Examining the complementarian view: Does God like to torment women?

Examining the complementarian view: Does God like to torment women?

Does God torment Women?  Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

There is a hot debate in the church today regarding whether a woman is in “sin” for teaching the Bible to men.  While some say that a godly woman’s teaching of the Bible is okay for use with women and children, but all teaching by women to men is considered sinful.  Others state that a woman may teach the Bible to men as long as it is in her home or perhaps outside on the lawn, but if she were to teach men inside a church building, she would immediately be involved in committing a sin.

The issue of a “special sin” that is only applicable for one gender becomes complicated by the understanding that the church originally met only in people’s homes.  There were no designated church buildings during the early years of New Testament Christianity, so how could the “place” where she taught be a source of sin for the godly Christian woman?

Yet there is an issue much deeper than just the issue of what building men allow women to teach in.  The issue is whether God taunts and torments a woman with gifts that she cannot use.  If God gifts a woman with the spiritual gifts of pastor or teacher is He tempting her to sin when she freely uses her God-given gifts for His glory and for the benefit of His body?

Let’s think this one through.  First of all it is God’s Sovereign choice regarding whom He choses to gift.  Many complementarians will freely admit that God has gifted women with the gift of pastor and the gift of teacher.   If only a man is allowed to be a pastor, surely God would not gift a woman with a forbidden gift, would He?

Secondly a spiritual gift is not passed on to a woman through the sin nature of her father so her “gift” cannot be the result of her sin nature.   Logically the only source for a godly woman’s spiritual gifts can be God Himself.  Does God gift a woman as a pastor and then take away the gift because she is a woman?  This doesn’t seem reasonable.  God surely knew that she was a woman when he gifted her in the first place.

Why would God gift a woman and then charge her with sin for using her gift? Is it in the nature of our God to be delighted to torment people with temptations to sin through what He alone provides?  That can’t be right since the Bible says that God cannot tempt anyone.

James 1:13  Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone.

The problem extends further because God not only gifts us with His spiritual gifts, but He commands us to use these gifts for the common good.

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 am not sure if complementarian men even understand the questions I am asking.  Has a man ever been gifted by God and then forbidden to use his gifts for the benefit of the body of Christ?  What would that feel like?  Would there be tension between his passion to serve the Lord Jesus and then a holding back of his spirit while he is forbidden to fulfill his God-given desire?  This kind of thing actually does happen in parts of the world where God has gifted and called men to serve Him but they are forbidden by ungodly governments who want to destroy the church and prevent the gospel of Jesus from going forth.  But can we say that God joins these ungodly governments by restricting some from using their gifts for the benefit of the church?

So where is the nature of God in this debate?  What does the Scripture say about God giving gifts on one hand and then apparently mocking women by charging them with sin for daring to use their gifts for the common good?  Doesn’t the Bible say that He will not withhold any good thing from those who walk righteously with Him?

Psalm 84:11  For the LORD God is a sun and shield; The LORD gives grace and glory; No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.

Is not being a part of the giving out of the gospel a good thing?  Is God going to go back on His promise and withhold women’s ministry to half of the body of Christ?

How about this scripture:

Galatians 6:7  Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.

Is the act of a woman sowing godly Christian doctrine into the lives of  men an act that will reap eternal punishment in hell?  How dare we say such a thing?

And what about these scriptures:

1 Cor 6:9  Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals,
1 Cor 6:10  nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.
1 Cor 6:11  Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

Is it also true that godly women who teach the Bible to men will not inherit the kingdom of God?  Shall we add “women pastors” to the list of those who will not inherit the kingdom of God because they dared to love their brothers in Christ enough to use their God-given gifts for the benefit of men?  In 1 Cor. 6:11 are we to add that “Women pastors or Bible teachers to men – such were some of you but you have been washed from being a woman pastor and you have been sanctified from being a godly woman Bible teacher to men?  Is this really how the Scripture reads?

Jesus described what defiles a man or a woman.

Matthew 15:10  After Jesus called the crowd to Him, He said to them, “Hear and understand.
Matthew 15:11  “It is not what enters into the mouth that defiles the man, but what proceeds out of the mouth, this defiles the man.”

Does godly Bible teaching coming out of the mouth of a woman defile her?

Is it possible that some who restrict women from preaching the gospel to men are so in love with their own unlimited freedom in the body of Christ that they are unwilling to even think through this issue to release God’s women for service?  Is it possible that some are more than willing to portray God as One who tempts women to sin by gifting them with gifts that they dare not use for the common good?

Is it possible that some have a hardened heart which is quick to attribute sin to a God’s wonderful gifts?

Matthew 15:7  “You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you:
Matthew 15:8  ‘THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS, BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME.
Matthew 15:9  ‘BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME, TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN.'”

86 thoughts on “Examining the complementarian view: Does God like to torment women?

  1. Hi Cheryl,

    Let me state out the gate that I am not a complementarian.

    I think you take a very wise tack in pressing the fact that women are gifted as teachers. In short, I believe that modern churches have muddied the waters in making ministry an office, especially as it relates to Pastors. Pastoring is a gift, not an office, and so the crux of the issue, is that many churches these days place an undue amount of practical authority on the shoulders of the Pastor, which in turn forces their hand to push Paul’s Timothy passage on authority further than he did himself.

    So, I don’t see a New Testament warrant for a teacher as having authority. A gifted teacher persuades, dialogues and instructs in many a different way as guided by the Spirit. Yes, they are held accountable for what they teach, but I don’t see any inherent authority in the New Testament practice. (cf. Priscilla in Acts 19)

    Great post!

  2. Hi John and welcome to my blog!

    My view is that the “authority” that a member of the body has, is limited. We each have authority to use our gifts and we should use them for the glory of God. But we do not have authority to force anyone to listen or to take authority over any one. The heart beat of the church as an organism is body ministry and the flow of love that transfers our gifts for the benefit of others. The gifts are not for our benefit but for others. If anyone thinks that just because he/she is gifted that they can use that authority (the authority of giving the gift) to force or pressure or whip the body to benefit themselves, they are seriously in error.

    Thanks for your thoughts and I hope you stick around!

  3. “So, I don’t see a New Testament warrant for a teacher as having authority”

    I agree with this. The ‘authority’ is in the truth of the Word which the HOly Spirit uses.

  4. Cheryl,

    I would love for you to write a post on actually being able to distinguish between a true God given spiritual gift and those of false teachers. To me it seems un-practical to be discussing whether we are restricting women’s gifting if we don’t actually have a proper understanding of that which is actually a gift. For example we have many warnings about false prophecy or teaching.

    Jeremiah 14:13-22
    2 Peter 2:1-22

    …and one of the scariest of all- Jesus words

    ? “Not everyone who ?says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will ?enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who ?does the will of my Father who is in heaven. ?On that day ?many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons ?in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I ?never knew you; ?depart from me, ?you workers of lawlessness.’ (Matthew 7:21-23)

    It seems to me that it would be more helpful to discuss between a true gifting of God and a false one. And for further thought whether or not people think some gifts ended in the first century…any thoughts

  5. a few years ago, i took a spiritual gifts inventory and it said that i had the gifts of teaching and pastoring. the book had descriptions of what each gift was and how one could use it. i flipped over to my gift’s page and read and this is what it said. (ok i can’t quote it exactly but i remember vividly…)it said that many women show to have the gift of pastoring. to explain how this could be possible, the author went on to say that it was most likely the result of a woman’s natural inclination to be a nurturer. he concluded that many women who think they have the gift of pastoring really don’t. they are just confusing their womanly instincts with the gift of pastoring. but to cover all his bases, he said that those who truly do have this gift could exercise it with children. the examples he gave where to be a den mother or a childcare worker.

    thanks for posting this. i have asked this question often. why would God give me a gift and then stress me out trying to figure out when to use it? you are right in that men never even think about that aspect.

  6. mentanna,
    Thanks for your comments and welcome to my blog! It is an amazing thing to me how men use the “spiritual gift” inventory to identify a gift and then turn around and start limiting the gift. They aren’t following scripture when they do this.

  7. Mark,
    A false teacher and a false prophet are unbelievers. If we are true believers then the issue of our gifts will never bring us to the point of being thrown out of the kingdom. When I talk about women’s teaching and where it is allowed, I always make a point to say that I am referring to godly women teaching correct biblical doctrine to men. The issue of false teaching and false teachers is not applicable to the discussion since this is an issue of exposing the errors and bringing a person to faith in Christ, not an issue of gender.

  8. I’m at work so can’t look these scriptures up and give you their address.
    In my freetime (Ha! Ha! Ha! What freetime???) I ought to look these scriptures up and commit large portions to memory.

    Anyway, these verses are found in one of the Old Testament books of prophecy and the gist of them is this.

    You cannot tell a true prophet from a false one by whether or not their words come true.
    You tell the difference on whether or not they encourage people toward their God or against Him.
    There is no mention of gender. It’s all about fruit.
    A female teacher is not a false teacher by being female. Look at her fruit.
    There are male teachers who are false inspite of being male. You can tell by their fruit. They turn the hearts of the people toward themselves and/or toward pet doctrines that they lift up. Some of these ‘pets’ become so important to them that these teachers and their followers trample on the true gospel, the true Words of Jesus in order to follow and obey their ‘pets’ that have turned into idols, or even monsters.

    My anti-spam word was ‘proper’.
    Sorry Cheryl if it wasn’t proper for me to address this ‘false vs true’ argument after you told Mark that wasn’t what this was about.

