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Category: 1 Timothy 3

Women in Ministry Silenced or Set Free? to enter the digital future

Women in Ministry Silenced or Set Free? to enter the digital future

WIM digital

Women in Ministry Silenced or Set Free? will soon be available online!

I am working on a new video project at the moment, but I am also working to convert each of the 4 DVDs of Women in Ministry Silenced or Set Free? to a lower quality online downloadable product. We are working hard so that those with computers around the world may also have access to the DVDs.  The entire set will be available for purchase online or each DVD in the 4 DVD set will be available individually as a video download.  We have upgraded the security on our website and we are presently working through all of the logistics to make this all possible.  it is a huge step forward for our ministry.  If all goes well, we will start offering the downloadable version this fall (2012).  Please watch this blog for further information for the launch of the downloadable version.

The DVDs also include audio bytes from those who disagree with women in ministry and we break down the arguments and compare the arguments to the Scriptures.

The 4 DVDs are broken up into scriptural passages as follows: 

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Do the genders have different functions?

Do the genders have different functions?

I am creating a new post to continue the great discussion that we have been having on a previous post while I am out of the country.  The original discussion is on this post http://mmoutreach.org/wim/2009/07/05/wayne-grudem-part-2/ and since we have grown to over 240 comments, I would ask that we continue our discussions with Mark the complementarian here.

Evaluating the Schatz/Seaver debate

Evaluating the Schatz/Seaver debate

Evaluating the Schatz/Seaver debate

 

On July 27th, 2009 Mike Seaver and I started a 10 session debate on Women in Ministry where I was able to ask Mike questions on his position, he answered my questions and then we each had one response.  Mike is still considering whether he will continue with another 10 sessions where Mike will ask me questions and I get the privilege to answer his questions on women in ministry.

Today I would like to summarize the 10 sessions that I had with Mike.

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Mike Seaver and Cheryl Schatz discuss/debate women in ministry 8

Mike Seaver and Cheryl Schatz discuss/debate women in ministry 8

Freedom or Restriction? Mike Seaver and Cheryl Schatz debate women in ministry

Responses to question #4

In the last blog post Cheryl Schatz posed her 4th set of questions to Mike Seaver regarding their discussion/debate on women in ministry. Links to all the previous questions and responses is at the end of this post.  This discussion will be Cheryl’s response to Mike’s answers on question #4 and Mike’s rejoinder.

Cheryl Schatz responds:

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Mike Seaver and Cheryl Schatz discuss/debate women in ministry 7

Mike Seaver and Cheryl Schatz discuss/debate women in ministry 7

What authority do men have to restrict women's gifts? Mike Seaver and Cheryl Schatz debate women in ministry

This is question #4 of a 10 question discussion/debate between Mike Seaverand Cheryl Schatz on the issue of women in ministry.  The discussion will take the form of five questions posed by Cheryl Schatz with answers by Mike Seaver and then five questions posed by Mike Seaver with answers by Cheryl Schatz.  Each question and answer session will be followed up in the next post by one response each from both Mike and Cheryl.  Links to the questions and the responses will be at the bottom of this post.  Mike’s corresponding post on his blog is here.

#4 Question by Cheryl Schatz:

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Mike Seaver and Cheryl Schatz discuss/debate women in ministry 6

Mike Seaver and Cheryl Schatz discuss/debate women in ministry 6

Who's the boss? Mike Seaver and Cheryl Schatz debate women in ministry 6

In the last blog post Cheryl Schatz posed her third set of questions to Mike Seaver regarding their debate on women in ministry. Links to all the previous questions and responses is at the end of this post.  This discussion will be Cheryl’s response to Mike’s answers on question #3 and Mike’s rejoinder.

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Cheryl’s response:

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Ask John Piper – Do some complementarians deny women opportunities?

Ask John Piper – Do some complementarians deny women opportunities?

John Piper picture on Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

On John Piper’s web site is posted a question that someone asked of him about the application of complementarianism that affects women.  The question is:

Do you think complementarianism is so important to some people that they deny women more opportunities than the Bible denies them?

I was shocked at John Piper’s response.  You really need to listen to it for yourself.  Click on the link above to hear an audio version or see the video clip. 

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New blog conference on women in eldership

New blog conference on women in eldership

I have been invited by Pastor Dave Woolcott to participate in a new blog conference on women’s eldership in the church put on by the Ryde Presbyterian Church in Ryde, Sidney, Australia.   The blog address for the conference set for September 1 – 15, 2009 is http://www.achurchinryde.com/blog/ The blog is on line now and active and I invite you to participate by commenting on Dave’s blog.

There is a thought-provoking article on “Should a Pastor Rule Over You?”  It is very appropriate to the issue of women in ministry and what the real issues are.

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Mike Seaver and Cheryl Schatz discuss/debate women in ministry 2

Mike Seaver and Cheryl Schatz discuss/debate women in ministry 2

Judge on Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

Last post Mike Seaver and Cheryl Schatz started a discussion/debate on women in ministry.  Here is a link to Cheryl’s Question #1 given to Mike.  This post will be Cheryl’s response to Mike’s answers and Mike’s response to Cheryl’s response.  Mike’s corresponding post on his Role Calling blog is here.

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Cheryl responds to Mike’s answers:

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Round 8 Interview with the Apostle Paul on women pastors

Round 8 Interview with the Apostle Paul on women pastors

Julie Pennington-Russell is pastor of First Baptist Church, Decatur, Georgia
Julie Pennington-Russell is pastor of First Baptist Church, Decatur, Georgia

This is the eighth in a series of simulated interviews with the Apostle Paul taken from the position of what he might say if we could transport Paul from the New Testament account through a time tunnel into our present day.

