Answering Wayne Grudem’s “Open letter to Egalitarians” 4

Answering Wayne Grudem’s “Open letter to Egalitarians” 4

wayne_grudem

Answering Wayne Grudem 4

This is the part 4 of answering Wayne Grudem’s “Open letter to Egalitarians” and his “Six Questions That Have Never Been Satisfactorily Answered”.  Today I am posting his fourth question, Suzanne McCarthy’s answer from the Greek and my own questions below that.  My blog does not yet have the ability for me to use the Greek fonts so I have included a link to Suzanne’s article that has the Greek.

Wayne Grudem’s Question #4:

4. authenteo: In 1 Timothy 2:12, Paul writes, “I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over men.’’ Many of you claim that the word translated “have authority’’ (authenteo) means “misuse authority’’ or “domineer’’ (or even “instigate violence’’) in this sentence, so that Paul is not prohibiting women from having authority over men, but he is prohibiting women from misusing authority or domineering over men.

Our problem is this: we have never seen any clear example in ancient Greek literature where authenteo must mean “domineer’’ or “misuse authority.’’ Whenever we have seen this verb occur, it takes a neutral sense, “have authority’’ or “exercise authority,’’ with no negative connotation attaching to the word itself. We are aware that a related noun, authent¯es, has several different meanings, but that is not the word Paul used, and we are interested in the word that Paul actually used. So our question is this: Will you please show us one example in all of ancient Greek where the verb authenteo means what you claim, namely, “misuse authority or domineer’’ (or even “instigate violence’’)?

If you can show us one example, we would be happy to consider your interpretation further. But if you cannot, then we suggest that you have no factual basis for your interpretation of this key verse, and we respectfully ask that you stop writing and speaking as if you did, and that you also reconsider your understanding of these verses.

Suzanne McCarthy’s answer to Wayne Grudem using Greek sources:

3. Authenteo – 1 Timothy 2:12 “to have authority” or “to dominate”

Dr. Grudem writes,

Our problem is this: we have never seen any clear example in ancient Greek literature where authente? must mean “domineer’’ or “misuse authority.” Whenever we have seen this verb occur, it takes a neutral sense, “have authority’’ or “exercise authority,’’ with no negative connotation attaching to the word itself.

It was originally thought that there were two occurrences of authenteo preceding the epistle to Timothy. Here is the first one,

Philodemus (1st cent. BCE): “Ought we not to consider that men who incur the enmity of those in authority are villains, and hated by both gods and men”;

In fact, this is from a reconstructed fragment. The text cited is from a short summary of the reconstructed text. It is not a translation and there is no connection between the reconstructed phraseand “those in authority.” [The reconstructed phrase]occurs near the beginning of the fragment, and “those in authority” is at the end of the summary.

The only other occurrence of authenteo during this period is provided by Grudem as,

BGU 1208 (27 BCE): “I exercised authority over him, and he consented to provide for Calatytis the Boatman on terms of full fare, within the hour.”

In fact, the translation “exercised authority over” is not the usual translation for authenteo in this citation. Other scholars suggest “prevail on” “compel” and “made him.” In the footnote of Evangelical Feminism and Biblical Truth, page 680, Dr. Grudem mentions that this letter refers to a “hostile” relationship, and the meaning “compel” seems appropriate. If it is a hostile relationship, then one presumes it has a negative connotation.

Here is a clearly negative use of the word authenteo from the 2nd/3rd century,

Wherefore all shall walk after their own will. And the children will lay hands on their parents. The wife will give up her own husband to death, and the husband will bring his own wife to judgment like a criminal. Masters will lord it over their servants savagely, and servants will assume an unruly demeanour toward their masters.Hippolytus, On the End of the World 7.

Clearly authenteo has an negative connotation. It is the way a master rules a slave. Is this the proper exercise of authority in the church? In fact, these are the only occurrences of the word authenteo from the 1st century BCE to the 3rd century AD apart from its use in an astrology text.

We can rightly say that the word authenteo has a negative connotation attaching to the word itself.

==========

Now Cheryl’s questions

Mr. Grudem is clearly interpreting 1 Timothy 2:12 as Paul forbidding something to women that is only allowed to be done by men.  I would like to ask where in the New Testament Scriptures or the Old Testament LXX, does God ever give men permission to autenteo any person?  Since there is no permission given to men (and permission cannot be assumed) and since this Greek word clearly has a negative connotation, why do you believe in the man-made tradition that men have authority from God to use authenteo towards anyone in the church?

