Woman in Ministry???

Posted by Marie on Saturday, 2 May 1998, at 8:24 a.m.

So I have to ask,after reading all the posts on submission and cultural interpretations how do you all feel, react or handle women in ministry? Do you think they are out of the Lords will? Just curious for other thoughts. Blessings, Marie S.


Perhaps you could define what you mean by "ministry", Marie? Thanks! (nt.)

Posted by William and Tamara Eaton on Saturday, 2 May 1998, at 8:09 p.m., in response to Woman in Ministry???, posted by Marie on Saturday, 2 May 1998, at 8:24 a.m.

nt.


Re: Woman in Ministry???

Posted by Cynthia Lynn on Sunday, 3 May 1998, at 1:47 a.m., in response to Woman in Ministry???, posted by Marie on Saturday, 2 May 1998, at 8:24 a.m.

I almost made this same post on Thursday!!! This has been a question for me as well. Especially in regard to the "let the women remain silent in the church , if she has a question she should ask her husband". Will be interested to see the responses you get!!
All His, Cynthia Lynn


Re: Woman in Ministry? Women in pastoral positions, evangelists, deaconeses,et. (nt)

Posted by Marie on Sunday, 3 May 1998, at 2:35 a.m., in response to Woman in Ministry???, posted by Marie on Saturday, 2 May 1998, at 8:24 a.m.

NT:-)


Re: Woman in Ministry???

Posted by jennifer :c) on Saturday, 2 May 1998, at 7:45 p.m., in response to Woman in Ministry???, posted by Marie on Saturday, 2 May 1998, at 8:24 a.m.

I find it hard for a women to be a "Husband of one wife." Just a thought.....


Re: Woman in Ministry???

Posted by Julie H. on Sunday, 3 May 1998, at 1:22 p.m., in response to Re: Woman in Ministry???, posted by jennifer :c) on Saturday, 2 May 1998, at 7:45 p.m.

Please forgive my apparant ignorance, but what do you mean by that statement? Thanks.


Re: Woman in Ministry???

Posted by Julie Hamilton on Sunday, 3 May 1998, at 3:27 p.m., in response to Re: Woman in Ministry???, posted by Cynthia Lynn on Sunday, 3 May 1998, at 1:47 a.m.

It is my understanding that the verse to which you refer deals with the newly Christian women who had never been allowed, in Jewish tradition, to attend services at temple. The admonition for them to ask questions at home rather than disrupt the service with a lot of whispering, was good common sense. ("Hey, hon, why is he doing that?" "What's that thing for?" :D) I do not believe this was a mandate for women to never, ever speak in church. Many of the verses we study should be examined in the Greek, and with an understanding of the culture, for clarity. In my humble opinion.

Love,
Julie

Donna & Julie--check out requirements for elder in Titus 1:6!!!

Posted by joni on Sunday, 3 May 1998, at 3:45 p.m., in response to Re: Woman in Ministry???, posted by jennifer :c) on Saturday, 2 May 1998, at 7:45 p.m.

nt


Re: Donna & Julie--check out requirements for elder in Titus 1:6!!!

Posted by Donna G. on Sunday, 3 May 1998, at 5:04 p.m., in response to Donna & Julie--check out requirements for elder in Titus 1:6!!!, posted by joni on Sunday, 3 May 1998, at 3:45 p.m.

It also says "....having children who believe" That removes alot of men form the pulpit as well. Does it not?
Donna


RE:Women in Ministry.... Donna, Julie H. and others...

Posted by Jennifer on Monday, 4 May 1998, at 11:49 a.m.

I was referring to the passage in 1 Tim.3:2 which says.... "A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;"

In regards to women... I find it hard for a women to be a "husband of one wife". No where in scripture (if I am wrong, please correct me) does it encourage women to be in authority or over a man. I think our society with all their "women's rights and we can do anything man can do" has really filtered into our churches. Am I saying women can't be invovled in church.... NO! but I think we need to be careful when we are doing a job that is intended for a man.
IMHO.... thank you for your responses!!
In Him, Jennifer :c)


Re: Woman in Ministry???

Posted by Annie W on Monday, 4 May 1998, at 9:47 p.m., in response to Woman in Ministry???, posted by Marie on Saturday, 2 May 1998, at 8:24 a.m.

In response to Marie, I have to agree with Jennifer. Both scriptures were mention that I would mention: I Timothy 3 and Titus 1. All say he as a husband , not a wife should have one husband. Again I would have to agree with Jennifer that today's feminism has entered our churches and tried to persuade women that being at home is not rewarding nor will they receive contentment. We women are told that only outside work will bring us the fullfillment we are seeking and that we need to be in the leadership jobs. I understand that being single you need to work outside the home. I was there til I was 28 years old. In my research and studying the Bible no were do I see the woman ahead of the church as a bishop or elder or deaconess. My opinion, ladies, so don't get upset with me. Thanks.


Re: RE:Women in Ministry.... Donna, Julie H. and others...

Posted by Julie H. on Monday, 4 May 1998, at 10:09 p.m., in response to RE:Women in Ministry.... Donna, Julie H. and others..., posted by Jennifer on Monday, 4 May 1998, at 11:49 a.m.

I completely agree. Sorry for my ignorance about the scripture reference!! I'm embarrassed. I read your post here and said "derrrr Julie!"

Our church has a board of deacons and deaconesses. There are 6 of each. The roles are very clearly defined. For instance, only the deacons serve communion, while the deaconesses prepare the elements. My dh is a deacon and was explaining to me earlier because I asked him about this. I forget the other roles, but the women are never placed in authority over the men.

Women are involved in all kinds of ministries, they should be. But there are some where it is a man's place and not a woman's.

I was thinking tonight of the ministries I'm currently involved in, most of us women are involved in. Here's a list of very important ministries we as women do:

wife
mother
teacher
neighbor
ladies bible study teacher
sunday school leader
pioneer girls, awana, missionettes leader
ladies group at church
hospitality to others
missionary
I'm a nurse--that's a ministry too

I'm sure there are many many more, but those above are very important parts of our ministry to others. I'm very glad to be a woman and search out from the Lord my gifts and the way He wants me to minister to others.


Re: RE:Women in Ministry.... Donna, Julie H. and others...

Posted by Peggy on Tuesday, 5 May 1998, at 9:09 a.m., in response to RE:Women in Ministry.... Donna, Julie H. and others..., posted by Jennifer on Monday, 4 May 1998, at 11:49 a.m.

Jennifer,

You said: "I was referring to the passage in 1 Tim.3:2 which says.... "A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;"

Are we to read these passages for their basic guiding principles or are we to read them literally? If literally, does this then exclude unmarried men, or men without families?

In Christ,
Peggy


Re: RE:Women in Ministry.... Donna, Julie H. and others...

Posted by Annalisa on Tuesday, 5 May 1998, at 10:30 a.m., in response to Re: RE:Women in Ministry.... Donna, Julie H. and others..., posted by Peggy on Tuesday, 5 May 1998, at 9:09 a.m.

I ask my husband about this subject. His opinion (and mine) is that whether or not it is
litereal or general quidlines..the gender of
pastor,elder and deacons is masculine. At least
that is how we( my dh and I) understand those
verses. I think there are many ministries for
women in church. They have already been
listed in other posts. I believe strongly though
that those ministries should never include having
authority over men. -annalisa


Re: RE:Women in Ministry.... Donna, Julie H. and others...

Posted by Kate Megill on Tuesday, 5 May 1998, at 11:28 a.m., in response to Re: RE:Women in Ministry.... Donna, Julie H. and others..., posted by Annalisa on Tuesday, 5 May 1998, at 10:30 a.m.

Dear Annalisa,

You said: "the gender of pastor,elder and deacons is masculine"

Let's look at the passage in 1 Tim 3:1-13 for a moment. First let me say that I believe the scriptures exclude women from the position of "overseer/bishop/pastor/elder" however your translation translates it, but I would like to specifically look at what is said about deacons starting in verse 8.

8: Deacons likewise must be men of dignity, not double-tongued, or addicted to much wine or fond of sordid gain.

9: but holding to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience.

10: And let these also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons if they are beyond reproach.

11: Women must likewise be dignified, not malicious gossips, but temperate, faithful in all things.

12: Let deacons be husbands of only one wife, and good managers of their children and their own households.

13: For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a high standing and great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.

Why is it that we are talking about deacons and right in the middle of instructions on qualifications verse 11 is "plunked" down there speaking about women??? It seems a little out of order or something, or is it? From my (limited) study of the Greek work, it can be referring to EITHER a wife or any woman, whether married, widowed or virgin. Some take this to be referring to qualifications to wives of deacons although they would in themselves have no responsibility in this ministry but if the wife is not in order then a man shouldn't be a deacon. I personally feel this is referring to deaconnesses (sp? I think I have too many duplicate letters here!! *grin*).

We do not know if the "ministers" chosen by the congregation and set apart by the apostles (by the laying on of hands) to oversee the serving of food in Acts 6:1-6 were the first deacons. Some feel that they were and it could be true - scripture doesn't say. But we do know from 1 Tim 3:1-13 that the qualifications for deacons and elders/overseers are different, with the overseers having stricter character qualifications along with being able to teach (and a reason given for his children being under control is his ability to care for the church of God). This shows that the deacon is not in charge of the "oversight" of the church as the elder/overseer is. If the deacon is under the overseer then and if we use the example of Acts 6 as helpful for determining the work of deacons, they would be having charge over service areas in the church. I see no reason biblically (especially in light of 1 Tim 3:11) why women could not hold the office of deaconness.

There are often many areas of service within the church that do not have supervision over them where women would have specific wisdom and discernment to help the functioning of the church and would not conflict with verses that I feel reserve authority to male leadership, i.e. visitation, hospitality, nursery, women's ministries etc...

If you see these verses saying things other than what I see, please share that with me, or other passages that conflict with my interpretation. I want to learn from the Word of God!

In His Joy and grace,
Kate Megill


Re:Women in Ministry

Posted by Marie on Tuesday, 5 May 1998, at 5:09 p.m.

To get a deeper perspective on what the Bible teaches we should look at other scriptures such as Judges 4:4 Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was leading Israel at the time.
This scripture shows a woman in leadership over all of Israel, men and women.
There are other prophetess' in the word in Ex.15:20,Miriam, in Luke 2:36, Anna, and in Rom. 16:3(and other scriptures)Priscilla who was a fellow worker or laborer.
So on the hole there are scripturual examples of women in leadership and maybe Paul was dealing with certain issues in certain Churches, I don't know but by what I can see God does put women in leadership and authority.
I have really enjoyed everything I have read on this issue and will be following along.
Blessings, Marie S.


Re: RE:Women in Ministry.... Donna, Julie H. and others...

Posted by Peggy on Tuesday, 5 May 1998, at 5:18 p.m., in response to Re: RE:Women in Ministry.... Donna, Julie H. and others..., posted by Annalisa on Tuesday, 5 May 1998, at 10:30 a.m.

Annalisa,

You said: "I believe strongly though
that those ministries should never include having
authority over men."

And how do you effectively keep the separation between the two ministries?

In Christ,
Peggy


Re:Women in Ministry

Posted by Sylvia on Tuesday, 5 May 1998, at 8:17 p.m., in response to Re:Women in Ministry, posted by Marie on Tuesday, 5 May 1998, at 5:09 p.m.

Ok, I feel confident that some one will correct me if I'm wrong... :)

But wasn't Deborah a Judge because there were found no men willing and able to do the job? And didn't she at first express surprize that God would have her be a judge? And did she not forgo going into the temple to exercise her judgement, but did God's work outside underneath a large palm tree that is called Deborah's Palm to this day?

And once the job was done as the Lord said to do it, didn't she give credit to the man who was supposed to be the leader? Then didn't she willingly give up her "judgeship" when the Lord was finished with her and there were able men there willing to do the job?

And doesn't "prophetess" denote a spiritual gift and not a leadership position?

Would co-workers be leaders?

Just my poor .02
Sylvia


Re:Women in Ministry

Posted by Kate Megill on Tuesday, 5 May 1998, at 8:20 p.m., in response to Re:Women in Ministry, posted by Marie on Tuesday, 5 May 1998, at 5:09 p.m.

Dear Marie,

Good points to bring up, but as to the prophetesses, we need to be careful not to equate gifts with authority. Yes Miriam was a prophetess but as we see (Exodus 15:20-21) she used her authority/gift over the women while Moses led the men in worship and praise. The NT women you mention are prophetesses, but it seems that these were their gifts and no specific authority over a body of believers is indicated.

I have always been interested in the passage about Deborah. This may not convince anyone, but it was very enlightening for me. If you read through Judges, you will see that in every instance where a man was mentioned as a judge it says something like "and God raised up..." or "the Lord raised up a deliverer for them" or "a judge rose up" (NASB) but with Deborah it says this:

Judges 4:4-5 "Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel at that time. And she used to sit under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim; and the sons of Israel came up to her for her judgement."

I know many will disagree with my understanding of this information but I feel that God did not intend for her to be a judge, nor did she seek this office, but the people were coming to her possibly because of her great wisdom and courage (as evidenced in the Word) and she was speaking God's words to the people. Part of the responsibility of the judges (as I can see from my reading of the book) was to deliver the people by leading them in battle. Deborah was assuming this was not her task but was forced to go into the battle because of the cowardice of Barak. She then proclaimed that the honor for the defeat would not be his, but would go to a woman (which sounds, from the text, like it was a disgraceful thing for the army to have this happen).

From my perspective, with Deborah being the lone example of a woman in leadership over a nation and from the description of her as a judge in scripture, I am not convinced that God is using her as a counterexample to the verses in the NT that say elders/overseers/pastors/bishops is a position (because of the teaching to the flock and the authority in this office) reserved for men.

In His Joy and Grace,
Kate Megill


Re:Women in Ministry

Posted by Peggy on Wednesday, 6 May 1998, at 12:32 a.m., in response to Re:Women in Ministry, posted by Sylvia on Tuesday, 5 May 1998, at 8:17 p.m.

Hi Sylvia,

You said: "Ok, I feel confident that some one will correct me if I'm wrong... :)"

I'm sorry to be the one to do the correcting...but I'm afraid that most everything you mentioned concerning Deborah is conjecture and not supported in scripture.

You said: "But wasn't Deborah a Judge because there were found no men willing and able to do the job? And didn't she at first express surprize that God would have her be a judge?"

There is no evidence of those things in the text, neither directly stated nor implied. The judges and the prophets were raised up by God to deliver the Israelites from their enemies and to rule over them with justice for as long as they lived(Judges 2:16,18) They conquered through faith.

You said: "And once the job was done as the Lord said to do it, didn't she give credit to the man who was supposed to be the leader?"

To the contrary, the enemy would be delivered into the hands of another woman, Jael, and glory given to God (Judges 4:8,9,14; 5:1-31).

You said: "Then didn't she willingly give up her "judgeship" when the Lord was finished with her and there were able men there willing to do the job?"

The text says that the judges reined until their deaths. Israel resided in peace for forty years, we can assume, under her rule as judge (Judges 5:31)

In Christ,
Peggy


What is permissible is not necessarily God's preference, like Israel being ruled by a king

Posted by joni on Wednesday, 6 May 1998, at 8:05 a.m., in response to Re:Women in Ministry, posted by Kate Megill on Tuesday, 5 May 1998, at 8:20 p.m.

Even though it seems that is was not God's original plan for Israel to have a king, God allowed several kings to rule over Israel.

