21 Responses to Unity, Liberty, and Charity: Does This Mean Women Can Teach Men?

  1. Bryan L September 6, 2006 at 10:46 am #

    It also says do not forbid speaking in tongues and also “eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy.” But these commands are ones that seem to have been subjected to the authority of the interpreter instead of the authority of the Bible. As long as this subject (women teaching men) keeps getting brought up, those who keep making statements and arguments like yours will have to continue answering why they aren’t consistent on these other issues like Spiritual gifts. Before we talk about how others are no obeying explicit commands of the Bible we should examine ourselves to see if we’re guilty of the exact same charge.
    You brought Matt 5:19 into the discussion. I thought it interesting that in your last post a Jewish person brought up how some Christians like to talk about how we’re not under the law when it comes to Sabbath observance (and other issues) but then we come up with these other laws (or commands) to obey like women being forbidden to teach men (and what about this alcohol issue). I think it’s funny that we think Jesus came to set us free from the Law to just put us under a new Law, and then we get to pick and choose what we obey from the old and then demand obedience to the new (the things we feel comfortable with).
    Anyway that’s just my thoughts on the issue.
    Blessing,
    Bryan L

  2. Steve Walker September 6, 2006 at 10:52 am #

    Jim,
    I’m sure you read or heard about Dr. Mohler’s proposed theological triage (link here). It sounds like you have a difference of opinion. Am I misunderstanding you?

    Grace & peace…

  3. brtom September 6, 2006 at 1:25 pm #

    This is not a popular position today although it is the right one.

  4. jimhamilton September 6, 2006 at 2:57 pm #

    Steve,

    I can’t speak for Dr. Mohler, but in the piece you reference he calls women in the pastorate a second order issue, meaning that people cannot worship together in the same church if they disagree on this question.

    He also says that the authority of Scripture is a first order issue, and that is what I have stated in my post.

    Great to hear from you!

    Jim

  5. David Rogers September 6, 2006 at 4:27 pm #

    Jim,

    I agree with you that the authority of the Bible is not a non-essential. In and of itself, I would be tempted to say that whether or not women can teach men is not an essential, or first-tier doctrine. What concerns me the most are the implications regarding biblical authority for those who call for lenience on this. I am a lot more open to listen to the argument of someone who attempts to show why it is possible to interpret the meaning of the Bible differently on this point, than someone who says that since it is a minor point, and the biblical writers were influenced by the culture of their time, we should not take what the Bible says on this too seriously.

    So far, I remain unconvinced by the arguments I have heard to show the Bible is teaching something else here. But I am willing to at least listen to someone’s argument on this, if they think they have one.

  6. jimhamilton September 6, 2006 at 4:46 pm #

    David,

    AMEN!

    Jim

  7. Michael Bird September 6, 2006 at 6:18 pm #

    Dear Jim,

    If I understand your correctly, it is your opininion that the exegetical errors of the egalitarians are so grievous that they are indicative of either a direct attack upon or complete disregard for biblical authority. But is this really so? Let me expound.

    1. I am aware that in the SBC this topic was a serious one in the liberal vs. fundamentalist controversy. And I can understand how ‘women in ministry’ was a litmus test for a whole host other theological issues concerning biblical authority lying beneath the surface (the Virgin Birth functioned similarly in the 1920s). But outside the SBC context this is not necessarily true of all egalitarians? I’m not so sure it is.

    2. If I understand you right, your contention is that the only way to disregard the prohibitions about women teaching men is to disregard the authority Scripture itself. But the same could be said on other issues. For instance, “do not forbid speaking on tongues”, “do not divorce”, “do not let women prophesy without head coverings etc”. Are those who forbid speaking in tongues, are those who allow divorced persons to remarry, and those who let women attend church without head coverings attacking biblical authority in the same way as egalitarians? Here there is no: “But those issues are different …” The same argument about overturing prohibitions can apply here.

