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Women in Ministry by Cheryl Schatz has moved

I am pleased to announce the my blog has moved to a new home on our ministry web site.   You can find the new blog home here:

https://www.mmoutreach.org/wim/

I have moved over all the posts as well as all of the comments.  I will leave my blog at strivetoenter.com/wim as an archive, but all new posts will go onto the new blog site so please change your book marks.  I plan to post again in the New Year at the new site, so see you there!

 

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wim-digital

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

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

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

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

#1 DVD

Introduction, Part 1: Genesis 1-3 The Designer Knows Best (Deals with the creation account)  Part 2: Genesis 3 Who is to Blame? (Deals with the fall of man and the implications on God’s original creation)  Total length 46 minutes

#2 DVD

Part 3: 1 Corinthians 11 Head Coverings and Authority (Deals with the issue of “head”, authority and all the difficult part of 1 Corinthians 11 including the length of one’s hair, the phrase “because of the angels” and the spiritual meaning of the head covering during prayer and spiritual service)  Total length 43 minutes

#3 DVD

Part 4: 1 Timothy 2 Women, Deception and the first Created (deals with Paul’s prohibition, the reasons given by Paul for his restriction and the expected outcome from 1 Timothy 2:15 that sums up Paul’s complete argument.) Total length 58 minutes broken up into 2 parts of approx 30 min each

#4 DVD

Part 5: 1 Corinthians 14, The Elusive Law (deals with the “law” that is appealed to in 1 Corinthians 14 and the connection with this restrictive “law” to the context of Paul’s letter to the Corinthians.) Part 6: 1 Timothy 3 Follow the Leader (This part deals with the issue of trustworthy servants of God and their qualifications); Part 7: Galatians 3:28 Equal to Serve (this part deals with Galatians 3 & 4 where Paul lays down his argument on equality and full sonship.)  The DVD concludes with an appeal to the church to allow women to minister in the gifts that the Holy Spirit has given them.

To purchase the high quality  4 DVD set, it is available now from Amazon.com here or from our web site here.

For those who have seen the DVDs and would like to recommend them to others or if you would like to comment about the impact the DVDs had on you or others you know, please feel free to comment.

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Diane Sellner and CARM on Women in Ministry by Cheryl Schatz

In 2006 my DVD Women in Ministry Silenced or Set Free came out and since that time I have seen my share of scarecrows who are intent on destroying the message of women in ministry. One such scarecrow refuses to go away and it is time to create a blog post where others who have been hurt by the issue of women in ministry can share their pain.  If you are a woman in ministry or a woman teacher and you have been hurt, abused or silenced and you would like to share a short story, this is the post for you to share with us. I will moderate the comments so that any scarecrow/troll who would like to sound off against women in ministry will either have their comments moderated or removed.  This is a safe place where others who are like minded can encourage you as there are many who come to this community of loving Christians who value the worth and ministry of women.

The reason I named this post Stubble, Straw and Scarecrows is because those who are vehemently opposed to women’s gifts used for the common good are planting chaff and their words are nothing more than stubble and straw. Stubble, straw and scarecrows are not God’s tools nor are they things to be afraid of. We are to fear God and allow Him to decide what gifts we receive for the fact is that the gift we receive from God comes with His permission to use His gift for God’s glory and the common good (1 Peter 4:11). No man can give us spiritual gifts and no man may kill God’s gifts within us. We are accountable to God and we must be faithful with what God has given us rather than holding back because of the fear of man.

I will start with my story. In 2008, I had the opportunity to respond to accusations against women in ministry made by CARM (Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry).  Through this contact, I was eventually subjected to months of name calling by Diane Sellner who is the vice president of CARM and she is CARM’s head discussion board moderator who is a strong opponent against women in ministry. In 2008 Diane launched a concerted attack against me personally saying that God would shut down my ministry. What was my crime? My crime was my support of women’s rights to use God’s gifts for the common good, and for creating  a DVD on this subject which was seen as persuasive and having influenced people on the CARM discussion boards.

There are some that visit my blog who were on the CARM boards at that time and they were witnesses to the attacks against me.  Through Diane and her role as moderator of the CARM discussion board, I was accused of being despicable, a weak Christian, unstable, a heretic, evil, a danger to the body of Christ, poison, I “stink”, a wolf in sheep’s clothing, a pathological liar, a hypocrite, brainwashed, a classic heretic nut case, dangerous, an imposter and a deceiver, no ounce of character, my doctrine on women in ministry is said to be from the pit of hell, and that God will remove me from the web. On top of the name calling, Diane Sellner purchased my name three times as an internet domain name in an effort to try to prejudice people who would google my name. Diane linked the purchases of my name as domain names to a blog that she created where she identified me as a narcissist and she encouraged people not to listen to me. Diane was outed in August 2008 as the one who purchased my name, by the admission of her own boss at CARM.  I have all of this well documented. Diane had purchased my name as a domain name with the help of a private registration which shielded her name from the public view, but with her boss at CARM admitting that he knew she had purchased my name three times in an effort to destroy my ministry, Diane no longer had the cloak of secrecy to hide. In a fizzled attempt to remove my ability to influence people for women in ministry, one year later, in 2009, Diane let her purchases of my name as domain names expire, although she has not stopped trying to harass as she continues to keep her blog targeted against me online with her own brand of name calling. What a sad example it is of her character.

This is an example of stubble, straw and a scare crow, of just one such name of someone who has tried hard to stop my ministry, but God had other plans.  That was in 2008 and it is now 2012.  Since that time my DVD set has gone around the world and I regularly get emails from people who have been touched with the strong message that they have seen from the Scriptures that the DVDs present in context.  The 4 DVD set Women in Ministry Silenced or Set Free? has helped many men and women to understand their prejudice against women in ministry and the strength of my argument has been the very passages that are used to hold women back. When the hard passages of Scripture on women in ministry are looked at carefully in their context, these passages no longer hold women back, but women have experienced a release to serve the Lord with all that He has given them and in every avenue that He has called them.  Praise the Lord!

But there is something that makes me sad. What makes me sad is the amount of people who are still being hurt by people like Diane Sellner. She has not yet repented. Through the years I have heard from those who are terribly hurt by Diane’s tactics and an internet search of her name shows some of the extent of the problem. I have flourished even though Diane has been focused on destroying me. But there are others who are not as strong who have been hurt and I believe that these people can use some love and support too. If you are on this blog post because of Diane Sellner and you need encouragement or a listening ear, email me. My contact info is listed at the top on the tab marked email. I don’t want to read bad stuff about Diane on my blog. If you need help, email me.

This post is especially for those who have been marginalized and hurt because of the issue of women in ministry. You are safe to share you story here and you will find love and support. I want to encourage you that you can obey God and suffer persecution and survive it with integrity. Just as nothing has deterred me from the ministry that God has called me to, so the opposition against women in ministry can be seen for what it is. It is dead, dry and about as scary as a scarecrow. With God’s gifting and calling, you are attached to God’s power source and no weapon formed against you by the enemy will prosper unless you bend and give your back to the scarecrow. Don’t be afraid of man and don’t turn and run. Just go on with your ministry and ignore those who want to bring you down. Fear God and serve Him and let things fall as they may. In the end, I believe that you too will see that the attacks against you are nothing but stubble, straw and scarecrows and none of that can harm you in the least.  Be encouraged!

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masculine-christianity on Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

This is part 2 of What God intended at creation and it is inspired by a recent lecture given by John Piper where he states that God’s intention for Christianity is for it to have a “masculine feel“.  After discussing John Piper’s Masculine Christianity, I will give my critique of his masculine arguments. Part 1 is here.

Here is John Piper’s summary of his belief in God’s intention of a masculine Christianity:

God has revealed himself to us in the Bible pervasively as King, not Queen, and as Father, not Mother. The second person of the Trinity is revealed as the eternal Son. The Father and the Son created man and woman in his image, and gave them together the name of the man, Adam (Genesis 5:2). God appoints all the priests in Israel to be men. The Son of God comes into the world as a man, not a woman. He chooses twelve men to be his apostles. The apostles tell the churches that all the overseers—the pastor/elders who teach and have authority (1 Timothy 2:12)—should be men; and that in the home, the head who bears special responsibility to lead, protect, and provide should be the husband (Ephesians 5:22–33).

john-piper-masculine-christianity on Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

God has revealed himself to us in the Bible pervasively as King, not Queen, and as Father, not Mother. (JP)

Is God male?  Absolutely not, but God can refer to Himself in male terms if He wants to and He can refer to Himself in female terms too:

Isaiah 46:3 (NASB95)

3“Listen to Me, O house of Jacob, And all the remnant of the house of Israel, You who have been borne by Me from birth And have been carried from the womb;

God has no problem in using female terminology and comparing Himself to a mother. God also had no problem making an analogy to feathers (when He covers us) or a womb (when He carries us) so why should we use the male terms He uses to say that God prefers men?


The Father and the Son created man and woman in his image, and gave them together the name of the man, Adam (Genesis 5:2). (JP)

The first term for man was not male.  It was a united term that was given to both male and female. (Genesis 5:2)


The second person of the Trinity is revealed as the eternal Son. (JP)

The Word of God came as a man, not because men are more important in God’s eyes, but because of the sin of Adam – his rebellion that was brought into this world. The world was in need of a last Adam, not a last Eve.


The apostles tell the churches that all the overseers—the pastor/elders who teach and have authority (1 Timothy 2:12)—should be men (JP)

Elders and overseers are those who give up of themselves and serve the body, not those who take authority over the body.


The head who bears special responsibility to lead, protect, and provide should be the husband (Ephesians 5:22–33)  (JP)

There is quite a bit on this blog even in the recent posts about Ephesians 5, that I won’t try to condense it here. I will say that my post here, provides a link to one of the very best sermons I have ever heard taught on this passage.  The sermon is part of a series of sermons, that I intend, God-willing, to comment on and link to in the future.

John Piper also states that women’s joy is to be in masculine Christianity, “He did not create women to languish, or be frustrated, or in any way to suffer or fall short of full and lasting joy, in a masculine Christianity.”  Why did God create Christianity to have a “masculine feel”?  Piper states that it is in part “for the sake of the glory of women”.

Apparently masculine Christianity just feels right to John Piper as he states how God inclines both men and women to fall in line with masculine Christianity.  “It’s the feel of a great, majestic God, who by his redeeming work in Jesus Christ, inclines men to take humble, Christ-exalting initiative, and inclines women to come alongside the men with joyful support, intelligent helpfulness, and fruitful partnership in the work.”

In my last post I listed the first two arguments that complementarians use to “prove” that God intended, from creation, that the male would rule over the female.  In this post I will deal with the third complementarian argument, and then I will go through John Piper’s 8 traits of a masculine ministry from his lecture on masculine Christianity.

3. The male rules for the benefit of God because the male was the only gender that was picked to be as leaders for Israel and among Jesus’ disciples.

The claim is that God only raised male leaders and so God’s actions in the OT and Jesus’ actions with His disciples in the NT, define God’s will for godly leaders.  It is said that the precedent is set by God as an exclusively male leadership except when God did not have any other choice but to appoint a female because no male was available.  It is also said that God picked a woman as a leader because He was judging Israel by giving what was seen by them as a judgment against them.

Response:

This is a common argument, but it is an inaccurate argument.  The claim that God had to chose a female because there were no godly men available is an easy point to disprove.

Elijah thought that he alone was left as a prophet of God because he was the only one left serving God yet God corrected him by saying that he had seven thousand others who have not bowed the knee to Baal.

Romans 11:3 “Lord, THEY HAVE KILLED YOUR PROPHETS, THEY HAVE TORN DOWN YOUR ALTARS, AND I ALONE AM LEFT, AND THEY ARE SEEKING MY LIFE.”
Romans 11:4 But what is the divine response to him? “I HAVE KEPT for Myself SEVEN THOUSAND MEN WHO HAVE NOT BOWED THE KNEE TO BAAL.”

God has always had a remnant who followed him and thus God has never been without a man to serve him.

Let’s look at another example. Huldah was used by the Lord to bring a message to King Josiah yet God also had men available for His use. The prophet Jeremiah had been prophesying in Judah since the 13th year of the reign of King Josiah (see Jeremiah 1:2) and it was the 18th year of the reign of King Josiah (see 2 Kings 22:3) when Huldah was consulted as a Prophet of God to bring a message to King Josiah. So a woman, Huldah, was used by God even though Jeremiah was available and Jeremiah had already been prophesying in the land for five years. Even though Jeremiah was available, God chose to use Huldah to speak His words to the king.

What about the claim that women were only picked by God as leaders when He wanted to judge apostate Israel?  Here is one of those claims:

The root problem in Deborah’s day was spiritual apostasy. When God’s people turn away from Him, He renders the men powerless against their enemies and removes wisdom from their hearts. It is a judgment upon apostate people.

Deborah was a Judge sent by God, but she was not sent to judge against Israel but to deliver them and this task was accomplished.

But what about Barak?  Was he weak-willed and cowardly because he needed a woman to go into battle with him? See this complementarian example of the claim that Barak was a coward.

The men in Deborah’s day were very weak and cowardly. This is seen in the fact that Barak, the captain of the armies of Israel, refused to go into battle unless Deborah went with him. What a brave man! What a hero!

The woman had to remind him that God had said it is time to fight; the woman had to encourage and challenge him to go; the woman had to go with him!

Was Barak a cowardly man or was he a man of faith?  The bible tells us that Barak was a man of faith and he is listed in the hall of faith in Hebrews 11:32 right alongside David.  How was Barak’s faith in God shown?  His faith was shown because he refused to go into battle without God’s provision for the battle.  Deborah was God’s provision.

The Judges were all sent to deliver Israel from their enemies.  This means that it was impossible for Deborah to be a judgment against Israel when she was sent to deliver Israel.

What about Jesus?  Why did Jesus pick only men as His disciples?  He didn’t.  He had women disciples right along with the men.  But it is true that Jesus only had men in the category of the twelve. Is this a precedent that Jesus was setting up by implying that only men could be the top leaders of the church?  If so, then He was also setting up a precedent that only Jews could be the top leaders of the church since all of the twelve were Jews.  Jesus’ picking of the twelve, cannot be used as a law for leadership unless Jesus Himself stated such a law and based this law on His choice of the twelve.  Jesus did not state such a law and for men today to go beyond what is written in this area, it proves to be a serious question of their own understanding of the Scriptures and hints of a prideful attitude.  When an argument needs to be bolstered by inaccurate claims, we need to ask why are so many striving so hard after a rulership on this earth and over the Church that was never  given to them? 

For further reading on this topic, see my previous posts here:

http://strivetoenter.com/wim/2008/10/03/women-leaders-to-judge-sinful-men/ and

http://strivetoenter.com/wim/2007/12/07/laying-a-false-argument-to-rest/

Now onto John Piper’s list of 8 traits of a masculine ministry that he observed from the life of J. C. Ryle.   Below are the 8 traits with a shortened sentence or two from John Piper that describes the trait.

1. A masculine ministry believes that it is more fitting that men take the lash of criticism that must come in a public ministry, than to unnecessarily expose women to this assault.

…a masculine ministry puts men at the head of the troop with the flag in hand and the trumpets in their mouths, so that they, and not the women, take the first bullets.

This sounds so valiant – let the men take the bullet for women disciples in Christ, but in essence, these men are not taking the “bullet for women”. In fact for so many women who are gifted and called by the Lord Jesus, the bullet has been fired by our brothers in Christ and the gun has been aimed to inflict damage to their own sisters in Christ.  The lash of criticism for women in ministry does not come from the world, but from Christian brothers who claim an exclusive right for males to fulfill their call to leadership. When the shooters themselves claim to be the protectors of women, may the Lord help us all.

2. A masculine ministry seizes on full-orbed, biblical doctrine with a view to teaching it to the church and pressing it with courage into the lives of the people.

The point is that when the foundations of the church are crumbling, the men should not stand still and wait for women to seize the tools and brick and mortar. And women should expect their men to be at the forefront of rebuilding the ruins.

This point makes biblical doctrine as a male-only possession.  It also sounds valiant that men should not stand still and wait for women to seize the tools and brick and mortar, but the fact is that these men have done everything they can to remove the tools and to remove the brick and mortar from the hands of women.  John MacArthur’s The Master’s Seminary for example does not allow women to enroll. The tools that of biblical languages training and other tools of biblical training are not allowed to be placed in the hands of a woman in TMS.

While point 2 of John Piper’s 8 traits of masculine ministry sounds like it is men shouldering the heavy work to help women, in essence, it is used to remove women’s ability to learn, their ability to fulfill their calling in Christ, and their ability to be placed in the body of Christ as the Spirit wills.  When Paul said that women were allowed to learn, it is apparent that many men are not listening.

3. A masculine ministry brings out the more rugged aspects of the Christian life and presses them on the conscience of the church with a demeanor that accords with their proportion in Scripture.

He that would understand the nature of true holiness must know that the Christian is “a man of war.”

It is true that Christians are soldiers in a spiritual battle but this is a battle that we are all called to fight.  There are no “rugged aspects of the Christian life” that are kept away from God’s female soldiers. We are all called to fight the good fight.  We are all called to finish the course.  We are all called to keep the faith.

4. A masculine ministry takes up heavy and painful realities in the Bible, and puts them forward to those who may not want to hear them.

It is a godly and loving and manly responsibility of the leaders of the church not to distort or minimize the weight and horror of hell.

