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Category: Answering complementarian arguments

Round 5 Interview with the Apostle Paul – who are "they"?

Round 5 Interview with the Apostle Paul – who are "they"?

they

This post is the fifth one of a simulated interview with the Apostle Paul taken from the position of what he might say if we could transport Paul from the New Testament account through a time tunnel into our present day.

Doug, a strong complementarian is itching to question Paul regarding who is referred to as “they” in 1 Timothy 2:15.  Let’s listen in.  (The previous interviews are linked at the bottom of this post.)

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Round 4 Interview with the Apostle Paul – only one woman?

Round 4 Interview with the Apostle Paul – only one woman?

woman_surprise

This post is the fourth one of a simulated interview with the Apostle Paul taken from the position of what he might say if we could transport Paul from the New Testament account through a time tunnel into our present day.

Doug, a strong complementarian has still more questions for Paul on 1 Timothy 2:11-15.  Let’s listen in.

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Round 2 Interview with the Apostle Paul

Round 2 Interview with the Apostle Paul

This post is the second one of a simulated interview with the Apostle Paul taken from the position of what he might say if we could transport Paul from the New Testament account through a time tunnel into our present day. While Paul gets to experience life in the 21st century, Doug, a strong complementarian, is given the opportunity to interview the Apostle Paul on the hard passages about women in the bible.  The first interview is located here.  In the second interview Doug wants to revisit 1 Timothy 2:12 before moving on.

interview on Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

Doug: Hello brother Paul.  I am so glad that we are able to continue with our interview.  Did you enjoy taking the pulpit for John MacArthur?

Paul: I loved it!  Well, actually I didn’t take the pulpit.  I just spoke to the congregation from the floor because I wanted to encourage everyone to speak and use their gifts.  That was the way it was meant to be.  After all we are all brothers in Christ and we can learn from each other.  Unfortunately I don’t think they will be having me back anytime soon.

Doug: Your kidding!  What happened?

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Interview with the Apostle Paul

Interview with the Apostle Paul

paul on Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

This post will be a simulated interview with the Apostle Paul taken from the position of what he might say if we could transport Paul from the New Testament account through a time tunnel into our present day.  We are interested in asking Paul his reasons for what he wrote about women and what he thinks about the present day church regarding women’s ministries.  However the interviewer that gets first “crack” at Paul will be a complementarian Christian who strongly believes that women are restricted from teaching men in the church.  The interviewer’s name will be “Doug”.

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Did God give up on the woman?

Did God give up on the woman?

pregnant on Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

Many people think that God was especially hard on Eve after she was deceived by the serpent in the garden.  In fact hierarchists have determined that God was so hard on Eve by punishing her with a multitude of lashes for her sin, that some might get the idea that God punished the one who was deceived in a more severe way than the one who sinned willfully and without remorse.  Others are so confused about what God said to Eve many think that sexuality is a necessary evil that came after Adam and Eve left the garden, since Eve experienced no pregnancy before they left the garden.  Understanding exactly what God did say to Eve can help to remove the misconceptions.

God’s words to Eve gives us the reason why Eve did not get pregnant in the garden after her marriage to Adam.  It would not have been because Adam and Eve did not have normal marital relations.  After all God blessed them and told them to be fruitful and multiply and marital relations is the normal way of making that happen.  However Adam and Eve were created to live without dying and in that original creation, Eve’s rate of conception was not the same as it was after she ate the fruit and became subject to death.  Let’s look at the first part of God’s words to Eve  in Genesis 3:16.

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Adam's sin imputed to Eve?

Adam's sin imputed to Eve?

Cheryl Schatz Adam's sin 4

 

One of the most bizarre teachings of CBMW is the one taught in Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood in chapter 3 written by Raymond C. Ortlund Jr.  Here Mr. Ortlund states that God pronounced the death sentence on Adam alone so that Eve died not because she ate of the forbidden fruit.  According to Ortlund she died because of Adam’s sin.  On page 110, Mr. Ortlund writes:

The fourth point here is that God told Adam alone that he would die.  But Eve died, too.  Why then did God pronounce the death sentence on Adam alone?  Because, as the head goes, so goes the member. [emphasis mine]

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King Uzziah and women lepers?

King Uzziah and women lepers?

girl_cook on Women in Ministry by Cheryl Schatz

In an interesting blog post on Pyromaniacs the February 10th post, author Dan Phillips tries to link the rebellion of King Uzziah and his punishment of leprosy with the “unfaithful” act of women who apparently are committing treachery against God by becoming pastors.  Is this really true?  Are women pastors committing treachery against God?  First let’s look at Dan Phillip’s article to see how he equates women pastors with illegally burning incense on the altar.   Taking the opposing view for effect he says:

Surely King Uzziah had every bit as much right to burn incense on the altar as… well, as women have to be pastors in our day!

No matter how wonderful it (women pastors) looks, treachery is still treachery.

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Raymond Ortlund says creation order needed to not obscure nature

Raymond Ortlund says creation order needed to not obscure nature

distort1 on Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

In our discussion of CBMW’s book Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, continuing on in chapter 3 in the writings of Raymond C. Ortlund Jr., Mr. Ortlund redefines the creation account in such a way that God’s creation of the male first is said to be necessary in order that the nature of the male and female is not obscured.  Ortlund writes on page 102:

God did not make Adam and Eve from the ground at the same time and for one another without distinction.  Neither did God make the woman first, and then the man from the woman for the woman.  He could have created them in either of these ways so easily, but He didn’t.  Why?  Because, presumably, that would have obscured the very nature of manhood and womanhood that He intended to make clear. (emphasis is mine)

Ortlund’s presumption here is quite clear from this chapter.  God made man first, according to Ortlund, to show that woman-

…was not his (man’s) equal in that she was his “helper”.

and

A man, just by virtue of his manhood, is called to lead for God.  A woman, just by virtue of her womanhood, is called to help for God. (my emphasis)

When Ortlund says that creating man and woman at the same time would have obscured the very nature of manhood and womanhood, what is he talking about?  Ortlund is not defining “manhood” as being male or “womanhood” as being female.  He is defining “manhood” and “womanhood” by the preconceived “roles” that he has assigned to each one.   “Manhood” is now the responsibility to take dominion over the female and to lead her in ways that she supposedly was created to need leading in.  Roles then, assigned by the timing of the creation of humanity, are what separates the genders and what creates the priority for the male.  But is this truly why God created the male first?  Was God giving us a hint that there was a priority in rule and leadership given to the male because he was created first from the dirt?

Let’s reason from the scriptures and think these things through thoughtfully and carefully.  First of all, we have to agree with Ortlund that God could have created the man and the woman from the dirt at the same time.  We also can ask the same question, why did God choose from his own sovereign will to create the man and the woman at different times and in different ways?  Why did God not create the woman from the dirt just like he had created the man?

First of all let’s look at all the bible verses that say that the male is to have leadership over the female because of his first creation.  There are exactly zero verses in the scripture giving first creation status to the male for leadership over the female.  The only verses that talks about a cause and effect regarding the order of creation are in 1 Timothy 2:13, 14.

1 Timothy 2:13  For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve.
1 Timothy 2:14  And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.

Here we see that the discussion of the second one created is tied to deception and the first one created is tied to not deceived.  There is zero connection to male leadership.  The fact is that male leadership would have to be read into the passage instead of pulled out of it because leadership of the male is certainly not in the passage.

So if the first one created is never tied into leadership, then what was the point of creating the man first?  Why couldn’t Eve have been created at the same time right there beside Adam from her side of the dirt bed?

The reason is because God sovereignly chose to create the woman from the man’s body for two reasons and the reasons have absolutely nothing to do with leadership.

1.  The woman was created from the man’s body in order for her to be identified as belonging to him in a one-flesh union with the man in the most intimate of relationships.

If the woman had been created from the dirt beside the man, she would not have been flesh of his flesh and bone of his bone.  So if God wanted the woman created not as separate flesh, but in an unmistakable identify with Adam, God had to create him first so that there was a rib that could be taken out to create the woman.  By creating the man first and by allowing him to take on a task designed to show him his lack of a mate, the man was prepared to receive his one-flesh partner.

2.  The woman was created from the man’s body in order for her to be a physical descendant of Adam through whom the Messiah could come but without the taint of Adam’s sin.

Before God created Adam and Eve, he knew that the fall would happen and it was his own plan and design that the Word of God would come to take on the flesh of humanity as a true Kinsman Redeemer.  This Redeemer was to be both God and man, but it was also necessary for the Redeemer to have a physical blood line back to Adam, yet without the taint of sin.  In God’s divine plan, it wasn’t an option that Eve was created from Adam’s body, but an absolute necessity because of the pre-planned salvation of mankind.  You will need to click on the image below or on the highlighted words  to go to the illustrated post where God’s sovereign plan is diagrammed showing how the Messiah came as a son of Adam but without the taint of Adam’s sin.

Adam and Eve 2

After viewing the diagrams of God’s wisdom in the order of creation, isn’t God’s plan for mankind and the redemption of mankind marvelously revealed through the Designer’s plan of Eve’s creation from Adam’s own body?  When you viewed the illustrated post linked above, were you able to see God’s ultimate design plan that was designed to effectively bypass the stain of Adam’s sin?  Does this  make much more biblical sense than the unscriptural idea of assigning the role of  “leader”  to the first one created when God never assigns this role to the male in creation?   Can you see how the physical connection of Eve back to Adam is not an unplanned side thought but rather God’s wonderful pre-planned design?

Instead of considering the plan of salvation that was designed before the world was created, Ortlund sees the first creation of the male as a sign of power and rule and primary responsibility.   He reasons that having woman created at the same time would “obscure” manhood and womanhood because then primary “roles” could not be assigned to the first and the second.  For Ortlund, having Adam and Eve created at the same time with both of them from the dirt would be a missed opportunity for God to hint to us that the second one created was made to be “inequal” in leadership behind the first created.  But may I respectfully say that what Ortlund has completely failed to present in his chapter in CBMW’s book is the redemptive reason for Eve’s creation second as God’s pre-thought-out creation to come from Adam’s own body.

Instead of giving the Designer praise for the plan of redemption mirrored in the order of creation, Raymond C. Ortlund’s focus is on a prideful “royal prerogative” extended to the man.

Next post we will be continuing on in chapter three of Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood and I will throw out for discussion the different theories about what came out of Adam that was used to become the woman.

Who was the judge of Israel, Deborah or Barak?

Who was the judge of Israel, Deborah or Barak?

The story of Deborah and Barak in the book of Judges has caused many hierarchists to assign the God-given work of judge delivering the people of Israel to Barak while denying that God raised up Deborah as a deliverer.   By assigning a calling to Barak that scripture never assigns, it appears that the example of Deborah and Barak is a clear example of reading into the text the tradition of men and failing to identify in the text God’s own inspired words which give the calling to Deborah.  In the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood’s (CBMW) Journal article, Barbara K. Mouser writes concerning Barak:

Barak is a weak man who does the will of God when paired with a righteous and wise woman. He does the job of deliverer-judge, makes the roll call of faith, but suffers a loss of glory because of his lack of zeal and obedience.