  9. To paraphrase something I got from Margaret Fell, the NT doesn’t seem to consider women “sinners” for being the first to proclaim Jesus’ resurrection. How, then, should we deny them the opportunity to preach the Gospel as it is found in the Bible?

    I respect the fact that complementarians seeks to uphold the Bible (as they see it, anyway). However, I do feel that they miss the bigger picture when they make such a big deal about issues like this one.

  10. Mara,
    I don’t mind people addressing things that I choose not to address. There is a lot of freedom on this blog unless I put my foot down and I rarely do. I did once, I think, when I insisted that a person give the scriptural basis for their view or stop commenting. They stop commenting.

  11. In response to mentanna’s reply, I would like to state that I, too, have heard some people state that women gifted as pastors can serve in children’s ministry, women’s ministry, etc…

    That seems to me like a very nice way of being manipulative!

    Sure, I agree that women are inherently more nurturing, especially towards children, but I don’t see that limitation to the gift in the New Testament.

    It seems to me that a gifted pastor sincerely cares for people and wants to see them thrive and grow, much like a shepherd tends the flock. This can be done at any number of levels and does not need to be in an official or ordained capacity. I have said before that if churches could see past the lone Pastor mentality and look for and release the gifted pastors in any given church body that the church body would be far better served…and I would expect that both men and women would be gifted to do so.

  12. Great post CHeryl!

    I always look at gifts as not a gift that is given to me, but rather a gift that is given through me. This is why it needs to be used for the edification of the body, because it has not been given just to me, but given for me to pass on. Ephesians 4:7-14 also suggests this (if I am reading it right) as Christ has given the gifts of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers to build the body of Christ – not so some lucky chump could say “Hey I got the teaching gift…yeah!”. The reason the gifts are given is not for the individual, but for the body.

    No doubt some in Paul’s time used gifts for their own edification (1 Cor 14:27-28). In a sense this is still building up the body (be it only one part – 1 Cor 14:4-5) and so Paul exhorts them to use it for a greater good. From my perspective to suggest that God would give a gift for someone not to use, then that just does not fit the NT pic.

    Mark, I personally do not think that any gifts came with a built in use by date! Others might disagree!

  13. Cheryl, you said that false teachers were not believers and i agree, however it is not always evident to tell the difference. For example we are having a discussion over the woman issue. Now one side of the camp is in error and teaching ‘false’ doctrine about this issue, so one must be wrong and repent of their sin.

    Therefore to say that comps are restricting women is as good as saying they are teaching false doctrine in my view, which i think is fine. We need to be passionate about the word, but make sure we teach it right.

    I also agree that the prophetic word was judged on what came out of the mouth, not if it came true. However, i don’t see many prophets running around predicting the future. Now if i am saying that women should not be elders/pastors and i am wrong i am teaching false doctrine. Likewise if Cheryl continues to promote her view of equality and is wrong she is teaching false doctrine.These are very serious issues of which why i quoted our Lord Jesus above-

    “Not everyone who ?says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will ?enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who ?does the will of my Father who is in heaven. ?On that day ?many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons ?in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I ?never knew you; ?depart from me, ?you workers of lawlessness.’ (Matthew 7:21-23)

    It seems to me that these people had ‘fruit’ in their ministry yet it was not God’s. Therefore i think it is vital to a discussion like this to distinguish between a true gift and a false one, and definaterly not by a book which determines the gift.

    Also i am a bit confused why egals think that because Jesus appeared to ‘women’ it is concrete proof that they should lead and run churches. Jesus had many women follow him but none were ever the apostles nor took on any leadership role. MAybe someone can explain the seemingly great importance of this event.

  14. Mark,
    You said, “To me it seems un-practical to be discussing whether we are restricting women’s gifting if we don’t actually have a proper understanding of that which is actually a gift. For example we have many warnings about false prophecy or teaching.”
    Are you implying that once we understand what is a true gift, then it is very practical to discuss whether we are restricting women’s gifting?
    No one here seems to be confused about true vs false gifting, unless you are implying that certain gifts are gender based, i.e. for men only, and any women who shows those gifts are showing a false gift, while the identical gift, if seen in a man, is a true gift?
    Do you think that ” true gift ” = in a man, it is true, and
    “false gift” = if in a woman, it is false?
    Please look into your heart.
    BTW, this issue is discussed to no end only in comfortable, middle / middle upper/ upper class, north American churches. Churches in Hong Kong and China are thriving, and women pastors is a non-issue. Gospels are preached, lives are changed, people are turning to Jesus, sins are repented, relationships are mended, drug habits are kicked, etc. etc. under the leadership of men and women. By their fruits, you know they are REAL!!!!!!!!!
    Mark, do you understand? If you only turn your eyes 2 inches away from your hardened biases, you will see the light.
    The CBMW is a complete waste of time, energy, resources, and a hindrance to God’s kingdom.

    Mabel

  15. Mark wrote:

    “Also i am a bit confused why egals think that because Jesus appeared to ‘women’ it is concrete proof that they should lead and run churches. Jesus had many women follow him but none were ever the apostles nor took on any leadership role. MAybe someone can explain the seemingly great importance of this event.”

    I disagree with your premise that ‘someone’ should ‘lead’ or ‘run’ the Body of Christ. We tend to leave out the Holy Spirit. Godly Overseers are going to look like Matthew 5. They are not going to look like great leaders but lowly servants who know the only real authority in the Body is Jesus Christ. And we forget that in the 1st Century, they were meeting in homes. Not buildings with pulpits and childrens programs.

    In any event, it is not just the women taking back the Good News after the Resurrection, it is also about the Joel Prophecy being fulfilled. That is just more concrete proof that many ignore and try to explain away as a one time event. (We know this is not true as God is using dreams today to bring some Muslim men to seek Isa)

    But what is ignored the most by non egals is the fact that there is no law prohibiting women from teaching or leading men in the OT. But they want us to believe that the Word is more prohibitive toward women after the Cross when it comes to proclaiming the Word to anyone reqardless of sexual organs. (No offense, but that is how silly it really is. In Christ, there is no male or female)

  16. All the apostles are JEWISH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    So we should only have Jewish pastors because
    apostle = pastors
    Who ran Lydia’s church?

    Mabel

  17. Mark,

    Your replies are red herrings. The issue is the gifting of women (and men) to be teachers, not about whether or not the teaching about gifts is true or false. The assumption is that the women gifted to teach or preach are truely gifted. The bone of contention is the fact that some in the church try to discredit or diminish that true gift. Do you believe that no woman ever has or will receive the true gift of teaching or preaching? If no, then do you believe that true gift is somehow less of a gift if given to a woman than if given to a man? If no, then we are back to our age old question to you. Do you believe that somehow the setting determines whether or not the gift is edifying to the body (and therefore allowed) if, and only if, it is a woman who is the one gifted?

  18. “For example we are having a discussion over the woman issue. Now one side of the camp is in error and teaching ‘false’ doctrine about this issue, so one must be wrong and repent of their sin.

    Mark, this leads me to believe you think the issue of women teaching men as a salvic issue?

  19. Dave,

    Ephesians 4:7-14 also suggests this (if I am reading it right) as Christ has given the gifts of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers to build the body of Christ – not so some lucky chump could say “Hey I got the teaching gift…yeah!”. The reason the gifts are given is not for the individual, but for the body.

    This is also what I believe. This is why I don’t believe that the gifts were only for a time period (with an expiry date!). The church needs the gifts of all members of the body of Christ. I need the gifts given to me by those who care to grow me in the faith. We are in a difficult time when the church is under a lot of attack and the enemy would like to steal, kill and destroy. There has never been a better time for the edification of the church.

  20. Mark,
    You said:

    Cheryl, you said that false teachers were not believers and i agree, however it is not always evident to tell the difference. For example we are having a discussion over the woman issue. Now one side of the camp is in error and teaching ‘false’ doctrine about this issue, so one must be wrong and repent of their sin.

    Mark, there is a huge difference between believing something wrong about secondary issues of faith and believing and teaching error on the essentials of the faith. Teaching an error about a secondary doctrine does not make one a false teacher. False teachers are not our brothers and sisters in Christ. So the question has to be, do you see us as your sisters in Christ? If you don’t then you will need to explain how secondary issues of faith became essentials for the faith. If you do accept us as sisters in Christ, then we cannot be false teachers and issues where disagreement is allowed are not to be areas where we judge each other. If you sincerely believe that women are not to teach the Bible to men, then I can only ask God to convict your heart of the truth. I do not judge you as a sinner who needs to repent. I would remind you that your duty is to love your sisters in Christ and allow them to be servants of Christ under His Lordship.

    Rom 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.

    If the Scripture never says that a woman serving in her gifts is in sin, then who are we to judge that she is in sin? It is better to remain silent and follow your own conscience than to judge another’s servant in error.

    Therefore to say that comps are restricting women is as good as saying they are teaching false doctrine in my view, which i think is fine. We need to be passionate about the word, but make sure we teach it right.

    It is error for sure, but doesn’t fall under the Scriptural definition for “false” doctrine which is outside of orthodoxy.

    I also agree that the prophetic word was judged on what came out of the mouth, not if it came true.

    Actually a prophet was judged on two things. The first thing was on whether his/her prophecies were true. If they did not come true, then they were to be stoned. However even if their prophesies came true, they would still be considered false prophets if the encouraged people to follow other gods.

    Deu 13:1 “If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder,
    Deu 13:2 and the sign or the wonder comes true, concerning which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods (whom you have not known) and let us serve them,’
    Deu 13:3 you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams; for the LORD your God is testing you to find out if you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

    I do not believe that the test of a prophet has changed from the OT to the NT. The “fruits” of a false prophet are false prophecies and/or encouraging the people to follow after gods and other ways to God.