What does this mean?  That a woman is allowed to distort or minimize the weight and horror of hell just because she is a woman?  There is no precedent from the Scriptures that allow anyone to distort or minimize the gospel.  To say that hell is a painful reality would be true, but to say that only males are to “take up” and “put forward” these biblical truths, would be going beyond what is written.

5. A masculine ministry heralds the truth of Scripture, with urgency and forcefulness and penetrating conviction, to the world and in the regular worship services of the church.

…no matter what a preacher’s personality or preferred tone, this preaching necessarily involves urgency and forcefulness and a penetrating conviction which aims to come with divine thrust into the minds and hearts of the listeners. And therefore, this is a manly task.

When I read the Scriptures, I see that it is the Holy Spirit that provides conviction, not men.  The divine thrust that brings a message into the hearts of the listeners, is not the human vessel, but the very work of the Spirit.  It is not a manly task.  It is the Spirit’s task!  I am surprised that John Piper doesn’t get that. What did Paul say?

1 Corinthians 2:1–5 (NASB95)
1 And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God.
2 For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.
3 I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling,
4 and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power,
5 so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.

I think John Piper just totally misread the Apostle Paul!  Apparently Paul was not manly enough for the task if we measure him by John Piper’s standards.

6. A masculine ministry welcomes the challenges and costs of strong, courageous leadership without complaint or self-pity with a view to putting in place principles and structures and plans and people to carry a whole church into joyful fruitfulness.

…what is required again and again is a decisive strength that does not weaken in the face of resistance.

What John Piper seems to be saying here is that women are weak in the face of resistance, while men are not.  It is apparently only a real masculine man who is able to carry a church and be a servant to the church that belongs to Christ.  A church is not meant to be carried by one person.  We are a body, not a business.  We are an organism with many members, not an autocrat-lead organization.  Those who lock other people out because they believe they are called to carry a whole church on their shoulders are often the ones who are abusers who really believe their strong leadership style does not need help.  Paul said that the eye cannot say to the hand “I do not need you”.  The one who needs the most help is often the one who thinks he needs no help at all.

7. A masculine ministry publicly and privately advocates for the vital and manifold ministries of women in the life and mission of the church.

The aim of a masculine ministry is the fullest engagement of every member of the church in joyful, fruitful ministry. The aim of leadership is not to be the ministry, but to free the ministry, according to God’s word, by the power of God’s Spirit, for the glory of God’s name.

Is this John Piper saying that only a masculine ministry is able to provide public and private help to women’s ministries?  In many complementarian churches, the male leadership is stymied about what women can or cannot do in the church.  Can they be a usher?  Can they pass the communion elements front to back?  The aim of this kind of leadership is not to free women in ministry, but to make sure that women don’t overstep their bounds against an invisible list of thou shalt nots.  While we love our brothers in Christ, to think that a man is the best person to head a woman’s ministry, is just plain short sighted.

8. A masculine ministry models for the church the protection, nourishing, and cherishing of a wife and children as part of the high calling of leadership.

The year after he  came to Liverpool as bishop, Ryle published a book of eight messages for children. It’s called Boys and Girls Playing based on Zechariah 8:5. It reveals the rare mixture of concern for children along with a very masculine feel.

John Piper’s point 8 of his 8 traits of a masculine ministry seems to suggest that only a married man is called to the high calling of leadership.  It also suggests that a concern for children along with a feminine feel, is inferior for children’s development.  While we agree with the balanced use of all of our gifting, both male and female serving in their calling and both needed, it seems graceless to say that only a male can best model protection, nourishing and cherishing for women and children.

Has God given the Church a masculine feel?  It seems obvious to me that those who push women out the door by denying them the freedom to use their gifts for the common good, may have a better chance to give the church a more masculine feel, but I do not see this as God’s work.  But in order to help John Piper out and give him more ideas on how to make the church have a more masculine feel, I present a post that I did on the problem of the feminization of the church and a modern-day fix.  I am sure that John Piper can get a few helpful ideas from it as long as no one tells him it was written by a woman.

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Ruler or ruled? Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

What did God intend at creation?

It seems that everywhere we look these days, complementarian men are quoting the act of creation as God’s intention to put the women underneath the rule of the man.  They are also quick to note that there are two different kinds of rulership of the male. The first kind of male rule is that of an autocrat, tyrant or despot who rules in spite of the woman’s own will or intention.  This kind of rule, they say, is not what is taught by Christian men. The second kind of rulership is described by the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood as headship and this is defined as “two spiritually equal human beings, man and woman, the man bears the primary responsibility to lead the partnership in a God-glorifying direction.” (pg 95 Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood a Response to Evangelical Feminism edited by John Piper and Wayne Grudem).  The difference between the two rulerships is that one allows the man to rule the woman for his own benefit and the other rulership has the man ruling the woman for the benefit of God as a God-ordained spiritual leader.

Let’s unpack this down to the presuppositions that are required to form the foundation of the God-ordained male rule. This post will consider the first two claims of male-only rule:

1. The male rules for the benefit of God because the male is somehow more like God than the female is.

The claim is that God is male and that only the male was made directly in God’s image. The implication is that because God is a “male” and because He rules the universe, males are more like God and have been given a God-ordained rule within their male nature. At the same time, these God-ordained male rulers believe that God withholds from women the ability to be “like” Him in rulership, because of their God-ordained nature as a “helper”, thus the male alone rules for God and the female alone submits.

Response:

First of all, it is important to note that God is not male. God has no male sexual organs and He has no testosterone. God also does not have a body, so it is impossible for Him to be structurally or hormonally male. In His essence, God is neither male nor female and because He is neither, God is free to describe Himself in female terms just as He is free to describe Himself in male terms.  God describes himself as a nursing mother in Numbers 11:12 and Isaiah 49:15, yet we know that God as pure Spirit has no sexual parts that could make God female. Those who claim that God is female are just as wrong as those who claim that He is male for God is neither.

Secondly, within the expression of God, we find Him as a Divine ruler and a Divine helper so being like God would involve both ruling and functioning as a helper.  If a Christian man refuses to be a helper because he believes this is a woman’s “role”, then he is failing to live out the image of God. God is Himself called our helper in Scripture.

In Genesis 1, God laid out the function of His image-bearers here on earth. Both of God’s image bearers were to rule the earth and the animals. God gave no indication that the male is anymore “like” God in His image than the female is “like” God for God has chosen to give His image to male and female alike.

2. The male rules for the benefit of God because the male was created first.

God created the man first (2:7) and stationed him in the Garden of Eden to develop it and to guard it (2:15) (pg 100 Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood)

Response:

God did not say that He would create Adam first so that the male alone would have a unique right to rule the earth. To claim that being created first is a Divine stamp of approval over and against the second one who was created is an arrogant stand against God’s own testimony from Genesis 1:26, 27.  God initiated His plan by His own spoken Word and He brought the plan into existence by creating both the man and the woman in His image. Both had His stamp and both had the mandate to rule.

While ancient culture gave priority to the first born male child, God deliberately by-passed that cultural priority at times by choosing His servants from outside the rank of the first born. On the other hand,  it is important to note that Adam and Eve were not in a competition of “first born” son’s rights since they were not created as siblings, but created to be united as husband and wife.

The last point is that Adam’s privileges given to him before Eve was created from his body, cannot be a sign of male supremacy unless it can be proven that Adam was given something that was withheld from Eve because she was a female.  No such God-ordained withholding of privileges is present in the Scriptures, so complementarians are left with a “beginning of creation” male supremacy through sheer wishful thinking alone.

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Worldly infection on Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

In my last post I presented one of the best sermons that I have ever heard on Ephesians 5, regarding the evidence of Spirit-filled lives for both men and women.  This post is on the opposite of the Spirit-filled life which is an influx of worldly infection through male-centered pride. The outgrowth of this infection is the teaching that encourages men to focus their efforts on taking the “lead” over women, putting them under their authority and control. They are taught that women were made to be led and when men don’t take leadership over women’s lives, women will not be able to fulfill their “role” in Christ.  Recently I heard a teaching where young Christian men were rebuked for taking the authority over their girlfriend’s by deciding for them what university courses they would register for. The speaker chastised the young men and told them that they were “not yet” responsible for making their girlfriend’s decisions. They needed to wait until they actually became their husbands and then they had this authority. It is no wonder that many women are surprised with an entirely different man on their wedding day than who they thought they were marrying. The teaching that men are responsible for the entire home including their wife and her spirituality has caused many young men to subjugate their women in order to fulfill their calling and for the wife’s “own good”. The spiritual harm that has resulted from the teaching that the man has the mandate to rule his wife for God, has caused untold pain and suffering and a stifling of the woman’s ability to seek after God for her own life. She is no longer in control of the exercise of her own gifts and calling – he is.

This alternate “Christian” worldview results in man-centered pride and arrogance which breeds dominance and spiritual abuse rather than Christ-centered living through the filling of the Holy Spirit. Wade Burleson has written an excellent article where he identifies several organizations that are guilty of promoting unethical, unbiblical, and godless treatment of women. I have listed three movements below and made my own comments on their historical push for male rule.

CBMW on Women in Ministry by Cheryl Schatz

1. The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.

No organization has worked harder to spread the message of male only leadership in the home and church than CBMW has.  Be Strong and Show Yourself a Man was the theme for their 2005 Conference at Denton Bible Church.  To CBMW, manhood is connected to the Kingdom of God and the Bible gives us a mandate to raise “masculine” sons and “feminine” daughters.


T4G on Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

2.  Together for the Gospel.

T4G has spearheaded a view of complementarianism that has gone so far as to include their view of male leadership in the gospel so that not having a clear view of complementarianism is said to damage a Christian’s witness to the gospel.  Their Article XVI reads:

We affirm that the Scripture reveals a pattern of complementary order between men and women, and that this order is itself a testimony to the Gospel, even as it is the gift of our Creator and Redeemer. We also affirm that all Christians are called to service within the body of Christ, and that God has given to both men and women important and strategic roles within the home, the Church, and the society. We further affirm that the teaching office of the Church is assigned only to those men who are called of God in fulfillment of the biblical teachings and that men are to lead in their homes as husbands and fathers who fear and love God.

We deny that the distinction of roles between men and women revealed in the Bible is evidence of mere cultural conditioning or a manifestation of male oppression or prejudice against women. We also deny that this biblical distinction of roles excludes women from meaningful ministry in Christ’s kingdom. We further deny that any Church can confuse these issues without damaging its witness to the Gospel.

Mark Driscoll's resurgence on Women in Ministry by Cheryl Schatz

3. The resurgence movement and Mark Driscoll.

Mark Driscoll has influenced a lot of younger Christians to accept limitations on the “roles” of women.  Mark has adopted Bruce Ware’s view that a person’s view of gender roles will reveal their view of God, the Bible as God’s Word, and how the Bible is to be interpreted. Mark’s view is that complementarianism, or male rule in the home and church, is vital for the well-being of God’s people, and his job, as well as other New Calvinist’s job, is to present fresh ways of saying this “old truth”.

Wade Burleson concludes that complementarianism leads to power-hungry men seeking positions of authority and control, and an almost cultish like god complex. “I am in the image of God. My word is Law. You submit to what I say, and don’t dare try to tell me what I should do.” He gives three examples of where complementarianism has hurt women.

1. A Pastor moved his family to a more expensive home against his wife’s will.  Wade writes:

Before the move the pastor’s wife insisted that the family should not move. She had several very good and valid reasons. However, the pastor informed his wife, that as the man in the home–”the one with authority”–he would make the decision to move and overrule any objections he heard. He said moving was “the right thing” to do, and submission to his authority was “the right thing” for her to do.  So the pastor’s family moved. I have withheld names, but I do hope the pastor reads this blog and realizes the dysfunctional nature of the argument he had with his wife. Multiply this by hundreds of times in conservative, evangelical homes and you get a picture of the problems created when Christian men have a warped view of their authority.

2. A long-time member of a baptist church was not allowed to have her funeral in the church since her son wanted two women to read Scriptures at his mother’s funeral.

3.  There is a commentary on the Bible just for women. Wade’s blog gives his whole rant about how culture is bringing in “bizarre and unbiblical views of women that are being taught by our seminary Presidents, their wives, and other ‘leaders’ in the SBC.”

The complementarian movement has been one of the causes of division in the Church today that has caused godly, gifted women to leave many evangelical churches in order to be faithful to use their gifts in ministry. Please pray with us that God will bring wide spread repentance to those who have used their authority and control to hold back God’s female “sons”. May there come a time that we will all be in unity with no more men seeking after position, power, authority and control.  Jesus said it is to be “not so among you”.

Luke 22:25–27 (NKJV)
25 And He said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those who exercise authority over them are called ‘benefactors.’
26 But not so among you; on the contrary, he who is greatest among you, let him be as the younger, and he who governs as he who serves.
27 For who is greater, he who sits at the table, or he who serves? Is it not he who sits at the table? Yet I am among you as the One who serves.

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Christian Freedom on Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

This post is the essence of the sermon Spirit-Filled Living part 1 by Pastor Darrell Johnson of First Baptist Church, Vancouver, BC, Canada.  If you would like to listen to the entire sermon, you can listen to the sermon here.

Spirit-Filled Living Part 1

The revolutionary and alternate understanding of human relationships in Ephesians 5 & 6 is contrary to deeply engrained patterns of behavior. Even after 2,000 years the Church has yet to work out the implications.

In Ephesians 5:18 we find the imperative (command) to “be filled with the Spirit”. We are to be filled with the very life of God and everything else flows out of that filling. Following that filling is a series of consequences or results. Notice that these results are all participles. They are not commands as some translation have made them out to be. They are participles – the result of the one command – “be filled”.

Ephesians 5:21 “be subject” is also not a command (imperative), but a participle in a series of participles. Ephesians 5:21 is also not a new sentence as many translations have it, nor is it a new paragraph, for “being subject” is a result of being filled.

There are a serious of relationships in which this “being subject” is worked out. Wives and husbands, fathers and children, masters and servants.

Verse 21 sets up the subjection as reciprocal, “one to another”, so that all of the subjection in Ephesians 5 & 6 is governed by the reciprocal nature that flows from “being filled”. Wives are being subject to husbands and husbands being subject to wives; children being subject to fathers and fathers  (or parents) being subject to children; servants being subject to masters and masters being subject to servants.

Radical and revolutionary

“Being filled” goes to the root of relational dynamics and turns things upside down so that things can be right side up again. Because of sin, human relationships are twisted and distorted.  Jesus Christ comes into the world and through His Spirit, things become untwisted and untangled and He restores those relationships to God’s original intention.

Household codes

In the first century all of society had codes of conduct. These household codes listed the three sets of relationships that Paul also listed in Ephesians 5:22, 6:1, 2, 4. In most cases the husband, father and master of the household codes turn out to be the same person.

In the first century the home was often the place of work where all being lived under one roof. However,when the Holy Spirit comes and fills human beings with God’s life, the dynamics of these relationships change.  There is a new household code and there has to be. Why? It is because women, children and servants, were treated as mere objects to used by their masters for their own needs.  Some men did recognize the image of God in women, children and slaves, but the norm was that these three groups were mere pawns on a grand chess board controlled by fathers, husbands and masters.

Only one who was human

In the household codes, the husband/father/master/patriarch is the only one who is considered truly human.  Aristotle did not think women had the same rational capacity as men and therefore needed to be ruled by their men. He said that there were by nature, the classes of rulers and those ruled. The free rule the slave, the male rules the female and the man rules the child.

The Jews carried the same kind of household code. Jewish man every morning gave thanks that God had not made him a Gentile, slave or woman.  There were no legal rights for women.  The husband could do with her as he willed.

The code

In the human code, wives were subjugated to husbands, children were subjugated to fathers and servants were subjugated to masters.  Then Jesus Christ comes into the world; then the Spirit comes to fill the people in that world and the Spirit turns everything upside down.

Christ’s way

Paul says that Christ’s way for us is to be filled with the Spirit, being subject to one another in the fear of Christ.  This is a participle not a command. In fact in verse 22 the participle is not even there in the original text. It is found in verse 21. To make verse 22 a command or a new sentence or a new paragraph is to distort what Paul is saying. This inadvertently communicates something that was never there in the text.

Being subject

The Spirit fills us with His life. We are to speak differently, speaking with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks to God in the name of Jesus.

Grumbling and complaining are to give way to gratitude because we realize that God is in all we face, in order to further shape us into the image of Jesus. We find ourselves changing in the way we relate to each other especially in the household where we live and work. This result is not a command, but a consequence and result of being filled. Without the filling it is impossible for a human being to be subject to another human being. The Spirit comes and works this revolution in the human heart and we live out a new household code.

Being subject in the fear of Christ

The fear of Christ is not to be afraid of Christ.  It is an awe or reverence or respect for Christ.

Being subject to one another out of a deep respect for Christ for who He is, for how He lives, for a very different way He has of being Lord.  Being subject means standing under. We are to stand under Jesus Christ and stand under one another.

Why is “standing under” so radical?

In Ephesians 5:21, 22, wives “standing under” husbands and husbands “standing under wives”. This is radical not the world’s way and it is under not over.

Paul is working out the consequences of Jesus’ teaching given in Mark 10:42-45.

Mark 10:42–45 (NASB)
42 Calling them to Himself, Jesus said to them, “You know that those who are recognized as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them; and their great men exercise authority over them.
43 “But it is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant;
44 and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be slave of all.
45 “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

Jesus said that the worldly rulers, the worldly way, is to lord it over. Yet this is not Christ’s way. It is “not so among you”.  The human way is over.  This is the instinct of un-kingdomized humanity – to rule over others. Un-spiritfilled humanity has overlords. If one wants to see this instinct in action, go and see the move “The Help”. It is always over others.