    3. I would also say that women on some ocassion did teach men such as Priscilla with Aquilla to Apollos, (Acts 18.26), female prophets prophesied in Christian gatherings(Acts 21.9; 1 Cor 11.5; prophesy and teaching are not the same but can be grouped together due to their pneumatic-didactic nature, e.g. Acts 13.1), there were women who were heads of households in the early church (1 Cor 1.11; Acts 16.14-15; Col. 4.15; but what authority they exercised over groups under their patronage is I admit an open question), Euodia, Syntyche and Priscilla are called Paul’s “co-workers” in the gospel (Phil 4.3; Rom 16.3) and the same word is used to describe the ministry of men elsewhere (e.g. Rom. 16.9, 21; 2 Cor 8.23; Phil. 2.25; Col. 4.11; 1 Thess. 3.2). Now if someone (like myself ) who has a high view of Scripture wants to embrace the whole counsel of God on this issue it means that they have to accept the clear prohibition in 1 Tim. 2.11-15 and also the other texts listed above in order to understand and apply the whole Word of God to our congregations. It means taking into account the wider cultural, hermeneutical, and theological contexts of Scripture that shapes interpretation but without ever forfeiting the canonical context of Scripture itself. And in doing so we may recognize that we have to make hermeneutical and exegetical decisions about how we pull together the various voices of Scripture into a coherent whole. One way is to expressly prohibit women from any teaching ministry over men, including prohibitions of leading worship in the presence of men, enforce a code of head-coverings for women in public worship, and resist any visible activity of women in public gatherings like acting as stewards for the offering or serving communion. Others may allow women to particiapte in teaching ministry based on the fact that they find precedent in Scripture and believe certains parts to be culturally or situationally bound (1 Cor. 11 & 1 Tim 2). While others may adopt a via media and allow women to exercise any teaching ministry in the church with the exception of the office of elder or senior pastor. Now my point is not that all these approaches are equally true or equally valid so just pick the one you like (I’m NOT Emergent!), I think some options have more exegetical validity and theological coherency than others – but all three positions represent an attempt to listen to Scripture and discern the will of God in applying Scripture – I hope we can grant that much.

    4. I think we should ask what is the criteria for fellowship as an evangelical? Is complentarianism (or one particular expression of complementarianism) a boundary-marker of being an evangelical and a doctrinal pre-requisite for table-fellowship? Is a line in the sand to be drawn on this issue and are those on the other side of the line enemies of the gospel? Personally, I think this is a second-order doctrine by which I mean that its resolution and application is important for the life and health of the church (egalitarians and complentarians would agree on that) and churches and denominations may choose to take a stand on this subject. But I do not think it a matter of salvation or an essential belief for faith and fellowship.

    But that is too much already.

    I hope those who read Dr. Hamilton’s post, even those that might disagree with him, will come away with an deep respect for his love of Scripture, will imitate his passion to see the Word faithfully expouned and applied, and be infected by his contagious passion for God’s glory in the world of male-female relationships.

    In Christ

    Mike Bird

  8. jimhamilton September 7, 2006 at 10:09 am #

    Mike,

    Hearty thanks for your kind, thoughtful, thorough words!

    In these last two posts, I don’t mean to be engaging egalitarians. My concern here is with complementarians.

    Evangelical egalitarians interpret the text in such a way that what they do fits with what they think the text says. I think the interpretations of 1 Timothy 2:12 (and other related passages) put forward by evangelical egalitarians are wrong, but I am not raising the question of the authority of Scripture with them. I’m granting that they honestly believe their own exegesis, and so they honestly believe that what they are doing fits what the Bible says.

    I am raising the question of the authority of Scripture with complementarians who appear to be complementarian for reasons other than what the Bible says because the way they live out their complementarianism does not match what the Bible says.

    I’m afraid that these people would never let a woman be a pastor because of tradition or culture or politics or whatever. But they’ll let women teach men in Sunday School, and if you challenge them on the point they either play down the seriousness of the issue (we can agree to disagree on this, it’s not the deity of Christ, in non-essentials liberty, etc.), or they flat out give egalitarian exegesis in defense of what they are doing.

