your description.

I in no way preach license to sin via grace; however I do not command Christians to strictly obey the commandments: Paul told us that the Law is fulfilled in this: love your neighbor as yourself, Romans 13:8-10.

The commandments mentioned in John 14:15 is not the Law; the Greek uses two different words for reference to the Jewish Law and the word commandments as Jesus used. John explained that Christ's commandments which are not burdensome are this: that we should believe on Jesus Christ and love one another, 1st John 3:22-23.

Perhaps I was unclear about family and church; a Christian family is a church, Matthew 18:20. The church body is present anywhere two or more believers are gathered. I assume we agree on that point.

Recall Acts? The Jerusalem council plainly stated that we do not have to keep the Law to be saved, Acts chapter 15. There are four things mentioned that James and the other apostles agreed on: things offered to idols, blood, things strangled, and sexual immorality. Clothing, hairstyle, and such are not present. This stipulation is not for the men only but for all Christians. Paul gives guidelines for propriety and decency that should be followed but you are infringing on Christian liberty by insisting that these things must be so, Romans chapter 14. In fact we are not to dispute over “doubtful things” Literally this means reasonings and opinions, verse 1.

Christ our Lord fulfilled the Law and its legal obligations, Matthew 5:17. The OT passages you cite regarding legal dress code for women do not apply to the church. This may sound heretical, but if the Law is fulfilled then why endeavor to yoke women with a bondage Christ Himself put aside, Colossians 2:14?

For Phoebe I never meant to suggest that she had authority over men; only that she held a position like a deacon; something more than simply caring for women but functioned like the first deacons of the church did, Acts chapter 6. Nor do I have anything against the title “pastor,” if the body recognizes that one man is not supposed to Lord over the entire flock; that is what the body of elders is for as the NT doctrine on eldership reveals. I would not say that a church with a pastor over everyone is out of the way; they are just not following the original formula the Holy Spirit set down for us.

I won’t comment more on Huldah; I simply accept that Josiah sent to inquire of the Lord and the men knew of Huldah. They could have gone to Jeremiah the prophet who had been prophesying for about five years by that point but they did not, Jeremiah 1:2. It is also possible Zephaniah and Habakkuk were also prophesying at this time.

You ask me if obeying Scripture is legalistic. This is a serious question. My answer is yes and no. The letter (following OT injunctions by necessity) kills; following the Spirit gives life, 2nd Corinthians 3:6. Paul calls these laws the ministry of death (verse 7) and condemnation (verse 9). The Spirit sets us at liberty in Christ, verse 16-17. Your liberty severely binds women to what they can wear and do. Should women dress in moderation? Of course! Sexual immorality is forbidden in the church. However I do not consider women wearing sweat shirts and jeans transgressors; you cannot find this in the NT. Nor do I find women holding jobs transgressors. Married women ought to remain home to build a sanctuary for their husband and children to retreat to, and in that I agree that is a married woman’s job.

The idea of Sara calling Abraham lord is a sign of respect for her husband, and Peter applies this idea to husband and wife, 1st Peter 3:1-6. They are made physically weaker (1st Peter 3:7; the word vessel implies her physical body). Husbands are to likewise give honor to the wives, verse 7.

I fear that you place an inordinate amount of emphasis on this teaching, which occupies so little of Scripture. I am not saying that it has no relevance, but a doctrine’s redundancy tends to demonstrate its importance for our understanding, practice and obedience. You are creating a stumbling block for women, and for men like myself who object to this extremely strict interpretation you hold to.

I mention Hebrews chapter 2 because you quote Psalm 8 as though that is God’s title deed for men to hold dominion even over women. Hebrews sets this doctrine in order and gives the idea that men and women (all humanity) has been placed over God’s works, including angels according to the writer. “Man” in the OT often referred to mankind (men and women alike). If we are joint heirs in God’s kingdom then this passage proves that women likewise have been given dominion over the works of God’s hands, since we are co-heirs of salvation, 1st Peter 3:7.