Links to more posts on Answering Wayne Grudem’s “Open letter to Egalitarians” part 1part 2part 3part 4part 5part 6

39 thoughts on “Answering Wayne Grudem’s “Open letter to Egalitarians” 4

  1. Only to question 4 and this is the best “challenge” Grudem can come up with? He’s really grasping…or should I say “gasping”.

  2. The latest issue of Priscilla Papers had a good article on this. Concerning modern translations:

    Belleville also notes, significantly, that a variety of pre-modern versions of the Bible translate this word not simply as “have authority” or “exercise authority,” but with some negative sense, e.g., the Old Latin (second to fourth centuries A.D.): “I permit not a woman to teach, neither to dominate (dominari) a man”; the Vulgate (fourth to fifth centuries A.D.), “neither to domineer over a man”; the Geneva Bible (1560 ed.), “neither to usurpe authority over a man”; the Bishops Bible (1589), “neither to usurpe authority over a man”; and the King James Bible (1611), “nor usurp authority over a man.” In none of these cases can the translators be suspected of having a modern, “feminist” bias in translating authentein with a negative sense of “domineer” or “usurp authority.” These instances show that the “traditional” translation of authentein as “exercise authority” is neither uniform nor self-evident in the history of interpretation; if anything it could be argued that the burden of proof is on the (now) “traditional” view to justify its translation choice. (John Jefferson Davis, “First Timothy 2:12, the Ordination of Women, and Paul’s Use of Creation Narratives,” Priscilla Papers Vol. 23, No. 2, Spring 2009; p. 5)

    Or in other words, back when men weren’t being threatened by equality with women in church leadership, they were free to translate the text more faithfully.

  3. Some others:

    Bible in Basic English – “to have rule over”
    ASV – “to have dominion over”
    Youngs – “to rule a husband”

  4. Isn’t it amazing how self-contradictory Wayne Grudem can be? On the one hand, he affirms that authenteo in 1 Tim. 2:12 does not have any negative connotations and that there isn’t sufficient evidence in ancient Greek texts to so understand this verb and its cognates, yet in a footnote he admits there is at least one such text where it does refer to hostile action and attitudes, and so should be translated as “compell”? Not to mention the points brought up by Sue McCarthy’s response. Nor does he seem to be aware of, or willing to respond to, the comparative studies Linda Belleville and Kenneth Bailey have made on the Latin and Arabic translations of this text. For example, Kenneth Bailey states:

    So what is intended here? I would submit that the overtones of this rare, very strong word, make clear the author’s meaning. In Ephesus some women had acquired absolute authority over the men in the church and were verbally (and perhaps theologically) brutalizing them. Paul calls for a halt to this dehumanizing attack. Again our centuries-long middle-eastern exegetical tradition is instructive. The Peshitta Syriac (fourth century) translates with MAMRAHA. The root of this word has to do with insolence and bullying. The early Arabic versions, translated from the Greek, Syriac and Coptic, read either ‘YATA’AMARU’ (“to plot; to be domineering; to act as ‘lord’ and ‘master’; to be imperious”) or ‘YAJTARIU’ (“to be insolent”). The last two centuries have preferred ‘YATASALLAT’ (“to hold absolute sway”). Thus middle-eastern Christianity at least from the third century onward has always remembered that something dark and sub-Christian was involved (“Women in the New Testament: A Middle Eastern Cultural View,” THEOLOGY MATTERS, Vol. 6 No. 1, Jan/Feb 2000, p. 9)

    Now if Grudem was an honest and thorough Greek scholar, he would acknowledge that in understanding the meaning and significance of a rare hapax legomenon, such as authenteo, one must consult the earliest translations of the Greek NT in Latin, Syriac, Coptic, and Arabic. The fact that Grudem neither acknowleges or makes any reference to this evidence, which contradicts his own understanding of authenteo, leads me to doubt his sincerety to listen to egalitarians on this issue, or to seriously consider anything that goes against his set interpretation of this Pauline text.

