Common objections: women are more easily deceived

Common objections: women are more easily deceived

Easily deceived graphic on Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

Another reason some complementarians claim for denying women opportunities to minister in the church is that it is said that women are more easily deceived than men so men alone are permitted to minister in the church.  A good example of this kind of rationale is found here with this excerpt: 

But why should Eve’s being beguiled in the Garden of Eden cause Paul to say that women should be silent in church? The answer must be that women in general have a tendency to be more easily duped than men. Because of this tendency, they are not to be teachers, or preachers, or hold an office (which implies authority) in church. …

…we must remember that Paul clearly states that women are to remain silent in church because of the creation order and because Eve was deceived.

Is Paul really saying that women are more easily deceived than men?  Let’s examine the text:

1 Timothy 2:14 (NASB) And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.

Paul clearly says that “Adam was not deceived” but in 2 Corinthians 11:3 Paul specifically lists Eve by name as the one who was deceived:

2 Corinthians 11:3, 4 (NASB)

4 For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully.

3 But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.

So is Paul really saying that Eve was created with a “tendency” to be easily deceived? No, that would be reading into the text something that is not there. Rather than describing a flaw in God’s design of the woman that provided for a deceived Eve, the emphasis is on the cunning, craftiness and trickery of the one who deceived her. She was not created as one who was easily deceived.  She was deceived through the cunning, manipulative trickery that was a masterful job in deceiving the very first woman.

Instead of Paul warning that all women have a tendency to be easily deceived, Paul warns the entire church in 2 Corinthians 11 that all of them could encounter the same deception and be led astray by a counterfeit Jesus, a counterfeit spirit and a counterfeit gospel.  It would have been so easy for Paul to focus in on just the women, but he does not do that for it is not a fact that women are created with a flaw that makes them easily deceivable. Rather then focusing on any one gender, Paul said that it is “your minds” that may be led astray.  Paul is speaking to all of the Corinthians. So much for men not being able to be deceived!

It appears that the complementarians who believe that women are more prone to deception have not thought this one through. If women are more easily deceived and fall prey to the enemy’s deception easier than men, then why would the church allow women who are easily deceived to teach little children who by their childish nature are easily manipulated and deceived? Also why would the church allow women to teach other women who would supposedly also be ripe for deception? Wouldn’t the best ones for women to teach be men who would easily recognize deception and thus be able to correct them? Yet men are the only ones who are forbidden to have women teach them if we believe the complementarian understanding. It just doesn’t make sense. If the Bible really does teach that women by nature are more easily deceived, then the church has not gone far enough. Women should be stopped from teaching anyone if this line of reasoning is true, don’t you think? But complementarians don’t carry this reasoning through all the way to its natural and logical conclusion. There is a flaw in their reasoning.

But Paul isn’t reasoning that one gender has a flaw or that easily deceived women can teach only other easily deceived people. Paul is dealing with deception due to lack of sound doctrine. Paul first of all commands that “a woman” is to learn (1 Timothy 2:11). Why the command to learn? Because learning sound doctrine is the first thing that combats deception. The second thing that combats deception is self-control. Salvation from deception must also come with self-control.

1 Timothy 2:15 (ESV)…continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.

Paul isn’t setting up a universal prohibition to stop one gender from using their God-given gifts in their maturity for the common good. Paul isn’t attaching all women to Eve’s deception. Instead, in 2 Corinthians 11, Paul is warning all the Corinthians about deception and false doctrine. He isn’t warning the Corinthians about women teachers.

So why is it so easy for some to see all women as prone to deception? To be frank, I would suggest that it is easy for some to believe bad things about women because our world is so prone to prejudice especially toward women. So when Paul said that Eve was deceived, many people will read into this scripture that “all women” are easily deceived. But if all women are so easily deceived, then how come most cult leaders are men?

As we continue discussing common objections to women in ministry, we will be answering many more false interpretations on the hard passages of scripture on women in ministry.  In the meantime I would request that complementarians who are reading these posts to think these things through. There are many questions offered in this post. Are you able to answer these questions or are these questions too difficult to answer with your current view of women in ministry?

One last set of questions – are people deceived as a result of their God-given design or are they deceived because of their lack of knowledge and/or their failure to love and embrace the truth with self-control to stay away from error? If people are deceived because of their design, then who ultimately is to blame for their deception?

77 thoughts on “Common objections: women are more easily deceived

  1. Comps shouldn’t talk about their Mom’s this way, their Grandma’s or their sisters.

  2. Most cults are started by men (Nearly all).

    Also watched a show on polygamy where several of the guys talked like they really didn’t want ‘plural wives’ but “God told” them to take the second wife, and third, etc.

    Sorry, but the woman being more easily deceived argument doesn’t cut it. Men are just as easily deceived. And where sex is concerned… often more so.

  3. Excerpted from “Boundaries Without Bonds: How to Keep Headship from Being HardshipTools” by James W. Andrews http://www.cbmw.org/Journal/Vol-7-No-1/Boundaries-Without-Bonds

    “…I grant it seems strange on the face of it to put any kind of a ceiling on women’s ministry in the local church. However what troubles at first glance makes more sense on second thought. Consider these things: …..

    4) For all their remarkable attributes, the Bible suggests females are inherently more susceptible to spiritual deception than males.