    Now if i am saying that women should not be elders/pastors and i am wrong i am teaching false doctrine.

    It is “error” not “false” doctrine that is outside the faith.

    Likewise if Cheryl continues to promote her view of equality and is wrong she is teaching false doctrine.These are very serious issues of which why i quoted our Lord Jesus above-

    It is a very serious thing to judge a secondary issue of faith as a “false” doctrine because judging in this way is divisive. The scripture that you quoted is about unbelievers being thrown into hell. Do you honestly and truly believe that teaching correct Biblical doctrine to men will get one thrown into hell?

    It seems to me that these people had ‘fruit’ in their ministry yet it was not God’s. Therefore i think it is vital to a discussion like this to distinguish between a true gift and a false one, and definaterly not by a book which determines the gift.

    No, my friend, the distinguishing that you are doing is between a believer and a non-believer. A Christian cannot have demonic gifts just as a good tree cannot bear bad fruit.

    I wonder if you have any Scriptures that you would like to share with us about divisive behavior in the body of Christ? That might be more appropriate than to accuse us women of being unbelievers.

    Also i am a bit confused why egals think that because Jesus appeared to ‘women’ it is concrete proof that they should lead and run churches.

    Mark, I think you have simplified this and left something out. It wasn’t just that Jesus appeared to women, but that he commanded them to preach the good news to his brothers. The point is that Jesus was the one who commanded women to preach the good news in the first place. Should Jesus’ disciples now silence God’s women?

  21. Mabel,

    Do you think that ” true gift ” = in a man, it is true, and
    “false gift” = if in a woman, it is false?

    Great question! I think that this is one of the bottom line issues. Are the gifts color coded so that some gifts are reserved for men? The fact is that Jesus decides whom He gifts and if He doesn’t want women gifted then He doesn’t gift them this way. If He gifts, then who are we to refuse His gifts? Don’t people realize that when we refuse His gifts coming from His women sons that we are in essence refusing Him?

    The second thing is that Scripture never gives us any indication that there would be gifts for women only or for men only. If men can be gifted in all areas, then there cannot be women only or men only gifts. I believe that we need to accept and embrace God’s gifts and give Him the glory for those gifts. If we deny His work in female vessels then we are grieving His Holy Spirit.

    Churches in Hong Kong and China are thriving, and women pastors is a non-issue.

    Amen! When there is persecution, Christian more readily understand how much we need each other and they are more grateful then we are here in North America where we feel that we can pick and choose what we accept from God.

  22. Lin,

    I disagree with your premise that ’someone’ should ‘lead’ or ‘run’ the Body of Christ. We tend to leave out the Holy Spirit. Godly Overseers are going to look like Matthew 5.

    I fully agree with your comment to Mark. Godly Overseers will serve the body, not take their authority over the body.

    But what is ignored the most by non egals is the fact that there is no law prohibiting women from teaching or leading men in the OT. But they want us to believe that the Word is more prohibitive toward women after the Cross when it comes to proclaiming the Word to anyone reqardless of sexual organs. (No offense, but that is how silly it really is. In Christ, there is no male or female)

    This is something that I have not yet seen adequately answered. Why no “law” in the OT that held women back to a non-teaching “role” towards men?

  23. gengwall,

    The assumption is that the women gifted to teach or preach are truely gifted. The bone of contention is the fact that some in the church try to discredit or diminish that true gift. Do you believe that no woman ever has or will receive the true gift of teaching or preaching?

    Good questions!

  24. Lin,
    You asked:

    Mark, this leads me to believe you think the issue of women teaching men as a salvic issue?

    That is exactly the way his comments come across to me too. I hope that Mark takes the time to answer this question.

  25. Yes, that is a good question, Hannah. A “salvic” issue is an issue involving salvation. The question then would be whether a woman using her God-given gifts (teacher or pastor) would be lost.

  26. Bingo. That’s the $64 question (I’m feeling a little broke today). Unless I’m completely missing it, there doesn’t seem to be anything in the Scriptures that equates a woman’s teaching or non-teaching role with her salvation. I don’t think the two are comparable at all.

    I say that because to threaten a woman’s eternity over whether or not she teaches is the height of arrogance! I simply don’t believe that the two issues can be put together, unless I’m still missing how it works. I happen to think that one’s salvation is strictly between that person and God, no one else, not even the person(s) who led them to Christ. Therefore, to threaten a person (read: woman) and her eternal security even when she is teaching Biblical truth smacks of manipulation, bullying and unwillingness to let the Spirit do what He does best: speak through inspired men AND women in order to lead the lost to Christ.

    PS to Cheryl: If my tone’s a little too strong, I’m sorry. My feathers were ruffled, and I fear I might have responded out of emotion rather than pure reason.

  27. Alison,

    When it comes to the issue of salvation, we are all allowed to get hot under the collar 😉 for the salvation issue is all about Jesus and to classify women teachers, women pastors or women elders as without Jesus just because of the women part is really, really, really, well….fill in the blank.

  28. “Also i am a bit confused why egals think that because Jesus appeared to ‘women’ it is concrete proof that they should lead and run churches. Jesus had many women follow him but none were ever the apostles nor took on any leadership role. MAybe someone can explain the seemingly great importance of this event.”

    Mark,
    Are you serious? “the seeminly great importance of this event.”???
    We are talking about *The Resurrection* after all.
    If the Lord had appeared to you first and ask you to go and tell the brethren, would you have said, “No thanks, why not just let Mary.”??
    Come now.

    I have friends who are missionaries, who have had new believers that in their ignorance of “all things decently and in order,”(I Cor.14:40) walk into the middle of a “formal church” service and stand there loudly asking them questions during the sermon.
    So, because they violated that statement of Paul’s, would you consider that man to have committed a sin? If not, why not?
    Since you consider women teaching/preaching to men a sin, how would this violation be different?

  29. We use the ‘man was created first so (fill in the blank)’, and yet when women are asked to go and spread the good news first? It doesn’t count for much. The order in which things happen is important in Genesis, and yet not important to signal anything later on?

  30. Hannah,
    I think this is because some men have the ability to put on pink colored blinders that remove anything feminine in the Scriptures that would place women in a spiritually equal place in the body of Christ. It is helpful for them because if they really don’t “see” the evidence, they don’t have to consider its importance.

  31. Hannah.

    What you have said is very profound.
    Order is all the importance in the world to these men when it comes to Genesis.
    Order means absolutely nothing at all when it comes to something far greater, the ushering in of the the Kingdom of heaven on earth among people.

    Amazing.
    Over-the-top amazing.

  32. Others have already responded to this better than I will here, but I’m actually kind of stunned that someone (with whom I share a name) could take the story I referenced (that women were the first to tell of Jesus’ resurrection) and re-tell it so flatly as to equate it with the fact that he just happened to “appear” to them first.

    He told them to tell others. They told others. This is the very essence of the Gospel. They were actually instructed, one might even say commanded to tell others (dare I say “preach”?) the Good News. This is no mere accident of appearance. It is the most essential element of our faith. To dismiss it so blithely is absolutely stunning.

  33. “He told them to tell others. They told others. This is the very essence of the Gospel. They were actually instructed, one might even say commanded to tell others (dare I say “preach”?) the Good News. This is no mere accident of appearance. It is the most essential element of our faith. To dismiss it so blithely is absolutely stunning.”
    M. Baker-Wright,
    As you can tell, I’m right there with you in astonishment!

  34. Hmmmm. I sense a pattern.

    Adam was first – men rule; women drool…

    and Deborah? She was an anomaly.
    and Esther? She knew her place.
    and Rahab? She doesn’t count because of her vocation.
    and the Proverbs 31 woman? Aw, she was just a sweet little homemaker.
    and Priscilla? Well, she was not in “church”.
    and Phoebe? Don’t you know that Greek words like diakonos and prostatis mean subservient things when applied to women?
    and Junia? Wasn’t she a man? Oh no, now I remember, the apostles thought she was a-okay!

    and Mary, Mary, Joanna, and the other women? They just happened to be the ones who saw Jesus first. It’s was coincidence. And what they did was no big deal.

  35. I’ve got it! “Deer” has no separate plural form in English so it is a good comparison.

    Then God said, “Let Us make deer in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them…” God created the deer in His own image, in the image of God He created it; male and female He created them.

    Now, “the deer”, again, may refer to a generic prototype. But if this passage was followed soon after by the excerpt from “Bambi” where Bambi and Faline first meet, wouldn’t you be inclined to think that the prior verse was about those two specific deer?

  36. Gengwell, it was still good!

    “What you have said is very profound.
    Order is all the importance in the world to these men when it comes to Genesis.”

    Let’s look at order when it comes to the beginning of the church. What did Peter preach? The Joel Prophecy :o)

  37. Gengwall, Mark,and crew, (I need an icon to indicate “read the following with a tone of sarcasm”)

    It wasn’t a coincidence that Mary, Mary, Joanna et. al. saw Jesus first. They were “properly” fulfilling their “womanly” duty of tending to the dead. Because they were adhering to their “role” they “happened” to be the first to see the empty tomb. But that was all, because they had to tell the brothers, who then did the “real” preaching. . . .

    I forget which hierarch floated this gem. I think it’s in RBMW somewhere, but I can’t bring myself to go back and look.