    The authority of Scripture becomes a relevant question with these people because If someone agrees with complementarian interpretations of these texts but then does exactly what the text says not to do, we must ask: have they submitted themselves to Scripture?

    So I guess what I’m calling for is consistency. If you are going to hold to egalitarian interpretations and live like an egalitarian, go the whole way. Have a woman pastor. Endorse women pastors. Have at it. But do it because you think that’s what the Bible says. If, on the other hand, you’re going to say that only men can be pastors, do that only because you think that’s what the Bible says. And then if you’ve inferred from 1 Tim 2:12 that only men can pastor (when the text just says women can’t teach or exercise authority over men), then what biblical reason can you give for letting women teach men?

    Let’s have it out over what the text means, and I don’t see how the egalitarian interpretations fit with (1) the actual words of the text or (2) the cultural situation in which Paul wrote. And I don’t think we can say that the texts are culturally constrained because Paul backs up what he says by an appeal to the pre-fall created order. Nor do I think that the kinds of examples cited (Priscilla and Aquila, who didn’t teach Apollos in a public setting, it was just him, they took him aside, and we’re not told who did the talking. . . ) overturn a direct command from Paul. Luke and Paul travelled together, surely Luke knew of Paul’s positions, and I doubt Luke thought this instance contradicted what Paul thought. On prophecy, Paul allows women to prophesy if they do so in a feminine way, distinguishing themselves from men by covering their heads, in 1 Cor 11. He lists prophecy as a distinct spiritual gift from teaching. So I have no problem with women prophesying in churches that think prophecy is a gift that is still being exercised, as long as they do so in a way distinguishes them from the men who prophesy. But prophecy is not teaching, and prophecy is not preaching. . .

    I’m open to many of the items you mention. I have no problem with a woman reading the Scripture and leading the congregation in prayer from the pulpit during the worship service. I think Rom 16:1 and 1 Tim 3:11 indicate that women can be deacons (but they have to be biblical deacons, and you have to have men elders–if your deacons are your de facto elders–teaching and leading, you shouldn’t have women deacons. . .). If complementarian exegesis is accepted, I don’t see how women can be allowed to teach men. Women can teach women, and women can teach younger males who are not regarded as men. If complementarian exegesis is accepted, I need more biblical evidence that women can teach men than is provided by women being allowed to prophesy (I think 1 Cor 14:29-30 indicates that prophecy is spontaneous–un-prepared, Spirit inspired, revelatory utterance; teaching, by contrast, is the exposition and passing on of the tradition, which assumes preparation and study). And, I think the appeal to creation in 1 Tim 2:13-15 shows that 1 Tim 2:12 is not culturally bound.

    I agree with your comments in point 4, provided that one is doing what one thinks the Scripture teaches. Thanks again for your kind words.

    May the name of the Lord be high in the hearts of his people,

    Jim

  9. jimhamilton September 7, 2006 at 11:14 am #

    Bryan L,

    Here’s my reply to some similar things that Ben Arbour said about spiritual gifts in the comments section of the post on prophecy:
    —————–

    Ben,

    I think we should obey 1 Corinthians 14:1. If the Lord is pleased to give these things supernaturally and biblically, I rejoice. The foundation of the church has been laid, and I don’t think the Lord is going to give any more apostles and prophets like the ones he gave when the foundation of the church was being laid.

    I hope that I’m not disregarding or disobeying 1 Cor 14:1, so I don’t think there’s an analogy here with what egalitarians do with 1 Tim 2:12. I think the point of Paul’s command in 1 Cor 14:1 is that they should love one another (1 Cor 13:1) and seek the gifts that most build one another up as a body (14:1-5).

    Again, I like the tone and direction of Schreiner’s discussion in PAUL, APOSTLE OF GOD’S GLORY IN CHRIST.

    Hope this helps!

    JMH

    —————————————
    You might also find my longish reply to a comment from Mike Bird above helpful for understanding my take on these same issues.