Barbara Mouser also denies that Deborah is a God-given judge who is raised up by God to deliver Israel:

Deborah is Not a Judge

She is not a judge in the sense that the book of Judges defines a judge; she is not a military deliverer.17 Rather she is a prophetess, and as a prophetess, she commands and exhorts Barak with God’s own words and authority.

The amount of “reading into” the text is astounding in this article.  For example, where is Barak said in scripture to be “raised up” by God as a judge?  Barak is never called a judge but Deborah is and Judges chapter 2 makes it very clear that all the judges were raised up by God.

Judges 2:16  Then the LORD raised up judges who delivered them from the hands of those who plundered them.

The raising up must include all of the judges and in this account of deliverance it is only Deborah that is identified as a judge, not Barak.

Next the CBMW article identifies women as a sign of degeneracy:

Isaiah tells us that the rule of women is a sign of degeneracy, not liberation (Isa 3:12).

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1 Corinthians 14:34, 35 concludes with Paul's commands

1 Corinthians 14:34, 35 concludes with Paul's commands

We have been going through 1 Corinthians 14:34-35, the passage that appears to silence women in the church to see how carefully Paul has constructed his words in 1 Corinthians 14:36 to contradict the silencing in verses 34 & 35.  (For past articles on this topic, please see the 1 Corinthians 14 section).

Now we come to Paul’s conclusions and in keeping with the force of the commands that Paul has given throughout chapter 14, Paul ends with two commands that completely blow away any misunderstanding that verses 34 & 35 are Paul’s words to the church instead of a quote from the Corinthian’s letter to Paul.

What is “therefore” there for?

Paul says in 1 Cor. 14:39 “therefore” my brethren…  The word “therefore” is a conjuction that joins together Paul’s words in verses 36-38 with the commands in verses 39 and 40.  All of this directly contradicts the injunction found in verses 34 and 35.  Let’s see how Paul concludes his contradiction of the silencing of women.

1 Corinthians 14:39  Therefore my brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy…

The first command of Paul’s in his summary is a repeat of what Paul had already commanded in verse 1.  Paul writes in Philippians 3:1 that repetition is for our safety.  The body of Christ is to desire earnestly to prophesy and this repetition at the end of the chapter is to make sure that we “get it”.  Remember that Paul gave the reason why they were to desire earnestly to prophesy and the reason is for the edification of the church (1 Cor. 14:3, 4)

Speaking forth and keeping silent

Now let’s have another look at the entire chapter of 1 Cor. 14 to see what pattern is set forth regarding speaking and not speaking so that we can completely understand Paul’s summary.

“Speaking forth” allowed:

  • All commanded to seek spiritual gifts especially prophesying in the assembly  (verse 1)
  • Prophesying in the assembly edifies, exhorts and consoles  (verse 3)
  • Prophesying in the assembly edifies all  (verse 4)
  • Gifts for use for the common good are greater than a gift that only edifies one’s self (verse 5)

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Are women leaders used to judge sinful men?

Are women leaders used to judge sinful men?

It is very common for hierarchists to explain away Deborah’s position as Judge in the nation of Israel as merely a judgment by God.

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. 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; yea, the woman had to go with him!

Obviously it was a period in Israel’s history during which God could find no man to do His will, so He used a brave, willing woman. We can praise God for women like Deborah who are willing to be strong when the men are weak.

In general the leaders are weak and seem entirely lacking even in common sense. They cannot control their little children and women rule over them (compare Is. 3:12). This is God’s judgment because of the apostate condition of professing Christians.

Is it really true that women ruling the nation represent God’s judgment?  The only way that we can know for sure is to see what God had to say.   Several nations were used by God as a judgment against Israel and their sin.  The thing that we can notice in all of the cases of judgment is that the nation who was used as a judgment by God against Israel always hurt and destroyed Israel.  Israel was taken captive many times and this was God’s judgment.  But what about Deborah?  Was she used by God to punish Israel and hurt Israel or was she one of the many godly Judges that God raised up and sent to deliver Israel?

Judges 2:16  Then the LORD raised up judges who delivered them from the hands of those who plundered them.

Judges 2:18  When the LORD raised up judges for them, the LORD was with the judge and delivered them from the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge; for the LORD was moved to pity by their groaning because of those who oppressed and afflicted them.

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.

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Women preaching equated with adultery and homosexuality

Women preaching equated with adultery and homosexuality

Wade Burleson has commented on Irving Bible Church’s decision to allow women to preach the gospel to the congregation on a Sunday morning and the attacks that this church has experienced because of this decision.  Wade writes:

I shiver when I hear my fellow evangelicals call a church that asks a woman to preach the gospel on Sunday morning a church of “grave moral concern.” WE ARE NOT TALKING ABOUT FEMALE PASTORS!

The idea that a woman teaching or preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ is a “grave moral concern” shows us how far the church has fallen from the place of accepting one another as brothers and sisters in Christ who have gifts given for the benefit of “one another”.  Is not the “grave moral concern” rather an issue of saying that “I” (a man speaking) do not need “a woman” teacher?

1 Corinthians 12:21  And 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 is it that scripture says we “cannot say” something that we do say?  The scripture says that we do not have permission to say that women preachers and women teachers are not needed by some in the body of Christ.  When we reject God’s gifts merely because of the package that they are housed in, we are rejecting the Lord Jesus in this area.  Jesus is responsible for assigning the gifts.  If he did not want a female to teach a male the gospel, then Jesus should have created a list of female gifts which list would not include teaching.  Then it would be easy for men to disregard something that doesn’t exist.  When are we going to stop saying what scripture has forbidden us to say?  Saying “I” do not need you and your God-given gift should be treated as a serious moral concern.

Is Complementarianism merely personal conviction?

Is Complementarianism merely personal conviction?

This post is a response to Randy Stinson’s article titled Is Complementarianism a Merely Personal Conviction?

In Randy Stinson’s article it appears that there is a lot of fear that comes through even to the point of suggesting that if one is an egalitarian they will be affected negatively for their entire life, even to the extent that they may not remain in the Christian faith.  I would like to unpack some of the key points of Randy Stinson’s article to look at the underlying message to see how it brings a divisiveness into the body of Christ.  Mr. Stinson gives a very telling statement at the beginning of this article:

I believe it is possible for someone to be wrong on the gender issue, but still be a believer.  So being an egalitarian does not mean you are not a Christian, but it does cripple the discipleship process for that person for the rest of their life. [emphasis is mine]

I personally do not ever recall reading egalitarian Christians questioning the salvation of their complementarian brothers.  Rather than dividing from their brothers, egalitarians generally start with the thought that these are our brothers in Christ and the debate is only on the secondary issues of faith.  However complementarians are more and more being pushed towards questioning the salvation of egalitarians.  Note Mr. Stinson doesn’t say that egalitarians who are evangelicals are our brothers and sisters in Christ but rather he says that it is “possible” for egalitarians to be believers.  He then makes a very bold statement that egalitarians are crippled in their walk with the Lord.  His use of this word picture is designed to draw the conclusion that the egalitarian viewpoint is a disease that one can survive but with great damage to our faith.  Mr. Stinson then goes on to draw a line in the sand with assumptions that are not only unproven but which are extremely divisive.  He lists six points that he says are key areas of Christian theology and practice that are apparently crippled by the egalitarian belief:

1.  The authority of scripture is at stake.

Mr. Stinson greatly overstates his case in this point and draws the reader to the conclusion that egalitarians do not hold to the authority of God’s word.  While he says that the Bible “clearly” teaches that men and women have distinct and complementary roles in the home and the church he does not mention the fact that a growing number of evangelical Christians who strongly hold to the authority of scripture read the hard passages of scripture in their context and see something that is not so “clear” at all that there are differing spiritual roles for men and women.  These same Christians hold tightly to the authority of the scripture and they do not teach people to disregard God’s word but rather they teach that we should all read the hard passages in their complete context because God’s word must not be interpreted in a way that causes one scripture to contradict another.

2.  The health of the home is at stake.

Here Mr. Stinson equates the foundation of the home as one person – the husband, whereas scripture reveals that the one-flesh union of husband and wife brings a unity of authority to both mother and father. (Deut. 21:18-20; Leviticus 19:3 where Mother is even placed before Father; and Ephesians 6:1, 2)

Mr. Stinson also says the egalitarian view is disobedience and “they will not have the proper foundation upon which to withstand the temptations of the devil”.  Where is such a thing listed in scripture?  There is no scriptural reference for Mr. Stinson’s claim.  However there is an example of a wife going against her husband and taking her individual authority to pursue peace with King David whose servants had been insulted by her husband.  The story is found in 1 Samuel chapter 25 and Abigail is said to be intelligent (1 Samuel 25:3) and one who had discernment (1 Samuel 25:33).  She took authority over a matter and did not tell her husband who is described as a fool, a character trait that matches his name.  Her wise action which was done in direct conflict with her husband’s foolish decision actually saved her family.

This hinders the sanctification of married couple…

Where is this found in scripture?  The only “sanctification” that is found in scripture regarding married couples is in 1 Corinthians 7:14 regarding an unbelieving mate.

1 Corinthians 7:14  For the unbelieving husband is sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified through her believing husband; for otherwise your children are unclean, but now they are holy.

Notice here that scripture lists first of all that an “unbelieving husband” is sanctified through his wife.  Paul also says that an “unbelieving wife” is sanctified through her believing husband and the purpose is for the benefit of the children.  Sanctification in the marriage is not listed in scripture as coming through a husband as if he was a leader of a subordinate person (the wife) but rather sanctification in marriage comes through a believing spouse whether a wife or a husband.  Every other reference to sanctification is personal and has nothing to do with marriage.  Mr. Stinson is very wrong in equating the sanctification of the marriage as having anything to do with complementarian belief and practice.

and also introduces confusion about basic parenting issues such as raising masculine sons and feminine daughters.

Mr. Stinson as well as his organization called CBMW (The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood) makes much of teaching about spiritual masculinity and spiritual femininity yet the bible teaches nothing about the spiritual way to raise masculine sons or feminine daughters.  Christianity is not about following Jesus in a feminine way or a masculine way.  All of us are to follow Jesus in the same spiritual way.  We are all to be humble and to practice submission as Jesus did.  The teaching that there is a feminine way regarding spirituality and a masculine way to spirituality is foreign to the scriptures.

3.  The health of the church is at stake.

Just like the home, if the church disobeys the teaching of 1Timothy 2, 1 Corinthians 11 and disregards the structure that God put into place for the community of faith from the beginning, then the church will be weakened.  If the church is weakened in its convictions, it will be less effective in accomplishing its mission.

