Mike Seaver and Cheryl Schatz discuss/debate women in ministry 5

Mike Seaver and Cheryl Schatz discuss/debate women in ministry 5


Are men restricted? Mike Seaver and Cheryl Schatz discussion/debate on women in ministry

Are Men Restricted?

This is question #3 of a 10 question debate between Mike Seaver and Cheryl Schatz on the issue of women in ministry.  The discussion will take the form of five questions posed by Cheryl Schatz with answers by Mike Seaver and then five questions posed by Mike Seaver with answers by Cheryl Schatz.  Each question and answer session will be followed up in the next post by one response each from both Mike and Cheryl.  Links to the questions and the responses will be at the bottom of this post.


#3 Question by Cheryl Schatz:

Does God have a “law” that forbids men from listening to a woman teach the Bible?  If so, then where is this law given to men?  If not, why not?   Why would it be a sin for a woman to teach the Bible but not an equal sin for a man to allow her to teach him?  Also if men are not allowed to listen to a woman teach, then how will they be able to correct her errors?  Are women the only ones that men cannot listen to their teaching and cannot correct their errors because they cannot listen for fear of being taught?


#3 Answer by Mike Seaver:

Great question!  I think based on my view of 1Timothy 2:12, just like a woman should not teach or exercise authority over a man (and I’m saying teach or exercise authority by teaching the Bible) I think a man should equally not place himself under the authority of a woman’s teaching.  I would agree that this would be equally going against Scripture.  If a woman is not preaching sermons, then a man has no need to evaluate them because they do not happen.  If the woman is teaching other women, then she can be evaluated by the other ladies.  This happens all the time in my church.  We have very gifted ladies who teach and very gifted ladies who can evaluate.  My wife has a seminary masters degree…she is good at both teaching and evaluating other ladies.  She also gives me tons of helpful feedback about my own messages (a lot like Pricilla with Apollos).


In the next post, Cheryl will respond to Mike’s answer and Mike will have the last word on this question as he gives the rejoinder to Cheryl’s response.  The next post will go online August 19th.



Links to all segments of the debate:

Question #1 and Mike’s answers

Responses to Question #1

Question #2 and Mike’s answers

Responses to Question #2

Question #3 by Cheryl and Mike’s answers

Responses to Question #3

Question #4 by Cheryl and Mike’s answers

Responses to Question #4

Question #5 by Cheryl and Mike’s answers

Responses to Question #5

6 thoughts on “Mike Seaver and Cheryl Schatz discuss/debate women in ministry 5

  1. I have posted these comments on Mike’s blog…

    I do not follow how listening to someone teach places you under their authority.

    I do not follow how you can believe that teaching equates with authority as a comp and then be ok with your wife evaluating your teaching, as this would be placing yourself under her authority. Surely the person who accepts an evaluation of their teaching is accepting the evaluation with some degree of authority.

    My spam word for this comment is “Wife”…this seems to be giving a lot of power to the “Wife”…

  2. Dave, I agree with you. What Mike said in response to Cheryl’s question is logically inconsistent and incoherent for someone holding his view. And I tried posting the following questions to his website, but for some reason it would accept them:

    If 1 Tim. 2:12 is a divine law that prohibits women from expounding and applying God’s Word to mixed audiences in general, and of men in particular, in all times and in all places, then how do you account for the prophetic ministries of Deborah and Huldah?

    In the first case, Deborah was both a prophet and judge, raised up by God, and given the same authority and approval as was Samuel, the last of the prophet/judges. And there is nothing in the OT that suggests she was God’s “second best” choice, nor any indication that the other leaders were rebuked for following her.

    And in Huldah’s case, who was a contemporary of Jeremiah, King Josiah sent his envoys directly to her for interpretation of the Mosaic Law in a time of national crisis. Yet there is nothing in the OT that indicates either she sinned in giving the king counsel from Scripture, nor that the king sinned in receiving and acting on it.