    This conclusion always stirs a hornet’s nest, but the quarrel is not with me. The Apostle Paul cites Eve as the archetypal female who in her seduction exemplified this vulnerability. That fact in itself is an all-sufficient reason to disqualify women as church leaders inasmuch as doctrinal integrity is crucial to the preservation of the faith.

    Was it by accident the cunning Serpent approached Eve rather than Adam? Did not Paul say Adam himself was not deceived (he simply rebelled) but Eve indeed was?[19] Does this susceptibility presuppose some original imperfection in the female makeup? Hardly. Rather, it illustrates God never intended one size to fit all.

    In life the qualities that suit us for one role are often the very traits that disqualify us for another. That phenomenon is not a manufacturing defect; that is just a design difference…”

    If susceptibility to deception disqualifies women from certain ministries in the church, from a hierarchialist perspective, how does this susceptibility qualify them for their domestic role? This is a serious question.

  4. I was wondering when you would get to this one, Cheryl. Another point which discredits the “women are easily deceived” argument is that in the 1st chapter of the letter, Paul talks about his own deception or “ignorance”. If Paul can be “duped” into sinful activity, anyone can.

    Deception, or lack thereof, are constant topics in the 1st 2 chapters of 1st Timothy. Paul was deceived and became “chief” of sinners. But he received grace because he did not openly rebel. Eve was also deceived – but also received grace. And the woman in Ephesus that 1 Timothy 2:14 is really talking about (she “has fallen” into transgression but may still be saved) has followed Eve’s and Paul’s path but is also eligible for the grace.

    Contrast that with Hymenaeus and Alexander, who, like Adam, were not deceived but engaged in open rebellion. Adam’s treachery condemned the whole human race while H & A only condemned themselves. Still, H & A were like Adam, whereas this Ephesian woman was like Eve.

    Which makes Paul’s little treatise on Genesis clear. 1 Timothy 2:13-14 seems strange and out of place if the issue is generally conduct in worship services or the more specific ministry of teaching. What does order of creation have to do with either of those two topics? Or gender? It is nonsensical. But, if we instead understand Paul’s usage of Adam and Eve not as examples of gender distinction but as examples of deceived status distinction, Paul’s extension of grace to the Ephesian woman (and condemnation of H & A) makes perfect sense.

  5. ”’Was it by accident the cunning Serpent approached Eve rather than Adam? Did not Paul say Adam himself was not deceived (he simply rebelled) but Eve indeed was?[19] Does this susceptibility presuppose some original imperfection in the female makeup? Hardly. Rather, it illustrates God never intended one size to fit all.”’

    It seems their rebellion is insisting on ‘ruling over’, and we don’t need to discussion that nasty little rebellion part for Adam! No restrictions on the gender that DIDN’T get deceived, and just down right disobeyed God directly. Its an illustration of that no one size fits all. You directly sin against God, and you get the hold all the cards. You get deceived? We take things away. Do they seriously feel that is God’s nature?

    Its so strange how they can’t see humans – just gender.

  6. https://www.cbmw.org/Journal/Vol-1-No-3/The-Definitive-Book-On-1-Timothy-2
    Women in the Church: A Fresh Analysis of 1 Timothy 2:9-15, edited by Andreas Kostenberger, Thomas Schreiner, and H. Scott Baldwin (Baker, 1995)
    “Generally speaking, women are more relational and nurturing and men are more given to rational analysis and objectivity. Women are less prone than men to see the importance of doctrinal formulations, especially when it comes to the issue of identifying heresy and making a stand for the truth. Appointing women to the teaching office is prohibited because they are less likely to draw a line on doctrinal non-negotiables…. This is not to say women are intellectually deficient or inferior to men… their gentler and kinder nature inhibits them from excluding people for doctrinal error…. The different inclinations of women (and men!) do not imply that they are inferior or superior to men. It simply demonstrates that men and women are profoundly different. Women have some strengths that men do not have, and men have some strengths that are generally lacking in women…. Women are prohibited from the teaching office not only because of the order of creation but also because they are less likely to preserve the apostolic tradition in inhabiting the teaching office” (pp. 145-146).”

    This appears to me to be based on no rational analysis or objectivity of women.

  7. SM – more importantly, it is based on no rational analysis of the text. It makes a blind assumption about the text, then tries to justify that assumption based on stereotypes.

  8. CBMW:”Does this susceptibility presuppose some original imperfection in the female makeup? Hardly. Rather, it illustrates God never intended one size to fit all.”
    Seriously?? So, God’s perfect original design makeup of the female is to make her subject to a constant unchangeable state of deception?

    CBMW: “Women are less prone than men to see the importance of doctrinal formulations, especially when it comes to the issue of identifying heresy and making a stand for the truth. Appointing women to the teaching office is prohibited because they are less likely to draw a line on doctrinal non-negotiables…. This is not to say women are intellectually deficient or inferior to men… their gentler and kinder nature inhibits them from excluding people for doctrinal error….”
    sm,
    Talk about “double-speak” – “not to say women are intellectually deficient” but they are unable in rationally “making a stand for the truth especially when it comes to the issue of identifying heresy”

    Here’s a little southern logic for them, “You either is or you ain’t – no two ways about it!”

    I agree with gengwall – no rational analysis. No God given logic, no other scriptural backing, either. Lots of double talk and conjecture.

