I have been notified that my Women in Ministry blog has been picked as one of the top 55 pastor bloggers on the online Christian Colleges websitehere. My blog is listed up women pastors. Also, my blog has been picked up as a biblioblog by biblioblogtop50.wordpress.com and this biblio blog site. It is nice to see that the issue of women in ministry has received notice.
I have been invited by Pastor Dave Woolcott to participate in a new blog conference on women’s eldership in the church put on by the Ryde Presbyterian Church in Ryde, Sidney, Australia. The blog address for the conference set for September 1 – 15, 2009 is http://www.achurchinryde.com/blog/The blog is on line now and active and I invite you to participate by commenting on Dave’s blog.
There is a thought-provoking article on “Should a Pastor Rule Over You?” It is very appropriate to the issue of women in ministry and what the real issues are. …
I recently came across a blog article by Pastor Brian Mann who although he is a complementarian, admits that God affirms women’s preaching. Mann writes:
I am not sure we are completely biblical in many circles concerning the way God views women in ministry. And considering this subject, there is much to learn.
Pastor Mann makes an excellent point about the personification of wisdom in Proverbs, and it is a point that I think we should make note of:
“Wisdom shouts in the street, She lifts her voice in the square; At the head of the noisy streets she cries out; At the entrance of the gates in the city, she utters her sayings” (Proverbs 1:20-21 NASB).
Here we have Wisdom personified as a woman. And she is in places like ‘the square’, ‘the noisy streets’, and ‘the entrance of the gates in the city’. These are places that are places of business. It is where the elders gathered in 4:1-2 to decide on the fate of Ruth and Naomi. And it had become a regular place where there elders of the city would gather and men would do business, legal business. And to be known as a man by the elders or to be an elder of the city was indeed a particular privilege (See Prov. 31:22-23).
After giving the account where the women were sent forth as witnesses to the disciples of the good news of the resurrection, Pastor Mann states that the men did not believe the women. Then he writes: …
Wade Burleson has written an exceptionally thought-provoking post on the difference between one young woman’s journey through her pain (it appears to be a rejection of herself by a boyfriend) into the pathway of accepting a tradition that gives authoritarian license to males vs one young slave woman’s courage in standing up against authoritarian license. I highly recommend you read Wade’s post found here especially for the account of the courageous stand of a slave girl that Wade copies at the end of his post.
Certainly one can have a “recovery” if that person is actually recovering from a bitterness towards men. But depicting egalitarianism in the church as being based on hatred of male authority or a bitterness towards men is a false recovery. Bitterness towards men is no different than bitterness towards women or bitterness towards another race. When someone has hurt you and your self worth has been damaged, one will be tender and sensitive and often people go through many steps of recovery before they can get past the bitterness and intense hurt. However identifying egalitarians (or as Courtney calls them feminists) as ones fighting against authority is a very serious mistake and one might question what she was really recovering from. Bitterness is bitterness. It is a sinful state of the heart that comes from our sin as a reaction to our hurt, not from our belief about the ability for men and women to serve God in the way that he has called them.
False recovery taints the recovery process. It fails to identify where the problem lies. Identifying a false source of the problem can replace one bondage for another. It also can alienate another group of believers seeing them as the problem instead of identifying the heart attitude as the problem.
USA Today has an editorial written by David P Gushee in which Mr. Gushee challenges complementarians that they are actually semi-egalitarians and they should be willing to openly acknowledge this. Gushee says that he writes about this issue as a moderate evangelical Christian.
Gushee writes that there are many theologically conservative Christians who accept Sarah Palin as the Republical vice presidential nominee. Yet at the same time:
…at the local church level many congregations would not accept Palin or any other woman even as associate pastor, or deacon, or youth minister or Sunday school teacher in a gender-mixed classroom. The most conservative would not consider it appropriate for her to stand behind a pulpit and preach a sermon, or teach from the Bible, or lead a praise chorus, or offer a prayer, unless her audience consisted entirely of women or children.
He notes that even CBMW (Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood) who Gushee calls “an influential advocacy group” and who are against women teaching men in the church, have no problem in allowing for a woman to serve as vice president of the country. CBMW has replied to the article welcoming Gushee’s questions:
Dr. Gushee is the Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics at Mercer University and challenges complementarians with many questions in the September 15, 2008 issue of USA Today.
While we are honored that Dr. Gushee considers CBMW “an influential advocacy group” on gender issues, we don’t claim to represent the “evangelical voting base,” or even all complementarians.