  5. Frank,
    That is VERY valuable information. Thanks!

    From the evidence mounting against authenteo as a harmless word meaning nothing more than authority (and one must ask why Paul wouldn’t then have used a “normal” word meaning authority), one must really question the seriousness of Grudem’s challenge to take egalitarians seriously. There doesn’t appear to be any acknowledgement of the many people who have answered his challenges throughout the years since he originally put it out into the public or why their answers are not “good enough” to warrant a response (and by this I speak tongue in cheek).

  6. I don’t think he is an idiot. I think he is a very smart man. However all of us are capable of being blinded by our own agenda. I think he wants to believe what he does despite the evidence to the contrary. The sad thing about an agenda is that when one holds so tightly to their own agenda and becomes willingly blind to anything that would threaten that agenda, there isn’t much hope of changing that mind.

  7. “I don’t think he is an idiot. I think he is a very smart man. However all of us are capable of being blinded by our own agenda. I think he wants to believe what he does despite the evidence to the contrary. The sad thing about an agenda is that when one holds so tightly to their own agenda and becomes willingly blind to anything that would threaten that agenda, there isn’t much hope of changing that mind.”

    I don’t think he’s an idiot either. And if he is WILLINGLY blind because he wills to believe something despite the evidence to the contrary, then it is because his desire is corrupt which then plays out in his so-called “scholarship”.

  8. Cheryl, in the last paragraph of Comment 5, I incorrectly referred to authenteo as a “hapex legomena”; that needs to be corrected to “hapax legomenon.” I tried notifying you by regular e-mail of this needed correction, but for some reason it didn’t go through.

    And as regards the exchange between you and Stickler about Grudem’s blind agenda vs. his corrupt deliberation, I will say this. The problem with Grudem’s viewpoint and arguments are the very same we encountered in dealing with Chris, alias “Neopatriarch,” in our earlier discussion with him on 1 Tim. 2:11-15. It was the problem of a viewpoint, based on false or invalid presuppositions, argued consistently to its logical conclusion, while at the same time refusing to honestly confront and deal with the objections raised to both the presuppositions and the arguments flowing from them. As you will recall, one of the things I made clear to Chris was that while his arguments or syllogisms were formally correct, because they were based on a false or invalid premise, they and the conclusion they led to were also false.

    All arguments, viewpoints, worldviews, philosophies of life consist of four elements: 1) Presuppositions or axioms; 2) Logic or rational analysis; 3) Facts, or the data of experience; and 4) Conclusions–the results of rationally analyzing and interpreting the data of experience. Presuppositions control everything in the system; like rules in a game of chess, they determine what the possible moves are. And logic is limited completely by the presuppositions it works under; if the presuppositions are false, the more honest and consistent you are in arguing for your viewpoint, the farther and faster you will depart from God’s viewpoint in Scripture.

    That is why I have been, and continue to be, so vehemently opposed to the Neo-Arianism propagated by Wayne Grudem and Bruce Ware. For as Athanasius proved so long ago in opposing Arius, if you deny the Son of God possesses all that God the Father possesses as Deity, except his Fatherhood; and then make him a secondary God subservient to the Father, not only are you guilty of idolatry, but of necessity, you reduce the Son from being our only Lord and Savior to a Being who shows us how to merit acceptance with God.

    And so we have to constantly challenge the presuppositions underlying Grudem’s six questions as to whether they are biblically warranted; constantly challenge how well his arguments actually conform to the data of Scripture and unites this data in a rationally consistent and coherent way; and how practically, harmoniously, and fruitfully his viewpoint enables us, men and women, to live together the Spirit-filled life we are to live as the Body of Christ; trusting that the Holy Spirit will take the truth of God’s Word like a hammer and break down and reduce to rubble all strongholds and fortresses people raise against the truth of the Gospel of Christ. This is in part what Jude meant by our contending “for the faith that the Lord has once for all entrusted to us, his people” (Jude 3, TNIV).

    Sorry, I didn’t mean to preach a little sermon. But I think you know me well enough that I am deadly serious about contending for the Gospel Faith, whole and undefiled. I wish all Christians were.