  9. “But why should Eve’s being beguiled in the Garden of Eden cause Paul to say that women should be silent in church? The answer must be that women in general have a tendency to be more easily duped than men. Because of this tendency, they are not to be teachers, or preachers, or hold an”

    Cheryl,
    “The answer must be” – Peter Ditzel seems so certain… I haven’t heard it preached quite so blatantly lately. It seems that some hierarchialists have changed their tack to say that women are the “nurturers by design” and “men are leaders by design”…they weren’t having as much success trying to sell the CBMW type – “the Bible suggests females are inherently more susceptible to spiritual deception than males.”
    The soft comp. sugar coated version goes down easier.

  10. You have to remember that the traditional view of 1 Tim 2 is that it silences women. Comps then have to find kinder gentler ways of explaining away such a harsh instruction. It used to be simple enough to say that women were more easily deceived (or even worse, more deceptive) than men. But in the current culture, that is just not very PC, let alone complete hogwash based on both sientific study and common sense. So next they contrive this wishy washy double-speak, as Kay puts it, to essentially say the same thing.

    Regardless of approach, it all enables comps to avoid the faulty exegesis from which the premise arises! For 1 Timothy 2 does not, in fact, say women universally need to be silent in church. Shine light on the truth of this passage, and all silliness about gender disappears as well.

  11. Unfortunately there are those who defy common sense:

    “Without blushing, Paul is simply stating that when it comes to leading in the church, women are unfit because they are more gullible and easier to deceive than men. While many irate women have disagreed with his assessment through the years, it does appear from this that such women who fail to trust his instruction and follow his teaching are much like their mother Eve and are well-intended but ill-informed. . .” (pg 45) (on Driscoll’s understanding of 1 Timothy 2:12-14)

    Mark Driscoll, Church Leadership: Explaining the Roles of Jesus, Elders, Deacons, and Members at Mars Hill, Mars Hill Theology Series (Seattle, WA: Mars Hill Church, 2004).

    Do the women in these patri/hier circles really believe this about all women in general which more often than not would include them?

    Driscoll’s practice in his church/network is at odds with this profession from his book and heard in his podcasts. While women are not designated as elder/pastor, he does permit women which in his view are “more gullible and easier to deceive than men” to “….use the abilities that God has given them to their fullest extent in anything from teaching a class to leading a community group, overseeing a ministry, leading as a deacon, speaking in church, leading worship, serving communion, entering into full-time paid ministry as a member of the staff, and receiving formal theological education…”

    http://www.cbmw.org/images/jbmw_pdf/12_2/12-2.pdf takes on this view. There doesn’t seem to be a consesus among JBMW / CBMW contributors on their view of this issue.

  12. CBMW: “Women are prohibited from the teaching office not only because of the order of creation but also because they are less likely to preserve the apostolic tradition in inhabiting the teaching office”

    It’s like they are trying to build a court case by implying, “If you don’t buy into the claim that women are all prone to deception by design, remember they can’t teach in the first place because of the order of creation.”

    Are they afraid that neither one stands up very well? If creation order is the primary reason, why does it need this backing that all women deceived by design? I mean, if creation order really settles it, what need is there for all the extra reasons?

  13. “Without blushing, Paul is simply stating that when it comes to leading in the church, women are unfit because they are more gullible and easier to deceive than men.”

    I wonder if Driscoll has been reading the Talmud.

    “The sacred books should be burned rather than made available to women.”
    – Talmud, Sotah 3:4

    I think CBMW might be reading Plato:

    “Women are accustomed to creep into dark places, and when dragged out into the light they will exert their utmost powers of resistance, and be far too much for the legislator. And therefore, as I said before, in most places they will not endure to have the truth spoken without raising a tremendous outcry.” -Plato, LAWS VI

    “What more can be said in her praise than that she was able to accomplish what even the gods did not believe themselves able to do; and what more can be said in her praise than that she did accomplish it! But how marvelous a creation must be hers to have accomplished it. It was a ruse of the gods. Cunningly the enchantress was fashioned, for no sooner had she bewitched man than she changed and caught him in all the circumstantialities of existence. It was that the gods had desired. But what, pray, can be more delicious, or more entrancing and bewitching, than what the gods themselves contrived, when battling for their supremacy, as the only means of luring man? And most assuredly it is so, for woman is the only, and the most seductive, power in heaven and on earth. When compared with her, in this sense, man will indeed be found to be exceedingly imperfect.”

  14. But why should Eve’s being beguiled in the Garden of Eden cause Paul to say that women should be silent in church?

    Maybe Paul didn’t like the fact that Eve wasn’t told to be silent, when she spoke for herself to God, in the garden, when she came out of her deception and identified the serpent as the deceiver?

  15. “Women are less prone than men to see the importance of doctrinal formulations, especially when it comes to the issue of identifying heresy and making a stand for the truth.”

    Seems obvious that “less prone to see the importance ” of something indicates a flaw, a lack, a shortcoming–an inferiority, despite all the double-speak.

    “While many irate women have disagreed with his assessment through the years, it does appear [they] are . . . ill-informed.”

    Ill-informed = deceived.
    How convenient for hiers! If a woman challenges their assessment, then clearly, she is deceived, therefore proving their premise!!

    What ever happened to brains, logic, intelligence, or common sense? What would it take to enable more women and men to stand up and say “That particular emperor has no clothes on¨? Breaks my heart.