    In short, I hope that I have taken the log out of my own eye. The speck I’m addressing, or trying to address, is that we should endeavor to make our practice consistent with our understanding of Scripture.

    The use of the OT in the NT and the status of the OT law is a huge issue, as I’m sure you know. I’m sympathetic with the approach outlined in Tom Schreiner’s book, PAUL AND THE LAW, and I’m also attracted to certain features of the book by Wells and Zaspel called NEW COVENANT THEOLOGY.

    On the “articles and essays” page of my blog, you’ll find several pieces that take up these issues, which are in part also dealt with in my book, which should be out this month or next, God’s Indwelling Presence. If you’re interested in my position, please see the essays “The One Who Does Them Shall Live By Them” and “The Skull Crushing Seed of the Woman.” Several other essays, as you can see from their titles, also treat OT/NT issues.

    Rather than repeat all that here, I’ll just refer you to what I’ve written there.

    Hope this helps!

    JMH

  10. lightcontrast September 9, 2006 at 1:45 pm #

    Jim, I have a few questions. Isn’t learning an integral part of teaching? How can you learn without teaching? Teachers can learn from their students too. By questions students ask, teachers could think about something they wouldn’t have thought about, because they’re knowledgeable on the subject, so they think they know everything. But even teachers don’t know everything. Learning and teaching go hand in hand. If women don’t teach, then what can they learn? I don’t think it’s really learning if women just listen to sermons or others. They’re just sucking in information, or what some call “indoctrination.” They may be able to repeat what they’ve heard, but is that really learning? I think that’s recitation of someone else’s thoughts. By formulating our own thoughts, we learn, and that’s what teaching allows you to do.

    light

  11. Lu Ann Y September 24, 2006 at 10:30 pm #

    I believe Paul also said…”There is neither male or female…Jew or Greek…but we are all one in Christ! Jesus allowed Mary, a woman, to go and tell the men, the disciples, that He had risen from the dead – is there a greater message she could have proclaimed. Jesus liberated women to teach and preach and go and tell – like the Samaritan woman that went and told about the man that told her about her life. I have taught, and preached, and prayed the sinner’s prayer with unbelievers and have watched God transform their lives. Do you think God is going to use me to bring others to Christ – and yes, there have been men saved under my ministry…for me to get to heaven and have God tell me He really didn’t plan to use me to share His Gosple to all the world?
    Lu Ann

  12. jimhamilton September 24, 2006 at 10:38 pm #

    Lu Ann,

    Thanks for your note. It is one thing to proclaim the Gospel, which all Christians are commissioned to do. It is another thing to be an established teacher–one who regularly gives instruction. I think Paul expected all Christians to share the Gospel with whomever they got the opportunity. But when Paul addresses who teaches in church, he says that women should not teach men.

    As for him writing in Gal 3:28 that there is neither male nor female, well, we must understand this such that it does not contradict its own context. In context, Gal 3:28 simply means that all people are united to Christ by faith without reference to gender, social status, or ethnicity. Paul is not commenting in Gal 3:28 on gender roles. He is talking about justification. Further, from what he says in 1 Corinthians 11, 1 Corinthians 14, Ephesians 5, Colossians 3, and 1 Timothy 2, we see that he did not understand what he said in Gal 3:28 as nullifying gender roles altogether. Galatians was written before all these other texts, and I don’t think Paul changed his mind. I think he never saw a contradiction between there being neither male nor female at the foot of the cross, and men and women continuing to have different God-ordained roles.

    Hope this helps!

    JMH

  13. Rick Autrey October 8, 2006 at 9:07 pm #

    I have enjoyed reading the above thoughts and responses. I think we live in a great country that allows freedom to express our opinions. I am glad to be a Christian who thinks but does not understand everthing I read… but I will continue to try by the grace of God. Thank you everyone for “memorializing” your inspirations for collectively I believe it makes us better ambassadors for Him who created us.