Here Mr. Stinson implies that 1 Corinthians 11 and 1 Timothy 2 are a “structure” that God put into place for the community of faith.  Where is this “structure”?  1 Timothy 2 has no hierarchical structure listed.  In 1 Corinthians 11 the inspired “order” of 1 Cor. 11:3 is not an ordered list of hierarchy nor does the rest of the passage list any authority of the man over the woman.  Rather 1 Cor. 11:11 shows that the male does not operate independently of the female nor the female independent of the male (no hierarchy here at all).  In fact verse 12 shows that first in creation did not bring preeminence just as the fact that the man now comes through the woman show that she is now preeminate.  The preeminence is solely in God himself.

Mr. Stinson also does not show how the egalitarian view of scripture weakens the church of its convictions in the essentials areas of faith or how the church is less effective in its mission of evangelization and discipleship.

4.  Our worship is at stake.

Here Mr. Stinson makes a point that God “named Himself” father.  God did not “name” Himself Father.  His name is “I AM”

Exodus 3:13  Then Moses said to God, “Behold, I am going to the sons of Israel, and I will say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you.’ Now they may say to me, ‘What is His name?’ What shall I say to them?”
Exodus 3:14  God 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.'”
Exodus 3:15  God, furthermore, said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is My name forever, and this is My memorial-name to all generations.

“Father” is not God’s name, it is his relationship with us.  While I do not advocate calling God “mother”, God has revealed in scripture his character that has motherly qualities.  Yet to us, he has decided to be known in relationship to us as a Father.  God is not “Father” because he is male.  God is neither male nor female.  God is Spirit and there are no “body parts” in God that could make Him male.  Rather, God is “Father” because this is the way that he choses to express his relationship to us.

The very nature of our triune God is revealed in a biblically ordered marriage.

Where does scripture say this?  If the “triune God” is revealed in a biblically ordered marriage, who in the marriage relationship is the one corresponding to the Holy Spirit?  Marriage is a one-flesh union of  two equals.  It is two people becoming united into one flesh.  Marriage is not three persons united into one flesh.

5.  Bible translations are at stake.

…my concern is that in the name of gender equality, the Bible is undermined and the very words of God end up being revised.

The English language has evolved so that words previously used in earlier generations do not have the same meaning today as they did in an earlier time.  The Greek word for generic humans was translated into English as “man”.  In the past it was understood that “man” meant human (meaning men or women), but today the word of God can be held back from being being crystal clear when the term “man” is seen in our day as meaning male only.  If we use what is today a male term when a generic term is meant in the original Greek, would that be a good thing for the next generation?  Is it wrong to “sharpen up” the English if the original intent of the Greek word is kept intact and made clearer?  We should be far more concerned about keeping the clarity and faithfulness of the original languages than we should be concerned that the English word is changed.

6.  The advance of the Gospel is at stake.

Ephesians 5 calls husbands and wives to relate to one another as a picture of Christ and the church.  The picture involves the humble, sacrificial leadership of the husband…

Jesus is both God and man.  As God he is Lord and Master and King.  As the human Son, he is the husband of the church.  This picture of Christ and the church is shown to be one of a unified body with Christ as the one who serves the church by giving her food.  Jesus service is manifested through humble sacrifice to give himself for the church.  The husband is to serve his wife in the same way, but scripture never once calls the husband the leader of the wife.  Neither does the scriptures say that the husband is to have a sacrificial “leadership”.  What complementarians have done is added a word to the inspired scriptures.  Without the addition to the text, the husband is pictured as serving his wife and giving himself up for her.  The husband is never pictured as being a leader but is pictured as being a servant.

and the joyful, intelligent submission to that leadership by the wife.

When our tradition adds “leadership” to sacrifice, we have in effect watered down and devalued God’s word in accordance with our tradition.  We have also watered down the scriptures which say that Christians are to submit to one another.  Submission is a “Christian” characteristic, not a feminine characteristic.  The tradition that only the woman is to submit to the man takes away a key part of Christian maturity.  We submit to one another, not only for the other person’s edification, but so that we may receive from that one the benefit of the other person’s gifts.

Romans 15:2  Each of us is to please his neighbor for his good, to his edification.

Should a husband submit to his wife’s gifts?  Should a husband please his wife for her good and for her edification?  Common sense says that we are heirs together in Christ (1 Peter 3:7) and as heirs together we can benefit from each other’s gifts.  We cannot benefit from these gifts unless we submit to receive the gifts.  Submission then is a Christian virtue, not a female virtue alone.

Deviation from biblical teaching on manhood and womanhood distorts the picture of Christ and the Church, and hinders the advance of the gospel.

Not only is there no biblical teaching on “manhood” and “womanhood”, but there is nothing in scripture that says that the gospel is hindered by the church who has women taking their place alongside the men or by the home that has a united authority of Father and Mother.  What this teaching does is attach the gender issue to the essential issue of the Gospel and this is wrong.

Why is this issue so important? Because the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ cannot be severed from the methods he has authorized to spread it. Homes and churches in which manhood and womanhood are prized advance the Gospel and the glory of God more accurately than any other kind of home or church.

Here is where the complementarian message has added itself into the gospel.  Randy Stinson is essentially saying that the gospel preached by complementarians is “more accurate” than the gospel preached by egalitarians.  In essence the complementarian view of “men only” leading in public teaching is part and parcel of the gospel message.  One then cannot preach the full gospel that is necessary to save us unless one is also preaching concerning male-only leadership.  No wonder so many complementarians are seeing egalitarians as heretics and as unsaved religious people who they must fight against.  This is divisive and harmful to the body of Christ.  In the last several years, the position of CBMW, of which Randy Stinson is president, has been increasingly antangonistic towards their egalitarian brothers and sisters in Christ.  The position has been preached that egalitarians can be saved, but they must repent of being egalitarians.

In the past there have been groups who have attached their own personal preferences to the gospel.  Some claimed that one could not be saved unless one spoke in tongues.  Now we have a group who are claiming that belief in male leadership is necessary as part of the gospel.  This is an ungodly addition to the gospel. CBMW is guilty of dividing sheep against sheep by adding conditions to the gospel of Jesus Christ.  May there be repentance from this divisive work before it further harms the body of Christ.

Adam and Eve as fruit inspectors and God's prohibition

Adam and Eve as fruit inspectors and God's prohibition

In my last post I showed how in Genesis 1:29 God spoke to both the man and the woman directly and told them both what they were given permission to eat. This effectively destroys the argument that Adam was the one delegated to give direction to the woman regarding what she could and couldn’t eat. God did not delegate this important instruction but took the initiative to make sure that the woman also knew from his own mouth what was permitted. In the permission given in Genesis 1:29, God said that they could eat from two different categories of food. The first category was an addition to what God had previously told Adam. God added permission to eat the plants of the field that yielded seed. The second category of food was the qualification which added the information that they could eat from every tree that had fruit yielding seed. This was additional information given to both the man and the woman but not given by God to Adam alone when God first created Adam. God had not stated at that time any information about the seed bearing fruit neither did he say anything about permission to eat from seed bearing plants. Thus more information about permissible food was given at a subsequent time and God saw no problem in repeating himself or adding additional information. The permission given by God in chapter one in essence made the woman a fruit inspector. She was to inspect the fruit to see if it qualified as good food permissible to eat.

Now let’s explore this further and look at what transpired in Genesis chapter 3.

Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?”

Here the serpent questions God’s permission for their provision. What the serpent was saying is “What are you doing? Hasn’t God told you that you do not have permission to eat from the fruit of any of the trees in the garden?” Remember that God spoke directly to the woman in Genesis 1:29 and gave her permission to eat from every tree that has seed bearing fruit. The serpent is not directly questioning the prohibition of one tree, but questioning the permission to eat at all. He is questioning the goodness of God as their provider and source. The woman’s answer reflects the permission that she has been given:

Genesis 3:2 The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat;

How does she know that she is allowed to eat from the fruit of the trees of the garden? She knows that she is allowed to eat because God has given her permission to be a fruit inspector. She is to inspect the fruit, see that it is seed bearing and then understand that this fruit has been given to her by God’s permission to eat. From the woman’s answer we can understand that she has been busy as a fruit inspector because she knows that she has permission to eat from the fruit of the trees of the garden.

The next piece of information is once again an addition to the basic information that God gave Adam. The woman continues:

Genesis 3:3 but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden…

In chapter 2 after God had created Adam and placed him in the garden, God caused the growth of the fruit trees:

Genesis 2:9 Out of the ground the LORD God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Here we have identified two trees in the midst of the garden that are outside of the normal fruit trees. They were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Adam was told that there was only one tree that had fruit that was not given by permission. God did not say the location of the tree but that would not have been needed since Adam was there when God created and named the trees including the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. While these trees were created after Adam was placed in the garden, the woman was not there to see the creation of the trees. She was the one who needed to know where this special tree was located.

The woman identifies that the location of the tree was given to her by the words of God. It is her testimony that “God has said”. The woman now identifies to the serpent the only exception to her position as a fruit inspector.

Genesis 3:3 but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.'”

The woman said that “God has said” that they (plural) may not touch the fruit from this special tree. If they are not allowed to touch this fruit, then it is to be noted that they must now accept by faith that this fruit does not have seeds. They were allowed to inspect all of the fruit for seeds on every tree except for this one. All of the other trees had life in their seeds, but the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil did not have the life seed in it. We know this by putting together the two pieces of information that God has given at different times from Genesis 1:29 and Genesis 2:16, 17. God now is giving them a test of faith. They must accept that there is no life in that fruit without having to inspect it for themselves. They are not allowed to touch this fruit and so they are not allowed to inspect the fruit for seeds.

In this account we have the opportunity to learn several important things about God. We can learn that God gives his permission and lack of permission in several different ways and at different times. We can see that God added permission regarding what to eat when Adam and his wife were both together in his presence. God gave them additional food to eat when he added permission to eat from seed bearing plants. We can also see that God gave additional information to them about testing for seed bearing fruit as God added information previously not given to Adam alone. God chose not to give this important information to Adam alone but waited until both Adam and his wife were together.

In addition to the new information added in Genesis 1:29, the woman also reveals that God gave them both more information about the prohibition. In Genesis 3:3 she reveals that God gave the location of the forbidden fruit and God also gave a restriction that disallowed them from touching the forbidden fruit thus forbidding them to test the forbidden fruit to see if it had seeds. They must now believe in God’s testimony that this one fruit did not have life because it was the only one without seed bearing fruit. They were to accept what God said by faith.

What we can see from this added information from Genesis chapter 1 and Genesis 3 is that God is capable of adding information regarding his permission to eat and he is not restricted from the words given originally to Adam alone. The information that is added in Genesis 1:29 to both the man and the woman is not a contradiction of the information given to Adam in chapter 2. God gave the basics to Adam and added to it later. That is God’s prerogative and it is one way that God repeats the important information for their benefit (Phil 3:1 Paul by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit confirms that repetition is a safeguard for us).

There are some who try to make the woman’s words in Genesis 3:3 to be a fabrication by the woman to add to what God himself had said. They take this position because they have been taught that the man alone has been given the words of God and he was given authority over his wife to instruct her in God’s words. Because they focus on God’s words to Adam alone and they assume that this is all of God’s revelation to the man and the woman, they make Eve out to be an unfaithful witness. To those who believe this way, I would like to ask these questions:

1. Where does it say that God gave Adam authority to be the priest represent God to the woman?

2. Why do we test the woman’s testimony only by what God told Adam in chapter 2? Shouldn’t we consider that Genesis 1:29 shows that God is capable of adding to the word that he gave to Adam?