  9. Frank,
    I know that you are very passionate and earnest about defending the gospel. I love your passion and the respectful way that you defend the truth. I believe that we need to contend earnestly for the truth and to do it with great passion and respect. I also believe that when a presupposition is false we are to identify the error and dismantle it. That means we can name it (the error) and thoroughly take apart the error piece by piece or just blast it to bits. However, I want to remain cautious so that on this blog we try to stay clear of judging the motives of the heart. It irks me a lot that these errors are being made and the way they are presented comes across as less than honest. I do want to continue to focus our discussion on the arguments so that complementarians who read the comments here will not think that we are bitter or angry people who bare a grudge against fellow Christians because of perceived wrongs. I know that it isn’t always possible to come across as respectful, but it is a good goal to keep in mind. I am preaching to myself so that I remember not to let emotions guide my words when I am trying to tear down a false argument.

    About the email not going through….hmmmm…. I am not sure why that would have happened. Did you perhaps miss a letter or put a wrong ending onto the email. It is mmoutreach [at] gmail [dot] com. Just replace the [at] with the symbol and the [dot] with a dot.

  10. By the way if I am slow in answering anyone, it is because I am back to work long hours again in my job as a video editor. I hope to be done by the end of August. In the meantime I will be on my blog as often as I can find time.

  11. This is a test. Please ignore this comment. I am testing if greek fonts can be shown in comments. Thanks.

    12 ????????? ?? ??? ?????, ??? ????? ??????? ?????,
    ??????? ?? ????? ??????? ????? ??????.

    I rejoiced in them all, because wisdom goes before them
    but I did not know that she was their originator

    Surprisingly, I am able to see the Greek fonts, at least in the preview of the comments.

  12. Sorry for causing problems. My sincere apologies. I think I froze up your blog with the above comment.

    Quick recovery though. Good job!

  13. I don’t know why the Greek fonts don’t work. My son usually helps me with these problems but he is on vacation. If anyone knows if there is any application that I need to make Greek fonts show up, that would be great.

  14. The thing with the Greek fonts not working is perplexing. My blog is running on WordPress.org software as well and they display just fine. A friend of mine is running the Mistylook theme at WordPress.com and they display fine there as well, so it’s not the theme.

    I have seen them not work on other WordPress.org blogs though, so I know it isn’t just you.

    Best I can suggest if your son can’t figure it out is to ask on the WordPress.org Support Forums. People there are usually pretty helpful.

  15. One more test …

    α β γ δ ε ζ η θ ι κ λ μ ν ξ ο π ρ σ ς τ υ φ χ ψ ω Γ Δ Θ Λ Ξ Π Σ Φ Ψ Ω

  16. Thy Peace,
    I have sent this information to my son. I’ll let him try to figure it out. Way too complicated for me. Thanks for researching this. I notice that his blog also cannot show the Greek fonts.

  17. one passage: The mistranslation hinges on the Greek verb, authentein.
    I have been a pastor for 35 years and a Christian for 45 years. I now have a house church and left the big church with all its innate competition.

    In my honest search of the word authenteo, it seams to have taken me to a sexual connotation, to murder and to dominate. It is clear that Paul was not referring to a man’s right of authority and that the women were abusing his authority… that is an assumption not scripture. If authenteo is a type of women teaching a mixed message with sexual overtones, we have it in Rev 2:20, “Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.” NKJV

    So we have a fact that this practice was done during the first century.

    In Mark 10:42-43, we have the perfect usage of the Greek word to “exercise authority over” katexousiazousin. We have a compound word with the preposition kata and the verb exousiazo.

    “You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you [including men]; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant.” Mark 10:42-43

    If authenteo in the Greek meant authority, why didn’t Paul use it in 1Tim. 2:2, just a few verses up? “Kings and all those in authority”

    My first message I preached was “the women should be silent in the church.” I was a young man that accepted the KJV as being infallible. Since then I question many of the words they have used: church, baptize, deacon, office of, apostle, etc..

    I have seen God use many women more than He was using me, so what can I say? I needed to follow the evidence and reexamine the scriptures and the Greek. I even thought maybe the men should be silent because of the injustices they have brought into God’s assemblies (church is the wrong word)!!! All through history it has been men that corrupted the assemblies (church), the translations and on and on. We have destroyed body ministry, given names to His assemblies, created deep divisions, organized it to where people don’t even experience friendship let alone first love. I say let the women speak.