I fail to see where you are going with the concept of a woman being covered with a cloth in and out of church. Corinthians says no such thing. The covering God provided for her is her hair, 1st Corinthians 11:15. When a woman prays or prophesies Paul says her head must be covered, 11:5, 13. In fact these verses teach that women are allowed to both pray and prophesy in church; something it would have been pointless for Paul to say if it was not allowed. Men and women are given different roles, but to use this passage to teach that women are unequal to men is to suggest that Christ is unequal to the Father; as the head of Christ is God, verse 3. It is the same logic. God and Christ have differing roles; men and women have differing (but equal) roles. Women are commanded to be subordinate in their roles; just as Christ was subordinate to His Father.

I firmly believe you are in error presently, and sincerely pray that you turn from this thinking. I continue to write only out of concern for my brother, and a desire to serve you. I hope you can see this.

From Alex to me:
Concerning Huldah the prophetess, these men went to her because the king wanted them to enquire of the LORD for him regarding the people that were left in Israel and Judah (2 Chronicles 34:21) because of God's great wrath upon them after the book of the law was read to him. Huldah did not teach these men or usurp any authority (1 Timothy 2:12), but prophesied what would happen to Israel. Jeremiah was a prophet in the thirteenth year of Josiah's reign, but he was in land of Benjamin at the time (Jeremiah 1:1), not Judah. So, it does not make sense for the king of Judah to send these men all the way to Benjamin for a serious situation he needed an answer for quickly. We do not know what year the LORD raised up Zephaniah the prophet in the days of Josiah the king (Zephaniah 1:1). He probably was a child when that situation took place concerning Huldah. But no year is mentioned when the word of the LORD came to him. Jeremiah was raised in the thirteenth year of Josiah's reign (Jeremiah 1:2). So Ian, the burden of proof is on you to show me that Zephaniah was a prophet during the eighteenth year of Josiah's reign. Habakkuk was a prophet also, but it does not say in the Bible which king was reigning at the time. So again, the burden of proof is on you to show me where in the Bible that Habakkuk was a prophet during the time of Josiah in the eighteenth year. You had commented concerning women working outside the home, and I made myself clear that a married women is not to work a career job outside the home because her responsibilities are in the home (1 Timothy 5:14; Titus 2:5). But due to circumstances, she can work, that is if her husband was disabled and cannot work in order to bring income into the home. Also, if a woman was single, (with the exception if she was under father's care and authority) then she can work outside the home to bring in income. These passages that you brought up concerning Lydia, Dorcas, Phoebe, etc., were women who were single. There is no Scriptural data on whether they had husbands, and yes some of them were doing it for the Lord's service without being paid. Priscilla worked together with her husband at home making tents (Acts 18:2-3). She was not under some other man's authority, when she was a help meet for her husband Aquila (Genesis 2:18). But the Bible is clear that a married woman is to keep home (Psalm 113:9; 1 Timothy 5:14; Titus 2:5). It is a commandment from God.

