Calling God to account for His gifts

Calling God to account for His gifts

God's gifts on Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

While God is Sovereign, some men believe that they can set a limit on God’s gifts.  In the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood’s doctrinal stand, they believe that God is allowed to distribute gifts to men and women alike with the gifts listed in 1 Cor. 12:4-26 but that He does not gift women with the gifts mentioned in Ephesians 4:11 or 1 Peter 4:10, 11 for those gifts are for men alone.  Randy Stinson and Christopher Cowan writing an article for the Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood a work of CBMW write that: 

By God’s grace, all men and women who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ receive spiritual gifts to equip them to serve together in Christ’s body-the church. God grants these gifts through his Spirit to all believers without distinction and for the edification of all (1 Cor 12:4-11). No member of Christ’s church is unneeded; each is gifted by God’s will so that the church, though many parts, may be one body (1 Cor 12:12-26).

Here we can see that they agree with us on several important issues regarding God’s gifts:

  1. God’s gifts are given to all believers
  2. God’s gifts are given without distinction (regarding social status, race or gender)
  3. God’s gifts are given for the edification of all
  4. No member of the church is unneeded with their God-given gift
  5. The purpose of the gifts is to allow the church to be one body

However God cannot sovereignly give the gifts from Ephesians 4:11 or 1 Peter 4:10, 11 because CBMW has determined that the gifts in these lists are for men alone.  Here is what Ephesians 4 says:

Ephesians 4:11–12 (NASB)

11 And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers,

12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;

According to an article on CBMW’s site authored by John MacArthur,  no woman can be an evangelist nor can a woman be a pastor or teacher.  The article is from John MacArthur’s sermon:
There is not a woman evangelist. There is not a woman who wrote…and you have twenty-seven books in the New Testament…any portion of the New Testament. All sixty-six books are written by men. And the New Testament is consistent with God’s plan for women as revealed in the Old, no woman is an evangelist, no woman is a preacher- teacher… There is not recorded in the text of all the New Testament a sermon delivered by a woman…or teaching given by a woman, none. They are not prophets. They are not evangelists.

John MacArthur has greatly overstated his case.  First of all to state that no woman wrote any part of the New Testament would be to boldly claim that he knows who wrote the book of Hebrews.  How does he know that no woman wrote any book in the New Testament?  If he knows that no woman was an author of a book in the NT, then surely he must know who wrote the book of Hebrews.  But he doesn’t.  MacArthur himself has stated:

Hebrews was written by an unknown author. Some think it was Paul, some Apollos, and some Peter. I stand with one of the great teachers of the early church by the name of Origen who said, “Nobody knows.” One thing we do know, it was written by the Holy Spirit. I personally don’t believe it was written by Paul.

And what about the Old Testament?  Who wrote the book of Esther?  And what about the book of Ruth?  Can John MacArthur claim to know who wrote the book of Ruth and that the person was a man?  Does MacArthur’s confident claim make him sure that he knows who wrote all of these books?  His own words show that he does not have special inside information so his over confidence is ill advised.

MacArthur claims to know of no female evangelist, no female Biblical teacher and no female Biblical author.  This must mean that God cannot gift women as preachers, teachers, pastors or evangelists since according to MacArthur women cannot be preachers, teachers, pastors or evangelists.  But does God have to follow the expectations of John MacArthur and CBMW or can God sovereignly gift women with any gift as He sees fit?  Some complementarians even agree that there might be many gifted women who can do a better job at preaching and teaching than many men.  CARM (Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry) has a founder who has dedicated himself to warning the church against women pastors and who seeks to encourage the the church to remove women pastors from a place of authoritative teaching and preaching.  In fact this man loves to go into churches that have female pastors and confront them and their fellow male pastors. Yet even CARM’s founder admits that there are gifted women out there, even though he denies that gifting is the deciding factor:

There are many gifted women who might very well do a better job at preaching and teaching than many men.  However, it isn’t gifting that is the issue, but God’s order and calling.

According to CARM, God does not “call” women as pastors even though God apparently has gifted many for preaching and teaching.  So what is God doing gifting women this way?

Let’s look at it this way.  According to these complementarians, God’s gifts to women for preaching, teaching and pastoring either doesn’t exist at all or these gifts are claimed to be of no consequence since God’s gifts are subordinated to God’s calling.  And how would we know what is God’s calling?  Aren’t the gifts evidence of God’s calling?  Not according to CBMW, MacArthur and CARM.  Apparently there are some gifts given by God that are meant to be withheld from the common good even though God Himself said that His gifts are commanded to be used for the common good.

1 Corinthians 12:7 (NASB)

7 But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.

God’s command is that the gifts that are given are to be employed for the church as good stewards of God’s grace.

1 Peter 4:10–11 (NASB)

10 As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

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.

So while Scripture says that “whoever” is gifted with speaking is to speak the utterances of God, these complementarians say that women are not allowed to speak the utterances of God in public for the common good.  It is no wonder that they stay away from 1 Peter 4:10, 11 as the context is Christian worship and speaking the utterances of God is nothing less than authoritative speech in worship assemblies according to the Word Biblical Commentary.

11 “Whoever does the speaking, [do it] as one bringing words from God.”  (lit. “if anyone”) does not introduce conditional clauses in this verse, but simply means “one who,” or “whoever” (see BGD, 220.VII). Peter introduces only two examples of “God’s diversified grace,” speaking and serving (in contrast to seven examples in Rom 12:6–8 and nine in 1 Cor 12:7–11). Having emphasized all along the danger of “evil speaking”…Peter now points to the positive importance of speech as a source of strength and cohesion among Christian believers. “Speaking” refers not to ordinary conversation (which would not have to be “a word from God”) but to authoritative speech in worship assemblies. While Kelly (180) limits the speaking Peter has in mind to “routine functions like teaching and preaching” (in distinction from “ecstatic utterances”), there is no proof of this in the text. The term could embrace all that Paul includes under “prophecy” (Rom 12:6), “teaching” (Rom 12:7), and “exhortation” (Rom 12:8), as well as “wisdom” and “knowledge” (1 Cor 12:8). …It is clear, however, that his focus is not on missionary proclamation (as, e.g., in Acts 4:1; 10:44; 13:42) but on the speech of Christian believers “to each other” (v 10) in a setting of worship.

Michaels, J. R. (2002). Vol. 49: Word Biblical Commentary : 1 Peter. Word Biblical Commentary (249–250).

The inspired Scripture in 1 Peter 4:10 makes universal language clear that “each one has a gift” and in verse 11 “whoever speaks” is to speak with God’s authority.

Women are commanded to use their God-given gifts and God has surely gifted them with things that He intends for them to use.  Women like men are commanded to use their gifts for the common good.  Also it is clear from the Scriptures that God has commanded all of us to use our God-given gifts and we will give an account of what we did with what God gave us.  We are not to set our gifts aside to leave them unused or bury our gifts.  We are all accountable.

So the question we need to ask is, should we call God to account for gifting women in areas that men say God has “disallowed” or “disqualified” women from using their gifts for the benefit of all?  After all wouldn’t it mean that God would be guilty of creating a terrible dilemma for women?  They either use their gifts for the common good and get God’s wrath for doing so (according to complementarians who determine that using these gifts for the common good is a sin) or they shelve their gifts and withhold them from the common good and get God’s wrath for withholding His gifts from the body Christ which is the intended purpose of all of the gifts.

Does this sound reasonable that God gifts people but He then forbids them from using their gifts?  Should anyone be fearful of using their God-given gifts for the benefit of the body of Christ?

It is far more reasonable to understand that the gifting is God’s endorsement to use the gift.  1 Peter 4:10, 11 stands in sharp contrast to CARM’s claim that a “calling” (a calling that mere men determine if it is a valid calling or not) supersedes God’s “gifts”.  Let’s look at it God’s Word one more time and you decide.  Is God guilty of gifting for the purpose of causing women to sin?  Or is every gift that comes down from the Father of lights a good and perfect gift and the one who has been given the gift has the authority to use their gift?

1 Peter 4:10–11 (NASB)

10 As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

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.

 

James 1:16–17 (NASB)

16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.

17 Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.

If every good gift given is from the Father of lights and there is no variation or shifting shadow in God or shadow in God’s gift, then what God has given cannot be evil and the exercise of that gift cannot be sin for God is not the author of sin.  Can we charge God with evil for giving gifts to women that are forbidden for them to use?  Not at all.  God does not author sin and God’s giving of His gifts to women is the authority of God for them to use what He has given for the common good.

70 thoughts on “Calling God to account for His gifts

  1. I suppose many complementarians would say that women are free to use their gifts as long as they only use them for the benefit of children and other women– that women may be called to teach, but only to teach other women, or children.
    Hmm. If this is true, then perhaps God has forbidden men to hear truths He has gifted women to share with their sisters! Perhaps it is men who are deemed unworthy by God to receive the ministry of women, which is intended only for other women and for the children!
    But would men stand for this for one moment? Would they allow that God might have mysteries of His Kingdom that He deems men unfit to hear, and thus He graces only women to speak them, because He will only allow women to teach women and children?
    What, then, happens to the “one another” of 1 Peter 4:10? Is this another case when (as some complementarians claim) “one another” actually means “some to others,” as in Ephesians 5:21, where “submit to one another” only means, “some [those in the subordinate states of slavery and femaleness] submit to others [those in authority over them]” and not “ALL submit to ALL others”?
    Thank goodness we still have Paul’s words that the gifts are “for the common good”! Because if not, it seems that we women would be able to make a good case for OUR special privilege, to share with one another and with our children, secrets of the Kingdom that mere men may not hear!

