Anne Graham Lotz and 800 pastors' shame

Anne Graham Lotz and 800 pastors' shame

CBMW relates a story told by Anne Graham Lotz in the Washington Post where Mrs Lotz writes:

What legitimate, Biblical role do women have within the church? That question demanded an answer early in my ministry when I accepted an invitation to address a large convention of pastors.

When I stood in the lectern at the convention center, many of the 800 church leaders present turned their chairs around and put their backs to me. When I concluded my message, I was shaking. I was hurt and surprised that godly men would find what I was doing so offensive that they would stage such a demonstration, especially when I was an invited guest. And I was confused. Had I stepped out of the Biblical role for a woman? While all agree that women are free to help in the kitchen, or in the nursery, or in a secretary’s chair, is it unacceptable for a woman to take a leadership or teaching position?

While CBMW writer Brent Nelson writes about the en masse action of many of the 800 pastors in a negative fashion…

Such a shameful event should have never happened.

…what action does he say should have happened?

I grieve that someone in a decision-making role, did not wisely preclude a woman from speaking to a large group of pastors who chose to express their biblically sound concerns in such a shameful fashion.  The commands to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15), are equally as important to obey as the command for a woman not take spiritual authority over men. (emphasis added by WIM)

While CBMW’s article says that women are not to be elders or pastors and this is apparently the “clear” prohibition that CBMW espouses, Anne Graham Lotz doesn’t appear to be either an elder or a pastor.  What Mrs. Lotz does in her ministry is preach the good news to whoever the Lord Jesus brings in her pathway.  She writes:

Mary Magdalene was actually the very first evangelist! Since Jesus had obviously been present when Peter and John were there, why did He withhold Himself from them, but reveal Himself to Mary? He could so easily have given the task of announcing His resurrection to Peter and John, but instead He had given it to Mary. I believe He was making an undeniable, obvious statement that reverberates through the centuries, right up until our own day. Women are commanded and commissioned to serve Jesus Christ in whatever capacity He calls them, within or without the organized church, in word or in deed.

CBMW writer Brent Nelson agrees that Mary was commissioned to preach the gospel of the resurrection to the Lord’s disciples, but this doesn’t support Anne Graham Lotz.

Mary seeing Jesus and being commissioned to tell the disciples of his rising is indeed an honor, but certainly does not qualify her to take the role of an Elder or Pastor to men.

While I will not be discussing women elders or pastors in this article, CBMW’s article appears to be a sleight of hand bringing confusion regarding official positions of ordination with the call to preach and teach outside of ordination.  This confusion is precisely what CBMW itself seeks to avoid when they state that women can minister but not have a “pastorate”.

Imprecision is the handmaid of confusion, and confusion the prelude to bondage (John 8:32). We would do well to make a distinction between women in ministry (which the Bible affirms) and women in the pastorate (which the Bible forbids – 1 Timothy 2:12).

Is Anne Graham Lotz called by God to ordination?  She says no:

This space is not long enough to address the issue of ordination which carries with it the right to marry, bury, baptize, and have authority over church members. I do not believe God has called me to be ordained, but I know many women who believe He has called them. Some of these women pastor in countries where the male leadership has been decimated by persecution and imprisonment, and out of necessity they have stepped up to fill the void. (emphasis added by WIM)

What is Anne Graham Lotz called to do?  She writes about what the Lord’s commission means to her:

For me, it means going wherever God sends and giving out His Word to whomever He puts in front of me.

So if Anne Graham Lotz is not called to be ordained as a pastor and she is not ordained as an elder, then why would 800 pastors have “biblical sound concerns” to have her speak to them as an invited guest speaker?  Again CBMW’s Brent Nelson writes:

I grieve that someone in a decision-making role, did not wisely preclude a woman from speaking to a large group of pastors who chose to express their biblically sound concerns in such a shameful fashion.  The commands to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15), are equally as important to obey as the command for a woman not take spiritual authority over men. (emphasis added by WIM)

The mindset of CBMW is that women are not allowed to preach the gospel to Christian men because this constitutes taking “spiritual authority” over men.  It is only a smokescreen in this case when they say that the Bible forbids women to be pastors and elders, because this has nothing to do with Mrs. Lotz.  Anne Graham Lotz is an evangelist not a pastor or an elder, yet she is forbidden according to CBMW, to preach the good news to pastors while they can at the very same time agree that Mary was commissioned by Jesus to preach the good news to the disciples.  CBMW affirms that Jesus’ commission for Mary was a godly thing for a woman to obey.  This sleight of hand and confusing talk brings great harm to the body of Christ when women are hindered from speaking the truth of God’s word to the body of Christ.