Not so in my kingdom

The kingdom that Jesus brings in is “not so”, not like the world’s way, for whoever wishes to be great…shall be your servant. To be first is to be the slave of all.  In His Kingdom and among you, it is not over but under, not ruler, but servant.

The reality of the old man is over, climbing over others, because they are without the Spirit.

The new humanity with the new man is all about standing under one another.  It is only with the power of the Holy Spirit that one can purpose to stand under another human.

We cannot fully understand another human being until we stand under them. We cannot fully understand Jesus Christ until we stand under Him.

Even the Son of Man

Mark 10:45 (NASB)
45 “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

Jesus said “even the Son of Man”.  The Son of Man is the term Jesus took for Himself and it is the Messianic term from the book of Daniel, a term for the ultimate ruler. Jesus said that not even the ultimate ruler came to be served but to serve.

When the Spirit of the Son of Man comes and fills us, we find ourselves moved from over to under.

Spirit-filled wives will be moved to standing under their husbands and Spirit-filled husbands will find themselves moved to standing under their wives. Spirit-filled children will find themselves moved to standing under their fathers (parents) and Spirit-filled fathers (parents) will be moved to standing under their children. Spirit-filled slaves will find themselves moved to standing under their masters and Spirit-filled masters will find themselves moved to standing under their slaves.

In the kingdom of God, when the Spirit of the King comes, the revolution takes place and we live in mutual submission. We all have equal dignity, equal value, all equal before Christ, in submission to Christ and to each other.

Jesus’ example

The night before Jesus goes to the cross and He is gathered with His disciples in the upper room, Jesus rises from the table, lays aside His outer garments and grabs a basin and a towel and goes down on his knees and begins to wash their feet.  When He has washed their feet, He puts His garments back on and He takes His place at the table and asks them if they understand what He has done.

John 13:13–14 (NASB)
13 “You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am.
14 “If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.

Instead of Jesus saying that He has washed their feet, so they should wash His feet, He states that they should wash one another’s feet. Washing each other’s feet is washing Jesus’ feet. This subverts and replaces all normal patterns of authority. The disciples are to be servants of one another. This is not about rights. This is a different kind of egalitarianism which is based on the fact that the only one who is truly Master has proved Himself to be slave to all equally. He has laid aside His life for us.

The debt that we owe to Jesus is to be discharged by our subjection to our neighbor in loving service. Our neighbor is the appointed agent to receive what we owe to the Master. That is what Paul is getting at in the text.

Wives, your husband is the appointed agent authorized to receive the love you want to pour on Jesus.  Husbands, your wives are the appointed agent to receive the love you want to pour on Jesus.

This is why we need the filling of the Holy Spirit. The alternate reading of reality is so revolutionary that only the Spirit of Jesus, the true servant Lord can possibly make it happen.

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MM Outreach News & Views #98 on Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

MM Outreach News & Views #98 features our story of adversity through God’s grace.  This will help many of you to understand why I am not always fast in answering or posting here on the Women in Ministry blog.  I do want to go back to regular posting articles here through 2012, the Lord willing.

Interested in reading more about our story?  The current magazine is now available online or through the printed version and snail mail.  Listed below are ordering information for US, Canada and Overseas for both the print and online editions.

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For USA customers, click the “buy now” button below to purchase the current edition online for $2.00 USD

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USA customers may purchase a 1 year subscription (produces 4x a year) paper edition for $11.00 USD (includes the current edition)

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USA customers may purchase a 1 year subscription online edition for $7.00 USD (includes the current edition)

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Canada and Overseas customer may purchase the current edition online for $2.10 CAD
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Canada customers may purchase a 1 year subscription paper edition mailed for $11.55 CAD (includes the current edition)
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Canada and Overseas customers may purchase a 1 year online subscription for $7.35 CAD (includes the current edition)
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For snail mail orders for USA: MM Outreach, Box 454 Metaline Falls, WA  99153
for Canada and Overseas: MM Outreach, Box 294 Nelson, BC, Canada V1L 5P9
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Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz Merry Christmas to all

A very Merry Christmas to all who visit my blog!

Cheryl Schatz -christmas

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discernment-divas on Women in Ministry by Cheryl Schatz

Phil Johnson over at Pyromaniacs has struck up some heat on a post that he titles “The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of the Discernment Divas”.  In this post and in his subsequent comments he makes his position plain that women are not allowed to publicly point out error of a “duly ordained pastor”.  Phil classifies many “housewives and homeschool moms” as bad discerners who are discernment divas.   These “divas” believe that God has called them into a ministry of discernment but their abilities are not in rational understanding of doctrinal truth but an ability “to use a really sharp tongue” which Phil says is counter productive and embarrassing.  Phil doesn’t seem to mind that this may offend a lot of women as he tells Friel that he is a descendent of the John Knox clan. It was John Knox who offended more than a few when he wrote the book The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women in 1558.  In this book, Knox wrote that women compared to men were blind, weak, sick, impotent, mad, frenetic and their counsel is foolish. Knox also quotes Augustine favorably as saying: “How can woman be the image of God, seeing (says he) she is subject to man, and has none authority, neither to teach, neither to be witness, neither to judge, much less to rule or bear empire?”  When such harsh things are said about women even questioning whether women can be the image of God, would it be wrong for me to say that looking back on this kind of classification of women that Phil Johnson has associated himself with by aligning with John Knox’s Monstrous Regiment book, sounds sharp, counter productive and embarrassing and may have been a bad discernment decision for Phil?

In the audio file that accompanies Phil Johnson’s blog post, we can hear Todd Friel saying “There are two kinds of discernments that are a kind of discerner that are on the table right now. You have the monstrous regiment, and you have valid legitimate people who are concerned about theology.  That’s us.”

Who are the “valid legitimate people who are concerned about theology” who are allowed to present public criticism of Christian leaders and their bad doctrine?  They are males.  In his blog post Phil gives an answer to Denise who had written “Certainly God didn’t gift believers with the Holy Spirit and with spiritual gifts according to their gender.”  Phil responds:

Of course He did. He gave us gifts that are in accord with our calling and office. Certain offices in the church are closed to women

No matter how broadly you want to interpret 1 Corinthians 14:34-35, one of the clear implications of that text is that it’s not fitting for a woman who has no teaching authority in the church to raise a public objection against a teaching elder whose office is recognized by the church. That’s not to say the pastor is infallible or above critique, and there is (of course) a proper venue for a lay woman to share her concerns or ask her questions, but a blog on the Internet is not that venue.

If any woman fancies herself a gift to the church as a guardian of sound doctrine because she thinks she has a special “gift of discernment” that entitles her to go online and write insulting epithets against a duly ordained and divinely-called pastor, She is seriously mistaken and grossly out of line–and she is an embarrassment to propriety and feminine modesty.

How are we to compare this kind of discernment with the Scripture?

1.  It is the Holy Spirit who decides who gets His gifts.

1 Corinthians 12:11

But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.

Men have not been given the right or responsibility to decide who will receive the Holy Spirit’s gifts.

2.  The gifts of the Holy Spirit are for the common good.

1 Corinthians 12:6, 7

There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons.

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

No man has been given the right to withhold the gifts of the Holy Spirit for the benefit of all.

3.  We are all told to seek the gifts for the purpose of the edification of the church.

1 Corinthians 14:1

1Pursue love, yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.

1 Corinthians 14:12

12 So also you, since you are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek to abound for the edification of the church.

No man has been given the right to tell a member of the body of Christ that he or she cannot be zealous for the spiritual gifts.

4.  Those who have been gifted by the Holy Spirit are told to use their gifts as a go-between (the term employ) bringing the gifts of God to the benefit of the church as a good steward.

1 Peter 4:10–11

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

Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

No man has been given the right to demand that a servant of the Lord not be a good steward by using their gift publicly.

5.   We are told not to quench the spirit

1 Thessalonians 5:19
19 Do not quench the Spirit;

The gifts are not delegated by pastors, but by God Himself.  When we quench what God has given for the edification of the Church, we are guilty of quenching God’s Holy Spirit.

6. We are to be faithful to God with what He has given us because we must stand accountable to Him in the end.  We are not to judge one another unjustly nor are we to put a stumbling block in another Christian’s way.

Romans 14:12–13
12 So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God.
13 Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this—not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way.

I would like to ask my brothers and sisters in Christ to judge from the Scriptures.  Where does the Scripture give men permission to silence the gifts of the Holy Spirit that are given for the common good?  If we are to fear God and love the body of Christ, we need to respect the Holy Spirit and His gifts.  If He chooses to gift a woman, who dares to silence her gift for the use of the body of Christ?

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Eve is the outline on Women in Ministry by Cheryl Schatz

This post is the second part of an expansion on the reasons why I believe that 1 Timothy 2:11-15 is about one specific woman and why a general reference to women does not line up with the grammar within the surrounding context.  The first points 1 – 4 are discussed here. This post will deal with points 5 – 8 and an additional question about why the particular woman might not have been lumped together with the other false teachers in chapter 1.

5.  Paul creates an outline or pattern of Eve  in verse in 1 Timothy 2: 13 that fits the situation of a one specific deceived woman referred to in 1 Timothy 2:14 as the woman.

When Paul named Eve as the reason for the prohibition in 1 Timothy 2:12, Eve’s deception became the pattern that could be traced onto a specific situation at Ephesus.  Paul had already set up the usage  of a pattern in 1 Timothy 1:13 – 16 as he documented his own sin done in ignorance and unbelief as a prototype for God’s work in others.

1 Timothy 1:13–16 (NASB)
13 even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief;
14 and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus.
15 It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all.
16 Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life.

The Greek word translated as example in the NASB is hypotyposin and it means:

a pattern, as a model prototype 1 Ti 1:16 (as prime recipient of extraordinary mercy in view of his infamous past, Paul serves as a model for the certainty of availability of mercy to others).

Arndt, W., Danker, F. W., & Bauer, W. (2000). A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian literature (3rd ed.) (pg 1042).

We can see that Paul set himself up as the prototype or example of God’s mercy that was available to others.  In the same way that Paul is used as a model prototype in 1 Timothy 1:16, Eve is used as a model prototype in 1 Timothy 2:13, 14 and Eve’s deception which was followed by Eve being a recipient of God’s extraordinary mercy when God prophesied that the seed of the woman would crush the head of the serpent deceiver was itself the prototype for the promise of the Ephesian woman’s salvation found in 1 Timothy 2:15. In fact the prototype set up by Paul is so strong that in 1 Timothy 2:14 it is almost impossible not to see Eve and her deception even though the grammar surrounding “the woman” cannot be made to fit a dead Eve.

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

The definite noun (the woman) who had come into transgression has the verb in the perfect tense which means:

a completed action that occurred in the past but which produced a state of being or a result that exists in the present (in relation to the writer). The emphasis of the perfect is not the past action so much as it is as such but the present “state of affairs” resulting from the past action.

Glossary of Morpho-Syntactic Database Terminology.

For a discussion of why the grammar cannot be interpreted as a historical perfect, see part 1 of this discussion here.

So, the woman’s transgression that happened because she was deceived, was a past action, but the continuing results of the transgression are a present “state of affairs” at the time of Paul’s writing.  The grammar must fit a living woman, not a dead one.  This is the exact situation as found in verse 15 where she cannot refer to a dead woman. Eve, then, has to be a pattern, outline or prototype for deception which preceded God’s mercy in chapter 2 just as Paul is a pattern or prototype for ignorance and unbelief and then God’s mercy in chapter 1.

In 1 Timothy 2:13 Paul brings in Adam and Eve to explain the reasoning for the prohibition and from that introduction, Paul then draws an outline of Eve and replaces her with the specific woman.  He does this in such an effective way that Timothy as well as all of us can see the outline of Eve in the word deceived. Yet even with the strong outline of Eve, Paul fills in the details with another woman.  While Paul starts with the name Eve, he switches to the term the woman (vs 14) and the pronoun she (vs 15).

6.  Timothy receives an assurance about a particular “she” whose salvation would still be in the future at the time of Paul’s writing.

The grammar for both the woman (vs 14) and she (vs 15) requires a living woman who can be in a present state following her transgression and who can follow a new path that will bring about her salvation. The prototype of Eve must give way to a living woman who falls within the outline of Eve because of her circumstance. The prototype of Eve that is replicated with the woman in Ephesus shows the certainty of the availability of God’s mercy even to the one who is fully and completely deceived.

Will the deceived woman in Ephesus receive the same mercy as Eve did after her sin?  Paul is sure that she will be saved if her eyes are opened by being taught the truth (vs 11) and then continuing in that truth with help (vs 15). Verse 15 naturally connects the singular pronoun she to the specific and definite woman from verse 14 who is still in the ongoing consequence of her transgression. While verse 14 has the grammar showing ongoing consequences, the grammar of verse 15 shows Paul’s hope for her salvation in the future.  When Paul wrote that “she will be saved…if”, the only consistent and faithful application of a conditional salvation, would be Paul’s confidence about one specific deceived woman since a promise regarding all women’s salvation would have been a false promise no matter which way you look at it.  If we make the assumption that Paul wrote the truth about the  outcome of her salvation, then placing all women into a generic singular she would have made Paul to be a liar or a deluded man.  There is simply no way to include all women into Paul’s conditional promise.

7. Paul uses both the singular and plural in verse 15 and proper grammar disallows referencing both “she” and “they” in the same sentence as being the same thing.  The grammar supports a single woman along with at least one other person in order to make a plural “they”.

There is no biblical precedence for naming a singular generic noun as a plural generic pronoun in the same sentence.  The Bible follows grammar rules that reference a single generic woman as a singular pronoun she and no passage ever switches from she to they or from he to they in referring to the same antecedent.  We can either accept that the Scripture unlawfully breaks grammar rules in 1 Timothy 2:15 or else we can accept that she is not the exact same thing as they, and we can chose to trace back the pronoun to find out who she refers to and who they refers to.  The nearest noun that fits the she is the woman from verse 14, along with the anarthrous woman from verses 11, 12.  The plural they would have to refer back to the anarthrous man and woman from verse 12.  I see no other way around the grammar, and if I am wrong about this, then I am willing to be corrected by the inspired text and the inspired grammar.  Until then, I can only accept and believe what I see clearly from the text that aligns with an inspired text without grammar errors.

8. Eve cannot be a pattern for all women since not all women are deceived.  Eve can be a pattern for another deceived woman.

It is Eve’s deception and consequently the mercy shown her that is the prototype/pattern.  It is impossible for all women to fit this prototype since not all women are deceived. Paul’s example of Eve must correlate to deception or Paul’s words become meaningless.

I believe that it is time that we set aside our man-made tradition that has caused us to see Paul’s writings as contradictory to his practice of commending women who worked in ministry alongside him.  Paul’s practice was to commend them, and never did he silence them or set their gifts aside. Tradition has made Paul into a misogynist, but a proper exegesis of the text that pays close attention to the inspired words and the inspired grammar, vindicates both Paul and God who inspired Paul’s words.

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One other question that was posed to me was about why Paul did not lump the deceived woman in with the other deceived teachers in 1 Timothy 1.  I believe that the answer to this question revolves around two things.  The first consideration is that the situation of one particular woman with a Christian husband who was silent about her error, made correcting her to be a more difficult situation because the culture of that day made speaking correction to a married woman in contradiction to her husband’s own actions, to be a very tricky situation.  I believe that Paul set this one example aside by itself because Timothy needed encouragement to act outside of his comfort zone.

The second consideration is that the problem of one deceived woman in Ephesus was a perfect example to highlight God’s mercy through a woman.  Many in that day disregarded women and saw them as being outside of God’s mercy merely because of their gender.  By setting up the problem of this one woman and comparing her to the very first deceived woman, Paul set up a perfect parallel to Eve’s deception and the amazing mercy that came through the first one who was formerly deceived would encourage all to rethink gender biases.  By comparing the woman in Ephesus to the first woman, Paul was able to give a second witness to the mercy of God.  Paul listed himself as a prototype for mercy in chapter 1 and in chapter 2 Paul lists Eve as the second prototype for mercy. Through Eve, Paul gives  a living example of God’s mercy that Paul sees will happen in the future.  So by leaving the deceived woman teacher for chapter 2, Paul has given us the required two witnesses as prototypes of God’s mercy that should bring us to glory and praise God who is able to save the very worst and the most deceived.

I hope that my two posts that have brought out an expansion on my understanding have been helpful to you.  The other post that will be helpful in this area is my post on the anaphoric reference in 1 Timothy 2 found here.

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WIM recommendation on Women in Ministry by Cheryl Schatz

In July 2011, I was privileged to be a special speaker at the IMF MORE conference in Lakeville, MN.  It has been an extremely busy time for me as we are still in construction of our new office and video studio, but God blessed the time we took away from our project to serve at the conference.  The General Secretary of IMF saw that my work in the DVDs was unique and he had the DVD set critiqued by two seminary professors.  Below is the recommendation sent to me from Pastor Frank Masserano:

It was a blessing to have you present “Women in Ministry: Silenced or Set Free?” at IMF’s recent MORE Conference. I reviewed the four DVDs carefully prior to the conference and had two New Testament and Biblical Language professors at two separate ATS accredited seminaries review your research.

While both differed a bit on some textual issues, they both overwhelmingly recognize the excellence of your research and the general conclusions you reached.

Many of our people (men and women) were greatly blessed by your presentations and the humble and Christ-like spirit you and Richard exhibited in our midst.

