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Category: Opposing viewpoints

Semigalitariansim, undercover enemy and “feminist air”

Semigalitariansim, undercover enemy and “feminist air”


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


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 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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Adam’s sin imputed to Eve?

Adam’s sin imputed to Eve?

Cheryl Schatz Adam's sin 4


One of the most bizarre teachings of CBMW is the one taught in Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood in chapter 3 written by Raymond C. Ortlund Jr.  Here Mr. Ortlund states that God pronounced the death sentence on Adam alone so that Eve died not because she ate of the forbidden fruit.  According to Ortlund she died because of Adam’s sin.  On page 110, Mr. Ortlund writes:

The fourth point here is that God told Adam alone that he would die.  But Eve died, too.  Why then did God pronounce the death sentence on Adam alone?  Because, as the head goes, so goes the member. [emphasis mine]

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King Uzziah and women lepers?

King Uzziah and women lepers?

girl_cook on Women in Ministry by Cheryl Schatz

In an interesting blog post on Pyromaniacs the February 10th post, author Dan Phillips tries to link the rebellion of King Uzziah and his punishment of leprosy with the “unfaithful” act of women who apparently are committing treachery against God by becoming pastors.  Is this really true?  Are women pastors committing treachery against God?  First let’s look at Dan Phillip’s article to see how he equates women pastors with illegally burning incense on the altar.   Taking the opposing view for effect he says:

Surely King Uzziah had every bit as much right to burn incense on the altar as… well, as women have to be pastors in our day!

No matter how wonderful it (women pastors) looks, treachery is still treachery.

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Did the serpent have more knowledge than man?

Did the serpent have more knowledge than man?

serpent2 on Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood has published a book called Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood and on page 73, John Piper and Wayne Grudem write that Adam was ordained as the one responsible for the life of the garden.  The reference is in response to a quote from 1 Timothy 2:14 where Adam is said to have not been deceived. Some take this as a proof that women are more gullible than men and easier to deceive, but Grudem and Piper say that this is not so.  Instead, CBMW brings a new meaning to “not deceived”.  They say “not deceived” means that Adam was not approached by the deceiver.  They write:

If this is the proper understanding, then what Paul meant in 1 Timothy 2:14 was this:  “Adam was not deceived (that is, Adam was not approached by the deceiver and did not carry on direct dealings with the deceiver), but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor (that is, she was the one who took up dealings with the deceiver and was led through her direct interaction with him into deception and transgression).”

Since when does “not deceived” mean that you must have a direct interaction with the deceiver? 

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A Christmas post – does the star of Bethlehem belong to satan or God?

A Christmas post – does the star of Bethlehem belong to satan or God?

While this post isn’t exactly a “Women in Ministry” post, I think it does highlight the importance of men and women working together in complementary ways for the benefit of the body of Christ and for ministry to the lost. God often uses women in ways that are different than he uses men simply because he has made us to provide what is missing.  This is the definition of a helper – one who provides what the other is lacking.  Together men and women can make a great team each uniquely providing their gifts with teaching provided by not just one but both as a full rounded view that is beneficial for the common good.

My gift is seeing outside the box on disputed issues.  I have the gift of seeing in scripture what others miss. The article below was written by myself at least ten years ago as an apologetic response to those who see the star of Bethlehem as a satanic tool that was used to guide ungodly men who brought about the deaths of many baby boys in Israel and whose actions also threatened to destroy the Son of God as a child.  I think that at this time of year it is a good article to post because there are many naysayers who dispute Christmas as a freedom for Christians to celebrate the birth of the Messiah.  I think you will find the following dialog to be an interesting read and could be helpful the next time a Jehovah’s Witness comes to your door and tells you that Christmas is pagan and the star of Bethlehem was satan’s star sent by the enemy to bring death and destruction.

The following article is in dialog form for ease of reading.  It is a simulated dialog between a  Christian named Chris and a Jehovah’s Witness named Joe.  This article has been used by God in a mighty way for many years to free those who used to be bound by the Jehovah’s Witness religion regarding their fear of Christmas.  Those who come out of this false religion remain bound by their traditions until the word of God is used as pure water to wash away the false doctrine. (Note the New World Translation is the Jehovah’s Witnesses own in-house translation).


Was the Star of Bethlehem satan’s star?

By Cheryl Schatz / MM Outreach

(original article on line found here)

Chris: Joe, can you tell me why the Watchtower believes that the star of Bethlehem was Satan’s star and that the wise men were led by Satan?

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Are women leaders used to judge sinful men?

Are women leaders used to judge sinful men?

It is very common for hierarchists to explain away Deborah’s position as Judge in the nation of Israel as merely a judgment by God.

The men in Deborah’s day were very weak and cowardly. This is seen in the fact that Barak, the captain of the armies of Israel, refused to go into battle unless Deborah went with him. The woman had to remind him that God had said it is time to fight; the woman had to encourage and challenge him to go; yea, the woman had to go with him!