Although scripture seems clear that women not be in leadership positions over men, God did allow Deborah to rule/judge over the Israelites. Although it was permitted, it CANNOT be considered normative. For instance, I believe E. Elliot has been permitted by God to "teach" because of the timeliness of her message (women in submission!), but I wouldn't use her as an example of why we should all be clamoring to teach/lead.

I liken Deborah to the single mother who rules her household well. She may do an admirable job, blessed by God, but single parenthood is NOT God's design for raising children. BUT, there are many feminists today who would hold up that examplary single mother as a model to justify "choosing" single parenthood.

Kate makes an excellent point when she says that scripture never says that GOD raised up Deborah. Don't confuse what God permits in Deborah with God's plan for his children.

God bless you.
Joni

P.S. We visited a non-denominational church two weeks ago. The women's bible study was on Deborah. It was VERY interesting to listen to the woman leading the discussion trying to mesh her belief in women leaders with her simultaneous belief that women are to be subject to their own husbands! Her sentences tended to trail off... Then the pastor taught on Ephesians 5--including "Wives, submit to your husbands..." It was an interesting morning!


Re:Women in Ministry

Posted by Sylvia on Wednesday, 6 May 1998, at 8:11 a.m., in response to Re:Women in Ministry, posted by Peggy on Wednesday, 6 May 1998, at 12:32 a.m.

Hi Peggy,
Thanks for your input! I knew someone would come to my rescue! LOL!

However, Sending the enemy to Jael was not what I meant by giving leadership to the next Judge. The next judge was Gideon, a man.

The glory of the battle went to Jael because the men did not have the courage to rise up and face the enemy. This should speak volumes to us.

Israel remained incapable of a united action against the enemy at this time until God raised up Deborah.
You're right, judges were raised up by the Lord to lead the Israelites. I didn't contest that.

Probably the best thing to do is for us to read the account of the judges and see that this was a time of Israel's failure as God's people. Perhaps this is why God used the very people He did during this terrible time.

Anyway, the book of Judges is one of the most fascinating books of the bible, don't you think? I learned so much about redemption and calling to God in crisis by studying this book. God is so good - still!

Warm Regards,
Sylvia


hey Kate, let's chase a rabbit!...

Posted by Sylvia on Wednesday, 6 May 1998, at 8:27 a.m., in response to Re:Women in Ministry, posted by Kate Megill on Tuesday, 5 May 1998, at 8:20 p.m.

Hi Kate,
Care to walk down a little rabbit trail with me?

Your letter reminded me of a topic that has been discussed to death here in the South, but still remains timely and interesting.

The protestant churches in the South are chock full of women, but sadly the majority of the men are missing....

Now recently, say with in the last 10 years or so there has been a resurgence of men attending church and taking an active role in church...Praise God! But when I was a child and before that, the men were MIA!

Why? It all began during the Civil War. Men left home, fathers, sons, grandfathers, uncles, every possible leader in some families left to go to war.

Some came back, most did not. It happened again during the Korean War, but most dramatically during WW2.

The Civil War's devastation left women in leadership positions at home and at church. For many years after that, the men just did not take back or were refused their leadership roles in the home and the church.

WW2 was fuel for this phenomenon. The women folk got busy and "ran the country" while the men were out fighting the enemy. When the men returned, the women had to give up their jobs, but most resented that fact.

I have heard many older men say that if it weren't for the women taking over the leadership roles in the chuches of the South after the Civil War, that the church would not have survived in the flourishing state that it has.

You know Kate, God can use anybody, anywhere to accomplish His Will, isn't that amazing? Who He uses doesn't even have to acknowledge Him as Lord. But we make it all garbled and mixed up when we try to change His rules - so He works with what we give Him!

Come on down this trail if you get a notion! LOL!
Sylvia


Re:Women in Ministry

Posted by Peggy on Wednesday, 6 May 1998, at 9:03 a.m., in response to Re:Women in Ministry, posted by Kate Megill on Tuesday, 5 May 1998, at 8:20 p.m.

Hi Kate,

You said: "we need to be careful not to equate gifts with authority."

Why is that? Leadership/governing *is* one of the spiritual gifts apportioned to each by God's grace without regard to gender (Rom 12:8) Governing is integral with authority.

You said: "I feel that God did not intend for her to be a judge, nor did she seek this office"

The scriptural passages which preface and introduce *all* the judges (Judg 2:16-18) claim that it was God who rose up the judges to deliver the people of Israel and that He was with those judges all of their lives. Then the rest of the book of Judges goes on to list the names and events surrounding those judges. To conclude that God did not intend for Deborah to be a judge is to read things into the text that are not evident in the texts themselves or within any related texts.

You said: "If you read through Judges, you will see that in every instance where a man was mentioned as a judge it says something like "and God raised up..." or "the Lord raised up a deliverer for them" or "a judge rose up"

My eye caught the same thing awhile back, but I discovered that there were other judges listed who were introduced without those phrases:

Judg 12:8 After him, Ibzan of Bethlehem led Israel.
Judg 12:11 After him, Elon the Zebulunite led Israel ten years.
Judg 12:13 After him, Abdon son of Hillel, from Pirathon, led Israel.

I'm not trying to talk you into any other perspective than you hold, Kate, just wanted to share my observations of the texts. (grin)

In Christ,
Peggy


Re: What is permissible is not necessarily God's preference, like Israel being ruled by a king

Posted by Peggy on Wednesday, 6 May 1998, at 9:13 a.m., in response to What is permissible is not necessarily God's preference, like Israel being ruled by a king, posted by joni on Wednesday, 6 May 1998, at 8:05 a.m.

Joni,

You said: "For instance, I believe E. Elliot has been permitted by God to "teach" because of the timeliness of her message (women in submission!), but I wouldn't use her as an example of why we should all be clamoring to teach/lead."

I agree that because some women have been called by God to teach or lead does not assume that He calls *all* women to teach or lead. The gifts are bestowed according to His choosing and His grace.

The fact remains, He *does* call women to these positions. It is not against His will, but by His choosing.

In Christ,
Peggy


Re:Women in Ministry

Posted by Peggy on Wednesday, 6 May 1998, at 9:23 a.m., in response to Re:Women in Ministry, posted by Sylvia on Wednesday, 6 May 1998, at 8:11 a.m.

Sylvia,

You said: "Anyway, the book of Judges is one of the most fascinating books of the bible, don't you think? I learned so much about redemption and calling to God in crisis by studying this book. God is so good - still!"

You are so right!! It speaks loud and clear about God's loving mercy and forgiveness. I also find it fascinating that the people He used to deliver his people were in no way perfect...they were seriosly marred by sin, but were faithful to God's leading.

And...it never fails that I laugh each time I read it, because those Israelites are ME! I go along doing my own thing, complacent and removed from God and BANG...I'm in trouble!! I call on Him to deliver me from my waywardness and He lovingly responds. Time goes by, all is well, I get complacent and do my own thing again, and BANG...I'm in trouble, again and then again, He comes to my rescue!! LOL We are such a perverse people, aren't we? (grin) Praise the Lord, *He* is faithful and constant!

In Christ,
Peggy


Re: RE:Women in Ministry.... Donna, Julie H. and others...

Posted by Annalisa on Wednesday, 6 May 1998, at 9:50 a.m., in response to Re: RE:Women in Ministry.... Donna, Julie H. and others..., posted by Peggy on Tuesday, 5 May 1998, at 10:46 p.m.

Dear Peggy,

Thankyou for asking. This is an interesting disscussion isn't it? I'm enjoying reading posts
from everyone. I will back up a bit to explain. I had posted in response to whether or not
pastors, elders and deacons where male, female,or both. In my limited understanding of scripture, I believe that these offices/positons
are reserved for men. I personally do not agree
with the term deaconesses - that is mho though.
I do believe their are many places for women
in ministry but that those ministries should not
be over the authority of men. I believe that
women are needed as workers in church, but
I don't believe they should hold a title or position
*deaconess* , I feel that is being equal to having
authority with a man. I personally feel this is
not right and I do not see this supported in scripture. I absolutely do not claim to have the
perfect understanding on this, and respect others
views. I was only responding to others' posts and wanted to express how I thought on the
subject. I hope I did not affend anyone and
apologize if I did. For my own references I refer
to Acts 6:3, and of course 1Tim 3:1-ff. I was
also wondering for my own curiosity....do
deaconess' attend deacons meetings?? Just
wondering. Thanks for the discussion and
again I mean no offence to those who believe
differently than me. Love, Annalisa


Re:Women in Ministry

Posted by Kate Megill on Wednesday, 6 May 1998, at 10:02 a.m., in response to Re:Women in Ministry, posted by Peggy on Wednesday, 6 May 1998, at 9:03 a.m.

Dear Peggy,

You said: "Why is that? Leadership/governing *is* one of the spiritual gifts apportioned to each by God's grace without regard to gender (Rom 12:8) Governing is integral with authority."

Yes, leadership (sometimes referred to as the gift of administration and is also translated to mean "giving aid") is a spiritual gift, but not necessarily meaning being an overseer. I don't think we can say simply because someone has the gift of "leading" that they are therefore in a governing office over the body of Christ, so I still think that we cannot confuse the gift with the office and the authority that goes with that.

You said: "The scriptural passages which preface and introduce *all* the judges (Judg 2:16-18) claim that it was God who rose up the judges to deliver the people of Israel and that He was with those judges all of their lives."

Scripture says: "Then the Lord raised up judges..." I think we need to look more carefully at how all the other judges were introduced in scripture and long they ruled to get an idea of what went on with the judges. It either says "God raised up..." or "they judged for...years" or "the Lord raised up a deliverer..." None of these things are mentioned with Deborah.

You said: "To conclude that God did not intend for Deborah to be a judge is to read things into the text that are not evident in the texts themselves or within any related texts. "

I think if we carefully look at the texts themselves we cannot avoid seeing that Deborah was just treated differently in scripture from all the judges. She was never proclaimed "a judge", she was not mentioned as being in this office "for X number of years"...everything about her was different from all the men who obviously held the office. And no matter what we think now, it was obviously not normative for the time to have a woman in leadership over the nation of Israel. So I don't think that it is reading into the texts to say that perhaps it was not God who was intending for her to hold the office of judge. The texts themselves treat her so differently one has to ask "Why?" and since she is the ONLY one spoken of in this way and she is the ONLY female who is mentioned as judging or giving judgements (not as a judge), I don't think I am running away from the context or the intent of the passage.

You said: "My eye caught the same thing awhile back, but I discovered that there were other judges listed who were introduced without those phrases:

Judg 12:8 After him, Ibzan of Bethlehem led Israel.

Judg 12:11 After him, Elon the Zebulunite led Israel ten years.

Judg 12:13 After him, Abdon son of Hillel, from Pirathon, led Israel.

Yes, I see that as well, but, not to beat a dead horse (grin) but I still see Deborah as being spoken of differently. Each of these men had a "term of office" so to speak...they are mentioned as judging a certain number of years, but not Deborah.

Peggy, and I am not trying to convince you either (grin) but I want you to see that I have looked at the issues you bring up and I think scripture does speak to them but it does not bring me to the conclusion that women in the pastorate or in spiritual authority over an entire local body of believers is God's intent or design.

In His Joy and Grace,
Kate Megill


Re: RE:Women in Ministry.... Donna, Julie H. and others...

Posted by Peggy on Wednesday, 6 May 1998, at 10:09 a.m., in response to Re: RE:Women in Ministry.... Donna, Julie H. and others..., posted by Annalisa on Wednesday, 6 May 1998, at 9:50 a.m.

Annalisa,

Absolutely no offense taken, Annalisa...it *is* an interesting discussion and I think everyone is offering their insights in a thoughtful and sensitive manner. This is a potentially volatile subject, but the women here have remained respectful and loving with one another during the discussion.

When I asked you about how you effectively separate the ministries, I did not mean for you to have to support your position bibilically...but wanted to know how your church administers the separation between ministries. I told Monica that I have been in churches where men and women are physically separated during all activities and I've been in other churches where there is no physical separation but women are silent during all activities. I was just wondering if either of these ways were ways in which your church administered the separation, or if you do it in another way.

Insatiably curious,
Peggy


Re: Deaconesses--Kate, Keven Megill can you help here?

Posted by joni on Wednesday, 6 May 1998, at 10:48 a.m., in response to Re: RE:Women in Ministry.... Donna, Julie H. and others..., posted by Annalisa on Wednesday, 6 May 1998, at 9:50 a.m.

Dear Annalisa,

I'm afraid I don't have time to search right now, but I wanted you to know that there is possible scriptural basis for deaconesses. Coupled with the fact that deaconesses were mentioned in the writings right after the New Testament (I believe they helped in baptisms--a modesty issue???), "deaconess" appears to be a justifiable position.

That position does not appear to denote any authority, however. Perhaps the confusion regarding deaconesses is due to the fact that now some churches have only deacons instead of elders AND deacons. The deacons in those churches are actually holding positions of authority. The deacons of the bible did not. They helped at table, etc. It was a servant position, not a servant/leader position.

I have a feeling this is clear as mud. I'll try to research this later, and maybe someone will help.

By the way, from my posts above, I'm sure you can tell that I interpret scripture literally--women not to lead/teach.

God bless you.
Joni


Re: Read Kate's post yesterday, but maybe she can add more nt

Posted by Kate Megill on Wednesday, 6 May 1998, at 12:22 p.m., in response to Read Kate's post yesterday, but maybe she can add more nt, posted by joni on Wednesday, 6 May 1998, at 10:55 a.m.

Dear Joni,

If my post was the one on deaconesses (sp?? gotta get that right one of these days *grin*) I've posted the link to it down below.

I'm afraid I don't have any more to add to it though. I have exhausted all that I know scripture to say about it, and it is a debatable point as to whether it means wives of deacons or deaconness (I believe deaconness is an appropriate translation based on the fact that a deacon's job is not to rule to teach).

I know nothing (or next to nothing!) about post New Testament history and customs. Maybe I will know more next year when we study that period of church history!!!

Sorry I can't add anything to this discussion (and it is debatable if I ever do! *grin*)

In His Joy and Grace,
Kate Megill


Re: What is permissible is not necessarily God's preference, like Israel being ruled by a king

Posted by Jennifer on Wednesday, 6 May 1998, at 3:16 p.m., in response to Re: What is permissible is not necessarily God's preference, like Israel being ruled by a king, posted by Peggy on Wednesday, 6 May 1998, at 9:13 a.m.

I don't believe that God would call a women into a position of leadership(pastor, elder etc...)... it would go against His Word. As I have said before, I don't see in the Bible where God states that women are to be over a man in authority. And those are clearly postions that are over men. Unless I am wrong, no where does it give the women the OK to be in authority over a man. If you find scripture that states otherwise, please let me know.
Love in Him, Jennifer


Re: RE:Women in Ministry.... Donna, Julie H. and others...

Posted by Annalisa on Wednesday, 6 May 1998, at 6:00 p.m., in response to Re: RE:Women in Ministry.... Donna, Julie H. and others..., posted by Kate Megill on Tuesday, 5 May 1998, at 11:28 a.m.