    Now if, as complementarians argue, that Paul’s use of the creation narrative in 1 Tim. 2:12-14 is intended to prohibit women in all circumstances in authoritatively teaching men in the covenant community, whether it be Israel or the Church, then the Apostle is forbidding what God in these two cases permitted. Isn’t this a blatant condtradiction within the canon of Scripture itself? And if not, why not? How would you explain this contradiction of Scriture, if you, like myself, don’t believe there is any true contradiction within Scripture?

  3. Frank,

    Try posting it again – I had to post everything twice – the second time it should go through to his moderation. Nice post – don’t give up.

  4. Frank,

    As far as I can tell, complementarians see the Bible as being full of exceptional cases and special circumstances. People like you and I see all of scripture as the whole counsel of God.

  5. Kay,

    I tried posting my comments on Mike’s site a second time, and if I read the message that popped up, I think it went through but will be posted later. And I think your are correct in your assessment of the complementarians understanding and use of Scripture. I also think it’s because of the linguistic-theological method they use in reading and applying the Scriptures to the modern churh.

    I have been working on a six part series of articles on my website regarding egalitarians and the Bible. And in one of them, I list what I view as the six key elements in properly reading and applying the Scriptures today. And if Cheryl will permit me, I would like to share them with you:

    1. Scripture has to be understood in terms of its own historical, cultural, and literary context before the modern interpreter can grasp the text’s true significance and application to modern intellectual, moral and socio-political issues. Any text read and applied apart from its context is nothing more than some pretext for a conservative, liberal or secular agenda unrelated to the teaching of Scripture itself. “It is necessary for us to take seriously the historical context of any given passage and of the Bible as a whole…Much misinterpretation has resulted from disregard for the historical context of the passage to be interpreted. A study of the Bible is always a study of a people. It is necessary therefore to enter the world of the Hebrew people and the people of the Early Church. This includes understanding their ways of thinking, their cultural pattern, and their distinctiveness amid the surrounding cultures and nations” (Willard M. Swartley. “Biblical Interpretation in the Life of the Church,” Slavery, Sabbath, War and Women: Case Issues in Biblical Interpretation, pp. 240-241).
    2. The whole testimony of Scripture must be taken into account when examining any doctrinal, ethical, or socio-political issue. Obscure portions of Scripture are to be explained by the clearer portions, with the overall spirit of the total teaching of Scripture serving as the final arbiter of the correct meaning, significance, and application of the individual text under consideration. “One of the major errors in biblical interpretation is the failure to relate a given passage of Scripture to the overall message of Scripture. It is therefore necessary to take seriously the message of the Bible as a whole and compare Scripture with Scripture. This requires acquaintance with the unfolding drama of the Bible, its major themes, and how the various themes are related and integrated into a whole” (Swartley, “Biblical Interpretation in the Life of the Church,” Slavery, Sabbath, War and Women, pp. 241-242).
    3. A text or portion of Scripture must be interpreted and applied appropriately according to its intended main emphasis as confirmed by the immediate or larger context of Scripture, and never for any attendant features. For example, prior to the American Civil War, various Christians who defended the institution of slavery argued: Since Abraham was a man of faith and a friend of God who was never censured for being a slave-owner, then one could own slaves without losing his good standing as a Christian, provided he was a benevolent slave master like Abraham. But the real question to ask was, “Is it proper and right to use the life of Abraham to defend the institution of slavery?” If so, Mormons and other sects, both then and now, ask on what grounds they are being punished for their practice of concubinage and polygamy. If Abraham and the other Patriarchs, as men of faith approved by God, were not censured for their practice of concubinage and polygamy, then why were they being condemned and punished for doing what these OT saints were permitted to do? Therefore, instead of using these Patriarchal narratives to defend slavery and polygamy, they should be used, as the author of Hebrews indicates in Chapter 11 of his letter, to show how the testing of Abraham’s faith in God and his promises, is to serve as an example of the Christian’s call to a life of steadfastness and faithfulness.
    4. The fourth principle is that of Typological or Analogical/Messianic interpretation. This rule not only incorporates the concept that the relationship between the Old and New Testaments is one of Promise and Fulfillment, but also that of analogical typology between key OT persons, events and religious institutions with the Lord Jesus Christ and his Church in their joint redemptive mission, which has inaugurated the present and yet future Kingdom of God that awaits the Second Coming for its full, glorious manifestation in the world. The mainstream of biblical scholarship now recognizes that typology expresses the basic hermeneutic, indeed the attitude or perspective, by which both OT and NT writers understood themselves and their predecessors. “Each new community in the ongoing development of salvation history viewed itself analogously in terms of the past. This is true within the OT as well as in the NT use of the OT. The two major sources, of course, were creation and the Exodus. Creation typology is especially seen in Rom. 5 and the Adam-Christ parallel, while Exodus or covenantal typology predominates in both testaments. Positively, the Exodus was behind the redemptive imagery in Isa. 51-52 as well as NT salvific concepts (e.g., 1 Cor. 10:1-6). Negatively, the wilderness wanderings became the model for future admonition (e.g., Ps. 95:7-8; Heb. 4:3-11)” (cf. Grant R. Osborne, “Type, Typology,” The Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, ed. Walter A. Elwell, p.1118).