Doug, a strong complementarian will be questioning Paul on his own strong hold today.  The issue will be women pastors.   Let’s listen in.  (Links to the previous interviews are at the bottom of this post.)

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Does "husband of one wife" disqualify women from being a Pastor?

Does "husband of one wife" disqualify women from being a Pastor?

I was listening to the January 26, 2007 radio program online by Matt Slick of carm.org. Matt answered a caller’s question regarding women leading in the church by appealing to Titus 1:6 and 1 Timothy 3:2 where it says that a Pastor/Elder/Overseer must be “the husband of one wife”. Matt said it was “case closed” because women cannot be “the husband of one wife”.

I appreciate Matt a lot for his excellent web site that exposes many cults and aberrant movements in Christianity and although I consider him a brother in Christ, I must disagree with him on his quick and pat answer to his callers regarding women in ministry. What Matt didn’t tell his callers and what he should have been challenged on is that “husband of one wife” used in the strict way that he uses it to disqualify women would also disqualify single men as well as married men without children, since the Elder/Pastor/Overseer is to be a “husband” and also required to keep his children under control (1 Timothy 3:4).

Instead of just shutting out women, single men and married men without children, we must work to understand what this passage means. Is 1 Timothy 3 a check list of qualifications (i.e. must be married, must be a father) or is it a set of principles that set a basis for godly standards? Every church that I am aware of uses 1 Timothy 3 to set principles because none of them forbid single men or married men without children from being a Pastor.

But if women are to be included along with single men and married men without children, then why did Paul say “husband of one wife” and he never said “wife of one husband”? The reason why Paul only mentioned “husband of one wife” is because it is a reference to polygamy. Polyandry (a woman married to several men at the same time) was not allowed in that culture and so Paul would not have needed to say that women in leadership must be the “wife of one husband”.

In the Jewish faith as practiced through the Talmudic law, Jewish men were allowed to have multiple wives but the High Priest was forbidden from being a polygamist. The High Priest could be married and divorced but he could not marry more than one wife at a time. The High Priest then, was to be “the husband of one wife”. Paul brings the same regulation to the leadership of the Church. Although polygamists could become part of the congregation, they were not allowed into leadership. In the early church, the believers were unsure of how to deal with polygamists. Some tried to force them to divorce all of their wives except for the original wife in order to be baptized as a Christian, but that left the women destitute and without support. Paul gives the final word by allowing polygamists into the church who come into faith after their multiple marriages had already occurred. The only prohibition was that polygamists were disallowed from serving the congregation as an elder or deacon. In 1 Corinthians 7:24 and 27 Paul talks about the marital state in which one has become a Christian.

1 Corinthians 7:24, 27 “Brethren, each one is to remain with God in that condition in which he was called. Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be released”

If a man is bound in marriage, he is not to dissolve that marriage just because he has become a Christian. So the early church then allowed polygamists into fellowship, but they also followed the lead of Christ in teaching that it was God’s will that only one husband and one wife were to be in the marriage union.

Mark 10:6, 8 “But from the beginning of creation, God MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE… AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH; so they are no longer two, but one flesh.

So let’s review why the “husband of one wife” cannot be used to disqualify women from leadership. I think the answer will become evident from asking other relevant questions.

1. Do we stop a single male from being a pastor?

2. Do we force a pastor to resign if his wife dies and he is no longer married?

3. Do we stop a married man from being a pastor if he does not have children? After all the same passage says in 1 Timothy 3:4

He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity

We know of no church that disallows single men from being a Pastor. We also know of no church that disallows married men with no children from being a Pastor. Why is that? It is because we can understand from the passage that there is a principle being set forth. The principle is that if a person wants to be an Elder/Pastor/Overseer they must have their children under control (that is “if” they have children); they must not be a polygamist (that is “if” they are married and “if” they are a man).

The problems with interpreting 1 Timothy 3 as forbidding women from being an elder is:

1. There is nothing in the passage that says that a woman cannot be an elder in exactly the same way as there is nothing in the passage that says that a man cannot be an elder if he is single.

2. The Greek is written in such a way that allows both men and women to aspire to being a Pastor/Elder/Overseer.

1 Timothy 3:1 says: Trustworthy [is] the word: If anyone aspires to [the] position of overseer [Gr. episkope], he desires a good work. (Analytical-Literal Translation)

The Greek word used is NOT “aner” which would mean “If any male aspires…” Instead of the Greek word for males, the generic Greek word for”anyone” is used which is “tis”. “Tis” means men or women and has the exact same Greek grammatical structure as “anyone” in John 6:51 and every other passage concerning salvation.

John 6:51 “I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever”

All of the salvation verses are just like 1 Timothy 3:1 and they are singular masculine in the Greek grammar but all of them use the generic Greek wording which includes men and women. If we dispute that the Greek can include men and women because the grammar is singular masculine, then we must also be consistent and disallow women to be saved since all of the salvation passages are written in the same way as 1 Timothy 3:1 with generic words having a singular masculine tense in the Greek.

3. 1 Timothy 3:12 also says that Deacons must be the husbands of one wife and this term clearly did not disqualify women because Phoebe was a Deacon of the church of Cenchrea.

Romans 16:1 I commend to you our sister Phoebe, who is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea;

The word that the NASB translates as “servant” is “diakonos”which means Deacon. If Phoebe could be a Deacon of the church at Cenchrea and the term “husband of one wife” did not disqualify her, then why would we think that this same term would disqualify a woman from being an elder/pastor/overseer?

So the next time that someone tells you that 1 Timothy 3 forbids women from being a Pastor, you make sure to ask them if the same passage forbids single men and married men without children from being Pastors. If a person is going to be a literalist without considering the standard that is actually being set forth, then they must also follow through with the same standards for single men and married men without children. To fail to follow through with applying the principle across the board would be hypocritical.

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