    Rick Autrey
    Elder, PCUSA
    St. Augustine, FL USA

  14. Herschel Copeland October 25, 2006 at 9:40 am #

    This perpetual debate over Pauline doctrinal issues overshadows the true purpose of the church, and our energy is redirected toward less important efforts. as Christians, we are called to a higher direction than constantly engaging in doctrinal debate. The KJV and other reliable translations of the bible tell us that all scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. As an ordained Minister I find it necessary quite often to remind my fellow believers that Christ is the head of the church, not Paul, or Peter or the pope, or anyone else. I do however support Paul in his position and what he said, for at that time there were many valed reason for the position he took, and if the same circumstances existed in a fellowship today, the pastor should remind his flock of the teachings of Paul. So since there is no disturbance in the fellowship caused by unlearned women, I fully support qualified female teachers to teach mixed gendered classes to the glory of Christ. WhenI have been privaledged to attend a mixed class taught by a women, I never once felt she was exercising authority over me, and not one of the other men got up and excused himself from the class.
    Christians have always been divided in their understanding of scripture which is why the catholic church did not permit the laety to read, or own a copy of the bible. This position has of course changed with the times, because cultures change along with the evolutionary process of social values, virtues, and our concept of morality. While God and his word have not changed, it behooves us to teach scripture in ways that do not dilute his word while at the same time allowingus the opportunity to share Christ. Perhaps new or unlearned Christians should be fed a healthy course of John’s Gospel to prepare them for the more ‘Church’ oriented teaching as we find with the epistols
    The challenge here is not who best understands church doctrine and how it should be taught, but how to reach the teeagers and young couples who look at modern life through a differint lens, than people of my generation born in the twenties and thirties.
    In my Southern Baptist fellowship it becomes increasingly more difficult to find qualified young men to call as deacons, because so many of them have been divorced. Most of the men are not qualified to teach the gender seperated classes, much less mixed classes, which incidentally young married couples prefer since they feel more comfortable being together. There are however highly qualifed mature females, well versed in scripture, whoare willing to teach young married couples in a mixed environment. we have one mature lady, filled with the Holy Spirit, and welleducated in the scripturies who has wept bitterly because the church has set aside her precious teaching gift soley because Paul said what he said. In 1st Cor. 14:34-35 Paul said, “Let your women keep silent in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak: but they are commanded to be under the law”. Verse 35, “And if they will learn anything, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church”. Now is there a church fellowship, whatever they call themselves, that you want want to worship with, who forbide women to even speak in church? If you seek a way to explain that those two verses are not the same as what Paul meant in 1st Tim. 2:12, I am quite sure you cannot surprise me, for at 71 I have heard pretty much all of what can be said on this issue, which when compared to Hebrews 6, is pretty much a no-brainer. I understand whom the Hebrew’s writer is addressing and why. Now here is meat for teaching, and if you can cook the meat, I would be interested in seeing how well you did. Enjoyed all the comments
    Herschel

  15. Liz Stokes October 25, 2006 at 11:57 am #

    I would like to know, since everyone seems to think what Paul said is true. Do you notice he says I do not suffer women to teach. He is speaking for himself. Can you specifically say he is talking for God? Also, he says this and then tells of all the women he has to help him in his ministering. Is this a double standard. If God calls man or woman, than who is man to say who is a teacher or preacher? It seems to me, that a lot of men are being called to minister, but they will not do it. When are people going to understand that a pastors position is not a profession, but a calling. This is just an outsiders opinion. As I am one of those women that God has been talking to. And I keep praying about what he is telling me to do, and when I think I can not do it, He chastises me as if who am I to question him. So what do you say here? I am a song and choir director of our church. No my church does not believe in women pastors, they believe in men dictatorship of the church. You know this also is called usurping authority?

  16. Pascasie August 31, 2007 at 9:55 am #

    Hello,

    I ama a women too. I am 100% convinced on what Paul said : I do not permit a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man” (1 Tim 2:12).
    This is because , I am convinced that Paul repeated the same words that God Himself told to Eve after the fall: I will greatly multiply thy sorrowand thy conception; in thy sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over the(genesis 3:16)

    Read also:(1 Timothy2:11-15.):At the vers 15: Northstanding she shall be saved in childbearing , if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.

