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Answering Wayne Grudem’s “An Open Letter to Egalitarians” 1

Answering Wayne Grudem’s “An Open Letter to Egalitarians” 1

wayne_grudem on Women in Ministry by Cheryl Schatz

Answering Wayne Grudem’s Challenge part 1

In 1998 Wayne Grudem wrote “An Open Letter to Egalitarians,” and in the letter, he gave six questions that he said have never been satisfactorily answered.

This is the first in a six-part set of posts addressing Mr. Grudem’s questions.

First of all, I will reprint the “Open Letter” that is found on Mike Seaver’s Role Calling blog.  Right after that comes the refutation of Mr. Grudem’s question #1 by Suzanne McCarthy and after that, I pose my own question to Complementarians on the error of their teaching that there is an eternal subordination within the nature of the Trinity.

An Open Letter To Egalitarians

by Wayne Grudem

“Here Are Six Questions That Have Never Been Satisfactorily Answered”

Dear Egalitarian Friends,

We know that many of you within the evangelical world hold your views because you have been convinced that egalitarianism is what the Bible teaches. You tell us that our differences on male and female roles are just differences in interpretation, and that Bible believing Christians can honestly and fairly interpret the Bible to support complete equality in most or all roles for men and women in the family and the church. You say that you are sincere in adopting your views not because of modern cultural pressures but because you think that the Bible itself supports your position. In response to this, we want to say that we appreciate your sincerity in these matters and we believe that you are telling us the truth about your motives.

There are, nevertheless, certain questions of fact that come up frequently in your writings. We focus on these specific questions in this letter because they do not involve detailed arguments about interpretation, but involve only matters of factual data. We are simply asking to see the evidence that has convinced you about certain key interpretations of Scripture passages. If you can point out this evidence to us, then we will be able to understand more fully how you have come to your understanding of key passages. But if you cannot point out this evidence, and if no one among you can point out this evidence, then we respectfully ask that you reconsider your interpretations of these passages.

Here Are Our Questions:

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Women in ministry issue causes distrust

Women in ministry issue causes distrust

Distrust?

This post is from an inspiration I got from Katie Cole’s blog and a two part segment on Youtube on the issue of women in ministry from the series “Designing Women”.  Katie writes:

One Bible verse, quoted to me out of context on its own, is no longer sufficient for me.

I think you will find the two youtube clips inspiring.  They show that women can speak up and women can make a difference.

Clip 1:  Charlene loses faith in her minister

Clip 2:  Charlene speaks to minister and Julia sings

Semigalitariansim, undercover enemy and “feminist air”

Semigalitariansim, undercover enemy and “feminist air”

fight-7-cheryl-schatz

Semigalitarianism, Undercover Enemy and “feminist air”

When does explaining God’s Word make one an enemy of the church?  According to Mike Seaver, a woman who is allowed to teach the Word of God to men, even if she is under the authority of her husband and even if she has received authority from her pastor to teach the Bible (and assuming her pastor is monitoring her teaching), is like a drunken adulterer ministering to God’s people.  [Mike Seaver has written a blog post at CBMW identifying the issue of women teaching the bible to men as the undercover enemy of the church.  Mike is a pastor at CrossWay Community Church in Charlotte, North Carolina and regularly posts at Role Calling see his original article here.]

According to Seaver the church has been breathing “feminist air” and this has caused many churches to become “semigalitarian”.  [According to Seaver, semigalitarianism is defined as those people (both men and women) who say that a woman should not be allowed to preach in a church on her own authority, but if she claims to be under the authority of her senior pastor (who is a man) and under the authority of her husband (who is obviously a man) then it is okay for her to teach men in the church.]  But while Seaver is complaining of “feminist air”, he has unwittingly become infected with a “disease” that allows Christians to see passages of scripture as “clear” (1 Timothy 2:12-13) instead of as a complex passage in its complete context (1 Timothy 2:11-15).

The attitude of identifying godly women as enemies of the church is clearly an aggressive stand equating a woman explaining the meaning of the scriptures with a drunken adulterer.  It reminds me of the prejudiced view of the Orthodox Jews who believe that only men are allowed to touch the Torah.

torah7-Cheryl-Schatz on Women in Ministry

Apparently touching the Bible by giving an explanation of the meaning of a passage now makes one an “undercover enemy.”  How far has the church fallen that some feel free to attack our sisters in Christ identifying them as enemies?  Notice that Seaver says nothing about whether the woman’s teaching is correct or not.  He is lumping true Bible teaching in with error because it is the vessel which is the enemy, not the words that she speaks.  It is the mere fact that she would touch the Word of God in public that makes her an enemy.  This is the same tradition of the Pharisees who added a restriction on the teaching of God’s Word.

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Neopatriarch fails to refute Cheryl Schatz on 1 Timothy 2:12

Neopatriarch fails to refute Cheryl Schatz on 1 Timothy 2:12

target

The prohibition of 1 Timothy 2:12

Some have wondered why “Chris” the complementarian stopped posting here.  Apparently, he could not get his refutation of my work to stand in an interactive forum so he moved it over to a place where he could have the floor to himself.  He has posted a claim that he has refuted me in his post called A Refutation of Cheryl Schatz on 1 Timothy 2:12.

Chris is now posting under the name Neopatriarch, and he describes his post as filling a need for those who are exasperated with me and my “associates.”  (Paula I think he is referring to your excellent refutation of his logical fallacies.) This gives me an opportunity to examine Chris’ (aka Neopatriarch) claims that he has “refuted” me.  Let’s have a look to see if what he has to say is worthy of his lofty claims.

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Round 9 Interview with the Apostle Paul – God does just as He pleases

Round 9 Interview with the Apostle Paul – God does just as He pleases

hands

This is the ninth in a series of simulated interviews with the Apostle Paul taken from the position of what he might say if we could transport Paul from the New Testament account through a time tunnel into our present day.

Doug, a strong complementarian will be questioning Paul on 1 Corinthians 14.  Paul will be speaking to him about the Sovereignty of God and whether there are restrictions on women in the church.  Let’s listen in.  (Links to the previous interviews are at the bottom of this post.)

 

Doug: Paul, I am anxious to talk about 1 Corinthians 14:34, 35 today.  This is the final passage that convinced me that you did not allow women to teach the bible to the entire congregation.  This is also one of the clearest passages there is.

Paul: I am very happy to be able to help you out with this passage.  We do need to remember the complete context of this passage so that you will know how to interpret it in line with all that I taught.  We are going to work with another box today.  Today the box will be the filter that we need to read 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 through.

Doug: Why do we need a filter?

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Round 8 Interview with the Apostle Paul on women pastors

Round 8 Interview with the Apostle Paul on women pastors

Julie Pennington-Russell is pastor of First Baptist Church, Decatur, Georgia
Julie Pennington-Russell is pastor of First Baptist Church, Decatur, Georgia

This is the eighth in a series of simulated interviews with the Apostle Paul taken from the position of what he might say if we could transport Paul from the New Testament account through a time tunnel into our present day.

Doug, a strong complementarian will be questioning Paul on his own strong hold today.  The issue will be women pastors.   Let’s listen in.  (Links to the previous interviews are at the bottom of this post.)

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Round 5 Interview with the Apostle Paul – who are “they”?

Round 5 Interview with the Apostle Paul – who are “they”?

they

This post is the fifth one of a simulated interview with the Apostle Paul taken from the position of what he might say if we could transport Paul from the New Testament account through a time tunnel into our present day.

Doug, a strong complementarian is itching to question Paul regarding who is referred to as “they” in 1 Timothy 2:15.  Let’s listen in.  (The previous interviews are linked at the bottom of this post.)

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Round 3 Interview with the Apostle Paul on 1 Timothy 2:12

Round 3 Interview with the Apostle Paul on 1 Timothy 2:12

woman_frog

This post is the third one of a simulated interview with the Apostle Paul taken from the position of what he might say if we could transport Paul from the New Testament account through a time tunnel into our present day.  Doug, a strong complementarian has been given the opportunity to ask Paul about tough passages of scripture that Doug thought were clear to him.  In his dialog with Paul, Doug is troubled by the implications of what he has been hearing and in this third interview Doug has decided to push Paul on the issue of the universality of “woman” in 1 Timothy 2:11-12.

