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Month: March 2007

Should a woman fear using her spiritual gifts?

Should a woman fear using her spiritual gifts?

Can a woman serve God with all her heart without fearing that somehow she is violating a commandment by God? This segment is a preview of part 7 of the 4th DVD of “Women in Ministry Silenced or Set Free?” This preview deals with the background and context of Galatians 3:28. Click below to see a preview of the DVD.

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The Designer Knows Best – Genesis reveals God's will for women

The Designer Knows Best – Genesis reveals God's will for women

Understanding the basics in Genesis gives a foundation for understanding the way God views women in ministry. In this segment from the first DVD of “Women in Ministry Silenced or Set Free?” Genesis is examined and compared against the opposing viewpoint which limits women in ministry.

Click below to watch a free excerpt of part 1 Genesis: “The Designer Knows Best”.

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1 Corinthians 14 should women be silent?

1 Corinthians 14 should women be silent?

I have posted a third preview of my “Women in Ministry Silenced or Set Free?” DVD on YouTube. You can view the preview of 1 Corinthians 14 below. Click below on the picture to watch the preview of part 5 found on the fourth DVD.

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To watch an excerpt from the section on 1 Timothy 2:11-15 click here http://strivetoenter.com/wim/2007/03/30/1-timothy-2-video-preview-now-available/

To watch the entire introduction to “Women in Ministry Silenced or Set Free?” click here http://strivetoenter.com/wim/2007/01/09/wim-video-preview-on-youtube/

1 Timothy 2 video preview now available

1 Timothy 2 video preview now available

I have posted a second preview of my “Women in Ministry Silenced or Set Free?” DVD on YouTube. You can view the preview of 1 Timothy 2:11-15 below. Click on the picture to watch the preview of part 4 on the third DVD.
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Should CBMW fight egalitarians?

Should CBMW fight egalitarians?

This week CBMW (the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood) released two audio tapes from the February 2007 “Different by Design” Conference held in Minneapolis Minnesota. (http://www.cbmw.org/media/differentbydesign.php) I was amazed at the way that the gospel was connected to the gender issue in such a way that those who do not hold to patriarchy and male-only leadership were charged with not holding to the gospel. I would like to present some clips from the first audio tape by Russell Moore in this post and reflect on his comments.

The source of the following audio clips is from CBMW’s audio files (http://www.cbmw.org/media/differentbydesign.php) The first speaker from the February 2007 conference is Dr. Russell Moore who is the dean of theology at the Southern Baptist theological seminary in Louisville Kentucky.

Dr. Moore starts out by stating that evangelical feminism is winning the debate in our churches. The clips below are very short so it won’t take long to get through them. The shortest clip is only 11 seconds long and the last clip which is the most jaw-dropping clip is only 1 minute 18 seconds.

(click here to listen to clip 1)

Dr. Moore then asserts that Christians who hold to the egalitarian viewpoint do not have an exegetical argument and have largely abandoned (trying to use exegesis).

(click here to listen to clip 2)

I would respectfully disagree with Dr. Moore. I have read many excellent biblical exegetical arguments from evangelical egalitarian sources. In 2006 our ministry also produced a careful and respectful verse-by-verse exegesis of the hard passages of scripture in our 4 DVD series called “Women in Ministry Silenced or Set Free?” It was extremely important to us to recognize that as Christians we need to work hard to rightfully divide the word of truth. We believe that scripture is God-breathed and we do not advocate disregarding any parts of scripture. All scripture has been given by God for our learning and our correction. Have egalitarian Christians abandoned an exegetical argument on the gender issue? Absolutely not! Those who hold tightly to scripture do not have to abandon scripture at all to reject patriarchy.

Dr. Moore then says that women who teach the bible in the media, like teaching on DVDs, are taking a pastoral role that isn’t allowed to them and men who watch and listen to women teach the bible on DVDs are more willing to let women teach them.

(click here to listen to clip 3)

It is interesting that Dr. Moore appears to be very against women teaching scripture using various media. Should women stop teaching scripture? No. We are in a battle against the enemy and we must not be silent. We cannot stop teaching the bible if we are to be faithful to Christ. Women who teach scripture on DVDs as I have on my WIM series are following Christ using the gifts that he has given us. Should women be forbidden to teach using the media? It appears that Dr. Moore believes so. Why? He says that this debate is not a secondary issue but is an issue of the gospel. He says that it is not an intramural debate where brothers and sisters in Christ can disagree on a secondary issue. Rather according to Dr. Moore and CBMW, the gender debate is not a secondary issue but a core issue of the gospel.

(click here to listen to clip 4)

Dr. Moore goes on to say that we as a church have treated the doctrine of God as a more important issue than the “male headship” or gender issue, however he disagrees. He says that brothers and sisters who are together on the doctrine of God are not really together if they disagree on the gender issue because open theism (a view that denies God’s full knowledge i.e. the teaching that God is not omniscient) is not worse than evangelical feminism.