3. What reason did the woman have to lie about what God said?

4. Why did God not mention the woman’s addition to his words when he confronted her? Is it not a principle of God’s that he will reprove those who add to his words? Was the woman found to be a liar by God? No. God did not charge her with this sin.

The woman directly quoted God. Is there any reason not to accept the testimony of a woman who was sinless at the time, who was not accused of the sin of adding to God’s words by God himself, and had no reason to sin?

Proverbs 30:6 Do not add to His words Or He will reprove you, and you will be proved a liar.

Was the woman found to be a liar by God or did his silence about this “sin” show that she was innocent of the charge of adding to God’s words and thus she was a true witness of words that God himself spoke to them after her creation?

5. If God trusted both the woman and the man to be fruit inspectors and spoke to them both about his permission for them to eat, then why have we accepted the tradition that God speaks to the woman through the man? Have we not added to the scripture and invalidated its truth by our own traditions?

Matthew 15:6 … And by this you invalidated the word of God for the sake of your tradition.

We must not test the woman’s words by only one witness that God gave to Adam alone. God has shown us through scripture that he has multiple testimonies and all these testimonies are true and do not contradict each other. God is capable of adding to his permission and adding to his restriction and this is clearly what he did with Adam and his wife.

Now let’s consider another claim of hierarchists that Eve was not lying but that she was mistaken about what God said. Is this possible and is there any evidence of this from the context? First of all we have already considered that Eve heard directly from God about what was permissible for food and what was not permissible. We also know that God gave the woman to be a helper to Adam. A helper in scripture is one who brings resources to the one who has a need. If God had made the woman to be a childlike one who could not get a simple command straight, how is it that she could be a helper to Adam? The truth of the scripture is that the woman was never charged with being mistaken, wrong or lying. No one made a charge that she did not get God’s command right including God himself. Without a charge from Adam (that she misrepresented him) or God (that she misrepresented God), we are forced to conclude that there is no evidence at all to believe that she was either lying or mistaken about a very simple command that a child could understand.

Another question that some ask is why Eve is given a command that is different that the one we have recorded in scripture by God’s command to Adam? Eve is not given a different command than was given to the man. The woman clearly said that God said “…you shall not eat from it or touch it” and this is the plural form in Hebrew showing that it was spoken to both of them. There is no different rule for man than for woman. The rule is the same. It is an addition from what was stated to Adam in chapter 2 but in God’s sovereignty he can add to his own commands without contradiction. We cannot assume that God spoke only one time about his permission and his non-permission when the text says otherwise.

In another post we will be talking about the consequence of sin, Satan’s strategy and how hierarchists have distorted the events of the fall.

Was the man given authority to rule the woman?

Was the man given authority to rule the woman?

This is the fifth and final response to Matt Slick’s article called Genesis 2, Adam and Eve, and Authority

Matt quotes Matthew Henry who said:

“They [women] must be silent, submissive, and subject, and not usurp authority. The reason given is because Adam was first formed, then Eve out of him, to denote her subordination to him and dependence upon him;”

Scripture never says that Eve was formed out of Adam to denote her subordination to and dependence upon the man. Rather scripture shows that Eve was created out of Adam so that they would be a one flesh union. Adam recognized this fact when he said that Eve was bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh. He did not say that she shall be called woman, because she is a subordinate to him. She was his flesh and bone, not his subordinate. In this area Matthew Henry and Matthew Slick are both wrong.

Matt also quotes from D.A. Carson from CBMW as saying:

“The prohibition of women teaching men seems to belong to the same context, although Paul here appeals more to what is appropriate and cites the Genesis story of creation. Two facts are brought out—Adam’s priority and Eve’s weakness in being deceived.”

1 Timothy 2:11-15 does not say that Eve was weak and this is the reason that she was deceived. This is reading into the passage a conclusion that the apostle Paul does not make. In 2 Corinthians 11:3, Paul again talks about Eve and his conclusion is that it was the craftiness of the serpent that deceived Eve, not her weakness of character.

2 Corinthians 11:3 But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.

Sound doctrine will keep us safe from deception. One’s gender (i.e. male) will not keep one safe from deception. In the same way, it wasn’t Eve’s gender that caused her to be deceived and Paul never makes this claim.

Lastly, Matt quotes K. Weust as saying:

“This prohibition of a woman to be a teacher, does not include the teaching of classes of women, girls, or children in a Sunday School, for instance, but does prohibit the woman from being a pastor, or a doctrine teacher in a school….The reason for the above position of the man in the Church and that of the woman, Paul says, is found in the original order of creation, and in the circumstances of the fall of man.”

Matt says:

“Can this be any clearer? I don’t see how it could be.”

The problem is that it would be far too clear and would give us far too little evidence to use women at all. If a universal prohibition is what Paul meant, then would it not be “clear” that taking it back to creation would affect the entire world not just the church. How so? It is because if Paul was really stopping a woman from teaching because of the original order of creation and because of the circumstances of the fall (i.e. her weakness) then it is unreasonable to allow women to teach children (who are the most impressionable members of our Society and who would be influenced by the deception of women) and other women (who apparently would also be easily deceived). An appeal to the circumstances of the fall does nothing to allow women to teach anyone especially those who are easily misled. Someone who is easily deceived isn’t qualified to teach men or children or other women. However if Paul’s reference is not to a universal application taking the deception of one woman deceived by the craftiness of the evil one, and applying that to all women, then it is understandable that it is applicable in the context to a specific situation in Ephesus that both Paul and Timothy were aware of.

Under “Objections answered” Matt writes that:

“Men who abuse their authority are in sin. The Bible clearly teaches that men are to love their wives as Christ loved the church. It is not the patriarchal teaching that promotes male abuse, but the failure of men to live all of Scripture in that of selecting only parts of it to justify their sin.”

While this is a common “answer” to an egalitarian objection, the fact is that “taking authority” over a wife against her will is abusive even if it is done with a belief that one is doing it as a loving act. Jesus did not take authority over his disciples to force them against their will to do what is right. Jesus lovingly spoke the truth and persuaded his disciples concerning what is right. Jesus did not make decisions for his disciples against their will. Anyone who believes that the scripture gives them the right to “take authority” over their wife against her will is not following true biblical love and the “authority” that they are exercising is not godly authority.

Lastly Matt deals with point #3 the objection that authority was not shown in Genesis before the fall. This is a straw man argument. No one says that authority was not shown in Genesis before the fall. God certainly showed his authority over creation and he gave the man and the woman authority to rule God’s creation. The question is whether authority of the man over the woman was shown before the fall. The answer is “No”. There is nothing in scripture that would show that God gave Adam authority over his wife. Matt says:

“God gave instructions to Adam and Adam gave God’s instructions to Eve. We know this because in Genesis 3 we see where Satan tempts Eve and Eve repeats the instructions God gave to Adam in Gen. 2:16. This means that Adam transmitted the instructions of God to Eve and Eve repeated them to Satan. Adam served as God’s authoritative representative to Eve.”

The fact is that scripture does not say that Adam gave God’s instructions to Eve. Rather, scripture shows that Eve’s testimony is that “God said…” not “Adam said…” Also Eve’s testimony is that God said that she wasn’t even to touch the fruit. These are not the same words as were given to Adam in Genesis 2:16, however they are words that Eve testified that God said. Either Eve’s testimony is true that God said these words to her or she lied or she added to God’s word. Since God did not accuse Eve of lying or adding to his words and the only thing that she was judged for is eating the fruit, we can be sure that God did indeed speak to Eve and give her the prohibition just as he also gave the prohibition to Adam. For more information on this subject, go to the post “Wasn’t Adam the only one given God’s prohibition in the garden?”

The issue of primacy and authority was settled by God in Genesis chapter 1. God gave both Adam and Eve primacy and authority over creation. Man may not take away what God has granted. While some men would like males to have preeminent rule over women given to them not by the sinful nature inherited at the fall but by God himself as a part of the original creation, scripture shows that the man’s sinful rule that made him want to dominate, control, rule and take authority over the woman was not an authority given to him by God.

Authority and Created order

Authority and Created order

In this fourth part of my response to Matt Slick’s article called “Genesis 2, Adam and Eve, and Authority”, I am going to deal directly with Matt’s comments regarding authority and created order. Matt writes:

Still, the egalitarians will object and say that an absolute and total equality in all things exists between men and women in the church and the created order and Adam’s naming animals and naming Eve has nothing to do with it. But, is that what is implied in Paul’s words in 1 Tim. 2:12-14? “But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. 13 For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve. 14 And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being quite deceived, fell into transgression.” Notice that Paul says he does not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man because Adam was created first, then Eve. Obviously, in the mind of Paul the issue of authority is tied to the created order. This is not merely a cultural phenomenon.

Notice first of all that Mr. Slick uses the words “imply” and “implied” in his article. The reason that he has to do this is because scripture does not directly say that Adam had authority over Eve or that the man is to have authority while the woman is not. While 1 Timothy 2:13 does say that Adam was created first, the direct connection is to deception and “not deceived” not authority. While Slick says “Obviously, in the mind of Paul the issue of authority is tied to the created order” he cannot tell us what is in the “mind” of Paul other than what Paul actually tells us. Paul does not use the “normal” word for authority in 1 Timothy 2:12 which is “exousia”. “Exousia” means permission, authority, right, liberty, power to do something. Instead of the “normal” word for authority that Paul uses in his epistles, what Paul prohibits in 1 Timothy 2:12 is “authenteo” which is not even close to being a “normal” word for authority. In fact this unique word is never used again in the New Testament and Paul never gives males the right to “authenteo” anyone. So while Mr. Slick can believe that Paul is talking about a male right to have authority, Paul does not tie the prohibition into a “right” that belongs to someone else. Rather than tying the prohibition into a “right” that is withheld from women and given to men, Paul says nothing about anyone’s right to have authority. Instead, Paul ties the prohibition into the deception of the second one created and the non-deception of the first one created. The prohibition has everything to do with deception, not a right to authority.

Notice in Mr. Slick’s comments above that he does not comment on verse 14. He fails to tie the prohibition into deception and he makes it appear that Paul is giving the male the right to “authenteo”. This argument is seriously flawed because he does not reveal that neither Adam nor any man is given a right to “authenteo” any person either in or out of the church. What is forbidden to “a woman” in verse 12 is not given as a right to anyone else either.

Next Mr. Slick leaves “authenteo” aside and he tries to tie “exousia” from 1 Corinthians 11:10 to males alone. 1 Corinthians 11: 8-10 says:

8 For man does not originate from woman, but woman from man; 9 for indeed man was not created for the woman’s sake, but woman for the man’s sake. 10Therefore the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels.