Dear Kate,
Hi!! I'm sorry for taking so long to get back to you about your post. Thank you for your response. I have had a long, busy day and
just now had a chance to sit down to catch up with the boards. Haven't read anything yet but...
by the looks of things there has been a lot of talking on this subject today. I'm anxious to read everything. Anyway, first I wanted to say I ment
no offence to anyone about my statement having to do with deacons etc.. So I apoligize if I hurt anyone! That would break my heart if I did that. After reading your post, I see that we do havecommon ground as to Pasters,and Elders
being men. (right?) Yea! for common ground!
So, really all we disagree on is whether or not
deacons are male, female or both. I choose
male, you choose both, right? Again, i'm not
saying that I am right, we are just discussing it
aren't we. You mentioned 1Tim 3:11 as possibly
refering to female deacons. It does sound that
way when I read your post from your translation.
My translation (King James) says in verse 11...
Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers,sober, faithful in all things.
So I understand that verse to mean deacons
wives. In Acts.6:3 it says, Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost etc..
I am all for women working in the church under
the leadership of men. I just don't agree that
there are to be women deacons. But, I totally
respect others view on this subject on I do
not claim to be right. I just enjoyed getting in
on the conversation that was going on about
the subject. It is fun to hear how others believe.
Thanks so much for your post. I always respect
and enjoy your posts very much. Have a nice evening. Love, Annalisa


Re: RE:Women in Ministry.... Donna, Julie H. and others...

Posted by Kate Megill on Wednesday, 6 May 1998, at 9:11 p.m., in response to Re: RE:Women in Ministry.... Donna, Julie H. and others..., posted by Annalisa on Wednesday, 6 May 1998, at 6:00 p.m.

Dear Annalisa,

Oh sweetie, I am not disturbed by your thoughts or perspectives and I am not in the least offended (it takes a lot to offend me!! *grin*). That is one of the points of the board here, to be able to discuss issues from scripture, to share our ideas and understanding and learn and grow as we look at His Word together.

I realize that there are translations that say "wives" and translations that say "women". The Greek word used "gune" can mean either a wife or a woman either married, widowed or a virgin. So it has been translated according to the understanding of the translaters as to whether or not it should be women or wives. Since the Greek uses a word that can mean either one I feel that God was giving liberty in this. Since a deacon, by definition, is a servant, I see no reason why a woman would not be able to minister in this capacity within a church under the authority of the church leadership, but I completely understand and respect someone who feels that verse is to be translated as deacon's wives.

Keep sharing your thoughts from His Word so we may all be challenged to not grow stagnant, but always look to Him for truth!! I love you, sister!

In His Joy and Grace,
Kate Megill


Re Women in Ministry.. (again) Please I need some input on this!! :c)

Posted by Jennifer on Thursday, 7 May 1998, at 2:25 p.m.

I would like your opinions, scripture, advice, views...etc... on this situation, please! :c)
Yesterday when we went to our church's prayer meeting, we came upon a situation. The Pastor had a severe headache and was unable to lead the service, so his wife lead the service. (I really like the Pastors wife and have a respect for her both spritually and as a Pastors wife) We have an Assistant Pastor, I am not sure why he didn't lead the service.... Also, the 1st Wed. of the month we usually have a video, right now we are doing "THat the World May Know" series from Focus on the Family. But, she choose not to show the video and decided to "talk" about prayer. (45 minutes worth) Um, I was really upset.... I just do not feel that this is biblical..(there were men in the service, including my dh) We are at a Wesleyan church. Please give me your input on this. I thought that it was interesting, as we have been discussing this on the board. Thank you!
Love, Jennifer :c)
PS Sorry Annie W., but I really needed to post this and get feedback!


Re:Women in Ministry

Posted by William Eaton on Thursday, 7 May 1998, at 2:34 p.m., in response to Re:Women in Ministry, posted by Kate Megill on Tuesday, 5 May 1998, at 8:20 p.m.

Hi Kate,

Interesting perspective here. Would you think that it would be possible for God to raise up a woman and give her leadership gifts (Rom 12) and not contradict Himself?

You mentioned that God raised up the other judges with Deborah being the only exception. Would you classify Deborah's judgeship as a usurping of authority or just God's permissive will? If it was His permissive will, wouldn't this apply to all of the kings of Israel as well?

Sorry for all of the questions... just a little time on my hands!

William


Re:Women in Ministry

Posted by Kate Megill on Thursday, 7 May 1998, at 4:31 p.m., in response to Re:Women in Ministry, posted by William Eaton on Thursday, 7 May 1998, at 2:34 p.m.

Dear William,

It's good to "see" you! Glad you had a little time on your hands to chat!

You said: "Interesting perspective here. Would you think that it would be possible for God to raise up a woman and give her leadership gifts (Rom 12) and not contradict Himself?"

Assuming the gift is leadership (I tend to see it more as administration thought) I don't see how a woman having the gift of leadership (or pastor) is in contridiction to Him. Not everyone who has the gift of pastor will become "a pastor" or shepherd of a local church nor does every pastor have the spiritual gift (most I have known do not). Simply having a gift doesn't mean you have or ever will have that office within the local assembly. I see that there are so many many avenues within the church for ministry that don't mean authority over the body that I guess I often am perplexed when people only see "ministry" in terms of offices (i.e. pastor/elder, deacon). I am not saying that this is what you are saying, but can you see why I don't think having any type of leadership or pastoring gift is contrary to my perspectives on women in the pastorate?

You said: "Would you classify Deborah's judgeship as a usurping of authority or just God's permissive will?"

You know, I don't think I would exactly classify it either way. WARNING: The following is my own subjective thoughts...do not attempt these at home!! *grin* I really don't think she held the office of judge I think that in her capacity (gift?)as prophetess people would come to her for wisdom and for deciding in a matter, just as the original judges set up by Moses at the prompting of his father in law, not that she held any official position but her resputation for wisdom and holiness went before her and so did the people! I think that as times of distress became more acute for the nation that the natural male leadership (Barak) realized that he possessed (due to his own fault) neither the wisdom nor courage that Deborah exercised and instead of leaning on the Lord, he clung to Deborah for strength. God in His mercy toward the people who were crying out to Him for deliverance offered the deliverance.

I have often thought about the whole issue of "God's permissive will" when it comes to the kings of Israel (and Judah by default although I don't think that's quite the right term *g*)...it was not His intent for any king to rule His people but Himself, still he allowed it and even chose the first 2 and then the regal line for His beloved Son to come through. Hard one. I tend to lean one way but then I lean the other way...always remembering that He is sovereign and nothing we do can ever change that! I'd like to hear other thoughts on that one!

In His Joy and Grace,
Kate Megill


Re: Re Women in Ministry.. (again) Please I need some input on this!! :c)

Posted by Kate Megill on Thursday, 7 May 1998, at 4:40 p.m., in response to Re Women in Ministry.. (again) Please I need some input on this!! :c), posted by Jennifer on Thursday, 7 May 1998, at 2:25 p.m.

Dear Jennifer,

I think a great deal has to do with what the official stand of your church is. Although I "personally" hold to women are to be silent in the churches, I have no problem with women who hold a different perspective on this verse and feel liberty to share in a church service (don't I sound like I am of two minds???? I just don't feel that all women are bound by the convictions God has brought me to that's all and I respect the things God has taught others).

All that said, leading in a prayer service is not exercising authority over a man, so if a woman feels biblically she has liberty to speak, I don't necessarily have a problem with being the one to "take the prayer requests". As far as the "talking about prayer" there is a fine line between sharing and teaching. Again, you would need to know what the official stand of the church was on women speaking/teaching in the services. If she was under the impression that she was sharing some things God has been showing her lately she may not feel that she was in fact teaching (and she very well might not have been). I don't have any problem with women sharing things with men...otherwise we would always have to keep quiet and I think there would be some major explosions around our homes!! *grin*

It's hard to know without more information how to respond better to you.

In His Joy and Grace,
Kate Megill


Re: Re Women in Ministry.. my humble opinion, for what its worth!

Posted by joni on Thursday, 7 May 1998, at 7:13 p.m., in response to Re Women in Ministry.. (again) Please I need some input on this!! :c), posted by Jennifer on Thursday, 7 May 1998, at 2:25 p.m.

Dear Jennifer,

Since I also believe in male only leadership, this probably would have troubled me. (Can't say for sure since I wasn't there!)

If this would have been the Sunday worship service, I definitely would have been upset. For some reason, the Wednesday night service does not trouble me as much--especially if this is not a frequent occurrence. I certainly don't think this one time would cause me to criticize the leadership, but if you see a trend I would hope your dh would consider speaking out (assuming your husband is in agreement about this).

Does this make any sense?

God bless you.

Joni


Re: Re Women in Ministry.. (again) Please I need some input on this!! :c)

Posted by BWSmith on Thursday, 7 May 1998, at 9:24 p.m., in response to Re Women in Ministry.. (again) Please I need some input on this!! :c), posted by Jennifer on Thursday, 7 May 1998, at 2:25 p.m.

Dear Jennifer;
Women in ministry is a hot topic -- for now I think I'll keep my opinions to myself BUT . . .
1. Please be sure of what YOU believe about the topic from the Bible. THINK IT THROUGH before you speak.
2. Why do you believe this?
3. What does your husband believe -- are you and he in agreement?
4. Kate is right -- do you know your church's opinion --
5. Did you agree to their positions when you joined the church, because you raised these issues BEFORE you joined the fellowship?

OK -- now this I feel is most important --
If you are upset, talk to God, your husband and then you must speak to her! (Matthew 18!)HUMBLY -- quietly and with a genuine spirit that is seeking reconciliation.
She may have had her husband's blessing and the pastor may have the authority to delegate teaching duties in your denomination.
If she has confessed Christ, she is your *sister!* This is a "family" matter in your church -- and siblings disagree over many issues, but never fundamentals.
If you believe women are not to have authority over men in church, and then your church doesn't have a problem with female leadership, you may not want to make this a crusade issue -- for the *authorities* have settled it and they will answer to the Lord Jesus for their shepherding decisions -- HE can fine tune anyone's theology!
You must not take in anyone's opinion, including mine-- (Much as it KILLS me not to tell you what I think ;0)) until you talk to this gal --
And speak to her as you think the Lord Jesus spoke,
God bless with HIS peace -- for the unity of the BODY and the advancement of the Gospel of Jesus Christ,
BWS


"God don't make no mistakes" that's what my first SS teacher told me!!nt

Posted by Jill Ehrlich on Friday, 8 May 1998, at 1:32 p.m., in response to Re: Dear Peggy, this is one topic where you and I must agree to disagree!, posted by William Eaton on Thursday, 7 May 1998, at 2:43 p.m.

x


Re:Women in Ministry

Posted by William Eaton on Saturday, 9 May 1998, at 7:42 a.m., in response to Re:Women in Ministry, posted by Kate Megill on Thursday, 7 May 1998, at 4:31 p.m.

I'll need to think a little more about this one but just for the record let me state that I believe that Deborah was a judge--in the full sense of the word-- and that God raised her up and placed her in that position of leadership.

I also need to read all of the other notes that have already been posted on this subject.

More later!

William


Re:Women in Ministry

Posted by Kate Megill on Saturday, 9 May 1998, at 7:58 a.m., in response to Re:Women in Ministry, posted by William Eaton on Saturday, 9 May 1998, at 7:42 a.m.

Dear William,

I realize that most people feel as you do about Deborah (I pretty much assumed that was your thought) and I completely understand and would never argue the point. But I just wanted to share my thoughts on why I don't see her as an example of God declaring that women in leadership positions (either over the nation of Israel or over the church) are perfectly acceptable and desirable. Thanks for the input!

In His Joy and Grace,
Kate Megill


Re:Women in Ministry

Posted by Peggy on Saturday, 9 May 1998, at 8:11 a.m., in response to Re:Women in Ministry, posted by Kate Megill on Wednesday, 6 May 1998, at 10:02 a.m.

Hi Kate,

Sorry it's taken me awhile to get back to this...I've been rather busy and didn't have time to concentrate fully on it until now.

You said: "I want you to see that I have looked at the issues you bring up and I think scripture does speak to them"

It's one of the things that I respect about your responses is that it is obvious that you very prayerfully and thoughtfully consider what you want to say before making comment, and you very sensitively and encouragingly convey your thoughts and convictions.

Though I may be debating some of the details, I'm really not interested in changing anyone's mind. I know that you and others have not come to your conclusions without prarerfully thinking them through. So, if I may, I'd like to reflect on some of the things that you said.

You said: "I think if we carefully look at the texts themselves we cannot avoid seeing that Deborah was just treated differently in scripture from all the judges. She was never proclaimed "a judge"..."

Shamgar was treated no more normatively than Deborah. He was not proclaimed a "judge"(3:31). Neither was Gideon proclaimed a "judge", but a prophet (Judg 6:8), as was Deborah proclaimed a prophetess.

You said: "...she was not mentioned as being in this office "for X number of years"...everything about her was different from all the men who obviously held the office."

In the case of Shamgar there is no reference to time either(Judg 3:31).

I'm still not sure that I see Deborah as being treated that much differently than the others. A definitive "normative" pattern is not evident to me. The only normatives I detect are the fact that all of them were men, except Deborah...and all of them (including Deborah) acted as faithful instruments of the Lord to deliver Israel from their oppressors.

You said: "it was obviously not normative for the time to have a woman in leadership over the nation of Israel. So I don't think that it is reading into the texts to say that perhaps it was not God who was intending for her to hold the office of judge."

Let's talk about what is "normative"...

Is this something which signals God's actions and intentions, or man's? Because something is not normative to our mind is it a certainty that it is *counter* to God's intentions? In the case of Deborah can we say definitively that because a woman in leadership was unusual that it was against God's normative intention? Might we as reasonably presume that it was against *man's* normative intention?

It is my perception that God's actions throughout scripture appear to be counter to what man "normatively" expects...a child born to an elderly couple...a giant slayed by a child...God's wisdom known to children...the strong being conquered by the weak...the humble and the meek being exhalted over the rich and proud...

Just what are God's "normative intentions"?...

In Christ,
Peggy


Re: Dear Peggy, this is one topic where you and I must agree to disagree!

Posted by Peggy on Saturday, 9 May 1998, at 9:21 a.m., in response to Dear Peggy, this is one topic where you and I must agree to disagree!, posted by joni on Wednesday, 6 May 1998, at 10:22 a.m.

Hi Joni,

I've had so little time to read and respond to messages this past week...I got rather confused as to the order of these messages and just came across this one from you...

You said: "By the way, I certainly believe that some women have the necessary
talents to teach/lead. But,...His ways are not our ways."

Can you elaborate on this more?

You said: "Anyway, you probably guessed that I'm not a quiet little mouse over
here. I believe women have many opportunities to use their talents/gifts,
and I believe that I will be quite "vocal" in using my talents when
my younger children are a little older! hehe!"

LOL...it doesn't take any "guessing" that you have very strong vocal convictions in this area!
And how will you be vocal in using your talents when your children are older?

God bless you, too,
Peggy


Re: Dear Peggy, this is one topic where you and I must agree to disagree!

Posted by Peggy on Saturday, 9 May 1998, at 11:54 a.m., in response to Re: Dear Peggy, this is one topic where you and I must agree to disagree!, posted by monica on Thursday, 7 May 1998, at 6:25 a.m.

Monica,

You said: "I sort of see a repeat of history in my mind. Deborah served as a leader because someone else dropped the ball of responsibility."

I've been thinking alot more about this and...
it's interesting...despite the claim that Deborah was raised up only because the men were not forthcoming in fulfilling their responsibilities, in the book of Hebrews faithfulness *was* attributed to Barak along with all the judges and prophets (Hebrews 11:32-34). It appears that what saved him was faith. Is it being a "responsible" people that saves us, or is it "faith"?