Phebe in the Scriptures was a servant. She did not hold any office of deacon or deaconess. She helped those who were poor and the other women (Romans 16:2). You can look up the word "servant" in the thayer's lexicon. So we can agree that she did not hold any position of authority over any man (1 Timothy 2:12; 3:12). In 2 Corinthians 3:6, regarding "for the letter killeth, but the spirit give life," Paul is communicating that if you are going to keep the law for salvation, then what you think brings life, in actuality in brings death (Romans 7:10). One of the purposes of the law is to bring about the knowledge of sin (Romans 3:20) and the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). We must not use 2 Corinthians 3:6 to say that there is no law any more. To do so is getting into the area of the antinomian heresy which teaches that Christians are not to keep God's law out of love and obedience. Paul stated in Romans 3:31 that the law is not void, but established. That means the law is still in effect. Jesus stated that until heaven and earth pass away not one jot or tittle will be taken from the law of God (Matthew 5:18). So we as Christians are not to teach other Christians to disobey God's laws. It is clear in the Scriptures that a woman is not to teach and usurp any authority over the man (1 Timothy 2:12), it is clear that a woman is not to wear pants and anything else that pertains to a man ( Deuteronomy 22:5; 1 Corinthians 11:5-6; 1 Timothy 2:9) , it is clear that a married woman is to keep and guide the house (1 Timothy 5:14; Titus 2:5). By the way, the word apparel in 1 Timothy 2:9 is "katastole" which means long robe or dress. I am not binding women to any laws that are mine. A Christian woman is to obey God's laws, period. The only commandments in the new testament is loving God and your brothers in Christ? I have a couple of questions I want to ask you Ian. How we are to love God? And likewise other Christians? Is it not by obeying His commandments? You may want to look at Romans 13:8-10. If you love God you are not going to worship idols, you are going to keep Sunday Sabbath, etc. If you love your neighbor, you are not going to steal from him, or kill him, or slander, him, etc. You just can't get away from keeping God's commandments. The issue of the headcoverings is that it is the sign (1 Corinthians 11:10) of the man's lordship over the woman. He has dominion over her (Genesis 3:16; Psalm 8:6; 1 Corinthians 11:3; 14:34). One of the coverings is the hair mentioned in 1 Corinthians 11:15, but what I was referring to was the literal cloth veil that all women are commanded to wear (1 Corinthians 11:5-6). In these verses, a woman does not put on hair which she already has and what is she going to shave or cut? She has no hair (which is the covering, according to your understanding), because Paul stated that if a woman is NOT covered let her hair be shorn or shaven (1 Corinthians 11:5-6). So your argument does not hold weight. Hebrews chapter 2 relates with Psalm 8 because it ultimately points to Jesus Christ (not a woman), who is the second Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45, 47) who will have dominion over the world. This is the same second Adam who is the captain of His elect''s salvation (Hebrews 2:10). Psalm 8 is talking about the first Adam, not the woman, who was given authority over God's creation, with the exception of the angels who is over man (Psalm 8:5; Hebrews 2:7), just a little.

From me to Alex:
Galatians 5:14 states that the law is fulfilled in one word: love your neighbor as yourself. The law was a tutor until faith came and its sole purpose was to bring men to Christ so justification might be through faith, Galatians 3:24, etc. Romans 13:8-10 clearly states that all the law you apparently wish to retain is kept by the same commandment as Galatians 5:14.

Love compels a man to serve God and neighbor where the threat of the law fails. Christ stated that the law would be set aside when all was fulfilled; which He did at the cross. He gave new commandments to a new entity: the church which was established at Pentecost. The moral implications of the law carried over in the simple command of loving God and demonstrating that love by not defaming or harming your neighbor.

Women were given dominion with men, Genesis 1:27-30. Their roles differ as God wants order in His house, but their equality is not in question as Scripture teaches, Galatians 3:28. Women are co-heirs of all things placed under our feet, Hebrews 2:8; 1st Peter 3:7.

All that I care to state regarding this I have made clear. You have likewise clearly indicated that we are not reasoning about the matter; you have your view of women in God's plan and I disagree. God give you grace to understand His plan for mankind, and to shed your unnatural bent toward the OT law; for anyone who wishes to keep the law and fails in one point is guilty of all, James 2:10. Attempting to keep the law estranges you from God's grace, Galatians 5:4. Paul calls the law a yoke of bondage, Galatians 5:1. Peter referred to the law as an unbearable yoke, Acts 15:10. It is a yoke I will not wear; nor do I have to, for God has set me free from it, Galatians 3:1-14. Your legalism endangers everyone who hears you, Alex. I'll pray for you. Yours in Christ, Ian.

This issue grieved me greatly. Please pray as God leads you to over this matter and lift this topic up in prayer to the Lord that greater insight is given into God's mercy and grace in the church and in the world.