(click here to listen to clip 5)

How sad that the gender debate can be considered in the same category as open theism. How this must hurt the heart of God when a brother in Christ is willing to separate from other brothers and sisters in Christ over a secondary issue, instead treating the gender issue as a core issue of faith. This is not a core issue of faith but an issue where sincere brothers and sisters in Christ can differ without breaking fellowship. Those who are charging egalitarians with serious doctrinal error and with dismissing the gospel just because they believe that women are allowed to use their spiritual gifts without restriction,have moved over into a divisive and unloving stance. This should not be.

The last clip brings a great sadness to my heart.

(click here to listen to clip 6)

Evangelical feminists are not necessarily lost? Perhaps some of them can be saved? It is just so sad to hear Dr. Moore state that those who hold to the egalitarian argument are holding to a belief that seems right to them because they are shaking their fists in the face of authority. He says that lives are at stake. He says that the gospel is at stake.

Beloved, our brothers in Christ are seeing this issue as in-house spiritual warfare. We are the enemy to them and they are out to win because they believe they are fighting the battle for the gospel.

This is not a battle for the gospel. We believe in the gospel just as strongly as Dr. Moore and CBMW does. In fact the core of our ministry is the defense of the faith and we have been instrumental in leading many Jehovah’s Witnesses to Christ by presenting the gospel to them. But when one adds conditions to the gospel that the bible does not add, then there will be an attack on those who do not hold to those conditions.

I say that it is time that our brothers in Christ stop treating us as the enemy. Where is the love for others in the body of Christ who do not think as they do? Jesus said that they will know us by our love. Our love MUST be for the body of Christ. Complementarians need to learn to love us and do it for Jesus’ sake.

What is your opinion? What do you think of these quotes?

In closing I would like to quote a short piece from a blog article by Justin Taylor at Between Two Worlds

The article is regarding controversy and how we as Christians need to treat others who disagree with us. Justin quotes John Newton, writing in a letter on controversy (The Works of John Newton, 1:273-274):

It seems a laudable service to defend the faith once delivered to the saints; we are commanded to contend earnestly for it, and to convince gainsayers. If ever such defences were seasonable and expedient, they appear to be so in our day, when errors abound on all sides, and every truth of the Gospel is either directly denied, or grossly misrepresented.

And yet we find but very few writers of controversy who have not been manifestly hurt by it. Either they grow in a sense of their own importance, or imbibe an angry contentious spirit, or they insensibly withdraw their attention from those things which are the food and immediate support of the life of faith, and spend their time and strength upon matters which at most are but of a secondary value.

This shews, that, if the service is honourable, it is dangerous. What will it profit a man if he gains his cause and silences his adversary, if at the same time he loses that humble, tender frame of spirit in which the Lord delights, and to which the promise of his presence is made!¦

Amen! We all need to work at keeping that humble, tender spirit especially towards fellow Christians who are also members of the body of Christ even as we expose error.

 

We are in our new home

We are in our new home

We are mostly moved into our new home and much of our time has been spent in unpacking boxes. Our living room now feels like home since six book cases of my research and bible study books have been unpacked.

Books in new home

Now that we are starting to find space on the floor to walk, I am trying to find time to work on a new blog article regarding the latest audio files from the complementarian camp. I was saddened to hear how they are continuing to become more militant as the time goes by. It is now claimed that those who do not accept a patriarchal view are guilty of dismissing the gospel. This is one of the main reasons why this blog exists – to show that those who accept an egalitarian view regarding women who use their God-given gifts for the entire body of Christ, can view the Bible as God’s inspired word and God breathed. It is imperative that we give a basis for our belief in a reasonable and respectful way. The body of Christ is hurt when those who hold to a restrictive view of women use this non-essential issue as a way to build barriers and even “rip apart” other sheep, doing much damage to the very ones whom Jesus commanded them to love. Christians on both sides of this debate should remember that we are brothers and sisters in Christ. Yes, it is essential to expose error, but godly Christians should be able to interact and dialog in a loving way without attacking one another by making this non-essential issue into an essential doctrine by accusing the other side of denying the gospel.

Keep watch for my new article. I plan to include audio clips so you can hear the material for yourself.

Is Adam the representative head of the human race?

Is Adam the representative head of the human race?

Those who believe that God created a hierarchical relationship between men and women will usually state that God created Adam as the “federal head” of the human race. This “federal headship” is said to be not only physical in that all of humanity has its origin in Adam, but spiritual because of a divinely-ordained covenant which God instituted between only Adam and himself.

In this view, God gives the prohibition to Adam alone in the garden and God does not include Eve because she is to be represented by Adam in the same way that Adam represents all of mankind. This view is very much embedded in the complementarian mindset so that those who hold this view believe that it is not a tradition but is instead based on scripture itself. But is this true?

While I agree that when Adam sinned he took all of his descendants with him because all of us were produced from the body of Adam after he sinned and thus all of us are physically connected to Adam in his sin nature, however I strongly disagree that God created a special relationship with Adam alone that made Adam a spiritual or physical representative of Eve.

