Mike Seaver and Cheryl Schatz discuss/debate women in ministry 1

Mike Seaver and Cheryl Schatz discuss/debate women in ministry 1

building-bridges on Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

Today is the first post of a discussion between Mike Seaver and Cheryl Schatz on the issue of women in ministry.  The discussion will take the form of five questions posed by Cheryl Schatz with answers by Mike Seaver and then five questions posed by Mike Seaver with answers by Cheryl Schatz.  The format will be as follows:

Post 1 – Question #1 by Cheryl then answer by Mike

Post 2 – Response to Mike’s answer by Cheryl and rejoinder by Mike

Post 3 – Question #2 by Cheryl then answer by Mike

Post 4 – Response to Mike’s answer by Cheryl and rejoinder by Mike

This format will continue until all five questions have been posed and answered with responses by both parties.  After this Mike will pose questions to Cheryl and the order above will be reversed until all five questions have been answered and responded to by both Mike and Cheryl.  Mike and Cheryl will both be posting the discussions on each of their blogs.  Cheryl’s blog is Women in Ministry and Mike’s blog is Role Calling. Mike’s corresponding post on debate question #1 is here.

Mike Seaver

We hope that the respectful dialog that Mike and Cheryl have will be thought-provoking.  Both of our blogs will be open for comments although our ability to respond to the comments may be limited due to our busy schedules.  We just ask those who would like to comment feel free to do so making sure to keep on topic and with no personal attacks.  God willing the discussion will be Christ-like and respectful even though both of us will be passionately arguing from our own viewpoint.  We are hopeful that this will be a step towards building bridges between the two sides so that if nothing else at least complementarians and egalitarians will see the other point of view presented in a respectful manner.  After all we are all in the body of Christ and despite our differences we are to love one another because we belong to one another in Christ.

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#1 Question by Cheryl Schatz: Complementarians tells us that God has established a law that forbids women from teaching the bible to men.  They say that 1 Cor. 14:34, 35 identifies the law requiring silence in the congregation while 1 Timothy 2:12 specifically forbids teaching men in the congregation.

Can you tell me when this law was established that forbids women from teaching the bible to men?  Was this law established beforeorafter Paul wrote these two passages?  If it was written after Paul, then why would God allow the women under the first covenant to be free up until the time of Paul but Christian women after Paul and after the establishment of the church now have a law?  If it was a law established in the Old Testament, please show us where this law is located and then please tell us why Priscilla did not adhere to the law when she taught Apollos and why she was never disciplined for breaking God’s law nor was she chastised in scripture for breaking such a serious “law”?

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#1 Answer by Mike Seaver

Cheryl, thanks for the question.  First off, let me say that I do not speak for all Complementarians in my answers.  I speak for the way I interpret and teach the texts, so I may, at times differ in thoughts from what other Complementarians say…I’m not sure.  I also want to say that I believe men and women are created equal and we are equally image bearers of God.  I do not think women are lesser than men.  I just think that the bible spells out differing roles (not better or worse roles) for males and females.

The 1 Corinthians 14 passage has to do with the corporate worship setting and specifically the judgment of prophetic words, so I would never use that passage to say that a women cannot teach men in a church.  I don’t think that is the context or desire Paul is making in the passage.  I do think that this passage shows is an ecclesiastical authority that is by men and that the men are to publically correct an errant prophetic word primarily because the women are not the elders/pastors.  If a woman feels that a prophetic word is errant, she should not publically correct it, but speak to her husband about it.  If he agrees, I think the husband (or husband and wife) could go to the elders to discuss it.  Paul’s desire in this passage is to establish order in the Corinthian church.  Chapters 12-14, and specifically chapter 14 are seeking to discuss the errors that the Corinthians were making in the area of spiritual gifts and orderly corporate meetings.

Apparently, Paul is referring to the way this should have been going on…thus bringing correction, so it appears that the “Law” that he is talking about was previously laid down prior to Paul writing this letter.

In 1 Timothy 2:12, Paul says, “I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.”  I link this passage to 1 Timothy 3:2 (which is actually only a few sentences later) when Paul says that one of the requirements for an overseer is to be “the husband of one wife/woman.”  I think these two passages show that the position of overseer is to be a man and that the man is to be the teacher.  He is to be “able to teach” and the woman is to “learn quietly” (1 Tim. 2:11).  I don’t think that means a woman can’t talk in church, make an announcement, give a prophetic word, read the bible publically, or pray, but I do think that Paul is saying the exercising authority is not what God desires of a woman in a church.

