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Category: Authority and leadership

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

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

WIM digital

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

Update: I have posted all of the videos from Women in Ministry Silenced or Set Free? DVD series free online! The first DVD is found online here and the rest of the video files are linked on that page as well. The link is to my new Women in Ministry blog. Please sign up at the new site for updates.

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

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

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

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What God intended at Creation – ruler or ruled?

What God intended at Creation – ruler or ruled?

Ruler or ruled? Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

What did God intend at creation?

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

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

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Ephesians 5 infected with the mindset of the world

Ephesians 5 infected with the mindset of the world

Worldly infection on Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

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

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1 Timothy 2:12 two prohibitions or one?

1 Timothy 2:12 two prohibitions or one?

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

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

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

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

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

CBMW brought to task for misuse of Scripture and demand for apology

CBMW brought to task for misuse of Scripture and demand for apology

sign on Women in Ministry by Cheryl Schatz

Newsflash July 24, 2010

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

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The humble God and the issue of authority

The humble God and the issue of authority

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

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

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

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Submission & Ephesians 5:22 comments post #3

Submission & Ephesians 5:22 comments post #3

Ephesians 5:22 on Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

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

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

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

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

Submission and the origin of authority

Submission and the origin of authority

Authority given on Women in Ministry by Cheryl Schatz

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

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Authority vs submission – a biblical view of Ephesians 5:22

Authority vs submission – a biblical view of Ephesians 5:22

Mutual submission on Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

Yesterday I received two polar opposite views of Ephesians 5:22 by email.  One was from “NN” who has responded here in the past.  He  is a complementarian who has commented on authority in marriage, one of a handful of complementarians who have been willing to give their views on women on this blog in a respectful manner.  

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Complementarians, why let women lead Bible studies?

Complementarians, why let women lead Bible studies?

Woman Bible Teacher from Women in Ministry - Cheryl Schatz

CBMW (Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood) has set itself up as a go-to organization for those complementarians who have not been able to figure out from the Bible which things are allowable for women and which things are not.  But does their counsel exceed the Bible?  I would like to present the evidence and then let you decide.

In a sermon preached by J Ligon Duncan III and reproduced on CBMW’s web site, Ligon Duncan writes that the “teaching office” of the Church is restricted to men.  But what is the “teaching office” of the church?  According to Ligon, the “teaching office” is “ministry of preaching and teaching in the church is undelegatably vested in the men who serve as the elders of the church.”  So the on-going preaching and teaching to the body of Christ is to be done by men.   The problem really gets sticky for complementarians when it comes to women teaching other women. 

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Women in Christian school stifled while men fire school principal

Women in Christian school stifled while men fire school principal

St. John's Lutheran school on Women in Ministry by Cheryl Schatz

On Sunday March 21, 2010 a meeting was held to determine the fate of principal John Hartwig who had been suspended  earlier for engaging in conduct “unbecoming a called worker”.  The Baraboo News Republic in Baraboo, Wisconsin documents the letter that was sent to school parents that announced Hartwig’s suspension: 

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Common objections to women in ministry: Eve usurped Adam's authority

Common objections to women in ministry: Eve usurped Adam's authority

man's authority on Women in Ministry Blog by Cheryl Schatz

In our continued topic of common objections to women in ministry, we come to the claim that Eve usurped Adam’s authority when she spoke to the serpent. To deal with this claim, we will be looking at both the claim that Eve rebelled against Adam in the garden and the claim that God gave Adam a responsibility to lead that He clearly denied to Eve.

In chapter 3 of Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood written by Raymond C. Ortlund Jr headship is defined as a right that the man possesses to lead women in a God-glorifying direction. Ortlund writes

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At the first Christmas, God was pleased to come through a woman

At the first Christmas, God was pleased to come through a woman

God came into the world through a woman, Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

While there are many who say that women cannot receive from God that which will benefit men as they believe that all wisdom that God has for mankind must come through the agency of a man, may I remind us today that the Wisdom of God – God Himself came into the world through a woman. The vessel that He used that was meant to bring benefit to all of mankind through the good news of the gospel in the face of the Savior, was a lowly servant who was a woman.