    God bless all of you!

  17. ASHERY NDALU September 17, 2007 at 9:50 am #

    Ilike to know about unity because unity it bring relation ship between the people who live together.

  18. t.tilford April 10, 2008 at 4:23 pm #

    Luke 11:10 (NAS )reads; “He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not GATHER with Me, scatters”
    Also Mark 9:40 reads; “Let them alone…For he who is NOT AGAINST US is FOR US”

    Luke 16:15 reads…”What is highly valued among men is detestable in God’s sight.”

    IT IS WRITTEN…those who FIGHT EVIL ARE ON THE SAME SIDE! There is no room for finger-pointing, slandering and division when fighting a war against evil in Christ’s kingdom. As a matter of fact a divided house will bring damage. But according to the interpreters of today even Jesus Himself need to “get a real grip” as to what is really going on in His own Church today. Sadly His command is neither heeded nor needed. In fact people can give their lifetime serving, preaching, living, and standing against evil for the sake of Christ and still be working for the Devil…with an appointment for Hell??? Interesting. I believe Jesus said such a tactic of satan’s agents preaching Christ as Savior and Lord…crucified, risen and comming again… would bring his kingdom to ruin, so why would Satan endorse it?
    Perhaps we can pontificate to Him that HE must be totally ignorant of the new surge of women and men situations in His Church. Perhaps we can give Him some enlightenment of a “situation gone bad,” a situation so devious it missed His sleeping attention yet needs not His assistance, advise or our humility, as God suffers the complete absence of prayer to Him on this controversial subject. For help we turn to our websites…NOT HIS LOVING MERCY, PATIENCE or WISDOM. Perhaps one day, many men and women will slap their knee and brag of all the women and men “we threw out” without even a prayer for wisdom, a word of kindness, or a slightest consideration of where such a devastating blow would leaving hundreds maybe thousands to wander in bewilderment and despair.

    Try to imagine God’s response NOW as He listens to humans with bible in hand demanding his sheep, purchased by His Blood to “move…or else” taking matters into their own hands and making church laws to “fix” the situation “for” or “against.” Advising themselves and God saying, “ It is alright God…we will throw them out and you can thank us later. We know what needs to be done to make things right!” It somehow justifies the means, the debate, and the body count. I am sure at the end of time, when we meet Jesus, these smiling encounters and chest puffing bragging sessions will be most illuminating to at least one of the two parties.

    My point is never to debate Paul’s directive, or get into a scholarly bash,but merely to remind us of something we refuse to acknowledge in light of such commissions… a knowledge hard to put in the same light of today’s interpretations… GOD’S SOVEREIGNTY! That is were I believe Deborah’s forty year judge appointment popped up from from even in the broad light of “Eve’s Fall” and “Adam being created first.” Funny…
    When Jesus stood before those of the synagogue and opened to Isaiah 61, read and proclaimed in their hearing a prophecy fulfilled. He then began to MINISTER and TEACH THEM about the SOVEREIGNTY of GOD (Luke 4:25-27)…what was the result? The religious leaders of that day rushed and PUSHED HIM OUT OF THE SYNAGOGUE AND TRIED TO THROW HIM OFF A CLIFF…TO KILL HIM, in a religious fever. sounds familiar???
    Perhaps we could learn a thing or two from an ancient pagan king who found out about GOD’S DECISION MAKING, the hard way…God wants us to clearly understand…

    “He does as He pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back His hand and say to Him: What have you done?”…Now I Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of Heaven, because everything HE DOES IS RIGHT and ALL HIS WAYS ARE JUST. And those who walk in pride He is able to HUMBLE…” Daniel 4:34-37 That goes for all us experts and conclusionist…men and women, for and against…whatever.

    I am convinced that God alone knows…and leads the paths of destiny for both His Precious Sons and Daughters of the Kingdom far above our Greek and Hebrew can keep track of Him…HE IS GOD!