It certainly is a fact that CBMW does not represent all complementarians. There is a group called Vision Forum who were formerly associated with CBMW from its beginning, but who have since separated themselves from CBMW now calling CBMW in actuality semi-egalitarians. Vision Forum has written that Dr. Gushee is “spot on”. In an article regarding USA Today’s editorial, Doug Phillips writes this about CBMW:
It is our view, however, that they have erred by overtly embracing an egalitarian perspective of the roles of men and women in the public arena.
Wade Burleson has blogged on the Trinity and the unorthodox trend that has come into the church that teaches an eternally subordinated Son of God in the Trinity.
The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood is composed of many Southern Baptists who are introducing to evangelicalism a novel, if not peculiar, view of Christ which has more in common with Arianism than the historic, orthodox view of Christ’s person. The theologians and teachers who write for the CBMW are teaching what they call “the eternal subordination of the Son to the Father” as a basis for their hierarchal view that the female is to be subordinate to the male. Women’s subordination to man, according to the teachings of CBMW, is not a consequence of sin or a reflection of cultural values, but is built upon the heirachical order God established before the fall as a reflection of the Trinity.
This view of the Trinity has been used by some complementarians who have a lot of sway in Southern Baptist circles to support the functional subordination of women. I would recommend that you read what Wade has written and then have a read through the comments on his blog as well. It is a frightening thing to me to see the spread of this unorthodox doctrine and how many have accepted it as gospel truth.
This is a response to an article called “A Deeper Look into: 1 Timothy 2:12” by an author posting by the email address of firstname.lastname@example.org on September 23, 2008. I will leave his name off this post.
There are so many fallacies in the article that I hardly know where to start. However, let me start with the area that caused so many problems a year ago and I will give here what I should have said in the debate. The section I will be addressing is called:
What the Term “Quiet/Silent” Means
**See comments at the end** The author of this particular piece receives much of his information from an individual and ministry that he is very supportive of. His mentor in a debate a year ago made it clear that silence in 1 Timothy 2:12 does not mean complete silence, but rather quietness. He stated in that debate that if Paul was stopping a false deceived teacher from teaching her error to her husband (as I have shown from the context of 1 Timothy 2:11-15 and as he was trying to refute), then Paul used the wrong word and it should have been the Greek word meaning complete silence, otherwise, as this person said in our debate, it would mean that Paul is saying that this deceived woman can teach her error to her husband “just a little bit“. Hear the short audio clip here where this mentor denies that the word from 1 Timothy 2:12 means silence. Click here: Denial that 1 Timothy 2:12 means silence
This clip was taken from our audio debate a year ago. For the reasons why I am refuting a particular person’s theology but not using their name, please refer to this statement.
Well, let’s just take the reasoning and apply it to his own interpretation to see if doing something “just a little bit” will work for him. This “author”** writes:
This term “silence” is again used in 1 Timothy 2:12, but we can see Paul is using it in the opposite manner as opposed to 1 Tim 2:2. 1 Timothy 2:12 says, “I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over men, but to be silent.” It says not to have authority over men, but to be silent. In other words, quietness/silence here means the opposite of having authority over man. So it reads, do not exercise authority over men, but instead be silent.
I got a special hug today from Dr. Cynthia Kunsman a very brave lady who has been fighting a battle against authoritarian spiritual abuse. Cynthia sent me a link to a wonderful post about marriage and the head/body metaphor. I would like to share this link with you because I believe the article is very well written and balanced. Here is the link Who is in charge? Or who cares?
Mart De Haan writes:
I’m convinced that if we really listen to the text, the right question is not, “who’s in charge?”, but “who cares?” (i.e. who cares for one another as a head and body care for and cooperate with one another?)
I recommend that you browse through the article. It isn’t too long, but it is powerful.
Feel free to comment here and/or on Mart’s blog. Enjoy and thank you to Cynthia for sending this hug to me today! You can visit Cynthia’s blog here or her web site here. Cynthia’s material on hierarchy, spiritual abuse, the Family Integrated Church movement and more is extensive and thought-provoking.
Wade Burleson has produced a thought-provoking article about character assassination that comes as a result of fear. Wade writes:
It is almost an axiom of human nature that when you disagree with one’s positions, are fearful of the effect your opponent may have on altering the big picture, you attack the character of the person you wish to defeat. Unfortunately, the art of character assassination in Christian circles is alive and well.
…when other people are being influenced to take a different position than your’s, it is tempting to attack the character of your opponent…
May all of us involved with political processess, whether they be national and secular, or denominational and religious, focus on the issues and leave the character attacks at home.
I agree whole-heartedly with what Wade is saying. There is just too much focus on ad hominem (attacking the man) rather than addressing the argument. Attacking the person and name calling are a sign of a weak argument.