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Round 2 Interview with the Apostle Paul

Round 2 Interview with the Apostle Paul

This post is the second one of a simulated interview with the Apostle Paul taken from the position of what he might say if we could transport Paul from the New Testament account through a time tunnel into our present day. While Paul gets to experience life in the 21st century, Doug, a strong complementarian, is given the opportunity to interview the Apostle Paul on the hard passages about women in the bible.  The first interview is located here.  In the second interview Doug wants to revisit 1 Timothy 2:12 before moving on.

interview on Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

Doug: Hello brother Paul.  I am so glad that we are able to continue with our interview.  Did you enjoy taking the pulpit for John MacArthur?

Paul: I loved it!  Well, actually I didn’t take the pulpit.  I just spoke to the congregation from the floor because I wanted to encourage everyone to speak and use their gifts.  That was the way it was meant to be.  After all we are all brothers in Christ and we can learn from each other.  Unfortunately I don’t think they will be having me back anytime soon.

Doug: Your kidding!  What happened?

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Interview with the Apostle Paul

Interview with the Apostle Paul

paul on Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

This post will be a simulated interview with the Apostle Paul taken from the position of what he might say if we could transport Paul from the New Testament account through a time tunnel into our present day.  We are interested in asking Paul his reasons for what he wrote about women and what he thinks about the present day church regarding women’s ministries.  However the interviewer that gets first “crack” at Paul will be a complementarian Christian who strongly believes that women are restricted from teaching men in the church.  The interviewer’s name will be “Doug”.

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Reaching unity in the faith without authoritarian control

Reaching unity in the faith without authoritarian control

Misty Bedwell bride restricted

The picture above represents not only the “bride” of Christ held back and controlled, but women in the “bride” of Christ held back and controlled.  It is a great concern to me that there are many in the body who think that authoritarian control is needed to keep people in line and to keep the unity of the faith.  But is the removal of the ability to question those in leadership or to question secondary doctrine a necessary thing to keep the unity of the faith?  Some apparently believe that questionable tactics are allowed if the end result is unity but I would like to propose that unity based on an abuse of authority produces artificial unity.


Wade Burleson
has been doing a series of posts on authoritarian control in the church and within non-profit groups and I believe that this issue is a major problem in the church today.  Those who use intimidation tactics to prevent people from asking legitimate questions have risen up in our churches at an alarming rate.  Where is this all coming from?  There appears to be an emphases in many seminaries that sways impressionable young graduates to the belief that pastoral authority must be defended at all costs.  Wade Burleson comments on the results of such teaching that creates an elite group of “the Lord’s anointed”.  While Wade’s comments are specifically about the Southern Baptist Convention, the application can be made throughout all denominations.

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Changing views on women in ministry is not easy to do

Changing views on women in ministry is not easy to do

Very few people quickly admit their beliefs are wrong

This blog has been a meeting place for many who have received huge challenges to their view of women in ministry.  Here I receive questions about how to deal with a spouse or a pastor who is strongly opposed to allowing women to freely serve the body of Christ with their God-given gifts.  How does one deal with opposition even when one has presented well-reasoned arguments and the other person is unwilling to engage the arguments or is unwilling to really listen to what you have to say?

Today I would like to call attention to a very gentle apologist who has written some really great tactics that are very encouraging to me in how to deal with those who oppose women in ministry.  While I understand that some people are so abusive and unChristlike that it is better to stay away from them rather than engage them and risk being personally attacked yourself, sometimes it is impossible to stay away from strong opposers because they are part of our family or the church family where we worship.

In today’s issue of Stand to Reason’s (STR) “The Page”, Greg Koukl’s email updates sent to subscribers, Greg gives some wise advice on the issue of why change is so hard and how to handle opposition.

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Do egalitarians twist the scriptures?

Do egalitarians twist the scriptures?

twist on Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

The charge is often laid that egalitarians twist the scriptures.  I would like to apply a saying that I read recently.  Here it is:

(Complementarians) are quick to accuse of foul play but there are no rules that they have to follow.

What egalitarians are trying so hard to do is interpret scripture with scripture and take the full context instead of isolating scriptures from their context.  Let’s see if complementarians play by the same rules or if they hold themselves as exempt from their own rules.

1.  1 Timothy 2:11-15 is used as a general principle that forbids godly Christian women from using their God-given gifts for the benefit of their Christian brothers.  If this is true as complementarians assert it is, can you please tell me why Paul uses singular and a plural grammar in verse 15?  Who is the “she” who will be saved in the future if “they” continue on in faith, love, holiness and self control?  Isn’t it a twist to ignore the specific grammar of verse 15 which is the conclusion to the prohibition?  How can we know who Paul is prohibiting in verse 12 if we do not know who the “she” and “they” are in verse 15?

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Questions of faith for semi-egalitarians

Questions of faith for semi-egalitarians

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.

CBMW writes:

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.

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A deeper look into 1 Timothy 2:12

A deeper look into 1 Timothy 2:12

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 carmradio@ymail.com 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.

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Are we too emotional?

Are we too emotional?

Are we really too emotional?

I have had some interaction with a pastor via the internet on and off for the last half year or so and whenever I have passionately stated my case for believing that women are allowed in scripture to teach the bible to men, I have been accused of letting my emotions cloud my judgment and my thinking.  (Sigh)  Why is it that egalitarians are pegged as overly emotional while comps consider themselves both logical and biblical?

Now this particular pastor appears to be a very nice fellow.  I really quite like him.  He isn’t calling me an unbeliever or a heretic as some have.  He is also very supportive of my ministry work regarding my reaching out to Jehovah’s Witnesses to win them for Christ.  He appears to like me as a person, and as I said, I also like him, but there is a roadblock that is hard to cross over.  He thinks that there is no other way to see scripture but that it limits women from teaching the bible to men. Other than apparently my work with non-Christians, he holds the party line that women who teach the bible to men are sinning against God, and that we can see a pattern for human relationships and roles by the “roles” in the Trinity where the Father is the ultimate authority and the Son submits to the Father (double sigh!)

Never mind that he has not been able to answer even one of my challenges to his position.  He can wave my position off because he attributes it to emotionalism.  It is actually a wee bit humorous because I have been charged by others with being too logical and my dogged persistence is not a sign of weak emotions or a faint heart!

So why do you think that we have to defend ourselves against the charge of being too emotional?  Is this a name-it and claim-it-for-the-other-person a way to dismiss everything we say?  Are comps really the logical ones and are egalitarians the ones who have no heart for the inspiration of scripture but want to rest their beliefs on feelings, emotions and hurt?

One thing for sure….hierarchists have caused a great deal of grief for many egalitarians including myself.  For one who loves peace amongst the brothers to have to deal with name-calling, anger, vindictiveness, insults and rejection of even being called a sister in Christ, it probably would be okay to cry a tear or two for the hurt that has happened in the body of Christ.

I trust that a logical, full believer in the inspiration of scripture, persistent, peace-maker like myself is allowed to cry sometimes without being called overly emotional or that my judgment and thinking are clouded by emotions.  A soft caring heart is what I long to see in complementarians because they are my brothers and sisters in Christ.  I trust that God will help to keep my heart soft to them no matter how many attacks I have to deflect that has been unfairly lobbed over the wall and against my name.

Pardon me while I cry.

Gospel Today magazine pulled from Christian bookstores’ shelves

Gospel Today magazine pulled from Christian bookstores’ shelves

Gospel Today magazine pulled on Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

A Christian magazine is treated as pornography merely for reporting on the trend of women pastors.

 

The Atlanta Journal reports:

Smiling women on the cover of a slick magazine. Sold from under the counter. Must request it from store clerk.  That’s not something a buyer would typically find in a Christian bookstore. Not unless it’s one of the more than 100 Lifeway Christian Bookstores across the United States, including about six in metro Atlanta.