I think a woman can bring questions and even correction to her husband and I think a woman could bring questions to a male pastor/elder/overseer.  I think if a woman in the congregation heard me speak heresy, it is her right and obligation to come to me privately and ask questions about my teaching.  I think this is what Pricilla was doing.  She was helping a brother out who did not know doctrine the way she did.  She wasn’t publically teaching or preaching.  She was coming to him privately, being a helpful sister in Christ.  This is why she was not disciplined.  She did not break any law.

As far as the term “law” goes, I think Paul is simply referring to the Old Testament law; possibly the Pentateuch.

I think the ESV Study Bible has a helpful note on this passage that I agree with: “14:34-35 Since Paul seems to permit wives to pray and prophesy (11:5, 13) as long as they do not dishonor their husbands by the way they dress (11:5), it is difficult to see this as an absolute prohibition (cf. Acts 2:17, 21:8-9).  Paul is likely forbidding women to speak up and judge prophecies (this is in line in the immediate context; cf. 1 Cor 14:29) since such an activity would subvert male headship. ‘ Law also says’. Paul is probably thinking of the woman’s creation “from” or “for” the man.  (see 11:8-9; Gen. 2:20-24) as well as a general pattern of male leadership among the people of Israel in the OT.

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Cheryl’s response and Mikes rejoinder will be in the next post.

30 thoughts on “Mike Seaver and Cheryl Schatz discuss/debate women in ministry 1

  1. As I commented on Mike’s blog, I thank you both for your willingness to engage with each other on this important topic. I pray that you both will be blessed with fresh insights into the will of God through your discussion. Looking forward to checking in on this.

  2. Karen,

    Welcome to my blog! Also thanks for your encouragement. I do believe that it is very helpful to discuss these issues publicly in an open and honest and respectful way. We are brothers and sisters in Christ who are to love one another despite our differences. However if we can somehow build some bridges toward understanding, and we can encourage others to do the same, we can make a difference in dealing with the divisiveness of this issue.

  3. Hi Cheryl and Mike,

    I have some thoughts and questions in this comment…

    Mike:
    “I do think that this passage shows is an ecclesiastical authority that is by men and that the men are to publicly correct an errant prophetic word primarily because the women are not the elders/pastors.”

    What‘s been said above can be re-worded saying:

    I do think that this passage shows is an ecclesiastical authority that is by men and that the men are to publicly correct an errant prophetic word primarily because the men are the elders/pastors (an interpretation of 1 Tim 3).

    And women then are not to publically correct for the same primary reason – the women are not the elders/pastors the men are (an interpretation of 1 Tim 3). 1 Co 14 then is seen through the lens of an interpretation of 1 Tim 3. And since some men are the elders/pastors, any man is to publically correct errant prophetic word. But since no women are the elders/pastors, all women are not to publically correct.

    In this view of 1 Co 14, are women to publically correct an errant prophetic word of women? Can women teach other women in church?

    Here then, the foundation of the argument rests on ecclesiastical authority (public church setting I safely assume) that is by men which begins with 1 Tim 3. Therefore the passage of 1 Co 14 itself cannot/does not show an ecclesiastical authority that is by men but an interpretation through an interpretation does.

    Where does the idea of “public correction of errant prophetic word” show itself within 1 Co 14? Sure errant prophecy happens all the time by those in the church, but does Paul even once talk about error of prophecy and if he does, where is this seen/ read/written within the passage?

    34women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. 35If they want to INQUIRE about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.

    And noting some things Paul said about prophecy within the chp:

    “3But everyone who prophesies speaks to men for their strengthening, encouragement and comfort.“

    “4…but he who prophesies edifies the church.”

    “5…He who prophesies is greater than one who speaks in tongues, unless he interprets, so that the church may be edified.

    A conclusion: The one who interprets is greater than the one who does not.

    Where is errant prophecy spoken of in anyway, in 1 Co 14? How does one go from “inquire” to “correction of errant prophecy”? How is the switch made from “wives” to women? How does one go from “interpreting prophecy” to “correction of errant prophecy”?