The unscriptural nature of this view is shown by those who take this teaching to its logical outcome. A strong proponent of the teaching of Adam as God’s appointed federal head of mankind is Les Feldick. Mr. Feldick is an Oklahoma rancher and preacher who teaches on a television program called “Through the Bible”.

Mr. Feldick takes the federal headship of Adam to its logical outcome by attributing Eve’s fall to Adam. He says:

“the woman’s fall was not precipitated by Eve’s eating of the fruit. Never! It was Adam who ate and the whole human race fell! We have to see here that Eve was part of that fall because she came out of Adam, just the same as you and I came from our parents. Eve came from Adam.”  http://www.lesfeldick.org/lesbk1.html

Mr. Feldick states further that:

“she (Eve) simply inherited her sin nature from Adam.” http://www.lesfeldick.org/lesbk2.html

If Adam was the federal head of all mankind and appointed as such by God when God made a covenant with Adam alone, then it would have to follow that Eve’s sin did not come from her eating of the fruit. Her sin would have to be attributed to her when Adam sinned just as Mr. Feldick asserts. That means that Eve would have inherited the sin nature even if she had not been disobedient herself because Adam’s sin would also have been attributed to her. Now I agree that this would have been the case if Eve had been created after Adam sinned. When Adam sinned he took all of the future humanity with him because all of us were created from his sin-tainted flesh. We all inherited Adam’s sin nature because all of us were created after Adam sinned. But what about Eve? Eve was not created after Adam sinned but she was created before he sinned. Nowhere in scripture is her sin attributed by God to Adam and nowhere is Adam’s sin attributed to Eve. Eve is held accountable for her own sin just as Adam is held accountable for his own sin. God does not go to Adam and ask him what Eve has done. God goes directly to Eve and deals directly with her without the mediatorship of her husband. If Adam was some kind of representative head appointed by God for all of humanity, then surely he would also have been the representative head of Eve. But God does not treat Adam as a representative head of the woman. Each person is dealt with individually and each person must account for their own sin.

So why if Eve sinned first, did God put the blame solely on the man for bringing sin into the world? It is because Adam’s sin was done in a deliberate and willful way (Hosea 6:7) while Eve’s sin was done through her being deceived and thus she fell into sin (1 Timothy 2:14)

Next the question can be asked, since the seed of the woman was to be born without original sin, does the sin nature pass forward from the male alone? Scripture makes this clear in that it makes the foreskin of the male as a metaphor for sin. Where the seed comes through – that skin is said to represent sin. When God made a covenant with Abraham, all of Abraham’s offspring were to be in the covenant including males and females, yet only the males were required to be circumcised.

Genesis 17:10 “This is My covenant, which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: every male among you shall be circumcised.”

The cutting off of the foreskin was a sign of the covenant because only the foreskin is a sign of sin and the physical passing on of the sin nature was through the male alone. If a male was not circumcised, that was a sign of sin not being cut off and God required that person to be cut off from his people.

Genesis 17:14 “But an uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that person shall be cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant.”

While the physical transmission of sin is from the male alone, God tells us that each one of us, male and female, need to circumcise the sin in our heart symbolized by the metaphor of the foreskin.

Deut. 10:16 Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no longer stubborn. (ESV)

Jeremiah 4:4 “Circumcise yourselves to the LORD And remove the foreskins of your heart.”

God himself promised that he would do the work of removing of the sin in our hearts and he likens it to physical circumcision.

Deut 30:6 “Moreover the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, so that you may live.

Spiritually we all need circumcision. However in a physical way only the males were required to go through the cutting off of the physical representation of sin. The foreskin of the male represents sin while the skin of the female (hymen) always represents purity in the Bible. Does this mean that women are pure while men are sinful? No, not at all. We all are sinners in our hearts and all of us have inherited the sin nature of Adam. But only the men’s seed passes on Adam’s seed of rebellion.

One Pastor who has a Masters in Divinity asked me to explain why if the foreskin is a sign of sin, then why was Jesus born with a foreskin that needed to be circumcised? The reason that Jesus was born with a foreskin although he did not have an inherited sin nature, was because the Bible says that Jesus was made in the likeness of sinful flesh.

Romans 8:3 For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh,

Jesus had to be made in our likeness but without the sin nature. That is why Jesus had to be born with the sign of sin in his body. He looked like us in our sinful bodies, but he was completely free of sin. In that likeness of sinful flesh he condemned sin in the flesh. Our sin nature is now spiritually circumcised by Christ himself.

Col 2:11 and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ;

Col 2:13 When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions,

In summary, Adam’s sin has been passed on to all of us through the physical seed of the male, but Christ who is the physical seed of the woman, has become flesh in order to cleanse all of us who through faith will come to him to receive forgiveness. Christ alone is able to permanently deal with the sinful “foreskin” of our hearts.

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