  2. I sometimes wonder if hierarchical complementarians read the same Bible that I do. I wonder how it is that they can read passages like Romans 16:1, 7, and 12 and Phil. 4:2-3, and then. in the further light given on these and other Pauline texts by modern scholarship, continue to deny that men and women–most often married couples like Andronicus and Julia, and Aquila and Priscilla– not only engaged in church-planting ministries together, but also shared in the tasks of evangelism and discipling new believers. Do they really believe what Paul said, when he said of Euodia and Syntyche that they were women who “contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers” (Phil. 4:2-3, TNIV)?

    And as for the gifting and calling of God, where does it clearly and unequivocally say in any of the four passages on this subject: Rom. 12:3-8; 1 Cor. 12-14; Eph. 4:7-16; and 1 Pet. 4:7-11 (the text being discussed–where does it say that any gifting or calling of the Holy Spirit is gender specific? Nowhere. This idea of gender specific giftings and callings, contra John MacArthur is something that hierarchical complementarians read back into these texts, on the basis of their misinterpretation and misapplication of 1 Cor. 14:33-35 and 1 Tim. 2:11-18.

    Furthermore, for the text we are discussing, 1 Pet. 4:10-11, there is an eschatological context as well, a context that makes common watchfulness, prayer, and “mutual ministries” even more necessary. It is part of an exhortation, which Peter opens up with the statement, “The end of things is near. Therefore, be alert and sober minded so you can pray…love each other…offer hospitality…Use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards…, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.” This is an exhortation to all believers to use their gifts, as well as to offer up both their prayers and homes, to provide for the common good of all Christians in the hard times to come. Now, will our hierarchical friends please explain how they can parcell out any element of this exhortation on the basis of gender? They certainly can’t do it on the basis of what Peter himself says here.

  3. Kirsten,
    Here is another…if men cannot listen to what women are teaching, then how will they be able to keep watch on any error that might be taught? How can one evaluate truth from error without actually listening to what is taught?

  4. Frank,
    Excellent thoughts and a great question!

    There is a God-ordained method to solve the complementarians problems with gifts. If God stopped gifting women then who would argue with restrictions if women were never gifted in that area anyway? I have never yet heard a convincing argument why God gifts women with gifts for preaching and teaching and shepherding. How can one argue that God doesn’t gift women in this way when it is so evident that many are gifted? If all it took was for God to withhold these “male” gifts from women, the case would be closed. After all who would argue for the freedom of pink elephants to minister if there are no pink elephants? 😉

  5. That’s the obvious solution, Cheryl. I’ve long maintained that there are no “pink lists” or “blue lists” in terms of spiritual gifts. Today being Pentecost Sunday, I’m having a hard time imagining the Holy Spirit going into the upper room and choosing the women only for gifts like helps, hospitality, administration, etc. (the stereotypical “feminine”) gifts, and the men only for the gifts of leadership, shepherding, etc. I just don’t think He worked that way on that day, nor does He work that way now. He gifts each individual according to their hearts, not their gender.

    It just shows the arrogance of some of these men to deny that women were evangelists and preachers after the coming of the Spirit. They might not have ministered publicly, but their contribution to the spread of the early church was nonetheless invaluable. After all, wasn’t it Priscilla who set Apollos straight? I’m having a hard time imagining Paul telling her to sit down and shut up! SO, why then, do we still insist on telling women to do the same, over 20 centuries after Paul?

  6. this poem is about Islam but in my strong opinion it applies just as much to Christianity, it is by Alam, posted on Iran Solidarity, btw, Iran is now the council for the UN Women’s Human Rights, and the USA didn’t even object so, yea, now nations that rape nine year old girls with impunity represent All our human rights women–isn’t That nice,

    welcome to 200 B.C.

    Before they can dream any dreams

    There was a time when men were kind
    When their words were soft
    And women were wooed
    In the Meccan desert
    And the Afghani mountains
    There was a time when love was blind
    And the world was a song
    And the song was exciting
    There was such a time
    And then it all went wrong

    For a psychopath, he came along
    He built up a gang an’ called them Believers
    He changed the rules, he changed the rites
    Our ancient goddesses he killed
    And put his allah in their place
    Love was outlawed and dowries installed
    And rich old paedophiles could marry a child
    No soft looks
    No tender hugs

    Now the Bearded Believers come at night
    With their dreams of paradise
    And they shoot to kill girls going to school
    And bomb female doctors and strangle dancers
    No woman’s allowed to live her dream
    Oh Muslim men have you no shame

    Muslim men are the guards,
    Women and girls their prisoners
    To be ploughed like a field
    A clod of earth at his command
    The mothers have suffered,
    The same fate and
    So the Stockholm syndrome rules their brain

    Where is the love, where is the honour
    Some degradations no soul can weather
    Don’t look up, don’t laugh out,
    Do not think, do not sing
    So each generation of girls’ souls killed,
    Their bodies covered up
    Oh Muslim men have you no shame

    You hypocrites, hiding behind
    That psychopathic creed
    Your youth are labelled apostates
    If they want to leave
    And them you kill
    Before they can dream
    Their own dreams

  7. take the above poem, replace Muslim men and Allah with God,

    there you go…because it is Identical, from the pedophilia in the priesthood to the pedophilia and/or the ‘pedophile Fantasy of child brides who are women Forced to be children’ in so called Gender Roles marriage [I’m sure if they could marry six year olds they Would]

    it becomes more questionable to me, if religion wasn’t some construct By men For men, to control the ONE animal that had the ability to tell them

    NO.

    More and more I am wondering about this, that and the whole pyramid hierarchy, and they ARE, the more misogynist and traditional they are, Hierarchical and Pharaoh wanna be’s they are, and they ARE

    mass killing thousands of Souls, of Women, a form of slow, agonizing, Soul Lobotomy–

    ironic isn’t it, the Mayans and other Occult beliefs had a thing about doing lobotomies on slaves, except today they just got a bit more sinister and clever about it.

    and Stockholm Syndrome is right. Anyway, read that poem and all I could think, is that this is Exactly how I have felt, dealing with religion all my life,

    so now I am questioning, because I have not seen any life fruits, just a slow rotting death. I don’t know how fruits can be produced in a mental climate of ROT. Maybe I missed the memo somehwhere,

    but there is no denying, religion is TOXIC. Male supremacy and male gods are TOXIC,

    all there is to it.

    Jane

  8. Hi Cheryl,

    well my angst isn’t so much with God or Jesus anymore, religion yes, I have nothing to do with it at all, not anymore, but it’s been two long years of hard work between me and Jesus to do a lot of damage control that has been caused by religion, and I am referring to Christian religion, both Catholic and Protestant. [I am married to a Jew so there is that then I had experience with Islam so I see more commonalities especially with the whole comp Egyptian teachings and those I strongly believe are not just centered around the whole marriage ‘cult’ god in this nation’s religious culture [euro-centric] but also in economics and war mongering policies, e.g. nationalism and xenophobia-chauvinism.

    So anyway to me I see more of the Bael-actually the Pharaoh* worship in the whole culture in regards to the pyramid of mammon, that then filters to the whole tolerance-acceptance and even embracing and POLLUTING the Doctrines taught in the Word of God, as THE ROOT, rather than the relationships between husband and wives or even the question of should women be ministers, etc. From that angle that is and I’m seeing it more and more in the Word.

    It is in coming to grips with the doubts and questions, which yesterday was one of those down days that I get answers, what I mean is when I get to the end of my rope and lose heart is when God breaks through and reveals things to me, with confirmation. What struck me in the poem a lot was the reference to the Stockholm Syndrome and so like I’ve known to refer to the struggles as internalizations but I didn’t really pay attention to how Stockholm Syndrome can manifest/Germinate just through being exosed and hearing and hearing the distorted pyramid Egyptian polluted doctrines that have taken hold, a stronghold, in our Christian culture. I knew there were triggers but it’s so much more than triggers,

    this is something that goes deep into the spiritual place and we haven’t even scratched the surface yet. I got a confirmation on this through numerous scriptures this morning, in regards to my own walk and so forth but it’s relavent here so I’ll share them,

    in Isaiah 57, 1-8, has Strong implications to the culture today, but see under the ‘mask of goodness, a.k.a. religion’ it’s easy to not see it, but in verse 3-5, “But draw near hither, ye sons of the sorceress, the seed of the adulterer and the whore. Against whom do ye sport yourselves? Against whom make ye a wide mouth, and draw out the tongue? are ye NOT children of transgression, a seed of Falsehood? Enflaming yourselves with idols under every green tree, slaying the children in the valleys under the cliffs of the rocks?”…

    So here is where the Stockholm Syndrome is related, using my lens/experience here but it’s relevant,

    we judge through our lens who God is or what God demands, this includes scriptures, be it men who do this to Enflame themselves [I am firmly convinced the obsession with submission/authority has a lot to do with the desire towards or leaning towards pedophilia/sexual perversion, and it is spiritual darkness, and the reason for this is having been exposed to ritual abuse in my childhood, e.g. Masons, etc., knowing a bit about those beliefs and well, without going into a lot of detail here God has shown me a lot through deliverance and it IS really strongly connected, especially the whole Pagan roots that go all the way back to Egypt, Mesopotamia, Samaria, Greece & Rome but anyway–put it this way, the Poison is so in churchianity/church culture-religion it’s not Even funny–for a long while I thought it was just Babylon and I didn’t tie in the whole Egyptian religions in though I had numerous dreams–it wasn’t until I started piecing together the Word and certain things in the dreams [and the dreams went along with numerous things in Bible] that God showed me–

    but anyway, the insects all over the wall has meaning that many miss–so ok then so like, I struggle a lot with how I see God, discernment, and like it’s pretty much having to dump all the man doctrines and going direct to the Word and staying there, but there are those mountains of ‘doubt’ that you know they aren’t unlearned simply by throwing out scriptures, they have to be revealed and cast down, because they are Strongholds,

    and in those times I often question God because I don’t or didn’t really KNOW who God was, the God we are often told about isn’t God but it’s luciferian, FACT. And it’s done ‘neatly packaged’ through scriptures and man’s doctrines.