  16. I wonder what Jude would think of this poppycock and falderol!? You may remember that he wrote a little tract, calling all Christians to contend for the Gospel Faith when it’s being perverted by heretics. “I am writing to all who have been called by God the Father, who loves you and keeps you safe in the care of Jesus Christ…Dear friends, I had been eagerly planning to write to you about the salvation we all share. But now I find that I must write about something else, urging you to defend the faith that God has entrusted once for all time to his holy people” (Jude 1, 3-4). Jude may have expected the leaders to teach the people healthy doctrine, but he expected everyone to know the Faith so well that when they heard someone teaching heresy, they not only could recognize it but also refute it. And he also urges the entire Christian community to “build each other up in your most holy faith” vs 20. Doesn’t seem he held the view that Christians in general, nor women in particular, were incapable of learning and defending Christian truth.

  17. “So is Paul really saying that Eve was created with a “tendency” to be easily deceived? No, that would be reading into the text something that is not there. Rather than describing a flaw in God’s design of the woman that provided for a deceived Eve, the emphasis is on the cunning, craftiness and trickery of the one who deceived her. She was not created as one who was easily deceived. She was deceived through the cunning, manipulative trickery that was a masterful job in deceiving the very first woman.”

    Excellent point!

  18. “Wouldn’t the best ones for women to teach be men who would easily recognize deception and thus be able to correct them? Yet men are the only ones who are forbidden to have women teach them if we believe the complementarian understanding. It just doesn’t make sense”

    Ok, you are making way too much sense! You know, exactly what are they afraid of, when you think about it. Are they afraid of being influenced? Does this play into their belief that Eve enticed Adam to sin? So, then just interpret it to mean that they can deceive little kids and other women! Makes perfect sense. (rolls eyes)

  19. “Seriously?? So, God’s perfect original design makeup of the female is to make her subject to a constant unchangeable state of deception? ”

    I know. Incredible, isn’t it. What on earth do they teach women the purpose for the indwelling Holy Spirit is for.

    I seriously fear that many comp women may not be saved. I say that with fear and trembling. But they have a tendancy not see Theology as important for them and rely on the men to tell them what to believe. If they believe this drivel then how can they have the assurance of guidance from the Holy Spirit? Will they have to ask a human male if it is really the Holy Spirit?

  20. “I think CBMW might be reading Plato:”

    Excellent point! I have thought this for a while now. They just do not realize they are interpreting the Word through that lens as men have been doing for centuries on this topic.

    The doctrine for their pre-eminance is a huge sin trap for these men.

  21. And as for the idiotic statement that ““Women are less prone than men to see the importance of doctrinal formulations, especially when it comes to the issue of identifying heresy and making a stand for the truth.” Well, I think anyone familiar with either Cheryl’s ministry to people trapped in the cults, or her exposure of the serious errors connected with the Eternal Subordination of the Son heresy being promoted by Wayne Grudem and Bruce Ware, will agree that at least here is one woman who both sees the importance of doctrinal formulations and of making a stand for the truth.

    But then, she is not alone. There are many more bright, trained and committed women, who along with their Christian brothers, are contending for the true Gospel Faith, as Paul urged: “Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy about the Good News about Christ. Then, whether I come and see you again or only hear about you, I will know that you are standing together with one spirit and purpose, fighting together for the faith, which is the Good News” (Phil 1:27, NLT).

    And as for developing and promoting heresy, who is it that has revived a form of unitarian subordinationism (Neo-Arianism) where the Father is taught to be greater and superior to the Son? Who is it that has defined the divine Father/Son relationship in terms of a limited understanding of the human father/son relationship, and then arbitrarily applied it to the man/woman relationship? Who is it, while claiming to be champions of the Reformed Faith, that at the same time have ignored the strong anti-subordinationism of John Calvin, Benjamin B. Warfield, James R. White, etc.,–who taught that the “roles” of the Three Persons in redemption was not due to a hierarchical ranking within the Triune God, but to the mutual consensus they reached among themselves in what Reformed theologians designate as “the Covenant of Redemption”?

    Well, certainly not any egalitarian man or woman I know. But we do know those non-egalitarians who do hold and promote ESS. And so I close my comment on those who think themselves less prone to deception and self-delusion to consider these words by my friend and mentor, Dr. Robert K. McGregor-Wright: “The error of Subordinationism was long ago declared a heresy by historic Christianity in Church Councils, and the result is summarized in the “Athanasian” Creed in Articles 25-26. The argument for the eternal subordination of the Son and the Spirit is only plausible by abandoning the orthodox distinction between the Ontological Trinity (as it was in Eternity before creation) and the Economic Trinity (as it is viewed during the drama of redemption in time). To blend time and eternity is a philosophic disaster for Christian theology, and leads to pantheism in which the world and God are part of the One Ultimate. The appeal to the eternal subordination of the Persons in the Trinity is probably the most dangerous heresy to reappear in many years, and it will decimate the Evangelical movement. There can be no compromise with it. It just goes to show how far redeemed sinners will go to protect their male supremacy.”

  22. Mara #3,
    You said:

    Sorry, but the woman being more easily deceived argument doesn’t cut it. Men are just as easily deceived. And where sex is concerned… often more so.