  38. Lmb – Good grief! Someone actually has argued that? I wonder what criteria they use to determine that tending to corpses is “women’s work”

  39. Here’s a quote from John MacArthur Jr.:
    “And a woman, too, is cursed in the sphere of her work, the sphere of her life; the relationship with children and her husband. And to you women I say this: If you are somewhat surprised that you have trouble with your children and that you suffer pain in that area, both physical pain and emotional and sometimes deep, deep spiritual pain, and if you struggle with your husband, um, just know this. God didn’t intend it that way in the beginning. That’s a result of sin, and you’re bearing something of the effect of the curse that God put on Eve. And you say well, then I, you know, if I’d have been in the garden, I wouldn’t have done with what Eve did, so why should I have to pay? The answer is because God wants to remind you all the time how terrible sin is, and what it’s done.” (“The Curse on the Woman” Part 1, Genesis 3:16)

    Looks as though MacArthur is in full agreement with God intending to torment women.

  40. MacArthur continues: “That’s what God wants out of the woman. Forget the briefcase, forget the road show, forget the career. Love your husband. Love your children. Stay in that category where the curse has fallen”

    Is it just me, or does it sound like he really wants women to stay tied to ‘her’ ‘curse’?

  41. And “woe” to the poor woman who is unable to marry and have children…she’s lost her chance to fulfill her curse or be reminded of sin by God.

  42. gengwall: “and Deborah? She was an anomaly.
    and Esther? She knew her place.
    and Rahab? She doesn’t count because of her vocation.
    and the Proverbs 31 woman? Aw, she was just a sweet little homemaker.
    and Priscilla? Well, she was not in “church”.
    and Phoebe? Don’t you know that Greek words like diakonos and prostatis mean subservient things when applied to women?
    and Junia? Wasn’t she a man? Oh no, now I remember, the apostles thought she was a-okay!
    and Mary, Mary, Joanna, and the other women? They just happened to be the ones who saw Jesus first. It’s was coincidence. And what they did was no big deal.”

    You know, I started a blog about this sort of attack on Bible women. I’m not recommending it because I never got past the first post. Too much to do and no time to do it in. The name of the blog was “Why this attack?”

    You get used to preachers attacking Deborah and start learning to let it go in one ear and out the other. Deborah was a tough cookie. She knew her God and was strong and did exploits before Daniel uttered those words. I’d hate to see her in a cage match with any one of the preachers who feel free to not only bash her, but they also bash all the men of her time.

    So it wasn’t the attack on Deborah that made me think of starting a blog about this hatred of actual, Biblical women… i.e. women in the Bible, not to be confused with the biblical womanhood pablum being passed off as sound doctrine.

    Nor was it the attack on Dinah or Tamar. These Biblical women bashers don’t mind kicking a Bible woman when she was down. Both these women are blamed for their rapes. They weren’t displaying biblical womanhood to the degree these preachers thought needed. If they were, they would have never been raped. (Anyone smell a Taliban?)

    Actually, it was the attack on Abigail that inspired me to start that blog. It made me realize that these preachers with their agenda know no bounds. Any woman mention in the Bible is fair game by virture of her gender. These preachers consider any Bible women suspect and will turn up and make up anything they can think of because they are intent on bashing women.

    What dirt could they possibly have on Abigail.
    Well, I read where Gothard holds Abigail responsible for the death of her husband Nabel because of her ‘scheming’ and ‘betrayal’.
    How he got that from the Bible, I don’t know. But he didn’t get it honestly.

    He, and these other preachers, have deep-seated, unresolved issues with women. They need to get healed so they stop these unrightous attacks they carry out on true Biblical women.

    Sorry. Another rant.

  43. Kay,
    Yes, MacArthur believes that a woman must stay in the area that God cursed her in. Working out her salvation is working in the domain that God said she must be in. It is weird because he does see the contradictions regarding single women and women unable to have children. Somehow they must find their cursed area by working with other women’s children. I don’t remember if he addresses the guilt and shame they have for not having their own domain.

    It is so sad the heavy burdens that these men place on women to have a cursed domain that they must stay in. Yet Jesus released Mary to be his disciple and He said that what she had chosen was better than serving in the kitchen. Apparently Jesus wasn’t aware of a cursed domain.

    Mara,
    When I think of these men and their man-centered ideas, I understand that without a divine intervention from God to soften their heart, they will never change. What we can do is to reach out to other women and help them heal by seeing themselves as servants of Christ without a sin-filled intermediator between them and Christ and without a set course that all women must follow regardless of the gifts that God has given them. It is, after all, a gift to be single.

  44. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head, Cheryl. The ideas presented by a lot of complementarians are entirely man-centered. God “ain’t got nuttin’ to do wit’ it”.

    The problem comes when we start pointing out the contradictions. We get accused of being “out of submission”, “prideful”, “after the flesh”, etc., when they don’t see just how they’re being the things they accuse us of. But since they’re men, it’s ok. They can get away with it, since the Word of God (at first blush) oh-so-conveniently justifies what they think.

    Sorry for the sarcasm. I think I made my morning cappucino a little too strong. I think at root is pride (their own). Some of these people think they can never be wrong, and so, they make women teaching a “salvic issue” in order to give themselves the ultimate authority. This is no more and no less than idolatry. I was actually considering at one point (before I discovered your blog) of becoming more complementarian (that’s what I thought a good evangelical “should be”) but I now know that I can be a good evangelical can be an egalitarian as well. I’m now happy that I can read your work, since it exposes the idolatry that lies at the heart of a lot of complementarian theology, and the pride that is underneath it. Keep up the good work, Cheryl.

  45. “When I think of these men and their man-centered ideas, I understand that without a divine intervention from God to soften their heart, they will never change.”

    At the risk of sounding androcentric and prideful, I think this is where egaitarian men can really have an impact. If a woman proposes equality to a man who believes in hierarchy, she is considered nothing more than a rebellious mutineer (just like Eve). But if a man, who shares the supposed authoritarian domain with his hierarchical brother, challenges the paradigm, he can not be similarly accused (or dismissed).

    Not that Cheryl should just close up shop and “leave it to the men”. On the contrary, it is forums like this that will “break the spell” that many complementarian men are under and open thier minds to a different paradigm. Why? Because of the very nature of the forum – written by a woman and supported by like minded men. Other men can’t ignore this blog like they might ignore a fiercly feminist forum that focuses on male bashing or promote matriarchy.

    Here they see the reality rather than the myth about egalitarianism. Here they see that women are not the threat they have been portrayed to be. Is this because Cheryl tells them so? Not exactly. It is because she tells it and other men agree with it, and objective, rational examination of scripture supports it.

  46. Kay,
    If MacArthur were consistent, he would also say to the men, “Forget the briefcase, forget the road show, forget the career. Stay in the field. Pull the weeds. Chop down the thistles. Stay in that category where the curse has fallen.”

    But I suppose logic and consistency have nothing to do with his view.

  47. Apologies to those who’ve seen this before, but that last post reminded me of the following from the “Top Ten Reasons Why Men Should Not Be Ordained” that a bunch of us have circulated in the past.

    8. Their physical build indicates that men are more suited to tasks such as chopping down trees and wrestling mountain lions. It would be “unnatural” for them to do other forms of work.
    2. Men can still be involved in church activities, even without being ordained. They can sweep paths, repair the church roof, and maybe even lead the singing on Father’s Day. By confining themselves to such traditional male roles, they can still be vitally important in the life of the Church.

  48. “At the risk of sounding androcentric and prideful, I think this is where egaitarian men can really have an impact. If a woman proposes equality to a man who believes in hierarchy, she is considered nothing more than a rebellious mutineer (just like Eve). But if a man, who shares the supposed authoritarian domain with his hierarchical brother, challenges the paradigm, he can not be similarly accused (or dismissed). ”

    I agree. Who do you think ‘gave’ women the vote? All the protests in the world could not give them a vote in congress. The votes had to come from men who changed the minds of other men.

    imb,

    Exactly! But then McArthur is teaching a works salvation for women. He would deny that. But I can remember a few years back, Phil Johnson (McArthurs protege) saying that if a man asked his wife or Mrs. McArthur a doctrinal question they would not answer it but refer the man to their husband.

    When I read that, I realized how deeply prideful these men were. It really is a huge sin trap for them. We should pity them and the women who cannot share the wonderous Gospel with someone with male sex organs. Now, if they would only tell us at what age boys become men so we can make sure we do not sin accidently.

  49. I’m taking off pretty soon. I am doing sound for another show and we have final dress tonight. Hopefully I won’t miss too much of the party.

    I have put in my first entry in the “show stoppers” series of posts on my blog. It deals with Genesis 1 and 2 and hierarchy vs. equality. This line of debate, of course, runs perfectly parallel to that. This discussion only bolsters my confidence in the equal nature of God’s marriage design. Carry on.

  50. “Forget the briefcase, forget the road show, forget the career. Stay in the field. Pull the weeds. Chop down the thistles. Stay in that category where the curse has fallen.”
    lmb,
    That would be the day, wouldn’t it? But, alas, he has a problem with consistency….