    The syndrome comes from the fact that our lens is from that seed, the sorceress, adulteress, etc., is in relation not just to our like natural parents–but our spiritual parent/sin/the tree of knowledge but also the nation and culture–get what I am saying,

    and it is Deeply embedded, the cup of iniquity [is almost full] and the source of and it is related to something far deeper than just surface, e.g., marriage and the questions of roles, etc. So like,

    it’s NOT just confronting the use of certain ‘doctrines’ but going to the source root, of the Culture, that has polluted the church-RELIGION,

    and it goes way beyond just the inner circle, so to speak. Anyway I divorced [term I use] the entire culture because it IS corrupted, make no mistake about it, it goes numerous years back, in This nation, in fact prior even To the foundation of this country,

    it has a LOT to do with the whole leaning and it will become more so with the doctrines of authoritarianism, etc. Anyway after I posted that yesterday and wrestled on some topics God answered, thought I’d share that part,

    to those who have ears let them hear…

    In solidarity,

    Jane

  9. Your article creates a strawman of the complimentarian side and then uses that strawman to set up a false dilemna, namely that women don’t use the gifts for the common good or they do use their gifts for the common good and are damned either way. Your argument is based on a quote by CARM that there are some gifted women. But you seem to misunderstand what they are saying. Just because a woman is gifted in the ability to preach does not mean that is the same kind of gifting of the Holy Spirit meant to be used to preach. Their are gifted orators, that doesn’t mean they speak publicly in the church.

  10. Jeremy, welcome to my blog.

    You say that gifted orators are not necessarily meant to speak publicly in the body of Christ, yet that is not what the Scripture says:

    1 Peter 4:10–11 (NASB95)
    10 As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
    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.

    Peter gives a command that whoever has received a gift from God is to use that gift as a serve to “one another”. To withhold God’s gift from “one another” is a disservice to God and to the body of Christ.

    I have quoted the Scripture to you. Can you please show me even one Scripture that denies body ministry through the gifts of God? I can’t find any at all.

    Also I haven’t misunderstood the CARM position as I have had a lot of communication with them over this issue. Perhaps you can provide a quote that would show where I have misunderstood. So if you are able, please provide both a Biblical quote and a quote from the one who you say I misunderstand. That would be helpful.

  11. Thanks for allowing me into this blog space.
    1. Not every gift is supposed to be used publicly in church. The 1 Peter passage you site does not say that all gifts should be used publicly. If I am gifted by God to run well, does that mean I should run publicly in church? Women might have gifts to speak well and understand God’s Word, and these gifts can be used to edify the body of Christ, but not in the public arena of a church service where authority is assumed. It is not withholding anyone’s gift from being used to serve the body, just in certain arenas. This is prohibited by Scripture in 1 Corinthians 14, 1 Timothy 2-3, and elsewhere.
    2. I read the article from CARM where you quote the author, and you do misuse his idea of gift. In that same article he clearly states, “it is not possible for a woman to possess every spiritual gift that a man possesses. A woman cannot be a father. Furthermore, the spiritual gift of being an elder/pastor is something only the male is called to per divine revelation.” So they do not believe a woman can have the spiritual gift of being a pastor…he was only saying that women are gifted (i.e. talented).

  12. Jeremy, it is my desire that all feel welcome here, even if they do not agree with me.

    You said:

    1. Not every gift is supposed to be used publicly in church. The 1 Peter passage you site does not say that all gifts should be used publicly. If I am gifted by God to run well, does that mean I should run publicly in church?

    The Bible clearly says that spiritual gifts are for the benefit of the church. In 1 Cor. 14:1 commands believers to earnestly desire spiritual gifts especially the gift of prophesy and verse 4 shows that the gift that all may desire is meant to edify the church. Edification of the church is the purpose of our spiritual gifts. 1 Cor. 14:5 gives a second witness that our spiritual gifts are to bring edification to the church. Paul commands that we are to seek to abound in spiritual gifts for the edification of the church. Just as in 1 Peter 4:10, 11, the speaking gifts which are key spiritual gifts are for the church and what God has designed for the common good is not to be withheld by anyone from edifying the church.

    You said:

    Women might have gifts to speak well and understand God’s Word, and these gifts can be used to edify the body of Christ, but not in the public arena of a church service where authority is assumed. It is not withholding anyone’s gift from being used to serve the body, just in certain arenas.

    This is not the case. Paul talks about all speaking in the public gathering of the whole church assembling together in 1 Cor. 14:23. The authority to speak resides with the Scripture that commands us to desire the gifts and then gives us the authority to use these speaking gifts as one who speaks forth the oracles of God. (1 Peter 4:10, 11)

    This is prohibited by Scripture in 1 Corinthians 14, 1 Timothy 2-3, and elsewhere.

    This is not so. Paul specifically gives permission for all to speak in the public assembly and he withholds permission from no one who has the gift of prophesy to be used for the common good.

    You said:

    2. I read the article from CARM where you quote the author, and you do misuse his idea of gift. In that same article he clearly states, “it is not possible for a woman to possess every spiritual gift that a man possesses. A woman cannot be a father. Furthermore, the spiritual gift of being an elder/pastor is something only the male is called to per divine revelation.” So they do not believe a woman can have the spiritual gift of being a pastor…he was only saying that women are gifted (i.e. talented).

    You have misread. I never claimed that CARM believes that women can have the spiritual gift of being a pastor. I did say that CARM claimed that there are some women who can be more gifted than many men at preaching and teaching. Here is the exact quote from CARM.

    There are many gifted women who might very well do a better job at preaching and teaching than many men. However, it isn’t gifting that is the issue, but God’s order and calling.

    The founder believes that these women may preach and teach to women and he does believe that teaching is a spiritual gift that God gives women. He just doesn’t believe that women may use that gift in an authoritative way as a pastor.

    1 Peter 4:11 is clear that “whoever” speaks forth should do so with the strength that God gives as they speak forth the utterances of God. No indication is given that part of the body of Christ are exempt from receiving God’s gifts just because the utterance is given through a woman. Speaking forth the utterances of God is the authority to use God’s special gifts and the motivation is always to be for the service of the body through being proper stewards of God’s grace given to all.

  13. Cheryl,
    It seems your whole argument is based on a faulty application of 1 Peter 4:10,11. This does not say that the gifts must be used in the public arena of the church service or in a pastoral role. Even the Word Biblical Commentary you cite states this:
    “While Kelly (180) limits the speaking Peter has in mind to “routine
    functions like teaching and preaching” (in distinction from “ecstatic
    utterances”), there is no proof of this in the text. The term could
    embrace all that Paul includes under “prophecy” (Rom
    12:6), “teaching” (Rom 12:7), and “exhortation” (Rom 12:8), as well
    as “wisdom” and “knowledge” (1 Cor 12:8)”
    1 Peter is not limited to the public service or to preaching.
    On a side note, I’m not sure why women desire the pulpit so much. I asked my Bible class today who were the top 3 most influential people in their lives. The pastor was never one of them. Most people forget the sermon the next day. People who have the most impact are those who are living out the Word daily and discipling others. Women are allowed to use their gifts for that high calling. There are many places other than the pulpit to use our gifts.
    Also, you cite 1 Corinthians 14 a lot to say that both genders are given these gifts that are meant to be used in the public setting. However, in the same chapter Paul tells women to be silent in the churches (v. 34). I know you are familiar with this, so how do you expalin that this does not limit women who God gifts? Even if it is temporally based on the state of the church or the status of women at that time, Paul is still limiting women at that time from using the gifts of speaking that God gives them. And how do you explain 1 Timothy 2:12 that limits women from teaching and exercising authority over a man?
    I’d love to hear your view on this. I am a complemenatarian because I don’t see any other way to understand God’s Word on this issue. It would be easier to be an egalitarian, but I would not feel that I was accurately handling Scripture. If I could see a true way of interpreting these passages that favored the egalitarian position, I would gladly shift sides.

  14. Hi Jeremy

    I am a complemenatarian because I don’t see any other way to understand God’s Word on this issue.

    I can relate to what you say here. Up until 12 months ago I would have said the same thing, but the people here on this site have been very helpful to me in investigating the egalitarian position.

    I’d love to hear your view on this.