Thank you again and congratulations on your excellent research and well prepared presentation on DVDs. I would recommend the set to any pastor for presentation to his or her church leadership, congregation or women’s groups.

In Christ,
Pastor Frank Masserano
General Secretary IMF

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One woman 1 Timothy 2:12 on Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

This post will be an expansion on the reasons why I believe that 1 Timothy 2:11-15 is about one specific woman and why a general reference to women does not line up with the grammar within the surrounding context.  I will also consider the challenge to my view from the new verbal aspect theory.  To start I will summarize my reasons from the text for believing that Paul had a specific woman in mind.  After that I will expand on each point trying hard to bring it down to a general level of understanding.

1.  There is a grammar change along with a topic change starting with 1 Timothy 2 verses 11 and 12 that points to a single woman rather than a group.

2.  There is an anaphoric reference in verse 12 (the anarthrous noun “woman”) that has as its referent the definite noun (the woman) in verse 14 as an antecedent.  This clarifies the non-specific noun (woman) in verse 12 as a specific woman rather than generic woman.

3.  The woman in verse 14 is in the perfect tense as she is existing in a present state and therefore the woman cannot be made to fit a dead person such as Eve.  The challenge of the new verbal aspect theory will also be dealt with under this point.

4.  The she in verse 15 is in the future tense and cannot be made to fit a dead person such as Eve who cannot do anything in the future concerning her salvation.

5.  Paul creates an outline or pattern of Eve  in verse 13 that fits the situation of a one specific deceived woman referred to in 1 Timothy 2:14 as the woman.

6.  Timothy receives an assurance about a particular “she” whose salvation would still be in the future at the time of Paul’s writing.

7. Paul uses both the singular and plural in verse 15 and proper grammar disallows referencing both “she” and “they” in the same sentence as being the same thing.  The grammar supports a single woman along with at least one other person in order to make a plural “they”.

8. Eve cannot be a pattern for all women since not all women are deceived.  Eve can be a pattern for another deceived woman.

Expansion on the first four points (the expansion on the next four points will come with the next post in this series)

1. There is an unusual grammar change in 1 Timothy 2:11, 12 that is unnecessary and very irregular if Paul was writing about women in general.  However the grammar change is a natural change if Paul is switching gears and changing subjects.

A logical continuation of the general topic of women should have kept Paul using the term “women” in verses 11 and 12.  This would have been straightforward and understandable if Paul was not changing the subject and if he was referring to the same group.  Paul could have easily said “I am not allowing women to teach or authentein men.”  This is indeed what complementarians are saying that Paul meant, but if that is what Paul meant to write, he did not write what was natural in that continued flow of  discussion.  Rather than continuing with the plural form, Paul abruptly switches to the singular woman in verses 11 and 12.  It is an abrupt change in grammar and we need to ask why?  Was the Holy Spirit trying to confuse us through this difficult passage penned by Paul?  Or is this one of the passages that we need to pay especially close attention to each point of grammar in order to rightfully divide the Word of Truth?  I would like to suggest that we have speculated far too long on what Paul meant and by speculating we have dismissed the grammar as if it has no real relevance.  Dismissing the grammar has caused us to veer off course and has caused much confusion in the church.

Paying close attention to the grammar allows 1 Timothy 2:11-15 to be one continuous text that is presented in a logical and compelling order. It is also in contrast with the previous verses.  For example in 1 Timothy 2:9, 10 Paul is talking about godly women who have good works. These godly women are to be given instruction by Timothy on how to model godliness by dressing modestly without placing undue emphasis on their attire.  Then comes the shift.  The prohibition in verse 12 shows that these verses are not talking about godly women nor about good works but about a sinner and about bad works.  There is a shift in the grammar (from plural to singular) and from good and godly things to bad and ungodly things which are markedly similar to Paul’s own ignorance, unbelief and violent aggression (1 Timothy 1:13) that he displayed before he found God’s mercy.  Paul himself said that he was set up as a pattern for those who were going to believe on Jesus.

1 Timothy 1:16 (NKJV) However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life.

Paul was set up as a pattern as one who was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor (1 Timothy 1:13) yet Paul found mercy. The Greek noun that is translated a violent aggressor means:

an act which invades the sphere of another to his hurt, a “trespass,” a “transgression” of the true norm in violation of divine and human right. Arrogance of disposition is often implied

Vol. 8: Theological dictionary of the New Testament.  (G. Kittel, G. W. Bromiley & G. Friedrich, Ed.)

A similar kind of word is used in 1 Timothy 2:12 as the extremely rare Greek word authentein also has a violent root even at times being equated with murder by one’s own hand.  Thayer’s Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament defines this unusual word as:

one who with his own hand kills either others or himself.

Zodhiates The complete word study dictionary writes this about authentein:

murderer, absolute master, which is from autos (846), himself, and entea (n.f.) arms, armor. A self–appointed killer with one’s own hand, one acting by his own authority or power.

So while Paul in his pre-Christian state thought he was working for God, his ungodly acts were violent aggression against both God and man. In chapter 2 Paul takes the pattern of his example and lays it as a pattern over the case of a woman who is unwittingly doing evil, but who is also eligible to receive God’s mercy.  Paul links her to the deception of Eve and in her deception she is to be stopped from teaching and committing the act of autentein towards a man. A deceived person who is teaching their deception is a bad work and deception veers one onto the path of ungodliness.  It is important to note that Paul never ever stops the teaching of true doctrine.   Even those who teach the truth yet with an ungodly motive are not stopped from teaching.  In Philippians 1:15-18 Paul brings this out very clearly.

Philippians 1:15–18 (NASB95)

15Some, to be sure, are preaching Christ even from envy and strife, but some also from good will;

16the latter do it out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel;

17the former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition rather than from pure motives, thinking to cause me distress in my imprisonment.

18What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed; and in this I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice,

So we can see that starting in 1 Timothy 2:11, 12 there is a grammar change from plural to singular and a topic change from godly women to the bad works of one who is deceived.  We can know for sure that the topic has changed because true teaching is never stopped by the Apostle Paul even with those who display an ungodly, bad motive.  Paul’s pattern was always to stop false doctrine, but never did he stop the preaching of the truth.  To summarize, the transitional words to signal the change in topic are the change from plural to singular and from the topic of godly to the topic of deception.  We would expect that Timothy completely understood the topic change because he knew the specific situation in Ephesus.  We would certainly not expect Timothy to connect instructions for godly women on their appearance to instructions for one who is under deception.  Ignoring the topic and grammar change has caused many to lump godly women into the category of the deceived.  We must change this faulty tradition so that the church can go forward in unity and in the strength and the inter-connective nature of each member and each God-given gift.

Note:  Those who are disagreeing with me, need to provide reason for the irregular and unusual grammar change if they believe that Paul continues to write about women in general.  Also those who believe that Paul was stopping godly teaching need to provide proof that Paul ever stopped the teaching of the truth of the gospel. Please document additional places where such an unusual grammar change happened in the Scriptures where there is no change of subject and please provide proof that Paul ever practiced silencing the truth of the gospel.  If you cannot, then please consider that Paul has changed the subject from godly to ungodly and the application from general to a specific case.

2. There is an anaphoric reference in verse 12 that links the anarthrous noun “woman” to the antecedent reference “the woman” in verse 14.

Anarthrous means “used without the article”.  An anarthrous noun does not mean that it is indefinite just  because it does not have the definite article.  It can properly be attached to a repetition of the noun and the repetition does provide the definite article.  Dr. James White of Alpha and Omega Ministries defines it this way:

Normally when an anaphoric use is in view, the preceding use of the noun will lack the article. It will not be articled. And if you read Greek then you will know that in James 2:14 when it says that a person says they have faith (ean pistin lege) pistin does not have an article, so this is a classic example where you have a noun, then you have the repetition of the noun later with an article, that article is pointing us back to the preceding use of the noun. This is called the anaphoric use of the article.

You can hear the audio clip on this topic here James White on Anaphoric reference.

So we have “woman” in 1 Timothy 2:12 that lacks the article and a repetition of the singular “woman” in verse 14 that has the article.  The repetition of the noun with the article will point us back to the preceding use of the noun and identifies a specific woman is in view.

Since Timothy knew the problems in Ephesus that Paul was alluding to, we can know for certain that Timothy was not confused by Paul using the general term “woman” and then adding the specific term that defines a specific woman when Paul links her to the very first deceived woman.  Timothy was not confused.

Note:  For those who do not agree that Paul used an anaphoric reference in verse 12 attached to the repetition of the noun with the article, then please show me why such a use of the reference cannot fit the reason why Paul changed from the plural “women” in verse 10 to the singular “woman” in verses 11 and 12.

3.  The woman in verse 14 is in the perfect tense as she is existing in a present state of affairs and therefore the woman from verse 14 grammatically cannot be made to fit a dead person such as Eve.

The perfect tense in Greek is defined this way:

perfect — The verb tense used by the writer to describe a completed verbal action that occurred in the past but which produced a state of being or a result that exists in the present (in relation to the writer). The emphasis of the perfect is not the past action so much as it is as such but the present “state of affairs” resulting from the past action.
– Glossary of Morpho-Syntactic Database Terminology.

There are those who claim that the new verbal aspect theory allows them to change the perfect tense in 1 Timothy 2:14 to a dramatic or historical perfect.  Unfortunately this cannot be done in this passage.

In my work as a apologist I have seen the same claim about the present tense where some have tried to deny the Deity of the Lord Jesus by claiming that Jesus’ words in John 8:58 “I am” is not to be seen as a present tense but a historical (or dramatic) present.

John 8:58 (NASB95)

58Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.”

Jesus was saying that before Abraham came into being, Jesus as the Word of God already existed. He was contrasting the existence initiated by birth with Himself as an absolute existence, the same existence claimed by God in Exodus 3:14.

Exodus 3:14 (NASB95)

14God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ ”

Instead of taking this as an eternal present, Jehovah’s Witnesses have claimed that it is to be taken as a historical present.  Daniel B. Wallace’s Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics on page 526, he writes this about the historical present:

1. Definition

The historical present is used fairly frequently in narrative literature to describe a past event.

2. Amplification/Semantics

a. Reason for Use: Vivid Portrayal

The reason for the use of the historical present is normally to portray an event vividly, as though the reader were in the midst of the scene as it unfolds…The present tense may be used to describe a past event, either for the sake of vividness or to highlight some aspect of the narrative….

The problem for those who deny the Deity of Jesus, is that Jesus’ wording using the present tense is not in a narrative.  It does not qualify as a historical present.  A narrative passage would be one which is telling a story:

Matthew 1:19–20 (NKJV)

19Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly.

20But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.

Jesus was not telling a story but was giving a testimony to His enduring existence.

But what of those who claim that the perfect tense in 1 Timothy 2:14 can also take the route of being a historical perfect?  There are two things that remove 1 Timothy 2:14 as having the possibility of being a historical or dramatic perfect.  The first thing is that the perfect tense needs to be aorist not  indicative as the perfect tense is in 1 Timothy 2:14.  The second important point is that it has to be in a narrative context which 1 Timothy 2 is not.

Here is the definition of the perfect tense according to Dr. Daniel B. Wallace, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics pg 573

Definition

The force of the perfect tense is simply that it describes an event that, completed in the past (we are speaking of the perfect indicative here), has results existing in the present time (i.e., in relation to the time of the speaker.) Or as Zerwick puts it, the perfect tense is used for “indicating not the past action as such but the present ‘state of affairs’ resulting from the past action.

BDF suggest that the perfect tense “combines in itself, so to speak, the present and the aorist in that it denotes the continuance of completed action…”

Here is how Dr. Wallace defines the boundaries around the historical perfect tense on page 578 of his Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics:

C. Aoristic Perfect (a.k.a. Dramatic or Historical Perfect)

1. Definition

The perfect indicative is rarely used in a rhetorical manner to describe an event in a highly vivid way. The aorist/dramatic perfect is “used as a simple past tense without concern for present consequences…”

In this respect, it shares a kinship with the historical present. There are but a handful of examples of this in the NT, occurring only in narrative contexts. Thus this use is informed by contextual intrusions (narrative). The key to detecting a dramatic perfect is the absence of any notion of existing results.19  (19 footnote – Cf. Burton, Moods and Tenses, 80, 88. Burton doubts that any genuine examples actually occur in the NT.)

The perfect tense of 1 Timothy 2:14 is not in the aorist tense but in the indicative which is said to be rarely ever used this way.  It is also not found within a narrative context.  Lastly the perfect tense in 1 Timothy 2:14 is not identified only with the act and not the consequences.  In fact verse 15 goes on to describe how “she” will come out of the consequences of being in the transgression (perfect tense) that is found in verse 14.  Thus 1 Timothy 2:14 is not a historical perfect.

One other set of quotes are found in the book Basics of Verbal Aspect in Biblical Greek by Constantine R. Campbell.  In this book he admits that verbal aspect “represents a controversial area of research” and he does deal with the historical perfect that does not deviate from Wallace’s work.  Campbell writes:

Historical Perfect

The perfect tense-form is often used in nonpresent contexts, most often past-referring. These are best translated like aorists, though are not the same as aorists in meaning. There are two basic types of historical perfects: those that introduce discourse and those that employ lexemes of propulsion. In this way, the historical perfect parallels the historical present almost exactly; the same functions are observed with the same group of lexemes…As with the historical present, such lexemes may also be used to refer to the present rather than the past. The point is, rather, that these lexemes may refer to the past when found in past contexts.

Campbell also writes:

Perfect tense-forms sometimes end up depicting a process or action in progress. This usage of the perfect tense-form is not widely acknowledged, though is a natural expression of imperfective aspect…As long as this progressive sense is not overruled by context, the Aktionsart may be progressive.

A word of caution: sometimes it is difficult to decide whether a perfect is progressive or historical when the context would allow either. Care must be exercised here, as the outcome can be quite different either way.

It is no wonder that some have tried to claim that the perfect tense in 1 Timothy 2:14 should be seen as a dramatic or historical perfect because leaving the perfect tense as is would disqualify “the woman” from referring to Eve and this is a problem for them.  Instead of paying attention to the inspired grammar, some want to see it as a simple past tense by claiming the historical perfect.  Unfortunately the boundaries around the historical perfect completely take 1 Timothy 2:14 outside the possibility that it qualifies as a historical perfect.

While Campbell warns people to be cautious in deciding that a perfect tense is a historical perfect, Wallace’s three points of  determining the difference between the two remains solid. And the pivotal point still remains: The key to detecting a dramatic perfect is the absence of any notion of existing results. 1 Timothy 2:14 does not qualify in any sense of the word, to be a historical or dramatic perfect for verse 14 is attached to verse 15 which gives the expected final outcome from the existing condition.

Note:  Those who take a contrary position will have to explain how a perfect tense can take the form of a historical perfect without any of the qualifying markers present in the passage.

4.  The she who “will be saved” in verse 15 is in the future tense and cannot be made to fit a dead person such as Eve who cannot do anything in the future concerning her salvation.

Paul uses sozo (saved) in the future tense and he attaches it to a conditional conjunction – “if”.  The “she” who has to do something to be in the place of salvation is connected to “the woman” from verse 14 who is in the present state of affairs of resulting consequences from her transgression.  The perfect tense, the future tense and the conditions for future salvation all point to “the woman” as a single woman in Ephesus.

Paul wrote 1 Timothy to Timothy about specific problems in the Ephesian church.  We can know that of anyone who would certainly understand what Paul was writing in this passage, it would be Timothy.  Timothy was not confused.  While Paul wrote Adam and Eve in 1 Timothy 2:13, he wrote Adam and “the woman” in verse 14.  There is no such reference to Adam and “the woman” in the Old Testament.  Where Adam’s name is connected to “woman”, it is listed as Adam and his wife.  Thus the personal pronoun “his” is always attached to woman which makes it a definite woman through possession.  In 1 Timothy 2:14 no such pronoun is attached to “the woman” to make her Adam’s woman.  And when Paul continues to speak about her salvation, Timothy cannot help to know that this particular woman who has her salvation yet in the future, is not the first deceived woman attached to Adam, but one like her that Timothy is dealing with at the time of the letter.  Timothy is certainly not confused about Paul’s grammar thinking that “the woman” is Eve who has salvation yet to come.  The connection between Eve and “the woman” would be clear to Timothy because he knew “the woman”. Timothy would not be confused that this deceived woman was Eve.

I believe the key to verses 13-15 of 1 Timothy 2 is the continuing effects and the future tense because of deception.  I do not think that Paul’s point is to identify the deception but the seriousness of deception in regards to one’s salvation.  Timothy knew the problems and Timothy surely knew any conversations that he had participated in with Paul about why he was left behind in Ephesus.  Timothy did not need to be told what the deception was because he knew all about the problems.  Timothy needed to be encouraged to take action because the situation was serious.  Paul’s connecting the present situation to the first deception in the garden is brilliant.  It was a picture set up for Timothy to relate to that emphasized the seriousness of the current situation.

Adam’s neglect to enter into the conversation with the serpent as a savior towards one who was being deceived and then his participating in the act of sin with his eyes wide open to the deception and the consequences, should propel Timothy on to understand that deception is not to be ignored but to encourage the watchman on the wall to enter in to the situation.  Out of the two people listed in 1 Timothy 2:12 “a man” and “a woman”, only the “woman” is said to have her salvation questioned according to verse 15. The one who is not deceived must not be silent but help the one who is deceived.  The repetition of the garden deception was not be repeated.  Timothy’s instruction and the instruction for the non-deceived man was that he was needed to get involved in her learning and in her need to stay away from deception.  Whether he had been dominated by her to stay quiet or not, the fact was that he had not been encouraging to her to stop her deception and he had not been involved in her learning the truth.  Timothy could step in and get involved by helping them both.  The man needed to be encouraged to walk alongside his wife in truth and the woman needed to be encouraged to learn and to stay away from error.  Thus verse 15 says that “she will be saved…if they….”