    He did not ask our opinions when He formed the universe…nor does He now. He is not shy in pointing out to those with “ears and hearts” to hear and feel. He warned that when we try to remove what we feel are the undesirable “tares” from among the “wheat”… we kill too much of the “good” in the process which is a job for angelic hands alone! Without LOVE ALL OUR EFFORTS ARE IN VAIN!

    To our esteemed male leaders in controversy against your sisters in leadership; be who God has called you to be…please! Not as some kind of prison warden judging God’s servants as guilty who’s desires to give their lives in thanksgiving to Christ. Ignite and enlightened church leadership, like a husband who lovingly leads his family, who should provide an atmosphere like a greenhouse. A place where both males and females can grow, blossom, and develop to their FULL potential in service to their LORD, who requires it doubled WITH INTEREST! Give them the provision, blessings, protection, prayer, and encouragement in your leadership, as the GREAT SHEPHERD has given and remembered to extend to you! Each of your members are now and forever responsible and accountable to God how they use their gifts and opportunities God gives them, or their denial of them. When the law is in conflict with the supposed rights of others, be as Moses, take the law and ask God if He has a sovereign decision on the topic…just in case there is a rare “Deborah” in your mist. He did it once who is to say He better not do it again?

    Where do we begin to come to unity about this controversial matter? We can begin by dropping our guards, our rights, and Bible concordances of Greek and Hebrew and in Christ-like mercy consider the life and destines of others higher than our own, and God’s SOVEREIGNTY before we make harsh decisions concerning them. As the word of God says…”For a little while your people possessed your holy place” in joy, compassion, mercy, peace and unity considering others greater than ourselves both male and female, was our light through such storms. Our success together did not come as the result of a meeting of the minds, or the edge of a pen…we fasted, prayed, and waited, and waited, and waited, and prayed, and fasted…on and on when dealing with matters concerning the church of Christ until we were blessed to move forward. But that was before we grew wise and warmed our hands at the fires of scholarly direction and majority rule.
    Let us all return to our roots…the beginning when we were needy, and prostrate before God. Let us lay all our leadership titles in the dirt where they belong at the FEET OF CHRIST, and pick up instead a cross and follow Christ wherever He leads in our daily walk. Ladies and gentlemen let us not be afraid to suffer wrong, God alone will avenge those who humble themselves! If God is really sovereign, then He should be well able to handle and CORRECT any and all mistakes in His Church without OUR SMART SELVES, and like it or not, GOD HAS IN THE PAST, AND YES WILL TODAY, CALL AND SHOW MERCY ON WHOMEVER HE PLEASES. Let us rejoice in the knowledge of the salvation of our God, and the sure hope offered us that even what is “MEANT FOR EVIL” will end up instead as in all things be “TO OUR GOOD.” But what do I know? THE LOVING HEART OF CHRIST, and a dream for a unified body FOR THAT ALONE GLORIFIES CHRIST, as a dark world looks on.

    Sorry for letting my heart show. Blessings.

  19. Leslie June 23, 2011 at 2:31 pm #

    I just recently read this blog post and was wondering if you could help me understand where “the line” is. Some notable theologians allow women to speak/teach at their conferences, saying that a one-time event is ok. What if a married couple is being mentored by another couple and the older wife shares some teaching on Scripture or even something she has gleaned from in Scripture. Was Timothy meaning this to be only in the church? Sorry if you’ve already addressed this, I’m just trying to gain some wisdom.
    Thanks for this!

    • JMH June 23, 2011 at 2:38 pm #

      Thanks for your note, Leslie,

      I think one time events are fine, and I think discussions are fine. I think the line is crossed at the point of preaching in a worship service or at becoming the regular, established teacher of adult males in a Bible Study or Sunday School.

      Beyond that, I think the lists of activities in Grudem’s Evangelical Feminism and Biblical Truth are really helpful.

      Hope this helps!

      Jim

  20. Leslie June 23, 2011 at 2:40 pm #

    Yes! I’ve referred to that list in the past.
    Thanks again

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