What do you think?


Re:Women in Ministry

Posted by William Eaton on Saturday, 9 May 1998, at 12:03 p.m., in response to Re:Women in Ministry, posted by Kate Megill on Saturday, 9 May 1998, at 7:58 a.m.

Hi Kate,

I guess that I had never heard anyone say that Deborah wasn't a judge in the fullest sense of the word and that's what prompted my "interesting perspective" comment. Admittedly, I haven't read all that you've written here (concerning this subject) and I'll need to get a more complete picture before commenting further.

You always make me think!

William


Assumptions, Assumptions

Posted by William Eaton on Sunday, 10 May 1998, at 9:31 a.m., in response to Re: Dear Peggy, this is one topic where you and I must agree to disagree!, posted by Peggy on Saturday, 9 May 1998, at 11:54 a.m.

Good point, Peggy.

Another assumption that's being made is that Deborah was in that position because the men "dropped the ball" of responsibility. The facts don't seem to support this assumption unless you extrapolate Barak's hesitation to go into a specific battle and make it mean that he (and extend this to mean all of Israel) was not qualified. Remember Gideon? If there ever was a time to raise up a woman, it was in Gideon time! (grin)

William


Re: Assumptions, Assumptions

Posted by Peggy on Monday, 11 May 1998, at 8:24 a.m., in response to Assumptions, Assumptions, posted by William Eaton on Sunday, 10 May 1998, at 9:31 a.m.

William,

You said: "Remember Gideon? If
there ever was a time to raise up a woman, it was in Gide ion time!(grin)"

When I was looking at it more closely the same thought crossed my mind! (grin)

Peggy


Re: Assumptions, Assumptions

Posted by Kate Megill on Monday, 11 May 1998, at 7:56 a.m., in response to Re: Assumptions, Assumptions, posted by Peggy on Monday, 11 May 1998, at 8:24 a.m.

Dear Peggy,

Interesting. I think there is a bit of a difference, though. With Barak, Deborah had gone to him and told him what God had commanded (I am assuming that she sent for him because God did?), but his response to Deborah was, "If you (Deborah) will go with me, I will go; but if you will not go with me, I will not go." Judges 4:8 This sure sounds more like rebellion than fear (at least it does when MY children say things like that!)

With Gideon (and I just LOVE Gideon!!! I always crack up that the angel approached him and said, 'The Lord is with you, O valiant warrior'!!!!!) he was simply scared out of his socks! He wasn't unwilling to go, but he wanted to be absolutely sure this was God talking...after all, clan-wise, he was a nobody. He did what God asked of him regarding the altar of Baal, albeit in the middle of the night so no one would see (but God never stipulated with him it had to be in broad daylight) (Judges 6:25-27). Still he was not quite sure he heard God saying what He was saying about him delivering Israel and so he put out his fleece twice; God met Gideon where he was and gave the proof he needed. Still God wanted to stretch his fearful faith and he told him to only take 300 men to deliver Israel, but not to overwhelm him where Gideon was to weak...in verse 10 of chapter 7, God shows his gentleness with Gideon and says: "But if you are afraid to go down, go with Purah your servant down to the camp."

I see a big difference between Barak and Gideon. Barak was only looking to Deborah for protection and refused to obey unless she met his stipulations. Gideon was not unwilling to go, but in his fear he needed to be positively sure this was God speaking to "little ole' him" and he asked his requests of the Lord and not anyone else. There must have been differences in their hearts...Barak was reproved by Deborah (4:9), but Gideon was dealt with gently and his requests were granted and he grew in faith and courage and might.

Just a few more pennies for the pot!

In His Joy and Grace,
Kate Megill


Re: Assumptions, Assumptions

Posted by Peggy on Monday, 11 May 1998, at 7:50 p.m., in response to Re: Assumptions, Assumptions, posted by Kate Megill on Monday, 11 May 1998, at 7:56 a.m.

Hey Kate,
 
You said: "This sure sounds more like rebellion than fear (at least it does when MY children say
things like that!)" 

LOL...I know just what you mean.  I'd not really read it quite like that before.

You said: "With Gideon (and I just LOVE Gideon!!! I always crack up that the
angel approached him and said, 'The Lord is with you, O valiant warrior'!!!!!)
he was simply scared out of his socks! " 

ROFLOL!  I'm not sure I'll ever read those passages again without thinking of this!

 You said: "Just a few more pennies for the pot!"
 
Pretty valuable pennies those were!  I'm not sure what my conclusions are, but I sure enjoyed reading that rendition! (grin)
 
Love,
Peggy


a question about women in the church

Posted by Kristine on Tuesday, 19 May 1998, at 8:05 p.m.

This may very well be a "Hot Topic" but I'm not sure. My question is: to what extent should a woman be involved in the church? Should they be Deacons in the church and serve communion? Should they be laying hands on people in the church at the end of service? Should they be praying out loud in service or reading aloud from scripture in service? A better way to ask the questions is to say What does the Bible say about women... The reason I ask these questions is because my husband and I are in a church that has just begun to have women as Deaconesses, teach adult Sunday School classes, serve communion on Sunday, take offering, lead adult Bible studies, be ordained as ministers of (music, counseling, children's pastors and the like) I have been reading the book by Martha Peace "The Excellent Wife" and it was heavy on my heart that this was not God's design for women in the church. My husband feels very strongly that it is unbiblical and would like to change churches.


Denominational differences on this topic

Posted by Ellen Stanclift (ME) on Wednesday, 20 May 1998, at 6:12 a.m., in response to a question about women in the church, posted by Kristine on Tuesday, 19 May 1998, at 8:05 p.m.

Hi Kristine,

I am probably a member of one of the more moderate
Christian denominations in the conservative movement. I realize that is probably a contradiction in terms but I can't think of how to describe it any better ! In our church, The United Church of Christ (here in New England, it is the Congregational Church), we do have ordained female ministers. In our personal church, we have a Senior Minister (male) and an Associate Minister (female). The two ministers haved changed in the last three years but the gender in these roles has not changed. There is not written by-law saying it must be set up this way (that I know of !) but there is sort of a tradition behind it. We also have female Deacons, and female Trustees.

In my experience, it is not gender that exemplifies a person to make a good or bad servant to our Lord. It is intent, foundation in Christ, a Call from Christ and a desire to help serve the Christian community. I have met unscrupulous male ministers and devout female ministers...I have also met aggressive, unkind female ministers and loving and peaceful male ministers. Gender alone does not make a good pastor.

If you truly feeled Called to change churches, then of course, do so. But first ask yourself if your church is meeting your needs, biblically and ethically ? Is the female minister inept, not inspirational or unkind ? Is your church slipping morally ? I am sure that there are going to be a large amount of discussion on this topic on the other side of the issue but I just thought I'd give you my perspective.

With love and blessings,
Ellen


what about 1 Timothy :)

Posted by monica on Thursday, 21 May 1998, at 7:14 a.m., in response to Denominational differences on this topic, posted by Ellen Stanclift (ME) on Wednesday, 20 May 1998, at 6:12 a.m.

Hi Ellen--- I stand on this,
1 Timothy-read the whole book, and you can see what is going on. Paul is writing to a pastor (Timothy)
1 Tim 1:12 Paul clearly states that Jesus appointed him in service as minister
Chapter 2 gives instructions on worship. verses 9-11 deal with women. Look at verse 12 gives very clear instruction regarding teachers.
Chapter 3 Deals with Deacons (caregivers) and overseers. This refers to masculine his/he
verse 11 explains deacons wives duty

These are the stands that I take, according to scripture.--monica :)


Re: This is what I believe...

Posted by Melinda on Thursday, 21 May 1998, at 11:58 a.m., in response to Denominational differences on this topic, posted by Ellen Stanclift (ME) on Wednesday, 20 May 1998, at 6:12 a.m.

Hi Ellen,
I too have to agree with Monica that I stay away from these subjects because some are offended & take it personally. I too, like to see others opinions & try to not take them personally but listen to the Holy Spirit to which way He leads me to believe.
Women taking leadership roles in the church can be ok in some areas. I believe, by the scriptures that Monica has already posted, that the Bible definitely teaches that women should not be pastors, deacons or in the head ship of the church. I do think that women can be in the ministry such as Elisabeth Elliot or Elizabeth George. I believe this is different & that women are called to teach women. Titus 2. We need it!!!
There are fine lines in the church but if women take the jobs then the Lord can not fill them with the men he has called to lead them. I think it would be interesting to see if all women came out of leadership roles & let men fill them what God would do.
Just my humble opinion,
Grace & peace to you!


Re: what about 1 Timothy :)

Posted by Julie H. on Thursday, 21 May 1998, at 12:38 p.m., in response to what about 1 Timothy :), posted by monica on Thursday, 21 May 1998, at 7:14 a.m.

Yikes!!! I'm a deacon's wife. I never noticed that verse. Better pay closer attention!!

In our church, they hold fast to women not having authority over men, not preaching etc. One thing though: We have a board of deacons and deaconesses. There are 6 of each. The roles are quite different though. For instance, for communion. Only the men serve the communion, but the women prepare the elements. Lots of times the deacons put on a dinner or womething and the women help with that. The women deal with a lot of the practical ministries of the church. They find people to bring dinners to someone who is sick, etc. The entire board votes on issues. I'm not quite sure all the details, but I do know that the roles are quite different and defined......

I just found a breakdown of the different roles. The deacons responsibilities are: missions, special adult and family programs, receptions, scholarships, baptisms, communion servers, ushers, chariman, greeters, vice chairman, literature (those are the different ministries etc they are responsible for), treasurer of deacon's fund

The deaconesses responsibilities are: communion elements, special adult and family programs (women's tea, fellowhip lunches, retreats and conferences, women's potpourri), seniors outreach, christian education, secretary, compassionate ministries, receptions.

I just thought I'd share that. That's how it goes at our church. I love our church and am so blessed to have found such a wonderful one.

About women in ministry of positions of leadership. One experience is this. My parents church has a pastor and a lay leader (woman) Now, this is just one particular church and it's situation, not meant to be a generalization. This lay leader goes absolutely everywhere with the pastor. They are both married to someone else. They just went to Europe together for 12 days, ALONE. Now, whether or not anything was going on is not as much the issue as the mere fact that they were not avoiding the appearance of evil. This lay leader is very emotional and cannot control her emotions during meetings or anything. Women in general are very emotional compared to men. It's just a fact. And it is my personal opinion, that perhaps that is one of God's reasons for ordaining things the way He has in the Bible. This particular woman believes that women should be ordained. She also believes that "Jesus Christ is changing with us". But my question is, how can a woman be an effective leader/pastor of the church if she is governed by her emotions?

It's just a basic difference between men and women . Of course there are exceptions. Some men are extremely emotional, some women are not. But it's one of the neat ways in which God has made us different. Is this making any sense?

Any way, I just thought I'd share that. Thanks for listening! And thank you Monica for pointing out that verse to me!!

In Him, Julie H.


Re: what about 1 Timothy :)

Posted by monica on Thursday, 21 May 1998, at 1:14 p.m., in response to Re: what about 1 Timothy :), posted by Julie H. on Thursday, 21 May 1998, at 12:38 p.m.

I believe the word deacon actually means: caregiver.

My concern is when is goes beyond that, and is used as elder position, and leadership. I don't have a problem with woman serving the Lord in the church. I think that is perfectly in line with a woman's nature. I know that some churches break it down into small areas, committees, etc. I praise the Lord for women who have the gifts of hospitality, service, and teaching. I believe that there is an order in which the Lord wants His church run.--monica :)


I wasn't trying to cause dissention..

Posted by Ellen Stanclift on Thursday, 21 May 1998, at 2:21 p.m., in response to Re: This is what I believe..., posted by Melinda on Thursday, 21 May 1998, at 11:58 a.m.

Hi Melinda !

I just wanted to clarify that I wasn't trying to cause dissention...I am genuinely interested in the topic. Because the concept of women NOT being in the ministry is different than my background, I knew that hearing from Christian sisters who honor these beliefs is the most accurate way of learning. We are all Christians, but the way in which different denominations operate can be very different from church to church. I think it is wonderful that we have a place here at the CHF website in which to share information from our own churches and learn about eachother. By learning and understanding one another, we are better equiped to understand individual perspectives.

With love and blessings,
Ellen


VERY interesting...deacons and deaconesses !

Posted by Ellen Stanclift on Thursday, 21 May 1998, at 2:39 p.m., in response to Re: what about 1 Timothy :), posted by Julie H. on Thursday, 21 May 1998, at 12:38 p.m.

Hi Julie,

That sounds very interesting ! I have never heard of that before. I like it !

I do have to tell you the smile you gave me about the male and female ministers traveling together. Ours generally don't...one of the reasons we have two is that they divide the duties. But our female (associate) minister is in her 60s (I think of her as sort of a 'grandmotherly' type person ) and our male (senior ) minister is in his early 40s. They both fill very different roles in our church. The associate minister's job is more of counseling, teaching, visiting to hospitals and nursing homes, elder care, Sunday School coordination. The Senior minister's job centers on preaching, running the church, etc. While they both can do tasks on 'either list', they divide it so that they both fill different roles. Does that make sense ?

Blessings,
Ellen


Re: This is what I believe...

Posted by Janet on Thursday, 21 May 1998, at 3:34 p.m., in response to Re: This is what I believe..., posted by Melinda on Thursday, 21 May 1998, at 11:58 a.m.

Dear Ellen,
I am part of the sister denomination of the UCC, Disciples of Christ. I too, am accostum to women in leadership positions. I believe that God calls us all in different ways to different jobs at different times. It often puts us in contention with the conservative christians, I feel this is a difficult subject because it is one that people feel very strongly about. I talk to my husband before taking on any task at our church. If he approves then it is a job I am comfortable doing. If does not approve then I decline. Dh and I learn more about our faith each day by listening to one another, I can't believe God disapproves of the times dh learns from me. Sometimes I think this spills into the church as well, and I don't believe that God disapproves of the growth in faith regardless of the gender of the teacher. We are all called to share His love and teaching, there are times that may mean a man learns from a women. How can spreading the love and teachings of our gracious loving Lord be wrong?
In Him-
Janet


This sounds like our marriage too..

Posted by Ellen Stanclift on Friday, 22 May 1998, at 5:11 a.m., in response to Re: This is what I believe..., posted by Janet on Thursday, 21 May 1998, at 3:34 p.m.

Hi Janet,

This sounds like our marriage too...we are constantly challenging eachother to strive for more and deeper faith. I know that God brought us together in the first place...I am so grateful that He keeps us learning too !

With love,
Ellen


We need to do what the Bible tells us to do, not what our denominations.....

Posted by Kendra Halbert on Friday, 22 May 1998, at 10:29 a.m.

Dear Sisters,

I read a lot on this message board and post very little. I enjoy it so much and have been very blessed by the love for sisters that is shown here. I do not intend to offend either, however, I am going to put "MHO" on the women in church leadership subject. Please take this in love.

If we believe that the Bible is the true and accurate inspired "Word of God"....then why is it that we continually say..."In my demonination we do it that way, and that isn't accepted in my church, and "I" believe that it's okay for a woman to teach and be in authority over a man"....

There are enough "gray" areas in the Bible that we need to study out, and pray about. However, there are some that are in black and white, (or red and white, if you have a red letter edition!;>))) This really grieves my heart to see people putting their "church doctrine" over the Word of God! We call it the "Word of God" why can't we accept it as His words???