  18. Andy,
    Welcome to my blog 🙂 What a powerful testimony you have!

    You said:

    If authenteo in the Greek meant authority, why didn’t Paul use it in 1Tim. 2:2, just a few verses up? “Kings and all those in authority”

    Excellent observation!!

  19. My anti-spam word this time was male.
    And it leads into what I wanted to say to you, Andy.
    Men and women need each other. I need you and other men.
    We get in big trouble when the eye says to the hand, “I have no need of you.”
    Women get frustrated when certain men think more highly of themselves than they ought and try to shut out women, basically saying, “I have no need of you, your ministry, your gifts.”
    But women also, at least some of us, (guess I can’t speak for all)…
    Anyway, stoney places in my heart melt when men put away from them the idea that they have preeminense over women and just extend the hand of brotherhood to their sisters.

  20. Andy: ‘“Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.” NKJV
    So we have a fact that this practice was done during the first century.’

    Question for you, Andy, if you are still around.
    Do we know that this practice has gone away and no longer plagues us in the twenty-first century?
    Or does such a teaching still exist under a different name, persona?
    I’m not setting you up. I’m just wondering if you have noticed anything in your journeys.

    🙂 my anti-spam word is timer. And this is a question concerning the times. 🙂 . Oh, well, it entertained me even if it didn’t entertain anyone else.

  21. Mara your question: “Do we know that this practice has gone away and no longer plagues us in the twenty-first century? Or does such a teaching still exist under a different name, persona? I’m not setting you up. I’m just wondering if you have noticed anything in your journeys.”

    Yes. it still exists under the heading of grace and other reasonings. I don’t want to put in print what I heard from a person who went to a pastor for counseling with a sexual problem; I can only say this, he told him that his sexual sin gave him ballast in his life.

    We know that the environment of Ephesus was centered on the goddess Diana (Artemis) and for a man to have sex with the female priestess of Diana was to enhance ones spiritual sensitivity. It is hard to conceive any Christian society not being influenced by pagan practices. I could write volumes on this. Just look and sex in the church, the world’s practices may not be taught, but we have their influence just the same. How often do we hear of Christians living together and not being married? Having sex before marriage? We make no stand of these issues and ones salvation.

    We can understand some to these priestesses getting saved and having some of these beliefs, one doesn’t have to extend their imagination very much. Deception and compromise has been with us and will continue.

    I did a very long article on “women in the church” on my website. It deals with head covering, silence in 1 Cor 14 and the whole issue in 1 Tim 2.
    http://www.therealchurch.com/articles/women_in_the_church.html

    In 30 plus years I have taken much material form many books… sorry I didn’t put in the quotes. Hopefully the authors will forgive me. It has been too long and too much material.
    Andy

  22. Andy,
    Sorry it took so long to get your comment out of moderation. Usually comments are not moderated after the first comment, but for some reason your second comment went into my moderation box. I am out of the country right now on a ministry trip so I am slower than usual in getting to the comments.

  23. Mark, here are the links from the page I gave you…..
    Response to Johm M. Reynolds
    http://powerscourt.blogspot.com/2008/01/response-to-john-mark-reynolds.html

    Grudem and kephale
    http://powerscourt.blogspot.com/2008/01/grudem-and-ptolemy.html

    Grudem and Glare
    http://powerscourt.blogspot.com/2008/01/grudem-and-glare.html

    Omitted Citations
    http://powerscourt.blogspot.com/2008/01/omitted-citations.html

    kephale in Literature
    http://powerscourt.blogspot.com/2008/01/kephale-in-literature.html

    McCarthy’s note on the page I sent was…..

    “The foremost example which Grudem uses to prove that kephale means “authority over” is,

    “the king of Egypt is called “head” of the nation”

    Grudem used this quote on Jan. 19, 2008, on the Gender Blog. However, in Appendix 1A of Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, he wrote,

    19) Philo, Moses 2.30: As the head is the ruling place in the living body, so Ptolemy [Ptolemy Philadelphos] became among kings.
    Cervin does not think that head means ruler here because Philo says that Philadelphos is the head of kings, not in the sense of ruling them, but as the preeminent king among the rest. Philadelphos is the top of the kings just as the head is the top of an animal’s body. . . . This example is therefore to be rejected (p. 100).”