Gospel Today, the Fayetteville-published magazine, was pulled off the racks by the bookstores’ owner, the Southern Baptist Convention. The problem? The five smiling women on the cover are women of the cloth — church pastors.

So what is the big deal?  The deal is that when a denomination says that a secondary issue of faith is so important it warrants barring people from reading about the other side, Lifeway Christian Bookstores has stepped into the realm of milieu control.  Milieu control is the control of information and communication.  Wikipedia adds that milieu control is about limiting contact in order to restrict the ability to make judgments about information that would present itself against the accepted position:

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Women in Ministry produces fear

Women in Ministry produces fear

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?

Women preaching equated with adultery and homosexuality

Women preaching equated with adultery and homosexuality

Wade Burleson has commented on Irving Bible Church’s decision to allow women to preach the gospel to the congregation on a Sunday morning and the attacks that this church has experienced because of this decision.  Wade writes:

I shiver when I hear my fellow evangelicals call a church that asks a woman to preach the gospel on Sunday morning a church of “grave moral concern.” WE ARE NOT TALKING ABOUT FEMALE PASTORS!

The idea that a woman teaching or preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ is a “grave moral concern” shows us how far the church has fallen from the place of accepting one another as brothers and sisters in Christ who have gifts given for the benefit of “one another”.  Is not the “grave moral concern” rather an issue of saying that “I” (a man speaking) do not need “a woman” teacher?

1 Corinthians 12:21  And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; or again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.”

Why is it that scripture says we “cannot say” something that we do say?  The scripture says that we do not have permission to say that women preachers and women teachers are not needed by some in the body of Christ.  When we reject God’s gifts merely because of the package that they are housed in, we are rejecting the Lord Jesus in this area.  Jesus is responsible for assigning the gifts.  If he did not want a female to teach a male the gospel, then Jesus should have created a list of female gifts which list would not include teaching.  Then it would be easy for men to disregard something that doesn’t exist.  When are we going to stop saying what scripture has forbidden us to say?  Saying “I” do not need you and your God-given gift should be treated as a serious moral concern.

Women in Ministry list of sins?

Women in Ministry list of sins?

*This original post created on August 21, 2008 has been changed/updated on September 11, 2008.  I have given the individual listed below time to show integrity by stopping the stalking and the vitriol, but this individual is not repentant nor will she remove the offenses on line.  It is time to warn the church about the public sin.

As one goes public concerning the biblical teaching that the bible in context does not support a restriction on women teaching the bible to men, it is not uncommon to have one or more people who are so upset by this teaching that they are willing to call a sister in Christ a heretic and resort to tactics that are designed to smear their good name.  This is what has happened to me.  I now have a stalker who is producing vitriol against me personally having purchased my own name three different ways on line and who is directing these named sites to a blog that is set up to mock and defame me. The person’s name is Diane Sellner.  Diane is employed by a ministry that makes a very public issue of calling people heretics and dangerous to the church, whose only crime it is, is to teach that women can be pastors and elders.   I have been receiving the brunt of her anger.

I personally feel very sad for Diane Sellner who has produced such a mocking blog.  Her lies and half truths do not speak well of the ministry that she works for since she has been allowed free reign to post her vitriol and she has received support from them instead of discipline.  No attempt has been made by Diane to contact me privately.  Her “fruit” should be easily seen for what it really is.  Those who mock and attack without care for their brother or sister in Christ are not showing that they operate with the Spirit of Christ.

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Is Complementarianism merely personal conviction?

Is Complementarianism merely personal conviction?

This post is a response to Randy Stinson’s article titled Is Complementarianism a Merely Personal Conviction?

In Randy Stinson’s article it appears that there is a lot of fear that comes through even to the point of suggesting that if one is an egalitarian they will be affected negatively for their entire life, even to the extent that they may not remain in the Christian faith.  I would like to unpack some of the key points of Randy Stinson’s article to look at the underlying message to see how it brings a divisiveness into the body of Christ.  Mr. Stinson gives a very telling statement at the beginning of this article:

I believe it is possible for someone to be wrong on the gender issue, but still be a believer.  So being an egalitarian does not mean you are not a Christian, but it does cripple the discipleship process for that person for the rest of their life. [emphasis is mine]

I personally do not ever recall reading egalitarian Christians questioning the salvation of their complementarian brothers.  Rather than dividing from their brothers, egalitarians generally start with the thought that these are our brothers in Christ and the debate is only on the secondary issues of faith.  However complementarians are more and more being pushed towards questioning the salvation of egalitarians.  Note Mr. Stinson doesn’t say that egalitarians who are evangelicals are our brothers and sisters in Christ but rather he says that it is “possible” for egalitarians to be believers.  He then makes a very bold statement that egalitarians are crippled in their walk with the Lord.  His use of this word picture is designed to draw the conclusion that the egalitarian viewpoint is a disease that one can survive but with great damage to our faith.  Mr. Stinson then goes on to draw a line in the sand with assumptions that are not only unproven but which are extremely divisive.  He lists six points that he says are key areas of Christian theology and practice that are apparently crippled by the egalitarian belief:

1.  The authority of scripture is at stake.

Mr. Stinson greatly overstates his case in this point and draws the reader to the conclusion that egalitarians do not hold to the authority of God’s word.  While he says that the Bible “clearly” teaches that men and women have distinct and complementary roles in the home and the church he does not mention the fact that a growing number of evangelical Christians who strongly hold to the authority of scripture read the hard passages of scripture in their context and see something that is not so “clear” at all that there are differing spiritual roles for men and women.  These same Christians hold tightly to the authority of the scripture and they do not teach people to disregard God’s word but rather they teach that we should all read the hard passages in their complete context because God’s word must not be interpreted in a way that causes one scripture to contradict another.

2.  The health of the home is at stake.

Here Mr. Stinson equates the foundation of the home as one person – the husband, whereas scripture reveals that the one-flesh union of husband and wife brings a unity of authority to both mother and father. (Deut. 21:18-20; Leviticus 19:3 where Mother is even placed before Father; and Ephesians 6:1, 2)

Mr. Stinson also says the egalitarian view is disobedience and “they will not have the proper foundation upon which to withstand the temptations of the devil”.  Where is such a thing listed in scripture?  There is no scriptural reference for Mr. Stinson’s claim.  However there is an example of a wife going against her husband and taking her individual authority to pursue peace with King David whose servants had been insulted by her husband.  The story is found in 1 Samuel chapter 25 and Abigail is said to be intelligent (1 Samuel 25:3) and one who had discernment (1 Samuel 25:33).  She took authority over a matter and did not tell her husband who is described as a fool, a character trait that matches his name.  Her wise action which was done in direct conflict with her husband’s foolish decision actually saved her family.

This hinders the sanctification of married couple…

Where is this found in scripture?  The only “sanctification” that is found in scripture regarding married couples is in 1 Corinthians 7:14 regarding an unbelieving mate.

1 Corinthians 7:14  For the unbelieving husband is sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified through her believing husband; for otherwise your children are unclean, but now they are holy.

Notice here that scripture lists first of all that an “unbelieving husband” is sanctified through his wife.  Paul also says that an “unbelieving wife” is sanctified through her believing husband and the purpose is for the benefit of the children.  Sanctification in the marriage is not listed in scripture as coming through a husband as if he was a leader of a subordinate person (the wife) but rather sanctification in marriage comes through a believing spouse whether a wife or a husband.  Every other reference to sanctification is personal and has nothing to do with marriage.  Mr. Stinson is very wrong in equating the sanctification of the marriage as having anything to do with complementarian belief and practice.

and also introduces confusion about basic parenting issues such as raising masculine sons and feminine daughters.

Mr. Stinson as well as his organization called CBMW (The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood) makes much of teaching about spiritual masculinity and spiritual femininity yet the bible teaches nothing about the spiritual way to raise masculine sons or feminine daughters.  Christianity is not about following Jesus in a feminine way or a masculine way.  All of us are to follow Jesus in the same spiritual way.  We are all to be humble and to practice submission as Jesus did.  The teaching that there is a feminine way regarding spirituality and a masculine way to spirituality is foreign to the scriptures.