    I hope Cheryl doesn’t mind me poking my nose in here and recommending her DVD set. On it she discusses at length the so-called “difficult passages’ for egalitarianism such as the ones you mention- 1 Cor 14:33-36 and 1 Tim 2:11-15. If you go right to the top of this page and click on “DVD” it tells you all about it. I found it very informative and helped me to see that there is truly a very strong case for the egalitarian position while still holding a very high view of God’s Word as you do.
    Also there are many posts and comments by Cheryl on this blog, and many comments by others if you look around on this site. If you go to the top of this page, on the right hand side, and scroll down you will see bible passages and topics that may interest you. Hope this helps.

  15. “I am a complementarian because I don’t see any other way to understand God’s word on the issue.”

    One reason you don’t see any other way is because you have only been shown one way and told that any one who dosen’t hold to this single view doesn’t respect scripture.

    Keep in mind a couple things. There are centuries of tradition and prejudice against women that back up the complementarian view. For most of those centuries only men with a bias view of women (due to their culture*) have been allowed to handle and translate the Word. If, instead, women had been the gate keepers of the origianal Greek and Hebrew and were the ones who decided which verses were more important and to be lifted up and which verses were to be ignored or swept away, our understanding of the Bible and gender would be very different.

    * An example of blatant bias against women only 450 years ago:
    “Five years earlier, in 1647, Fox was both a seeker and a finder. He met with various people and groups, but none spoke to his condition. One group, “held [that] women have no souls…no more than a goose.” Fox responded by quoting Scripture, where Mary, the mother of Jesus, said, “My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my savior.” [Luke 1:46-47] ”
    Taken from:
    http://trilogy.brynmawr.edu/speccoll/quakersandslavery/commentary/themes/radical_quaker_women.php

  16. Craig,
    I’ve looked on the site and haven’t seen a good explanation of any of these verses.

    Mara,
    My view is based on an honest interpretation of Scripture, not on gender bias. I’ve done my homework and read the egalitarian arguments. I just don’t see any good evidence.

    You write: “If, instead, women had been the gate keepers of the origianal Greek and Hebrew and were the ones who decided which verses were more important and to be lifted up and which verses were to be ignored or swept away, our understanding of the Bible and gender would be very different.”
    Are you saying we should ignore or sweep away certain Scripture? I believe all Scripture is inspired by God and none should be swept away. I assume you mean that certain texts do not apply today because they were responding to socio-cultural aspects of the time, namely that women were uneducated or that it was a male-dominated society. Unfortunately, to hold that position ignores the reasons Paul gives for not allowing women to teach or exercise authority over men in 1 Timothy 2. These reasons are the creation order and Eve’s deception. These reasons are not cultural or temporal, but eternal. Therefore, his command is eternal. No?

    I’m respectfully looking for answers based on accurate Bible exegesis, not appeals to gender bias.

  17. Hi Jeremy,

    I’ve looked on the site and haven’t seen a good explanation of any of these verses.

    I’ve done my homework and read the egalitarian arguments.

    If you have thoroughly looked over the site, and read the egalitarian arguments, and don’t see any good evidence, then you have had a different reaction to me. It was due to problems with the comp exegesis of the bible that I decided to investigate the egal position. Both positions have godly evangelical advocates and it is not an easy issue to decide on. I can honestly still see why comps believe what they do, but generally I find the egal arguments more persuasive. The questions I still have over egalitarianism are “smaller”.
    For instance, with 1 Tim 2, I agree with you that the prohibition of v 12 is related to “the creation order and Eve’s deception”. Often comps however don’t seem to acknowledge how much they are assuming. There is a very real question over what Paul meant by “teach or exercise authority over”, and there is a very real question that Paul would want men to do whatever he is saying for “a woman” not to do. There are other possibilities that seem more likely to me than the usual comp answers.

  18. Jeremy said:
    “These reasons are the creation order and Eve’s deception. These reasons are not cultural or temporal, but eternal. Therefore, his command is eternal. No?”
    Not necessarily.
    There are several places where Paul refers to the creation or to creation theology while clearly not intending to make his present discussion timeless and universal. 2 Cor. 11:3 is one. Most churches also do not believe that the head-coverings commands of 1 Cor. 11 were intended as timeless and universal, but were related to cultural understandings of the meanings of head coverings in an honor-shame culture– and yet Paul refers to the creation order in that chapter as well. In 1 Cor. 10:11 Paul speaks in general of the way he uses references to OT narratives, saying that they are “examples” and “warnings.” He does not say anything about them being meant to ground NT truths.
    Also, it is my understanding reason that the word “gar” translated as “for” in “For Adam was formed first, then Eve,” means “for example” or “for illustration” more often than it means “for the reason that” in Paul’s writings.
    For these reasons, I do not believe the creation narrative in 1 Tim 2 need be viewed as a way to make what Paul “was not permitting” there timeless and universal. I think it related to a specific problem in a specific church, and the message we should receive from it is, “Those in deception should not be permitted to teach until they have quietly sat down and learned true doctrine.”
    If Paul really was giving a universal, timeless prohibition against any and all women ever having authority in the church, these questions must be seriously considered and answered:
    Why does he use the word “authentein” instead of the usual word for “have authority,” which is “exousia”? Why does he begin the passage with the words “I do not permit” in the present active indicative tense, rather than, “A woman must not” in the imperative tense? And why does he bury this universal, timeless command for all churches for all time, in a personal letter to his deputy whom he has left behind to correct problems in one particular church having to do with false teaching (1 Tim 1:3)? Why does he commend many women in Rome who clearly have some influence (Rom 16), without mentioning to them that they would be going too far with this authority if they used it to teach or lead in a mixed-gender church gathering?
    Finally, if Paul is really saying that there are some gifts of God that are only for men but not for women, why did he include women in: “there is neither Jew nor Greek . . . there is not male and female . . . for God sent His Son. . . that we might [all] receive the full rights of sons”? (Gal. 3:28-4-5.) The “full rights of sons” was a phrase that meant the full status of an adopted male heir as a son in every legal sense of the word, with all the rights and privileges pertaining thereto. Are women the only ones of this group who have fewer rights and privileges? Did Paul intend a freeborn Jewish Christian to be able to say to a Christian Gentile slave, “Paul was only talking about salvation here, so be content. We freeborn Jews get all the leadership roles and positions of power and authority in the church.”? And if women are the sole exception, why did Paul specifically include them as receiving “full rights of sons”?

  19. “The questions I still have over egalitarianism are “smaller”.
    For instance, with 1 Tim 2, I agree with you that the prohibition of v 12 is related to “the creation order and Eve’s deception”. Often comps however don’t seem to acknowledge how much they are assuming.”

    This is the most mistranslated passage! If Eve’s deception is the factor (along with creation order) in not teaching men then why are men allowed to teach anyone since Adam sinned WILLFULLY and on purpose? Makes no sense.

    Also, there is NO prohibition in the OT about women teaching men. Why a new legalistic prohibition in the NC?

    And why isn’t the Cross and the indwelling Holy Spirit enough
    for women when it comes to this so called “inherent deception” problem?

    Perhaps we need to understand Ephesus at the time. Also understanding authenteo gives us a real clue as to what Paul was saying. It does not mean “assume authority” or “usurp authority”.

    In fact, we know that John Chrysostom wrote later that men are NOT to “autheneto” their wives.

    So, we know it is a real bad thing that both men or women could do. Calvin translated it as domineer. As did others. Which is closer to it’s real meaning. They had no problem translating the truer meaning because at that time they did not have to contend with equal women. It never occured to them that women were NOT inferior.

    (Creation order as “importance” in God’s kingdom is silly. It would mean cows are more favored than women. Paul might be refering to creation order because the fertility pagan temple worshipers taught that Eve was created first. Since Ephesus had a huge temple of Artemis and this is what they believed, it makes sense in light of “saved through childbearing” as many women died in child birth so Paul was metaphorically saying “saved by the childbearing” as in Christ. It most certainly CANNOT mean that women have a “work” of salvation which is what most comps teach. It is insidious)

  20. “And why does he bury this universal, timeless command for all churches for all time, in a personal letter to his deputy whom he has left behind to correct problems in one particular church having to do with false teaching (1 Tim 1:3)? Why does he commend many women in Rome who clearly have some influence (Rom 16), without mentioning to them that they would be going too far with this authority if they used it to teach or lead in a mixed-gender church gathering?”

    Exactly. It seems only the Ephesian women and the Corinthian women were affected. And in Corinth, they had to be completely silent. Not even hello in gatherings… And the widows were out of luck in Corinth if they had no husband to ask at home. :o)

    Another point you make would mean the comps must call Paul a liar. According to comps, women do not get a FULL inheritance of all things spiritual in salvation. Paul was not being honest in Galatians? Seems he would have listed the prohibitions on women here if there were any since he was proclaiming full inheritance for all…even if slaves, women or Gentiles.

  21. Hi Lydia,
    You wrote,

    In fact, we know that John Chrysostom wrote later that men are NOT to “autheneto” their wives.

    These are 2 comments from our discussion on Sola Panel last year.

    Sue09/12/2010 04:42 PM
    Chrysostom told husbands to never authentein their wives. It seems that it did not mean to lead in a positive way.
    Teri King10/12/2010 02:48 AM
    Sue, that would be great to have a reference for Chrysostom saying that….

    I never did see an answer to Teri’s question. Do you have a reference Lydia or is anyone else familiar with this?
    Thanks.