CBMW’s answer to a woman’s preaching the gospel to Christian men is that she should be hindered, stopped and forbidden from speaking in the first place.  According to this CBMW article it would be a wise male leader who should have stood in the way of Anne Graham Lotz and prevented her from speaking the gospel to these Christian men.  CBMW lifts up the pastors who turned their backs on Mrs. Lotz as godly men who showed their biblical concern in the wrong way.  By turning their backs on Mrs. Lotz, these pastors were not preventing her from speaking to them, they were only showing a shameful action of contempt.  Would CBMW’s counsel to these pastors have them walk out en masse instead of merely turning their backs?

Apparently CBMW believes that there were two shameful actions that happened the day Anne Graham Lotz spoke to those 800 pastors.  The first shameful action was the men who turned their backs toward a godly sister in Christ.  The other “shameful” action was apparently the mere fact that Mrs. Lotz would dare to speak the gospel in the presence of Christian men and that a Christian leader would dare to allow her to speak.  CMBW’s Brent Nelson writes:

At the end of the day, it is the role of pastors and men to lead their congregations and families in understanding God’s design for the home and the church. When this kind of biblical leadership is lacking, sadly shameful things can happen. (emphasis is added by WIM)

CBMW through sleight of hand has now added to the scriptures that only men may lead Christians in the church and in the family towards understanding God’s design.  Shame on CBMW for spiritually turning their back on God’s gifted women, and thus God himself by adding to God’s word things that God never said.

Listen to what CBMW believes Christian men shouldn’t be able to hear Anne Graham Lotz preach and apparently use their CBMW-based conscience to walk out:

Anne Graham Lotz Just Give me Jesus

Pursuing More of Jesus with Anne Graham Lotz

35 thoughts on “Anne Graham Lotz and 800 pastors' shame

  1. What is even more confusing is how they have institutionalized the church with such things as ‘offices’. Seriously, who were the pastors of the churches at Ephesus, Corinth, Antioch, etc., just to name a few.

    Think about ‘pastor’ in today’s sense and then try and answer that question. Was there only one church in Ephesus? What was considered a church in the NT? A gathering in the homes? Did each one have a pastor leading it? How often is the term ‘pastor’ even used in the NT?

    If elders were so important then how come ALL the Epistles were not addressed soley to elders of those churches?

    Some things just do not add up.

  2. Lin… great observation.  The Christ Model of Leadership is found in Matthew 20:25-28 where we are told that real leaders are those who humbly serve others.  I see just as many women following this model of leadership in the church as I do men… perhaps more so!  There have been many women in the church who have taught me much and many others that I would gladly follow.

    BB

  3. What would these stupid men have done if Billy Graham had introduced his daughter?
    It’s a shame Anne didn’t have her shoes full of sand so she could have shaken it in their faces.
     
    Their crude demonstration sounds like the one put on by the committed from the Executive Committee in their marching to the front, taking off their badges, and walking out of the Baptist World Alliance when the CBF was voted in.

  4. Oops, I meant to write ‘committee’, but maybe ‘committed’ is a better word since through their jealously they were committed to be against anyone receiving money they figured should be coming to them.

  5. Lin,

    Great thoughts and you are right on!

    Pastor Billy,

    I loved that you rightly called it “The Christ Model of Leadership” in Matthew 20 and not the “male” model of leadership.  All of us, men and women are to follow Christ’s model.  It is God-ordained that the entire body of Christ has one role model not a male Messiah and a female Messiah.  To be like Christ should be the cry of our heart – and that works itself out through serving one another.

    Thank you for commenting and I welcome you here!