  4. If women cannot “correct an errant prophetic word” than they cannot interpret a prophetic word.

  5. If I’m understanding correctly (I donno) then women can correct errant prophecy (done by men or women) but only outside of the church which would make it non-authoritative? So what’s done in church (assembly) is authoritative but what’s done outside is not.

    So when a man (elder/pastor or not) corrects errant prophecy outside of church he is not acting with authority, his correction then would not be authoritative?

  6. pinklight, excellent questions!!

    I would suggest that you also post these questions on Mike’s blog. Mike has told me that he may not have time to respond to questions since he too is very busy and although he has agree to dialog/debate me, he may not find enough time to respond to comments. However I suspect that he may have time to read the comments if they are posted on his own blog.

    I would also suggest that anyone who would like to interact with Mike and my dialog do so on both blogs as there may be certain people who only read Mike’s blog and also some will only read comments on my blog.

  7. “Paul is likely forbidding women to speak up and judge prophecies (this is in line in the immediate context; cf. 1 Cor 14:29) since such an activity would subvert male headship. ‘ Law also says’. Paul is probably thinking of the woman’s creation “from” or “for” the man. (see 11:8-9; Gen. 2:20-24)…”

    I cannot find Paul saying anything on the judgement of prophecies unless you mean “interpretation of” which is in the passage. So Paul, in this view is likely forbidding wives (specificaly) to publicaly correct error since it would subvert male headship (interpretation of Eph 5).

    So a woman correcting errant prophecy in the church would subvert male headship (of the home).

    “I think a woman can bring questions and even correction to her husband…”
    “Paul is likely forbidding women to speak up and judge prophecies (this is in line in the immediate context; cf. 1 Cor 14:29) since such an activity would subvert male headship.”

    A wife then correcting her husband at home does not subvert male headship (in the home, Eph 5) but a wife correcting her husband at church would subvert male headship (in the home, Eph 5).

    Yet a women (married or not) cannot correct men (married or not) in church because of male ecclesiastical authority. (1 Tim 3)

  8. I’m reading that the 1 Co 14 interpretation above began with an interpretation of 1 TIM 3 about elders/pastors.

    “I do think that this passage shows is an ecclesiastical authority that is by men and that the men are to publically correct an errant prophetic word primarily because the women are not the elders/pastors.”

    Then it is stated to be about (the law that is) “correction of errant prophecy” which is not even in the passage.

    “The 1 Corinthians 14 passage has to do with the corporate worship setting and specifically the judgment of prophetic words.”

    Then the support for the argument is just another interpretation as seen through the lens of an interpretation of Eph 5 of “male headship.”

    “Paul is likely forbidding women to speak up and judge prophecies (this is in line in the immediate context; cf. 1 Cor 14:29) since such an activity would subvert male headship.”

    Next, “correction of errant prophecy/the law” is tied backwards to woman’s creation in Genesis, in a garden which is not even a public church setting even though the public church setting is where the interpretation began:

    “I do think that this passage shows is an ecclesiastical authority that is by men and that the men are to publically correct an errant prophetic word primarily because the women are not the elders/pastors.”

    “‘Law also says’. Paul is probably thinking of the woman’s creation “from” or “for” the man. (see 11:8-9; Gen. 2:20-24).”

    So round and round it goes…

    “In 1 Timothy 2:12, Paul says, “I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.” I link this passage to 1 Timothy 3:2…when Paul says that one of the requirements for an overseer is to be “the husband of one wife/woman.” I think these two passages show that the position of overseer is to be a man and that the man is to be the teacher…I don’t think that means… but I do think that Paul is saying the exercising authority is not what God desires of a woman in a church.”

    The paragraph ended with, “but I do think that Paul is saying the exercising of authority is not what God desires of a woman in a church.” So the judging of prophecy/correction of errant prophecy in this view of 1 Co 14 is considered “authoritative.” So really the idea of judging of prophecy in this view not only comes from nowhere within the passage of 1 Co 14 itself, but somehow the non-existent idea (show me where it is?) is considered “authoritative” because it is somehow tied to an interpretation of 1 Tim 2, “In 1 Timothy 2:12, Paul says, “I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.” I link this passage to 1 Timothy 3:2).” – back at the beginning again.