  51. I am not knowledgeable enough to debate you folks on the different flavors of who believes what, but I do see something that has not been proposed so I would like to enter it into the conversation with the hopes that you will be gentle if I am completely wrong. The essence of this argument is the belief that God does Gift Women with the “Gift” of being a pastor/preacher. I agree with the statements to the nature of God and his nature does not include taunting or torture, however taunting and torture only take place if the gift is in fact bestowed. This is a topic that is very confusing for me, I’ll admit I don’t have as much experience debating it as most on this site, but I can’t help but believe that the bible is reasonably clear, and consistent in it’s discussion on this. I think that we are all limited in how we can serve God, in different ways. I can never be a mother, although I have many of the “gifts” that a mother posses. God expects us to live within his limits as a measure of obedience. I don’t believe God gives us gifts we can’t use, I think we sometimes use the gifts he gives us inefficiently. You can list the successful female “pastors” as evidence of the gift, but the other side of that coin could be a woman who would have been even more successful if they applied their gift in a more obedient way. There is no way of knowing. It has nothing to do with intelligence, or abilities…it comes down to doing what The Lord Says…so I ask you, if the Lord spoke to you clearly and told you that he doesn’t want women as pastors…could you obey? My next question is how much clearer does he need to be then what he has already said? Pride has nearly destroyed me more than once, and knowledge of God and the bible fills us with a pride like no other. Being limited on how we are allowed to share that knowledge I think is not torture, it is obedience. I hope I haven’t made too many people upset, I read this blog often, I have twin baby girls, and I don’t want to “oppress” them or steer them wrong. It just seems much more a matter of giving in to him and working in his plan using his gifts, his way.

  52. Jim,

    I would like to give you a special welcome to my blog. I think that it is a very brave thing for you to comment on this blog after silently following the blog for some time. Kudos to you!

    I think there is great wisdom in asking these kinds of questions especially if you have baby girls. After all you want to train them up in the way that they should go so that they can serve the Lord Jesus with all their hearts. Those who have only boys will not have the same concern since the issue is not about what the boys can and cannot do so there is no worries in parenting.

    I would trust that all here will be gentle with you just as we work hard to be gentle with each other.

    The essence of this argument is the belief that God does Gift Women with the “Gift” of being a pastor/preacher.

    That is half of the argument and even most comps will admit that there are gifted women in all areas of body life. The other half of the argument is that God is the one who determines the gifts and He alone should determine whom he does and doesn’t want to exercise the gifts. Those whom God doesn’t want to exercise these gifts will not have the gifts.

    I agree with the statements to the nature of God and his nature does not include taunting or torture, however taunting and torture only take place if the gift is in fact bestowed.

    I fully agree with you.

    I think that we are all limited in how we can serve God, in different ways. I can never be a mother, although I have many of the “gifts” that a mother posses.

    I appreciate your willingness to try to understand this issue. While we are discussing spiritual gifts “motherhood” is not considered a “spiritual” gift. It is a natural function of a woman’s body but it is like comparing apples and fence posts when comparing it to the spiritual. No list of spiritual gifts includes motherhood and no list of spiritual gifts includes any gift that is by its nature a “pink” only gift.

    God expects us to live within his limits as a measure of obedience.

    The question then would be, what are the “spiritual limits” of a member of the body of Christ? Where are these limits documented for the male and where are they documented for the female? I have never seen a generic spiritual “limit” on the gifts that God has given us. I may be mistaken, but I have not seen such limiting passages.

    I don’t believe God gives us gifts we can’t use, I think we sometimes use the gifts he gives us inefficiently.

    I am not sure what you mean by “inefficiently” but I can think of some instances where we may not use our gifts because of fear. Sometimes gifted people don’t speak up when they should.

    You can list the successful female “pastors” as evidence of the gift, but the other side of that coin could be a woman who would have been even more successful if they applied their gift in a more obedient way.

    This of course is one of the issues of difference between comps and egals. Egals would say that godly preaching, praying, accurate teaching of the Bible always brings glory to God. How can a woman apply her gift in a more obedient way? I think the Scripture helps us with this one. In 1 Peter 4:10, Peter talks about “each one” and using the gifts Peter says to “employ” them in a special way:

    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.

    The gifts are not for our benefit, but for the benefit of the body of Christ. We are to “serve one another” as “good stewards”. The grace of God is said to be “manifold” or “multicolored or variegated”.

    The fact is that we are never told to withhold something good from another member of the body of Christ. The gifts are clearly for the entire body so that we may grow together (not separately) until we all attain to the unity of the faith. If the gifts are for all and the command is to serve “one another” with the unique flavor of our special gifts, then we dare not withhold from each other if we want to serve God with godly fear.

    The next thing that we can pick up from the Scripture regarding applying the gifts in an obedient way is found in 1 Peter 4:11 is for “whoever” has the gifts. We are to use the gifts as one who speaks the very words of God and serves by the strength 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.

    If God says that He is glorified in this, then why should we hold back in fear?

    It has nothing to do with intelligence, or abilities…it comes down to doing what The Lord Says…so I ask you, if the Lord spoke to you clearly and told you that he doesn’t want women as pastors…could you obey?

    A word spoke by the Lord to me must not and cannot contradict His own Word since everything that is true spiritually will never contradict His Word. The fact is that God has never said that this one particular gift is reserved for males. If God gifts, then the person is responsible for using their gift or they will give an account of themselves before God regarding the treasure that He gave them.

    My next question is how much clearer does he need to be then what he has already said?

    That is a good question. I think that it would be clear if God said “I (God) will not gift women as pastors and I do not want women to aspire to the work of an overseer”

    While you may think that it is clear, the fact is that there is a prejudice within all of us against women that allows single men to be pastors, elders, overseers but not women. Can you explain that? Why is the language not clear and what would God have to say that would make it more “clear” that unmarried and childless men are forbidden to strive to attain the work of an overseer or a deacon?

    Pride has nearly destroyed me more than once, and knowledge of God and the bible fills us with a pride like no other.

    I believe that if we seek the God whose Word we are striving to have the knowledge about from the Bible, he is able to keep us in His will as we surrender ourselves to serve instead of demanding that we are the ones who are to be perpetually served.

    Being limited on how we are allowed to share that knowledge I think is not torture, it is obedience.

    I believe that the limitations are not on us but on the ones that we serve. For example, my specialty is on the hard passages of scripture. In sharing my understanding the hard passages of scripture, I can go into great detail with the Greek and Hebrew and the grammar that would not be appropriate for 5 & 6 year olds and the spiritual babes. But it is my desire as it was Paul’s desire to see those whom I am privileged to serve, grow up into the knowledge of God’s word so that they can absorb and chew on the meat that I give them instead of having to be fed only milk. This is not a limitation because of my gender but because of the spiritual growth of my audience that requires me to hold back. It is not a God-forced limitation on my gifts, but an act of love that allows me to gift out as much as the young ones can take and understand. Force feeding the meat is not loving when one is acting as a servant for the good of the body.

    I hope I haven’t made too many people upset, I read this blog often, I have twin baby girls, and I don’t want to “oppress” them or steer them wrong. It just seems much more a matter of giving in to him and working in his plan using his gifts, his way.

    I am so glad that you are considering that what you teach your daughters may have an effect of oppression. What I have seen from so many Scriptures is that God’s gifts are not meant to be suppressed and the suppression of God’s gifts is one way to grieve the Holy Spirit. While 1 Cor. 14:31 says that “all” (not just men) may prophesy one by one so that “all” (not just women) may learn and “all” (not just women) may be exhorted, stifling this prophesying is directly tied into quenching the Holy Spirit:

    1 Thess 5:19 Do not quench the Spirit;
    1 Thess 5:20 do not despise prophetic utterances.

    The command is that we are not to reject with scorn prophetic utterances. Can men honestly say that they do not “reject” and treat with “scorn” women’s speaking forth the words that God has given them? Men don’t see these gifts as valuable yet 1 Cor. 12:4 says that the gifts are from the same Spirit and Eph 4:12 says the gifts are for the building up of the body, not just for the building up of the arm.

    While 1 Cor. 14:26 says that all the gifts are to be used for edification…

    1 Cor. 14:26 …Let all things be done for edification.

    …many men reject the Holy Spirit’s words when He speaks through a woman. They stop the woman from fulfilling the edification that God has called her to.

    While Ephesians 4:29, 30 say that our words are to be used for edification to “those who hear”, those who will not hear what the Spirit is saying are actually grieving the Holy Spirit of God.

    Eph 4:29 Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.
    Eph 4:30 Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

    I grieves me to know that males who set themselves up as gatekeepers holding back the Holy Spirit’s gifts and keeping these gifts from the benefit of other men will have to one day give an account of themselves to God. We are never told to limit other people’s gifts for the edification of the entire body. Each “servant” is to be accountable to God and we are not to interfere with their service.

    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.

    Each one is personally responsible for how he builds the body and with the quality of the material that the person uses. While some have a prideful attitude that they are personally responsible to judge the work of another one of Jesus’ servants, it is not up to us to judge how another servant has used their God-given gifts as God will indeed one day judge them Himself.

    1 Cor 3:10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it.
    1 Cor 3:11 For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
    1Cor 3:12 Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw,
    1 Cor 3:13 each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work.

    I can give Scripture after Scripture commanding us to serve God with all that is within us for edification of the body yet there is no verse that universally forbids all women from receiving or using their God-given gifts. We are all to “desire earnestly to prophesy” and not to “quench the Spirit”. No Scripture in context will contradict that wise counsel from God’s Word.

    Thoughts?

  53. “Being limited on how we are allowed to share that knowledge I think is not torture, it is obedience. ”

    Jim, Do you think it would be a sin for a woman, mature in the faith, to teach/preach the Word to a mixed group in an underground house church in China?

    Would it also be a sin for a woman to preach (she knows the language) in a grass hut in a remote African village to a mixed group because her husband was broke down out in the bush and could not make it back in time?