    Rex Ray,

    Your comment…

    What would these stupid men have done if Billy Graham had introduced his daughter?

    …really gave me food for thought.  I doubt that if Billy Graham would have been there to introduce his daughter that they would have acted in such a shameful way.  But if that would have been the case then they are doubly prejudiced.

    I welcome you as well and hope that you come back to share your comments here.  Even your typo was well stated!

  6. The question is not who might teach, for Paul says anyone might.   

    The question is who will listen to any particular teaching.  And if for some reason one feels they should not be listening, then to leave without commotion.  You can discuss any concerns later with the elders in oversight.  I am assuming a crowd and not a small group teaching where a question might be appropriate.

    I personally have left some teachings when they used what I deemed to be manipulative tricks on the audience.  I have also expressed my concerns to the leadership afterwards in other cases where I thought the teaching was flawed enough to cause harm.

  7. Well the only person showing the true love of Christianity in that room was Anne Graham Lotz.
    If they didn’t want to listen to a woman why did they go?
    Looks as if they were just looking for an excuse to be rude – overinflated egos …… again

  8. Sheryl,
    Thanks for the nice words
     
    The shameful actions of these men reminded me of a basketball coach who stood and turned his back to the game to show disrespect to the referees.  He was rejected from the building. 
     
    It shows how narrow their legalistic minds are that sports demand higher conduct.

  9. Lin,
    You are soooo right their actions were planned in advance. 
     
    Just like Mosses and his brother planned to disobey God and not speak to the rock.  I know the result of their sin will not be as theirs, but I hope someday they will be sorry.

  10. Yes, the men that turned their chairs around were just being rude. 

    When I heard about this story, my respect for Anne went WAY up. 

    It is one thing to get this kind of stuff from pagans, but quite another to get it from believers.  BY THEIR ACTIONS, they were disorderly, which a believer is not to be, especially in a church setting.

  11. Cheryl,

    Thank you for pointing out the sleight of hand in the CBMW article.

    Yes, Lotz is NOT an elder or pastor so there is no problem with her speaking to a group of men because she is not in an authoritative role.

    Surely they do not believe that everyone who speaks to a group of people is in an authoritative role?  If they do, then we are in trouble.  

    It is my personal opinion, that after hearing Anne Graham Lotz speak on heaven, that the men in that room were intimidated by her obvious gifting from the Lord and that she shines brightly as someone who knows God’s word and how to present it.  She is an amazing orator and is certainly by far one of the best I have ever heard.  It is sometimes hard to admit, because of pride, that someone is better at something than we are, especially when that someone is a woman.  🙂  

    Turning their chairs around is an act of an immature toddler.   These are not men of God.  These are toddlers who need a a time-out. The real men of God in that room were the ones who didn’t act like silly children and who were secure in their manhood enough that they could enjoy her presentation and be blessed by her words of wisdom. 

    What conference was this at?  When did this incident take place?

  12. I like that image, they gave themselves a time out!
    It makes something that they intended to shame the speaker into something that they did to themselves, by revealing their immaturity.

  13. Lin,

    That is interesting.  It looks like Billie Graham was secure in who he was in God and he wasn’t into fleshly ambition that his daughter’s obvious giftings were a threat to his own ministry.  

    The way I look at it, it all boils down to control, power, fleshly ambition, and the need to be the greatest in the Kingdom without actually doing what it takes (being servant to all) to be the greatest.  

  14. The desire and laudable zeal to do all things “Biblically” can cause even the best of men (anthropos) to go against their consciences and what Lincoln called the better angels of our nature.

    The mothers and grandmothers of these Southern gentlemen would be ashamed of them for the way they treated Lotz, and would surely want to take each one of them outside for a whippin’.

  15. Don #6,

    You are right in that the question should be no who can teach, but who should listen.  If a person’s conscience is bothered by listening to a teacher, then they should do the right thing by leaving.  Let the godly teacher continue to teach while the one’s whose conscience is bothered, leave.