  22. Kristen,
    I guess I’ll address your concerns first…you have a lot, so hopefully I’ll get them all. First, creation order is used as an analogy, not a reason, in 2 Cor 11:3. Second, in 1 Cor 11, the form is possibly not applicable today of head coverings, but the principle of submission to one’s husband still is. The problem in Corinth was not so much with the covering, but with the attitude.

    ‘Gar’ is used plenty of times for ‘because’. Even in the favorite verse of egalitarians, Galatians 3:28, it is used this way. I can give you plenty of examples if you need.

    The word “authentein” is only used this one time in the NT, but there are more words for authority than just ‘exousia’ used in the NT. Context defines words. Women are forbidden in this verse to teach or to exercise authority, and are commanded to be silent and in submission. All these words leads one to believe that the word authority here is simply that. How would you explain that they can’t teach men?

    I don’t see your point with the “I do not permit”. Is it that this is Paul’s opinion rather than a rule? Paul gives commands in the first person often. For example, in 1 Corinthians 10:20, he says, “but I say that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons and not to God; and I do not want you to become sharers in demons.” It still sounds like God’s word. Paul makes it clear when he gives commands that he has no word of from the Lord to give (1 Corinth. 7).

    Paul doesn’t just give these commands for women to a couple churches. In 1 Corinthians 14:33-34, he writes, “as in all the churches of the saints. The women are to keep silent in the churches” So it is all the churches that practice these things.

    I have to go. I’ll write more later.

  23. Kristen (continued),
    I just think that’s a weak argument that in a letter that mentions Phoebe, not addressed to her, Paul would tell her the guidelines to exercising her influence. Women were permitted to be deacons, and that was influential, but they were not allowed to teach men. Phoebe would have known this; Paul didn’t need to mention it in a letter to the Romans.

    As far as Galatians 3:28, Paul nowhere removes social structure that are in place. In Ephesians he does not release slaves from their duty; they are to obey their masters. So when Paul gives slaves the freedom of Galatians 3:28, he must not be talking about social roles. They are fellow heirs in salvation, but they are still slaves. Women are fellow heirs in salvation, but they are still women.

  24. Jeremy, you said:
    “First, creation order is used as an analogy, not a reason, in 2 Cor 11:3.”
    Then how can you be sure it is a reason, and not an analogy, in 1 Tim 2:13?
    You said:
    “Second, in 1 Cor 11, the form is possibly not applicable today of head coverings, but the principle of submission to one’s husband still is. The problem in Corinth was not so much with the covering, but with the attitude.”
    Then how can you be sure the problem in 1 Timothy was not so much with the teaching, as with the attitude with which they were teaching? (Not one positive use of the word “authentein” can be found in any usage of this word during the time this book was written. “Exercise authority” was not the way this word was used until around 400 AD.)
    You said:
    “‘Gar’ is used plenty of times for ‘because’. Even in the favorite verse of egalitarians, Galatians 3:28, it is used this way. I can give you plenty of examples if you need.”
    I can also give you plenty of examples where it means “for example” — and therefore, the use of the word “gar” does not necessarily mean that Paul was grounding his prohibition in the Creation narrative in order to render it timeless and universal. That is the issue we were addressing. You seemed to believe it was a slam-dunk.
    You said:
    “All these words leads one to believe that the word authority here is simply that.”
    All my research into this matter indicates the exact opposite, as I have described above.
    To be continued.

  25. Jeremy, you said:
    “I don’t see your point with the ‘I do not permit’. Is it that this is Paul’s opinion rather than a rule? Paul gives commands in the first person often. For example, in 1 Corinthians 10:20, he says, ‘but I say that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons and not to God; and I do not want you to become sharers in demons.’ ”
    No, the issue is not that it is Paul’s opinion rather than the rule. The issue, as I said before, is whether Paul is addressing a specific situation, or making a universal decree. Even in the passage you cite, Paul is speaking of a specific situation. He is talking about Gentile sacrifices, which were common in his day. No believer in the West today is likely to confront this situation. This passage no longer applies directly to us in the US, Canada, Europe, etc, as it applied to them then. We need to find a different way to apply it to ourselves.

    You said:
    “Paul doesn’t just give these commands for women to a couple churches. In 1 Corinthians 14:33-34, he writes, ‘as in all the churches of the saints. The women are to keep silent in the churches’ So it is all the churches that practice these things.”
    When the earliest church fathers quoted 1 Cor 14, they never mentioned the existence of verses 33-34 at all. In the earliest manuscripts we have, these verses appear in two different places in the text. There is a lot of other early textual evidence that these verses were added later by someone else, just as someone probably added Mark 16:9-20 and John 7:53-8:11. There is a lot of textual evidence that women simply were NOT silent in “all the churches” at all. 1 Cor. 14:26 says, “When you come together, each one [gender-inclusive word here] has a hymn, a teaching, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation.” (Emphasis mine.) In any event, you cannot make 1 Cor 14:33-34 parallel to 1 Tim 2:12-15. They simply cannot be shown to be talking about the same thing at all.
    To be continued.

  26. Jeremy, you said:
    “I just think that’s a weak argument that in a letter that mentions Phoebe, not addressed to her, Paul would tell her the guidelines to exercising her influence. Women were permitted to be deacons, and that was influential, but they were not allowed to teach men. Phoebe would have known this; Paul didn’t need to mention it in a letter to the Romans.”
    Rom 16 talks about a lot more women than Phoebe. Priscilla, Mary, Junia, Tryphena, Tryphosa, Persis, Julia, and the “sister” of Nereus are all mentioned. Your assumption that these women knew they were not allowed to teach men is without basis. Churches were far apart, and letters were passed around by carriers. The letter to Timothy was a personal letter to one person, not to a church, and it was the letters to whole churches which were circulated. There is simply no textual evidence that all women in all churches were receiving a teaching that they were not to teach men.
    It’s interesting that you mention Phoebe. One of the words Paul uses to describe her is “proestasis.” This is the noun form of the word “proestemi” (Cheryl can correct me if I’m spelling these wrong), which means literally “to stand before,” and is used to convey leadership in Rom. 12:8, “Let the one who leads (proestimi) govern diligently.” It is also used in 1 Tim. 5:17, “The elders who rule (proestimi) well are worthy of double honor.” It certainly looks as though Paul is describing Phoebe as a “leader” or “elder.”
    See this essay for more information:
    http://www.pbpayne.com/?p=501

    In short, the interpretation of these passages in such a way as to forbid church authority to women, is by no means the only possible, or even the most likely, interpretation. Given the nature of humans in power to interpret the scriptures in ways that support their power, (such as using Noah’s curse over Ham to justify black slavery, or the scriptures on honoring the king to support “divine right of kings,” I would say that these traditional interpretations are all worthy of a second look. The passages used to support male domination are not exempt.

  27. I will conclude with this. Jeremy, you said:
    “I am a complemenatarian because I don’t see any other way to understand God’s Word on this issue. It would be easier to be an egalitarian, but I would not feel that I was accurately handling Scripture. If I could see a true way of interpreting these passages that favored the egalitarian position, I would gladly shift sides.”

    I have shown that there certainly are other ways to understand the Bible texts which you appear to believe are conclusive. Even if you don’t find these other readings conclusive either, I hope you would agree that the “plain sense” isn’t really quite as “plain” as you might think– and that this supposed “plain sense” is actually a traditionalist interpretation, and not “plain sense” at all. In any event, tradition is a very shaky foundation on which to base the restriction of half of all Christians from using gifts that God might very well be giving them.

  28. Kristen,
    I appreciate the time you took to reply. I don’t agree with the arguments, but I feel like it might be pointless to go around on this. The parallel of women in ministry to black slavery and the divine right of kings is unfair. My complementarian view is based on exegesis not eisegesis. It seems the egalitarian view is really trying to justify something they believe in and want to see changed. There is a lot of reading into Scripture and sloppy word study to argue the egalitarian position. Complementarians are not denying women the right to use their gifts. There are plenty of places to use one’s gifts. The pulpit is one small forum that not even most men get to use. I return to an earlier question I posed, why do women desire the pulpit so much? Maybe it has to do with Genesis 3:16? Anyhow, I think we’ll just have to agree to disagree. I’m not going to persuade any of you, and I haven’t been convinced by any of your arguments. I do appreciate that you are trying to be faithful to God’s Word; I just think you’re starting from a faulty premise.

  29. Jeremy, I could turn around and ask you, “Why do men desire so much to keep the pulpit from women? Could it have something to do with Genesis 3:16?” Two can play at that game. I myself have no desire for the pulpit. I only wish for my sisters who feel God’s calling, to be able to answer it just as freely as my brothers can.
    It is interesting to me that you have offered no exegetical support for your own position, but still insist that your view is based on exegesis, implying that mine is based on eisegesis– when I am the one who has explicated the Greek meanings of words, compared texts to one another, analyzed what the words and phrases say outright vs. what is assumed, and compared one text to another asking reasoned questions about how they would have worked together in the early church.
    You do not find my exegesis persuasive. So be it. Your reasoning for why you do not support women in ministry is your own. I was not saying that your reasons were the same as those of former supporters of black slavery or divine right of kings. I was simply saying that the Scriptures have been used by those in power to support their power– and that anyone reading them would be well advised to take that human motivation into account, particularly when it has to do with “traditional” interpretations. No accusation of your own personal motives was intended.
    I wish you well.

  30. Hi Jeremy,

    There is a lot of reading into Scripture and sloppy word study to argue the egalitarian position.