3.  The health of the church is at stake.

Just like the home, if the church disobeys the teaching of 1Timothy 2, 1 Corinthians 11 and disregards the structure that God put into place for the community of faith from the beginning, then the church will be weakened.  If the church is weakened in its convictions, it will be less effective in accomplishing its mission.

Here Mr. Stinson implies that 1 Corinthians 11 and 1 Timothy 2 are a “structure” that God put into place for the community of faith.  Where is this “structure”?  1 Timothy 2 has no hierarchical structure listed.  In 1 Corinthians 11 the inspired “order” of 1 Cor. 11:3 is not an ordered list of hierarchy nor does the rest of the passage list any authority of the man over the woman.  Rather 1 Cor. 11:11 shows that the male does not operate independently of the female nor the female independent of the male (no hierarchy here at all).  In fact verse 12 shows that first in creation did not bring preeminence just as the fact that the man now comes through the woman show that she is now preeminate.  The preeminence is solely in God himself.

Mr. Stinson also does not show how the egalitarian view of scripture weakens the church of its convictions in the essentials areas of faith or how the church is less effective in its mission of evangelization and discipleship.

4.  Our worship is at stake.

Here Mr. Stinson makes a point that God “named Himself” father.  God did not “name” Himself Father.  His name is “I AM”

Exodus 3:13  Then Moses said to God, “Behold, I am going to the sons of Israel, and I will say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you.’ Now they may say to me, ‘What is His name?’ What shall I say to them?”
Exodus 3:14  God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.'”
Exodus 3:15  God, furthermore, said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is My name forever, and this is My memorial-name to all generations.

“Father” is not God’s name, it is his relationship with us.  While I do not advocate calling God “mother”, God has revealed in scripture his character that has motherly qualities.  Yet to us, he has decided to be known in relationship to us as a Father.  God is not “Father” because he is male.  God is neither male nor female.  God is Spirit and there are no “body parts” in God that could make Him male.  Rather, God is “Father” because this is the way that he choses to express his relationship to us.

The very nature of our triune God is revealed in a biblically ordered marriage.

Where does scripture say this?  If the “triune God” is revealed in a biblically ordered marriage, who in the marriage relationship is the one corresponding to the Holy Spirit?  Marriage is a one-flesh union of  two equals.  It is two people becoming united into one flesh.  Marriage is not three persons united into one flesh.

5.  Bible translations are at stake.

…my concern is that in the name of gender equality, the Bible is undermined and the very words of God end up being revised.

The English language has evolved so that words previously used in earlier generations do not have the same meaning today as they did in an earlier time.  The Greek word for generic humans was translated into English as “man”.  In the past it was understood that “man” meant human (meaning men or women), but today the word of God can be held back from being being crystal clear when the term “man” is seen in our day as meaning male only.  If we use what is today a male term when a generic term is meant in the original Greek, would that be a good thing for the next generation?  Is it wrong to “sharpen up” the English if the original intent of the Greek word is kept intact and made clearer?  We should be far more concerned about keeping the clarity and faithfulness of the original languages than we should be concerned that the English word is changed.

6.  The advance of the Gospel is at stake.

Ephesians 5 calls husbands and wives to relate to one another as a picture of Christ and the church.  The picture involves the humble, sacrificial leadership of the husband…

Jesus is both God and man.  As God he is Lord and Master and King.  As the human Son, he is the husband of the church.  This picture of Christ and the church is shown to be one of a unified body with Christ as the one who serves the church by giving her food.  Jesus service is manifested through humble sacrifice to give himself for the church.  The husband is to serve his wife in the same way, but scripture never once calls the husband the leader of the wife.  Neither does the scriptures say that the husband is to have a sacrificial “leadership”.  What complementarians have done is added a word to the inspired scriptures.  Without the addition to the text, the husband is pictured as serving his wife and giving himself up for her.  The husband is never pictured as being a leader but is pictured as being a servant.

and the joyful, intelligent submission to that leadership by the wife.

When our tradition adds “leadership” to sacrifice, we have in effect watered down and devalued God’s word in accordance with our tradition.  We have also watered down the scriptures which say that Christians are to submit to one another.  Submission is a “Christian” characteristic, not a feminine characteristic.  The tradition that only the woman is to submit to the man takes away a key part of Christian maturity.  We submit to one another, not only for the other person’s edification, but so that we may receive from that one the benefit of the other person’s gifts.

Romans 15:2  Each of us is to please his neighbor for his good, to his edification.

Should a husband submit to his wife’s gifts?  Should a husband please his wife for her good and for her edification?  Common sense says that we are heirs together in Christ (1 Peter 3:7) and as heirs together we can benefit from each other’s gifts.  We cannot benefit from these gifts unless we submit to receive the gifts.  Submission then is a Christian virtue, not a female virtue alone.

Deviation from biblical teaching on manhood and womanhood distorts the picture of Christ and the Church, and hinders the advance of the gospel.

Not only is there no biblical teaching on “manhood” and “womanhood”, but there is nothing in scripture that says that the gospel is hindered by the church who has women taking their place alongside the men or by the home that has a united authority of Father and Mother.  What this teaching does is attach the gender issue to the essential issue of the Gospel and this is wrong.

Why is this issue so important? Because the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ cannot be severed from the methods he has authorized to spread it. Homes and churches in which manhood and womanhood are prized advance the Gospel and the glory of God more accurately than any other kind of home or church.

Here is where the complementarian message has added itself into the gospel.  Randy Stinson is essentially saying that the gospel preached by complementarians is “more accurate” than the gospel preached by egalitarians.  In essence the complementarian view of “men only” leading in public teaching is part and parcel of the gospel message.  One then cannot preach the full gospel that is necessary to save us unless one is also preaching concerning male-only leadership.  No wonder so many complementarians are seeing egalitarians as heretics and as unsaved religious people who they must fight against.  This is divisive and harmful to the body of Christ.  In the last several years, the position of CBMW, of which Randy Stinson is president, has been increasingly antangonistic towards their egalitarian brothers and sisters in Christ.  The position has been preached that egalitarians can be saved, but they must repent of being egalitarians.

In the past there have been groups who have attached their own personal preferences to the gospel.  Some claimed that one could not be saved unless one spoke in tongues.  Now we have a group who are claiming that belief in male leadership is necessary as part of the gospel.  This is an ungodly addition to the gospel. CBMW is guilty of dividing sheep against sheep by adding conditions to the gospel of Jesus Christ.  May there be repentance from this divisive work before it further harms the body of Christ.

Women in ministry – asking the right questions

Women in ministry – asking the right questions

Have you ever found that your discussions with hierarchists goes nowhere fast because they say they have heard the egalitarian arguments before and they are not willing to listen to what you have to say? Perhaps we are missing an opportunity to engage them because we are wanting to teach them first instead of letting them teach us. What would happen if we let them teach us by asking them the “right” questions?

Those who believe in the hierarchical view which has restrictions on women that forbid women from teaching the bible to men, base their belief primarily on one verse – 1 Timothy 2:12. Instead of debating with them what this verse means, why not take one step back and ask them two important questions? First of all ask them if 1 Timothy 2:12 is a law of God that forbids godly women from teaching biblical doctrine to men? When you have established that 1 Timothy 2:12 is a law of God forbidding this activity, ask them when this “law” came into existence? Did it come into existence before Paul wrote it to Timothy or did it come into existence at the time that Paul wrote 1 Timothy 2?

Let’s consider the ways that this question could be answered.

1. If they say that this “law” came into existence at the time that Paul wrote 1 Timothy 2, then it means that there was no “law” prior to the its creation with Paul. This means that women prior to New Testament times had no restrictions on teaching the bible to men. Does this make sense? Is it possible for Old Testament women to have more freedom than those women who became believers in Christ through Paul’s ministry? This doesn’t seem logical. Why would God allow women for thousands of years the freedom to teach the bible to anyone without regard to gender and then suddenly this bible teaching becomes a sin? If it was a sin, how would the women believers who were there before Paul wrote the “law” in 1 Timothy know that it was a sin? Priscilla apparently had no idea that her teaching the bible to Apollos and her correcting his doctrine was a wrong thing to do. Priscilla taught the bible with authority by correcting error.