Obviously it was a period in Israel’s history during which God could find no man to do His will, so He used a brave, willing woman. We can praise God for women like Deborah who are willing to be strong when the men are weak.

In general the leaders are weak and seem entirely lacking even in common sense. They cannot control their little children and women rule over them (compare Is. 3:12). This is God’s judgment because of the apostate condition of professing Christians.

Is it really true that women ruling the nation represent God’s judgment?  The only way that we can know for sure is to see what God had to say.   Several nations were used by God as a judgment against Israel and their sin.  The thing that we can notice in all of the cases of judgment is that the nation who was used as a judgment by God against Israel always hurt and destroyed Israel.  Israel was taken captive many times and this was God’s judgment.  But what about Deborah?  Was she used by God to punish Israel and hurt Israel or was she one of the many godly Judges that God raised up and sent to deliver Israel?

Judges 2:16  Then the LORD raised up judges who delivered them from the hands of those who plundered them.

Judges 2:18  When the LORD raised up judges for them, the LORD was with the judge and delivered them from the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge; for the LORD was moved to pity by their groaning because of those who oppressed and afflicted them.

The Judges were all sent to deliver Israel from their enemies.  This means that it was impossible for Deborah to be a judgment against Israel when she was sent to deliver Israel.

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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 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.

Who dared to contradict Paul?

Who dared to contradict Paul?

Many people have a big problem with Paul because they think that he was sexist.  I would like to change that point of view by looking carefully at the text so that we can fully appreciate Paul for who he was, not the false impression that we have of Paul.  Under God’s inspiration Paul refuted faulty tradition and that faulty tradition included sexism that was prevalent during his day.  Let’s have a look how Paul did that.

In the book of 1 Corinthians, Paul responded to a letter written to him by the Corinthians.  In 1 Corinthians 7:1, Paul says:

1 Corinthians 7:1  Now concerning the things about which you wrote….

Paul then quotes from the letter written to him and every time he quotes the letter, Paul contradicts the Corinthians.

1 Corinthians 7:1….(Corinthians) it is good for a man not to touch a woman

1 Corinthians 7:2 (Paul) But because of immoralities, each man is to have his own wife and each woman is to have her own husband.

1 Corinthians 10:23 (Corinthians) All things are lawful  (Paul) but not all things are profitable.  (Corinthians) All things are lawful (Paul) but not all things edify.

1 Corinthians 14:34, 35 (Corinthians) The women are to keep silent in the churches; for they are not permitted to speak, but are to subject themselves, just as the Law also says. If they desire to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is improper (filthy) for a woman to speak in church.

1 Corinthians 14:36 (Paul) (What!?!) was it from you that the word of God went forth? (What!?!) has it come to you only?

In verse 36 Paul starts each statement with the Greek word “n” which isn’t always evident in the translations as some completely ignore this word.  It is a term used to show that the question implies a negative answer – a negation of something that has just proceeded it.  It would be the equivalent of stating a false statement and then saying “Bunk!” or “Horse feathers!” or “You have got to be kidding!”  So what Paul is doing here is negating what was just quoted.  Since Paul cannot negate himself, it is evident that the quote from verses 34 & 35 is a quote from the Corinthian letter to Paul.

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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 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.

The case against Eve

The case against Eve

In this continuing look at the creation and fall of man, today we come to the conversation between the woman and the serpent.

The first thing that we notice about the question that the serpent gives to the woman is that it is an attack on God as the source of supply for both Adam and his wife.  The serpent asks:

“Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?”

What the serpent is saying to the woman is that God has not given them permission to eat at all.  Is it just one tree that he says they are not to eat from?  No. The serpent says that God hasn’t given them permission to eat from any tree.  At this point the woman doesn’t quote from God, but she gives her conclusion.  Remember in Genesis 1:29 God said:

Genesis 1:29  Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you;

Notice that in Genesis 1:29 God didn’t say to Adam and his wife that they could freely eat.  He said they were given permission to eat from every single tree that passes the test.  The test is that it must have fruit that yields seed.  That is pretty understandable isn’t it?  The woman understood it and she applied it.  So when the serpent questioned her saying that God hadn’t given her permission to eat, she states that she does have permission to eat.  She knows she has permission to eat because she has applied the test that God gave her and because she did what God asked of her, she ended up with the conclusion that she has permission to eat from the fruit of the trees in the garden.

At this point the woman now quotes God.  She says:

Genesis 3:3  but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.'”

There are several options regarding why the woman said what she did, but I will only be discussing two diametrically opposed options that leave the woman either faultless or guilty of a crime against God.

The first option that I will look at very carefully is the very common argument from hierarchists that the woman added to God’s words.  The claim is that the words “or touch it” was not recorded in scripture anywhere else saying “God said” therefore we must believe that the woman’s testimony is not true.  She is presumed to have added words and illegally attributed them to God.

Now let’s think this one through.  Does God make adding to his words a prohibition? Absolutely, yes he does.  It is given as a prohibition three times from Deuteronomy and Proverbs and then specifically later on it is given about the words in the book of Revelation:

Deuteronomy 12:32  “Whatever I command you, you shall be careful to do; you shall not add to nor take away from it.