How is this played out regarding women in ministry? Those who are fearful of having women teaching doctrine in the church often use loaded language to put down the opposition. While they refuse to call a brother in Christ who is a Calvinist or an Arminian, a heretic (and good for them for not dividing over this secondary issue), they have no qualms about calling a sister in Christ a heretic for merely believing that women can use their God-given gifts for the benefit of all. Many others are calling into question the salvation of those who advocate women using their gifts for the common good. Is this godly?
I look forward to seeing a generation of women who have been freed to go forth preaching the gospel with boldness and without prejudice. CBMW (the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood) has already announced that complementarians are losing this battle. Churches one by one are freeing women to serve in the gifts that God has given them. Irving Bible Church in Irving, Texas is just one of the long list of churches who have changed their view of women in ministry. They are another example of godly men looking into God’s word and seeing it in context as not holding back God’s gifts given through women. God uses women for his own purposes and he gifts those he wants to use for his glory. When we fight our sisters in Christ and instead of addressing their concerns and their arguments, we call them heretics and we separate from them, we should stop and think whether we are fighting against God himself. We are told not to grieve the Holy Spirit. We grieve Him when we try to control and stop His gifts from being used without prejudice and we grieve Him when we separate over secondary issues of faith.
In my search on the world wide web, I have yet to come across egalitarians calling complementarians heretics merely for believing differently on this secondary issue of faith. I trust that it is rare for such name calling. However it is not rare for complementarians to call egalitarians heretics. This should never be. When one part of the body of Christ hurts, we all are hurt because we are all baptized into this one body. Those who mock and attack the character of a fellow Christian because they disagree on a secondary issue of faith need to repent lest they find themselves fighting against God Himself. This is the time when God’s judgment comes to the church first and then the world. Will we be found loving our brothers in Christ as we are commanded to by Jesus Himself, or will we be found ripping at the sheep using personal attacks instead of reasoning through why our arguments are so weak that we must resort to attacking the man? If we are fearful because of someone else’s position on a secondary issue of faith, may we resort to studying the word of God to show ourselves approved unto God a workman that does not need to be ashamed, rather than resorting to personal attacks. Passion is godly. Mocking and personal attacks is a tool of the enemy. Whose side will you be on?
I was also asked to have a place where we could list good blogs/web sites that promote godly views about women in ministry or issues of egalitarian marriage, etc. This post will be the permanent place to place links.
Pastor Wade Burleson http://kerussocharis.blogspot.com/ has been posting great articles on women in the church. While Wade may not agree with everything on women in ministry he is a great advocate for letting the Holy Spirit decide on who does what by the gifts that the Holy Spirit gives. You may want to page through some of the stuff that Wade writes regarding women to see how a “voice in the wilderness” is crying for sanity in the Southern Baptist Convention regarding women. Good stuff.
Wade Burleson’s father caught my attention quite a while ago and I just love the humility of Pastor Paul Burleson http://vtmbottomline.blogspot.com/ Pastor Paul often writes on the women’s issue and he is very supportive of using women’s gifts in the body of Christ. One of the things that I appreciate about Pastor Paul is his humble willingness to be taught. He does not look down on women or a person’s race or their age. He believes that he can learn from anyone when the person speaks the truth of God’s word. Paul speaks from the wisdom of his many years of service to the Lord Jesus.
Wayne Leman is a very caring man who started http://complegalitarian.blogspot.com/ This is a respectful place for both complementarians and egalitarians to dialog. Wayne is a bible translator and has a lot of wisdom in his years of service in the Lord as well. I have been privileged to meet Wayne in person and I greatly respect Wayne and his dear wife Elena and their hard work in bible translating.
Then there is a great egalitarian discussion board http://equalitycentral.com/forum where you can find friends, coffee and fellowship. Complementarians are welcome there too if they would like to dialog with respect. You will need to register to post, but it is worth the register to meet the great guys and gals there!
Go ahead and add to my list. This post will be the chief post where we can list great web sites and blogs about biblical equality.
For those who would like a picture to appear by your comments go to http://www.engravatar.com and sign up. This program will allow you to pick a picture from your hard drive or from the internet that will appear by your comments. Kind of cool.
Another very helpful web page ishttp://www.DoesGodReallyPreferMen.com where you can request a great ebook called “Does God really prefer Men?” This ebook is especially helpful in establishing the base of an egalitarian marriage. I also found her exegesis on some of the hard passages of scriptures to be very akin to my own finding in scripture. Leslie Johnson writes that this is because we have the same Dad, the same Savior and we are filled with the same Holy Spirit. I heartily agree! For those of you who are especially looking for resources on marriage, make sure to request this free e-book from Gary and Leslie Johnson.