    Grudem continues in RBMW Appendix 1B to discuss this example. However, he fails to show that it means “authority over.” This is Grudem’s best piece of evidence and proves the opposite of his thesis, which is that kephale means authority. It obviously doesn’t. The rest of Grudem’s examples are similar. However, what is the point of quoting them if Grudem just recycles rejected evidence?

    That should help!

  24. TL,
    Not a problem with all the links. Unfortunately my blog spam-catcher can’t discern between the good links and the bad ones. And I am just going to bed now so your comments could have stayed in the moderation box for awhile while we are heading home.

  25. Kephale

    God doesn’t base His word on pagan meanings, though they may be good for a ball park understanding. Usage must fit the heart and context of scriptures. Two things we must understand about kephale: one, kephale cannot go beyond the context of Jesus’ view of any kind of leadership, the servant’s heart is in every scripture dealing with those who are strong in the Lord. Second principles are not laws, in some cases the opposite may be the case. If a house has a very strong woman of faith, wisdom and obedience in the Lord, she may function best as head than the man. My family is a good case in point, my mother was the most wonderful humble Christian I have ever know [often she would wash my father’s feet], so since my dad is male in sex, should I follow his direction and opinions… thank God I didn’t. Who is hearing from God?

    As a pastor, I gave many bad counsel at the beginning of my ministry telling the spiritual person of the house (the woman) that she had to submit to her husband as her head. It showed that I didn’t understand head and I didn’t understand the Lord.

    We can look in classical Greek or koine Greek and we will find many general usages of a word and some specific or special usages… we have tons of this in English: “He lives in a vacuum.” No one can really live in a vacuum, they would die. We didn’t invent broad usages of words.

    So kephale has been used as source, used as someone most recognized, some one in authority and on and on. So how do we get the correct meaning? By looking a pagan leaders? Jesus’ life is always the best test for words. Jesus is head of the called out ones… and we better be called out of the world if we are to be His bride.

    Let’s take our most difficult passage, Eph 5:22-24

    “Wives, submit to your own husbands, AS to the Lord [not as to the authority but as to the Lord] For the husband is head of the wife, AS also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior [deliver and provider – sounds like an argument for source. It does not say as Jesus is the authority of the body, but the savior.] of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ [as it source of salvation and provision], so let the wives be to their own husbands [as source and provider] in everything.” NKJV

    Obviously if the husband tells her to kill herself, she is not to do so, because her finale and basis of obedience is “as to the Lord.” When there is a conflict between my belief in God and government, I am to obey God rather than man.

    Rom 13:1-4, “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. 4 For he is God’s minister to you for good.” NKJV

    Slaves are told to obey their masters. And these principles are good according to the civil laws that are to protect us as a society, but when government, a man or anyone else violates our conscience toward God… we are not to obey men but God.

    Jesus, as the head of the church, washed the disciple’s feet, He went on to tell them that His example was for them to follow. If the head washed the feet of the disciples, what should the head of the house do? We can’t drag pagan meaning here when Jesus’ action speaks louder than words.

    “Do you know what I have done to you? You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant [Gr. doulos bondservant or slave] is not greater than his master [Gr. kurios = Lord]; nor is HE WHO IS SENT greater than He [Jesus] who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.” John 13:12-17
    “Paul, a bondservant [Gr. doulos] of Jesus Christ [the sender], called to be an apostle [one sent], separated to the gospel of God [task]” Rom 1:1-2, NKJV

    This is the hallmark and foundation of all leaders.

    “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them [that is the pagan way of operating]. Yet it shall NOT be so among you [this should never happen, but sadly it does]; but whoever desires to become GREAT among you, let him be YOUR SERVANT [the very opposite of the pagan system and language.]. And whoever desires to BE FIRST [or head] among you, let him be your slave — JUST AS the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Matt 20:25-28, NKJV
    I love those “AS” words.