    Do we need to start with 1 Tim 2? Genesis? A concept that doesn’t exist in a passage (judging/correction of prophecy)? 1 Tim 3?

    I think we need to start with 1 Co 14 by itself and not bring any of our other interpretations into the passage. I don’t think we can mix contexts of different letters and scriptures and end up making sense of anything.

  9. Cheryl, will you please delete my first post and replace it with this one? Thanks.

    Mike, you said,” The 1 Corinthians 14 passage has to do with the corporate worship setting and specifically the judgment of prophetic words.”

    I beg to differ. When reading the whole text of Corinthians 14 the passage has to do with the corporate worship setting and specifically prophecy for the edification, exhortation, and comfort of the church in contrast with speaking in tongues without an interpretation(reference 1 Cor. 14:3-6). Only briefly is the judgment of prophetic words mentioned in vs 29. The vs says,” Let the prophets speak two or three , and then let the other judge” KJV.

    You said,”I do think that this passage shows is an ecclesiastical authority that is by men and that the men are to publically correct an errant prophetic word primarily because the women are not the elders/pastors.”

    In vs 29 the words “other judge” are not being directed to a specific gender but rather they are gender neutral and and function specific. No where does it imply that the “others” judging prophecy must be elders or leaders. One has to assume such a thing because it simply isn’t in the text. It is wise to also look at what else scripture says about judging prophesy. Hear are some of those passages.

    1 John 1:4
    “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.”

    Notice how prophecy is judged by the testing of the SPIRITS. Biblically we know that when a true prophet is speaking, they are not speaking of their own words but it is the Spirit of God speaking His message through the prophet. The prophet is only the vessel who has the gift see and hear what the Spirit of the Lord is saying, but the words themselves are from the Lord. Also, throughout the scriptures, three sources for spirits are often mentioned. The Spirit of God, evil spirits, and the human spirit. That may be a new concept to you but are you able to find another source outside of those three for spirits? It makes sense then that the “Beloved” are to test the spirits to see if it is the Lord speaking, the flesh, or a deceiving/evil spirit. Notice how 1 John 1:4 is directed to the “beloved”! Are only men the “Beloved”? Are only men to test the spirits? If not, then once again we we see in addition to 1 Cor. 14:29 a second witness to the gender inclusive judging/testing of prophecy.

    The last vs I found was in 1 Cor 12:10
    “To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues”

    “To ANOTHER the discerning of spirits.” Again, no gender specific rule for this gift. Anyone whom the Holy Spirit chooses can have this gift! Notice also how prophecy is immediately followed by the gift of discernment, and tongues is immediately followed by the gift of interpreting. I think the coupling and parallel of the two speak volumes. From all the scriptures we find relating to the judging of prophecy, they are connected with discerning or testing the spirits behind the prophecy. There is nothing that limits it to elders or men only. If we were to pick between the two choices, the man or woman with the gift of discernment between spirits would be more qualified to judge prophecy, since that is what the scriptures say is required, than the elder/leader who is not even mentioned. Why should we ignore what is mentioned and opt for and option that has to be implied?
    Also in 1 Cor. 14:19 Paul, while referring to prophesying verse speaking in unknown tongues said that he would rather speak five words that are understandable so as to TEACH others rather then ten thousand words in an unknown language. So then considering the context and parallel he makes, it is fair to say that prophecy TEACHES people. So if women teaching men is a sin then women should not be allowed to prophecy because prophecy teaches people, and some of those people might be men. Not to mention the fact that a prophet and prophesying is authoritative and women have been prophets and/or prophesied in the Old and New Testaments. Debora was not only a prophet but also a judge in Israel(Judges 4:4). Both were authoritative as well as spiritual roles since it was in a time where there was no separation of church and state. Men did learn, take directions, and receive correction from her. Unless of course one assumes that as judge, Deborah never had to pass pass a negative judgment against the men. That the men were always well behaved and never needed correction:-) But then you still deal with the fact that she gave Barak in and a whole army instructions! And what shall we do with Hilkiah in 2 Chronicles 34:22-33? These were powerful women in a time when patriarchy ruled, yet that did not stop God from raising them up!