Ladies....we MUST read it ourselves!!! If you are not searching the scriptures personally and you are counting on your pastor or "deaconess" to be your sole instructors, then you are not studying to show yourself approved (II Tim 2:15). God's Word is God and his voice. (John 1:1) We should read it and do it! We as humans sin and are not perfect! God, however, is perfect and has no sin. Could it be then that when we step outside the guidelines of our Book for Life, our instruction manual, our direct connection with God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost that we are leaving ourselves wide open for error or man's sin nature?

If you really think about it...the Bible does go against our grain doesn't it? I mean how many of us just totally love and can't hardly wait to be submissive to our dh, or wouldn't it be easier to tell a little white lie at times, or even tell off our neighbor when their dog poops in our yard AGAIN! You see, the Bible and following Jesus is hard. He never said it was going to be easy...we are supposed to be persecuted, take up our crosses daily and live for God. I don't know about you ladies out there, but sometimes I don't 'feel' like hauling that cross with me all day long. BUT...the joy comes from obedience! He loves me no matter what, and I'll never be perfect, but I hate to grieve him purposely.

When we totally disregard his instructions that are CLEARLY spelled out in His word we are going out from under God's little umbrella of protection and are only asking for hardship. I am not saying that people could not be saved, and people not growing in churches that go against the Bible, I am just worried that we are in perilous times and there are so many false teachings out there and that if we don't take the time to STUDY and DO then we are asking for people who, having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. (II Tim 3:5-7) If we cannot differentiate between what God spells out in His Word, then what is going to stop us from falling into totally false teachings that are so prevelent in todays world that are oh so sneaky and "close" to the Bible?

Let me give an example....How many animals did Noah take on the ark? Most would say two of each kind....well, the Bible says differently. He was to take two of the unclean animals, but seven of the clean animals and birds. If you didn't know that and someone from a false religion came to your door and pointed out that little tidbit (which they will to prove that you have not been taught proper scripture) along with MAJOR doctrinal questions, could you be firm in your beliefs, could you point out chapter and verse, or at least be in the right vacinity, at least be in the right testament of the Bible?????

The Bible is VERY CLEAR in God's position on leadership in the church. Yes, sometimes a woman is very talented, or studious, or has great capability to be a leader. But does that mean she is to usurp authority over the man? (I Tim 2:12) No, the Bible forbids it. How much more clarity do we need???

Pleasing God means believing that what he says is best for our lives. Believing him means we take his instructions to heart. We shouldn't be hearers of the word only, but doers...James 1:23.

May God bless you all,
Kendra


Anti-Biblical? Me? Another *Biblical* Perspective!

Posted by William Eaton on Saturday, 23 May 1998, at 9:19 a.m., in response to We need to do what the Bible tells us to do, not what our denominations....., posted by Kendra Halbert on Friday, 22 May 1998, at 10:29 a.m.

Hi Kendra,

I agree with you that we should look solely to God's Word and study to show ourselves approved so that we won't be deceived, I have done so and come to a different conclusion about women in ministry --one that's also based solely upon the Word of God. Your assumption that your view is so clearly the only one and everyone else who believes differently has disregarded what God says in His Word is not well founded.

I have posted my views on 1 Timothy 2:12 in the past and won't take time to get into it this morning except to say that we agree on the point that a woman shouldn't *usurp* authority over a man.

In 1 Timothy, we also find exhortations dealing with slavery:

"Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed. And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren; but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort." 1 Tim 6:1-2

Is there a good reason that churches here don't "teach and exhort" these things any longer?

And encouragement to "Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities." 1 Tim 5:23

I'm sure this would go over very well in 20th Century America (especially in the "Bible Belt"! *grin*)

These exhortations were necessary in the Greek culture and prevalent conditions at that time, but wouldn't necessarily apply to our current culture.

To say that a passage of Scripture is culturally based isn't to say that it doesn't apply to our lives. On the contrary, the principles that we learn from culturally based commands are *very* important. What follows is an example of Paul donning the same "cultural" attitude in his actions, that he expected of the Greek women.

Paul was a Jew. After becoming a Christian he was sent to proclaim the gospel to the gentiles. These gentiles (Romans, Greeks, etc.) did not have the advantage of knowing much about the One True God. They were not required to follow the Law that was given to the Jews, and in many cases they had never even heard of these requirements.

When Paul took the gospel of Jesus Christ into the land of the gentiles he didn't teach those things that he had learned from his Jewish background, in fact, he preached against keeping the Law of Moses to obtain salvation. The notion that salvation for these gentiles depended on them keeping the Law and Ordinances was strongly denounced. (His letter to the Galatians, is a good example of this!)

Reading through his letters, you'll find that he totally denounces any kind of "works" salvation for either the Gentiles *or* the Jews.

After preaching and teaching the gentiles, he travels back into Jerusalem (a different culture than the one where he has been preaching this "liberty" from the law stuff!) where the Jewish influence was still strongly affecting even the Christian Church.

I'm going to quote the whole passage here, and show that he modifies, for the sake of the Jewish culture, his actions. (Note: He doesn't change his message, or take back anything that he has preached to the gentiles, but to *appease* the Jewish people, he conforms himself to their practices.)

This is a *perfect* example of what I mean when I say that we must take cultural aspects into consideration when dealing with any passage of Scripture. Here is the passage:

Acts 21:17-26

And when we were come to Jerusalem, the brethren received us gladly. And the [day] following Paul went in with us unto James; and all the elders were present. And when he had saluted them, he declared particularly what things God had wrought among the Gentiles by his ministry. And when they heard [it], they glorified the Lord, and said unto him, Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law: And they are informed of thee, that thou teachest all the Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise [their] children, neither to walk after the customs. What is it therefore? the multitude must needs come together: for they will hear that thou art come. Do therefore this that we say to thee: We have four men which have a vow on them; Them take, and purify thyself with them, and be at charges with them, that they may shave [their] heads: and all may know that those things, whereof they were informed concerning thee, are nothing; but [that] thou thyself also walkest orderly, and keepest the law. As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written [and] concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from [things] offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication. Then Paul took the men, and the next day purifying himself with them entered into the temple, to signify the accomplishment of the days of purification, until that an offering should be offered for every one of them.

Paul, for the sake of the *culture* he was in, takes an action that has absolutely no place in the Christian Church.

Think about it, if I were going to establish a Church in Iran, I would want to be well aware of the customs and culture so that I could be as effective as possible. The last thing I would do, is pull out a ham sandwich and start munching on it. And if anyone among the congregation pulled out a pork barbecue sandwich, I would command him *not* to eat it. Why? Because if the news spread in the community that we were breaking Islamic law, the Gospel would suffer and we might not make it out alive!

Nothing wrong with eating pork barbecue, but just do it in the right culture (the southeastern half of the US!)

I hope that this explanation is clear and that no one goes around thinking that those who hold a different view from you are all disregarding or trying to get around difficult passages of Scripture. We have a heart to follow all of God's word and have gone to great extent to do just that.

In the words that we used when we created this Bible Issues section, we believe, "Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of Thy righteous judgments endureth forever." --Psalm 119:160

William

P.S. I'm including a link to an article on women in ministry that I wrote some time ago.

URL Suggested: <Women in Ministry>


slavery?????

Posted by monica on Saturday, 23 May 1998, at 11:20 a.m., in response to Anti-Biblical? Me? Another *Biblical* Perspective!, posted by William Eaton on Saturday, 23 May 1998, at 9:19 a.m.

I Tim 6:1-2 slavery, servant
According to what I studied from the hebrew this word is *ebad* in the Greek *doulos*

doesn't that simply mean bond servant? employee?
the word slave or prisoner in the text you are using it is *desmeo* meaning to shackle and bind
this desmeo meaning does not apply to 1 Tim 6:1-2
I believe (according to what I have seen-Greek Lexicon and Strongs, NIV and KJV) it is used in the doulos.
thoughts?--monica :)

just trying to study to show *myself* approved
rightly dividing the Word of God


Re: slavery?????

Posted by Peggy on Saturday, 23 May 1998, at 1:42 p.m., in response to slavery?????, posted by monica on Saturday, 23 May 1998, at 11:20 a.m.

Monica,

The word "doulos" DOES mean "slave" as we understand it and thus the verses in Timothy of which William quoted are fully relevant in the sense of being held "in bondage".

The Greek word "doulos" is the ONLY word used in the NT to mean either slave or servant...(the only other word used is "pais", which means a *young* slave). Interestingly, the KJV never uses the English word "slave", though "doulos" actually means one who is in service whether voluntarily or involuntarily.
The word "desmeo" is never used in the sense of being a slave.

The Greek word "desmeo"--meaning to shackle or bind...is used exclusively in the sense of being held captive or as a "prisoner". It is used to refer to those who are detained--such as criminal prisoners or those who are captives of Jesus Christ.

All of these Greek words are derivatives of one another:

*doulos*--from the root verb--*deo*(see below); a slave--literally or figuratively, voluntarily or involuntarily--bond (-man), servant or a slave.

*deo*--a verb; to bind--literally or figuratively:--bind, be in bonds, knit, tie, wind.

*douleia*-- slavery--certainly or figuratively:--bondage.

desmeo-- to tie, i.e. shackle:--bind--(certainly or as in an impediment).

1198. desmios, des'-mee-os; from G1199; a captive (as bound):--in bonds, prisoner.

I will be posting a message about slavery during the Roman era as it is somewhat different than we think of in the 20th century.

In Christ,
Peggy


Re: slavery?????

Posted by William Eaton on Saturday, 23 May 1998, at 1:51 p.m., in response to slavery?????, posted by monica on Saturday, 23 May 1998, at 11:20 a.m.

Hi Monica,

You wrote:

> the word slave or prisoner in the text you are using it is *desmeo*
> meaning to shackle and bind
> this desmeo meaning does not apply to 1 Tim 6:1-2

I never even mentioned the word "desmeo" since it doesn't occur there. I don't understand why you brought this up.

The Greek word is "doulas" (as you pointed out) which means slave.

You mentioned the NIV, which I'm not fond of, but even they translate it as "All who are under the yoke of slavery..."

William


I'M SORRY, BUT THE BIBLE IS VERY CLEAR ON GENDERS OF PASTORS AND DEACONS!!!!! ....

Posted by Kendra Halbert on Saturday, 23 May 1998, at 10:20 p.m., in response to Anti-Biblical? Me? Another *Biblical* Perspective!, posted by William Eaton on Saturday, 23 May 1998, at 9:19 a.m.

Once again, I do not wish to offend, however,....

As to do with this slavery issue...servant /doulos is a slave (lit. or fig., invol. or vol.; in a sense of subjection or subserviency: bond (-man), servant. When my husband goes to work, he is a servant, he is subservient, he is under subjection. He is in reality a slave to his employer for the 10 hours a day that he is there, and yes I sure hope that he would follow the principle set forth in this passage. This is very strict guidance on how we are to conduct ourselves under a position of authority with our employer.

However, no where in the Bible (that I am aware of anyway, correct me if I'm wrong) is there a commandment TO OWN A SLAVE! I don't even think there is any encouragement to own one. There were slaves at that time, and only due to our laws of our land do we not have slaves today. DO NOT get me wrong! I do not want to own my own slave! But IF I lived in a time where slavery was legal, and IF I were a slave owner, I would be expected to follow God's word in the treatment of slaves and IF I were a slave myself, I would follow God's word regarding being a slave. THE TREATMENT OF SLAVES AND MASTERS IS THE ISSUE HERE!!

And regarding the wine verse, this is referring to aiding in sickness. Yes, in this day and age people even in the Bible belt consume alcohol for infirmities. All types of medication contain alcohol....used in the proper format of treating pain, sickness, and infirmities.

There is much guidance on qualifications of bishops (pastor/overseer) and deacons here in I Timothy and Titus. If the woman is supposed to be in these positions, then why does it SPECIFICALLY give the guidelines/duties of the bishop and deacon's wives???? If that role can be reversed, then you are opening up a huge can of worms for the condoning of homosexuality! (oh boy, I can hear it now!!) Yes, I do believe there is a place for a woman serving in the church and if she is a pastor or a deacon's wife she'll have quite a bit of responsiblity in that role. Our blueprint for our lives is the Bible, and I believe it is straight out of the mouth of God. If the guidelines (I Tim and Titus) say that the pastors and deacons are supposed to have wives, then I BELIEVE THEY OUGHT TO BE MEN! Why should or would we interpret it any other way?????????

The Bible says that we are to be obedient to authority that is placed over us. In every avenue in my life I try to please God in that area. I believe that my pastors are my God given authority. Why? Because in Revelation it says that the pastors/overseers are responsible for their churches and will stand accountable for all their sheep.

Back to I Tim 2:11...Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. If my pastor was a woman, most pastors preach, so therefore she couldn't be silent. If my pastor was a woman, most pastors teach [but I suffer not (do not permit) a woman to teach]... so therefore she could not teach. If my pastor were a woman she would be in authority over her sheep, so therefore would be usurping authority over the man. If my pastor were a woman she would be doing exactly that over every man in the church. If a woman pastor couldn't teach, preach, or be in authority, why would it be even necessary for her to persue this role in life??? Why couldn't she just settle for being a pastor's wife, a deacon's wife, a nursery worker, a children's Sunday school teacher, a woman's Bible study leader, a vacation Bible school teacher, an AWANA teacher, a mother, a teacher to her own children, visiting widows, visiting people in the hospital, etc......Those things personally keep me busy enough!!! Not to mention spending valuable time on her knees for leadership of her own husband, pastor, deacons, family, etc.........Boy oh boy, if I spent my time just doing the things that God clearly spells out for us sisters to be doing, how on earth would I have time to pursue being a pastor or a deaconess??????

God bless all you gals in finding God's perfect will for your lives!

Kendra Halbert


Re: slavery?????

Posted by Peggy on Saturday, 23 May 1998, at 10:36 p.m., in response to slavery?????, posted by monica on Saturday, 23 May 1998, at 11:20 a.m.

Hi Monica,

Are you saying that the NT never addresses or speaks of "slaves"...or only that the passage in Timothy is not referring to slaves?

You said: "I was speaking in reference to Williams statement (not quoting here)
how we don't teach or exort slavery.   

What I was trying to get at was historically bondservants were *hired*
or *willfully contracted* , thus being *employed*, and not held against
their wills."

I understood you to mean that. However, the fact remains that the Greek word "doulos" does not simply mean one who willingly binds themselves into servitude...its definition includes those who were *involuntarily* subjugated or "enslaved".

Bondsman, bondswoman, and bond servant are not synonomous with "hired employee" despite the arrangement having been made voluntarily. These words are synonomous with "slave" or one being in bondage to another.

So, when Paul used "doulos"...he was referring to both those who *voluntarily* subjugated themselves AND those who were *involuntarily* subjugated to servitude, both of which mean to be in bondage.

You might want to look at the message I posted on our modern day/New World perceptions of slavery vs. those of the ancient Romans. Though often the conditions of a Roman slave were analogous to that of a New World slave, there were variations non-existent in our institution of slavery.

You said: "We have a woman on the board who is a doulos, by trade.  I wish that she
would post on this."

Perhaps you could encourage her to post on the board. It would be interesting to hear what she has to say!

In Christ,
Peggy


We have a problem here...

Posted by William Eaton on Sunday, 24 May 1998, at 2:38 p.m., in response to I'M SORRY, BUT THE BIBLE IS VERY CLEAR ON GENDERS OF PASTORS AND DEACONS!!!!! ...., posted by Kendra Halbert on Saturday, 23 May 1998, at 10:20 p.m.