    5. The fifth principle is that of the Pauline eschatological rule of the New Creation/New Age, which is clearly set forth in such Pauline texts as Rom. 4:13-17; 8:9-25; 1 Cor. 12:12-27; 2 Cor 5:11-6:2; Gal. 3:26-4:7 and Eph. 2:11-22. According to this biblical/theological rule, Paul teaches that through “the Christ event”–i.e., by means of Jesus Christ’s life, death, resurrection and his pouring out of the Holy Spirit on the Church–the eschatological promise of the Abrahamic Covenant is realized at the end of the Old Age, which is passing away at the dawning of the New Age inaugurated by the first advent of Christ and which awaits his Second Coming for its full realization. And this fulfillment of the Abrahamic Covenant, both in Christ and those united with him, who is “the Seed of Abraham”-i.e., “the new humanity” and Body of Christ, made up of all who are united with Christ by faith, who all have received the New Covenant sign of baptism, who all live by the Law of Christ, who all have been renewed and baptized into that Body by the one Spirit who gifts and calls all followers of Christ to works of ministry–results in all believers lovingly worshipping God and serving humanity as did Christ, the Son of God and the Son of Abraham. “It is especially difficult for most of us to imagine the effect of Paul’s [teaching] in a culture where position and status preserved order through basically uncrossable boundaries. Paul asserts that when people come into the fellowship of Christ Jesus, significance is no longer to be found in being Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female. The all-embracing nature of this affirmation, its counter-cultural significance, the fact that it equally disadvantages all by equally advantaging all–these stand at the very heart of a culture sustained by people maintaining the right position and status. But in Christ Jesus, the One whose death and resurrection inaugurated the new creation, all things have become new; the new era has dawned. The new creation, therefore, must be our starting point regarding gender issues, because this is theologically where Paul lived. Everything else he says comes out of this worldview of what has happened in the coming of Christ in the Spirit” (Cf. Gordon Fee. “Gender Issues: Reflections on the Perspective of the Apostle Paul,” Listening to the Spirit in the Text, pp. 59-61).
    6. Lastly there is what I will tentatively call the pneumatic-communal rule of interpretation and application of Scripture. This form of explaining and applying the Scriptures involves the cooperation that must exist between the Holy Spirit and the Church in settling controversies and disputes that affect the life and ministry of the whole Body of Christ. And there are several distinct but related elements that constitute this form of Biblical interpretation and application:
    First, it involves the recognition by both leaders and the congregations that the teaching and guiding ministry of the Holy Spirit did not cease with the completion of the NT canon and the death of the original apostles of Christ. For the Holy Spirit is and remains, until Christ returns, the Ultimate Author and Interpreter of Scripture. He is still present and active in the Church, leading all true believers to a unified understanding of and compliance with the mind and will of the Lord Jesus Christ, the One and Only Head of the Church, as revealed in the Scriptures which he, the Holy Spirit, himself inspired (Cf. 1 Cor. 2:6-16; 13:1-14:1; 2 Tim. 3:14-16; 1 Jn. 2:27, TEV).
    Secondly, in every generation , the Lord Jesus Christ, through the Holy Spirit, gifts and calls both men and women to be church-planters, preachers, evangelists, and pastor-teachers (1 Cor. 12:1-14, 27-30; Eph. 4:7-11). Their responsibility is not only to bring Christians under their care to spiritual maturity in Christ, but also to help them discover their gifts and calling, then train them to be both biblically and theologically literate as well as practically competent so that are they are fully equipped for the “works of service” Christ wants all his people to do within the Body and in reaching the needy world around them (1 Cor. 14:1-12; Eph. 4:8-10). But they are not to lord it over the people, nor deny the gifting and calling they have received from the Spirit, who gifts and calls both men and women to ministry in full agreement with the desires and choices of both the Father and Son (Cf. 1 Pet. 5:1-4; John 16:12-15; 1 Cor. 12:4-7).
    Thirdly, it involves both leaders and people, working together and holding each other accountable to maintain the unity of truth, love and righteousness which is to mark the Church, the Body of Christ (Cf. Eph. 4:1-6). Not only are leaders to help the congregation stand firm in the faith, live righteous lives, and engage in effective ministry consistent with the Spirit’s gifting and calling, but the people, as fellow servants of the Lord and his Word, must also rebuke the leaders when they forget they are guides and equippers, and seek to be lords of the congregation when there is only one Lord, Jesus Christ; or when they depart from essential Christian doctrine and start teaching their own opinions as Gospel truth; or when they live such ungodly lives that Christ and the Gospel are profaned because of them (Cf. 1 Thess. 5:19-20; 1 Tim. 5:17-21; Jude3-4).