    “Let them ask their husbands at home”

    What do you do with the unmarried? Who do they ask? Since the author seems to assume that the women will have a husband to ask at home, is it fair to assume he was only addressing married women? Does that mean that the non married women may speak, judge, and and correct prophecy? If women are allowed to teach other women than what about women judging another woman’s prophesy in the church? Whats wrong with that? That would not be in violation of upsetting a mans authority.

    Mike said,”I think a woman can bring questions and even correction to her husband.”

    Then why are women even allowed to prophecy to men in the first place? Why not just tell their prophecy to their husbands at home and then let the husband repeat it in the church? That would then not violate 1 Cor 14:34,35 nor 1 Timothy 2:12 because she would not be teaching, exercising authority over a man, or speaking since her voice is filth(“shameful”).

    In 1 Timothy 2:12, Paul says, “I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.”

    I do not permit a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man means just what it says it does period, no exceptions! The verse does not say it’s OK as long as she only does so in private. Or as long as it is only one man at a time. Teaching is teaching and correcting heresy is scriptural authority because the Word of God is authoritative. At least that’s what comps say they believe about scripture. When a person allows someone to correct them in that area, they are submitting themselves to the one correcting them. When taken at face value Pricilla violated 1 Timothy 2:12 and a woman prophesying violates 1 Timothy 2:12 as well as 1Cor 14:34-35. One cannot have it both ways! That’s why we cannot just simply take them at face value but need to compare the whole of scripture on the matter. We must not distort and disregard the context of the other twenty or so verses that allow women to serve in church leadership in order to make them fit and comply with two verses that we esteem above the rest. This often results in the adding and subtracting of scripture. Something we are warned not to do.

  10. Anca,
    I deleted your first post as you requested. I would also like to welcome you to my blog!

    Your comments and questions were very well thought out. I especially liked 1 Cor. 12:10 where you pointed out that the discerning of spirits is given to “another” and not to males. The gifts of the Spirit are given as He wishes to men and women alike and we are not to quench the Spirit’s work because of the vessel He wishes to use.

    I also appreciated your words about the “second witness”. It is God’s practice to gives us the required second and even third witness so that we can be sure that the message is understood. More about that in my responses to Mike which will be posted tomorrow.

    I do want to once again publicly affirm Mike Seaver for his willingness to dialog publicly and for his respectful attitude. While I disagree with Mike’s point of view, I can affirm him on his Christ-like attitude. I trust that he will see the same kind of attitude come through us as egalitarians as well.

  11. Cheryl, It looks like you are off to a good start in your debate with Mike Seaver. And I have remembered you and this debate in my prayers. Because of some other activities going on, I most likely will be making fewer comments than I would have preferred. I do note for now that he assumes certain things about the nature and structure of New Testament leadership, the nature and function of prophetic ministry, and so on. And your response and that of some others I have read so far, I would judge as well thought and respectful. And now for a brief comment or two of my own, which I will also post to Mike’s blog, if I get the time.

    It would seem to me, as one who has studied prophecy and prophetic ministry in the NT, that Paul’s teaching and practice has to be examined and integrated as a progressive whole. After all, 1 and 2 Thessalonians and 1 and 2 Corinthians preceeded 1 Timothy and must serve as context in which the specifics of 1 Timothy 2:1-15 need to be interpreted and explained. Then, of course there is the promise and fulfillment of Joel 2 in the Book of Acts that also would fit in as part of this interpretive context. Such is my comment for now.

  12. Frank,
    It is a good observation that Paul’s comments need to be examined and integrated as a progressive whole. Perhaps we all need to be reminded that Peter admits that some of Paul’s writings are hard to explain. It isn’t that Paul’s writings are not scripture. They are God-breathed scripture. However as the “hard” scriptures, some of these passages need more work and viewing the “big picture” and what has gone on before is certainly part of the work that it takes to understand Paul.

    Thank you for your prayers, Frank! They are very much appreciated.

  13. Anca:

    “Only briefly is the judgment of prophetic words mentioned in vs 29. The vs says,” Let the prophets speak two or three , and then let the other judge” KJV.”

    Glad you pointed this out Anaca! I reviewed the passage, before I posted my comments and now I even remember having read that verse but it had slipped my mind (not surprised) when I commented, lol

    Point being though that it is just a brief mention of “judgment” of prophecy and “and then let the other judge” is not enough to conclude that women are not to take part in it. There’s just no way to show that when women are being silenced within the passage, that such is what Paul was refering to – the judging of prophecy.