Note: Those who disagree with me about “the woman” being a deceived woman in Ephesus, need to explain why Paul called Eve “the woman” rather than “his (Adam’s) wife”.  Why does the Scriptures always resort to the possessive pronoun when referring to Eve and Paul did not use the possessive?  It would have been normal for Paul to say either Adam and Eve or Adam and his wife.  But never is there a reference to Adam and the woman.  Why did Paul write this way? Also why would Paul speak about Eve as if her salvation is still future?

The last 4 points will be in the next post.

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Mutual submission on Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

My original 2010 post crashed because there were too many comments for my blog to handle, so I am putting up this post again so that people can read the article which is no longer available because of the crash.  Thanks to one of my readers who asked me to repost.

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Yesterday I received two polar opposite views of Ephesians 5:22 by email.  One was from “NN” who has responded here in the past.  He  is a complementarian who has commented on authority in marriage, one of a handful of complementarians who have been willing to give their views on women on this blog in a respectful manner.  In NN’s email he sent me a link to his view on submission in marriage which he says is not to be mutual.  In the other email my son Ryan gave me his conclusions after a time of researching on his own the issue of authority and submission in marriage in order to present a biblical answer to his pastor.  I am going to refer to both views in this article for us to consider.

NN suggested that my blog readers might be interested in his views that he has recently posted on his blog. NN wrote to me about the time period since he last corresponded on my blog back in December 2009:

Since then I have meant to write up a brief logical clearly addressing the question of hierarchy in the instructions of the apostles on the marital relationship.  Unfortunately it took until now for me to actually find the time.  Nonetheless – I thought you might be interested (and possibly even your readership given the torrent of comments in that last discussion).

NN’s premise is that submission in marriage is not mutual but my son’s conclusion is the polar opposite.  First of all here is Ryan’s finding.  His article starts with the thought that the understanding of “source” for the Greek word for head (kephale) in 1 Corinthians 11 can also fit in with Ephesians 5:22-25 when you consider the context.  Ryan’s main concern in his research is whether submission is mutual or relegated to wives alone.

Ryan’s research:

I think source fits well with the description in Eph 5:22-25 also.  As I was studying this, I noticed that the NASB showed “submit” as in “Wives, submit…” in italics, which means it wasn’t in the original.  I looked at the NET (New English Translation) notes and they highlighted that 3 MSS (manuscripts) don’t have “submit” after wives in v22.  These MSS are earlier than the others and are significant manuscripts, so this is likely the original reading.  Knowing that Paul tends to write run-on sentences (not to mention there were no ‘periods’ in the Greek), I wondered if the sentence might have been intended as an extension to v21.  Check this out:

“…(v21) and be subject to one another in awe of Christ, (v22) wives to your own husbands as to the Lord, (v23) for the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself the Saviour of the body.”

Doesn’t that make more sense?  Look how Paul is describing mutual submission to one another and then continuing to elaborate on how that should look in the marital relationship as a corrective to the cultural norms of the day.  We need to remember that the Epistles are often correcting specific things that are happening which sometimes we can only understand from the historical context — and this can make interpreting passages like this that much more involved.

We know that the culture was already quite pre-disposed to subduing the wife in marital relationships.  Women were meant to propagate the husbands name and were treated more like property than equals.  What is the likely outcome of such subjection of the wife is a slave-master-like obedience.  Paul seems to actually be saying here that instead of obeying like a slave, the wife should submit to her husband in a more biblical manner, thus calling her out of her ‘pit’ so to speak.  The most revolutionary part of Paul’s words would be the fact that he says all are to submit to one another, and that most definitely includes husbands submitting to their wives!

And again, as we saw in 1 Cor 11, Paul elaborates the basis for the marital relationship, this time for the Ephesians as well: “for the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself the saviour of the body.”  In other words, because the husband is the source of the wife (just like Christ is the source of the church) and therefore she his equal, they should be mutually submitting to one another in love.  (The church is also treated as the equal of Christ in the sense that the new person will have a new body and will no longer sin).  This description is a refutation of the idea that the wife is a lower-class partner to the husband, or that there are more important people in the body than others (ie. jewish believers vs. gentile believers).  It is a proclamation of the equality of all! The source relationship is a powerful foundation for equality, not hierarchy!

Continuing… “[For] as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives [ought to be] to their husbands in everything” (v24).  The NASB has “But”, though this reads as a continuation of substantiation for Paul’s earlier statements.  Interestingly, the NASB adds “ought to be” (italics) which actually makes it sound like Paul is commanding the wives to submit and is not in line with how what he says is actually freeing them from cultural slave-master relationship.  In other words, in everything the wives should be willingly submissive out of love and not as a slave to a master!  Why would Paul be supporting what was already culturally in vogue?

And finally, v25: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her…”  Does this mean that women don’t need to be sacrificial in their love for their husbands?  Of course not!  In fact, they are the ones sacrificing everything in first century culture.  Even in our culture, the women usually have to manage the home as well as work and make meals, etc.  This is a corrective for the men who don’t participate in loving submission to their wives and families!

The conclusion is most certainly an equality in loving submission one to another in the whole body, and especially in marital relationships.  It is a corrective to the master-slave marital relationships which were typical in the first century.  The ‘new man’ should be one who treats his wife as his own flesh, as his equal, not as his inferior.

~End of article submitted by Ryan Schatz

NN’s views are opposite of Ryan’s in that NN believes that the submission of wives is the same as the master-slave relationship.  NN writes on his blog:

The Egalitarian argument runs along the lines of: “Eph 5:21 tells christians to ‘and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.’ But this is the same word used when it tells wives to “be subject” to their husbands. Since “be subject to one another” means that the husband is also “subject” to the wife, Paul’s later instruction specifically to the wives cannot indicate any sort of hierarchy in the marital relationship.” However, as discussed previously, the instruction here given is the same as that given to servants toward their masters and citizens toward the ruling authorities – it is quite clear that this instruction does imply submission to authority.

There are several problems with NN’s view.  The first is that he fails to document that the earliest manuscripts do not have the verb “submit” in verse 22. Instead the submission for wives must refer back to verse 21 which lists Christian submission as mutual.  In fact that grammar in verse 21 (one another) is reciprocal.

reciprocal — A pronoun that denotes reciprocity; that is, it indicates an interchange between two or more groups. (Glossary of Morpho-Syntactic Database Terminology)

The next thing that NN misses is that Paul’s reference to submission is at the end of a list of things that are the practical outworking of being filled with the Spirit which is the topic from Ephesians 5:18 and on.  Submission then is a work of the Spirit in our lives and the application is to one another.  NN continues:

But now we move on to the instruction which Paul gives to wives and husbands and note that the apostle makes a distinction in the command given. Specifically Paul tells the wife to “be subject to the husband” but does not tell the husband to “be subject to the wife.”

Paul doesn’t need to list the second half of mutual submission because verse 21 specifically and with reciprocity lists submission as a one another practice that follows the outworking of the Holy Spirit’s filling.  Husbands are expected to see that as Spirit-filled Christians they are to live a life of submission to one another just as surely as any other member of the body of Christ must live out their faith. Husbands are never listed as exempted from the Spirit-filled life that is to be lived out through submission.

So why is it important for Paul to list women who are part of the culturally disadvantaged class included as a special note for submission?  NN sees this as a clear sign that wives are under their husband’s authority.  In his second recent article NN writes:

Paul gives instruction that wives are to “hupotassoe” their husbands in Eph 5:22, Col 3:18 & Titus 2:5. Just after this last passage, in Titus 3:1, Paul again instructs his audience to “hupatassoe” the governing authorities. Similarly, just before his instruction to wives, Peter uses this same term to describe the relationship of believers to “ordinances of men” and of servants toward their masters.

There is a huge problem with NN’s reasoning. While it can be documented that the cultural system of that day mandated autocratic and all-inclusive authority to the husband over every area of his wife’s life, there is no mandate ever given by God for the husband to exercise such an authority over his wife.  Remember that in the beginning God made both the man and the woman as rulers of this world. He did not give either of them the right to take authority over and subdue each other. So while the worldly system has gone off on a tangent of lordship-authority as a male right, there is no God-given authority for the husband to subdue his wife nor is there a God-given extension of authority that has listed in the Scripture the husband’s extent of power, rights or lordship over the personhood of his wife.  If such an authority is culturally mandated and not God-given then she too is a free man as a son of God, free indeed from the worldly system that dominates and subdues humans.

So what NN fails to list is that there is a turn-about regarding the worldly system when believers are transferred from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light.  While the early Christians used to be bound under a system of authority that took away their freedom of choice as the earthly rulers subdued them, took dominion over them and subjected them underneath their authority, in Christ they had become true free men who were no longer bound by forced subjugation.  This freedom extended to slaves and women who were by virtue of their position in Christ now equal as God’s sons and thus fully free.  Paul refers to this when he writes to his fellow Christian Philemon who is a slave owner of a runaway slave named Onesimus.  Paul pleads with Philemon to embrace Onesimus no longer as a slave, but as a brother in Christ.

Philemon 15–16 (NASB)

15 For perhaps he was for this reason separated from you for a while, that you would have him back forever,

16 no longer as a slave, but more than a slave, a beloved brother, especially to me, but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord.

How were these former worldly slaves to act as Spirit-filled and empowered sons of God while their masters were not as yet brothers in Christ?  While their position as sons of God gave them freedom, they were encouraged to be slaves of Christ and for His sake to willingly submit themselves to their masters.  What was forced upon them before was removed in Christ, but living as a free men in Christ empowered and enabled them to freely submit to what lawfully was no longer an authority over them. By this act they would give a witness for Christ that would enable their unsaved masters to see Christ living in them.

NN writes:

The relevant definition of this English word “submit: to yield oneself to the power or authority of another.” This word appears throughout the New Testament and is common in other writings of the time. While several arguments are advanced in egalitarian thought as to how we should understand this word, we are discussing its specific use in the Epistles of Paul & Peter, and we can quite directly observe their use of this word in other circumstances which make immediately apparent what they mean in the use of this word.

This cannot be the meaning of submission in the Epistles since Paul specifically defined submission as reciprocal. If submission in Ephesians 5:21 were to mean to yield oneself to the power or authority of another then each one would have a power or authority over everyone else. The thought of you submitting to my authority and me submitting to your authority becomes nonsense in the passage.

Let’s look at Ephesians 5 one more time in context:

Ephesians 5:1–2 (NASB)

1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children;

2 and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.

Here we see that there is an injunction for all of us to be imitators of God.  How are we to imitate Him?  We are to walk in love for each other and sacrifice ourselves for the good of others.  This applies to both men and women as Spirit-filled believers.  The next part is especially important because of worldly “greed”.
Ephesians 5:3–8 (NASB)
3 But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints;
4 and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.
5 For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.
6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.
7 Therefore do not be partakers with them;
8 for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light
In verse 3 the term “greed” means:
as bad behavior, a disposition to have more than one’s share greed, covetousness, avarice … as a matter of being compelled to, as what is grudgingly given
Vol. 4: Analytical lexicon of the Greek New Testament. Baker’s Greek New Testament library
The Louw Nida lexicon further expands on compulsion as a form of greed:
to take advantage of someone, usually as the result of a motivation of greed—‘to take advantage of, to exploit, exploitation.’
…in this matter, then, no one should do wrong to his brother or take advantage of him
Louw, J. P., & Nida, E. A. (1996). Vol. 1: Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament : Based on semantic domains
Is a disposition to have more than one’s share of authority so that one creates for oneself a “role” of authority to take advantage of another’s disadvantaged position in order to exercise authority over a brother considered greed?  Absolutely!  The Bible lists the possibility that authority can be created by one’s own self instead of given by God.

Habakkuk 1:7 (NASB)…Their justice and authority originate with themselves.

Those who are greedy for authority will not let that authority go. By taking authority that does not belong to them, they are tempted to practice lording over others and this is forbidden for believers.
Matthew 20:25 (NASB)  But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them.
What is  listed by Paul in Ephesians 5 that should identify those belonging to God’s family?  Let’s take a look:
Ephesians 5:9–11 (NASB)
9 (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth),
10 trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.
11 Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them;
Those in the family of God who are living by the Light should do what is pleasing to the Lord.  So what is pleasing to the Lord?  Here is where we find Paul’s list:
Ephesians 5:15–21 (NASB)
15 Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise,
16 making the most of your time, because the days are evil.
17 So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit,
19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord;
20 always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father;
21 and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.

Our walk that is pleasing to the Lord is one of subjection to one another.  This is the will of the Lord and it has no bounds of social standing, race or gender.

Paul then brings  us to an area where women may not see the benefit of God’s will to submit.  What might cause a godly Christian woman to not want to be submissive to her husband?  In that culture before she was “in Christ” she was without freedom and was compelled by her husband’s power that the culture vested in him, to be subject to force and his demands that she obey him.  Now that she is free in Christ, she may not want to go back to what she may see as a bondage. Submission to her may bee seen as a forced subjection.  But Paul is telling wives that their submission is not to be forced.  She is now free and her submission is not to be forced by having to obey this cultural authority over her.  She is to submit in love in the fear of the Lord.  Ephesians 5:1-2 is written for her:

Ephesians 5:1–2 (NASB)
1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children;
2 and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.
She is no longer compelled to obey, but rather out of love and for Christ’s sake she is to honor her husband as an offering to Christ Himself.

And what about husbands who have been used to the benefits of unconditional power and control that they wielded over their wives?  They are no longer to lord it over their wives but are to be imitators of God and to walk in love toward their wives.  How do these men who yearned for power and authority, learn to give up this power over their wives?  They are to become like Christ Himself who gave up his own power to come to earth as a sacrifice for us.

Ephesians 5:1–2 (NASB)
1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children;
2 and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.
What did Christ give up?  He gave up His rights to all authority and all power so that He could live as a mortal man.  Husbands are to be imitators of Christ who Himself existed as God with all power and authority but He gave it all up to live in humility.

The last of Paul’s instructions directly to husbands show a giving up of their cultural authority in order to love their wives as themselves.

Ephesians 5:28–31 (NASB)
28 So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself;
29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church,
30 because we are members of His body.
31 FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND SHALL BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH.

Notice in verse 31 that the cultural male right is given up by the man for his wife.  The culture said that the man had the right to have the woman leave everything to join his house.  She came to him and she brought the dowry.  The dowry is money or property brought by a woman to her husband at marriage.  This worldly system of a woman bringing a dowry to the man and leaving all to join him is the exact opposite to what God’s will is for the marriage union.  Ephesians 5:31 is a quote from Genesis 2:24 and it is the evidence of perfect submission of the man to the woman that God established in the beginning.  The husband is the one who is to give up all to be joined to his wife.  He leaves and cleaves and sacrifices for her.  This is exactly what Jesus did for the church.  Jesus submitted Himself to the church and gave up all for her and Paul calls this a great mystery.

Ephesians 5:32 (NASB)  This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church.

What should be the wife’s response be to such a great sacrifice of her husband’s?  She is in awe of him and gives him respect for his act of initiating a life of sacrifice for her.

Let’s sum up Ephesians 5:21, 22 on submission in marriage.  As Christians our aim is to please the Lord and one of the ways we please the Lord is through respectful submission in marriage. There is no lordship of one over the other because this is not pleasing to Christ and male lordship authority is a manifestation of the worldly system with its deeds of darkness (verse 7) that subjugates and controls and is a pattern of greed that ultimately takes advantage of the other in a covetousness lust for lordship. The husband as the “head” or source or starting point is to be the one who initiate a sacrificial giving up of himself so that by his act of submission to come to her and in giving up of  his cultural male-rights he will model the initiating and sacrificial love of Christ for the church.

I predict that those who cannot give up their rights of male authority will never fully understand the will of God in marriage.

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Two verbs, one object on Women in Ministry by Cheryl Schatz

Some egalitarians suggest that the object “a man” in 1 Timothy 2:12 should rightfully be connected to only one verb “authentein” and that the infinitive form of the verb “to teach” was not meant to be connected to the object “man”.

Let me first state that I am an egalitarian and I appreciate men who passionately contend for women in ministry.  At the same time I am more interested in knowing what God intended in the text rather than hold to a particular party line so I am free to disagree if I believe that a view is not correct.  In this post I would like to examine the view that  denies that two verbs are connected to the same object in 1 Timothy 2:12.  The view that I will be examining is presented by Philip B. Payne in his book Man and Woman, One in Christ An Exegetical and Theological Study of Paul’s Letters.

Payne’s view presupposes the view that Paul is not giving out two prohibitions, but one.  I have blogged on my disagreement with that view here.  On pages 354 and 355 Payne gives 5 reasons why “a man” cannot be the object of “to teach”.  Payne uses a comparison to Acts 8:21 as the basis for his reasoning.

1.  In point #1, Philip Payne writes that unlike Acts 8:21, the phrase I am not permitting a woman to teach does not require an object as it:

…makes sense without any addition and indeed corresponds with conventional wisdom at that time. So a typical reader would feel no need to look for a personal object for “to teach”.