Deuteronomy 4:2  “You shall not add to the word which I am commanding you, nor take away from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.

Proverbs 30:6  Do not add to His words Or He will reprove you, and you will be proved a liar.

In Proverbs we see that the result of breaking God’s prohibition is a reproof from God and God will prove the person is a liar.  Thus those who add to God’s words are liars and will be disciplined by God himself.

This is an extremely serious sin and not one to be taken lightly.  Is the woman guilty of adding to God’s words?  One thing we know for sure.  We cannot find someone guilty of sin without two or three witnesses:

Deuteronomy 19:15  “A single witness shall not rise up against a man on account of any iniquity or any sin which he has committed; on the evidence of two or three witnesses a matter shall be confirmed.

We can see from God’s standard that the woman cannot be found guilty of any sin unless there is evidence of two or three witnesses.  It is through two or three witnesses that we will find the matter confirmed or without these witnesses the matter is unconfirmed and the accused person goes free.

Is it a serious matter to charge someone to be guilty who is not proven guilty by the required witnesses?

Deuteronomy 19:16  “If a malicious witness rises up against a man to accuse him of wrongdoing,
Deuteronomy 19:17  then both the men who have the dispute shall stand before the LORD, before the priests and the judges who will be in office in those days.
Deuteronomy 19:18  “The judges shall investigate thoroughly, and if the witness is a false witness and he has accused his brother falsely,
Deuteronomy 19:19  then you shall do to him just as he had intended to do to his brother. Thus you shall purge the evil from among you.

Here we can see it is an evil thing to accuse someone of a sin without the matter being established with two or three witnesses.  We cannot just accuse someone of sin without a solid foundation of evidence.

Since this is a serious matter, let’s take God’s method of judging the matter and apply it to the case against Eve.

Okay, let’s list two witnesses since that would be the minimum witnesses that are required for a finding of guilt against the woman.

Who is the first witness?  Who charge the woman with adding to God’s word?

The first person to interact with the woman was the serpent.  Did the serpent charge the woman with adding to God’s words?  No he didn’t.  Isn’t this odd?  Satan himself speaking through the serpent didn’t even charge the woman.  Let’s move on to the next witness.

Did Adam charge the woman with adding to God’s words?  No he didn’t.  When Adam faced God he did not say “The woman who you gave to be with me is more guilty than I am because she added to your words.”  No Adam was silent about the woman’s guilt.  No witness here either.

Well what about God Himself?  Surely God himself would follow his standard and reprove her of adding to his words and thus prove her to be a liar, right?  (Proverbs 30:6)  Did God reprove Eve?  Did God say that the woman was guilty of adding to his word?  No one, not even God Himself charged the woman with adding to His own words.  Do you know what this means?  It means without a single witness against a person charging them with sin, we are forbidden by God’s word to attribute guilt to them.

The question is, what will you do?  Will you take the position of accuser?  Will you be a malicious witness falsely accusing the woman of sin when there are no witnesses charging her with sin?  I think those of us who love God’s word and hold to the scripture’s authority would not want to be the one to cast the first stone.  There are no witnesses that can be found in scripture that charge the woman with adding to God’s words.

My view is that if there are no witnesses to charge the woman with adding to God’s word (and there are no witnesses) then I accept her word that she told the truth.  Indeed God did speak to both Adam and his wife and even though these words are not recorded elsewhere in scripture, we can accept the record of God’s words by the testimony of the woman.

Now where do you stand?

Special authority to Adam – was it given by God?

Special authority to Adam – was it given by God?

This is part two of the response to an article by Matt Slick of CARM called “Genesis 2, Adam and Eve, and Authority” found here.

Since Matt Slick has claimed that he has refuted my arguments on women in ministry, it is only fair for me to provide information that will show how his arguments are invalid and his “refutation” needs a whole lot more work. 😆

In Matt’s article he states that Adam expressed dominance over Eve. Matt writes:

But, since we see Adam expressing his dominance over the animals by naming them and we see that Adam names Eve, we can then conclude that Adam’s expressed dominance over Eve by his calling her ‘woman’ before the Fall and ‘Eve’ after it. Remember, as God brought the animals to Adam, he also brought Eve to Adam.

There are several questions that must be asked here and the answers to these questions will be very eye opening. The first question is, who gave Adam authority over Eve? The second question is, for what reason did God bring Eve to Adam? If I could take liberties to answer these questions for Matt, I think his answer would be that Adam’s authority over Eve was not explicitly given by God but implicitly given because of Adam’s actions. I also believe his answer to the second question would be that God brought Eve to Adam just as he brought the animals to Adam, for Adam to name her.

Let’s examine each of these questions and look at the text itself for the answers. Let’s also ask a question that goes back even further. Who gave Adam authority over the animals and did Eve also have equal authority over the animals? The answer will be found in Genesis chapter 1.