Dear Kendra,

We've had this discussion before and obviously there will be disagreements, however, there is a problem when one "side" claims that the other "side" isn't Biblical or isn't willing to follow the commands of Scripture. This is a serious charge and one that is not true in this case. No matter how many times one claims (and emotionally exclaims by using all caps!) that this issue is clearly set forth, there are those who bring other relevant and "clear" Biblical principles that show just how fragile a dogmatic assertion in this area actually is.

You have asserted your position and claim that it is *exclusively* the only "Biblical" (i.e. scriptural) position. I have neither demeaned or attacked you as a follower of truth, nor your views on these relevant passages, yet you continue to imply that those who don't "see it your way" have forsaken truth and are in danger of opening the door to homosexuals:

[You wrote: ""If the woman is supposed to be in these positions, then why does it SPECIFICALLY give the guidelines/duties of the bishop and deacon's wives???? If that role can be reversed, then you are opening up a huge can of worms for the condoning of homosexuality!""]

I confess that I don't see the logic here.

You also say that you haven't been given any reason to interpret the passage in 1 Tim 3 differently. Perhaps this is due to my lack of clarity in dealing with this in the past and perhaps I've assumed that you have actually read what I've written, but I think that there are a number of reasons to interpret it differently. I'll try to summarize these reasons in a post tonight and whether or not you choose to change your position, at least give me the benefit of the doubt, and assume that I am trying to be a diligent student of the Word of God, and don't assume that I have any ulterior motivations.

Also, please note, that my position has never been to encourage women to forsake their God-given roles and ministry in the home-- everything we have done in our ministry is to promote and encourage women (and men) to fulfill their obligations, both to God and their families.

William


Forgive me if I've offended anyone, but....

Posted by Kendra Halbert on Sunday, 24 May 1998, at 3:44 p.m., in response to I'M SORRY, BUT THE BIBLE IS VERY CLEAR ON GENDERS OF PASTORS AND DEACONS!!!!! ...., posted by Kendra Halbert on Saturday, 23 May 1998, at 10:20 p.m.

Forgive me if I have offended anyone. Like I said I do not post often and my use of caps and exclamation points is to make a point and not to accuse others of motives/heart condition.

However, I still stand firm and until the Lord comes or I die, I'll have to wait and ask him if I was wrong. I guess when the Bible specifically states the gender/role of the pastor/deacon....then specifically states the gender/role of the wives of those two catagories...why couldn't we take it as the blueprint that God intended???

I am bowing out of this discussion....

Again, God bless you all...

Kendra Halbert


Re: We have a problem here...

Posted by Bill Phillips on Sunday, 24 May 1998, at 7:51 p.m., in response to We have a problem here..., posted by William Eaton on Sunday, 24 May 1998, at 2:38 p.m.

Dear William,

My wife has been reading this thread to me and quite frankly it doesn't make any difference what either side thinks or interprets about any scripture. Nor does it help matters for one to dig and study the greek to the fullest of its meaning. What matters is what the Lord thinks and means by it. I can promise you that no amount of study or interpretation will give you the meaning that God has for it. The only way to find the true meaning is to read plainly and to ask the Author. He will give the true meaning, not an interpretation. This is what is means when the bible says it's not for private interpretation.

William, I feel that what has caused quite a stir about your comments, is this idea that certain passages only deal with culturally relevant ideas. All though from a logical stand point one could argue this, with the bible it is very dangerous ground. This is how many heresies have started in the church. Look at it this way, today we're stating that this verse of scripture is only culturally relevant, the next day, we're stating that maybe Jesus was wrong when He said that no man comes to the Father but by me. I'm definitly not accusing you of this. It is very apparent that you love the Lord and have provided a great deal of ministry through this site. But again my brother it is not our place to interpret but ours to hear no matter what our culture or the events of our lives states.

I state this in love and based on Romans 14 and 15:1-7. I pray that both sides in this will read these scriptures and understand that it's not our place to convince one another, but to love one another.

God Bless you,
Bill Phillips


Re: We have a problem here...

Posted by Heidi on Sunday, 24 May 1998, at 8:38 p.m., in response to Re: We have a problem here..., posted by Bill Phillips on Sunday, 24 May 1998, at 7:51 p.m.

If we aren't to interpret the Bible, what are we to do with Jesus' parables? The one whom we are to strive to be like spoke very obviously in a way that had to be *interpreted*. I believe He's setting an example here, showing us that without the Holy Spirit, there is no revelation in interpretation. I use the same Holy Spirit who guides me in understanding the parables to understand Paul's writings and their relevance today.


"Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's..."

Posted by Julie Hamilton on Sunday, 24 May 1998, at 9:38 p.m., in response to Re: We have a problem here..., posted by Bill Phillips on Sunday, 24 May 1998, at 7:51 p.m.

This verse, for one, would certainly make no sense in twentieth-century America if we didn't use our powers of interpretation to get the idea. (I mean, I don't even KNOW anyone named Caesar! How can I render unto him if I don't know him? :D) But we "interpret" the verse in light of the "cultural context" of what Jesus said, and pay our taxes to our government.

Julie Hamilton


Re: "Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's..."

Posted by Lisa TX on Sunday, 24 May 1998, at 9:57 p.m., in response to "Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's...", posted by Julie Hamilton on Sunday, 24 May 1998, at 9:38 p.m.

But we still OBEY the command. We don't ignore it, saying it was only cultural!


Re: We have a problem here...

Posted by William Eaton on Monday, 25 May 1998, at 12:22 a.m., in response to Re: We have a problem here..., posted by Bill Phillips on Sunday, 24 May 1998, at 7:51 p.m.

Hi Bill,

It's nice to see a man jump into this discussion even though I'm trying to get more women involved!

First of all let me say that I appreciate your concern for my position on this issue and I hope that you won't see my disagreement with you as a rejection of that concern, but for what it is, a disagreement over the details of your statements.

You state:

> My wife has been reading this thread to me and quite frankly it doesn't
> make any difference what either side thinks or interprets about any
> scripture. Nor does it help matters for one to dig and study the greek
> to the fullest of its meaning. What matters is what the Lord thinks
> and means by it. I can promise you that no amount of study or interpretation
> will give you the meaning that God has for it. The only way to find
> the true meaning is to read plainly and to ask the Author. He will
> give the true meaning, not an interpretation. This is what is means
> when the bible says it's not for private interpretation.

I disagree. It is of the utmost importance to study the Word of God (in the original languages if necessary) before making any judgement on the meaning. In fact, Paul goes on to say in his next letter to Timothy to "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."

The key phrase being "rightly dividing the word of truth". If we don't study and search the Scriptures then we stand in danger of being swept away by "every wind of doctrine" that comes along. The ministry that God has set in the Church (apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers) are there to perfect the saints in their understanding of the Word of God:

(Eph 4:11-15 KJV) And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

You further state:

> William, I feel that what has caused quite a stir about your comments,
> is this idea that certain passages only deal with culturally relevant
> ideas. All though from a logical stand point one could argue this,
> with the bible it is very dangerous ground. This is how many heresies
> have started in the church. Look at it this way, today we're stating
> that this verse of scripture is only culturally relevant, the next
> day, we're stating that maybe Jesus was wrong when He said that no
> man comes to the Father but by me. I'm definitly not accusing you
> of this. It is very apparent that you love the Lord and have provided
> a great deal of ministry through this site. But again my brother it
> is not our place to interpret but ours to hear no matter what our
> culture or the events of our lives states.

First of all let me state that *all* (every word) of the Bible is relevant and nothing is to be ignored.

Secondly, let me state catagorically, that I have never stated, nor do I believe that there is any portion of Scripture, that has *only* cultural relevance. 2Tim 3:16f "*ALL* scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. [emphasis mine]

Thirdly, let me assume that your wife hasn't read you all of my comments on dealing with culturally based situations. Over and over I have stated that it is impossible to "rightly divide the word of truth" while ignoring the culture and people that it was written to.

The cultural issue is always present. You cannot ignore it. I think that the NT is to be our example when determining the way that the Church should function, but I think that each Church is given much liberty in dealing with each of the issues that it faces (always within the bounds of Scripture). I've mentioned the issues of the head covering and women "keeping silent" in the church, as being examples that have particular relevance to the Greek Churches and that you don't find Paul mentioning these things to the other churches. To me this means that different churches have different problems and not every church will deal with every problem exactly the same. This is not to say that these passages have no bearing on present day Christianity. There are principles and applications even in these examples that no Christian should ignore.

Another good example of this is when Paul admonishes the Corinth Church to stop spending so much time speaking in tongues in the public meeting (Please, no Charismatic/NonCharismatic debate here! I'm just using this as an example,) and re-focuses them on the aspects of ministry that will build up the body when it meets together. Well, what church do you know that has this problem? I don't know of any church where the members come together and spend most of their time speaking in tongues.

I'm not referring to a double standard here but only stating that every church is different. Our church here in the sunny south would certainly be very different from one in the northern part of Africa. A church in Central America might be facing problems with the local witch doctor while we might be up against the NEA. (Please, no hate mail... I'm not making a comparison between the NEA and witch doctors!)

In like manner, Paul writes to Corinth things that apply to Corinth and to the Ephesians, things that would apply to the Ephesians. I'm I saying that these letters have no bearing on the issues that we face? Certainly not! But I think that the "NT pattern" shows us that the leaders in the church are given wide latitude in dealing with the problems facing the local assembly. Now before anyone gets the wrong idea, let me say again, I'm not talking about a double standard! If, for example, I go to Church tomorrow and the whole congregation spends most of the morning speaking in tongues, same thing next Sunday and the following Sunday... guess what I'm going to be reading in our Sunday school lesson? Right! 1Cor.14! But since this isn't likely to happen, and since we face other problems, I'm going to need wisdom and knowledge to deal with our present needs which are going to be different from the church at Corinth.

Your Church may be facing growth problems while the book of Hebrews seems to be dealing with an altogether different problem, church shrinkage! Am I making sense here?

I've asked these questions before, but people always seem to bow out before answering:

What is your view about the issue of slavery? The Bible was written during a period of history when slavery was a way of life, and even Paul mentions the fact that Christians had slaves. The Bible doesn't condemn the practice, so would it be okay for us to have slaves? Should a Christian be condemned for having slaves, even if there is no Bible authority for the condemnation? If the answer is yes, then why? Would not the same argument apply to the suppression of women that we see today in many Church situations?

If you don't believe in considering the culture in dealing with Scripture, how do you handle Paul's statement in 1Cor. 15:29. Is "baptizing for the dead" a practice that should be a part of our modern day church?

Over and over I've stated:

"When anyone interprets scripture in the light of the culture and customs that prevailed at the time the passage was written, they risk being accused of trying to take away the Bible's authority and render biblical precepts as irrelevant for our day. But because some twist scripture for their own ends, does not invalidate the need to consider the cultural background of all Scripture. Any true exposition of Scripture must take these things into account if the exposition is to be valid."

Should we attempt to wear the same type of clothing style that was worn by those who lived in biblical times? Our present day attire bears no resemblance to those times, should we wear loin cloths, so that we can take literally the command to "gird up our loins"? Should the practice of foot-washing be continued even if we do not live under the same conditions that made that custom popular? Do we insist on "real wine" when we have our communion services, or do we yield to the present day attitude that says it's not proper for a Christian to drink alcohol? Are we disobeying God when we do not adhere to the letter of the word in these issues?

Just how do you deal with these issues without considering the culture to whom it is written?

While I'm not suggesting that it would be fundamentally wrong for a Christian, or Church to practice wearing loin cloths, use real wine in communion, practice the "foot-washing" tradition, wear the head-covering, etc., I do think that it is wrong to make these cultural issues a basis for Christian fellowship.

Please understand, I do not have a problem if a Church attempts to find the customs and traditions that existed during biblical times and tries to duplicate those conditions. My problem is with those who insist that to be a Christian, or to be true to God, they must follow cultural standards that existed during that period (which spans thousands of years, by the way) on the 20th century Church. To ignore the conditions that prevailed when a verse or passage was written and then apply the verse literally to our present day situation will prove to be a challenge.

To be consistent, each example that has been outlined in the Bible would need to be followed, such as the situation outlined in Acts 4-5. Church members should sell their property and live in a communal type atmosphere.

Does your Church practice this, or does it recognize the underlying principle of unselfish sharing and preach that, instead?

Do you always apply the letter of the Word even when the conditions that prevailed do not currently prevail in our culture? If you answer no, then why would you think it odd that I have attempted to explain why a culturally dependent passage shouldn't be used to keep women irrelevant in the function of the assembly? Why would you sense danger here?

In some types of situations, we cannot apply verses in an absolute way.

Take the example in 1Cor 5:9. Here, obviously the Corinthians had misunderstood an earlier statement made in another context. So Paul has to explain further his meaning. If people, to whom Paul wrote, misunderstood him, it shouldn't seem strange to find people, far removed from the culture of that time, who still misunderstand him. My point is, that we must consider that certain verses in the Bible (1Cor 14:34, 1Tim 3, etc. ) may be dealing with information not explicitly expressed.

It's the job of the teacher to dig into the text of difficult passages and with the aid of the Holy Spirit and knowledge of the culture, to present what he believes to be the truth and application to believers.

This isn't to say that the truths are "out of reach" for anyone but the teachers, or that the teachers are infallible. Any diligent believer who is led by the Holy Spirit can understand and glean the truths of the Bible, but to ignore the teaching ministry that God has set in the Church and say that all we need is to read Scripture and ask the Holy Spirit to give the meaning, is folly, especially since the Holy Spirit is the one who has given the ministry gifts to the Church!

Let's face it, there were many situations in the early Church that do not prevail today, (such as the problem of eating meat sacrificed to an idol) and attempting to use a verse out of it's cultural context, to deal with a situation in a modern-day Church is not wise. I say, that we should be a little lenient in the application of certain verses, unless we are faced with the same conditions that prevailed in the Greek/Roman society of Paul's time.

> This is how many heresies
> > have started in the church.

On the contrary, it is because of a lack of "rightly dividing the word of truth" that creates an atmosphere where heresies flourish.

Your example:

> ...today we're stating
> that this verse of scripture is only culturally relevant, the next
> day, we're stating that maybe Jesus was wrong when He said that no
> man comes to the Father but by me.

I'm sorry you believe that this is possible. These kinds of examples, in my opinion, serve to keep people from "rightly dividing the word of truth". To the extent that we ignore relevant data, we limit ourselves from walking in the truth of God's Word (again, my opinion).

There is no excuse for anyone commenting on any passage of scripture, without knowing the people, their culture and the geographical area that is included.

> I state this in love and based on Romans 14 and 15:1-7.

Again, thanks for your concern.

William


The Ministry of Women --The Rest of the Story

Posted by William Eaton on Monday, 25 May 1998, at 8:01 a.m.

I'd like to take a moment and summarize my views on women in ministry.

For my views specifically on interpreting 1Tim 2:11-12, please note my reply to Bill Phillips under We have a problem here

In any study of the Word of God the first thing that must be considered is: what is God's view? Many, when dealing with the issue of women in ministry, assume that God's view has been clearly set forth in 1Tim2:11-12, 1Cor 14:34, and go no further in examining the issue. This would be proper if there were no other passages where God's view could be seen.

It should be noted that in the beginning God created Adam and Eve and affirms that they are equal and complimentary. Gen 1-2 This is a foundational theological statement that shows God's design and intention for men and women. They both were created in God's image. Gen 1:26-27.