Mr. Slick comments about these verses:

Authority is a huge issue with him. Notice that Paul says a woman is to have a symbol of authority upon her. Why? Because Adam was created first. Primacy in origin is related to authority.

Is “primacy in origin” related to authority? Not at all. First of all, Paul is not talking about “primacy” in origin in these verses. In the 1 Corinthians 11 passage, Paul is talking about equality and not primacy because in verses 11 and 12 which Mr. Slick has failed to include in his quote, Paul says that men now come from women. There is no primacy of one over another, but rather the primacy belongs to God:

1 Corinthians 11:11 However, in the Lord, neither is woman independent of man, nor is man independent of woman.

1 Corinthians 11:12 For as the woman originates from the man, so also the man has his birth through the woman; and all things originate from God.

Secondly, Mr. Slick says that a woman is to have “a symbol of authority” upon her showing the male’s primacy of creation, yet 1 Corinthians 11:10 says nothing of the sort in the Greek. The words “symbol of” have been added to the English however they are not in the original. The inspired word is not a “symbol” but “exousia” (authority). The woman herself is to have “exousia” or “authority”. The term “exousia” is never used in the New Testament as a term where a person is under someone else’s authority. Rather it is always used for the person’s own permission, authority, right, liberty, power to do something. Zodhiates WordStudy Dictionary says that this word “denies the presence of a hindrance, it may be used either of the capability or the right to do a certain action. The words exesti and exousia combine the two ideas of right and might. As far as right, authority, or capability is concerned, it involves ability, power, strength.”

So Paul in the inspired text is saying that the woman has the right, authority, ability, power and strength to make the decision over her own head, because of the angels. Why on earth would Paul give the woman the right and the authority to make her own decision regarding her own head and tie this in with the angels? All we have to do is go back a few chapters to what Paul has already told us about the angels and it becomes very clear. Paul said earlier in chapter 6:

1 Corinthians 6:1 Does any one of you, when he has a case against his neighbor, dare to go to law before the unrighteous and not before the saints?

1 Corinthians 6:2 Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? If the world is judged by you, are you not competent to constitute the smallest law courts?

1 Corinthians 6:3 Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more matters of this life?

Paul gives the woman the authority to make the decision about what she wears or doesn’t wear on her head because she will also be judging the angels in the next life. If she will have such weighty responsibility because she too will be judging the angels in the next life, surely she should have the responsibility and the authority in this life to make the decision over a relatively minor “matter of this life” decision regarding what she does or doesn’t wear on her head.

Rather than Paul saying that she is under someone’s authority and that she has no decision making authority because she was created second, 1 Corinthians chapter eleven requires that the woman is to have authority over her own head because of her equal position in the next life as one of the saints who will judge the angels.

I will continue the refutation of Matt Slick’s article in the next post. For previous blog posts regarding the refutation of this same article, see:

Did the naming of Eve come from God’s command?

Special Authority to Adam, was it Given by God?

Was Authority Withheld from Eve?

Did the naming of Eve come from God's command?

Did the naming of Eve come from God's command?

This is the third response to the article by Matt Slick called “Genesis 2, Adam and Eve, and Authority“.

The last two responses we have discussed Adam naming the animals Was Authority Withheld from Eve? and Adam’s identifying Eve as “woman”. Special authority to Adam – was it given by God?

Today I am responding to Slick’s comments regarding the naming of “Eve”. Slick writes:

Also, “Now the man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all the living,” (Gen. 3:20). As God called the light day and the darkness night, so Adam called Eve woman.

There is agreement that Adam took authority over Eve after sin entered the world. The problem is when hierarchists see the naming of “Eve” as if God had commanded Adam to do this before Adam sinned. There is nowhere in scripture that God commanded Adam to take authority over his wife. After Adam sinned, God spoke to Eve and prophesied about what her life would be like outside the garden with her husband who was now a sinner. God did not speak to Adam about granting him authority to rule over Eve, nor did he tell Eve that she must submit to her husband’s rule. He merely stated a fact about what life would be like for her in her sin-distorted relationship with her husband. What hierarchists must do is provide a precedent for God to give Adam authority over another human being (his wife) before sin entered the world. This they cannot do. If Adam was supposed to take authority over her after she was created and before sin entered the world, don’t you think that God would have told him this and recorded it for us to understand? Don’t you think that God would have instructed Eve about what she was supposed to do regarding her “role” if indeed her husband was to have authority over her? It is a significant fact that there is not one word about authority or submission in the pre-fall world except for a mutual authority of Adam and Eve over the animals and the subjection of the animals.

Next Matt Slick points out:

Still, the egalitarians will object and say that an absolute and total equality in all things exists between men and women in the church and the created order and Adam’s naming animals and naming Eve has nothing to do with it. But, is that what is implied in Paul’s words in 1 Tim. 2:12-14?

Notice that in his article he continues to say “implied”. This is significant. The reason he must say “implied” is because there is nothing that says that a man is to take authority over a woman. It has to be read into the text. This is why the best that the hierarchists can say is that is it “implied”. Surely God is capable of issuing a command for a human to rule over another human if he desired it to be that way. The fact that there is no command is very odd if God planned it this way and commanded the first man to rule over his wife. God commanded the man and the woman regarding what they could and couldn’t eat. He commanded them to rule the earth and the animals. He did not give a command regarding Adams right or authority to rule Eve. Did God fail to give a command or is Matt Slick “reading into” the text what God never intended?

Let’s also look at the defense that Adam and Eve gave when they were confronted by God. Did Adam blame the woman for insubordination to his rule? No. In fact he said nothing about her failing to submit to his rule. Eve also did not blame Adam for failing to take authority over her. There is nothing in the testimony of either Adam or Eve that would cause us to imply that Adam had failed in a command to rule Eve or that Eve had failed in a command to submit to Adam. God also did not hold Adam accountable for Eve. Each person was accountable for their own sin.

Lastly, Slick comments about the “divine Zookeeper”:

animals and birds are paraded before the man by the divine Zookeeper for the man to name them, thereby exercising his authority over them.

Not only is calling God a “divine Zookeeper” offensive, but Slick awards Adam with divinely mandated authority over Eve as he implies that the “divine Zookeeper” also paraded the woman before the man. Eve was not paraded before the man in order for him to name her. She was brought to him to be married to him with the blessing of God. Slick has taken a God-ordained marriage ceremony and created a one-woman parade in which the man is given the scepter of rule over her. What a hierarchist can “imply” from the passage is given much more weight than what is actually said in the passage.

Special authority to Adam – was it given by God?

Special authority to Adam – was it given by God?

This is part two of the response to an article by Matt Slick of CARM called “Genesis 2, Adam and Eve, and Authority” found here.


Since Matt Slick has claimed that he has refuted my arguments on women in ministry, it is only fair for me to provide information that will show how his arguments are invalid and his “refutation” needs a whole lot more work. 😆

In Matt’s article he states that Adam expressed dominance over Eve. Matt writes:

But, since we see Adam expressing his dominance over the animals by naming them and we see that Adam names Eve, we can then conclude that Adam’s expressed dominance over Eve by his calling her ‘woman’ before the Fall and ‘Eve’ after it. Remember, as God brought the animals to Adam, he also brought Eve to Adam.

There are several questions that must be asked here and the answers to these questions will be very eye opening. The first question is, who gave Adam authority over Eve? The second question is, for what reason did God bring Eve to Adam? If I could take liberties to answer these questions for Matt, I think his answer would be that Adam’s authority over Eve was not explicitly given by God but implicitly given because of Adam’s actions. I also believe his answer to the second question would be that God brought Eve to Adam just as he brought the animals to Adam, for Adam to name her.

Let’s examine each of these questions and look at the text itself for the answers. Let’s also ask a question that goes back even further. Who gave Adam authority over the animals and did Eve also have equal authority over the animals? The answer will be found in Genesis chapter 1.

Genesis 1:27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
Genesis 1:28 God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

God explicitly said to them (plural) that they were to subdue the earth and rule over the fish, the birds and over every living thing that moves on the earth. The command is not for the earth to be in subjection to Adam and Eve, but for Adam and Eve to subject the earth to their rule. The Hebrew word for “rule” used here according to The Complete WordStudy Dictionary by Zhodiates means to exercise domain over those who are powerless or otherwise under one’s control.

While God gave both Adam and Eve control over the animals, did God give Adam special authority and control over Eve? Did God give Adam the authority to exercise domain over Eve just as he had given them the command to exercise domain over the animals? Wouldn’t it appear odd that God would give explicit authority to exercise domain over the animals but only implicit authority for the man to exercise domain over the woman? Wouldn’t this be a failure of God’s to explicitly delegate authority so that we have to guess this is what he intended? It is my contention that God said what he meant and meant what he said. He explicitly delegated authority to both Adam and Eve and there is no explicit delegation of authority to only one of them. The naming of the animals was not a special act of authority to Adam. It was merely the acting out of the command to exercise domain over the animals. Eve, of course could not act out her domain over the animals at the time since she had not yet been created.

So now, let’s have a look at the creation of Eve. There is no doubt that Adam was aware that there would be a mate created for him since God said:

Genesis 2:18 Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.”

So while God said “I will make…” he then went on to make or form the animals from the ground and bring them to Adam. Adam was able to verify the nature of each animal by naming it and he was also able to verify that each animal created was unsuitable for him. God had said that Adam’s “helper” (one who gives aid or assistance) would be one “in front of him” or “facing him”. None of the animals qualified as one who would give Adam aid “facing him”.

Genesis 2:19 Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name.

We can see from Genesis 2:18 that God had said that he would “make” a “helper” for Adam. In verse 19 he “formed” the animals and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. It is explicitly said that God brought the animals to see what Adam would name them and it is implied from verse 18 that God was allowing Adam to check out God’s creation to see if any of the animals was worthy of being “in front of” Adam as one who “aids” Adam.

Now we come to verse 21 where God brings the solution:

Genesis 2:21 So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place.
Genesis 2:22 The LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man.

It is interesting here to note that God fashioned into an “issah” (woman) the rib (inner chamber, board, side) which he had taken from the man. God called her an “issah” or woman before he even brought her to the man. Why? It is because she was taken from the inner chamber or side of the man.

Genesis 2:23 The man said, “This is now bone of my bones, And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.”

The Hebrew literally reads “And saying is the human, This was once bone of my bones and flesh from my flesh. This shall be called woman, for from her man is this taken.”

The question we need to ask is this – does Adam’s identifying her as “woman” mean that he is taking dominion over her? Or does identifying her as “woman” mean that he is identifying her nature as equal to his – flesh of his flesh and bone of his bone? There is nothing in the text that says that God gave Adam authority over her. There is nothing in the text that says that Adam was taking his domain over her. The very next verse explains the significance of Adam’s identification of her nature. Genesis 2:24 says:

Genesis 2:24 For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.

It says “For this reason…” For what reason? Eve’s identification by Adam as “woman” because she is flesh of his flesh and bone of his bone is for the reason of joining together the two to become one flesh.