    Is that not the point that Jesus made for the husband, to lay down his life for his wife as He did for those He called out? The head is to be the strong man of the house and protect his home. He is not to be a hireling that runs in the sight of danger. He is to protect them and provide for them. He is to be a guide through his life and mannerism. He is to use the word to sanctify his wife… the authority is always in the word, not man’s opinion. NO person has authority, so how can we put authority in “head”? There is only one authority and it is Jesus and His word. Paul’s appeal to authority was the Gospel. 1 Cor 9:18, “that I may not abuse my authority IN the gospel.” NKJV Not in his opinions, but in the gospel. A new Christian with the word of the Lord has more authority over a 50 year old deceived saint. Jesus was young; the high priest was old… Jesus had the word of the Father and that is what the centurion saw in Him. He had not authority except through the word of the Father. If Jesus did not obey the Father, He would have fallen as Adam… of course that is rather ridicules but my point should be clear.

    If we don’t understand authority and servanthood, we will dabble with our biases in search of pagan languages to have it our way. We must let the ground rules speak into our understanding.

  26. “We can look in classical Greek or koine Greek and we will find many general usages of a word and some specific or special usages… we have tons of this in English: “He lives in a vacuum.” No one can really live in a vacuum, they would die. We didn’t invent broad usages of words.”

    Andy,
    I luv your example using ‘vacuum’!

    “Is that not the point that Jesus made for the husband, to lay down his life for his wife as He did for those He called out? The head is to be the strong man of the house and protect his home. He is not to be a hireling that runs in the sight of danger. He is to protect them and provide for them.”

    And many times, as for a friend of mine, these have been “roles” are reversed. Her husband suffered a head injury in an auto accident that has left him in near vegetative state since 1998. God has given her the “role” to lead, protect and provide for her husband.

  27. As men and women we have all built a lot of fences and walls that are dividing us. We have missed the major issues for the sake of the minor issues. I guess I tremendously disagree in what is happening in this country as far as the body of Christ goes and not just with women. I weep and cry over its many divisions and the lack of real concern I see in those who have been entrusted with the sheep. I feel we have all been riding the side roads too long, we need to get back on the main road again. Love is the bond of perfectness and nothing we do or achieve will surmount the place of Love. Yes capital ‘L’
    I for years have been bothered by my aggressive personality… it comes from that old airborne/ steel worker in me. I fear no man and don’t mind telling folks what I think when they are wrong. The bulk of my aggression was done away with about 30 years ago. Recently (last 10 years) I have been learning that I am not ready to be used of God… I would be an offense to Him and bring shame to Him as His disciple.
    I am looking at the beatitudes with a much keener heart and eye. I need to change… and so do we all if God is going to use us. What are our kids seeing in us? Scripture tells me that Jesus was lowly and gentle of heart. That is what I want and that is what we all we need.
    I am living at 777 Wilderness Ave, Preparation City, Heaven and God is reducing me to nothing… I don’t have many more years to make mistakes [70 now]. I am working on being nothing… and have invited other to move in with me at my new home…it is just behind the cross. Institutional church, House church, simple church… maybe no church… it is all about what is in the room or building

  28. Andy,
    I read through some of your material online and I can see that we have a very similar heart cry for unity in the church. I am currently working on a project on one issue where there is great division and it tears at my heart. I want to see the church whole in Jesus.

    I also read through some of your material on women and I can see your heart for God and for women. I think that you will find a great deal of help in my DVD set on women in ministry especially over the issue of the head covering. There is a traditional meaning for the head covering that we have not typically been taught so that Paul’s precise meaning in 1 Cor. 11 has been misunderstood and the passage has been given a completely opposite meaning by most in their ignorance. A clip from the DVD series on head coverings is here

    I would recommend that you order the DVD set as I believe that it will fill in the gaps on some issues for you.

  29. So, I take it, Andy, that men like Mark Driscoll may not be your favorites right now?

    You don’t have to answer that.

    My comment was just my way of agreeing that the “who would Jesus smack down” gospel is a false gospel.

    While God is calling some to tone down, He calls others to stop burying their talents and wasting what God has given them.

    In the end, what matters is how much we allow the love of God to flow through our hearts and onto others.

    That thing Jesus said, you know, “Bless those who curse you.”
    He meant that.
    Tough word.
    Powerful word.

  30. “In the end, what matters is how much we allow the love of God to flow through our hearts and onto others.”

    So true, Mara. Jesus never said the world be able to tell who His disciples were by how well they stayed within designated gender ‘roles,’ but “By this all men will know that you are My disciples,
    if you have love for one another.” John 13:35
    Yup, it’s all about the loving and serving one another.

    BTW my spam word is LOVE – how fitting!

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