  16. Elizabeth,

    There i no doubt in my mind that the protest was staged and was planned to be rude.  They all knew that she was going to be a guest speaker.  If their consciences were that weak, they should have stayed home or gone elsewhere instead of deliberately making an issue out of the word of God being preached by someone who was not of the “right” gender.  If they really believed that she was doing something wrong merely because of her gender, they should have taken her aside after the meeting as discreetly as Priscilla and Aquilla did when they discreetly took Apollos aside and corrected him.  It is not a godly thing to disgrace and embarrass a fellow believer in public in that manner.

  17. Rex Ray #9,

    I liked your story about the basketball coach.  It shows that the behavior can be easy evaluated and seen for what it is when we remove the religious element.

  18. Corrie #12,

    You said: 

    Surely they do not believe that everyone who speaks to a group of people is in an authoritative role?  If they do, then we are in trouble. 

    What I have found is that the issue is so often hidden by the claim that it is about pastors and elders, but the fact is that they stop a woman from speaking to men, implying that the mere act of teaching men is an “authoritative” role.  Their thinking seems to be that teaching the scriptures is something that requires taking authority over another person.  But I ask does a woman have authority over another woman when she teaches her the bible?  Apparently they don’t see women teaching women as taking authority over other women since they believe that teaching the word of God “with authority” is something that only men can do.  If the same woman taught the same stuff to men that she taught to women, she is “usurping” authority that rightfully belongs to men.  I find their reasoning confusing with much “sleight of hand” changes and redefinitions.

    It is my personal opinion, that after hearing Anne Graham Lotz speak on heaven, that the men in that room were intimidated by her obvious gifting from the Lord and that she shines brightly as someone who knows God’s word and how to present it.  She is an amazing orator and is certainly by far one of the best I have ever heard.  It is sometimes hard to admit, because of pride, that someone is better at something than we are, especially when that someone is a woman.  🙂

    I agree.  I can hear Anne Graham Lotz’s passion when I hear her preach.  And she focuses on Jesus which makes her preaching so powerful.

    Turning their chairs around is an act of an immature toddler.   These are not men of God.  These are toddlers who need a a time-out. The real men of God in that room were the ones who didn’t act like silly children and who were secure in their manhood enough that they could enjoy her presentation and be blessed by her words of wisdom.

    Well said!!

    What conference was this at?  When did this incident take place?

    Mrs. Lotz wrote that this was in the beginning of her ministry so that would have been quite a number of years ago.  I also heard her on TV giving this same story.  I don’t think she mentioned where the incident took place or who exactly was involved.  It was a defining moment for Anne.  It humiliated her and satan wanted to destroy her so that she would quit her work for Christ.  But Anne did what all of us should do in a humbling moment like this.  She went to Jesus.  He gave her such a confidence from the word of God that she was doing what was right and that she was in his will that she forgave those men and went on in her work with great boldness continuing to preach the word.
    Moments like this can either make us or break us.  We can let the bad behavior of others define out ministry, or we can walk forth in boldness with our egos given to Jesus.  It takes great boldness to walk out before an audience to preach God’s word, knowing that many in the audience are judging us as sinning against God.  What Anne Graham Lotz did was put everything into focus.  She would one day stand before God and give an account of her ministry call.  She must obey Jesus and not men.  Those same men will also stand before Jesus and give an account of what they did.
    If I remember right, Mrs. Lotz said in an interview on TV that men like this must not usurp God’s authority over his own sheep in that they must not physically stop women from ministering.  We can deal with the shame that is leveled our way, but if any were to physically stop her from speaking, then the ones who did this would have to answer directly to God himself for their actions.  She hoped that it would never come to this because her desire is to serve Jesus in everyway that He has called her.  No one should stand in the way of a godly woman going about the business of the Lord Jesus.

  19. Corrie #15,

    The way I look at it, it all boils down to control, power, fleshly ambition, and the need to be the greatest in the Kingdom without actually doing what it takes (being servant to all) to be the greatest. 

    This is well said.  Wanting preeminence without doing what is necessary for preeminence (giving up of one’s own ambition and humbling oneself to serve others) is taking a short cut to leadership.  But there is no such short cut in the Kingdom of light.  Jesus gave no other way than the way he lived out his leadership – and that is humble servanthood, caring for the sheep above caring for one’s own needs.  We have way too many egos in leadership that have been allowed to circumvent the Lord’s way.