Genesis 1:27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
Genesis 1:28 God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

God explicitly said to them (plural) that they were to subdue the earth and rule over the fish, the birds and over every living thing that moves on the earth. The command is not for the earth to be in subjection to Adam and Eve, but for Adam and Eve to subject the earth to their rule. The Hebrew word for “rule” used here according to The Complete WordStudy Dictionary by Zhodiates means to exercise domain over those who are powerless or otherwise under one’s control.

While God gave both Adam and Eve control over the animals, did God give Adam special authority and control over Eve? Did God give Adam the authority to exercise domain over Eve just as he had given them the command to exercise domain over the animals? Wouldn’t it appear odd that God would give explicit authority to exercise domain over the animals but only implicit authority for the man to exercise domain over the woman? Wouldn’t this be a failure of God’s to explicitly delegate authority so that we have to guess this is what he intended? It is my contention that God said what he meant and meant what he said. He explicitly delegated authority to both Adam and Eve and there is no explicit delegation of authority to only one of them. The naming of the animals was not a special act of authority to Adam. It was merely the acting out of the command to exercise domain over the animals. Eve, of course could not act out her domain over the animals at the time since she had not yet been created.

So now, let’s have a look at the creation of Eve. There is no doubt that Adam was aware that there would be a mate created for him since God said:

Genesis 2:18 Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.”

So while God said “I will make…” he then went on to make or form the animals from the ground and bring them to Adam. Adam was able to verify the nature of each animal by naming it and he was also able to verify that each animal created was unsuitable for him. God had said that Adam’s “helper” (one who gives aid or assistance) would be one “in front of him” or “facing him”. None of the animals qualified as one who would give Adam aid “facing him”.

Genesis 2:19 Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name.

We can see from Genesis 2:18 that God had said that he would “make” a “helper” for Adam. In verse 19 he “formed” the animals and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. It is explicitly said that God brought the animals to see what Adam would name them and it is implied from verse 18 that God was allowing Adam to check out God’s creation to see if any of the animals was worthy of being “in front of” Adam as one who “aids” Adam.

Now we come to verse 21 where God brings the solution:

Genesis 2:21 So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place.
Genesis 2:22 The LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man.

It is interesting here to note that God fashioned into an “issah” (woman) the rib (inner chamber, board, side) which he had taken from the man. God called her an “issah” or woman before he even brought her to the man. Why? It is because she was taken from the inner chamber or side of the man.

Genesis 2:23 The man said, “This is now bone of my bones, And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.”

The Hebrew literally reads “And saying is the human, This was once bone of my bones and flesh from my flesh. This shall be called woman, for from her man is this taken.”

The question we need to ask is this – does Adam’s identifying her as “woman” mean that he is taking dominion over her? Or does identifying her as “woman” mean that he is identifying her nature as equal to his – flesh of his flesh and bone of his bone? There is nothing in the text that says that God gave Adam authority over her. There is nothing in the text that says that Adam was taking his domain over her. The very next verse explains the significance of Adam’s identification of her nature. Genesis 2:24 says:

Genesis 2:24 For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.

It says “For this reason…” For what reason? Eve’s identification by Adam as “woman” because she is flesh of his flesh and bone of his bone is for the reason of joining together the two to become one flesh.

So why did God bring Eve to Adam? God did not bring Eve to Adam for him to take dominion over her. God brought Eve to Adam so that Adam could join himself with her as a one-flesh union. God brought the woman, but the man is the one who is to leave and join himself to her. “Join” means sticking to or clinging to. Adam shows that he is joining with her by identifying her as the one whom he was looking for. She is “the one” whom God said he would “make” that is the one who will provide him with the help that he needs and the one who will be “facing him” as an equal being. God brought Adam his own DNA mate and Adam joined himself to her. Adam did not take authority over her but joined himself to her.

While people like Matt Slick would like to see this beautiful event as merely a hierarchical reign of the man taking his authority over the woman, in reality it is a man identifying what God has already identified as his equal and joining himself together with her accepting her as one with him.

Do you see what has happened here? Those who are hierarchists like Matt Slick are wanting to see rule and authority and reign and subordination in the text. Yet none of these things is either explicit or implicit in the inspired test. What is explicit is the reason given in verse 24. “For this reason….” God says, man will join himself with the woman to become one flesh. Did God bring the woman to the man for him to take authority over her? Or did God bring the woman to the man for him to join himself with her? The real question should be – what does the text say? The text is silent about the man’s authority over the woman. The text is explicit about the man’s joining himself together with the one whom he has agreed with God that she is identified as his corresponding equal – the only one who measures up to being worthy of a one-flesh union with him.

While Matt Slick may think that he has refuted me and proven that the man was given rule over the woman before the fall happened, he is dead wrong and his work is faulty and incomplete. It is time that we get back to the text actually says instead of placing our own presuppositions into the scriptures. Let’s let God be true though every man be found a liar:

Romans 3:4 May it never be! Rather, let God be found true, though every man be found a liar, as it is written, “THAT YOU MAY BE JUSTIFIED IN YOUR WORDS, AND PREVAIL WHEN YOU ARE JUDGED.”