    Sorry Jeremy, I know you believe this to be true and may disagree with what I say, but I have personally found the reverse to be true. In my experience, egals have been more careful to see what is actually stated in scripture rather than reading into passages what they think is there. For example, comps want to see authority given to Adam over Eve in Gen 1,2 but it is not there. It has to be “read into it”. Comps can’t read the story of Deborah, 1 Cor 7:1-5, Rom 16 and many other passages in the normal way because they have to fit them in with their particular way of interpreting 1 Tim 2:11-15. A view of 1 Tim 2 that has many problems becomes the basis for interpreting the rest of scripture. Other passages can’t be allowed to speak for themselves. So I think this criticism of egals is a bit unfair.
    Thanks though for your comment to Kristen that you do “appreciate that you are trying to be faithful to God’s Word”.
    Thanks Jeremy for the discussion. May God bless you.

  31. Thanks, Craig. And I do appreciate that from Jeremy as well. Looking back over the posts, I see that I neglected to address this:

    “As far as Galatians 3:28, Paul nowhere removes social structure that are in place. In Ephesians he does not release slaves from their duty; they are to obey their masters. So when Paul gives slaves the freedom of Galatians 3:28, he must not be talking about social roles. They are fellow heirs in salvation, but they are still slaves. Women are fellow heirs in salvation, but they are still women.”

    Slaves were not barred from having authority in the church because of their condition as slaves. So how can this passage be read to bar women from having authority in the church because of their condition as women?
    Also, does the fact that Paul does not remove social structures, mean he is giving an endorsement to those structures or stating that they are God’s divine plan for all time? That is an argument that pro-slavery Christians used to make. But the fact is that the young Christian church was in no position to try to overturn the social structures of the time. This does not mean slavery is God’s will– or male authority either.

  32. Jeremy,
    I wonder if you have dealt with 1Tim. 2:15? Does it “plainly” teach that women are saved by childbearing? If not, why not?

    Is a man allowed to “usurp authority” of another man?

    The Church has never been in error for long periods of time before? Isn’t that one reason for the Reformation?
    Would anyone really want to have Inquisitorial trials back?
    What about the Geneva Council with John Calvin burning “heretics” at the stake? Not an error?

  33. Good points, Elaine. This has been troubling me ever since Jeremy’s last response, and I have debated about saying it, but in all honesty I think I must– when he said, ” If I could see a true way of interpreting these passages that favored the egalitarian position, I would gladly shift sides,” I thought he meant he was open to egalitarian exegesis. His quick dismissal of our questions and our exegesis does not seem like openness to to me. If he were open, he would continue to ask questions and raise issues, not simply say, “I don’t agree with the arguments, but I feel like it might be pointless to go around on this.”

    Jeremy, if you’re still reading– you’re never going to find any “true way of interpretating these passages that favors the egalitarian position” if you remain closed in your mind to the issues egalitarians raise and the the points they make. You did not address the points I made; you simply dismissed them. That makes your statement about being willing to switch sides, seem disingenous.

  34. Sorry all. I really don’t have time to debate this. I have given exegesis, Kristen, please re-read my posts. I was not disingenuous in stating that if there was a good argument from the egals I would convert. I honestly haven’t heard a good argument yet, and it seems you’ve given me your best. Craig, if you let the text speak for itself, it does show the comp side explicitly. Egals have to do a socio-cultural switch to side-step what the text actually says. If I felt that any of you were open to the comp side, I’d continue to debate, but I really feel like I’d be wasting my time….not that it isn’t important to debate such things because it sharpens our Bible study methodology and knowledge of Scripture…I just don’t have the time right now. Sorry. If you truly want answers to the questions you’ve posted and would be open to listening to it, I will try and find some time. God bless you all in your journey and thanks for sharing your side.

  35. Jeremy,
    I haven’t been around much to even answer the comments, but I did read your last one. If you are really open at all like you say, I would recommend you get a copy of my DVD set. The argument is set up in context and even comp pastors have told me that there are favorite parts that they think is the best biblical reasoning that they have heard on a passage. I do think that it is worth your time.

    Blessings!

  36. Jeremy, you said:
    “I honestly haven’t heard a good argument yet, and it seems you’ve given me your best. Craig, if you let the text speak for itself, it does show the comp side explicitly.”
    Actually, none of mine were actually arguments for the egal position. They were actually meant only as reasons to question the supposed “explicit” complementarian reading of the text. I had not got as far as a detailed explanation of the egalitarian view. I think Cheryl’s DVD set would be a good place to find that.

  37. It’s rather sad that Jeremy thinks he has heard everything the egal view has to say when obviously (ie.Kristin) he’s only heard the introduction.

    I really was hoping he would at least answer regarding 1Tim. 2:15 – Does it “plainly” teach that women are saved by childbearing?

  38. I would like to know what do we do with the scripture in I Timothy 3:1-2, where Paul tells Timothy that If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer , he desires a noble taks. Now the overseerer must be above reproach the husband of but one wife… Then not to forget that God has never intended for woman to have authority over man and when a woman takes the illegitmate position as a pastor she is in a position of authority and I do believe that God is to wise to have miscommunicated any part of His word to us, so I am not really sure how and why the scriptures has been twisted for the sake of pleasing man. Things have been so twisted from the way that God has created them to be until we now believe that wrong is right and right is wrong, may God have mercy on us all.

    TaWanda

  39. Tawanda, if God never intended any woman to have authority over any man– if this is His hard-and-fast rule– then what about Deborah, judge of Israel, and Huldah, prophetess to kings?
    I would say that Paul does say “if anyone sets his heart on being an overseer.” “Anyone” here is a gender inclusive word. Also, in the ancient Greek, the masculine case was gender-inclusive unless the text indicated otherwise. “Husband of one wife” in the Greek is an idiomatic expression, “one-woman man,” and should best be rendered in modern English “faithful spouse.” They had no gender-neutral word like “spouse” for “married person” in that language.

    Here are Cheryl’s own thoughts on this passage:
    http://strivetoenter.com/wim/2007/01/28/does-%e2%80%9chusband-of-one-wife%e2%80%9d-disqualify-women-from-being-a-pastor/

    You are quite correct that the scriptures are being twisted to please men– but not in the way you think. They are being twisted to favor men getting to stay in charge, when no such view can be shown to be the original intent.

  40. “Complementarians are not denying women the right to use their gifts. There are plenty of places to use one’s gifts. The pulpit is one small forum that not even most men get to use. I return to an earlier question I posed, why do women desire the pulpit so much?”

    I appreciate Jeremy’s point and question. I am a complementarian-ish person and a woman who does believe that women can be gifted to teach and lead, even in a context with men. I think women desire the pulpit because they (1) can be gifted with the ability to use it well and (2) the church has been extremely uncreative in creating other venues where women can use that gift. Unfortunately, some venues that do exist (such as teaching other women) are usually only used by women who want to address “womanly” things (contentment, service, being a mom/wife…) instead of other (often more mentally stimulating :O) topics. If women with serious intellectual and communication gifts stopped treating other women as secondary, and instead saw it as an honor to teach them deep, provoking spiritual truths, a lot of the problem would be solved.

    Lately however, I’ve been thinking about women teaching men. I wonder if we can distinguish between teaching as a ministry of communicating God’s wonderful truth and teaching as a position of spiritual authority and responsibility over the lives and walks of others. The latter type of teaching should be desired by few, even men (James points this out clearly). I do think, however, a woman teaching under the spiritual authority of a (male) pastor can do a tremendous amount of good and still be in line w/ God’s commands.

    My reason is this: Although Eve ate the fruit first (and in my opinion, is responsible for her actions), God punished the earth because of Adam’s sin. Eve only got a personal physical punishment for child bearing, and got the promise of the future redeemer. God held Adam more greatly responsible for the same sin (at least, I think so given the scale of punishment. Whole earth, all living things, and mankind versus just women…) So a FEW men are to have that role of responsible shepherd (elders) that will be held accountable for how he led others. I think our individualistic culture fails to appreciate this responsibility and desires this type of leadership role too much.

    Cheryl, since you’ve done a lot more research on this discussion than I have, could you let me know if you’ve come across anyone with similar views? I don’t think I’m an extreme egalitarian; I appreciate differences in the body whether they’re there by gender, age, or even culture. Yet I disagree with some points in the complementarian view.

  41. Ok boys…do u really think women are going to stand on judgement day and be told they were out of line? That they should have never preached in a public forum? Come on…God doesn’t care who…He just cares that we do it. Both men and women who have preached the Gospel are going to stand before our Father and here…”Well done my good and faithful servant.”. I hope we all spend more time preaching the Word than debating over whether he should or she should!!! We are not in Kindergarten folks! We are in a fight Against the enemy…our role is to do whatever it takes to reach the lost…whatever it takes. Get over the pride and arrogance and judgement…and get out there with whoever is willing to preach and do whatever it takes. I would hate to have to stand before God one day and hear I hindered His Word from being preached because I wouldn’t let a girl do it! Come on and wake up folks!!!

  42. Sorry that I didn’t get to the last two comments in a timely manner and they sat in my “pending” box while I was out of the country.

    Steph Chen #43,

    The view that you take I would think is not uncommon these days with more and more comps moving towards the center.