    Greg,

    Your words about mothers and grandmothers of the pastors there who acted in a rude fashion made me laugh.

  20. Christians are dying in the Congo, Darfur, Iraq and elswhere while  the American evangelical Church is still debating such
    inconsequentials as whether women should preach/ teach/ speak  or not……………………………….!!

    My concern about Anne Graham Lotz is not whether or not she should be preaching and teaching . She seems to have a gift for biblical exposition and her personal life appears free from moral blemish. However, sadly she does seem to have supported Southern Baptist leaders like Rev Jerry Falwell and Senator Jesse Helms in their homophobic and racist views. 

  21. Ayla,

    Anne Graham Lotz certain does appear to be free from moral blemish although of course we know that we are all sinners in constant need of the Savior’s cleansing work daily.  I think that it would be very unfair to call her “homophobic”.  This means a fear of homosexuals.  I don’t think that expressing the biblical view of sin qualifies her to be called “homophobic”.  All of us have inherited sin from our conception and the person who lives a life of telling lies is called a liar.  The bible is very hard on those who are “liars” and it says that those who live a life of lies and whose habit it is to practice lies will not inherit the kingdom of heaven.  While we can rightly identify lying as a sin, we can still treat those who are liars as human beings.  Jesus died for liars too and if they will turn from their sin and repent they can be cleansed.  Same thing for adulterers.  I have no doubt that people are born with this inclination for lying and cheating etc because we are all born in sin, but our opportunity is to love the sinner while not supporting or condoning the sin.  I do not think that Anne is unloving or fearful at all.  That is just my take.

    Thanks for popping in.  And welcome!

  22. I gave away a commentary set because of the treatment of Samson’s Mother. She is un-named, and so there was no exploration of why the Angel of the Lord would visit her twice, instead of the man. Why are her words in the Bible, but not her name?

    If people protested when you spoke, what would you do? There are prophets who protested back. Jesus just got crucified, again.

    Is there anything even remotely similar to the behavior of Jesus to any woman? He talked to prostitutes who were in danger of death by stoning. He whipped money changers. He touched and spoke to anyone. What is the problem with these men? If Lotz were speaking for free, would it be the same?

  23. I agree that the act of turning one’s chair around would be rude, but why would a group of Christian men want to be preached to by a woman? If she were merely sharing her testimony or other stories about her life – fine, but I certainly wouldn’t consider it within God’s order for men to be preached to by a woman.

    One’s perceived calling must line up with scripture in order to it to be legitimate; wouldn’t you agree?

  24. Hi Ken,
    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I hope you feel very welcome here.

    This is how I see it. If a man’s conscience is weak and he believes that it is a sin for him to listen to a woman preach, then he shouldn’t go to a place where a woman is preaching. That would be the respectful way that a man with a weak conscience should act towards his sister in Christ.

    There is no doubt that Anne Graham Lotz sees her calling as being from God and nowhere does it say in the scriptures that a woman is not allowed to preach. In my opinion it would be wrong for men to judge the Lord’s servant on her calling. She will stand by the will and the strength of the Lord her Master.

    Romans 14:4 Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.

  25. Cheryl,
    I don’t believe it’s an issue of “weak conscience” on the part of men (although it sounds to have been an odd/cruel reaction) but about one’s perceived calling lining up with God’s Word.
    Currently, the homosexual marriage issue rages, and the scriptures are clear with regard to God’s opinion of such unions; yet many claim to “know” it to be God’s will to allow these unions (along with torturing the Word/or completely disregarding the Word in an effort to get it to say what they wish to be true). Their desires have usurped the clear direction of God’s Word, and I must admit; I don’t know enough about the ministerial work of Mrs. Lotz to say for sure that she is guilty of this.
    Had I been present when she spoke, I would never have acted as these men acted. Now, depending on what she said, I may have quietly left if I felt it was appropriate to be there, but judging from what I’ve heard Mrs. Lotz say at other times; I can’t image that I would feel that to be necessary.
    As for judgement: we are called to correct each other as believers.