2. If they say that the “law” that stopped women from teaching the bible to men was created before Paul wrote it down in 1 Timothy 2, and Paul was merely referring back to a “law” that already existed, where is this “law” written down? There is no such “law” in the Old Testament that could possibly be linked back to. If they try to say that the “law” was recorded in Genesis 3:16 with the phrase “he will rule over you”, remind them that this could not possibly be a “law” that forbids women from teaching the bible to men. After all if Genesis 3:16 was really God’s will that wives were to be ruled by their husbands, then women would have to obey their husband’s command to teach the bible to men.  My husband, for example, has been very strong in encouraging me to teach men and women alike with the gifts that God has given me. If I am to obey my husband I will teach men the bible instead of turning them away.

So instead of quibbling about whether there is a “law” that forbids women from teaching the bible with authority, why not ask them when this “law” started? See if they can figure it out.

Today I had the opportunity to read a blog where Bob Cleveland posted a comment that I really appreciated. It is located here.

Bob commented:

If a woman has the gift of teaching she oughtta teach; to anybody who wants and needs to benefit from her God-given gift.

This really touched me. It puts the onus on the one who wants and needs to benefit from her God-given ability. I believe that this is why scripture tells us to submit to one another. We cannot take authority over someone else and force them to listen to us. The power is in the hands of the one who submits. The submission is not so that we can be under someone’s thumb. The submission is so we can benefit from what God has given as a gift to them for our benefit. When God has given his precious gifts of teaching and insight on the scriptures to a woman, we should honor God by submitting to learn. Do you want to benefit? Don’t accuse a godly Christian woman of being in sin because she has been given insight into the bible. This gift from God through her is given freely to anyone who is willing to receive it. If you want it, you should be able to freely receive.

Scripture also tells us that all of us are “needed”. God has placed his children into the body with a special gift given to each one for the benefit of the body. We are not allowed to say that some members are not needed for our benefit. Each one has been placed in the body and each one is to function for the common good.

1 Corinthians 12:21 And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you“; or again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.”

When a man turns away from learning the bible because it is being taught by a woman, he is not really rejecting her but God who gave her what is needed for the health of the body. He is saying that others may need her, “but I don’t need her”. By refusing the good gift, he is refusing to submit to receive from God and he is judging God because of the vessel that God has himself chosen to use. Such a one has broken a direct prohibition of God given in 1 Corinthians 12:21.

If there are any complementarians or hierarchists reading this who would like to answer these questions, please feel free to interact on this post. I believe in treating brothers in Christ with respect even if they disagree with me on these secondary issues. Each of us is a member of the same body, bought by the shed blood of our precious Lord and Savior and I desire to honor other members of the body of Christ who are not the same as myself.

Was the man given authority to rule the woman?

Was the man given authority to rule the woman?

This is the fifth and final response to Matt Slick’s article called Genesis 2, Adam and Eve, and Authority

Matt quotes Matthew Henry who said:

“They [women] must be silent, submissive, and subject, and not usurp authority. The reason given is because Adam was first formed, then Eve out of him, to denote her subordination to him and dependence upon him;”

Scripture never says that Eve was formed out of Adam to denote her subordination to and dependence upon the man. Rather scripture shows that Eve was created out of Adam so that they would be a one flesh union. Adam recognized this fact when he said that Eve was bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh. He did not say that she shall be called woman, because she is a subordinate to him. She was his flesh and bone, not his subordinate. In this area Matthew Henry and Matthew Slick are both wrong.

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Authority and Created order

Authority and Created order

In this fourth part of my response to Matt Slick’s article called “Genesis 2, Adam and Eve, and Authority”, I am going to deal directly with Matt’s comments regarding authority and created order. Matt writes:

Still, the egalitarians will object and say that an absolute and total equality in all things exists between men and women in the church and the created order and Adam’s naming animals and naming Eve has nothing to do with it. But, is that what is implied in Paul’s words in 1 Tim. 2:12-14? “But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. 13 For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve. 14 And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being quite deceived, fell into transgression.” Notice that Paul says he does not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man because Adam was created first, then Eve. Obviously, in the mind of Paul the issue of authority is tied to the created order. This is not merely a cultural phenomenon.

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Did the naming of Eve come from God’s command?

Did the naming of Eve come from God’s command?

This is the third response to the article by Matt Slick called “Genesis 2, Adam and Eve, and Authority“.

The last two responses we have discussed Adam naming the animals Was Authority Withheld from Eve? and Adam’s identifying Eve as “woman”. Special authority to Adam – was it given by God?

Today I am responding to Slick’s comments regarding the naming of “Eve”. Slick writes:

Also, “Now the man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all the living,” (Gen. 3:20). As God called the light day and the darkness night, so Adam called Eve woman.

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Noodling with the Greek grammar in 1 Timothy 2:15

Noodling with the Greek grammar in 1 Timothy 2:15

While I have made a very strong point of the Greek grammar in 1 Timothy 2:15 with the singular “she” and the plural “they” (no specific gender for “they”), some have been trying hard to wiggle out of the implications that Paul is referring to a specific woman because the only living person at that time that “she” can refer back to is the woman Paul is stopping from teaching in verse 12. Verse 15 has a very specific grammar construction with both “she” AND “they” referenced. I have made the argument that “she” cannot be the same thing as “they” otherwise 1 Timothy 2:15 would have improper Greek grammar. The only way to keep the grammar within the rules is for “they” to be people (at least one other person) in addition to the “she”. Paul could have said “She will be saved….if she…” or “They will be saved…if they…” and both of these could be general statements about either women or generic woman, but it would be improper to say “She will be saved…if they….” if “she” and “they” are the exact same thing.

Back in September of 2007 I had an audio debate with Matt Slick of CARM and since that time Matt has been trying to find a way to refute my exegesis and prove and “she” is the exact same thing as “they”. He cannot prove such a thing since it is improper Greek grammar so it is interesting to note that he is now stating that the Holy Spirit can inspire an error in the Greek grammar if he wants to. I can hardly believe that an evangelical apologist would resort to noodling with the Greek grammar in order to keep his biased view that Paul is restricting all women for all of time from teaching true biblical doctrine to men. But at the same time that Matt is setting up such a charge against the Holy Spirit of inspiring an error in the grammar, his own Greek expert is refuting his premise. Let’s see how this is done.

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Eve was deceived, Adam was not

Eve was deceived, Adam was not

For a PDF copy of this article click here Eve was Deceived pdf file

This article is a refutation of Matt Slick’s article that he has written in an attempt to refute my teaching on 1 Timothy 2:11-15. **While Matt Slick refuses to debate these teachings in writing on this blog, stating that he is concerned that I would possibly edit his statements (I have promised I would not edit his writings and I certainly do not need to do that to refute him!), my offer extends to another neutral web site that would host the debate where neither one of us would be accused of editing the other’s words. I find it quite odd that someone would use so many excuses to avoid a written debate. Matt has already provided his argument in writing on his web site. Why would I need to edit it? I have no problem in refuting what Matt has already written. I can understand why he would not want to enter into a written debate. He doesn’t do as well in a written form of debate. His style is to verbally attack his opponent and that is much harder to do with a written debate. A written debate would hold him accountable to keep his words respectful since it would be open to be viewed by his peers and the church as a whole. If he continues to refuse a written debate I would suggest that it is time for Matt to stop attacking egalitarians as if they are enemies of the gospel of Christ and go on to something else.**

1 Timothy 2:13, 14 makes it very clear that Adam was first created/Adam was not deceived AND Eve was second created/Eve was deceived. We need to pay attention to what Paul said and to understand how this deception and (no deception) relates to the prohibition of 1 Timothy 2:12. See my related articles Why Adam was not deceived;
Why was the sin of Adam more serious than the sin of Eve? part one
Why was the sin of Adam more serious part two

In Matt Slick’s article he says:

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Should complementarians debate egalitarians?