    I agree that men can be just as deceived as women. I had hundreds of people go though my support group in the 16 years that I had the group and I know about equality in the area of spiritual deception. The one thing that I would like to add is that men seem to have one additional problem perhaps more so than women. It is that men don’t always easily admit that they have been duped. It could be a pride issue, I don’t know, but admitting that one has been deceived can be very difficult for men.

  23. gengwall,
    You said:

    I was wondering when you would get to this one, Cheryl. Another point which discredits the “women are easily deceived” argument is that in the 1st chapter of the letter, Paul talks about his own deception or “ignorance”. If Paul can be “duped” into sinful activity, anyone can.

    Yes, indeed, Paul does talk about about his own ignorance and really that is amazing! But Paul is one that didn’t hold to his own pride. He let everything go, even his pride, so that he could gain Christ and let everything else become like filthy rags to him. Paul was an excellent example of a godly Christian who admitted his faults, admitted his failures and moved on in Christ.

  24. Hannah,

    No restrictions on the gender that DIDN’T get deceived, and just down right disobeyed God directly. Its an illustration of that no one size fits all. You directly sin against God, and you get the hold all the cards. You get deceived? We take things away. Do they seriously feel that is God’s nature

    This is well stated and yet should we all see this as very odd. Why is it that we have all been duped to think that God gives power to the one who sinned deliberately? And then God makes him have power and authority over the one that he failed to protect when he was not yet a sinner? How is that from the nature of the God who is just? I don’t think so.

  25. ““Women are less prone than men to see the importance of doctrinal formulations, especially when it comes to the issue of identifying heresy and making a stand for the truth.”

    This is not even biblically correct because we have an example of just the opposite in the Word. One woman got it when most of the men did not:

    1Six days before the Passover, Jesus arrived at Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. 2Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. 3Then Mary took about a pint[a] of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
    4But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, 5″Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.[b]” 6He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.

    7″Leave her alone,” Jesus replied. ” It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. 8You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.”

  26. Well, Cheryl, I can’t speak for other men. But I have to admit that, at least once or twice, despite my training to think logically and analytically, “through the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming,” I was duped. And also led astray to accept accusations regarding people and organizations, that after I really stopped to think about it and did a little research, found I’d been conned into buying a false bill of goods. But when you blindly trust a speaker, whether due to their credentials or reputation, and turn off the “critical analysis” switch in your mind, then you are more apt to be taken in by those “people [who] try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth” (Eph. 4:14, NLT). And being male, I will testify, does not in and of itself make you immune to the wiles of a clever and crafty con-artist.

  27. Why is it that so many in evangelical protestantism swallow this stuff hook line & sinker?

    With the exception of a smattering of mainline denominations who embrace egalitarianism, the vast majority of parishoners in Bible believing sects will not dare to question this teaching.

    Is it a fear based thing? Fear of being consigned to flames of woe upon departure from this world? Or is it mostly fear of being excluded from a club (church) that gives one validation and a sense of belonging?

  28. “Why is it that so many in evangelical protestantism swallow this stuff hook line & sinker?

    With the exception of a smattering of mainline denominations who embrace egalitarianism, the vast majority of parishoners in Bible believing sects will not dare to question this teaching.”

    Greg, Great question! One I have asked myself and answered after many years of being around comps. It would be enlightening to do a post on this and discuss it. For the reasons are many and are different among groups.

    I will answer you partly. One reason is that over the last 20 years it has been increasingly but subtly tied to salvation by quite a few well known leaders.

  29. “Is it a fear based thing?”
    Greg,
    I see being partly fear based. If a woman challenges their assessment, then clearly, she is deceived. The pastor wields a lot of power in their paradigm and, to whom is the comp/patrio. pastor accountable? He isn’t submitting to his wife, who must submit to him. He isn’t submitting to his congregation, who must submit to him. Then, who is that “one another” to whom the pastor submits? It’s a big power play.

    Sadly, fear works well for controlling humans (note the many times God has to tell us, “Fear not” in Scripture).

    Their set up is like a stroke of genius, because to even question it, automatically puts one in the catagory of “unsubmissive” to their “authority.”

  30. Is it a fear based thing?

    You know what I think? I think it’s a matter of receiving a “safe religious feeling” that one is doing the right thing. So fear is behind it, but fear is behind it because of what false religion does to people.

    People try to be righteous and in the process fall for “false religion.”

  31. I think that a lot of men are afraid of submission. They love to teach on it….for others, specifically women, but the teaching that submission is to be an attitude of all Christians just doesn’t fly with some. I think they see it as humiliating and there are some men who would rather die than submit to a woman. I find that really sad. They aren’t looking to Jesus as their example. It seems to me that their ego has become king and anything they don’t want to do is set aside for others. Women are then put on the bottom level to bear all things that are beneath the men. I find this especially sad because I think these men miss out on the joy of submitting in love to the body of Christ.

  32. “I think they see it as humiliating and there are some men who would rather die than submit to a woman.”

    “to a woman” is a key part of that statement. I think men get hierarchy and to an extent gravitate toward it or feel comfortable within it….as long as the hierarchy is filled with men. Once women come into the mix, our “rule over” flesh gets in the way.

  33. “You know what I think? I think it’s a matter of receiving a “safe religious feeling” that one is doing the right thing. So fear is behind it, but fear is behind it because of what false religion does to people.
    People try to be righteous and in the process fall for “false religion.”

    pinklight,
    I agree, it all goes together. It’s always sad to me the number of people seeing the Bible as “God’s Rule Book” rather than “God’s Love Book.” You’re precisely right – it’s a false religion. Righteousness and justification do not come through the Law. Loving your neighbor as yourself is done by walking in the Spirit.