  26. “As for judgement: we are called to correct each other as believers.”

    I agree and that is what this blog is about.

    For you to compare the sin of homosexuality to “a woman proclaiming the Word as sin” is heinous and uncalled for. Cheryl is much nicer than I am about such grievous comparisons. Being a woman proclaiming the Word to ANYONE is not a sin. To compare it to homosexuality is an insult to your sisters in Christ here.

    Why not engage in other posts about exactly what scripture teaches and defend your position of women not being allowed to teach men from that perspective. We can show you how a ‘plain reading of scripture’ was not INSPIRED as the real reading of scripture.

    And it has NOTHING to do with the sin of homosexuality being accepted by those groups in error.

    Should I compare your beliefs about women to that of David Koresh? Papa Pilgrim? Would that be fair?

  27. Lin,
    Homosexual marriage & women teaching/in leadership and authority over men ARE related (although, perhaps not in severity) in the fact that they are both clear examples of people’s unwillingness to follow the clearly stated directives given in God’s Word. And always remember the great example of a wife submitting to her husband’s authority. By doing so she’s actually submitting to the Lord who commands that she do so. Perhaps you need to get over the fact that you were created a woman (and not a man) and begin to focus of the unique and wonderful plan that God has for your life – one that is in alignment with His Word. (of course you should, as I should proclaim the Word, but in the order and fashion prescribed within the Word) It’s really very simple when you think about it. And . . as for “Should I compare your beliefs about women to that of David Koresh? Papa Pilgrim? Would that be fair?” Well, you could if there were any comparison to make.

  28. Ken,
    Thanks for your comments and trying to correct me. I do not believe that the Scriptures say anything other than I am saying, but I always am open to correction should I be wrong. I differ with you about what the Scriptures say because it is a serious issue to state that someone is sin without a Biblical backing. I completely agree with you that homosexuality is sinful. The Bible is clear on that. But can we find in the Scripture that it is wrong for a woman to preach the truth of God’s word? No. Preaching is not listed as a sin.

    I also wrote that a man has a weak conscience if he believes that it is sinful to listen to a woman preach. Not only is there no list of sin that would make preaching a sinful act for a woman, but there is nothing in the Scripture that would list a man listening to the truthful preaching of God’s word as a sin either. So if these men felt that listening to a woman preach was sinful they should have left because it is their weak conscience and not a Scriptural injunction. At least we both agree that what they did was rude and inappropriate. I am very glad for your agreement.

    You also appear to agree with me that it is not sinful for a man to listen to a woman preach the truth of God’s word. You said that if you were there you would not have left depending on what she said. By your words it is apparent that you believe she was preaching the truth of God’s word and you would have left only if the words she was saying were in appropriate words of error. So it isn’t the fact that she is a woman preaching that is inappropriate, but only if she is teaching error. I can heartily agree with this.

    Here is the issue that I have with the men who were at the service where Anne preached. Since preaching the truth of God’s word is never in any list of sin, then it must have been the audience that she was preaching to that caused them to react. Since she is allowed to preach, the men who constituted the illegal audience should have graciously removed themselves to allow her to continue her godly preaching. Those ones who would leave because of their conscience have a weak conscience since the Scripture does not list a man listening to a woman as being in sin. Does it make sense now why I said they had a weak conscience?

    The issue then is if a woman is allowed to exercise her gift with the authority of the Giver of that gift?

    1 Peter 4:10 As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
    1 Peter 4:11 Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

    I believe that the authority of the Giver of the gifts overrides the weak conscience of those who have not yet been enlightened to the work of the Holy Spirit through women. If I am wrong, then show me from the Scriptures where men are instructed to walk out of a Bible study where a woman is sharing her God-given gifts.

    I do share Lin’s concern that the gifts of the Holy Spirit would be likened to the sinful act of homosexuality. This is something that is very common with complementarians but it is offensive to those of us who desire to serve God fully by the authority of 1 Peter 4:10, 11.

    I hope that I have answered clearly and respectfully so that you understand my concerns.