  54. Thanks for taking the time to address my thoughts and perceptions. I think my major hang-up in this is a simple one, and I am sure one you have dealt with on many discussions previously. I tried to read and understand the debate you had previously with the man in regard to what the bible says or doesn’t say about the roles of women. Honestly it was a little over my head, so you may be repeating yourself in regard to me, and apologize if it seems I’m a waste of time but the verse in Timothy, well actually that entire second chapter…why is it not saying what it seems to be saying? I have looked at every piece of scripture you have quoted (and I appreciate you including it as opposed to referencing it) and I can see your points with every one…but that chapter in Timothy plagues me. Even with the sum of all of the conclusions and verses, it just seems to be so cut and dried about this. You know I’m hear to learn, I’m not trying to persuade, I’m actually trying to be persuaded. Help me see that verse differently than it appears to be. I don’t want to be a stumbling block for anyone. Frankly my girls are the only women on the planet who give two cents what I think about God and religion anyway. I want to do what God would have me to do, and right now I’m not sure what that is.

  55. Jim,
    Have you read through Cheryl’s posts on 1 Timothy 2 listed under “Categories” here on the right hand side of the blog page? I hope you will. There is a wealth of info in each article.

  56. Hello again Jim,
    Thanks for coming back!
    There are several hard passages that seem to say one thing, but doing that “who, what, where, when and why” interrogation on the passage, one can see that it isn’t as cut and dried as one first thought.

    For example James seems to “clearly” say that Abraham was justified by works…

    James 2:21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar?

    …but was he?

    Paul said that Abraham was not justified by works…

    Rom 4:2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God.
    Rom 4:3 For what does the Scripture say? “ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.”
    Rom 4:4 Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due.
    Rom 4:5 But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness,
    Rom 4:6 just as David also speaks of the blessing on the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:

    The fact is that James is not saying that Abraham was justified before God by works, but it was justification before men, since men can only see what we do to know if we are saved, but God looks on the heart.

    So we can also see that there appears to be an “apparent” discrepancy on women’s spiritual service. Paul himself states that women can pray and prophesy in the assembly and by edifying the church with their gifts, all will learn and all will be edified, yet 1 Timothy 2:12 seems to be saying that women cannot teach even a single man anything. Is this really what Paul is saying?

    We need to ask the questions, who is Paul writing to? What is the reason that Paul is writing the letter? Why did Paul not write this “command” to the churches, but to only his helper, Timothy? What was going on that needed this command? Why didn’t Paul say that the command was from God? Why did Paul say that it was Paul who originated the command? How does this relate to the issue of all godly women regarding their teaching for all of time? Why are there no instances of women stopped from teaching men in the NT? Why was there no OT law that stopped women from teaching men? Why was the prohibition put into such a hard passage of scripture where such unique words were used that it has been difficult to understand Paul? Is it possible that Timothy completely understood the command because he was aware of the prohibition even if years later we have a hard time understanding? How can a universal prohibition be based on just one verse taken from its context? Where are the noted exceptions to the prohibition? How come Priscilla was not charged with teaching a man? How come Priscilla was allowed to teaching a man in Corinth? What was the situation in Corinth that was different than in Ephesus?

    The fact is that the “prohibition” is surrounded by very difficult words that don’t seem to make complete sense to most people, yet they are quick to say that the passage is “clear” regarding women’s teaching. How can this be so? How can the passage be so “clear” yet 1 Timothy 2:15 which is the conclusion of the prohibition is one the most difficult verses, if not the most difficult, in the entire bible? It is impossible for such a command to be clear, that is not written to the entire church, not written in the context in an easily understandable fashion and has no second witness to confirm that it is indeed a universal witness, yet we still want to see the command as “clearly” about all godly women for all of church history, instead of a local command for a local problem? This is what tradition has done to our thinking minds. It has clouded our vision and made us prejudice against women.

    Well, as you can see, I am very passionate for people to understand 1 Timothy 2:12 in context. The best thing that I can do is to recommend that you get a copy of my DVD set. It is 3.5 hours of teaching that can be played over and over until it sinks in. It is available here http://www.amazon.com/Women-Ministry-Silenced-Set-Free/dp/B000FW4N60 and this blog will be around to answer any other questions that you have. Makes a good Christmas gift 8)

    I hope that there is something in my answer that helps you. I am thankful that you are willing to learn because you do want the truth.

  57. Jim,

    I do recommend Cheryl’s DVD which only confirmed much of what I had already discerned from study. It was like finding an old friend who confirmed what I had found.

    There are several, what I call, keys to this passage that clinched it for me in addition to what the entire letter is about. One of them is the actual Greek word for authority used in 1 Tim 2 concerning the ‘singular’ woman who was teaching a man. The word in Greek is Authenteo and is only used once in the entire NT. IT does not mean authority over. It is much more sinister than that…akin to murdering someone with lies.

    One early church father, Chrysotem,used this word in a teaching where he said a husband should not do this to a wife. If the Holy Spirit had wanted to communicate that women should not teach men, He would have used plural grammar and NOT used authenteo. There are plenty of Koine Greek words to communicate authority over that are used throughout scripture such as Arche or exousia.

    Another ‘key’ to that passage is the part about childbearing. Could it really be true that woman are saved by bearing children? Wouldn’t that negate the wonderous Cross and the sacrifice of our Savior? Is there really a work of salvation for women only? What about serious Christian women who cannot bear children?

    The word for childbearing is a noun and refers to THE childbearing of Messiah. Paul mentions Eve because, she too, was deceived like this woman in Ephesus but Paul believes she can be saved by the childbearing of Messiah. (Paul may be referring to the false teaching in the fertility cult in the huge pagan temple in Ephesus…one of the wonders of the world at that time)

    There is much more to this that Cheryl painstakingly goes into on her DVD and on this blog. The obvious question is why so many thousands of years of wrong teaching on this passage to shut up over half of all believers from proclaiming the Gospel to any one regardless of gender? Good question. It took thousands of years for many to decide that slavery was evil, too. Even though the scrpture did nto outlaw it (Jesus did not attempt to change civil laws) we know from Philemon that Paul recommended he treat his runaway slave as a brother in Christ. Radical idea for that time.

    Scripture read in the light of the 1st Century is pretty radical for women.

    And one last point…Why would Paul write a NEW prohibition against women teaching or leading men since there is NOT one in the OT?

  58. he he he, um didn’t see the link to the right…duh. Sorry about that, I figured you had covered this many times. To be honest though I have looked at others arguments on both sides of this issue countless times, I think maybe the atmosphere of the blog has helped it sink in. I appreciate you taking the time to go through it again, it must be difficult to restate your position near constantly as new people flow into your circle of influence. When I read the other sides arguments, they also seem to be very compelling…so this is what I know to be true for now…I’m a guy and I have learned something from you…I respect and acknowledge the fact that you know more than me, and I appreciate your desire to share your knowledge with me. I do not think we have sinned in our conversation. The logical conclusion based on our interactions proves at least part of your point. I will look at your stuff on the right before I bother you any further. Again I thank you for taking to the time to walk me through it and sharing your perspective with me. In the end, I don’t care who’s right, I just want the truth. My babies just turned four, and I want to provide for them the most biblically correct answers to their questions…I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

  59. Jim,
    It is a pleasure for me to minister as I feel that my work is done as to the Lord Jesus. I give out as much as I can as often as I can because I feel that rephrasing things to help a specific new person helps us both. Perhaps I too can learn how to say it in a clearer fashion and perhaps with even more gentleness and respect if it is said just one more time. None of us stops learning and we should continue until we die.

    Do not hesitate to ask if you need to clarify anything. There are a bunch of people here who know the stuff as well as I do (at least that is the way I see it) and they seem rather willing to help me with newbies and old ones too! I really appreciate them especially since this is not my primary ministry and I can’t always be here as much as I would like. My heart is here but my ministry is much larger and other ministry and other DVD projects await my work.

    Thanks also for telling me that I helped you and that it wasn’t a sin to learn something from me. This is rewarding to me and I believe pleases the Lord Jesus who loves to have His body minister to one another. He is a big “one another” Person who desires His body to be built up and mature. And we get to do this interactive stuff on a blog where people from around the world see our words! All I can say is WOW!

  60. ” In the end, I don’t care who’s right, I just want the truth”

    That is exactly where I was, too. And when I had a daughter, I wanted to get it right and encourage her to seek the Spiritual gifts God has for her.

  61. “Others state that a woman may teach the Bible to men as long as it is in her home or perhaps outside on the lawn, but if she were to teach men inside a church building, she would immediately be involved in committing a sin.”

    The above idea is completely absurd. it is so obvious that this is from a protectionist, territorial, arrogant position. it’s not even worth debating. I can’t believe that in this day and time anyone would embrace such a notion.

  62. Hey Jim! I, too, have listened to the arguments about 1 Tim 2 over and over. Then I determined to actually look deeply at the text. There are wonderful resources on the internet that allow regular folks like you and me to look at the Greek (or Hebrew) and get “first hand”, as it were, what the author was saying. What I discovered is that all the arguments stemmed from an understanding of English translation, which, in the case of 1 Tim 2, is some of the worst in the entire bible. Let me ask you this. If you read the below translation of 1 Tim 2:11-15 in an English bible, what impact would it have on your interpretation of the verse, and maybe more importantly, the value you place on the various arguments.

    11 Let a woman learn in peace and all humility 12 But I do not allow a woman to teach or to rule a husband; she is to remain at peace. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve 14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman, being deceived, has fallen into disobedience. And she shall be saved through the child-bearing if she and her husband continue in faith, love, and holiness with self control.