In the footnote on page 354 Payne writes:

Within first-century culture, it was commonplace to prohibit women from teaching and even from being educated…Consequently, “I am not permitting a woman to teach” in its cultural milieu does not invite the addition of any qualifier, such as “a man”.

While this may be true regarding the human traditions of that day, it was not true about God’s Word. There is no such precedent in the Scriptures where God forbids women from teaching. Since this is the first time that these words are ever found in the Scripture, a reader would naturally want to know what is it about teaching (or who the teaching is to) that is forbidden.  Payne points out that nowhere else in Timothy does “to teach” have a personal object, but that isn’t a relevant argument.  The examples that Payne gives from 1 Timothy where additional instances of “to teach” are found, show that there are two verbs that share the same object.  While Payne points out that other instances the object is not a personal object (i.e. the object of teaching is a what not a who), this means relatively little since the Scripture gives many examples of what to teach and almost no reference is made to who one is to teach, so a unique prohibition would not follow the norm.  Just because the object in 1 Timothy 2:14 is a who (a man) does not  disqualify the verb to teach from sharing the object.

My view is that a prohibition that is completely opposite to the freedom that we have in Christ to use our gifts would need to be qualified so that the prohibition can be understood.  If a woman is forbidden to teach, the object of her teaching is important to know in order to make sense of the passage.

2.  Philip Payne contends that two infinite verbs do not need to share the same object unless the two verbs are synonyms and they convey one idea.  Payne gives no reference for his claim.

3.   Payne contents that the verb to teach and the object a man are at opposite ends of the clause and that this reduces the likelihood of the transfer of the object to the first infinitive verb.  But what Payne fails to relate is that in the Greek, words at the beginning of a sentence or clause have more prominence than words at the end so separating one of the the verbs from the object has an affect of making the verb more prominent rather than making it less likely to share the object with the second verb.

4.  Payne states that the grammatical form for a man is genitive and that this is the wrong case to be attached to the infinitive verb to teach.  He states that to assume that the two go together would be to assume that a genitive can be understood as an accusative and that this is disallowed in the Greek.  What Payne fails to document is that in the grammatical case of a verb that shares a common object with another verb, the nearer verb is the one that will demand the case of the object.  See page 364 paragraph 1634 of Greek Grammar for Colleges by Herbert Weir Smyth

Two Greek verbs one common object on Women in Ministry by Cheryl Schatz

5.  Payne says that if we add a man to the prohibition for a woman to teach, then it is in conflict with the rest of the Bible.  This is true but Payne doesn’t go far enough.  If the prohibition is a universal against teaching, it is also in conflict with the rest of the Bible with or without the object.  But on the other hand, if the prohibition is not universal but is specific to a specific person, the object gives more information about what is prohibited just as the following verses give the reason why there is a prohibition for the woman and lastly the expected outcome of her learning and remaining in the faith.

In the next post I will go through each part of 1 Timothy 2:11-15 to show why I have come to the conclusion that Paul’s concern is for a specific woman and a specific man and that the grammar is so specific that Paul leaves us with only one conclusion that is consistent with the grammar and the inspired words.  I strongly believe that the object “a man” is to be attached to the prohibition “to teach” as the situation was not a public teaching but a private instruction by one deceived teacher.

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Why the eye cannot say to the hand/ Women in Ministry by Cheryl Schatz

The body of Christ is a body ministry where each of us are needed and each gift that God has distributed among us is needed.  So why is it that many men say that they do not need for a woman teacher when this personal rejection of their own need is contradicted by 1 Corinthians 12:21?

1 Corinthians 12:21 (NASB95)

21And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; or again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.”

Why does the Bible say that the eye cannot say to the hand that others may need you, but I have no need of you?  In other words, why is it that some say what the Bible says they cannot say?

The Greek term for “cannot” is the negative of dynamai which is one’s ability or capability of doing something, thus the term “cannot say” should mean that the eye has no personal ability to say something.  Kittel’s Theological Dictionary gives an expanded understanding of what it means to not be able to do something:

Words of this stem all have the basic sense of ability or capability. dynamai means a. “to be able” in a general sense, b. “to be able” with reference to the attitude that makes one able, hence sometimes “to will,” and c. (of things) “to be equivalent to,” “to count as,” “to signify.”

Kittel, G., Friedrich, G., & Bromiley, G. W. (1995). Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (186).

With this meaning, we can understand that the reason why the eye cannot say to the hand “I don’t need you” is that the eye has no power through its own will to make the hand unneeded.  It isn’t that the part of the body known as the eye cannot utter these words to another part of the body.  In fact these words are said often enough in the Church.  When it comes to men claiming that they don’t need women teachers, these words are not uncommon.  Instead of an inability to say the words, it is an inability to will it to be so by the mere fact of one’s claim.  The eye’s claim to not need the hand has no effect on the eye’s need nor does the eye’s claim take away the usefulness of the hand for the good of the eye.

Another thing that is noteworthy in the grammar is that the term “cannot say” is either middle or passive.  The middle voice signifies that the subject of the verb is being affected by its own action or is acting upon itself.  Could it be that the eye is being affected by its own claim to not need another body part?  The eye has no power to make the hand not needed, but the mere fact that it confidently claims that it has no need of the hand, is affecting its own well-being, for to deny that you have a need makes you blind to God’s provision for that need.

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1-timothy-2-12-prohibitions

I started a post months ago and then life became so complicated I had to set my blog aside to cope.  This post will now be the new “home” on the discussion on whether 1 Timothy 2:12 has two prohibitions or one.  As a review here is what I originally wrote:

Complementarians typically say that Paul is prohibiting two things (teaching and exercising authority over a man) while many egalitarians are taking the position that there is only one thing that Paul has prohibited.  The prohibition is listed as God is against women assuming authority for themselves to teach men.  This view has been brought out by Philip B. Payne in “Man and Woman One in Christ” pg 338.

I do not agree with complementarians that there are two entirely separate prohibitions that are not connected.  But I do not agree with Philip Payne either that there is only one prohibition and that this prohibition is to be defined as the forbidding of women to assume authority for themselves to teach men without a properly delegated authority from men.

As I have been reading through Philip B. Payne’s book, I have been paying special attention to his process of reasoning.  First of all I should say that I really appreciate the fact that Mr. Payne has written this book in an effort to affirm women’s place in the body of Christ.  I know that many have found his work very compelling even though I have some serious disagreements with his work.  I want to affirm him as a dear brother in Christ at the outset and I appreciate any man willing to stick his neck out to support his sisters in Christ.

Philip B. Payne’s thesis starts in chapter 19, as he asserts on page 338 that the Greek term “oude” (English “or”) is typically used by Paul to join together expressions that reinforce or make more specific a single idea.  Here it is in context:

1 Timothy 2:12 (NASB95)

12But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet.

Rather than the conjunction “or” connecting two related terms, Payne concludes that it must be the type of teaching that is forbidden thus it is one prohibition and not two.  His view is that “authentein” means to “assume authority” so that the one prohibition that is forbidden to women is to “assume authority” to teach men.  Payne writes:

Since false teaching is the occasion of this letter (1 Tim 3:1-11), and since false teaching influenced the women in Ephesus particularly, Paul first commands that women learn in silence and full submission in order to turn deceived women away from the false teaching and to encourage them to embrace the true gospel.  Combined with this, he institutes a present prohibition against any woman seizing authority for herself to teach a man.  Paul’s goal is to exclude any unauthorized woman from teaching men in the church.  This prohibition does not, however, restrict teaching by authorized women, such as Priscilla, (2 Timothy 4:19), since just such teaching might be critical in influencing deceived women to reject error and embrace the truth.

Paul’s prohibition of women with self-assumed authority teaching men does not imply that he approves men teaching with self-assumed authority, particularly if they also promote false teaching. Indeed, he had already commanded certain men not to teach false doctrine (1 Timothy 1:3, 20).

There are several problems with Payne’s view.  The first problem is why Paul would restrict women from teaching men but not restrict them from teaching women.  No such prohibition exists against a woman from “seizing authority for herself” to teach women.  Why is it that a woman must have an authorization to teach men but not have to have an authorization to teach women?  It also doesn’t make sense that men are not generically forbidden to “assume authority” to teach men.  Payne states that men are not approved of teaching with self-assumed authority because they had already been commanded not to teach false doctrine.  The problem is that the quote from 1 Timothy 1:3 that Payne gives is not a term specific to males but an inclusive term used for people.  Also the quote from 1 Timothy 1:20 that he gives was also not a command to men in general but a statement about delivering over of two specific deliberate deceivers so that they will be taught not to blaspheme.  Those who do things defiantly, such as teaching error deliberately with full knowledge of the truth, are said to be blaspheming the Lord.  We see this clearly in Numbers 15:30 -

Numbers 15:30 (NASB95)

30‘But the person who does anything defiantly, whether he is native or an alien, that one is blaspheming the Lord; and that person shall be cut off from among his people.

Paul saw the false teaching of two specific men as blasphemy and their defiant teaching against the truth was cause to turn them over to satan.  Paul did not turn those who had been deceived over to satan, but the defiant false teachers were treated in a special way.  So even though Payne says that men were specifically told not to teach with self-assumed authority, the verses that Payne quotes are generic verses for false teachers, and two specific men who are teaching error in a defiant manner such that they are said to be blaspheming.  There are no specific commands to males not to “assume authority” to teach men or women.

The assumption that Payne brings to his view, is that only women need to be authorized to teach males.  This brings a very serious problem for Payne’s position because it makes women less than “one” with men. How are man and woman “One in Christ” if one must be authorized to teach, while the other needs no authorization?  Payne shows no difference between the women who were teaching the truth and the women who were teaching error.  All were required to be authorized first before they could teach men.  This provides a less than “oneness” with men who are never said to need authorization to teach the truth.

Was there really a need to authorize women to teach men?  Jesus speaks in Revelation 2:20 about a woman teacher:

Revelation 2:20–22 (NASB95)

20‘But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.

21‘I gave her time to repent, and she does not want to repent of her immorality.

22‘Behold, I will throw her on a bed of sickness, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of her deeds.

Notice that Jesus said that He has this against the Church in Thyatira, that they allow the woman Jezebel, as she teaches and leads Christ’s bond-servants astray.  Notice that there are two things that are tolerated from Jezebel and although one is normally a good thing (to teach), in the context both “to teach” and “to lead astray” are related as evil acts.  The teaching is listed as teaching Christ’s bond-servants to eat things sacrificed to idols.  This act of teaching error implies that she is teaching men to go against their conscience.  Her related activity of leading astray is defined as leading Christ’s bond-servants into sexual immorality so that they commit adultery with her.

If we took Philip Payne’s view, Christ would only be saying that Jezebel has done one thing wrong with teaching error, while the list of what she did involves two things: teaching error and leading into sexual immorality.  While the two are related, they are two problems not one.

We can also notice from Jesus’ words that the Church at Thyatira is not being corrected because they allow a woman teacher.  They are being corrected because they tolerate a teacher who is teaching error and they are tolerating her leading Christ’s servants into immorality.  The Church is not corrected because Jezebel is teaching without proper authority from the men.

Notice also in verse 21 that Jesus gave Jezebel time to repent of her sexual immorality.  He did not say that He was giving her time to repent from teaching truth to men nor did He say that He was giving her time to repent for the sin of not getting proper authority to teach.  It is what she was teaching and what she was leading into that was the cause of the problems.  The problem was not the fact that she was a woman nor the fact that she had not received an authority to teach men while men were home free not needing to obtain authority from men before they taught other men.

Philip Payne also states that Priscilla was able to teach because she had received the proper authority to teach and she had not taken this authority upon herself, yet he gives no verse that would show this needed authority that was given to her.  The fact is that Priscilla taught because she had truth that someone else needed to hear.  Apollos had a need for an expanded view of the truth and Priscilla did not withhold from him the knowledge of the truth that she had.  The Bible shows that having the knowledge of the truth requires us to use this information for good.

 

Luke 12:48 (NASB95)

48…From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.

Priscilla had the knowledge of the truth and she used it for the glory of God as she corrected Apollos.  She did not need to ask men for the authority to teach Apollos since she had been entrusted with the truth by God.  She used what she had been given for Apollos’ good and she used her knowledge without prejudice.

I will go through more of Philip B. Payne’s writings sometime in the future and I hope that this post has been helpful.


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1 Timothy 2:12 two prohibitions or one? on Women in Ministry by Cheryl Schatz

In 1 Timothy 2:12 is there one prohibition or two?  Complementarians typically say that Paul is prohibiting two things (teaching and exercising authority over a man) while many egalitarians are taking the position that there is only one thing that Paul has prohibited.  The prohibition is listed as God is against women assuming authority for themselves to teach men.  This view has been brought out by Philip B. Payne in “Man and Woman One in Christ” pg 338.

I do not agree with complementarians that there are two entirely separate prohibitions that are not connected.  But I do not agree with Philip Payne either that there is only one prohibition and that this prohibition is to be defined as the forbidding of women to assume authority for themselves to teach men without a properly delegated authority from men.

I will be developing this post in the next few days as I have time, and I may add to it as the discussion continues.  The original discussion that promoted this post was from ongoing discussion here http://strivetoenter.com/wim/2010/08/10/1-timothy-215-going-deeper/ I will be shutting down the comments there as the posts tend to have problems when the comments reach a very high number and/or when the comments reach a certain length. At that time the comments  usually just disappear.  So while I get this article together, comments are open here to continue discussion and I will flesh out my own view in the next few days.

Thanks to Kristen for suggesting this topic as one for discussion and I trust that hashing out different views and finding holes and/or support for the different views will be very educational for us all.

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Going deeper in 1 Timothy 2:15 on Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

1 Timothy 2:15 has been one of the most puzzling verses to decipher throughout church history. One of the difficult things in interpreting this verse is the translator’s rendering of some difficult grammar. Some translations leave out some of the grammar that is necessary to come to a correct interpretation. How can we claim to know what Paul meant in this passage if we leave out some of the key inspired grammar?

Here are some of the particular grammar issues that Paul presents in 1 Timothy 2:15 -

  1. Paul switches from singular feminine to third person plural. Since it is improper grammar to allow both singular and plural to refer to the exact same person(s), then “she” cannot be the exact same thing as “they”.
  2. Paul uses a unique form of childbearing by using a definite noun and not a verb
  3. “The childbearing” is singular not plural
  4. The grammar is future tense with a conditional clause so the “she” in question cannot be someone who is dead at the time of Paul’s writing.

Many of the translations of this difficult verse move into interpretation rather than just translation in an effort to help people understand Paul’s hard saying, but in doing so they leave out some of the inspired grammar that actually would conflict with their interpretation.   Without the presence of all of the inspired grammar any English translation of 1 Timothy 2:15 is going to be much harder to understand Paul’s thought process. For example some translations leave out the singular so that it appears Paul is talking about all women.  Others leave out the plural so that it appears that Paul is talking about a generic woman. Some change the singular noun to childbearing as plural as if the birth of all children is in view and some also leave out the definite article as if childbearing is concerning any child and any birth without any particularity.

Other translations make a change from the inspired preposition dia (meaning “through”) and switch it with the preposition for “in” so that it is “in childbearing” not “through childbearing” as if it is the childbearing itself that saves rather than something that comes through the vehicle of childbearing.  At least one translation changes the conditional “if” to the word “assuming” so that “she will be saved…if…” is changed from a conditional statement to an assumption that all women will want to continue in the faith.

Lastly one version, The New International Reader’s Version also removes the logical contrastive conjunction so that the verse is not connected to the previous verse but rather is asking a question instead of having Paul make a conditional statement.

1 Timothy 2:15 (NIrV) Will women be saved by having children? Only if they keep on believing, loving, and leading a holy life in a proper way.

The most faithful of all translations to the literal Greek grammar is Young’s Literal Translation that renders the verse:

1 Timothy 2:15 (YLT) and she shall be saved through the child-bearing, if they remain in faith, and love, and sanctification, with sobriety.

If we take the literal words written by Paul we come up with the thought that the bad news about “the woman” (vs 14) as “being” in transgression (perfect tense meaning a completed action which has a state of being that exists in the present in relation to the writer) is going to change with a conditional promise in verse 15.  In verse 15 Paul says that “but/or and”and this is a logical contrastive conjunction that suggest an oppositional thought or relationship to the word, phrase or clause to which it is connected.  So while the continued state of sin is brought out in verse 14, the contrast to that is a positive outlook about her salvation.  Therefore “she shall be saved” is a positive promise. But “she shall be saved” is also future tense so “she” cannot be referring to a dead Eve but must be referring to someone else.

In “she shall be saved”, Paul uses the same Greek term (sozo) that he exclusively uses in his epistles to mean spiritual salvation. Thus spiritual salvation is the normal and natural way to interpret Paul’s usage of “sothesetai” (sozo) in 1 Timothy 2:15.

The way that “she will be saved” is “through” something.  “Through” here means a marker of instrumentality or circumstance whereby something is accomplished or affected, by, via, or through.  Therefore the childbearing is not the cause of salvation but the instrument that is used to bring the salvation “through” to the one who is in sin.  The instrument that is used for salvation is clearly shown in Philippians 2:5-8 -

Philippians 2:5–8 (NAS)
5      Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,
6      who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,
7      but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.
8      Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

The vehicle is taking upon Himself the likeness of a man through the process of conception and birth. The salvation is the death, burial and resurrection of the one who came through the vehicle of conception and birth.  The conception and birth is like a portal that was the vehicle to bring the sin-bearer from heaven to earth in the form of the Kinsman redeemer.