Both were given dominion over creation. Gen 1:28. The woman was given to complement the man. Gen 2:18. It's interesting that the word "help meet" in no way implies an inferior or subordinate status. The word is used 16 more times in the Hebrew Bible and in those cases it is used to designate God as the one who saves, upholds and sustains His people. (See Ps 46:1)

The woman was literally of the same material as the man. Gen 2:23 "Bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh". It should be seen that the woman isn't restricted in any sense, not in the home or society. She is truly an equal.

The basis for restricting her role came only as a result of the fall. It is clear that the male dominance over the female came about as a result of human sin and cannot be cited as resulting from God's created design. Gen 3:16.

Even after the fall, we see God placing Deborah (a wife and mother) in a leadership position, judging His own nation. So whatever your views about 1Tim2:11-12, and 1Cor14, they must take into account God's viewpoint, both from the beginning and after the fall. Equal in the beginning, and after the curse He still had confidence enough in women to allow one to lead His people. He blessed Deborah's leadership.

In the New Testament even a quick reading will affirm that the most central teachings of Paul, is the fact of redemption. Redemption from the curse. Redemption from the effects of the fall of man. He clearly sets forth the concept of being a new creation in Christ. Paul shows that neither gender, race, or social status, has a bearing on the Christian. Gal 3:26-28.

So, whatever your view on 1Cor 14:34 and 1Tim2:11-12, it is essential that there be no contradiction between God's original design, His continued confidence in women after the fall, and Paul's clear assertions that we are no longer under the curse. (We have been redeemed!) Also it must be noted that Paul didn't apply the 1Cor14 and 1Tim2 restrictions universally, nor did the other assemblies. Women functioned in prominent leadership positions. See Phoebe, Lydia, Euodia, Syntyche, Priscilla, Junia. Women were designated as ministers/deacons, fellow workers, colaborers in the gospel, and even apostles! Both men and women were empowered by the Holy Spirit to proclaim God's redemptive message. Acts 2:14-18. Women prophesied and prayed in the early Church, even in the assembly where Paul commanded for the women to be silent.

Whatever your views on 1Cor14 and 1Tim2 are, to be Biblically correct, they must conform to these basic premises:

1. God's original design didn't restrict women in any way.
2. Deborah's leadership over men wasn't restricted in any way.
3. The norm for the redeemed Christian woman wasn't restricted.
4. Paul's own writings show that he considered both male and female to be free in Christ, completely free from the curse.

With all of the above in mind, it seems clear, (to me at least!) that the only possible reasons for the prohibitions in 1Cor14 and 1Tim2 must be found in looking at the context of the local situation that prevailed both in Corinth and Ephesus. Both situations seem to have at the base a crisis.

Looking at Timothy's situation it becomes obvious that the integrity of the Christian faith is at stake in the Church at Ephesus. There were those teaching false doctrines and propagating myths. Sound doctrine was being ignored, vain debates, and novice teachers were the order of the day. The Truth was at stake.

It is not hard to assume (and this is my own opinion--your opinion may be just as valid as long as you take into account the whole Biblical context) that some, if not much, of the trouble was coming from the female population. Remember that it was at Ephesus that there was a riot concerning the goddess Diana, the city was steeped in the worship of this woman goddess, and presumably women were the primary functionaires of this idol worship. For this reason it would be easy to assume that these women were attempting to dominate the Church.. This influence would quickly destroy a congregation if left unchecked. Timothy, undoubtedly, had a profound respect for the ministry of women, due to the fact that it was his mother and grandmother who had laid the foundation of his own faith, and may have needed strong prompting to actually curtail a situation where the usurping of authority was taking place.

The same type of situation was, in my opinion, the cause for the 1Cor14 passage. The gospel was at stake and no measure would have been too radical. Both Churches were essentially Greek which, to me at least, explains why these restrictions weren't universally applied. There were unique problems facing the Greek congregations that were cultural in nature, which didn't affect the Roman or Jewish Churches.

You may disagree with me, but please, don't say that I have ignored Scripture!

William


That was very good, William, but you overlooked one "critical" point. Jesus only chose men.

Posted by joni on Monday, 25 May 1998, at 8:54 a.m., in response to The Ministry of Women --The Rest of the Story, posted by William Eaton on Monday, 25 May 1998, at 8:01 a.m.

And no I'm not a scholar, but I do know I have read scholarly articles that arrive at different conclusions as to just what the ministries were of the women you cited (But I don't think hubby would appreciate me doing research today since he's home!).

God bless you and have a great Memorial Day!

(I hope you and Tamara have nicer weather to enjoy your holiday than we do. We've got lots of smoky haze still coming in from Mexico!)

In Him,

Joni


This wasn't meant to be an exhaustive treatment...

Posted by William Eaton on Monday, 25 May 1998, at 9:27 a.m., in response to That was very good, William, but you overlooked one "critical" point. Jesus only chose men., posted by joni on Monday, 25 May 1998, at 8:54 a.m.

I believe that there are good responses for your point, and I'll be happy to get into that more later... I can assure you, however, that Jesus's view of women, mirrors God's view *grin* and when it is shown that God's view is restrictive, I'll surrender! *grin*

William, Defender of the weak and oppressed!


Re: We have a problem here...

Posted by Bill Phillips on Monday, 25 May 1998, at 10:29 a.m., in response to Re: We have a problem here..., posted by William Eaton on Monday, 25 May 1998, at 12:22 a.m.

William,

Thanks for the response and it is my hope and prayer not to offend you or anyone on this board. But you have done much to prove the very point I am making. Let me explain. The first thing you did is read my post and formulate an option and objections to it before you asked any question to the author. As a preacher I am well aware of the importantance of study, cultural aspects, languages and grammar (of who I am a poor student of in our native tongue I admit)of the bible but let me relay this story to you all to see if I can clarify my point.

As a student at a local Bible college, One of my friends and a pastor, who I put a great deal of worth in his opinion, came to me with what he felt like was the biggest breakthrough in sermon preparation in years. He had just been introduced to the Kay Arthur inductive bible study. Not knowing at that time what the program was about, I asked him to explain. He did readly. He stated that what you do is you read the bible then pray for the meaning. Then after the Holy Spirit give you the insite, you can then do word studies and lastly commentaries to gain futher insite! In shock I asked what he was doing before. Mind you this was an experinced pastor leading over a hundred souls! He told me that he had been picking a relative passage to what he felt lead to preach, reading commentaries, doing word studies and asking the Lord lastly for a "better understanding of what he had learned"! And dear people this is the norm. Many of the pastors agreed that the way they studied was just the same. Read the bible, read what some else stated about the bible, read what the words state, then ask the Author what light He could shed on the subject that had allready been settled in there mind! Can you think of another book you would read this way!

Now I am not accussing any one of this but it has seemed to be the the norm of events when the word 'Study' has come into play. If I have asumed something, I am indeed sorry.

My prospective is that the Word of God is timeless and not bound by culture! It trancends our limited understanding or atempts to bind it it a form that we can 'use'. You see we are not to use God and his word. We are to be used by Him and his word is to guide our steps no matter difficult. I truly beleive that every word in the bible is there for a purpose. God is not blind or limited by the confinds of time. Knowing this why would he pad his word with things that would lose there meaning over time or in culture! When the bible loses it meaning is when we try to bring it to our understanding and not asking the Lord to show us what he means!

William, again this is not an attack on you or your beliefs but in most cases that I have experienced that people have the cart before the horse. We want to understand the bible so we can do His will. The truth is that we must know Him to understand his will and the word is our guide us.

As far as the series of 'do you really believe' guestions here is some thing think about. I agree that a woman can be a pastor! The problem is the use of the word. I am in much study and prayer about this but it seems at this point in my walk that this is posible. That is If you reguard the pastor as a gifted person whom God has chosen to nurture and love his people and not the office of the elder. It is an old tradition that the two are cleaved togother but there is little scriptural support for this view! Well that open a whole new kettle of worms. As for the other question about salevery. I think that we in the United States think that we are at the pinicle of goverment and socal standing. In fact the bible in the book of Daniel chapter 2 states that we are at the lowest in Gods eyes. No personlly I don't own or desire to own slaves even if it was legal but that doesn't change the fact that slavery exist, or my belief that, one day, we many even see it on our shores again! But again my interpreation means little, its His truth that reins!

God Bless

Bill


Neither weak, nor oppressed!

Posted by joni on Monday, 25 May 1998, at 10:35 a.m., in response to This wasn't meant to be an exhaustive treatment..., posted by William Eaton on Monday, 25 May 1998, at 9:27 a.m.

I do hope you get to have some fun in the sun with your family today, William! This can wait until tomorrow!

(We have no sun! I'm sitting here listening to "my Guy" play the guitar while my girls sing! I won't be joining in the singing until I get my new and improved vocal chords on the other side!)

In Him,
Joni
P.S. About surrendering--can't imagine you ever waiving a white flag! Things might get boring around here! By the way, if you point out several instances where Jesus was definitely counter-cultural, I will agree! However, he still chose l2 men to lead!


Re: Jesus only chose men...Did He???

Posted by Peggy on Monday, 25 May 1998, at 11:00 a.m., in response to That was very good, William, but you overlooked one "critical" point. Jesus only chose men., posted by joni on Monday, 25 May 1998, at 8:54 a.m.

Could you elaborate more on what you mean when you say that Jesus only "chose" men?

In Christ,
Peggy


Re: Jesus only chose men...

Posted by Peggy on Monday, 25 May 1998, at 11:04 a.m., in response to That was very good, William, but you overlooked one "critical" point. Jesus only chose men., posted by joni on Monday, 25 May 1998, at 8:54 a.m.

...based upon Law, or tradtion? If Law, please site it for me.

In Christ,
Peggy


Re: We have a problem here...

Posted by William Eaton on Monday, 25 May 1998, at 11:07 a.m., in response to Re: We have a problem here..., posted by Bill Phillips on Monday, 25 May 1998, at 10:29 a.m.

Hi Bill,

I'm afraid that you have still missed my point, and I'm sure that I haven't been as clear as I would have liked... unfortunately, I'm going to be pretty busy the next few days and I'm not sure I'll have time to respond further for awhile, but again, I'm glad you took the time to share your experiences.

William


Re: The Ministry of Women --The Rest of the Story

Posted by Janet on Monday, 25 May 1998, at 12:09 p.m., in response to The Ministry of Women --The Rest of the Story, posted by William Eaton on Monday, 25 May 1998, at 8:01 a.m.

Hi Folks, it looks like I have been missing a great thread, and unfortunately have only the time while DH and kids are at the store to catch up. I'm with William here. God chose a woman for another very important task. Wasn't it Mary that found the empty tomb and therefore the person chosen to share the wonderful news of the resurrection? In the book of John, Jesus sends Mary Magdeline to tell the GOOD NEWS to the disciples; to tell the Disciples that He was ascending to His Father. Isn't teaching the Word of the Lord just that, sharing the Good News of Jesus's victory over the grave? Just MHO.
Have a great Memorial Day, Family is home and I have a cook out waiting.
In Him-
Janet


Was Jesus guilty of "sexism"?

Posted by joni on Monday, 25 May 1998, at 12:16 p.m., in response to Re: Jesus only chose men..., posted by Peggy on Monday, 25 May 1998, at 11:04 a.m.

Why is the law a factor in who Jesus chose to lead His Church? Jesus broke the law; for instance, He healed on the Sabbath. And we are no longer under the law. And no, I can't cite a law.

If Jesus acted only under tradition (with it's obvious implication...that the church, would *discriminate* against women for the next 2,000 years), then maybe Jesus was guilty of perpetuating a "sexist" system.

As a matter of fact, that is the very logical conclusion that many, many radical feminists have taken. They do conclude that Jesus could have chosen women, but didn't. (After all, He behaved counterculterally in other instances with regards to women) Therefore, He is guilty of sexism.

I'm sure you DO NOT hold to this view, Peggy! But, I thought I'd point out the conclusion that many women hold who accept the "tradition" argument.

I don't think He was obeying the Law or following tradition. I believe He chose the leaders of the church according the His *perfect* will.

In Him,
Joni


Jesus only chose men to lead the church--the l2 Apostles

Posted by joni on Monday, 25 May 1998, at 12:27 p.m., in response to Re: Jesus only chose men...Did He???, posted by Peggy on Monday, 25 May 1998, at 11:00 a.m.

nt


I meant "cite", not "site"....posting publically is always such a humbling experience!! (grin) nt

Posted by Peggy on Monday, 25 May 1998, at 1:44 p.m., in response to That was very good, William, but you overlooked one "critical" point. Jesus only chose men., posted by joni on Monday, 25 May 1998, at 8:54 a.m.

nt nt nt


At the risk of turning a mountain into a mole hill.....

Posted by Janet on Monday, 25 May 1998, at 3:35 p.m., in response to We need to do what the Bible tells us to do, not what our denominations....., posted by Kendra Halbert on Friday, 22 May 1998, at 10:29 a.m.

There are things that even true christians cannot see eye to eye on. Years ago I questioned a church leader on this question ( Christians debating doctrine) and his response was:
"Do all of your syblings have the same relationship with your parents... of course not. You are all different, but your parents love you the same even though you are all different, they take you as you are and guide you in the way you need to be guided."
God does the same thing with each of us. He sees where we are and he meets us there and guides us to where we need to be. No two people are a like and God meets each there and teaches us what we need to learn. It may not be the same lesson that he is teaching the person sitting next to you in the pew, but it is what each person needs.
I have found over the years by practicing a lesson my mother taught me (open the Bible at random and just start reading, it won't take long and God will guide you to where you need to be, when you think you have the answer sit down and pray on it)that the scriptures will speak to us in different ways when we are in different situations. The example I can state is the 23rd psalm read when I have had a hard day verses the 23rd Psalm when I have lost a loved one. When I have had a hard day the scripture speaks of God's caring and comfort for me, when I have suffered a lose it is the caring and comfort of the one who has passed on.
God speaks His word to us if we listen. We may read the same scripture 10000x's and learn something different every time if we open our heart to his word. Only through constant study, prayer and meditation will we hear what he has to say. It may in fact be the same words he spoke to Paul or it may be a new lesson, but it will always be there if we open our hearts to him.
Only God knows what lessons we have yet to learn and it will take far more study prayer and meditation for any of us to even begin to understand what lesson this thread is suppose to teach us.
MHO
In Him-
Janet


True, true, true, but, but, but...

Posted by joni on Monday, 25 May 1998, at 4:14 p.m., in response to At the risk of turning a mountain into a mole hill....., posted by Janet on Monday, 25 May 1998, at 3:35 p.m.

No one suggests that murder is permissible for some, and not permissible for others! Obviously, there are many of God's law, or ways, that apply to ALL Christians. God's laws do not change from individual to individual.

Most of us believe that the Bible teaches a certain view regarding women in leadership in the church. Either God wants, accepts or tolerates women leaders in His church or He doesn't. That is the $20,000 question we are lovingly, jokingly, sometimes exasperatingly trying to work out on this board! (Not that I think either side is ready to capitulate (wink!), but I think we do all learn in the process.

Just my hunble opinion! Blessings to you.

In Him,
Joni


Re: The Ministry of Women --The Rest of the Story

Posted by Lisa TX on Monday, 25 May 1998, at 4:15 p.m., in response to Re: The Ministry of Women --The Rest of the Story, posted by Janet on Monday, 25 May 1998, at 12:09 p.m.