So why did God bring Eve to Adam? God did not bring Eve to Adam for him to take dominion over her. God brought Eve to Adam so that Adam could join himself with her as a one-flesh union. God brought the woman, but the man is the one who is to leave and join himself to her. “Join” means sticking to or clinging to. Adam shows that he is joining with her by identifying her as the one whom he was looking for. She is “the one” whom God said he would “make” that is the one who will provide him with the help that he needs and the one who will be “facing him” as an equal being. God brought Adam his own DNA mate and Adam joined himself to her. Adam did not take authority over her but joined himself to her.

While people like Matt Slick would like to see this beautiful event as merely a hierarchical reign of the man taking his authority over the woman, in reality it is a man identifying what God has already identified as his equal and joining himself together with her accepting her as one with him.

Do you see what has happened here? Those who are hierarchists like Matt Slick are wanting to see rule and authority and reign and subordination in the text. Yet none of these things is either explicit or implicit in the inspired test. What is explicit is the reason given in verse 24. “For this reason….” God says, man will join himself with the woman to become one flesh. Did God bring the woman to the man for him to take authority over her? Or did God bring the woman to the man for him to join himself with her? The real question should be – what does the text say? The text is silent about the man’s authority over the woman. The text is explicit about the man’s joining himself together with the one whom he has agreed with God that she is identified as his corresponding equal – the only one who measures up to being worthy of a one-flesh union with him.

While Matt Slick may think that he has refuted me and proven that the man was given rule over the woman before the fall happened, he is dead wrong and his work is faulty and incomplete. It is time that we get back to the text actually says instead of placing our own presuppositions into the scriptures. Let’s let God be true though every man be found a liar:

Romans 3:4 May it never be! Rather, let God be found true, though every man be found a liar, as it is written, “THAT YOU MAY BE JUSTIFIED IN YOUR WORDS, AND PREVAIL WHEN YOU ARE JUDGED.”

We have only just started the refutation of Matt Slick’s article so much more to come later.

Thoughts?

Noodling with the Greek grammar in 1 Timothy 2:15

Noodling with the Greek grammar in 1 Timothy 2:15

While I have made a very strong point of the Greek grammar in 1 Timothy 2:15 with the singular “she” and the plural “they” (no specific gender for “they”), some have been trying hard to wiggle out of the implications that Paul is referring to a specific woman because the only living person at that time that “she” can refer back to is the woman Paul is stopping from teaching in verse 12. Verse 15 has a very specific grammar construction with both “she” AND “they” referenced. I have made the argument that “she” cannot be the same thing as “they” otherwise 1 Timothy 2:15 would have improper Greek grammar. The only way to keep the grammar within the rules is for “they” to be people (at least one other person) in addition to the “she”. Paul could have said “She will be saved….if she…” or “They will be saved…if they…” and both of these could be general statements about either women or generic woman, but it would be improper to say “She will be saved…if they….” if “she” and “they” are the exact same thing.

Back in September of 2007 I had an audio debate with Matt Slick of CARM and since that time Matt has been trying to find a way to refute my exegesis and prove and “she” is the exact same thing as “they”. He cannot prove such a thing since it is improper Greek grammar so it is interesting to note that he is now stating that the Holy Spirit can inspire an error in the Greek grammar if he wants to. I can hardly believe that an evangelical apologist would resort to noodling with the Greek grammar in order to keep his biased view that Paul is restricting all women for all of time from teaching true biblical doctrine to men. But at the same time that Matt is setting up such a charge against the Holy Spirit of inspiring an error in the grammar, his own Greek expert is refuting his premise. Let’s see how this is done.

On May 22, 2008 Matt Slick’s Faith and Reason show, Matt had on his radio program some students studying Greek and with them is Barry Wilson, Matt’s Greek expert from the Charnock Institute of the Bible.

Matt asks Barry Wilson if there are any Greek grammar errors in the Greek text. While the young women students answer “yes”, Barry says “No”. He says that there are scribal errors in the copies, but in the original text there are no Greek grammar errors. Hear the audio clip here of Matt’s question and Barry Wilson’s answer.

The next question that Matt Slick asks is if the students think that the Holy Spirit would ever inspire anyone and have them make a grammar error? You can hear the student answer “no”. Listen to the audio clip here.

Next Matt Slick builds his case that the Holy Spirit could inspire grammar errors if he was inspiring poetry. He says that the Holy Spirit could inspire grammar errors on purpose and thus not be breaking any grammar rules if it was on purpose. Matt Slick then says that the Holy Spirit can break a grammar rule, but so what? Listen here to the audio clip about how Matt Slick believes that the Holy Spirit can break grammar rules.

Matt Slick then asks an amazing question. He asks if they think that the Holy Spirit could inspire an apostle to write something but this apostle doesn’t seem to understand the Koine Greek grammar rules so the Holy Spirit inspired grammatical errors through an ignorant apostle. Here Matt is referring to 1 Timothy 2:15 and he is implying that the apostle Paul broke the Greek grammar rules because he didn’t understand the Greek grammar. Thus he says that the Holy Spirit inspired a passage with grammar errors through Paul on purpose(!) Listen to the amazing audio clip where Matt Slick implies that the Apostle Paul was an uneducated man in regards to Greek grammar!

Next one of the female students tells Matt that “they” includes “she” but includes more as in “women” (plural). This Greek student is correct in that a singular cannot be exactly the same thing as a plural. “She” can be included in the “they”, but “she” cannot be the exact same thing as “they”. This is exactly what I have been telling Matt all along. Listen to the audio file here.

Matt then says that he calls his vice-president, Diane Sellner, “women!” sometimes. He says that we can “play” with words and break the rules because it isn’t a sentence. He is noodling with words and trying to make a case that the Holy Spirit also noodled with the Greek words and the Greek grammar in 1 Timothy 2:15. Listen to the audio file here.

While Matt Slick claims that the Holy Spirit has purposely inspired grammar errors into the biblical text, his vice-president, Diane Sellner has previously argued with me that the Greek grammar rules have changed. She says that what looks like a grammar error now wasn’t a grammar error back then and so what is inspired in the text wasn’t actually an error back when it was written although it looks like a grammar error now. So we have the vice president saying that 1 Timothy 2:15 looks like a grammar error but the rules have changed and Matt Slick is arguing that it was actually a grammar error when it was written just like it is a grammar error now and it was put there on purpose! They are contradicting each other and contradicting the inspiration of the inerrant text. Those who hold to the full inspiration of the original texts do not believe that there are errors in the inspired text.

I wrote to Matt Slick’s Greek grammar expert and asked him some pertinent questions. I found him very gracious and kind. I asked him if the Greek grammar has changed since the time that it was written and he said “No.” So there goes Diane Sellner’s argument. How about Matt Slick’s argument? I asked Barry Wilson if there were any grammar errors in the original text and he answered me the same way that he answered Matt. He said that there are no grammar errors in the inspired biblical text. I also asked him if 1 Timothy 2 was poetry. He said “No.” So there goes Matt Slick’s argument. I am continually amazed at how hierarchists will try anything to wiggle out of the implications of the text.

For the record there are no grammar errors in the inspired text. Paul said exactly what the Holy Spirit inspired through him and the Holy Spirit did not make any grammar errors. When Paul (and the Holy Spirit) said “she”, the reference can only grammatically go back to a single “woman” in verses 11 & 12 since Eve is dead and gone and she cannot do things in the future. The grammar in verse 15 is specifically a singular “she” PLUS a plural “they”. There is no precedent at all for saying that “she” is the exact same as “they”. This would make it a grammar error and that is not possible. No, Matt, “she” is a single woman and “they” is the single woman PLUS at least one other person. You have tried and failed to dismantle the inspired grammar in order to keep your prejudice against women who teach doctrine with authority as 1 Peter 4:11 commands for the one gifted is to speak as if speaking the very oracles of God.

I have also requested to meet personally with Matt Slick and his wife to discuss a Matthew 18 issue with him. Matt has consistently called me bad names because I hold strongly to the inspiration of the scriptures with the inspired words and the inspired grammar. He has also allowed his “staff” to call me evil because I disagree with him on this secondary issue. I agree with him on all of the essentials truths of the Christian faith but that is not good enough for Matt. He believes that those who disagree with him regarding whether or not women can teach doctrine to the entire body of Christ with the authority of 1 Peter 4:11 are heretics and are worthy of being called evil, witches, liberals and whiney people who he will personally bury. I think that any God-fearing Christian would find these things offensive. While Matt Slick has refused to debate me in writing, giving all kinds of reasons why he could not possibly do that, and being that I have already had two audio debates with him where he over-talked me, called me names and acted in an arrogant and rude manner, I think that it is time to call him to account for his treatment of the sheep in such a bad way if he will not meet with me to discuss this in person. He has refused to answer my emails requesting a meeting and so far has refused to answer my request on his discussion board.

The problem is this – heriarchists and egalitiarians can get along with each other with love and respect as long as those who hold back women from teaching with the authority of 1 Peter 4:11 do not attack their sisters in Christ. So many have already left the hierarchal movement because they can see the vitrolic nature of those who attack their fellow Christians. It is time that we as Christians stand up and put a stop to this kind of treatment. When we ignore this bad behavior and condone it because it is coming from a brother in Christ, we are allowing one of God’s servants to beat their fellow slaves. This is a very serious matter and must be addressed so that there can be repentance and turning away from this bad behavior so that forgiveness and healing will follow. How many more precious sisters in Christ will be hurt by this kind of behavior? Who will stand up and help to put a stop to it? My question is, what would Jesus do?

Eve was deceived, Adam was not

Eve was deceived, Adam was not

For a PDF copy of this article click here Eve was Deceived pdf file

This article is a refutation of Matt Slick’s article that he has written in an attempt to refute my teaching on 1 Timothy 2:11-15. **While Matt Slick refuses to debate these teachings in writing on this blog, stating that he is concerned that I would possibly edit his statements (I have promised I would not edit his writings and I certainly do not need to do that to refute him!), my offer extends to another neutral web site that would host the debate where neither one of us would be accused of editing the other’s words. I find it quite odd that someone would use so many excuses to avoid a written debate. Matt has already provided his argument in writing on his web site. Why would I need to edit it? I have no problem in refuting what Matt has already written. I can understand why he would not want to enter into a written debate. He doesn’t do as well in a written form of debate. His style is to verbally attack his opponent and that is much harder to do with a written debate. A written debate would hold him accountable to keep his words respectful since it would be open to be viewed by his peers and the church as a whole. If he continues to refuse a written debate I would suggest that it is time for Matt to stop attacking egalitarians as if they are enemies of the gospel of Christ and go on to something else.**

1 Timothy 2:13, 14 makes it very clear that Adam was first created/Adam was not deceived AND Eve was second created/Eve was deceived. We need to pay attention to what Paul said and to understand how this deception and (no deception) relates to the prohibition of 1 Timothy 2:12. See my related articles Why Adam was not deceived;
Why was the sin of Adam more serious than the sin of Eve? part one
Why was the sin of Adam more serious part two

In Matt Slick’s article he says:

The argument from the egalitarians is that Eve was deceived and Adam was not. Therefore, sin entered the world through him because her sin was not as bad as Adams.