Paul continues in saying that “she will be saved through the childbearing” or “the bearing of (the) child.”  It is not any entry into the world of any child. It is a particular entrance with the definite “the” and a particular child whose flesh was the vehicle through whom salvation could come for all those who are caught in sin.

Next Paul says that “she will be saved…if” The “if” is an adverbial conditional conjunction which introduces a condition that must occur before another action or event can occur.

As part of a conditional clause this conjunction introduces the protasis (the if element of an if … then statement).  (Glossary of Morpho-Syntactic Database Terminology)

The conditions that are stated replicate the things that the false teachers were straying from that are listed in 1 Timothy 1:5-6.

1 Timothy 1:5–6 (NAS)
5      But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.
6      For some men, straying from these things, have turned aside to fruitless discussion,

If a woman has been caught in deception and she has strayed from a godly love from a pure heart, strayed from a good conscience and strayed from a sincere faith, these are things must be turned back to in order for her to stay within the boundaries of the true faith.

The last thing to point out where Paul has made a clear condition is that “they” are to work through these conditions for “she will be saved…if they…”

The need for a helper to bring one to faith in Christ is never more crucial than in the issue of deception, for the truth of the matter is that the deceived rarely walk away on their own. The lure of deception is so strong that without help, the trap of the lie will keep the deceived in bondage.  The one who knows the truth but who has been silent in correcting the error must now step up to the plate to be a major factor in encouraging the woman who is in sin. His encouragement will help her to step away from the deception and into the light of the truth.

The next question is regarding whether Paul is giving a solution to the problem of a particular false and deceived teacher or whether he is describing the nature of a particular false teaching. I would like to explore these options to see which fits the passage in this one verse.

The letter that Paul wrote to Timothy was written concerning the problems in the Ephesian church.  In the city of Ephesus was a cult-like belief in Artemis the goddess of virginity, women’s concerns including childbearing, the hunt and the underworld. Many came to see her as such an important part of that culture that people gave her great loyalty and a temple was built in Ephesus in her honor.  Virginity was especially emphasized in the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus: only virgins and men were permitted access and married or sexually active women were excluded under penalty of death (see documentation here).  Since women called on the many breasted Artemis to help with childbirth, Paul’s words about the childbearing are thought to be written in such a way as to be refuting a myth about the Ephesian goddess Artemis but is this really what Paul had in mind?

Ephesian artemis on Women in Ministry by Cheryl Schatz

I would like to submit that it is highly unlikely that Paul was appealing to a particular myth about an Ephesian deity in verse 15 because of the specific grammar found in the verse.  While the myth was that Artemis oversaw childbirth and kept women safe during this precarious time, Paul wasn’t talk about keeping a woman’s physical life safe in the act of giving birth, but rather his grammar shows that in verse 15, Paul is referencing the bearing of one child and salvation is not being physically saved from the perils inherent in giving birth to children, but rather it is spiritual salvation from sin through the agency of the coming of One who became the source of our spiritual salvation. The genitive bearing of child determines something that belongs to the child as its source and no emphasis is put on the woman as source at all. Salvation is not coming through the mother or by keeping the mother physically safe, but through the agency of her child’s coming.

If Paul was creating a connection between a false teaching and a myth that associated protection during child birth to the help of the goddess Artemis as a woman’s physical savior and Mother of all, then he failed to use the proper grammar for that teaching. He should have used a verb instead of a noun and he should have used the plural “women” who would experience maternal protection rather than a singular “she”.  Rather than referencing all women and feminine protection from harm during childbirth, Paul used a term that he exclusively used for spiritual salvation in all of his epistles. That goes against the grain of a multi-breasted gynecological helper. Paul’s writing in 1 Timothy 2:15 takes the meaning of salvation in a completely different direction.

In addition, if verse 15 is all about refuting a false teaching regarding the one who women are to look to for help during labor, then the specific grammar of verse 15 makes no sense in that context. Who is the “she” and who are the “they” and what does this grammar change have to do with protection from child birthing problems? The conditional promise using both the singular and plural grammar simply doesn’t fit with a refutation of Artemis as a goddess midwife. I have just never seen a satisfactory explanation for a connection between verse 15 and the myth of Artemis. But is it possible that there is a connection between verses 13 & 14 and this goddess myth?  We will have a look at that question the next post.

*note I have removed one relatively small point from my post as I received correction about an error that it included.  I stand corrected as I want only to hold fast to what is true.

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Anaphoric reference in 1 Timothy 2:12 on Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

In a recent blog post there has been some discussion on 1 Timothy 2:11, 12 in the comment section, and the question of whether “a woman” is generic woman or a specific woman.  I always appreciate questions and challenges on my position as it continually pushes me to continue to do research in order to answer the questions that are posed to me.

The question that was posed to me was regarding “a woman” and whether there is any proof that she is a particular woman that Timothy was aware of.  The reason the question was asked is because in 1 Timothy 2:14 “the woman” is referenced and it is clear from the grammar that this is not Eve because “the woman” is still in the after effects of her transgression and her deception and since Eve is dead, her transgression is not on-going.  A similar situation is in 1 Timothy 2:15 where “she” will be saved…if…  The grammar is future tense and again it is impossible for this to be Eve as Eve is dead and gone and her salvation cannot be in the future and conditional.

The person who challenged me believes that “the woman” in 1 Timothy 2:14 is indeed a woman who is one of the deceived teachers who Timothy was instructed to stop from teaching, but he also seems to be convinced that since the first reference to “woman” in 1 Timothy 2:11, 12 is without the definite article that the first reference to a singular woman must be a “generic” woman while the last reference would be to a specific woman since the definite article is there.  He did say that it is possible that I am correct that “a woman” of 1 Timothy 2:11, 12 was that specific person but he said that there is no real way for us to know for sure.

In doing some research on this issue, I came across a strong precedent for a second reference within the context where the definite article attached to a noun connects to a first noun that is without the article.  It is called an anaphoric reference.  I have an audio clip from Dr. James White who is quoting his agreement on a grammar reference from Dr. Daniel Wallace on the anaphoric reference.  You can hear the audio clip here James White on Anaphoric reference.  Below is the transcript of the clip.

Normally when an anaphoric use is in view, the preceding use of the noun will lack the article. It will not be articled. And if you read Greek then you will know that in James 2:14 when it says that a person says they have faith (ean pistin lege) pistin does not have an article, so this is a classic example where you have a noun, then you have the repetition of the noun later with an article, that article is pointing us back to the preceding use of the noun. This is called the anaphoric use of the article.

The anaphora refers to the way in which a word or phrase relates to other text.  A term associated with anaphora is a cataphoric reference which refers to:

…something within a text that has not yet been identified.  For example, in “Because he was very cold, David promptly put on his coat” the identify of the “he” is unknown until the individual is also referred to as “David”.

The cataphora that co-refers to a later expression is described here:

In linguistics, cataphora (from Greek, forward + carry) is used to describe an expression that co-refers with a later expression in the discourse. That is to say, the earlier expression refers to or describes a forward expression. For example, given: “Finding the right gadget was a real hassle. I finally settled with a digital camera.”  The “right gadget” is an instance of cataphora because it refers to “a digital camera,” an object that hasn’t been mentioned in the discourse prior to that point. Cataphora is a type of endophora and it is the opposite of anaphora, a reference forward as opposed to backward in the discourse.

As a general rule, cataphoras are quite less common than anaphoras in all natural languages; furthermore, cataphoras that are not sentence-internal are typically very uncommon in informal, conversational contexts.

Cataphora is often used for rhetorical effect. It can build suspense and provide a description. For example:

  • He’s the biggest slob I know. He’s really stupid. He’s so cruel. He’s my boyfriend Steve.

In keeping with Paul’s very uncommon one-of-a-kind grammar in 1 Timothy 2:11-15, we find not only a word that is found nowhere else in the Bible (authentein), a unique definite noun (the childbearing) but also a cataphora example of an anaphoric reference.  Paul describes the solution before he describes the problem (let her learn), he describes the solution as a promise (she will be saved…if…) and he describes the woman without the definite noun before he identifies her as “the woman” who is in the transgression.

We now know that Paul’s grammar using an anarthrous noun first and later referring back to the noun through a repetition of the noun but with the definite article is also used in James 2:14.

James 2:14 (NAS)
Faith and Works
14      What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him?

Is there a grammar usage that assures us that Paul is not talking about all women and forbidding all women from teaching “a man” and “authentein a man”?  Yes!  It is a cataphora which is an anaphoric reference.  “The” woman in 1 Timothy 2:14 is the clear identifier of the specific woman that was the recipient of Paul’s prohibition.  Paul uses the anaphoric reference to take us back from verse 14 to her sin in verse 12 and the solution to her sin in verse 11 and through this grammar reference we can identify the woman who Timothy was instructed to give Paul’s prohibition to.

There you have it.  It is a precedent in a piece of linguistic grammar that makes the furthest reference clearer than the closest reference.  It is just what Paul did with “a woman”.

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Taking the place of master by law on Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

The Bible records a law that requires men to take the place of sole master in the home. We find this law in the book of Esther chapter 1 verse 22.

Let me first give a little background.  King Ahasuerus was a very wealthy and powerful king who reigned from India to Ethiopia over 127 provinces.  In the third year of his reign he made a huge banquet for his nobles and officials as well as military leaders.  Then for 180 days he displayed his great riches and all that went with the majesty of his position.  At the end of all this show of the king’s splendor, he threw a seven day banquet for all the people who were present in his capital city, both the greatest of them to the least of them.  It was at that time, after seven days of partying, that the king became joyful from the wine that was served at the banquet, and in a hasty decision to show-case all that he owned that was magnificent beauty, he ordered that queen Vashti be called to appear before the king wearing her crown in order to parade her beauty before the crowd. Vashti refused to have her person put on display and this caused the king to feel great wrath and he called his wise men to find out what could be done by law to punish queen Vashti for refusing to obey his command.  In verses 16 to 19 Memucan one of the wise men said,

Esther 1:16-19 Queen Vashti has wronged not only the king but also all the princes and all the peoples who are in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus. For the queen’s conduct will become known to all the women causing them to look with contempt on their husbands by saying, ‘King Ahasuerus commanded Queen Vashti to be brought in to his presence, but she did not come.’  This day the ladies of Persia and Media who have heard of the queen’s conduct will speak in the same way to all the king’s princes, and there will be plenty of contempt and anger. If it pleases the king, let a royal edict be issued by him and let it be written in the laws of Persia and Media so athat it cannot be repealed, that Vashti may no longer come into the presence of King Ahasuerus, and let the king give her royal position to another who is more worthy than she.

This is truly an amazing passage showing that a woman’s right to make her own decisions was something that was feared in that culture. It didn’t matter that one woman didn’t want to be treated as a piece of property that was being put on display, it was an act that threatened the perceived priority of the husband.  The thought was that if one woman received freedom to do as she pleased, then every woman would see that as setting a precedence and all the other wives will think they have the choice to act the same way. So a law was created to take care of the woman problem.  Memucan continued:

Esther 1:20 (NAS) “When the king’s edict which he will make is heard throughout all his kingdom, great as it is, then all women will give honor to their husbands, great and small.”

The Hebrew term in the passage used for honor means:

honor, respect, i.e., a state of high status in relation to another (Est 1:4, 20…)
Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains

Why is it that women would be taught to regard their husbands as having a higher status than themselves? It was because of the new law that the king would create.

Esther 1:21–22(NAS)

21 This word pleased the king and the princes, and the king did as Memucan proposed.

22 So he sent letters to all the king’s provinces, to each province according to its script and to every people according to their language, that every man should be the master in his own house and the one who speaks in the language of his own people.

The law was created so that every man should be the master in his own house and this would accomplish a status difference between men and women in the home.

Some people today are under the impression that God created the law that made the husband the master in the home.  But nowhere in the Scriptures  is such a law attributed to God.  It was a pagan king who created this law because of the fear of what a woman’s freedom might do. The origin of the law that made the male the master of the home came into being  around 482 B.C during King Ahasuerus’ reign from 485 to 465 B.C.

The fear that concerned men that they would lose their priority if women were allowed to have freedom to make their own decisions has been a consistent fear that was even used against the gospel.  The issues of slaves and women were two things that caused a great deal of fear and attacks against the gospel.  Even though in the gospel all are free men, slaves were told to regard their own masters as worthy of honor so that the name of God and the doctrine (teaching, instruction) would not be given a foothold for those looking for a way to slander the gospel.

1 Timothy 6:1 (NAS) All who are under the yoke as slaves are to regard their own masters as worthy of all honor so that the name of God and our doctrine will not be spoken against.

In the same way wives were to deflect criticism of the gospel by subjecting themselves to their husbands. In this way the word of God would not be slandered.

Titus 2:5 (NAS) to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.

The Greek term for dishonor is blasphemetai which means:

‘to demean through speech’, an esp. sensitive matter in an honor-shame oriented society. to speak in a disrespectful way that demeans, denigrates, maligns

Arndt, W., Danker, F. W., & Bauer, W. (2000). A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian literature (3rd ed.) (pg 178).

The world’s system is based on shame-honor and fear of anyone or anything that will come against their traditions.  How is a Christian to act in this worldly system?  Peter answers that for us:

1 Peter 3:16 (NAS) and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.

The author of Hebrews also affirms that acting in an honorable way in this world system is the right thing to do.

Hebrews 13:18 (NAS) Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a good conscience, desiring to conduct ourselves honorably in all things.

Peter indicates that the world is looking to peg us as evildoers, but we are to live in such a way that our lifestyle will silence the ignorance of foolish men.

1 Peter 2:12–16 (NAS)

12 Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation.

13 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority,

14 or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right.

15 For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men.

16 Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God.

In this last verse Peter affirms once again that all of us are free men. But our freedom is there to live our lives in service to God.

How was a Christian woman to live in her marriage since she is as fellow heir with her husband?  She was to live in freedom to serve God and freedom as a “son” of God.  However in order to be careful not to give any reason for the world to slander the gospel, she was to submit to her husband and give him honor. Submitting to serve one another and submitting to receive God’s gifts from one another is the Christian way, but a special submission was given in honor to one’s husband in order that the gospel would not be slandered in that shame based culture.

It is also good for husbands to realize that they are not sole masters in the home.  God has placed right beside them their own wives in a position of honor and also as a joint heir of God and a joint master of the home.

1 Timothy 5:14 (ASV) I desire therefore that the younger widows marry, bear children, rule the household, give no occasion to the adversary for reviling:

The tradition that the man is the sole master of the home is the world’s invention.  God’s way is husband and wives living as we were created – joint rulers and as Christians, joint heirs in Christ.  The amazing thing is that through Christians living lives for God and with God’s principles, the world has come to see that slavery is wrong.   The world has also been getting the message that male domination is wrong.  Yet the sad thing is that there are still some in the church who believe that God created the man as the master of the home and the master of his wife.  They are following a worldly tradition that they don’t even recognize is worldly.  Some of the church has heard for so long that God uses men and doesn’t use women that they have become indoctrinated into believing the lie.

It is easy to allow tradition to become a fact in our lives without even realizing that its foundation is based on a lie or on ignorance.  Let me give you one example from the book of Esther.  How was Mordecai in relation to Esther before he adopted her?  What do you think?

A. Her brother

B. Her uncle

C. No relation to Esther at all before adopting her

After you make your choice, then open the book of Esther to Esther 2:7, 15.  Read it carefully.  Now who was Mordecai in relation to Esther and tell me if the Bible contradicts a tradition that has been believed by many in the church?

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Newsflash July 24, 2010

Today I was emailed a letter that was just FedExed to Dr. Randy Stinson and Dr. J. Ligon Duncan III on behalf of the Freedom for Christian Women Coalition which is demanding an apology for harm done to Christian women because of the Danvers Statement on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Freedom for Christian Women Coalition

July 24, 2010

Dr. Randy Stinson, President
Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood
2825 Lexington Road, Box 926
Louisville, KY 40280

And

Dr. J Ligon Duncan III
Chairman of the Board of the CBMBW
First Presbyterian Church
1390 North State Street
Jackson, MS 39202

Freedom for Christian Women Coalition met on July 24, 2010, in Orlando, Florida, and agreed and affirmed this Demand for an Apology from the Council on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood because of the concerns as listed in the following pages.

For the sake of all Christians, men and women, we demand that the Council on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood, make a public apology for the misuse of Holy Scripture as it relates to women, and cease to publish or promote The Danvers Statement on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood.

Sincerely,

Shirley Taylor
Waneta Dawn
Cynthia Kunsman
Janice Levinson
Jocelyn Andersen

Freedom for Christian Women Coalition

DEMAND FOR AN APOLOGY FROM THE COUNCIL ON BIBLICAL MANHOOD AND BIBLICAL WOMANHOOD

At a time in our church history that the main focus should be on winning lost souls and spreading the gospel to a hurting world, we fear for the future because the Council on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood has placed a greater priority on women’s submissive role rather than on the gospel of Jesus Christ.

It is with that thought in mind that we make these statements.