Should complementarians debate egalitarians?

While there has been some genuine, respectful dialog between complementarian and egalitarian scholars, more often than not, the emotions that are brought into the dialog have brought less than respectful debate. The body of Christ is meant to fight the enemy together but when some turn their weapons inward in order to fight their sisters in Christ because of a secondary issue of faith, this certainly brings not only shame upon our Lord Jesus, but harm to some precious members of the body of Christ.

How should we react to the debate when it has become vitriolic? I would like to suggest that we need to stay the course and continue to deal with the issues in a respectful way. When some turn the debate on women teaching the bible authoritatively to men away from the issue and choose to make it instead an attack on the person, we need to refrain from following suit. The Lord Jesus is best served when we treat our brothers in Christ with respect even when that respect is not afforded to us. Yet we do not give up sharing truth and doing so in love. The winning side will be the one who fights for the truth of scripture while passionately debating the issues in love.

While responding with love is a mandate of the Lord Jesus, we may choose the way we debate to limit the abuse that we receive because we can identify those who have a habit of using verbal attacks to try to control the debate. Let me give an example of what can happen through an audio debate when a brother in Christ has a problem holding his emotions back from attacking a fellow believer in Christ.

On April 6, 2006 I received an invitation for an informal dialog on Matt Slick’s Faith and Reason radio show. While the invitation was very kind, I had heard Matt debate other Christians before and I was not impressed with his combative “style”. While he assured me that he would dialog with respect, I did not accept the invitation until September of 2007 when I heard Matt persuading women that their calling from God in ministry would not be a valid call. I decided that it would be worth the risk of being attacked because I truly cared for Matt’s listeners who were only hearing one side of the debate. While I kept my cool and kept my respectful attitude towards Matt, he did not treat me with either respect or Christian charity. Matt must have had some negative feedback about his treatment of me on his radio show because the next week he started out much more calm but in the end he stopped me from giving my biblical understanding of 1 Timothy 2:15, a verse that is key to the understanding of the prohibition in 1 Timothy 2:12, and he lost his cool once again this time raising his voice and calling me a heretic for merely differing with him on this secondary issue.

Later Matt said that he would consider having me back on his radio show only if I would agree to limit my answers to his questions to 1.5 minutes a piece. No one else has ever been given such a strict time limit on his radio show before, but when I agreed to his restrictions, he backed down and would not allow me to debate him even with me under strict time limits. Months later in April and May of 2008 Matt produced articles on a limited portion of my position on women in ministry (he has my full view on my 4 DVD set “Women in Ministry Silenced or Set Free?” but he apparently chose to ignore a good portion of my material) and I have been going through each of the new articles refuting his “refutation”. I have also offered Matt Slick a respectful written debate on his position and his articles since his position has many holes, errors and faulty premises. I agree with Matt’s position in his original offer to have me on his radio show that those who produce a non-interactive position on women in ministry (DVD or written form) should allow themselves to be questioned on that position. I met him on his “playing field” on the radio and now I have asked him to answer my questions on his position in a written debate. Matt has declined to do so. Matt’s position is that he is comfortable with his discussion board, his radio show and Paltalk and he won’t venture anywhere else. I have offered a neutral site where we could both debate without editing or anyone controlling either one of us and apparently he is very sensitive and needs his “safety zone” that he won’t leave. I have also included links to the audio files of both of Matt’s radio shows with me as his “guest”. They are at the bottom of this post. Listen carefully and see how gentleness and respect has been subsequently interpreted by a very sensitive Matt Slick as an “attack” on his person.

Matt has already refused to have me back on his radio show, his discussion board is highly controlled and edited by his vice-president and Paltalk is a forum where Matt can continue to verbally abuse those he disagrees with and it is not suitable for keeping him accountable to a respectful dialog. I am including the type of “respect” that Matt Slick offers. The following are words to me on his discussion board regarding Matt’s “offer” to debate in an audio form. See if this sounds like I would get a fair and respectful audio debate:

Matt titles his comment “this is how it is” found at http://www.christiandiscussionforums.org/v/showthread.php?t=108945&page=2

I’ve already written the section refuting the liberal position on women being pastors/elders. That’s the written form…

I don’t go to your blog. I don’t debate anywhere but here, Paltalk, and the radio.

I’m too busy to get buried in a written debate with you… If you write like you talk on the radio, you’d KILL ME!…. not with competence, but with sssllloooowwww and condescending remarks that would drive me up the wall. No thanks! On the radio you’d not answer a question directly. You beat around the bush, said a ton of NOTHING, to get to some invented position, and acted in a condescending manner. I was ready to shoot myself you were so difficult to deal with. Again, NOT your content, your manner and deliver is what is difficult.

You’ve been refuted by me and those much smarter than me.

I believe you’re given over to your error by God. I believe you are injuring the body of Christ. I further think more of what you’re really made of will become evident.

Now, stop your whining. If you want a debate with me, Paltalk is the place. I’ll put your stupid arguments in the trash where they belong. If you’re not up to it, then go away, stop whining, stop playing around. I mean, sheesh, just get over it and take your liberal feminism somewhere esle and help the enemy undermine the church from some other location.

You want to take the man’s place? Want to compete with men? Okay, bring your pants, step up to the plate….and let’s go, Paltalk! If you accept, I’ll bury you. If you don’t accept, go away.

Does this sound respectful or kind? Matt is not going to debate me in a forum that he cannot have control of or win. I will continue to work through his articles and provide my own “written” refutation. If and when Matt Slick allows me to question him, I will provide those answers and of course my own refutation as appropriate.

Listen to debate #1 here.


Listen to the debate #2 here.

*Note since I copied Matt’s “invitation” to do an audio debate on Paltalk, he has changed his post to read this way:

I’ve already written the section refuting the liberal position on women being pastors/elders. That’s the written form…

I don’t go to your blog. I don’t go to any blogs or boards other than CARM stuff because I don’t want anyone to say I posted somewhere else and say something I didn’t. So, I DO NOT go anywhere….except for tech boards for computer stuff at Microsoft and VB.

I don’t debate anywhere but here, Paltalk, and the radio.

I’m too busy to get buried in a written debate with you… If you write like you talk on the radio, you’d KILL ME!…. not with competence, but with sssllloooowwww and condescending remarks buried in so much error that it would take volumes to expose the idiocy you posit as support for your position. Which only “you” have figured out and the whole Christian church has missed???? LOL. Anyway, you’d drive me up the wall. No thanks! On the radio you rarely answered my questions directly. Instead, you beat around the bush, said a ton of NOTHING, to get to some invented position, and talked down to me in a condescending manner. I was ready to shoot myself to get away from the droning, incessent, drivel you offered for your position. You were so difficult to deal with — NOT because of your content. It was your manner and deliver is what was so irretatingly difficult.

Anyway, you’ve been refuted by me and those much smarter than me. CARM’s women section will continue to grow as you help me expose more errors in your liberal position. Thanks for the assistance in fighting for orthodoxy and working against liberal crap infiltrating the church.

I believe you’re given over to your error by God. I believe you are injuring the body of Christ. I further think that more of what you’re really made of will become evident as you heap error upon error.

Now, stop your whining. If you want a debate with me, Paltalk is the place. I’ll put your stupid arguments in the trash where they belong. If you’re not up to it, then go away, stop whining, stop playing around. I mean, sheesh, just get over it and take your liberal feminism somewhere esle and help the enemy undermine the church from some other location.

You want to take the man’s place and teach and have authority in the church? You want to compete with men? Okay, bring your pants, step up to the plate….and let’s go, Paltalk! If you accept, I’ll bury you. If you don’t accept, go away and stop being a crybaby.

Is “a woman” representative of “all women”?

Is “a woman” representative of “all women”?

This post is an answer to Matt Slicks article called “1 Timothy 2:9-15 “a woman” is representative of all women as “a man”represents all men”.