This is a misrepresentation of my view. Adam’s sin and Eve’s actual sin were the same. Both of them ate the fruit and both of them sinned in this way. However their reasons for sinning were not the same and my articles listed above show what scripture says about the reasons.

Matt continues:

First of all, even if it were true that her sin was not as bad as Adams, by what logic is it necessary that sin must enter the world through Adam and not Eve? At best, it’s a theory, an opinion.

It is not a theory nor an opinion when scripture tells us about the heart attitude. While scripture says that Eve was thoroughly deceived (2 Cor. 11:3), the scripture also says that Adam acted treacherously against God and the Hebrew term also means to deal treacherously with, to be traitorous, to act unfaithfully, to betray God (Hosea 6:7).

Adam’s motive for sinning was not the same as Eve’s and God held Adam accountable in a greater way because of his motive. God is the one who reads the hearts and he judged between Adam and Eve differently. The sin nature comes through Adam alone. What I would like to ask Matt is where in scripture does it say that sin came through Adam because Adam was given an authority over all mankind and it was his authority that brought sin into the world? Please show me a verse that speaks about Adam’s authority. The fact is there is nothing of the sort in scripture. The only thing that shows a difference between Adam and Eve and their sin is their motive. The one who sinned willfully and with knowledge also was responsible for bringing willful sin into the world. I noticed that in Matt’s article he completely ignored Hosea 6:7. Why does Matt ignore the verse that gives God’s reason for holding Adam accountable for bringing sin into the world? Adam was the one who has betrayed God. It is because it doesn’t fit in with Matt’s “theory” that man was created as a leader, and has an authority that belongs only to the male.

Next Matt writes:

Second, being deceived doesn’t excuse a person… I searched through the Bible examining all 179 occurrences of deceive, deceived, deceit, deception, etc., and I found none that support the idea that being deceived is less an offense to God or somehow excuses a person from the consequence of that deception.

What Matt has failed to answer is Paul’s argument in 1 Timothy 1:13. Paul shows that one who acts in unbelief can receive mercy from God just as he received mercy from God when his violent actions were the result of his ignorance and unbelief.

1 Timothy 1:13 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;

When Eve became completely deceived (the Greek in 2 Cor. 11:3 shows that Eve’s deception was full and complete) she was lead astray (spoiled, ruined, corrupted) and she no longer believed God’s truth. Once the truth was taken from her and she believed the lie, she took the fruit fully believing that it was not wrong to eat the fruit. It was in this full and complete deception that she acted in unbelief.

Just as Eve strayed from the truth through deception, so too are the false teachers in Ephesus teaching error because of their ignorance and unbelief:

1 Timothy 1:6 For some men, straying from these things, have turned aside to fruitless discussion,

1 Timothy 1:6 Amplified version But certain individuals have missed the mark on this very matter [and] have wandered away into vain arguments and discussions and purposeless talk.

1 Timothy 1:7 wanting to be teachers of the Law, even though they do not understand either what they are saying or the matters about which they make confident assertions.

In 1 Timothy 1:6 the NASB says “some men”. The Greek is literally “tis” meaning “some”. It is a generic term that can mean males and females not just men. These false teachers are deceived regarding the truth just as Eve was deceived and they have been taken spoil by their error. Paul said that one who sins in such a way through their ignorance and unbelief can receive God’s mercy in spite of such terrible sin. While I have never claimed that deception excuses a person from the consequences of their actions, what I have claimed is that God is able to break into their lives to give these deceive people mercy that they do not deserve. Paul received such mercy (1 Timothy 1:13) and Eve received such mercy (the “seed” which is the Messiah was promised through her and not through the man).

Once again Matt Slick completely ignores the verses that I have brought up to prove my point from scripture. He is not able to disprove the point of the verses and thus has chosen to ignore my argument rather than to deal with it.

Matt Slick asks:

Therefore, are we to conclude that Eve was somehow excused from her sin or that its severity was lessened because she was deceived?

Eve is not excused from her sin; she received mercy because she did not sin willfully. Eve sinned because she was deceived by the deceiver and not because her attitude was deliberate betrayal and God to give her mercy by promising to bring the Messiah through only the woman. Through her the Messiah would destroy the deceiver. What a merciful God we have!

Matt’s next point is that Esau was deceived out of his blessing and he had to suffer the full consequences:

The point is that the effects wrought through deception are powerful and not lessened in consequence upon the one deceived even though it is from deception.

Matt’s use of Esau as an example of someone being deceived appears to be ill advised. Esau sold his birthright to Jacob and the Bible describes his actions as immoral and godless:

Heb 12:16 that there be no immoral or godless person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal.

While Jacob may have deceived his Father, he did not deceive Esau. Esau willingly sold his birthright for a single meal because he despised his birthright.

Gen 25:34 Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew; and he ate and drank, and rose and went on his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.

Esau did not receive mercy because he sold his birthright willingly and with his eyes wide open to what he was doing.

Gen 25:32 Esau said, “Behold, I am about to die; so of what use then is the birthright to me?”

Heb 12:17 For you know that even afterwards, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought for it with tears.

God rejected Esau and he did not find mercy. He was not deceived. Matt’s application of Esau shows a faulty application and a clear misunderstanding of deception.

Matt ends his article with these words:

Saying that Adam had a greater offense and that is why sin entered the world is nothing more than guesswork. It is an opinion not substantiated by Scripture and not required by logic. Therefore, the argument has no weight.

Matt has not dealt with my argument nor has he dealt with the scriptures that I quoted. So while he ignores my scriptural argument, he can turn a blind eye to that argument and say “that it is an opinion not substantiated by Scripture”. What Matt should have done is deal with the scriptural argument and not ignore the scriptures and then claim victory. Matt’s argument is not convincing neither does it refute my claims.

Also what Matt does not do is give a scriptural proof that Adam was given an authority over humanity and this authority is why sin entered the world. I would encourage Matt to:

1. Show from scripture where it says that sin came into the world because Adam was given special authority.

2. Deal with my scriptural proof or admit that he does not have an answer to the reason why Paul applies the first created/not deceived vs second created/deception of the woman, to the prohibition in 1 Timothy 2:12.

Should complementarians debate egalitarians?

Should complementarians debate egalitarians?

While there has been some genuine, respectful dialog between complementarian and egalitarian scholars, more often than not, the emotions that are brought into the dialog have brought less than respectful debate. The body of Christ is meant to fight the enemy together but when some turn their weapons inward in order to fight their sisters in Christ because of a secondary issue of faith, this certainly brings not only shame upon our Lord Jesus, but harm to some precious members of the body of Christ.

How should we react to the debate when it has become vitriolic? I would like to suggest that we need to stay the course and continue to deal with the issues in a respectful way. When some turn the debate on women teaching the bible authoritatively to men away from the issue and choose to make it instead an attack on the person, we need to refrain from following suit. The Lord Jesus is best served when we treat our brothers in Christ with respect even when that respect is not afforded to us. Yet we do not give up sharing truth and doing so in love. The winning side will be the one who fights for the truth of scripture while passionately debating the issues in love.

While responding with love is a mandate of the Lord Jesus, we may choose the way we debate to limit the abuse that we receive because we can identify those who have a habit of using verbal attacks to try to control the debate. Let me give an example of what can happen through an audio debate when a brother in Christ has a problem holding his emotions back from attacking a fellow believer in Christ.

On April 6, 2006 I received an invitation for an informal dialog on Matt Slick’s Faith and Reason radio show. While the invitation was very kind, I had heard Matt debate other Christians before and I was not impressed with his combative “style”. While he assured me that he would dialog with respect, I did not accept the invitation until September of 2007 when I heard Matt persuading women that their calling from God in ministry would not be a valid call. I decided that it would be worth the risk of being attacked because I truly cared for Matt’s listeners who were only hearing one side of the debate. While I kept my cool and kept my respectful attitude towards Matt, he did not treat me with either respect or Christian charity. Matt must have had some negative feedback about his treatment of me on his radio show because the next week he started out much more calm but in the end he stopped me from giving my biblical understanding of 1 Timothy 2:15, a verse that is key to the understanding of the prohibition in 1 Timothy 2:12, and he lost his cool once again this time raising his voice and calling me a heretic for merely differing with him on this secondary issue.

Later Matt said that he would consider having me back on his radio show only if I would agree to limit my answers to his questions to 1.5 minutes a piece. No one else has ever been given such a strict time limit on his radio show before, but when I agreed to his restrictions, he backed down and would not allow me to debate him even with me under strict time limits. Months later in April and May of 2008 Matt produced articles on a limited portion of my position on women in ministry (he has my full view on my 4 DVD set “Women in Ministry Silenced or Set Free?” but he apparently chose to ignore a good portion of my material) and I have been going through each of the new articles refuting his “refutation”. I have also offered Matt Slick a respectful written debate on his position and his articles since his position has many holes, errors and faulty premises. I agree with Matt’s position in his original offer to have me on his radio show that those who produce a non-interactive position on women in ministry (DVD or written form) should allow themselves to be questioned on that position. I met him on his “playing field” on the radio and now I have asked him to answer my questions on his position in a written debate. Matt has declined to do so. Matt’s position is that he is comfortable with his discussion board, his radio show and Paltalk and he won’t venture anywhere else. I have offered a neutral site where we could both debate without editing or anyone controlling either one of us and apparently he is very sensitive and needs his “safety zone” that he won’t leave. I have also included links to the audio files of both of Matt’s radio shows with me as his “guest”. They are at the bottom of this post. Listen carefully and see how gentleness and respect has been subsequently interpreted by a very sensitive Matt Slick as an “attack” on his person.

Matt has already refused to have me back on his radio show, his discussion board is highly controlled and edited by his vice-president and Paltalk is a forum where Matt can continue to verbally abuse those he disagrees with and it is not suitable for keeping him accountable to a respectful dialog. I am including the type of “respect” that Matt Slick offers. The following are words to me on his discussion board regarding Matt’s “offer” to debate in an audio form. See if this sounds like I would get a fair and respectful audio debate:

Matt titles his comment “this is how it is” found at http://www.christiandiscussionforums.org/v/showthread.php?t=108945&page=2

I’ve already written the section refuting the liberal position on women being pastors/elders. That’s the written form…

I don’t go to your blog. I don’t debate anywhere but here, Paltalk, and the radio.

I’m too busy to get buried in a written debate with you… If you write like you talk on the radio, you’d KILL ME!…. not with competence, but with sssllloooowwww and condescending remarks that would drive me up the wall. No thanks! On the radio you’d not answer a question directly. You beat around the bush, said a ton of NOTHING, to get to some invented position, and acted in a condescending manner. I was ready to shoot myself you were so difficult to deal with. Again, NOT your content, your manner and deliver is what is difficult.

You’ve been refuted by me and those much smarter than me.

I believe you’re given over to your error by God. I believe you are injuring the body of Christ. I further think more of what you’re really made of will become evident.