5 comments:

  1. Ian, I agree that many carry the idea that woman is to be in subjection way beyond the truth. Genesis 1;27 says they were both created in the image of God, not just the male. Ephesians 5;24, Titus 2:5 and I Peter 3:5 all stress she is to be in subjection to her own Husband, not to every man around.

    Titus 3:10-11 commands "A man that is an heretic after the first and second admonition reject; Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself." While it is disturbing to hear these conflicts, and we have a responsibility to warn them of their error, if they refuse to listen after a couple of tries, it is no longer our responsibility, they have deliberately chosen to continue in the error. You've fulfilled your responsibility, the burden is now on him.

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  2. Dfish, it was troubling to find this type of thinking, and equally troubling to reason with him over it. Not that I was sorry to defend the faith; only sorry to find someone named a brother straying so far off the mark.

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  3. In regards to 1st Corinthians 11:1-16 this is my understanding. In the Corinthian church women and men were getting "gender" confused. Women were taking power and men might have been acting effeminately; hence the comment about men with long hair. Women were apparently cutting their hair short like men and Paul said this was disgraceful; if women had such short hair the option then was to be bald (a mark of shame) or cover one's head with a head covering. If a woman already had the long hair given her by God then it was not a problem. Men were not to possess long hair as this seemed to reverse the roles between men and women. I also believe this is why most of Paul's warning about women having authority over men are found in this epistle; this is where the crux of the problem occurred. Paul was correcting error in this particular church. That is my view of this passage, at any rate.

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  4. Ian, I also agree with dfish. You have fulfilled your duties as a believer. As you might have noticed Yonah did not post my comments either, and he puts me in the company with you.... making the statement, " It would be inconsistant to believe like you and Ian do."

    If you also will notice in Yonah's Pick List that he does not have anything good to say about any Christian speaker or preacher... So I guess we are in good company. God's blessings my brother in Christ... it is time to dust off our sandals and move on. Lloyd

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  5. Alex mentions obedience to the law very often; it may be that I am having a semantic disagreement with him and not understandong what he means by this. I too preach that Christians ought to submit to the word of God and be ruled by Scripture as the Holy Spirit expounds it.
    Yet the only law I am aware of in the Bible is the OT law, which Christians are not subject to. Ephesians 2:15-16 clearly states that the law was abolished in Christ; Colossians 2:14 states that the handwriting of requirements contrary to us (aka the law) was taken out of the way and wiped out. Hebrews chapter 8 expounds the fact that Jesus is the mediator of a new covenant on better promises; verse 13 states that the law (the old covenant) is fading away and obsolete. Alex quotes Matthew 5:18 as to the fact that heaven and earth will pass away before one jot or tittle of the law passes. Yet he neglects the end of the verse that states "until all is fulfilled." In verse 17 Jesus declares that one purpose for His life was in fact just that: to fulfill the requirements of the Law so H ecould take it out of the way. This agrees with the testimony of Paul in Ephesians and Colossians. Jesus fulfilled the law and took it out of our way so we might come to Him. The law exacerbated sin's nature and rebellion as explained in Romans chapter 2. The law is also not for the righteous, but the unrighteous, 1st Timothy 1:9-11.
    The law neither justifies or sanctifies anyone; the entire epistle of the Galatians dealt with this issue of being justified by faith and sanctified by law. In fact Paul writes that Christians must die to the law before being able to live to God, Galatians 2:19. The law is binding until death, which is why one must die to it and be born again in newness of life so we might be married to Christ, Luke 16:15-18.
    This is the general usage of the word "law" in Scripture. Teaching that the law has been set aside with all of its hundreds of commandments (for the law is one unit that cannot be broken into convenient segments) is not antinomianism. Obedience to God was affected hundreds of years before the law was given at Sinai (and uniquely to Israel, Psalm 147:19-20; Romans 9:4), and now after the cross. A Christian ought to walk in the Spirit and learn what is pleasing to their Lord, not to the flesh. But a Christian is not bound to the law; this is a teaching clearly contrary to the grain of the New Testament.

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