  34. SM,
    quoting Andreas Kostenburger:

    Women are less prone than men to see the importance of doctrinal formulations, especially when it comes to the issue of identifying heresy and making a stand for the truth. Appointing women to the teaching office is prohibited because they are less likely to draw a line on doctrinal non-negotiables.

    Really this is all reading into the text, because there is nothing said about forbidding women to teach because they are “less likely to draw a line on doctrinal non-negotiables.” Apologists like myself do not fit this mold and since when does God prohibit all because of what is perceived as a trait of some or most? Women in leadership are quite capable of holding their own. In fact in my case I have brought leaders to task following the Scriptural method. To prohibit one woman because of what others might do, not because of what she does and demonstrates in her life, is not a godly way to judge and this is not the way God does things.

    I also very much appreciated Frank for jumping to my defense regarding my own ministry. It really is hard to see these guys so deceived in their own misled logic. They are trying hard to find a reason to hold women back in their spiritual gifts and they cannot find such an argument from the Scriptures so they fight against each other with one reason after another for why women are “forbidden” in leadership. I would say that this is a case where these men have been deceived for so long, their eyes and their minds have been closed to truth.

  35. ”’They are trying hard to find a reason to hold women back in their spiritual gifts and they cannot find such an argument from the Scriptures so they fight against each other with one reason after another for why women are “forbidden” in leadership.”’

    Since they can’t find it clearly in scripture maybe that is why they have the ‘doctrine’ in place. This isn’t emphasized clearly enough for us, so we we will write into the doctrine so we are covered. That way we can have our doctrinal non-negotiables. Its a means to the end. Its like they use it to cover their doubts, instead of studying more so they grasp what the word is saying.

  36. What a fantastic article. I always wondered why outright disobedience (Adam) was somehow better in the comp view than deception (Eve). Thank you for writing this.

  37. sorry to go off topic here.

    Our forums at equalitycentral.com/forum need a new host, desperately. And we need someone trustworthy. If anyone can help, we’d really appreciate it.

    I don’t feel safe to give out my email publically, but if you log onto the forums and IM any of the moderators, they will be able to respond. Or Cheryl can give you my email.

  38. I should say it’s about 73 minutes long – and it does get a little drawn out. He uses the book “I Suffer Not a Woman: Rethinking 1 Timothy 2:11-15” by Richard and Catherine Kroeger.

    It is truly sad that the church lost so much of the understanding of the background to this letter – how much have we lost over the years because women were not allowed to use their gifts – or ignored them because they were brainwashed into believing they had nothing to offer? How much have we lost because so many men have been brainwashed into thinking a woman had no authority and hence they did not have to listen to anything a woman said? The loss to the church is staggering; I can’t help but think how much this grieves the Lord – and I wonder if the proponents of patriarchy have ever considered they were quenching the Holy Spirit?

  39. Thank you – you are most gracious to have listened to it so soon!

    If I may, I just want to share a bit of my background – I’ve been what would be considered “unchurched” most of my adult life – I came out of a Catholic church, and while I’ve attended a few since becoming a Christian over 30 years ago, I never formally joined any – there were so many contradictions from what I saw in Scripture, which I studied independently.
    At the last chuch, I attended services and womens’ Bible studies; the pastor’s wife told him “this girl (I was 53-54 at the time) has understanding!” The pastor and I also had a few opportunities to discuss the Bible at great length on several occassions and he told me that I knew more about the Bible than anyone he’d ever met, so it came as a shock to me when he said a woman would never speak from the pulpit in his church. I was just stunned. I certainly didn’t have any aspirations to lead, but I would have appreciated being able to speak what God had laid on my heart for the young men and women in the church. When I stop to think of the wisdom of mothers and grandmothers in churches that has been wasted due to the erroneous teaching on women, it brings tears to my eyes.
    God richly bless you and your ministry, Cheryl; it is needed now more than ever – please know you are in my prayers as you continue on the frontlines of this issue.

  40. How sad that the pastor was stuck in the place of rejecting women’s contributions. You are quite correct that it is a great loss for the church.

    BTW my pastor is allowing me to speak in a Wednesday evening special service…. as well as two other women on other evenings. Please pray that God will greatly use us all.

  41. Sheryl,
    I listened to the audio and the speaker is correct in that many translators have been biased in the verses that refer to females and instead of freeing women (Paul say ‘let her learn’) the passage is used to restrict women. This is a biased view that has hurt women and the church throughout the years.

    That said, I do have a problem with his view that he brings out from the Kroegers because there is no adequate connection between all the verses. It is my understanding that verse 15 which is connected together with verses 11-15 is the expected good outcome from the restriction that exists in verse 12. So while he explains what the restriction means, how is it connected to verse 15? There is no explanation of why there is a singular “she” and a plural “they” in verse 15 or why women are saved through giving birth to children. The verse that is the hardest to understand (verse 15) is not adequately explained.