Thanks to Don Veinot, I was introduced to “Thatmom” and her podcasts. Thatmom has started a series on examining the teachings of patriarchy and patriocentricity within the homeschooling community. Her talk is quite interesting especially regarding her points about “name-calling” where the patriarchs label people who do not agree with them.
Thatmom’s Introduction to Patriarchy is a good introduction to the issue of marriage and how it concerns women in ministry which we will be dealing with once I have finished the posts on the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Thatmom’s audio on patriarchy starts with the September 7th, 2007 edition.
While I am working on my next post about the spiritual gifts and the place of the Pastor, I would like to link to one more blog post this time by Pastor Paul Burleson. Lin brought attention to this wonderful article about the importance of God’s message over the messenger, called “The foolishness of Preaching“. I think there is really good wisdom here regarding the hard passages of scripture on the women’s issue.
Why are so many quick to condemn women Pastors or women bible teachers and not follow through with the same check list that they have created? Do they also see gifted male Pastors as being in sin if these male Pastors are not married? Do you also see godly men as sinning against God if they become Pastors before they have had children? If one is to be consistent in charging sin against a woman Pastor, then one must also charge unmarried or married but with no children, male Pastors. The link above is a good read and sparks some good food for thought especially in reading those who condemn women as sinning against God merely because they are teaching and preaching to the full body of Christ.
Well, I am off for a weekend of rest at the lake. In the meantime you may want to check out a couple of interesting links.
The first link is from Chuck on The Christian and authority. Good thoughts that have some obvious ramifications regarding the women’s issue.
The other is a blog post by Ben Witherington where I have been fighting for the inspiration of scripture and scripture to be taken as it was written. I have posted my reasoning regarding why Isaiah 7:14 is a prophesy regarding Jesus alone and not a prophesy fulfilled in the days of Ahaz. For those of you who are passionate about the inspiration of scripture as I am (I hold to inspired words and inspired grammar) you will find the comments interesting here.
Keep the comments coming and I’ll save my responses for when I get back.
Today I would like to refer you to a post by Christians for Biblical Equality (CBE) called “Some things biblical feminists do not believe“. Although I do not like the term “feminists” or “feminism” because of the connection with secular feminism that complmenetarians try to read into the term “biblical feminism”, I do think that the list that CBE has come up is a worthwhile read. Do you think that most complementarians misunderstand the beliefs of those who believe in biblical equality?
I received an excellent link to a post on the subject of Paul silencing women in 1 Corinthians 14 and I wanted to pass it on for all to see. It is called “Shut Her Bug” and is an excellent piece by James Patrick Holding. The link is here and I especially liked it because it is exactly what I could clearly see in the Corinthian passage that previously had seemed to completely silence women in the church. It looks like there are more and more people having their eyes opened to the “elusive law” as I call it from 1 Corinthians 14. Enjoy. Thanks to Pastor “D” for the link.
Every once in awhile I link to a blog that has material that I really like. Today I want to link to a blog by Pastor Paul Burleson which has some good things about women in ministry even though Pastor Paul is “going against the flow” in the Southern Baptist Convention.
The first link is to a humble admission of his own problems in marriage that came from an old view that he used to believe about women as second class citizens. He calls this one dealing with differences part 3.
The second link is a piece that he wrote concerning authority in the local church and women. Pastor Paul has my deepest respect for his humble attitude and his willingness to speak his mind even when he may be in the minority in his denomination.
The one thing that God seems to have gifted me with is thinking outside the box. I quite enjoy reading from others too who have this gift. It stretches me and gives me that “ah ha” moment which I really love.
Today I had an opportunity to read a blog from someone whom I sense is also gifted with thinking outside the box.
I want to draw attention to a blog article written by a ministry friend of mine Don Veinot President of Midwest Christian Outreach. His article is titled Doug Phillips – New Paganism. Several months ago Don contacted me to help him with research on Doug Phillips and his extreme view of women. I think you will find the quotes from Doug’s Phillips Vision Forum amazing to say the least especially since in this day and age. I also recommend you follow the links to Doug’s Phillips articles that Don has linked to. It was amazing for me to do the research for Don and to see that Mr. Phillips does not think that women should be voting, he admonishes women to stay under their father’s authority even as adults until they get married and he says that women don’t need to get a higher education because the money is wasted on them since their role is to be a wife and mother.
Hmmmm….makes me wonderful when he is going to force women to stay indoors confined to their own homes as was the old pagan custom?
I will be continuing our verse-by-verse discussion through 1 Corinthians 11 with more posts coming this week.