Matt has been trying to answer my arguments on 1 Timothy 2:111-15 and his article is an attempt at trying to prove that the Greek”gune” or “woman/wife” represents all women.

Matt says:

“As we have seen in the chart in the article The use of the phrase “a woman” in the entire New Testament, Paul uses the phrase “a woman” to refer to only a particular woman 11% of the time while he refers to women and wives in general 77% of the time.”

The first thing that we can note is that Matt didn’t do a chart using the Greek word “gune” but the English word “woman”. This allows Matt to miss some instances of “gune” which is what Paul uses in 1Timothy 2:12. This is because “gune” does not necessarily mean “a woman”. When “gune” is used, it can mean generic woman, but it is not required that it means all women. There is no indefinite article in Greek such as in English where we have indefinite articles a and an. When “gune” is used in the Greek it is possible that “a woman” is meant, but it is also just as easily possible that “the woman” is meant or even “a group” that is qualitatively female, that is “women”.  In Greek, the use of the definite article means the noun is definite, but even if the definite article is not used, it doesn’t mean that it must be indefinite.  It just means that there are 3 possibilities to the meaning , including the possibility that it is meant as a definite.  This is the case of the anarthrous nouns.  See Wallace “Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics” on anarthrous nouns (anarthrous means without an article).

While Matt makes a big deal about percentages, this doesn’t mean much.  Percentages can be interesting, however percentages cannot determine the meaning of a word in a passage.  It is the context of the passage that will determine the meaning not percentages.

If Paul was giving a general prohibition to Timothy that would affect all Christian women for all time, his grammar in verse 15 does not match a general prohibition. Paul on the other hand has used the term “a man” Greek “anthropos” where the context clearly shows that Paul is not talking about a generic man. For example in 2 Corinthians 12:1-21, no matter how high the percentage is that Paul uses “anthropos” to mean generic man, Paul is not talking about men in general in this passage. Paul also did not identify a man who was living with his father’s wife but called him “someone”. This obviously was not about generic man either. The key to understanding Paul is to look at the context, not how many times Paul used “aner” or “anthropos” to mean a generic man rather than a particular man.

Matt says:

“we conclude that the mentioning of Adam and Eve and the created order is dealing with men and women in general, not with a particular woman or just wives.”

If Paul’s mention of Adam and Eve along with created order and deception was about men and women in general, then should we be concluding that all men are not deceived and all women are deceived like Eve? There is more to see in the context of this passage that brings out the importance of Paul’s mention of creation, deception and Adam and Eve.  Paul’s meaning has to be about something other than all generic man and woman.

What Matt misses is that the created order is about deception, not authority. Paul does not say that the man is to have authority over women, but that Adam was not deceived, while Eve was deceived. Paul connects the deception to the prohibition in verse 12 but he also connects it to the solution in verse 15. Paul says neither that Adam is given authority over humanity nor that he is given authority over Eve. We would have to ignore the context in order to make Adam’s authority the subject. Paul connected Adam to the state of “no deception” but Paul did not connect Adam with authority. There is not even one word in this passage that says that Adam had authority or that the man is to have authority over the woman.

Additionally, what does authority have to do with verse 15? How would man’s authority (which is never mentioned in the passage) fit in with the salvation of the single “she” mentioned in verse 15? Even if one could make a single “she” and a plural “they” mean the same thing (i.e. all women), how would man’s authority fit in with this verse? It doesn’t fit. What does fit into the context is the subject of deception. Because of deception a prohibition is given. In spite of her deception “she” will be saved (in the future)… if… Does Paul’s concern about her salvation fit into the context of deception? Or does a concern about salvation fit with all women? Women’s salvation is never questioned in scripture so all women do not fit well with verse 15.

Some take the “salvation” spoken of in verse 15 as been “saved” from dying in child birth but this would break the connection between verses 11-15 and it is not a promise that has been made and kept by God for all godly women. Where is the connection between child birth and the stopping of “a woman” from teaching “a man”? Why would Paul all of a sudden talk about women giving birth to children when he is connecting each verse together with “but” (verse 12) “for” (verse 13) “and” (verse 14) and “but” (verse 15). The flow from verses 11 – 15 is connected from one verse to the next and if we break the connection with verse 15 we have lost the end result that Paul gives because of the command to learn (verse 11) and the prohibition (verse 12).  If she learns the truth and she stops teaching the error, she will be saved out of her deception if she stays in that truth, stays in the truth faith and in her love for God.  Her self-control is needed to stay away from error and deception.  This is how a deceived person will be saved.

Matt concludes with this statement:

“Since Paul mentions the order of creation regarding Adam and Eve in 1 Tim. 2:13 after he mentions authority and again that mentions authority with the created order in 1 Cor. 11:8-10, we can see that there is a pattern Paul teaches that is applied generically in the church.”

There are several very glaring errors in this concluding statement of Matt’s. The first error is that Matt is connecting “authority” with the order of creation when Paul is connecting “deceived” and “not deceived” with the order of creation. The word “authenteo” (verse 12) is a unique word in the scriptures and it is a hotly disputed word never used for spiritual authority elsewhere in scripture. Paul never gives men permission to “authenteo” anyone and so to connect this word with permission for men to “authenteo” women or anyone for that matter, is reading into the passage.

Secondly Matt connects the order of creation with “authority” mentioned in 1 Corinthians 11:10. This is another error of Matt’s since 1 Cor. 11:10 does not have men in authority over women. The Greek word used in verse 10 is exousia and it is the authority that the person has themselves not an authority that is over them. It is never used in scripture to mean that the person is under authority. The words “a symbol of” in verse 10 are not in the original manuscripts but have been added by the translators. The inspired word is that the woman is to have authority over her own head. She is to have authority to make a decision because of the angels. Paul’s use of “because of the angels” is clear when we go back to his reference of the angels earlier in his letter to the Corinthians.

1Co 6:2 Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? If the world is judged by you, are you not competent to constitute the smallest law courts?
1Co 6:3 Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more matters of this life?

Since the saints will judge the world and they will also judge angels, the woman is to have power to make her own decision concerning what she does or doesn’t wear on her head because in the next life she will also have the responsibility to judge the world and the angels. There is no reference to a man having authority over the woman in this verse at all.

But what about the reference to creation in 1 Cor. 11:12? Is this about the man having authority over the woman as Matt has said? When we test all things, we can see that this is not true.

1Co 11:11 However, in the Lord, neither is woman independent of man, nor is man independent of woman.

1Co 11:12 For as the woman originates from the man, so also the man has his birth through the woman; and all things originate from God.

Paul says that neither the man or the woman is independent of each other. Just as the woman originated from the man so now the man has his origin through her. But neither one is preeminent over the other because God is the ultimate origin of all.

These passages say not one word about the man having authority over the woman. In 1 Timothy 2:13, 14 the reference to creation is about deception and in 1 Cor. 11:12 the reference to creation is about the equality of the man and the woman in that both are dependent on each other and the preeminent one is God. There is absolutely nothing that says that the man has authority over the woman in these passages.

While Matt has been trying to provide a reasoning in 1 Timothy 2 for Paul to be stopping the biblical teaching of all women to all men, he has not given a reasonable explanation for verse 15 which has specific grammar that gives the boundary or “fence” as to how far we can apply verse 12. Without the ability to apply “she” and “they” from verse 15 to something other than the exact same thing (i.e. Matt makes “she” and “they” to mean the same thing), Matt has ignored the boundary markers that force us to go back to find out who the “she” is that Paul is giving the prohibition to. “She” will be saved, Paul says “if”… Paul applies the prohibition to “gune”, and he stops her from teaching because of the verses that follow. It is because of deception, then Paul brings out that her salvation out of that deception is dependent on what “she” and “they” do to make sure she doesn’t fall back into deception. The list of things is the same as what Paul said the deceived teachers fell away from.

1Ti 1:5 But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.
1Ti 1:6 For some men, straying from these things, have turned aside to fruitless discussion,

This is why Paul said that “they” must continue in these things (verse 15). Those who stray from these things, Paul said were falling into deception.