    It is my belief that any view that is the truth about this passage must bring the grammar and the precise words of verse 15 to a logical conclusion of the prohibition. I have heard this explanation before and it just doesn’t fit in my head. If this is really what Paul meant to say, it would have been better to say “I am not allowing the teaching that the woman authored the man”. That would be understandable. But why say that only women are not allowed to teach this? Are men allowed to teach that the woman authored the man but women are not allowed to teach this? There are so many unanswered questions in this view if one believes that the passage is written exactly as God wanted with the correct grammar and the correct words being used with no mistakes. I have been told that the view that I hold that accounts for the singular “she” and the plural “they” makes the entire passage make sense. I can understand that I could be wrong and the Kroeger’s could be right but then there would need to be shown me where the holes are in my view and the holes in their view would need to be answered for it to make proper sense.

    But I do appreciate anyone sticking up for women’s ability to serve God in the gifts that He has given them. When all of us are gifted as God wills and empowered to use these gifts for the benefit of the body of Christ, the church will be equipped as she should.

  42. TL,

    It is wonderful news to hear that you are being given an opportunity to speak to the church! I have prayed that God will richly use you and give you wisdom as you speak.

  43. Sheryl,
    When I read your story about the pastor who stated that women were not allowed in his pulpit, I felt the rejection that you would likely have felt. When our brothers in Christ treat us as if we are an appendage and really not necessary and our gifts not really necessary for them, it really hurts.

    God richly bless you and your ministry, Cheryl; it is needed now more than ever – please know you are in my prayers as you continue on the frontlines of this issue.

    Thank you so much for your encouragement! It means a lot to me.

  44. Thank you Cheryl – much appreciation for your insight. I can see your point – there is much that remains unresolved if this view is to be used as an explanation. Another video that covers this view is Chi Alpha at Stanford’s “I Do Not Permit A Woman To Teach” – The Bible, Culture, and Gender (2007-02-21) and “Thinking About Women In Ministry – The Cultural Backdrop (2007.02.14)” I think they help explain how we can determine why certain teachings aren’t applicable to us today, but I’m not certain they provide any more clarification when it comes to bringing it all together.
    I’ve found it’s difficult to find credible audio/video teachings on this subject (yours was the first I’d come across – and it’s still the most thorough:)).

  45. Thanks TL:) It’s a blessing to know that there are pastors that provide women an opportunity to speak! God be with you!

  46. I thought you might enjoy this video – “Why Can’t a Woman Preach?” It’s a caution about taking individual Bible verses literally without considering the rest of Scripture:)

    (Approx. 45 min. long)

  47. Hi Everyone,
    I have been involved in another blog recently on egal and comp things. The present discussion has just reached 400 comments and there is a computer problem. I wouldn’t mind some help thinking about the problems with what “J” has just said until the discussion can resume.
    I have put my last comment and his reply. Thanks.

    Craig 19/11/2010 08:24 PM
    Hi J,
    After a sermon and bible study group on 1 Tim 2 at church earlier this year, I had some questions about its interpretation. It was suggested that I read Moo’s chapter in RBMW ch9. This only created more questions and has led to me being here now.
    You said your view of Eve’s deception is basically the same as Moo/ Grudem.
    Moo says on p190 that he does NOT believe that Paul is saying that all women are, like Eve, more susceptible to being deceived than are men.
    He believes that Eve was deceived by the serpent precisely in taking the initiative over the man.
    As I understand him, he seems to be saying that Eve was deceived into a reversal of her God given role.
    I know this may seem fairly basic, and there may be a simple answer to it, but at this stage I can’t see it. I couldn’t ask questions of the book, so it has had to wait until now.
    I think you would say that Adam and Eve both knew about the authority/ leadership comps believe he was given.
    If Eve knew she was not to be in authority, but then led Adam, you are saying she was deceived.
    If Adam knew he was in authority, but then followed Eve, then logically he must be deceived as well. Both were deceived about their roles.
    But Paul says that only Eve was deceived. Adam was not deceived???? Something doesn’t make sense. Any thoughts?
    Also,
    If being deceived is believing a lie, who told the lie? Did the serpent say anything about role reversal? Where?
    Doesn’t the deception seem all about God’s command to not eat the fruit? This is what the serpent discussed with Eve and what Eve discussed with God.
    Thanks.

    Craig,

    Thanks for the challenging questions, brother.

    Yes, I agree the deception was not fundamentally about role-reversal. The
    deception was a lie about whether or not they would die when they ate the
    fruit (verse 4).

    The role reversal happens alongside the eating of the fruit. So, if you
    like, 2 sins were committed: the eating of the fruit (primarily), and
    Adam’s abandoning of his leadership role (secondarily). Hence God’s
    indictment of Adam has 2 parts:

    And to Adam he said,

    “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife

    and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of
    it,’…

    Was Adam deceived? No, the interaction with the serpent happened entirely
    with Eve. Adam was a passive participant — he simply received the fruit
    from Eve and ate it. There is no indication that he believed what the
    serpent said about the fruit.

    Was Eve “deceived” into taking the initiative (lead) over Adam? Perhaps we
    could say that this was a secondary aspect of the deception. (The primary
    aspect was eating the fruit.) Nevertheless, Adam’s assumption of a
    submissive role was, like his taking of the fruit, something that happened
    passively. He did not ask Eve to lead him. Eve went ahead and acted all by
    herself; all Adam could do was react and follow. So again, Adam was not
    deceived.

    I’m no Moo, but I hope that helps.

    J.

  48. Hi Craig,

    Any chance you coulos provide the link for the discussion?