    There are some issues that I would like to point out that you may want to consider. First of all taking “authority over others” was a common practice during Bible times and Jesus warned against taking such an authoritative stance by saying:

    NET | ?Mt 20:25 But Jesus called them and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those in high positions use their authority over them. ?26 It must not be this way among you! Instead whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant,

    The worldly way is for a man to take authority over others but the way of the Master is to put oneself underneath those that he/she serves so that the person becomes a servant who is there not to take authority, but to serve. Those who serve in this way and understand that leaders are not ones who take authority, but ones who humble themselves to serve, will not not be fighting for authority that was never given to individuals to take over others.

    I also believe that Eve was accountable for her sin, but mercy was granted to her because she sinned through being deceived without Adam helping her to see the deception during her time of need. The one who sinned with his eyes fully opened to the truth before he ate, is the one who is charged with treason (Hosea 6:7)

    Are only a few to take the responsibility of protecting the flock? I think that 1 Timothy 3 shows that the desire to be an overseer is a good desire for any one to attain to, but one who oversees the flock is held accountable to God for his/her work. It is not a position of “glory” but a position of servanthood. I believe that those who want to give their lives for the flock to serve and protect and help the flock should be appreciated. And none of these should ever take the attitude that they are set up to have the sheep serve them or that they have power over another Christian. The only one who has authority over all Christians is Jesus.

    The Bible also says that Adam’s sin brought a curse on the earth, but no such curse is said to be upon the woman or because of her sin. I believe that we read way too many things into the Genesis account that are part of our tradition rather than part of the text itself.

    For more information, I would refer to my DVD set called “Women in Ministry Silenced or Set Free?” It has helped a lot of people to see where the dividing line between tradition and Scripture exists and how to walk in freedom from unhealthy tradition.

    I hope this helps!

  43. #44 Pastor, you said:

    Both men and women who have preached the Gospel are going to stand before our Father and here…”Well done my good and faithful servant.”.

    I agree. All of us are to follow Christ’s lead and we are responsible for the gifts that we have been given that are meant for the common good. Our praise may not come here on this earth amongst those who have faulty tradition that blinds their eyes to the value of women preaching the gospel, but keeping our eyes on Jesus, our praise will certainly come from Him.

  44. Steph said:
    “If women with serious intellectual and communication gifts stopped treating other women as secondary, and instead saw it as an honor to teach them deep, provoking spiritual truths, a lot of the problem would be solved.”
    This brings Susannah Wesley to mind. Many know her as the mother of John and Charles Wesley, but she was also a minister in her own right (though the church denied her any sanction or support). She started teaching a few women in her home. Her teaching was so deep and spiritually provoking that more and more began coming. Men came too, more and more men and women, to hear and receive.
    Should Mrs. Wesley have driven away the men who came to hear her teach, since no man had given her authority to do so? Should her teachings have been only for women? Does God really want His messages hampered by the sex of the person whom He anoints to teach? Is this really about women’s roles, or about men wanting the sandbox all to themselves?
    As far as the idea that women should teach only women and be content– I am certain you would be horrified at the idea of telling an African American preacher that he could teach children of any race, or adults of his own race, but it was not his place to teach white adults. The discriminatory nature of this is very clear when African Americans are substituted for women. But discrimination is discrimination, no matter whom it is practiced against.
    It is not women who want to teach both women and men, who are treating women as secondary. It is those who tell a woman she can’t do this, because she is a woman.

  45. O LORD help us to read your WORD as YOU require us to do. I can never call YOU a sinner because YOU are a jealous GOD as jealously is a sin. I dare not change YOUR WORD to suite my situation/ context. YOU also stated that I can have wisdom if asked for it. MY GOD, if there is an arguement on this issue, it is the very reason YOU established an order in the church. Every argument must be checked if it is an argument against YOUR WORD or an argument for YOUR WORD.

    Let us reverence YOUR order which in no way suggest that anyone is lesser in YOUR sight. YOUR order must prevail.

  46. Bobby,
    There is no order that God has created that keeps out His gifts from the common good. When Christians read into God’s Word a Church-wide prohibition on God’s female “sons”, this makes God out to be one who contradicts Himself. It is time to get back into the context of God’s Word. Context is king.

  47. Some men look for order and structure based on the limitations of their own minds, hearts, and culture. They assume things about certain passages of scripture that are not clear or even supportable by the rest of the Bible. Then they superimpose this order on the Divine where no such human order exists.
    Then these men work tirelessly to enforce their manmade order and structure on others, shouting, “Thus saith the Lord, thus saith the Lord,” when God has said no such thing.
    Thus, these men break the commands of God by taking the Lord’s name in vain. Because they have said that God said something that God has not said.

  48. bobby,

    Gender order must prevail? And what if it does not? And since it ‘must’ prevail, therefore it currently is not prevailing?

  49. It’s crazy how some men are so obsessed with order, isn’t it pinklight?
    And they aren’t even suspicious of their own desire to rule over another when Jesus very specifically told His disciples that they SHOULD NOT be looking for ways to make themselves leaders over others. And there is not footnote here to say that it’s okay for men to call themselves leaders of their wives and that women need to be ruled.

    Matthew 23:8 But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. 9 Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. 10 Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ.

  50. Yes, Mara, it’s crazy. I think it’s crazy that they are obsessed with control. Such a strange and crazy thing to be obsessed over – the control of another human being.
    Ya, know I still wonder if they are in fact suspicious of their own desire to rule. It makes sense to me that they can be. I’ve tried to stray from the idea, but it still gets me. I’d have to check, but I don’t recall reading in the Bible that every time it was said “sin no more” that a qualification of the kind of sin followed. Therefore, I wonder how many are suspicious of their sin to control?

  51. From a very young age, males seek order and hierarchy. We have a seemingly inherent need to know where we “fit in”. We operate well and usually comfortably in hierarchical environments. I don’t know why God made us this way, but it is how we are made. It isn’t surprising, then, that we seek to find an order or structure in all our interactions and endeavors. It’s our nature to do so.

    Having said that, all that is natural is not necessarily godly. That nature is tainted by sin. To be true godly men, we need to seek not what feels easiest or best to us but what God desires of us. And in terms of His gifts and His Church, He desires that “there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female.” I don’t know if females can appreciate how scary a concept that is for many men.

    Have patience with us sisters. To resist imposing order on our world takes us way out of our comfort zone. To not know where we fit in the “pack” is confusing and, frankly, scary. Simply put, we don’t know what to do with ourselves if we don’t know who we are over and who we are under.

    That is why many men revert to their nature. It makes sense to them. Understand what I’m saying. In this realm, the bible makes NO sense to a man’s natural way of doing things. But a good Christian man truly believes that the bible is a book that makes sense. So a paradox is created. And the only way to resolve that paradox is to manipulate the words until they do make sense. And so you get a man, truly good willed and seeking truth, but also truly convinced that the bible says what he says it says because that is the only way it makes sense TO HIM.

  52. I want to add that looking for order is not necessarily a limitation as Mara suggests. There are many situations that require structure, order, and even hierarchy, or chaos ensues. A hierarchical approach isn’t necessarily inferior and it certainly isn’t inherently sinful. It may not be what God calls for in certain situations, but to have a general approach to life that focuses on order and structure does not make a person limited in mind or heart, and it can add great benefit to culture if applied appropriately.

  53. “Yes, Mara, it’s crazy. I think it’s crazy that they are obsessed with control. Such a strange and crazy thing to be obsessed over – the control of another human being.”

    Men submit to authority as easily as assume positions of authority. So I would say you are right on the first point, but not exactly right on the second. Men are obsessed with control? I think that is something I can agree to without much angst. I know I am. But, we are not necessarily obsessed with controlling every other human being. What we believe is that human beings, including ourselves, need controlling forces placed on them because of their sinful nature. I know what you are thinking already – “God is supposed to be the controlling influence. How can one sinner believe they are qualified to bring control in another sinners life?” Hey, I didn’t say we have thought this thing out all the way. I’m just relating what our gut instinct is.

    So here is what often happens. A man perceives a lack of control in someone else or some situation (whether true or not). Being a typical man, he is more than willing to step into the role of the controlling force. It is one of the most natural things for a man to do. It isn’t that he is obsessed with controlling people (or a particular person) per se, but that he is obsessed with things being under control.

    Frankly, men do this with each other all the time and they don’t think twice about it. John Mellencamp has a great line from “Cherry Bomb” which illustrates this. “One night, me with my big mouth
    A couple guys had to put me in my place…” And does this result in hurt feelings and resentment? Not at all: “When I see those guys these days, We just laugh and say do you remember when”

    What I’m trying to point out is that this “obsession” as it seems to be viewed by females is the most natural thing to a man. It is almost autonomic. The challenge for us is to know when it is appropriate and when it is not. If you want to know how that feels, next time your doctor hits your knee with that little mallet, try telling your knee not to jerk.

    I have a more personal illustration to help. My wife and I took a personality inventory a couple years back. It was quite enlightening. Before I share the results, let me say that I consider myself a very male man and my wife is a very female woman. We are quite stereotypical. Anyway, the results of our test were illustrated this way by our testers (who are good friends and therefore did not need to pull any punches.)

    If we were in a lifeboat that was sinking, my wife would go around trying to calm everyone and relieve their stress and make them all feel good. We would all drown, but we would all love her and have happy feelings about our short relationship and experience together. I, on the other hand, would wait only briefly to see if someone was in charge before I, seeing nobody else “obsessed with control”, would unilaterally take charge. I would assign tasks and give orders and discipline anyone who didn’t “jump when I said jump”. Everyone in the boat would hate me. But we would all live to tell about it.