    And I would also argue that this communal aspect of maintaining the unity and purity of the Church in life, doctrine and worship is, according to Alister McGrath, what the Reformers ideally understood to be the true nature and practice of the priesthood of all believers:
    On the basis of the doctrine of the universal priesthood of believers, Luther insisted that every Christian has the right to interpret the Bible and to raise concerns about any aspect of the church’s teaching or practice that appears to be inconsistent with the Bible. There is no “spiritual” authority, distinct from or superior to ordinary Christians, who can impose certain readings of the Bible upon the church…Luther clearly believed that the Bible was sufficiently clear for ordinary Christians to be able to read and understand it…Luther insisted that all believers have the right to read the Bible in a language they can understand and to interpret its meaning for themselves. The church is thus held accountable to its members for its interpretation of the sacred text and is open to challenge at every point. The significance of Luther’s point can hardly be overlooked. By insisting it had a divinely ordained monopoly on biblical interpretation, the medieval church had declared itself to be above criticism on biblical grounds. No external critic had the authority to interpret Scripture and thus apply it to criticize the church’s doctrines or practices. Luthers’s response was to empower the laity as interpreters of the Bible and to hold the church accountable to its people for what it taught. And if they were not satisfied with the outcome, they, as laity, had the right to demand a reforming council be convened to address their concerns (Cf. Alister E. McGrath. Christianity’s Dangerous Idea: The Protestant Revolution, p. 53).
    Therefore, on the basis of this pneumatic-communal rule, which is, in fact, the authentic practice of the universal priesthood of all believers–I would finally argue that in times of great doctrinal conflict and debate, not only the leaders but also representative members of the congregations, women as well as men, need to come together in a “reform” council for earnest, soul-searching prayer; careful and thorough study of what actually teach on the issue being discussed, depending on the Spirit of truth to bring all to a unified understanding of God’s mind and will therein revealed (Cf. Acts 15:1-6). After all the concerns and issues of all the parties involved in the controversy have been given a full and fair consideration–apart from any humiliation, censorship, or coercion of one party by the other–whether it be by a special “prophetic word” or not, it must be by the Holy Spirit that all come to a unified understanding and consensus as what the “true doctrine” is and how it is to be applied (Cf. Acts 15:30-36). For only through this process of pneumatic-communal reading, explanation and application of Scripture can the unity and peace of the Church be restored; only then can all Christians joyfully and harmoniously work together; only then can the Gospel of Christ, spread by a Spirit-renewed, united, and empowered Church, have the transforming impact in society and in the larger world (Cf. Acts 15:30-36).