    I think you would say that Adam and Eve both knew about the authority/ leadership comps believe he was given.
    If Eve knew she was not to be in authority, but then led Adam, you are saying she was deceived.
    If Adam knew he was in authority, but then followed Eve, then logically he must be deceived as well. Both were deceived about their roles.
    But Paul says that only Eve was deceived. Adam was not deceived???? Something doesn’t make sense. Any thoughts?

    I agree with the logic here.
    Some questions I’m asking myself – why would Eve have been deceived about her role but Adam would not be deceived about his role when each were aware of their roles and each abandoned their role? More questions in my mind – What caused each to act against their role? In this scernario how did one end up deceived about their role but not the other?

  49. Here’s more of my thoughts Craig,

    J is saying that Adam was not deceived into abandoning his role though Adam sinned in abandoning his role, but I can’t see the how or why Adam was not ‘deceived’ into abandoning his role yet Eve was?

    I also think that Adam had a will and could have chosing to not follow Eve in eating.

    Nevertheless, Adam’s assumption of a submissive role was, like his taking of the fruit, something that happened passively. He did not ask Eve to lead him.

    I wouldn’t conclude Adam was passive just because he followed her steps. Just because he did what she did and after she did it doesn’t mean that his action was passive.

    And why was Adam’s eating after Eve considered a submissive role? The following thought is interesting: ‘Adam didn’t ask Eve to lead him.’ So I take it that Eve asked Adam to ‘follow’ her? Where did she do this?

  50. If you give the link Craig, I think I have some questions. Like for example, how does Eve’s giving fruit to Adam come to be viewed as an act of leading? Or what was it she did or said when she gave fruit to Adam that placed her into a leadership role?

  51. the blog is still not working, but here is the link:

    http://solapanel.org/article/equal_and_complementary_a_review/

    As to your question:”how does Eve’s giving fruit to Adam come to be viewed as an act of leading? Or what was it she did or said when she gave fruit to Adam that placed her into a leadership role?”

    J. arguing the comp position believes that because God says to the man, ““Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten…., that this indicates that the woman was leading the man to sin or some such. If that were true, then it would indicate that the man was deceived or compelled into sinning. But according to Scripture the man was neither compelled or deceived but moved of his own accord to disobey God.

  52. Thanks TL for giving the link. Thanks too Pinklight for your comments and your interest. Hopefully the Sola Panel blog will be able to work again. The discussion has been good and everyone is “playing nicely”.
    Its been great to “meet” all of you on this blog. It is interesting trying to work out if any on the Sola Panel blog are the same people as on this blog. There have been a lot of really great comments and I have my suspicions that some of them are from the same people who make such great comments here 🙂

  53. Criag,
    If you subscribe to the comment Feed you should be able to see several more comments, including mine, that were posted after your’s.

  54. Craig,
    “Was Adam deceived? No, the interaction with the serpent happened entirely with Eve. Adam was a passive participant — he simply received the fruit from Eve and ate it. There is no indication that he believed what the serpent said about the fruit.”

    Is he serious? Eating the fruit is not an indicator? Nooo – Because he always just eats whatever Eve hands him, no questions asked. Yeah, right!

  55. pinklight@65,
    I think someone has asked those or similar. Can’t say I recall a direct answer for why giving someone food is deemed to “leading”…

  56. Thanks TL for the link. I’ve already began reading the comments. Hope to get through them soon! And thanks for letting me know how J was arguing in regards to a question I had. I like to read the long discussions so am glad that you Craig have mentioned it.

  57. Greetings again, I have really enjoyed exploring your site with its extensive research and insightful contributions as I struggle through the Greek and its understanding for women’s freedom. As I mentioned before (another of your posts) the same use of the word SWQHSETAI is in John 11:12. And –she- has been discussed too.

    From the context that the passage is about – teaching – if teknogonia is parenting/child raising and in child raising there is teaching and discipleship or even if it WAS child birth process (rather than parenting)……..then, in the context of the CHURCH birthing new converts as in, sheep begetting sheep……….we could have the meaning to be “ yet the SHE (the church/bride) will be OK, brought through the peril of deception, of being seduced through the birthing of new Christians and teaching/discipling them correctly as in nurturing/parenting, if they remain in………..i.e. the sheep or baby Christian converts,………. remain in love and holiness with sensibility (i.e. not become a wild rabble of a young church and a dysfunctional body).

    How does this measure up please? i.e. to be the church not a female person?
    Thank you for helping me to continue this exploration

  58. That is creative in a good way, however, it does not fit with the context. The subject is not the church, thus we have to stay with the subject.

    but keep thinking creatively. Human religious tradition has dumbed down Christian thinking for so long, it’s almost scary to realize that we must step outside the tradition box in order to fumble around and find the real truth. The real truth will fit with context, historical realities, grammer and other truths already in place.

  59. Its really disturbing to hear this. Long story short complementarity men are calling women, their women, all women, stupid. Complementarianism seems to march step for step with the way Islam views women. The Koran out right states that women are stupid and that a woman has only half the wit of a man. So that if a woman was to be an eye witness to a crime…well…she couldn’t. Or she could if there are two female eye witnesses. Because it takes two women to meet the brain power of a man.

  60. thanks for joining us Dejablue. Welcome.

    It is indeed sad beyond measure that such a view is promoted anywhere in the world, and most saddening that it is promoted among Christians. 🙁

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