  14. I appreciate Cheryl’s dedication to providing a forum for respectful discussion of the gender issues that trouble the church. I appreciate Mike Seaver’s willingness to participate.

    To me, much of the debate between complimentarians and egalitarians is like an unending dispute over the literal meaning of letters and words from just a few lines of scripture. I am neither complementarian nor egalitarian because after struggling with the “woman issue” in church myself, I now perceive the mixture of truth & error in both camps, but if I were pressed for a term like that, I would choose ‘unitarian’ to describe the understanding I now have.

    I would like to share that an important thing to remember in this debate is anyone can read and study scripture in its external or literal sense and form assumptions for their own opinions but as we know, past what we can do ourselves, only the Lord can truly enlighten our understanding by His Spirit of truth. He does so through the internal sense of the Word in those who are willing to set aside their opinions and receive a love of the truth.

    Especially in this discussion it is essential to understand how the Word of God is living and active and three-fold. There is in the Word an external sense (letter), an internal sense (spiritual) and an inmost sense (celestial); while they are in no way the same, they all make one by correspondences. The external sense contains within itself the other two, like the body contains a soul & spirit. If we cannot judge the heart of a man by his outward appearance, or judge a book by its cover or the flavor of an orange by only its peel, we also cannot judge what the Word of God says about gender related issues based on just the literal words.

    The letter alone kills; but the Spirit gives life. The Lord did not give us just a few lines of scripture for a study of this matter but rather…..the sum of thy word is truth (Psa 119)

    I agree with Mike Seaver that men and women are created equal as image bearers of God and that we have differing roles, not better or worse for males and females. I would only add to that, we are created reciprocal, not only for equality but beyond that for unity, like two halves that conjoin to form a whole. While I agree with Mike to this point, his emphasis on ‘male authority ’ or ‘ecclesiastical authority’ etc. is a contradiction to this understanding. I do not know of any OT law that prohibits women from teaching men or teaching the bible. That such law exists or was in effect and still is because Paul once mentions it in one of his letters is simply irrational assumption.

    I do respect where Mike is in understanding and appreciate his sharing it. I also want to thank Cheryl for her zeal, courage and dedication in challenging the traditional practices and teachings that are harmful, not only for women, but for the church and all of God’s children.

    Thanks for allowing me to share.
    Pat M.

  15. Pat M,
    Welcome!
    I think you will find a lot to think about in Mike’s and my back-and-forth comments over the next several weeks. I think that Mike and I would have in common that we both believe that one’s interpretations must have a straight-edge to test it by and that is God’s word in context with the inspired words, the inspired grammar and with no contradiction within the rest of the scriptures. Then we can know for sure that the inner feelings we get that we are sure are the working of the Holy Spirit on our own spirit are true because the Spirit and the Word never contradict each other.

    Blessings and I hope you stick around as both Mike and I have lots more to share.

    Cheryl

  16. “I just think that the bible spells out differing roles (not better or worse roles) for males and females.”

    I would like to see where this is spelled out. No comp has ever been able to show me a passage or verse that spells out roles for “men and women” or “males and females”. 1 Tim 2 passage is in the singular, Eph 5 is about husbands and wives, the 1 Co 14 verses under dispute talks of women with husbands, and Eve was the wife of Adam…

  17. Wycliffe NT
    35 But if they will any thing learn, ask they their husbands at home; for it is foul thing to a woman to speak in the church.

    So it is “foul”, “filthy” or “shameful” for women to correct errant prophetic word? Sounds like a nasty thing for them to do…

  18. Sounds like the people gathered would be tainted with mucky muck by women’s voices if women were to publicaly correct errant prophetic word.

    How bogus.

  19. pinklight,
    That is exactly what the Pharisees who followed the Jewish oral law thought. Women’s voices were filthy (they were responsible for the men’s lust) so mucky muck is about right.

    It is of course interesting that Paul never expressed this attitude himself throughout all of his writings. He valued women (and their work thus their voices too!) and he commended women. 1 Cor. 14:34, 35 is so much in contrast with Paul’s views on women and verse 36 is so opposite of verses 34 & 35 that we either dump all of these verses as not being scripture (and I do not recommend that!) or else we understand Paul’s angst with the Judaizers who were pushing the Corinthians to separate the church into the vocally-elite and the vocally-filthy. How we don’t get that and put the verses into the complete context of the Spirit’s freedom throughout chapter 14, is beyond me.