What we don’t have in the passage is Paul saying that “a man” or “any man” is to have authority over “gune” (a woman, wife or the woman) or over another man. Instead we are to serve one another and never lord it over others in the body of Christ.

Primogeniture

Primogeniture

In the next of Matt Slick’s articles on women in ministry that I will be reviewing is his article called Primogeniture found at http://www.carm.org/womeninministry/primogeniture.htm

Matt gives what he considers to be the meaning of primogeniture:

“Primogeniture, the biblical teaching that the firstborn has preeminence and authority over those that follow in the family.”

I would like to ask where he gets such a definition from the bible? The correct definition of primogeniture from the dictionary is:

  1. The state of being the first born or eldest child of the same parents.
  2. Law The right of the eldest child, especially the eldest son, to inherit the entire estate of one or both parents.

Where does it say that the firstborn has authority over those that follow in the family? The bible doesn’t say this and Matt seems to have picked up an error from CBMW that primogeniture is about people having the right to rule others just because they are first born.

While the first one born had the right to the inheritance from the Father, God bypassed man’s system at times to give the rights to one who was not firstborn. For example God calls Ephraim his firstborn in Jeremiah 31:9 even though Ephraim was the second one born and it was Manasseh who was the first one born. Jesus is the ultimate first born and he is called the first born of or over all creation as he is the pre-eminent one because he created all things. However the bible never says that a human creature is given the right to rule others just because he is the first one born.

The issue of primogeniture would not even come into play regarding men and women since Adam was not the first of siblings. Eve was his wife, not his brother. There is no place in Genesis that God gave Adam the right to rule over his wife and it wasn’t until sin entered the world that God told Eve in prophesy that this is what Adam would do to her, but God never said that it was his will nor did he tell Adam to rule Eve. His words were to Eve prophetically, not to Adam as a command or the giving of a right.

Matt’s article fails the test of truth in his effort to prove that God has given man the right to rule over women because man was created first. There is no right in primogeniture to rule over others and Jesus said that lording over others was something that was not to be heard among the followers of Christ. Matt’s article proves that those who seek to dominate and control others will grasp at straws to try to prove biblically their “right” to do so. However Matt’s “proof” of a man’s right to rule has no biblical basis at all.

Only one verse prohibits women to teach men?

Only one verse prohibits women to teach men?

In my continuing review of CARM and Matt Slick’s articles on women in ministry, this post is about Matt’s article titled “Only one verse prohibits women to teach men, so it doesn’t apply to the whole church

Matt writes:

First of all, if it is true that the Bible teaches women shouldn’t teach men, even if it is only once, then the argument is settled. Once should be enough.

The first thing should be obvious in that the scriptures don’t say “women shouldn’t teach men”. The bible says the prohibition is concerning “a woman” and “a man”. If this is taken to be universal it would stop not just a woman from teach men but a woman from teaching a single man.

Secondly a prohibition is always stated more than once in scripture because the law states that a person cannot be charged with only one witness. As a result every single universal prohibition by God is stated with at least the “two or three witnesses” that are required. So if we see that God is forbidding any woman from teaching any man (using the generic) then we have a problem because this would make a prohibition unlike any other prohibition in the bible. For more information see my 4 articles on “Does God have one unique law?”

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Public debate between Matt Slick and Cheryl Schatz

Public debate between Matt Slick and Cheryl Schatz

While I am reviewing Matt Slick’s articles on women in ministry, I would like to create this post as a public debate between Matt Slick and myself so that he is allowed to express himself without the restrictions that he has placed on me but in a place where I too am unrestricted. Matt previously said that he would allow a public debate on the radio but that I was restricted to 1.5 minutes for each of my responses. I told Matt that I would do this as long as he gave his questions ahead of time so that I could work hard to limit my answers to 1.5 minutes. I don’t know why he would put such restrictions on me when he has never restricted anyone else on his radio show to speaking only 1.5 minutes, however the fact that I am a woman who is passionately in favor of women’s ability to teach the entire body of Christ with their God-given gifts and Matt is passionately in favor of men ruling women, might give a good indication why he would place me under such strict tight restrictions. However even with my agreement to Matt’s control of the extent of my answers, Matt backed down and said he would not allow me to publicly give a defense in that format.

So instead of a audio debate this is a place for a public written debate and all can see and judge without Matt’s restrictions on me. It is a godly thing to passionately try to influence another. It is not a godly thing to try to control and I believe that the best way to be heard is in a place where Matt cannot try to control. Let’s see if Matt is willing to come and dialog in a professional and respectful way. In the meantime I will continue to review his articles and reveal the faulty premise that Matt has based his view that women are not allowed to teach men authoritatively God’s word. I disagree and believe that women are allowed to teach God’s word authoritatively as 1 Peter 4:11 clearly shows that everyone who has been gifted is allowed to speak the oracles of God.

Answering Matt Slick on she and they from 1 Timothy 2:15

Answering Matt Slick on she and they from 1 Timothy 2:15

This is a continuation of my evaluation of Matt Slick’s articles on women in ministry. Matt has been working for weeks to try to refute my interpretations. I welcome a challenge and I believe that truth will stand up to the test while error will not stand up to the challenge. Matt on the other hand apparently is not comfortable with a challenge on the women’s issue and has not allowed me to challenge him publicly even in a respectful way. ***Matt Slick said that I was not welcome to come back on his radio show unless I could limit my comments to 1.5 minutes. How many people would agree to that? I did agree and Matt backed down. I challenge Matt to a written debate since he cannot speak to me without limiting my audio responses, I think the written format would be a great one. I challenge Matt Slick to come on this blog and continue a public dialog with me on the women’s issue. I have created a public debate post here. He can say what he wants without my editing him and I will respond and then we can let the readers challenge either one of us during question period.*** His vice-president has gone so far as to forbid people from mentioning my name or the name of my blog on CARM’s discussion board and she has either blocked my posts or held them in moderation without warning. While I am appalled at the milieu control that goes on in Matt Slick’s discussion board, I do believe that Matt’s articles that he has written in response to my interpretations are worthy of answering and so the next few posts will be dedicated to refuting of Matt’s reasoning on women in ministry.

The article that I will be referencing from CARM and Matt Slick is called “1 Timothy 2:15, she, they, and salvation through child bearing”. Matt says:

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Answering Matt Slick’s agenda on 1 Timothy 2:12

Answering Matt Slick’s agenda on 1 Timothy 2:12

This is part 2 of answering the complementarian objections of Matt Slick on 1 Timothy 2:11-15. See part one here. My article laying out the original argument showing that 1 Timothy 2:12 is a specific woman that Paul forbids from teaching is here.

In Matt’s article on CARM 1 Timothy 2:11-15 here he is making an attempt at refuting my teaching, and in doing so he tries to deny that Paul is talking about false doctrine in the passage, by making a distinction that scripture does not make. Matt tries to prove that the word for false teaching (heterodidaskaleo) must be used when referencing false teaching but this will not stand up under careful inspection of the scriptures as Revelation 2:14, 15, and 20 have the word “teach” that comes from didasko (to teach) and this Greek word is used for teaching that is clearly situations regarding false doctrine. Once again Matt cannot hide the fact that Paul’s reference to the deception of the woman (1 Timothy 2:14) and the deceived false teachers in chapter 1 are the context of the prohibition of 1 Timothy 2:12.

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1 Timothy 2:11-15 answering objections to “a woman”

1 Timothy 2:11-15 answering objections to “a woman”

My article laying out the original argument showing that 1 Timothy 2:12 is a specific woman that Paul forbids from teaching is here.

Matt Slick has put up several articles attempting to refute my reasoning and today I would like to answer Matt’s “refutation”. This article will be an answer to Matt’s article at http://www.carm.org/womeninministry/1Tim2_9-15specific.htm

In Matt Slick’s article he admits that “a woman” and “a man” could be a specific husband and wife. This is quite an admission from Matt since he has been trying to prove that it would be impossible for Paul to be referring to a specific woman. Since we already have that admission from Matt, we will let the context be the key to understanding Paul’s meaning. Matt summarizes the egalitarian argument this way:

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