    Well, it’s a bit long, I will admit. But I hope you all find this informative and helpful. And please offer any constructive criticism you might have as well. As a teacher and apologist, I need all the help I can get. Thanks.

  6. Mike writes:
    “I think a man should equally not place himself under the authority of a woman’s teaching. I would agree that this would be equally going against Scripture.”

    To accommodate the varying “I thinks” (opinions) among heirchalists the following are examples of how their religion is applied:

    From “A Personal Confession – A Public Challenge
    By Our Love Shall All People Know We Are His Disciples” by
    Wade Burleson at the Midwest Regional New Baptist Covenant Conference, August 6th http://kerussocharis.blogspot.com/2009/08/personal-confession-public-challenge.html
    “I will never forget the email I received from one of the young ladies in our Baptist seminaries who wrote me, confiding that she typed with tears in her eyes, having just come from her “preaching class” where the professor allowed all the “men and boys” in the class to remove themselves from the room so they would not be subjected to hearing a woman teach the Word of God. The young lady found herself preaching to the walls and wondered whether or not she had a place in Baptist life.”

    Pastor Steve Anderson Faithful Word Baptist Church Tempe, AZ from “The Role of Women in the Church” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EuBhLp2H-aw&feature=channel beginning at 7:13 minutes
    “Now many churches permit women to say, ‘Amen’. Now, I don’t agree with that because I think that women are ‘to learn in silence’. Now the same term ‘Amen’ you are expressing ‘I agree with you. I stand where you stand.’ Look, that’s…we don’t believe in women expressing their opinion during the preaching, during the learning. It’s time for you to be ‘in silence’. I didn’t write the bible; that’s what it says. So, I don’t believe women should say, ‘Amen’…

    SIDE NOTE: Pastor Steve Anderson does not admonish the women to refrain from laughter throughout his sermon which is, I believe, expressing an opinion, too.
    I also am not persenting Pastor Steve Anderson as reflective of all heirchalists or baptists, but this is the tone and attitude that is inevitably perpetuated in various ways when you embrace the system of thought of a heirchal structure and erect boundaries to ensure there is no infringement upon the structure.

    By Sam Hodges “Baptists at odds over removal of female professor: Seminary case fuels debate on women’s role in theology programs” from The Dallas Morning News January 19, 2007 http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/religion/stories/012007dnmetnubaptists.176f48d.html
    “But some conservatives say Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, under president Paige Patterson, wrongly applied [1 Timothy] to remove from its faculty Sheri Klouda, who until last year had been teaching men Hebrew in the seminary’s school of theology.
    The controversy is yet another sign that conservatives…are seriously at odds…
    “Sheri Klouda is not a pastor, she has not been ordained or licensed, she does not perform ministerial duties. She is a professor, for heaven’s sake,” Mr. Burleson said by phone Friday. “The same institution that conferred her degree and hired her has now removed her for gender. To me, that is a very serious, ethical, moral breach.”
    Dr. Patterson did not respond to requests for comment. Speaking for the seminary instead was Van McClain, chairman of the Southwestern trustees…
    …Dr. McClain did say that Dr. Klouda’s hiring as a professor in the school of theology, which occurred before Dr. Patterson arrived in 2003, represented a *****”momentary lax of the parameters.”***** (emphasis added)

    I think these speak for themselves.

    The latter example also shows the flux of the boundaries of what is permissible from one heirchalist leader to another.

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