We have only just started the refutation of Matt Slick’s article so much more to come later.


Did Paul claim to have a specific ordination?

Did Paul claim to have a specific ordination?

This post is a separation of the post called Is ordination a requirement for a female pastor? since it was brought to my attention that the two streams of thought were too much for one post. This post will deal with the ordination of Paul by Jesus as an apostle.

Paul was not ordained by any man yet he claimed to be an apostle ordained by Jesus Christ and chosen to be a witness to the resurrection just as the other eleven were chosen as witnesses of the resurrection.

Matthias was ordained by men, chosen as one of two candidates who were then presented to God for the final decision. God did not speak forth either by prophecy or word of knowledge or through the gifts of the Holy Spirit in choosing Matthias. Rather than a direct word of God, Matthias was chosen by the casting of lots. The question that I asked was whether the decision of men is involved in the gifting and calling of God?

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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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In the next of Matt Slick’s articles on women in ministry that I will be reviewing is his article called Primogeniture found at

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

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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To Diane Sellner of CARM

To Diane Sellner of CARM

**October 2008 addition Note: A public statement regarding Diane Sellner’s role in the public attacks against me is at

To Diane Sellner,

I have invited you to my blog and provided a safe place for you to dialog with me. I thought this was thoughtful, kind and generous. What you have done is accuse me of teaching error and then you put posts up on CARM that say I haven’t answered the accusations yet you have blocked me from posting as you have my posts on moderation and they are not showing up.

Clearly we have two different standards.

Here is the new discussion board that Diane has delegated both for general discussions and the issue of women in ministry

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Dr. Randall Buth refutes accusation made against me on CARM

Dr. Randall Buth refutes accusation made against me on CARM

On one of CARM’s discussion boards, “En Hakkore” accused me of misrepresenting and misunderstanding Dr. Randall Buth the author of chapter 5 in the book “Biblical Hebrew and Discourse Linguistics”. My position in my DVD series is that the Hebrew grammar in Genesis chapter 2 shows that the garden of Eden and the animals spoken of in chapter 2 were created after Adam’s creation.

Yesterday I received an email back from Dr. Randall Buth confirming that I do indeed understand his writing correctly and this is how the grammar of Genesis 2 reads and that the NIV incorrectly applies a pluperfect wayyiqtol rule when translating Genesis 2:8 and 2:19 to make these refer to a past event. Instead the verbs in these two verses should be translated as they are intended as sequential within the account in chapter 2.

Dr. Buth also brought up something that is very important in understanding scripture. He commends a “willingness to let the text be whatever it is and not to sub-ordinate it to “presuppositionalism”.

When we assume that God created both male and female animals at the same time, we are then forced to take a passage that shows that the animals were created after Adam (Genesis 2) and make this passage refer to the exact same animals that were created in Genesis 1. Dr. Buth says that we need to just let the text be whatever it is. What the text “is” is a sequential creation of animals after Adam’s creation in Genesis 2.

CARM and especially the vice president of CARM have been quick to try to accuse me of false teaching without ever going to the source of the material that I quote. This is unacceptable for an organization whose goal is to present an apologetic reasoning for the Christian faith. Rather we need to do what the Bible tells us to do:

1 Thessalonians 5:21 (ISV) Instead, test everything. Hold on to what is good

Godly complementarians and “Elvis has left the building”

Godly complementarians and “Elvis has left the building”

With all the hostile name-calling tactics against egalitarians rampant on the internet, godly, peace-loving complementarians may wonder what they can do in their current position to bring peace amongst the body of Christ. I am glad you asked. Below are my recommendations on how you can bring peace to the body of Christ and support godly women teachers without compromising your own conscience:

  • When a godly woman is asked to speak publicly, do not discourage her or put her down for using her God-given gifts. Give her the opportunity to use her gifts for the benefit of the body of Christ by quietly and without a disrespectful show of superiority, leave the building so that others will receive the benefit of her teaching. When those who are complementarian and who have a weaker conscience regarding hearing the truth from scripture from the mouth of a woman have left the building, the rest of the body of Christ will be free to benefit from the teaching that God has for them. It is never right to stop a woman from teaching the truth of God’s word. It would be a respectful and godly thing to leave the building yourself so that God gets the glory and your conscience is not hurt. This is a godly “Elvis has left the building” peace-making effort.
  • When a godly woman is preparing to give a bible lesson do not ask that woman what she is allowed to do by God, ask yourself rather what you are allowed to hear. If your conscience is bothered by hearing godly teaching coming from a sister in Christ who has been commissioned by God as a teacher, then do another “Elvis has left the building” exit. In doing so you will not disturb those who are ready and willing to hear the truth of God’s word from one of God’s gifted teachers.
  • Ask yourself why the church has practiced stopping gifted women teachers from teaching the truth from scripture rather than a much simpler plan of allowing men with weak consciences to leave in a respectful manner? Why do some men sit up front when a woman is scheduled to speak in a church or a chapel and then get up in protest and walk out in an act of arrogant superiority? Is this godly? Does this please God? Or should these men rather choose not come to the chapel in the first place or choose to sit discreetly at the back in a respectful manner and then quietly leave before she gets up to speak? Would it not be a godly and peace-loving thing by respecting their sister in Christ and respecting Jesus who has accepted and gifted this godly teacher by quietly and discreetly making their exit? Why do some men make a show of disrespecting women rather doing a humble and discreet “Elvis has left the building” exit?
  • Pour over scripture and look throughout the Old Testament and then search through the new testament looking for a reason as to why God treats men as second class citizens and keeps part of his gifts away from them? Why would God give 100% of his gifted teachers for the benefit of women in the body of Christ, but then hold back 50% of his gifted teachers from benefiting men? Search carefully through scripture to determine for yourself why God is so prejudiced against men that he gives them only half of his best gifts for their benefit?
  • Apologize to women that you have disrespected and treated with disdain because they have freely offered their gift for your benefit. Ask God to forgive you for your attitude. Ask God to change your heart so that you will allow yourself to encourage, love, respect and appreciate every godly Christian bible teacher that has had the courage to continue teaching after being mistreated, scorned, rejected and hated by their brothers in Christ.
  • Finally, pray for your sisters in Christ and ask God to help you to be a peace-maker and an encourager of their gifts and support their courage to use their gifts for the benefit of the body of Christ whom Christ also died for.