  29. Ken,
    I didn’t see your response to Lin while I was writing my response to you. You said:

    Homosexual marriage & women teaching/in leadership and authority over men ARE related (although, perhaps not in severity) in the fact that they are both clear examples of people’s unwillingness to follow the clearly stated directives given in God’s Word.

    This is simply not true. God’s laws of sin are clearly stated, they are repeated and they are set up to warn us of sin because God loves us so much that He wants to keep us clean before Him. There is no issue with the sin of homosexuality. But where is godly preaching ever listed as a sin? Please show me the “clearly stated directives” that list preaching as a sin? If you cannot do so, then why would you link godly preaching to a sin that is so abhorrent to God that those who practice these things will not inherit eternal life? If we were to link men teaching the bible to children as equal to the sin of adultery, would that offend you? It would certainly offend me. It would be far better to connect this to the differences between those who regard one day above another.

    Romans 14:5 One person regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind.

    The Bible says about these kinds of issues that “each person” must be fully convinced in his own mind. These are not issues of sin but of personal conscience and freedom in Christ to serve the body.

  30. Cheryl,
    My comparison of homosexual marriage and the women in leadership, etc. issue wasn’t about sin, it was about disregarding what the Word says in order to do as you wish or, perhaps, as you believe you are called to do.
    You use the “weak conscience” term (which is used in scripture to address those who don’t eat meat) in a way I’ve never seen before.
    You are correct: the Bible never specifically says woman cannot “preach.” So, I guess, if woman can preach and, at the same time, not teach or usurp the authority of men, who’s to say it’s not o.k.?

  31. “Homosexual marriage & women teaching/in leadership and authority over men ARE related (although, perhaps not in severity) in the fact that they are both clear examples of people’s unwillingness to follow the clearly stated directives given in God’s Word”

    Since the issue of women teaching men is so very clear in scripture as sin, can you tell me at what age boys become men?

  32. Ken,
    I appreciate the gracious way that you are interacting with me.

    If I understand you right you are focusing on “marriage” rather than “homosexual”. I think I now understand what you are trying to present, but I would add that “dressing up” the sin of homosexuality with “marriage” does not change the sin. Homosexuality cannot be taken out of the sin category by equating it with fornication. This is because an unlawful sexual act of fornication between a man and a woman becomes lawful when they join themselves in marriage. This is because heterosexual acts are only sinful outside of marriage. However homosexuality is different in that homosexuality is never outside of sin whether one performs a marriage ceremony or not. Homosexuality is still homosexuality and God is the one who condemned it as sinful.

    Now look at women’s preaching. Did God condemn godly preaching? No. He did not say that women can preach on the lawn behind the school but they can’t preach in a school gym. He also did not say that women can preach in their home but not in a church auditorium. God made no decree that would make preaching a sin.

    The term “weak conscience” is always used in the context of activities that are not condemned as sinful by Christians. Because of the difference between God-condemned sinful activities and activities that are a matter of conscience, I have placed women’s preaching in the latter category because it clearly does not fit in the former category. It is not okay to say that something is sinful unless the Bible says that it is sin or if it is universally forbidden.

    As far as the issue of 1 Timothy 2:12 we need to be careful not to go beyond what the passage says in context (verses 11-15). The passage is not about usurping an authority that has been given to men. How do I know that? Because the word used “authenteo” is never even once given to men to “authenteo” other men, women or children. If it is not given to men, then women cannot “usurp” something that men don’t have.

    I think the key issue here is the consideration of our sisters in Christ. We ought not to treat them as sinful and condemn them for their God-given gifts. The gifts are the evidence of the calling.

  33. Hi Ken,

    Are you saying that men cannot learn something from women, especially spiritual things or else that would be against what Scripture says concerning a woman cannot teach a man?

    If you have learned ANYTHING from a woman, you have been taught by her.

    Some man on the Bayly blog just stated that men do not find the voices of women to be authoritative so men do not listen to what women have to say.

    What a horrible attitude for men to hold towards women. No wonder there are so many problems in marriages and our churches if men discount what a woman says in such a ridiculously ignorant manner.

    He would also say that men can’t be taught by women but we all know that men learn from women ALL the time on many issues.

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