We've been over this is the past. Some of us believe teaching and telling are the same thing, some of us do not. I do not. I believe all Christians, women included, are commanded to *tell* the Good News, but women are forbidden to teach men, as that would put them in a position of leadership over men.


Re: The Ministry of Women --The Rest of the Story

Posted by monica on Monday, 25 May 1998, at 8:20 p.m., in response to Re: The Ministry of Women --The Rest of the Story, posted by Janet on Monday, 25 May 1998, at 12:09 p.m.

That isn't a leadership position now is it? Anyone knows that women can talk and share. Whether or not women have *tasks* set before them isn't the issue at all. We all should serve in stewardship to the Lord.--monica :)


I wasn't trying to stop the thread...

Posted by Janet on Monday, 25 May 1998, at 9:10 p.m., in response to True, true, true, but, but, but..., posted by joni on Monday, 25 May 1998, at 4:14 p.m.

just suggesting we were all forgetting that faith has much to do with where you are standing along your journey and even those that have traveled the same distance often travel a very different path to reach the same place.
In Him-
Janet


Re: I wasn't trying to stop the thread...

Posted by monica on Monday, 25 May 1998, at 9:19 p.m., in response to I wasn't trying to stop the thread..., posted by Janet on Monday, 25 May 1998, at 9:10 p.m.

The questions still remains the same.

Culture or not. I don't see how ANYONE can sit there and say this verse applies today and this one over here doesn't--monica :)


What is the difference between teaching and sharing?...

Posted by Janet on Monday, 25 May 1998, at 9:59 p.m., in response to Re: The Ministry of Women --The Rest of the Story, posted by Janet on Monday, 25 May 1998, at 12:09 p.m.

What mother, or father has not learned along with there child when we have been called to watch the wonder of a butterfly or catterpillar, is it wrong for the child to teach the parent to stop a watch the wonder of the Lord's world around us? Where is the line drawn? Is it wrong to question what is said in a Bible study because it is taught by a man, or must I wait and ask through my husband? Am I to assume that if a male is teaching than it is of God, and if a woman is teaching and men are present then it is not the teachings in accordance to His word? When do we differentiate our sons from men? when do I stop teaching them and look to them to teach me? When does witnessing become teaching? How is stewardship of the Children Sunday School diiferent than Stewardship of the Church as a whole? Aren't the children the future of our church, shouldn't we be teaching all of them regardless of gender to be responsible christians accountable for the church as a whole? Am I not my brothers keeper? I have a lot more questions but I think I'll stop now. I Just don't see a clear cut answer to these questions in the scriptures that have been posted, please give me the answers if they are there.
In His Love--
Janet


Re: What is the difference between teaching and sharing?...

Posted by monica on Monday, 25 May 1998, at 10:23 p.m., in response to What is the difference between teaching and sharing?..., posted by Janet on Monday, 25 May 1998, at 9:59 p.m.

clear cut from scripture NIV: 1 Timothy 2 11-12
A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or have authority over a man;she must be silent.

* call ya tomorrow :) monica


Great sighings *grin* Why are you doing this to me Monica...

Posted by Janet on Monday, 25 May 1998, at 11:18 p.m., in response to Re: I wasn't trying to stop the thread..., posted by monica on Monday, 25 May 1998, at 9:19 p.m.

I prefer to debate with you in person, that way I know that i won't be misunderstood. I don't type with the same tone that I talk.
I don't see it as picking and chosing which scriptures to believe and which scriptures not to believe. I believe it is a case of looking at the big picture instead of the small one.
Some on the board have quoted scripture that states women are not to lead, some have quoted scripture that showed women leading.
Men and women alike were asked to step forward on their faith in the Blble. Ester was called to face the king at the risk of her life just as Daniel was placed in the lion's den. When Jesus healed the woman that touched his cloak did we learn less than when he healed the lepers?
God teaches us in the big picture with both men and women. Husbands and wives learn from one another, we learn from our children. The Lord speaks to us in many ways. I don't believe he intended that men could only learn from other men.
Just MHO. Call me if it doesn't sound the way I'd say it.
In Him-
Janet


You didn't answer my question, when does sharing become teaching? Teaching does not take place only within the walls of a church building. (nt)

Posted by Janet on Monday, 25 May 1998, at 11:23 p.m., in response to Re: What is the difference between teaching and sharing?..., posted by monica on Monday, 25 May 1998, at 10:23 p.m.

nt


Re: I wasn't trying to stop the thread...

Posted by Kevin Megill on Tuesday, 26 May 1998, at 8:57 a.m., in response to Re: I wasn't trying to stop the thread..., posted by monica on Monday, 25 May 1998, at 9:19 p.m.

I might as well jump back into the fray too!

Monica ...

You wrote:

"The questions still remains the same.

Culture or not. I don't see how ANYONE can sit there and say this verse applies today and this one over here doesn't"

NO ONE HERE IS SAYING THAT! (Your assignment is to write 100 times on the blackboard "William believes all verses apply today." *grin*).

William DOES apply the verses about women in leadership today -- he just interprets their meaning for today differently than you and I do. All verses in Scripture apply today, but not all apply DIRECTLY.

---

The example of "Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's" was a great one (thanks, Julie Hamilton). We all agree that this applies today, but how? Does it mean that we have to hunt down someone by the name of Caesar and give him things? Or does it mean we need to pay taxes to our own government? We all know it means to pay taxes to OUR government.

Lisa TX says "but we still OBEY the command" -- of course we do. But we obey it in the 2nd sense, of giving money to our government, not in the ridiculous sense of paying someone named Caesar.
Lisa calls this "*understanding* what was meant" so that we can obey it. But others call it "interpreting the verse culturally".

"we 'interpret' the verse in light of the 'cultural context' of what Jesus said, and pay our taxes to our government." -- Julie Hamilton

When William and Julie Hamilton and I (and whoever else) talk about using cultural interpretation, that's all we mean -- when deciding HOW to obey a verse, we need to understand what it really means for today.

You know what that means? -- You've all been doing cultural interpretation for years, without realizing it!!! *grin*. I call it cultural interpretation, you call it understanding the true meaning. I say PoTAYto, you say poTAHto ...

---

So the 64 dollar question remains for William. Lisa asked it first.

"I'm curious to know what relevance you believe these passages *do* have on present day Christianity? What are the 'principles and applications...that no Christian should ignore' in the passages about headcoverings and women keeping silent in the curch?"

I am assuming that his answer would be:

The relevance to today -- the principle that no Christian should ignore -- is that when the spread of the gospel requires it, we should be willing to set aside our own freedoms -- and the "right" to be in leadership -- and just do whatever will be best for the spread of the gospel.

William? Is that how you think the verses are to be obeyed today, or do you see a different application?

In His love,
Kevin Megill


Re: Great sighings *grin* Why are you doing this to me Monica...

Posted by Robin B on Tuesday, 26 May 1998, at 9:41 a.m., in response to Great sighings *grin* Why are you doing this to me Monica..., posted by Janet on Monday, 25 May 1998, at 11:18 p.m.

I step in here with fear and trembling *grin* but really have no desire to go too far in. I'm not very well equipped for it at this point. But I did feel I wanted to say something here to Janet. I may not be speaking for whoever you are refering to when you mentioned that God teaches us with men and women, husbands, wives, children, when women are healed, when lepers are healed, etc. I certainly have NO arguement with that. As is often said, He can even use a donkey. But I don't think that is the arguement here. It is not a point of who we can learn from or not. It is a question of-- does God permit women to be in authority over men?


when you learn...

Posted by monica on Tuesday, 26 May 1998, at 10:30 a.m., in response to You didn't answer my question, when does sharing become teaching? Teaching does not take place only within the walls of a church building. (nt), posted by Janet on Monday, 25 May 1998, at 11:23 p.m.

no one is disputing whether or not women make excellent teachers. There are many excellent women teachers and speakers out there. Look at Elisabeth Elliot, wonderful teacher! Mark and I both learn a great deal from her. This does not mean Mark is under her authority though.--monica :)


Yes, but there may be more!

Posted by William Eaton on Tuesday, 26 May 1998, at 3:41 p.m., in response to Re: I wasn't trying to stop the thread..., posted by Kevin Megill on Tuesday, 26 May 1998, at 8:57 a.m.

Hi Kevin,

I'm sorry, I didn't see the question. But you are right, that would be my first thought. But it goes further than just the first century.

I've been a member of a Church that practiced the custom of wearing the headcovering, washing the saint's feet, and silent women. Tamara wore the headcovering, we've washed feet, and Tamara was silent. If we were ever called to Iran to minister we would limit our freedom in Christ and, as much as possible, conform to the customs of those people, in order to reach them.

Julie's example was good, in that it commands active participation, but the "eating meat sacrificed to idols" example shows the principle in a straight forward manner, howbeit, in a passive sort of way. In other words, it's not likely you are going to be invited to a feast where meat that has been sacrificed to an idol is going to be served. (But if that ever happened, we would know what to do, right?) On the surface, I can't think of a more *irrelevant* passage of scripture...(20th century USA) but on the other hand, it is very *relevant* in the principle that is being taught, in fact, I think it's one of the most relevant, given the way Christian's think.

Hey, thanks for jumping in. You explained things pretty well for a person who disagrees with me! *grin*

William


Joni, Jesus never broke the Law, He only challenged the "traditional interpretations" of the Law...

Posted by Peggy on Tuesday, 26 May 1998, at 10:38 p.m., in response to Was Jesus guilty of "sexism"?, posted by joni on Monday, 25 May 1998, at 12:16 p.m.


You said: "Jesus broke the law; for instance, He healed on the Sabbath."

First, had He broken the Law, He would have been in sin, and He never sinned...

Second, had He transgressed the Law, the Pharisees would not have had to labor in their schemes and plots to have Him killed...His actions would have indicted Him as a sinner.

Jesus spoke clearly about the lasting quality of the Law and the serious consequences of willfully defying the Law while teaching others to do the same:

Mat 5:18  I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.
Mat 5:19  Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

The only thing that Jesus could be accused of doing was challenging the traditional interpretations of the Law and shaming the Pharisees in public. This only increased their ire and fueled their scheming and plotting against Him. 

The Sabbath Law did not distinguish the details that constituted "work"...it was the extrabiblical laws which detailed those particulars. Jesus challenged those traditional extrabiblical interpretations:

Mark 3:4  Then Jesus asked them, "Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?" But they remained silent.

The answers to these questions were known because they were supported scripturally:

Isa 56:1  This is what the LORD says: "Maintain justice and do what is right, for my salvation is close at hand and my righteousness will soon be revealed.
Isa 56:2  Blessed is the man who does this, the man who holds it fast, who keeps the Sabbath without desecrating it, and keeps his hand from doing any evil."
 
Isa 58:13  "If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the Lord's holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,
Isa 58:14  then you will find your joy in the LORD...

Ironically, it was the Pharisees themselves who broke their own laws by retreating from the scene to meet with the Herodians which under all other circumstances would have been prohibited because they (the Herodians) were considered "unclean".

Mark 3:6  Then the Pharisees went out and began to plot with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus.

You said: "I don't think He was obeying the Law or following tradition."

He was obeying the Law by fulfilling it through His actions and by stating it's true interpretation. In these and in many other instances, Jesus bucked tradition! (Including "authorizing" a Samaritan woman to preach the gospel to a whole town! As well as engaging women in theological discussion) (grin)

Grace and peace
in Christ,
Peggy


Re: The Ministry of Women --The Rest of the Story

Posted by Tammi on Saturday, 30 May 1998, at 8:59 a.m., in response to The Ministry of Women --The Rest of the Story, posted by William Eaton on Monday, 25 May 1998, at 8:01 a.m.

>

Just a question, here. In every other case of the judges, scripture states, "And God raised up..." Except the case of Deborah. It just says that she judged Israel at that time, not that God raised her to that position. Is it possible that God did not place her in that position, but rather used her because she was in that position as a result of the sinfulness of Israel?

Tammi


Re: The Ministry of Women --The Rest of the Story

Posted by Tammi on Saturday, 30 May 1998, at 9:08 a.m., in response to The Ministry of Women --The Rest of the Story, posted by William Eaton on Monday, 25 May 1998, at 8:01 a.m.

>

I may be wrong, but it seems that no other portion of the curse are we redeemed from.
The serpent is still cursed by mankind(at least most of us;-) )
Childbearing is still painful.
By the sweat of our brow do we eat. Ask any farmer, the ground willing yields thorns and thistles, but it takes work to produce food.

It has always been confusing to me that people use the fact that we are free from the curse to justify women in leadership and women not needing to be subject to their husbands(I realize you didn't say that), yet do not acknowledge the fact that the rest of the curse still stands.

Tammi


Nevertheless the LORD raised up judges...

Posted by William Eaton on Saturday, 30 May 1998, at 8:42 p.m., in response to Re: The Ministry of Women --The Rest of the Story, posted by Tammi on Saturday, 30 May 1998, at 8:59 a.m.

"Nevertheless the LORD raised up judges..." (Judges 2:16) Of which it is clear that Deborah was one of the judges listed...after all, it is the *book of Judges* where we learn about Deborah.

William


Redeemed from the Curse? And are ALL women to submit to ALL men?

Posted by William Eaton on Saturday, 30 May 1998, at 10:09 p.m., in response to Re: The Ministry of Women --The Rest of the Story, posted by Tammi on Saturday, 30 May 1998, at 9:08 a.m.

Tammi, you stated:

""I may be wrong, but it seems that no other portion of the curse are we redeemed from.""

God's Word tells us that:

"Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith....There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. " Gal.3:13-14,28

Did Christ's death on the cross only redeem us from an eternal hell? Or does it have present implications?

While we still live in a fallen world and there are aspects yet to be revealed (Romans 8), nevertheless as Christians we are called to live, as much as it be in our power, free from the curse. No one in his right mind would suggest that because the curse is still present that it is ok for Christians to continue to live in sin. Just as I say that we should no longer have the mindset that we're in bondage to the curse. Jesus' death on the cross has made us free --whether Jew, Gentile, man or female...we're free in Christ.

You said:

"" The serpent is still cursed by mankind(at least most of us;-) ) ""

I'm afraid that I'm not following you here, could you explain further what you mean by this?

Regarding your last statement:

""It has always been confusing to me that people use the fact that we are free from the curse to justify women in leadership and women not needing to be subject to their husbands(I realize you didn't say that), yet do not acknowledge the fact that the rest of the curse still stands. ""

Yes, you're right, I NEVER said women didn't need to be subject or submissive to their own husbands.

The issue of women in leadership (and whether it is possible) and the issue of Biblical headship and submission are two separate issues. As I've already shown, Deborah was a leader in Israel and at the same time, a wife and mother. I'll leave it to someone else to answer how she could be both a submissive wife to her own husband, as well as leader of Israel, (scriptures do not elaborate) but apparently she was able to do this quite well and was blessed of God in this capacity.

The issue of headship and submission is taught throughout the Bible, in fact, it seems as if there are even "ranks" in heaven. (The angels, etc.) When a woman marries, she places herself under the headship of her husband.

This is not to say that *all* women are under the "headship" of *all* men. The wife is only under the headship of her OWN husband.

"Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing." Eph.5:22-24

Note that this is not a male-female issue, but a husband-wife issue. God has designed leadership within the institution of marriage (you can't have two heads)...the husband is given this role and responsibility. The wife is given the responsibility to submit herself to her own husband.

William