  20. Mike wrote: “I speak for the way I interpret and teach the texts, so I may, at times differ in thoughts from what other Complementarians say…I’m not sure.”

    Statements like this are one of the main things that led me to the egalitarian viewpoint. It seems, the only thing complementarians/hierarchicalists agree on is that it is the men who get to tell women what they can do.

  21. Kay,
    Welcome! I am so glad that you found my blog.

    I also think that the statements many complementarians make leads many people away from that view. For if they claim that the texts are “clear” then why is it they don’t all agree? Why is it that some have a stand that a woman cannot teach a single man inside or outside the church, yet some believe that a woman can teach her husband or another man? If there was a universal law against women teaching the bible to a man, then they would all be in agreement. Their disagreements are a huge red flag that what they claim is clear cannot be so clear after all.

    And if men get to tell women what to do as if she has no power to make a decision for herself, well…then it appears that she isn’t equal after all, that is according to their own view.

  22. Cheryl,

    I would also like to take this opportunity to say that I thank God for you and your willingness to use the gifts He has given you in the face of much opposition. Your ministry and that of Carolyn James have given me such good tools to use in spreading truth about this issue. Hopefully, you won’t consider this “thank you” too far off topic.

    For several months I’ve been lurking in amazement here at the ability to so simplify this subject. Your use of Galatians 3:28-4:7 coupled of with Ephesians 2:13-16 is so simple, yet so profound! It makes a wonderful place to begin removal of the blinders. No need to have 3 commentaries and 6 Bible versions open to muddy up the subject – I love it.

  23. Kay,
    Sorry for taking so long to respond. On top of the DVD project that I am working on, my internet was off periodically throughout the day and then last night the electricity was off. That’s what I get for living in a small city in the mountains. While the electricity and internet are unreliable at times, the scenery is beautiful so I guess it balances itself.

    I really do appreciate when lurkers come out and give me some feedback on this blog. I can’t tell you how much that encourages me! It is a blessing to know that my work has touched even one person. So to know that I have touched you, Kay, and encouraged you while equipping you to spread the good news about God’s view of women, has blessed my socks off! Thank you!

  24. Cheryl,

    No apology needed – I understand that you have a life beyond this blog.

    Here is another “thank you” – I was reading some of your older blogs and in one of them you mentioned coming to the place that you are able to glean good teaching even from those who don’t agree with you on the women’s issues. Having recently moved to a small town in OK where old “standards” die hard, that was much needed encouragement for me at this particular time in my life!

    I left a comment on Mike’s Role Calling, but he has apparently decided not to post it.

  25. Kay,
    It did take me awhile to come to the place where I could even consider reading from those who wrote such disparaging words against women. My heart hurt from their attitude. However I have come to understand that it is maturity that brings one to the point that realizes that everyone has their own blind spots and we must read everyone with discernment. Only the Bible is without error. We, the body of Christ, are still fallible.

    As far as Mike goes, I know that he has moderation on his blog and he has little time to put into maintenance of the blog and that would include reading the comments. He has asked me to format the posts for him and he has chosen to have one graphic where I just update the “part” number whereas I prefer to have a new graphic for each post. So if he doesn’t have your comment up yet, it may still go up. If he doesn’t post it, for whatever reason, you are free to post here. My only condition is that people remain respectful and don’t name call. I rarely have to moderate out parts of people’s comments and it is rare that I don’t allow a comment to go through because it is that bad. People that come to my blog appear to be very special, decent people and boy do I like that!

  26. I’m having a very hard time following this line of thinking….

    Is he saying here that he believes that women are allowed to teach men? It’s just that they aren’t allowed to be an overseer because he deems that as the leadership role or to assess a man’s prophecy?
    What if it’s a woman prophesying? Is she now able to make an assessment?
    Also, overseers don’t, necessarily, teach or give prophecy, at least, not any more than a regular member of the congregation. The churches of the first century didn’t have “pastors”. We inherited that from the Catholic church that presupposes that only a few men are able to correctly interpret the Bible and that these few men must tell the rest of us what to believe the Bible says.
    Rather, the overseer merely maintained order in the church.