For more information about the dual use of the term “Elvis has left the building” click here. You will then need to determine if you are one who is to stay or to go.

Anyone have anymore respectful things that a godly complementarian can do to encourage his/her sisters in Christ?

Please welcome Diane Sellner

Please welcome Diane Sellner

**October 2008 addition Note: A public statement regarding Diane Sellner’s role in the public attacks against me is at Although I welcomed Diane Sellner to discuss the issue of women in ministry in a charitable fashion, she has taken secondary doctrinal differences and made it a personal issue by attacking me personally.  She has called me all kinds of abusive names on the CARM discussion boards where she has been given free reign to break every one of the CARM rules as she has taken liberties as the Vice-President of CARM (Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry).  In addition Diane has also purchased my name on the internet to spread lies and slander against me personally calling me an enemy of the church all of this with the full knowledge of her boss the President of CARM.   (**update as of Dec. 2009 – Diane Sellner has finally released my personal name as she did not renew the purchases of my name as an internet web site. Praise God for all those who were vocal about her abusive attacks against me as a fellow Christian. The public outcry apparently prompted her to finally withdraw from using my own name against me online.**)  The issue is discussed here I have since found out that Diane Sellner has done this same thing before to others.  My heart goes out to all those who have been wounded by this type of “apologetics”.  This is not the Way of the Master.  Those who have come in contact with her when she is “ministering” on the CARM discussion boards in this same manner, will understand why I am no longer giving her a warm welcome here on my blog.  I caution people not to respond in kind but to pray for Diane Sellner that God will grant her repentance.  What is impossible with man is possible with God.  The original article below was written in February of 2008.

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The Bayly brothers and the Trinity

The Bayly brothers and the Trinity

Awhile back I was asked to consider posting a comment on a very strong complementarian blog that is known to be rather unloving towards egalitarians. This particular blog, I found, was run by two pastors of a Presbyterian church who appear to think that egalitarians do not have the right Jesus or the right gospel and they have taken it upon themselves to “rip” at the sheep who do not belong to their own complementarian flock. Since there is only one good shepherd and he is the shepherd and master of the entire flock, I wondered how Jesus feels about under-shepherds who mistreat the sheep.

I was quite shocked to see how a fine Greek scholar (Suzanne McCarthy) was treated on their blog not only because they did not have an answer to her explanation of the Greek from the original Greek manuscripts, but also because they told her as a woman that she was to be quiet. Apparently they didn’t have an answer either to what I said about the Trinity because they shut down the comments within a short time of my posting my comments and recommended that a woman should do a Titus 2 work in order to help me to understand the Trinity since I apparently didn’t know a thing about the Trinity. You can read the original post of the Bayly brothers here.

Since I am in the research and writing process of our newest DVD on the Trinity and a part of the DVD will deal with the errors of the complementarian position which teaches that Jesus is eternally subordinated in role, in will, in authority underneath the Father, I am interested in how I will be corrected by one of the women followers of the Bayly brothers. Kamilla is willing to do this “correction” and I am offering this post for our discussions. This public forum is for two reasons. First of all a public discussion is always best to create a permanent record of the argument and so all can see the attitude that comes through. We are all encouraged by Paul to be gentle and respectful so that all can judge for themselves the argument without any quarreling or disrespect. Paul instructed Timothy:

2 Timothy 2:24 The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged,

2 Timothy 2:25 with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth

The second reason is that I think we can all learn and participate in this discussion and since my time is limited because of the DVD project, I would love to welcome those who have things to say about the Trinity to be able to do so in a safe environment.