    Now, I suspect your first reaction would be something like “Well, I’ve never seen it translated like that before. Must be gengwall just paraphrasing to support his own argumnet.” Yes and no. It is a paraphrase – but it is a paraphrase taking each verse or portion of a verse from a different English Translation. I have chosen the translation for each portion based on how close it comes to the actual meaning of the Greek. Here it is again with the English Translations notated.

    11 Let a woman learn in peace (Complete Jewish Bible) and all humility (Good News Translation) 12 But I do not allow a woman to teach (common) or to rule a husband (Young’s Literal Translation); she is to remain at peace (CJB). 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve (common) 14 And Adam was not deceived (common), but the woman, being deceived, has fallen into disobedience (Hebrew Names Version). And she shall be saved through the child-bearing (YLT) if she and her husband (Weymouth NT) continue in faith, love, and holiness with self control (common).

    Not the intalicized words. This is what Lin was getting at above. A number of the words, and even tenses and numbers (singular vs. plural) of the words have been obscurred in English translations. Lin pointed out authenteo (“rule” in vs. 12). This may be the worst of them all as it is almost impossible to find an English translation that does justice to the sinster sense the Greek word carries. Are all women like this? Of course not. So immediately we need to ask if this passage is for all women or only women engaged in certain sinister behaviors.

    I will point out a couple other translational problems. The word typically transalated “silent” in vs. 11 has nothing to do speaking – it relates to one’s demeanor. The word typically translated into the past tense “fell” in vs. 14 is actually Greek perfect tense, which indicates a past action resulting in continuing results. “The woman” can not be Eve bcause her transgression is in progress in the church at Ephesus. More confirmation that it can not be Eve comes in verse 15 because the salvation spoken of is in the future. Lin also noted that “childbearing” is a noun, not a verb. It is accompanied in the Greek by the definite article which means that a specific birth is in view. Translators almost universally change this into a verb and apply it to all women. That simply is wrong. And finally, the fact that it is “the woman”, not “women”, that has fallen into transgression eliminates all women or even a group of Ephesian women from the equation. Unfortunately, many translations play fast and loose with the number of women in vs. 15 and change it into a prohibition for women in general instead of a prohibition for “the woman” in Ephesus that Paul is writing about and who Timothy most certainly is well aquianted.

    In summary, when there are differeing opinions, interpretations, and arguments about a passage, especially one is difficult to understand or seems to contradict other passage of scripture, it is best to go back and start from the source language. You will be stunned to discover how horribly inaccurate some (or even almost all) English translations are when it comes to many difficult passages. They really read completely different in English than they would have to a Greek speaker at the time they were written. Best to try to put yourself in the place of that Greek speaker if you want to know the intent of the passage for that audience.

  63. Two of the resources I mention are:

    the scripture4all.org online interlinear bibles with the Greek and Hebrew including Strongs numbers and, for the Greek, complete parsing of the text. These can also be downloaded as a software program complete with great search facilities which help with word studies.

    and blueletterbible.org, which includes not only Strongs definitions but lexicon entries for words, and multiverse and multitranslation displays.

  64. It is interesting how some older versions of the bible do a better job than newer translations. I have heard it argued that there was less of a threat from women prior to the 19th century so translators didn’t have to bolster male authority in their translations. Could be. Of course, in some ways the older translations are just as bad as new. Still, I wanted to see how authenteo was treated in less common, often pre-KJV versions. Here are a couple examples which, while maybe not getting it exactly right, at least offer an interesting change from the vanilla “have/usurp/exercise authority” we get in most bibles used today.

    Wycliffe (1382) (adjusted to current spellings) “neither to have lordship on the man” (“husband” in the John Purvey Bible-1395),
    Mace New Testament (1729) “nor to dictate to her husband”

  65. I know that this has got some age on it now, but it has taken me a bit of time to muddle through the resources everyone mentioned I sample. I have had the opportunity to look through most of the information and translations that you folks have generously steered me toward. I also took some sites/information given to me by folks who are on the opposite side of the fence from your perspective…not to be difficult mind you; but to try to see why they are so sure in their beliefs as well. What I have found is that both sides of this argument are stating as near fact translations that are in direct conflict with one another. One side says an ancient word is feminine, the other says masculine. Both argue without a doubt that if the text is the way they say it is, then there can be no mistake in it’s meaning. This leaves me in a very confusing position. I am not an un-intelligent person. I made a perfect score on my ACT in reading years ago, and I have both a bachelors degree and a masters degree in education. But with all my skills and gifts in the realm of reading and comprehension it boils down to who do you believe. I have spent the last few weeks trying very hard to discern which set of truths is the truth, and I am no closer now than I was. Everything you folks have shared with me, makes absolute sense in the framework of correct translation. But these points are equally proven based on the alternative translations that were presented in other forums. Perhaps credentials is the tiebreaker, I’m not sure, but I do feel I must offer my sincere appreciation for the time and effort you have put forth in helping me understand your point of view. You have alerted me to the idea that simply believing the concordance of my bible can be the wrong way to go. These lapses and disagreements in translations…do they make you believe that our Bible has been changed/altered over the years based on historical events/cultures until now it cannot be considered infallible? I know the selling point to every new translation is that it is supposedly the most historically accurate of any…but that cannot be true for each version. How does a “normal” (not that anyone who knows me would use that word to describe me) person pick up a bible and teach his daughters in truth? My ex-wife has belonged to five different denominations in the past 5 years and now professes to be catholic. I don’t judge her for that, but I do feel like I need to have a firm grasp of what is true so that I can be a consistent source of information for my girls as they grow up and ask questions about the nature of Christ. I feel more lost now than when I began. I appreciate your insight so far, I just don’t know where to go from here. I hope you all have a good week.

  66. Jim,
    You said:

    One side says an ancient word is feminine, the other says masculine.

    What word are you referencing? There should not be an discrepancies in the actual original words. There are many places where one can look these things up to see who is saying accurate things.

  67. Jim,

    hese lapses and disagreements in translations…do they make you believe that our Bible has been changed/altered over the years based on historical events/cultures until now it cannot be considered infallible?

    The manuscripts haven’t changed but translations are not infallible as they are translated by humans. This is why it is helpful to compare difference translations to each other and it is also why checking out the original words in a lexicon can be extremely helpful. However no matter which Bible is used the essentials will always agree. It is only in the non-essentials (like the women’s issue) that there are discrepancies.

  68. “One side says an ancient word is feminine, the other says masculine.”

    I too am curious. Most of the people from “the other side” that have commented on this blog, and even those with “credentials” from CBMW and others, don’t argue about the original grammar so much as they argue how the original grammar should be interpreted. For example, some have argued that the switch from plural to singular in 1 Tim 2:11 is in essence a shift from “all woman” to a generic “woman”. But no one I know of denies the shift in number takes place. They simply try to explain it away.

    The translations, on the other hand, play fast and loose with the grammar, changing tense in verse 14 to imply that the verse is sepaking of Eve and changing number in verse 15 to imply all women are being addressed.

    The edited passage I gave above in post 66 relays the grammar straight. I do not change any tense, number, gender, voice, etc. The only place where I have chosen a translation that leans in my favor are the two instances where “husband” is given. It isn’t that “husband” is an invalid translation, but there are arguments either way (i.e. it could just be “man”). Otherwise, there is no fiddling on my part (or the part of the translators I used for each passage). I do not believe that anyone would disagree that those are literal translations of the grammar. But there are many who would argue that those are bad interpretations of the grammar. Which basically proves the point I think Cheryl is getting at – every translation is also to a degree an interpretation.

    Now, the question for you, or any bible reader, is this: “do I whole heartedly trust the translator’s interpretation or do I take it with a grain of salt?” I hope your answer is the latter, especially for those verse that are controversial. Everyone has an agenda and will try to convince you that ther translation/interpretation is correct. It is up to you to do the research (which you are doing dilligently), and eventually draw your own conclusions. But keep in mind that one must always view a translation/interpretation with context and the original audience in view. That doesn’t at all mean that the bible is inapplicable to today’s audience. On the contrary, the bible has proven to be timeless. Never-the-less, there was an original audience for Paul’s letters and we must first determine what those letters meant to that audience before we explore the applicability of the letters to us today.

  69. gengwall,
    I am glad that you noted for Jim the importance of the context and the original audience or recipients of Paul’s letters.

    Jim,
    A clear example of this is found in 1 Cor. 5:1-2: “It is actually reported that there is immorality among you, and immorality of such a kind as does not exist even among the Gentiles, that someone has his father’s wife. You have become arrogant and have not mourned instead, so that the one who had done this deed would be removed from your midst.”

    While this one is obvious, bear in mind that we don’t know ALL the background or every person each of the letters targeted.

  70. I have been studying 2 tim. and the things Paul says about women. I am not smart, but I did feel something was not translated correctly about this chapter after reading about women ministering in the old testament.
    one word I have found has helped me understand what Paul was really saying. ( just as the word gay means something different now then it did 50 years ago). the greek word “authentien” is the word used for “usurping authority” , after researching for the meaning, I have found several other meanings for the word. further research suggest that the word had a different meaning at the time it was used by Paul. I have done much searching for more information and found many good articles based on scripture, by both men and women that tell me women were ministers and did proclaim the gospel in both the old and new testament. there are several good sermons by victor shepherd about women in ministry. I think the role of women has been grossy misinterpeted by using inproper translations of the original greek and hebrew text. even the words “ezer cenegdo” which is translated “helpmate” in Genesis does not seem to match the definition of the hebrew word.