  27. Hi CLC,
    No I do not think that Mike is saying that he believes that women are allowed to teach men. He is just saying that 1 Cor. 14 isn’t a good passage to use to disallow women to teach men. He would pick 1 Timothy 2:12 instead. Mike very much believes that for men to listen to women teach is a sin and for women to teach men is a sin. Mike does believe that evaluating prophecy is a “role” assigned to men alone as he has accepted the teaching that this is what is forbidden for women to speak in the assembly (1 Cor. 14:34, 35).

    You asked a good question about what if it is a woman prophesying? He has said that women may judge other women, but he has not made it clear how they can do this without usurping this “authority” that belongs to the male alone. Then apparently it isn’t just a man’s “role” after all. It does come across as confusing and with twists and turns that really do make a Christian Talmud necessary to get all the answers to these questions if one wants to be a good complementarian. After all if the scripture is silent about these “role” rules, then how will we know what to forbid women to do?

    I also believe that the overseer maintained order in the church. I also believe that overseers were like watchmen on the wall. They saw the wolves coming and they sounded the warning. Their work is to protect when harm is seen in the distance. Their job is not to lord it over the congregation nor is it their job to create another list of sins that isn’t in the bible. The Holy Spirit is capable of directing each of us without another list of sins.

  28. @Cheryl
    Thanks for the clarification. Yeah…, it is very hard to follow what he is trying to say here. I guess God asked Deborah and Huldah to sin. And I guess Barak, King Josiah, the High Priest Hilkiah, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Acbor son of Micaiah, Shaphan the secretary, Asaiah the king’s attendant, and anyone else who inquired of Deborah and Huldah were all sinning.

    Judges 4:4-7
    “4 Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was leading Israel at that time. 5 She held court under the Palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites came to her to have their disputes decided. 6 She sent for Barak son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali and said to him, “The Lord, the God of Israel, commands you: ‘Go, take with you ten thousand men of Naphtali and Zebulun and lead the way to Mount Tabor. 7 I will lure Sisera, the commander of Jabin’s army, with his chariots and his troops to the Kishon River and give him into your hands.'”

    2 Kings 22:12-20
    “12 He gave these orders to Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Acbor son of Micaiah, Shaphan the secretary and Asaiah the king’s attendant: 13 “Go and inquire of the Lord for me and for the people and for all Judah about what is written in this book that has been found. Great is the Lord’s anger that burns against us because our fathers have not obeyed the words of this book; they have not acted in accordance with all that is written there concerning us.” 14 Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam, Acbor, Shaphan and Asaiah went to speak to the prophetess Huldah, who was the wife of Shallum son of Tikvah, the son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe. She lived in Jerusalem, in the Second District. 15 She said to them, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Tell the man who sent you to me, 16 ‘This is what the Lord says: I am going to bring disaster on this place and its people, according to everything written in the book the king of Judah has read. 17 Because they have forsaken me and burned incense to other gods and provoked me to anger by all the idols their hands have made, my anger will burn against this place and will not be quenched.’ 18 Tell the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of the Lord, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says concerning the words you heard: 19 Because your heart was responsive and you humbled yourself before the Lord when you heard what I have spoken against this place and its people, that they would become accursed and laid waste, and because you tore your robes and wept in my presence, I have heard you, declares the Lord. 20 Therefore I will gather you to your fathers, and you will be buried in peace. Your eyes will not see all the disaster I am going to bring on this place.'” So they took her answer back to the king.”

    Hmm……. Since these prophesies are the words of women, are men sinning if they read them? Reading them and meditating on them is pretty much the same as listening to a prophesy pronounced by a woman.

    I agree on the job of the overseer; but a lot of Christians seem to think the overseer is the equivalent of today’s pastor, which he is not if you look at the practices of worship and prophesy in the first churches.

  29. So if a woman has knowledge of a proper understanding of a verse and a man misunderstands a verse, such as “Jesus never slept while he was here on earth” (based on “…the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head.” Matthew 9:58) she is to bow to his “superior knowledge”? (Btw, this actually did happen to me and I gently corrected the man’s interpretation. In the presence of an Independent Landmark Baptist pastor who didn’t seem to understand what verse the man got the idea from.)

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