Since I greatly desire a respectful conversation and since I know most if not all of you who are regulars on my blog agree with me, I think we can welcome Kamilla as a complementarian sister and ask her to make her time here an exercise in grace a.k.a. 2 Timothy 2:24, 25. Everyone who is interested in this kind of discussion is also welcome with these rules:

1. Correspond in the tone that you would if Jesus was sitting by your side and reading every word you are typing.

2. Remember that healthy discussion and passion is fine as long as there are no personal attacks and the language is respectful. Jesus said that they would know us by our love. (John 13:35) Let’s prove to the world which ones are really Jesus’ disciples in this forum.

3. Be patient and kind especially since my time is limited and I cannot always answer right away.

4. If you do not follow these rules, I reserve the right to edit out inappropriate content or remove your posts altogether. All new posters will have their first post held for pre-approval.

5. Women and men are both welcome to post and no one will be told to “be quiet” because of your gender.

Kamilla may not be on-line until Monday, however if any of you other dear souls have comments about why you believe that it is important to see Jesus as equal with the Father in will, in authority and in “role”, you are welcome to post. If Suzanne reads this post and comes to interact, I would like to just say “You go girl! You are welcome and respected here as a dear sister in Christ.”


Matt Slick’s radio station to host “Women in Ministry Silenced or Set Free?”

Matt Slick’s radio station to host “Women in Ministry Silenced or Set Free?”

Below is what I posted on Matt Slick’s discussion board. I will add the day and time of the airing of “Women in Ministry Silenced or Set Free?” when the radio station gives me the finalized details.

Scripture warns us not to make a hasty judgment on a matter. When two sides have conflicting interpretations, those who wish to be Bereans should be willing to carefully consider all of the facts from both sides of the issue first in order to avoid making a hasty judgment.

In an effort to allow the hearing of the other side of the story on the issue of women in ministry that hasn’t been given a full hearing on Matt Slick’s radio show “Faith and Reason”, the radio station where Matt hosts his radio program has offered to allow the airing of the 4 DVD set “Women in Ministry Silenced or Set Free?” over four consecutive weeks in the month of February. Listeners will then be able to hear and judge for themselves if the teaching on the DVD set treats scripture respectfully and in context. The entire DVD set is 3.5 hours of teaching and will be broken down into 4 segments to air over 4 weeks.

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Laying a false argument to rest

Laying a false argument to rest

One of the arguments that complementarians employ against women in ministry is the argument that God only used women as prophets and leaders in the Bible when there were no men available at the time. Is this really a valid argument? Let’s have a look at two biblical examples.

Elijah thought that he alone was left as a prophet of God because he alone was serving God yet God corrected him by saying that he had seven thousand others who have not bowed the knee to Baal.

Romans 11:4 But what is the divine response to him? “I HAVE KEPT for Myself SEVEN THOUSAND MEN WHO HAVE NOT BOWED THE KNEE TO BAAL.”

God has always had a remnant who followed him and thus God has never been without a man to serve him.

Let’s look at another example. Huldah was used by the Lord to bring a message to King Josiah yet God also had men available to be used. The prophet Jeremiah had been prophesying in Judah since the 13th year of the reign of King Josiah (see Jeremiah 1:2) and it was the 18th year of the reign of King Josiah (see 2 Kings 22:3) when Huldah was consulted as a Prophet of God to bring a message to King Josiah. So a woman, Huldah, was used by God even though Jeremiah was available and Jeremiah had already been prophesying in the land for five years. Even though Jeremiah was available, God used Huldah to speak his words to the king.

2 Kings 22:12 Then the king commanded Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam the son of Shaphan, Achbor the son of Micaiah, Shaphan the scribe, and Asaiah the king’s servant saying,
2 Kings 22:13 “Go, inquire of the LORD for me and the people and all Judah concerning the words of this book that has been found, for great is the wrath of the LORD that burns against us, because our fathers have not listened to the words of this book, to do according to all that is written concerning us.”
2 Kings 22:14 So Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam, Achbor, Shaphan, and Asaiah went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvah, the son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe (now she lived in Jerusalem in the Second Quarter); and they spoke to her.
2 Kings 22:15 She said to them, “Thus says the LORD God of Israel, ‘Tell the man who sent you to me,
2 Kings 22:16 thus says the LORD, …

The fact is that God uses women for his own purposes and it is not biblically correct to say that God only uses women when God has no man available. Let’s once and for all lay this false argument to rest. God uses women because it pleases him to use women and God still uses women today for his own glory and honor.

Does “husband of one wife” disqualify women from being a Pastor?

Does “husband of one wife” disqualify women from being a Pastor?

I was listening to the January 26, 2007 radio program online by Matt Slick of Matt answered a caller’s question regarding women leading in the church by appealing to Titus 1:6 and 1 Timothy 3:2 where it says that a Pastor/Elder/Overseer must be “the husband of one wife”. Matt said it was “case closed” because women cannot be “the husband of one wife”.