  71. It seems that most of the arguments defending women in ministry have already been said.

    In honest truth, if God were a prejudice, sexist, chauvinistic Father, I am inclined to state that I would not wish to be His daughter nor His servant nor His friend. In such a case, Jesus Christ would no longer be separated from other gods, with unconditional, underserved, everlasting love. He would instead be just another believed in ruler that unjustly judges on an aspect that makes one “inferior”. An aspect that is uncontrollabe and unchangable. The aspect that makes me a woman.

  72. Hi Katrina and welcome to my blog.

    Isn’t it wonderful that God isn’t prejudiced and sexist like some have claimed that He is? It is certainly worth our time in defending the God of the Bible – the One who is without sin and without prejudice.

    Thanks for your comments!

  73. Hello Cheryl and all of you in this forum. I am a relatively new believer and for months now I have had the issue of women preachers on my heart and in my mind so much so that at times I’m awake in the middle of the night pondering it. I’m so grateful for being led to this site because I’ve found a lot of valuable and sound information after a period of weeding through “the truth”.

    I began my search for answers by going to my local pastor for insight and explanations about what the Word says regarding women preachers and was immediately led to Timothy 2:12. “I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.” I went home and mulled it over and read and re-read the entire chapter and to me it was not the clear cut explanation the pastor told me it was.

    Cheryl wrote, “It is impossible for such a command to be clear, that is not written to the entire church, not written in the context in an easily understandable fashion and has no second witness to confirm that it is indeed a universal witness, yet we still want to see the command as “clearly” about all godly women for all of church history, instead of a local command for a local problem?”

    To me, the context of this scripture was not taken into consideration by my pastor and it bothered me because when I read it I saw the context immediately. I decided to dig a little deeper because I’m really unsettled about this subject (why I have no idea, because before I became a believer I never gave this a second thought) so I set out to get a “second opinion.” This time I asked what I deemed to be a knowledgeable sister in my church what her take was on the issue of women preachers. She quoted Timothy 2:11-12 “A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.” I brought up the question of context. She immediately answered that what I was doing was interpreting the scripture in a way that would conform to what I wanted to believe and that it “clearly” stated in black and white what the truth was. All I could think of to say was that it made no sense to me to think that the God I had come to know and love would condemn a woman for teaching His Word. She said He would for not being obedient. I just didn’t get it.

    I went to another pastor in my church and asked this question about women preachers yet again and he said that he believed women could most certainly teach in women’s ministry and children’s ministry, but if they believed they were called to teach as a pastor of an entire church, then they have incorrectly perceived that calling. I walked away shaking my head and thinking, “So women preachers are all walking around thinking they were called to ministry but they heard wrong?” He made it seem like women were just a bunch of “silly geese” mistakenly thinking they were called by God to teach the Word and then he read Timothy 2:13-14 “For Adam was formed first not Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner.” I left confused and dismayed. I’m no longer affiliated with this particular church, but the questions about women pastors still remain.

    I greatly appreciate all of the information being shared here and I want you to know that I’m learning a lot and thinking even more now. It’s a very good thing!

  74. I am a college student and I am majoring in Preaching Ministry. I am the only female in the preaching program. Ever since I was little, I wanted to be a pastor and yet, I was turned down by schools because they didn’t think it was biblical. It broke me and I had a really hard time figuring out my relationship with God. All I want to do is serve him with the gifts that I have and yet, I am not allowed to. I feel confused and tormented because I know I am not meant for anything else but serving God with my gifts of teaching and pastoring. I go back and forth on this daily.

    The God that I know would not condemn me for serving him. He is about love! I don’t understand people who quote Bible verses telling me that what I am doing is wrong. Why is it wrong to serve God with all that you have? These thoughts plague my mind.

  75. Taylor, I’m so sorry that there are people out there that feel it is their duty to ‘set you straight’ and try to discourage you from pursuing your gifts.
    “Forgive them for they know not what they do,”
    and
    “It is better to fear God than man.”
    Please be encouraged that even though people discriminate against you because of your gender, God absolutely doesn’t, nor does He approve those that do.
    Do not, I repeat, DO NOT bury your gifts because of the ignorance and prejudices of others. You answer to God, not to them.
    And read more here, Cheryl has a lot of good teaching of women in ministry.

  76. Mara,
    Thank you so much for your words of encouragement. I am so happy that I stumbled upon this blog. It reaffirms what I have always thought to be true. I know that I am young but I want to be able to help other young women in my situation and connect with those that have been there. I think people who are opposed to women in ministry or feel that God has not gifted women with such talents, don’t see that this issue deeply affects the people involved.
    I am at an age where I am suppose to be looking for internships and seeking connects for my future, but it is hard to do that when people within your desired vocation have strong convictions against you. It hurts to feel like you are wrong for serving God. This isn’t just some theological debate or highly controversial issue, these are the struggles that are currently being faced by women in ministry or who desire to go into ministry. Real people with real feeling who have serving God embedded on their hearts. Maybe it is something that I will never understand.

  77. Is this still an issue? What the **** is wrong with people? This is not 2000 years ago, and we are not nomadic shepherds living in Judah! Women and children as chattels went out the window last century, yet otherwise normal people keep trying to set back the clock. Folks, the time of Jesus of Nazareth was NOT better than now, or HOLIER, and God is still at work in the world. The Bible is not the last word of God; the last word has yet to be written. But we will never know as long as we keep trying to mold everything into Old Testament terms. God continually speaks to us and in extremely unlikely ways.

    The adage about the splinter and the plank has never been truer, I see. Ms. Schatz, go for it. I’m sure that mine are not the only blessings that go with you.

  78. Thank you for the post and the discussion. I sincerely enjoyed reading every word. I’ve been in church most of my life and have constantly struggled with this. After serving on staff as a “children’s minister” in a large church, I realized that the leadership roles for women were not equal to men in voice or compensation. After being manipulated and lied to repeatedly, I have stepped out of ministry within the church and now serve in community missions and ministry.

    I have come to a place where I no longer look to the church for answers. I look to my Savior, my God and my King- Jesus Christ. He has spoken to my heart through his word and his spirit. The post and the comments here are encouraging as each of you seek truth with love.

  79. “Is it possible that some who restrict women from preaching the gospel to men are so in love with their own unlimited freedom in the body of Christ that they are unwilling to even think through this issue to release God’s women for service? Is it possible that some are more than willing to portray God as One who tempts women to sin by gifting them with gifts that they dare not use for the common good?”

    This is the very question I ask my dh daily. We are now going over this in our congregation – interesting that you should mention this Cheryl! The more we get into this, it would seem (as had been mentioned via Mark & Mabel earlier) that many (okay, 5 out of the 5 congregations I have been a part of, all SBC & NGLBC) churches would gender-coat the spiritual giftings. I wrestled with this heavily, and nearly lost my life over the ‘torment’ of the gift that I know Christ has placed within me. I would have rather died than live with the gift He placed inside of me that was “not true” or “not allowed” to be lived out & used. It would seem to me that there’s only one being who would be more than happy to see nearly 70% of God’s workforce put “out of comission” by pushing them into temporal roles & limit their calling — and it ain’t Jesus! Last time I checked, the hands & feet of Christ needed one another, and the hands were not designated male, nor the feet female… the only part that was designated “Head” was Christ! Amen for that!

    Also, in response to Mark — ALL who speak the Word of God are accountable to Him in the end. The charge on my heart is when it states in Luke: “Luk 17:2 It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. ” Little ones meaning the spiritually younger in Christ — that is a charge to any & all shepherds, teachers, pastors & preachers. I have long pondered how many of the female gender have turned away from their faith because they were, at the core of their giftings & God given talents, told they were “false” gifts, not from God, and “out of line”. I had contemplated turning from my faith if indeed there was a tortuous God who enjoyed giving gifts to His daughters which were never meant to be used for His Kingdom – why would He do that?

  80. “Is it possible that some who restrict women from preaching the gospel to men are so in love with their own unlimited freedom in the body of Christ that they are unwilling to even think through this issue to release God’s women for service? Is it possible that some are more than willing to portray God as One who tempts women to sin by gifting them with gifts that they dare not use for the common good?”

    This is the very question I ask my dh daily. We are now going over this in our congregation – interesting that you should mention this Cheryl! The more we get into this, it would seem (as had been mentioned via Mark & Mabel earlier) that many (okay, 5 out of the 5 congregations I have been a part of, all SBC & NGLBC) churches would gender-coat the spiritual giftings. I wrestled with this heavily, and nearly lost my life over the ‘torment’ of the gift that I know Christ has placed within me. I would have rather died than live with the gift He placed inside of me that was “not true” or “not allowed” to be lived out & used. It would seem to me that there’s only one being who would be more than happy to see nearly 70% of God’s workforce put “out of comission” by pushing them into temporal roles & limit their calling — and it ain’t Jesus! Last time I checked, the hands & feet of Christ needed one another, and the hands were not designated male, nor the feet female… the only part that was designated “Head” was Christ! Amen for that!

    Also, in response to Mark — ALL who speak the Word of God are accountable to Him in the end. The charge on my heart is when it states in Luke: “Luk 17:2 It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. ” Little ones meaning the spiritually younger in Christ — that is a charge to any & all shepherds, teachers, pastors & preachers. I have long pondered how many of the female gender have turned away from their faith because they were, at the core of their giftings & God given talents, told they were “false” gifts, not from God, and “out of line”. I had contemplated turning from my faith if indeed there was a tortuous God who enjoyed giving gifts to His daughters which were never meant to be used for His Kingdom – why would He do that?

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