    You might think I was insulted to hear my personality described in such a cold way. Far from it! I recognize that a part of me wants to control things. It is not “wrong”. I am not some alien from the intergalactic man cave. It is a very good thing when applied at the right place and time. My goal is to seek God’s help in determining those right places and times. That is the best I can do. Sometimes I succeed; sometimes I fail. Ah, to be a man.

  54. Gengwall,

    Sorry gengwall, let me qualify this – “Such a strange and crazy thing to be obsessed over – the control of another human being.” The context was men controlling women or gender hierarchy, not control in general by men over other people, male or female. I mean, or am talking about specificaly, men wanting to control females because they are female and not male.
    Ever see the movie, The Reef which was released on video in 2011? Was based on a real story, and granted neither of thetwo couples were married. So..their ship is sinking and everyone involved had to make a choice whether or not to stay on top of the upside down boat or swim like 12 miles to the nearest island. One man stayed on the capsized boat and the other four, two females and 2 males took thier chance in the water. By the end, only one female survived and wasn’t eaten by a stalking shark, out of all five people. Horrible story in that the end was bad. Anyway, your example made me think of it, so just wanted to bring it up. My point is that no one was forced in their descision, and only one survived. I don’t think anyone can ‘force’ a descision on anyone in that kind of real life circumstance. And btw what was so interesting to me about the movie was watching the descion process of all the characters as each decided what they were going to do.

    Also, I think it is not a sin to take control is certain circumstances no matter the scenario. And a perfect example would be a man or a woman taking control over another human being in a life threatenting situation, like the example you gave above. – If I KNOW I can save someone’s life by doing something, I might force my will and save their life.

    “..alien from the intergalctic man cave.” lol You’re choice of words, too funny. My brother and a friend have been using “man cave” alot, so I’ve become accustomed to using the phrase. lol

    And I want to remind you that where I come from in regards to why males want to rule/control females is based on the fall of Adam – “He shall rule over you” and therefore I believe that gender hierarchy or the desire of a male to control a female because she is not a male is sin.

    Also where I come from, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with order and structure r the desire for it, but there’s everything wrong with ‘gender’ + ‘order’ – “gender order.”

  55. Gengwall,
    There are all sorts of orders and structures.
    Our universe is well ordered.
    My son and I have been watching History Channel’s “The Universe” and all I can think is how privileged and taken care of we are by the order and structure God has put into place. Have you ever studied our electromagnetic field. Nothing short of Divine planning and structure.

    In my psyc class we learned that one of our survival skills is to see patterns and structure and order and to learn from our mistakes.
    But the problem with being so good at seeking order and structure is that we see it where it doesn’t exist. And we become superstitious and ‘witches’ have been burnt at the stake because there seemed to be a certain order or structure at how a plague or sickness struck a village.

    It is human nature to see and even seek order.

    The problem is when God says His ways (even order and structure?) are higher than our ways (Isaiah 55:9) we still insist that He thinks and structures things the way we do (Psalm 50:21) and find patterns in scripture to support our carnal patterns.

    Yet, Jesus, in His own words, written in red in the gospels, set up an order and structure that certain men conveniently sweep under the rug because they like the patterns and structures they can piece together using certain verses from Paul.

    I know you are not one of those men and I’m not scolding you at all. I’m just reiterating what I’ve said above while acknowledging the goodness of structures, orders, and patterns in general.

    God’s order and structures are higher than those of men. Yet misguided men work feverishly to superimpose their carnal understanding of order on the Divine.

  56. Ladies – I don’t disagree with you at all. I am just trying to explain why men do the things they do in certain circumstances. I can understand why men “like the patterns and structures they can piece together using certain verses from Paul” and why they “sweep…under the rug” other passages in order to make Scripture make sense. I’m not defending those actions, but I totally get them. Pinklight says it’s a “strange and crazy thing” and I’m sure it is…from a female perspective. What I’m trying to impress upon you is that in may respects it is a very normal thing from a male perspective. “Normal” doesn’t make it right. But it also doesn’t indicate an inherent flaw in the male gender.

  57. Oh – but I do agree that this all stems from the fall. My take on Genesis 3:16, though, is that that verse pertains to marital relationships, not global gender relationships. So I don’t see that being very applicable to gifts and relationships in church (even though many men try to apply it in that context).

  58. And one more thing.

    “I know you are not one of those men …”

    Oh believe me, I am…deep inside. It is one of those “every man’s battle” types of things. Don’t believe for a minute that there isn’t a closet misogynist trying desperately to break out and be king. Don’t think for a minute that we all wouldn’t love to be Solomon, or better yet, Xerxes.

  59. gengwall,
    😀

    I appreciate your honesty.

    I think one of the biggest sins we women have to grapple with is fear.
    The other ladies can either agree or disagree. And they might come up with the real biggest sin that we face that I’m not thinking of.
    But, off the top of my head, I think it is fear.

    Fear of so many things. Being abandoned. Being abused. Being unloved.
    And this sin also makes us very tempted to toe the line of gender roles. Without the perfect love of Jesus to cast out fear, we will more likely cave to the pressure. Without Paul assuring us that God has not given us a spirit of fear but of love, power, and a sound mind, we have no reason not to fear and will be tempted to trust in men and their words on order and structure and their promises that if we would just follow this order and structure (that they are just sure that God has laid out) that we will be loved, accepted, and protected.

    It is a battle for us all.

  60. LOL – My wife just volunteered me to lead our next couples small group bible study. Talk about controlling! Or does that put me in control? I’m so confused.

  61. Isn’t ironic (and cowardly, and tragic) that some men actually take Genesis and try to use it to turn the tables on women. They claim that Eve’s actions in the garden were an effort on her part to control and that her continuing “desire” was to control Adam and that male “rule” is the necessary, God ordained governor on the female’s sinful nature. “Men don’t want to be in control, but God has given us that role, so we reluctantly oblige.” I often wonder if these men actually believe this, or if they are so sinister as to perpetuate what they know is a lie to stay in power.

    All right. Time for three palette cleansers. The first, an oldy but a goody here on WIM, from Bill Cosby.

    “I’m not the boss in my family. I don’t know when I lost it. I don’t know how I lost it. But I’ve seen the bosses job…and I don’t want it.”

    And on the flip side – from Hello Dolly – a show I was recently in – and played the part which sang these lines (somewhat parsed):

    “It takes a woman, all powdered and pink
    To joyessly clean out the drain and the sink…
    And it takes a female for setting the table,
    And weaning the Guernsey, and cleaning the stable…
    And in the winter, she’ll shovel the ice,
    And lovingly set out the traps for the mice,
    She’s a joy and treasure for practically speaking,
    To whom can you turn when the plumbing is leaking?
    O yes it takes a woman
    A dainty woman
    A sweetheart, a mistress, a wife.
    O yes it takes a woman,
    A husky woman,
    To bring you the sweet things in life!”

    And finally, those immortal lines from My Fair Lady, so wrong in general and yet so right in a man’s world. “Why can’t a woman be more like a man?…” (also parsed)

    “Why can’t a woman be more like a man?
    Men are so honest, so thoroughly square;
    Eternally noble, historically fair.
    Who, when you win, will always give your back a pat.
    Why can’t a woman be like that?
    Why can’t a woman take after a man?
    Men are so pleasant, so easy to please.
    Whenever you’re with them, you’re always at ease.
    One man in a million may shout a bit.
    Now and then, there’s one with slight defects.
    One perhaps whose truthfulness you doubt a bit,
    But by and large we are a marvelous sex!
    Why can’t a woman take after a man?
    ‘Cause men are so friendly, good-natured and kind.
    A better companion you never will find.
    Ready to help you through any mishaps;
    Ready to buck you up whenever you’re glum.
    Why can’t a woman be a chum?”

  62. I’ve seen Hello Dolly but can’t remember that part. (Sometimes I get Hello Dolly mixed up with Mame)

    I totally remember the Bill Cosby quote and laughed then and now.

    And the “My Fair Lady” song? Classic, classic.
    But to get the full effect, one must watch it from beginning to end. Yes, it seems to be poking fun and dragging down the feminine to excess. But watch this clip carefully. In many ways it is subtly poking fun at men, perhaps even more so than women. Either way, the battle of the sexes can’t get much more fun than this:

    (My Anti-Spam word is ‘fresh’. I guess this is a good time to freshen our palettes before Christmas.)

  63. It’s in the first scene after the opening – in the Hay and Feed shop after Horace dismisses Ermengarde and tells the boys he’s going to go to NY to propose to Irene. Horace sings it as the reasoning for why “a man with such good sense would be thinking about getting married…again.”

    You are absolutely right about “Why Can’t a Woman…” Because it is so over the top favorable toward men (and stereotypical of women) AND because Higgins is so NOT the type of man he describes, it is really a joke on the fantasy land that is the male ego.

  64. The funny thing is that I do remember Lucille Ball was Mame and Streisand was Dolly. It’s the plots I get turned around. Also, I think I like Ball’s portrayal of Mame better than Streisand’s Dolly.
    Weird, I know.

    The other funny thing about Henry Higgins is he assumes the best, most noble take on his friend’s desire to search for Eliza. But his friend says, “Blast Mr. Higgins, I’m going to miss her.”

    And my favorite line of the song is at the very last, “Would I run off and not tell me where I’m going? Why can’t a woman, be like me?”

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