Now, stop your whining. If you want a debate with me, Paltalk is the place. I’ll put your stupid arguments in the trash where they belong. If you’re not up to it, then go away, stop whining, stop playing around. I mean, sheesh, just get over it and take your liberal feminism somewhere esle and help the enemy undermine the church from some other location.

You want to take the man’s place? Want to compete with men? Okay, bring your pants, step up to the plate….and let’s go, Paltalk! If you accept, I’ll bury you. If you don’t accept, go away.

Does this sound respectful or kind? Matt is not going to debate me in a forum that he cannot have control of or win. I will continue to work through his articles and provide my own “written” refutation. If and when Matt Slick allows me to question him, I will provide those answers and of course my own refutation as appropriate.

Listen to debate #1 here.


Listen to the debate #2 here.

*Note since I copied Matt’s “invitation” to do an audio debate on Paltalk, he has changed his post to read this way:

I’ve already written the section refuting the liberal position on women being pastors/elders. That’s the written form…

I don’t go to your blog. I don’t go to any blogs or boards other than CARM stuff because I don’t want anyone to say I posted somewhere else and say something I didn’t. So, I DO NOT go anywhere….except for tech boards for computer stuff at Microsoft and VB.

I don’t debate anywhere but here, Paltalk, and the radio.

I’m too busy to get buried in a written debate with you… If you write like you talk on the radio, you’d KILL ME!…. not with competence, but with sssllloooowwww and condescending remarks buried in so much error that it would take volumes to expose the idiocy you posit as support for your position. Which only “you” have figured out and the whole Christian church has missed???? LOL. Anyway, you’d drive me up the wall. No thanks! On the radio you rarely answered my questions directly. Instead, you beat around the bush, said a ton of NOTHING, to get to some invented position, and talked down to me in a condescending manner. I was ready to shoot myself to get away from the droning, incessent, drivel you offered for your position. You were so difficult to deal with — NOT because of your content. It was your manner and deliver is what was so irretatingly difficult.

Anyway, you’ve been refuted by me and those much smarter than me. CARM’s women section will continue to grow as you help me expose more errors in your liberal position. Thanks for the assistance in fighting for orthodoxy and working against liberal crap infiltrating the church.

I believe you’re given over to your error by God. I believe you are injuring the body of Christ. I further think that more of what you’re really made of will become evident as you heap error upon error.

Now, stop your whining. If you want a debate with me, Paltalk is the place. I’ll put your stupid arguments in the trash where they belong. If you’re not up to it, then go away, stop whining, stop playing around. I mean, sheesh, just get over it and take your liberal feminism somewhere esle and help the enemy undermine the church from some other location.

You want to take the man’s place and teach and have authority in the church? You want to compete with men? Okay, bring your pants, step up to the plate….and let’s go, Paltalk! If you accept, I’ll bury you. If you don’t accept, go away and stop being a crybaby.

Is "a woman" representative of "all women"?

Is "a woman" representative of "all women"?

This post is an answer to Matt Slicks article called “1 Timothy 2:9-15 “a woman” is representative of all women as “a man”represents all men”.

Matt has been trying to answer my arguments on 1 Timothy 2:111-15 and his article is an attempt at trying to prove that the Greek”gune” or “woman/wife” represents all women.

Matt says:

“As we have seen in the chart in the article The use of the phrase “a woman” in the entire New Testament, Paul uses the phrase “a woman” to refer to only a particular woman 11% of the time while he refers to women and wives in general 77% of the time.”

The first thing that we can note is that Matt didn’t do a chart using the Greek word “gune” but the English word “woman”. This allows Matt to miss some instances of “gune” which is what Paul uses in 1Timothy 2:12. This is because “gune” does not necessarily mean “a woman”. When “gune” is used, it can mean generic woman, but it is not required that it means all women. There is no indefinite article in Greek such as in English where we have indefinite articles a and an. When “gune” is used in the Greek it is possible that “a woman” is meant, but it is also just as easily possible that “the woman” is meant or even “a group” that is qualitatively female, that is “women”.  In Greek, the use of the definite article means the noun is definite, but even if the definite article is not used, it doesn’t mean that it must be indefinite.  It just means that there are 3 possibilities to the meaning , including the possibility that it is meant as a definite.  This is the case of the anarthrous nouns.  See Wallace “Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics” on anarthrous nouns (anarthrous means without an article).

While Matt makes a big deal about percentages, this doesn’t mean much.  Percentages can be interesting, however percentages cannot determine the meaning of a word in a passage.  It is the context of the passage that will determine the meaning not percentages.

If Paul was giving a general prohibition to Timothy that would affect all Christian women for all time, his grammar in verse 15 does not match a general prohibition. Paul on the other hand has used the term “a man” Greek “anthropos” where the context clearly shows that Paul is not talking about a generic man. For example in 2 Corinthians 12:1-21, no matter how high the percentage is that Paul uses “anthropos” to mean generic man, Paul is not talking about men in general in this passage. Paul also did not identify a man who was living with his father’s wife but called him “someone”. This obviously was not about generic man either. The key to understanding Paul is to look at the context, not how many times Paul used “aner” or “anthropos” to mean a generic man rather than a particular man.

Matt says:

“we conclude that the mentioning of Adam and Eve and the created order is dealing with men and women in general, not with a particular woman or just wives.”

If Paul’s mention of Adam and Eve along with created order and deception was about men and women in general, then should we be concluding that all men are not deceived and all women are deceived like Eve? There is more to see in the context of this passage that brings out the importance of Paul’s mention of creation, deception and Adam and Eve.  Paul’s meaning has to be about something other than all generic man and woman.

What Matt misses is that the created order is about deception, not authority. Paul does not say that the man is to have authority over women, but that Adam was not deceived, while Eve was deceived. Paul connects the deception to the prohibition in verse 12 but he also connects it to the solution in verse 15. Paul says neither that Adam is given authority over humanity nor that he is given authority over Eve. We would have to ignore the context in order to make Adam’s authority the subject. Paul connected Adam to the state of “no deception” but Paul did not connect Adam with authority. There is not even one word in this passage that says that Adam had authority or that the man is to have authority over the woman.

Additionally, what does authority have to do with verse 15? How would man’s authority (which is never mentioned in the passage) fit in with the salvation of the single “she” mentioned in verse 15? Even if one could make a single “she” and a plural “they” mean the same thing (i.e. all women), how would man’s authority fit in with this verse? It doesn’t fit. What does fit into the context is the subject of deception. Because of deception a prohibition is given. In spite of her deception “she” will be saved (in the future)… if… Does Paul’s concern about her salvation fit into the context of deception? Or does a concern about salvation fit with all women? Women’s salvation is never questioned in scripture so all women do not fit well with verse 15.

Some take the “salvation” spoken of in verse 15 as been “saved” from dying in child birth but this would break the connection between verses 11-15 and it is not a promise that has been made and kept by God for all godly women. Where is the connection between child birth and the stopping of “a woman” from teaching “a man”? Why would Paul all of a sudden talk about women giving birth to children when he is connecting each verse together with “but” (verse 12) “for” (verse 13) “and” (verse 14) and “but” (verse 15). The flow from verses 11 – 15 is connected from one verse to the next and if we break the connection with verse 15 we have lost the end result that Paul gives because of the command to learn (verse 11) and the prohibition (verse 12).  If she learns the truth and she stops teaching the error, she will be saved out of her deception if she stays in that truth, stays in the truth faith and in her love for God.  Her self-control is needed to stay away from error and deception.  This is how a deceived person will be saved.

Matt concludes with this statement:

“Since Paul mentions the order of creation regarding Adam and Eve in 1 Tim. 2:13 after he mentions authority and again that mentions authority with the created order in 1 Cor. 11:8-10, we can see that there is a pattern Paul teaches that is applied generically in the church.”

There are several very glaring errors in this concluding statement of Matt’s. The first error is that Matt is connecting “authority” with the order of creation when Paul is connecting “deceived” and “not deceived” with the order of creation. The word “authenteo” (verse 12) is a unique word in the scriptures and it is a hotly disputed word never used for spiritual authority elsewhere in scripture. Paul never gives men permission to “authenteo” anyone and so to connect this word with permission for men to “authenteo” women or anyone for that matter, is reading into the passage.

Secondly Matt connects the order of creation with “authority” mentioned in 1 Corinthians 11:10. This is another error of Matt’s since 1 Cor. 11:10 does not have men in authority over women. The Greek word used in verse 10 is exousia and it is the authority that the person has themselves not an authority that is over them. It is never used in scripture to mean that the person is under authority. The words “a symbol of” in verse 10 are not in the original manuscripts but have been added by the translators. The inspired word is that the woman is to have authority over her own head. She is to have authority to make a decision because of the angels. Paul’s use of “because of the angels” is clear when we go back to his reference of the angels earlier in his letter to the Corinthians.

1Co 6:2 Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? If the world is judged by you, are you not competent to constitute the smallest law courts?
1Co 6:3 Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more matters of this life?

Since the saints will judge the world and they will also judge angels, the woman is to have power to make her own decision concerning what she does or doesn’t wear on her head because in the next life she will also have the responsibility to judge the world and the angels. There is no reference to a man having authority over the woman in this verse at all.

But what about the reference to creation in 1 Cor. 11:12? Is this about the man having authority over the woman as Matt has said? When we test all things, we can see that this is not true.

1Co 11:11 However, in the Lord, neither is woman independent of man, nor is man independent of woman.

1Co 11:12 For as the woman originates from the man, so also the man has his birth through the woman; and all things originate from God.

Paul says that neither the man or the woman is independent of each other. Just as the woman originated from the man so now the man has his origin through her. But neither one is preeminent over the other because God is the ultimate origin of all.

These passages say not one word about the man having authority over the woman. In 1 Timothy 2:13, 14 the reference to creation is about deception and in 1 Cor. 11:12 the reference to creation is about the equality of the man and the woman in that both are dependent on each other and the preeminent one is God. There is absolutely nothing that says that the man has authority over the woman in these passages.

While Matt has been trying to provide a reasoning in 1 Timothy 2 for Paul to be stopping the biblical teaching of all women to all men, he has not given a reasonable explanation for verse 15 which has specific grammar that gives the boundary or “fence” as to how far we can apply verse 12. Without the ability to apply “she” and “they” from verse 15 to something other than the exact same thing (i.e. Matt makes “she” and “they” to mean the same thing), Matt has ignored the boundary markers that force us to go back to find out who the “she” is that Paul is giving the prohibition to. “She” will be saved, Paul says “if”… Paul applies the prohibition to “gune”, and he stops her from teaching because of the verses that follow. It is because of deception, then Paul brings out that her salvation out of that deception is dependent on what “she” and “they” do to make sure she doesn’t fall back into deception. The list of things is the same as what Paul said the deceived teachers fell away from.

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

This is why Paul said that “they” must continue in these things (verse 15). Those who stray from these things, Paul said were falling into deception.

What we don’t have in the passage is Paul saying that “a man” or “any man” is to have authority over “gune” (a woman, wife or the woman) or over another man. Instead we are to serve one another and never lord it over others in the body of Christ.

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