  1. We are concerned that men are being taught that they are god-like in their relationship to women within the church and home. As the mothers, wives, and daughters of these men, it is our concern that this doctrine is setting them up for failure as Christian fathers, husbands and sons;
  2. we are concerned about the sin that evangelical church leaders commit when they deny the love of Christ fully to women simply because they were born female;
  3. we are concerned about the damage this causes to families when husbands and fathers are told that they have Headship over their wives and daughters;
  4. we are concerned about wife abuse, girlfriend abuse, and abuse to female children that takes place in many homes where evangelical men are taught that they have earthly and spiritual authority over women;
  5. we are concerned that the children who attend churches that subscribe to the principles of The Danvers Statement on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood will grow up not knowing the full redemptive power of the blood of Jesus for both men and women;
  6. we are concerned for the mental and emotional development of girls and boys who attend churches that teach males have superiority over females;
  7. we are concerned that men who are taught that they have Male Headship over a home and church do not feel that they are accountable for abusive attitudes and actions towards women;
  8. we are concerned about the mistranslation of the scriptures by complementarian translation committees and by the false teachings propagated by the Council on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood;
  9. we are concerned that pastors who teach and preach male domination/female subordination cannot relate in a loving, Christ-like manner to female members of their congregations because they have already judged them and found them lacking;
  10. we are concerned that the issue of wifely submission, promoted so heavily by the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, is more about power and control than about love or obeying the Word of God.

It is because of these concerns that:

  1. We demand that the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood acknowledge the harm that has been done to the church body by The Danvers Statement on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood, confess it as sin, and denounce it;
  2. we demand that denominational leaders and all churches and seminaries which have adopted The Danvers Statement on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood do the same;
  3. we demand a public apology from the Council on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood, and from all heads of seminaries and Bible colleges that have adopted The Danvers Statement on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood, for the inestimable damage this statement has done to all Christians whose lives have been influenced by it;
  4. we demand that the Council on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood begin to promote the Biblical design of functional equality for all Christians, both men and women;
  5. we demand that the Council on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood begin to speak out against pastors who continue to demean women and oppress Christians by the use of The Danvers Statement on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood;
  6. we demand that the Council on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood chastise pastors who claim that abuse of women is acceptable and justified because the wife is not submitting to the husband;
  7. we demand that the Council on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood make known to every boy and every girl who attend an evangelical church, that God is their head, and that authority over another human being can come only from God;
  8. we demand that the Council on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood teach men that they share equally in the burden of society’s ills, and that all that is wrong with society today cannot be blamed on women;
  9. we demand that the Council on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood do everything in their power to teach seminarians to show the love of Christ to both men and women;
  10. we demand that the Council on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood teach pastors to be loving towards those Christian men and women who disagree with The Danvers Statement on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood;
  11. and, finally, for the sake of all Christians, men and women, we demand that the Council on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood, make a public apology for the misuse of Holy Scripture as it relates to women, and cease to publish or promote The Danvers Statement on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood.

Shirley Taylor, bWe Baptist Women for Equality , Presented at the 
Seneca Falls 2 Evangelical Women’s Rights Convention July 24, 2010 in Orlando, Florida

AFFIRMED BY THE FREEDOM FOR CHRISTIAN WOMEN COALITION AT THE SENECA FALLS 2 EVANGELICAL WOMENS RIGHTS CONVENTION
JULY 24, 2010 IN ORLANDO, FLORIDA


For more information see bWE blog or Women Submit blog

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The humility of God on Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

In our past discussions on Ephesians 5:21-22, we have been discussing the issues of mutual submission and whether there is authority in marriage.  In this post, we will discuss the foundation of humility.

One very important part of the nature of God that is rarely talked about is God’s nature of humility.   In fact God as the humble One is revealed in the Old Testament and also through the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Psalm 113:5–6 (NAS)

5 Who is like the LORD our God,
Who is enthroned on high,
6 Who humbles Himself to behold
The things that are in heaven and in the earth?

While the amazing Sovereignty of God and His nature of omnipresence , omnipotence and omniscience seems inconsistent with humility, yet there was something about God that was mostly hidden until Jesus revealed the nature of God.  In fact it was God’s humble nature that was the very cause of Jesus becoming man.  Jesus spoke the truth when He said that to see Him was to see the Father as Jesus revealed the very nature of the Father as God.

John 14:8–9 (NAS)

8 Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.”
9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?

Jesus came in the nature of the humble God as He set aside all of His rights as God to come in humility to earth.  Paul explained that this humility was evidenced as looking out for the interests of others.

Philippians 2:3–8 (NAS)
3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;
4 do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.
5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,
6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,
7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.
8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Jesus said that He did not come to be served, but to serve and give of Himself.

Matthew 20:28 (NAS) just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.

As the embodiment of the humble God, Jesus did not use His power for His own benefit and His miracles were never done for His own use, but for the benefit of others.

Because the foundation of God’s character is humility as evidenced by Jesus giving up His own rights and His own comfort to come for our benefit, we too are required to be like Him.  We are to walk in the path set before us in humility.

Micah 6:8 (NAS)
8 He has told you, O man, what is good;
And what does the LORD require of you
But to do justice, to love kindness,
And to walk humbly with your God?
God Himself dwells with those who are humble:
Isaiah 57:15 (NAS)
15 For thus says the high and exalted One
Who lives forever, whose name is Holy,
I dwell on a high and holy place,
And also with the contrite and lowly of spirit
In order to revive the spirit of the lowly
And to revive the heart of the contrite.

In fact the call for us to be humble is such a basic part of God’s requirement for His children, He has stated that He knows the haughty not intimately but from a distance.

Psalm 138:6 (NAS)
6 For though the LORD is exalted,
Yet He regards the lowly,
But the haughty He knows from afar.

All of us in the body of Christ without exception are called to clothe ourselves with humility toward one another.

1 Peter 5:5 (NAS)
5 You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.

This instruction is a classic one another passage that is reciprocal in nature.  We are to take on an attitude of humility toward one another.  It isn’t an attitude that is for some to others but for all toward each other.

Are those who are in leadership exempt from showing humility towards the rest in the body of Christ?  No, they can’t be exempt for the humble example of the Father shows that even the most honored of all humbled Himself.

In the story of the prodigal son, there is an angry second son who would not come in to the presence of the father because of his anger.  So the father went out to him and showed him the example of a humble man.  Watch how the story unfolds as the son who had remained in the father’s household rebels at his father’s compassion and grace toward his brother:

Luke 15:21–28 (NAS)

21 “And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
22 “But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet;
23 and bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat and celebrate;
24 for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.’ And they began to celebrate.
25 “Now his older son was in the field, and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing.
26 “And he summoned one of the servants and began inquiring what these things could be.
27 “And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has received him back safe and sound.’
28 “But he became angry and was not willing to go in; and his father came out and began pleading with him.
Notice how the second son was unwilling to come into the house so his father humbled himself to come out to his son. Let’s keep reading for the rest of the story:
Luke 15:29–32 (NAS)
29 “But he answered and said to his father, ‘Look! For so many years I have been serving you and I have never neglected a command of yours; and yet you have never given me a young goat, so that I might celebrate with my friends;
30 but when this son of yours came, who has devoured your wealth with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him.’
31 “And he said to him, ‘Son, you have always been with me, and all that is mine is yours.
32 ‘But we had to celebrate and rejoice, for this brother of yours was dead and has begun to live, and was lost and has been found.’”
Notice also that the second son refused to call his brother my brother but referred to him in his father’s presence as this son of yours.  Notice also that the father had given both sons their share of the estate:
Luke 15:11–12 (NAS)
11 And He said, “A man had two sons.
12 “The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the estate that falls to me.’ So he divided his wealth between them.

Yet even though both sons were given their inheritance while the father was living, the father in humility did not withhold anything that he had from his sons.   When the youngest son returned, the father gave him a feast, his best robe, a ring and sandals.  The feast was in honor of the son who had returned to him alive from the dead.  The robe was the very best that the father could offer.  The ring would be the signet-ring showing that the son was accepted as one who had the full rights of the father.  The sandals were the marks of a free man as slaves did not wear sandals.

The oldest son too had every right given to him as the father told him that all that he had he also willingly shared with his son (see verse 31 above).  While the father had every right to retain what was his own possessions to provide a living for himself, he was humble at heart and willingly shared everything with his sons. He was the perfect example of the Heavenly Father who although Sovereign in power and the One who holds the full right to reign alone, has shared all with us so that we would be lifted up to rule and reign at His right hand with Christ.  He didn’t keep to Himself His sole rights, but gave up what had belonged exclusively to God in order to allow us to benefit from His riches.

2 Corinthians 8:9 (NAS)
9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich.
The humble God became poor so that we could through His poverty become rich and be beside Him as joint heirs:
Romans 8:16–17 (NAS)
16 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God,
17 and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ…
As God through Christ has revealed His humble nature and as He requires that we follow in His footsteps, are men exempt from living a life of humility?  No, not at all.  All of us are to be humble in spirit.
1 Peter 3:8 (NAS)
8 To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit;

Just as we are to be humble towards one another in a reciprocal way:

1 Peter 5:5 (NAS)
5 You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.

…so too we are to submit to one another in a reciprocal way:

Ephesians 5:21 (NAS)
21 and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.

This has nothing to do with being subject to someone in authority over us.  It is being in submission to those who are worthy of our care and our humbly lifting them up.  Both humility and submission are to be reciprocal which means that both are “one to another” in back and forth fashion.  If God Himself can set forth the example of One who gave up His rights to share all of His wealth and authority with us, why would it be so hard for us to give up our rights to lift up our brothers and sisters in Christ?

What about those who refuse to submit?  What if a husband says that he will not provide Christian submission to his wife for the benefit of his wife?  What if a husband wants to hold onto his male trump card and refuses to give it up his own “rights” rather than lift up his wife?

Proverbs 29:23 (NAS)
23 A man’s pride will bring him low,
But a humble spirit will obtain honor.

Pride does not bring honor but dishonor.  In contrast, Paul was a man who had “rights” as an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ. Yet he willingly humbled himself so that the Corinthians could be exalted:

2 Corinthians 11:7 (NAS)
7 Or did I commit a sin in humbling myself so that you might be exalted, because I preached the gospel of God to you without charge?

Those who refuse to give up their “rights” so that others can be exalted and receive a benefit may find themselves in the pitfall of pride.

Proverbs 16:5 (NAS)
5 Everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD;
Assuredly, he will not be unpunished.

Think about it this way.  Who does the husband serve if he takes out his male trump card?  If a husband and wife disagree on a decision and the husband takes out his male trump card that gives him the right to make the final decision, what are the chances that he will make a decision to go her way?  May I respectfully suggest that if the husband and wife disagree over a decision and the husband resorts to taking out his male trump card to take advance of a perceived male right to make the final decision, he will always choose his own way.  It is because there is always selfishness tied to a trump card.  It is not God’s way of humility nor is it God’s way of sharing the honor and His own rights with others.

1 Peter 3:7 (NAS)
7 You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.

For a man to override his wife’s will by taking for himself a male trump card in order to have the right to make a decision for her, he is not honoring her.  Remember the humble God who came to show the way.

Matthew 23:12 (NAS)
12 “Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.
Psalm 37:11 (NAS)
11 But the humble will inherit the land
And will delight themselves in abundant prosperity.
Matthew 11:29 (NAS)
29 “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.
Matthew 18:4 (NAS)
4 “Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
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Ephesians 5:22 on Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

Our discussions on Ephesians 5:22 has sparked a flurry of comments with literally hundreds of comments later and seemingly no end to the “iron sharpening iron” discussion between egalitarians as well as complementarians.  This is the place where the discussion will continue as my blog has a habit of blanking out all of the comments if I let too many accumulate under one post.  So continue discussion with this post and thanks all for your lively and irenic comments on a very hotly debated topic of authority and submission in marriage.

For those who haven’t been following all along, here are links to the previous parts of the discussion on Ephesians 5:22.

Part #2 http://strivetoenter.com/wim/2010/06/01/authority-vs-submission-ephesians-522-continuing-comments

Part #1 http://strivetoenter.com/wim/2010/05/23/authority-vs-submission-biblical-view/ Part 1 has problems because of the great amount of comments, but at least the original post can be read if the link doesn’t work.  Just scroll down to the bottom until you read the post of May 23, 2010 called Authority vs Submission a Biblical View.

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Authority given on Women in Ministry by Cheryl Schatz

When is authority given and when can it be rightfully assumed?  These are questions that have divided egalitarians and complementarians in the area of marriage.  While egalitarians generally will agree that submission is a characteristic of Spirit-filled Christians who love and respect the body of Christ, and who serve each other with love, complementarians say that husbands are never commanded to submit to their wives because husbands maintain a God-given sphere of authority that requires sacrifice and not submission.  To a complementarian, submission is always something given to an authority.  Since they don’t believe that a wife has authority over a husband they refuse to submit to their wives.  Is this Biblical?

In order to refuse submission as a Christ-like action and/or attitude of both spouses in marriage, they must reject that the reciprocal “to one another” in Ephesians 5:21 really does mean “one to another”.  Instead they are forced to interpret the inspired reciprocal and change it to mean “some to others” as in “Christians who are subject to authority” are to submit to “those in authority”.  This makes it a one-way submission and it adds the condition of authority when no such condition exists.  It also nodles with the inspired text to remove the inspired reciprocal nature of the term to one another.  This is one of the weak links in the complementarian argument.

First of all let’s prove that Ephesians 5:21 has the reciprocal. Note the screen print below of the Greek and the reciprocal grammar:

reciprocal on Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

If God had meant that Christians are to submit to authorities in the church, then why didn’t God God just say it like that in Ephesians 5:21 like He did in Romans 13:1?

Romans 13:1 (NASB) Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities

Note that in Romans 13:1, the ones to be under submission are clearly noted as “every person” and those to whom they are to submit themselves to is ” the governing authorities”.  Romans 13:1 is clearly about the requirement for all to submit themselves to the secular governmental authority. But Ephesians 5:21 is not like the one-sided submission of Romans 13:1.  Rather Ephesians 5:21 makes the submission linked to mutuality.
Some may say that the three groups that follow verse 21 are examples of one-sided submission so verse 21 cannot be reciprocal.  But we cannot allow our bias to distort the clear word of Scripture.  The most important issue is that it is God who said the submission is to be reciprocal by His inspiring Paul’s words and grammar.  Secondly God supported this reciprocal nature of submission in chapter 6.
Ephesians 6:7 (NASB) With good will render service, as to the Lord, and not to men,
The Greek term for “render service” means to be a slave, serve, subject oneself (active) and further to act or conduct oneself as one in total service to another.  See below the subjection (submission) that is part of the “service” that is given from the slave to the master.
Ephesians 6:7 on Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz


Paul goes on in verse 9 to present the reciprocal nature of the submission:

Ephesians 6:9 (NASB) And masters, do the same things to them, …

The same things that these Christian masters are to do is what their slaves were to do for them.  Their slaves were to be subjected to them and serve them. God shows that the masters are to do the same.

This is the Christian doctrine of mutual submission. The submission is not just for slaves but for their masters too!  In the same way, husbands are to be a part of mutual submission and they are not a special class that is exempt from Christian submission.  (Eph. 5:21)

So what does this mutual submission look like in practice between husbands and wives, parents and children and slaves and masters?  It isn’t hard to envision.  It is two-fold submission that is expressed in willing service.  Submission is also expressed as a willingness to receive God’s gifts through the other brother or sister in Christ.  Let’s see this submission in action:

1. A wife has a busy day and needs to put together a meal before she leaves for her Bible study when she realizes that she forgot to purchase milk for the children. When her husband comes in the door, she asks him to go to the store to pick up the milk for the meal.  Her husband willing submits to his wife’s request.

2. A Father tired after a long day lays back in his easy chair to relax after dinner when his four year old son ask him to read him a bedtime Bible story. The Father submits to the request of his young son and goes to his son’s bed to read him a Bible story and tuck him into bed.

3. A servant has a teaching from the Scriptures that he will be giving to the congregation and his master submits to learn from the teaching that his own servant brings.

Notice that in all three examples the one who submits himself to the other one is not obligated to submit because the other person has authority over him. Rather he submits because it is the right thing to do. It is a Christian humility that puts himself under another person’s need or the submission is given to the brother or sister in order to receive a gift that the other person has for them. This is the face of reciprocal submission.

But most complementarians cannot even think about submission without re-defining submission as a response to an authority that is over them. But is Christian submission as defined by Ephesians 5:21 really to be assumed as an attachment of a God-given authority even though God never says that? Are we really to assume that God gave masters their authority over their slaves? The fact is that this reasoning was rejected a lot of years ago as a man-made system that was never authorized by God. So is the authority that husbands believe they have over their wife a God-given authority? Like the authority of the master, the authority of the husband is also never established by God.

So what is the unique authority that complementarians say that the husband has been given over the wife? Complementarians are not  in agreement over the extent of the authority. Some say that husbands have the final say in every decision of the marriage and home. Others add that the husband’s authority is to love his wife and sacrifice for her. However they can’t seem to explain how the husband’s authority is not also the wife’s when she loves and sacrifices for him.

What I would like to do is challenge complementarians to give a Biblical example of the one-sided submission that they believe must be given by wives to their husbands but is not allowed for husbands to do for their wives (i.e. a non-reciprocal submission)?  Let’s have a look at your examples and discuss the Biblical passages that originate that type of submission.

I will give the first example as one that Mark gave in the comment section on the last post.  Mark said:

Gal 5:13 is a prime example of the husbands role as husband. The husband is called to love his wife like Christ did the Church. IN Gal we are told to ‘through love serve one another’, so yes i would through love serve my wife.

I ask, what kind of love is the husband called to give that is not allowed for his wife to love him back in the same way?  What kind of service is not allowed for a wife that is only allowed for a husband?  In what way is this a role that is unique to a husband and where does the authority come from to command an application of a service to apply solely to the husband?

Thoughts?

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