I appreciate Matt a lot for his excellent web site that exposes many cults and aberrant movements in Christianity and although I consider him a brother in Christ, I must disagree with him on his quick and pat answer to his callers regarding women in ministry. What Matt didn’t tell his callers and what he should have been challenged on is that “husband of one wife” used in the strict way that he uses it to disqualify women would also disqualify single men as well as married men without children, since the Elder/Pastor/Overseer is to be a “husband” and also required to keep his children under control (1 Timothy 3:4).

Instead of just shutting out women, single men and married men without children, we must work to understand what this passage means. Is 1 Timothy 3 a check list of qualifications (i.e. must be married, must be a father) or is it a set of principles that set a basis for godly standards? Every church that I am aware of uses 1 Timothy 3 to set principles because none of them forbid single men or married men without children from being a Pastor.

But if women are to be included along with single men and married men without children, then why did Paul say “husband of one wife” and he never said “wife of one husband”? The reason why Paul only mentioned “husband of one wife” is because it is a reference to polygamy. Polyandry (a woman married to several men at the same time) was not allowed in that culture and so Paul would not have needed to say that women in leadership must be the “wife of one husband”.

In the Jewish faith as practiced through the Talmudic law, Jewish men were allowed to have multiple wives but the High Priest was forbidden from being a polygamist. The High Priest could be married and divorced but he could not marry more than one wife at a time. The High Priest then, was to be “the husband of one wife”. Paul brings the same regulation to the leadership of the Church. Although polygamists could become part of the congregation, they were not allowed into leadership. In the early church, the believers were unsure of how to deal with polygamists. Some tried to force them to divorce all of their wives except for the original wife in order to be baptized as a Christian, but that left the women destitute and without support. Paul gives the final word by allowing polygamists into the church who come into faith after their multiple marriages had already occurred. The only prohibition was that polygamists were disallowed from serving the congregation as an elder or deacon. In 1 Corinthians 7:24 and 27 Paul talks about the marital state in which one has become a Christian.

1 Corinthians 7:24, 27 “Brethren, each one is to remain with God in that condition in which he was called. Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be released”

If a man is bound in marriage, he is not to dissolve that marriage just because he has become a Christian. So the early church then allowed polygamists into fellowship, but they also followed the lead of Christ in teaching that it was God’s will that only one husband and one wife were to be in the marriage union.

Mark 10:6, 8 “But from the beginning of creation, God MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE… AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH; so they are no longer two, but one flesh.

So let’s review why the “husband of one wife” cannot be used to disqualify women from leadership. I think the answer will become evident from asking other relevant questions.

1. Do we stop a single male from being a pastor?

2. Do we force a pastor to resign if his wife dies and he is no longer married?

3. Do we stop a married man from being a pastor if he does not have children? After all the same passage says in 1 Timothy 3:4

He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity

We know of no church that disallows single men from being a Pastor. We also know of no church that disallows married men with no children from being a Pastor. Why is that? It is because we can understand from the passage that there is a principle being set forth. The principle is that if a person wants to be an Elder/Pastor/Overseer they must have their children under control (that is “if” they have children); they must not be a polygamist (that is “if” they are married and “if” they are a man).

The problems with interpreting 1 Timothy 3 as forbidding women from being an elder is:

1. There is nothing in the passage that says that a woman cannot be an elder in exactly the same way as there is nothing in the passage that says that a man cannot be an elder if he is single.

2. The Greek is written in such a way that allows both men and women to aspire to being a Pastor/Elder/Overseer.

1 Timothy 3:1 says: Trustworthy [is] the word: If anyone aspires to [the] position of overseer [Gr. episkope], he desires a good work. (Analytical-Literal Translation)

The Greek word used is NOT “aner” which would mean “If any male aspires…” Instead of the Greek word for males, the generic Greek word for”anyone” is used which is “tis”. “Tis” means men or women and has the exact same Greek grammatical structure as “anyone” in John 6:51 and every other passage concerning salvation.

John 6:51 “I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever”

All of the salvation verses are just like 1 Timothy 3:1 and they are singular masculine in the Greek grammar but all of them use the generic Greek wording which includes men and women. If we dispute that the Greek can include men and women because the grammar is singular masculine, then we must also be consistent and disallow women to be saved since all of the salvation passages are written in the same way as 1 Timothy 3:1 with generic words having a singular masculine tense in the Greek.

3. 1 Timothy 3:12 also says that Deacons must be the husbands of one wife and this term clearly did not disqualify women because Phoebe was a Deacon of the church of Cenchrea.

Romans 16:1 I commend to you our sister Phoebe, who is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea;

The word that the NASB translates as “servant” is “diakonos”which means Deacon. If Phoebe could be a Deacon of the church at Cenchrea and the term “husband of one wife” did not disqualify her, then why would we think that this same term would disqualify a woman from being an elder/pastor/overseer?

So the next time that someone tells you that 1 Timothy 3 forbids women from being a Pastor, you make sure to ask them if the same passage forbids single men and married men without children from being Pastors. If a person is going to be a literalist without considering the standard that is actually being set forth, then they must also follow through with the same standards for single men and married men without children. To fail to follow through with applying the principle across the board would be hypocritical.

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