There are some today who refuse to accept God’s gift that comes through a woman. Their pride will not allow them to benefit from anything that they believe is beneath them.  They practice hardening their hearts because they do not want to see and do not want to hear what originates from a woman. God cannot use a woman to preach and teach the gospel to the church, they say, because God is pleased to limit Himself to only men who by virtue of their maleness are fit to receive God’s special gifts that equip only males as teachers and gentle shepherds of God’s people. To them God’s best is always a man. God’s best is the wisdom of a man. God’s best is the strength of a man. To them God cannot and will not use what is foolish or weak or insignificant, inferior, common or despised.   God limits His work through the chosen gender who are the physically and spiritually “strong” ones and God surely sanctions male pride because He created them as first class citizens of the kingdom.  Is it not the complementarian message that it is through males alone that God can fully express Himself in wisdom, power and leadership?

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How a passion for ministry almost cost C. Michael Patton his marriage

How a passion for ministry almost cost C. Michael Patton his marriage

Today I read a blog post that really touched my heart because it showed the importance of mutual decision-making instead of unilateral decisions by the husband (the male trump card).  I have asked and received permission from Michael Patton to post this on my blog.  I think that this story puts a human face to the issues of a one-flesh union that we have talked much about on this blog.  This testimony by Michael Patton and his willingness to listen to the wisdom of a godly woman really raised my respect for Michael.  I think that you will be touched by his story as well.  This is a fine example of how real complementary marriage works rather than a hierarchy model.

 

Can a wife's authority be overruled?

Can a wife's authority be overruled?

Couple on Women in Ministry by Cheryl Schatz

Wade Burleson has an interesting post about marital authority and the only time that the Bible uses the word authority in the context of marriage.  Burleson writes:

The often quoted book complementarian book Recovering Biblical Manhood & Womanwood (1991), devotes entire chapters to passages like Ephesians 5:21-33, 1 Corinthians 11:3-16. Colossians 3:18-18, and 1 Peter 3:1-7. But the ONLY text in the Bible that actually uses the word “authority” in the context of marriage, 1 Corinthians 7:1-5, is given no consideration. Likewise, in John Piper’s book What’s the Difference? Manhood and Womanhood Defined by the Bible (2001) there are two lists of verses dealing with marriage provided, but 1 Corinthians 7:1-5 is not even included (see pages 21,66).

It is certainly interesting that the only place were the Bible gives the husband and wife authority over the other is missing in the sections dealing with authority and submission in  Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.

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Julie Pennington-Russell talks about the Georgia State Convention

Julie Pennington-Russell talks about the Georgia State Convention

Thanks to one of the followers of my blog, I received a link to some excellent clips about Julie Pennington-Russell’s talks about the Georgian State Convention and issue of the church being kicked out of the GBC.  The clips were record before the official word came through about the removal of her church from association.

julie_pennington-russell

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Evaluating the Schatz/Seaver debate

Evaluating the Schatz/Seaver debate

Evaluating the Schatz/Seaver debate

 

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

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

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Blog conference on Women in Ministry set for September 1 – 15, 2009

Blog conference on Women in Ministry set for September 1 – 15, 2009

Women in Ministry Blog Conference September 1 - 15 2009

Sign up to receive blog conference email updates at www.achurchinryde.com/blog This should be an interesting conference as participants have different views and will be interacting with anyone wanting to dialog and question the presenter on their view.  You will see from the conference promotion that I am a participant.  I look forward to the opportunity to answer questions and interacting with people from a world away down under in Australia.  I do not yet know which day I will be presenting my thesis.  I am sure that it will be announced on the web site so if you sign up for email updates you should be able to get that information.

I hope that many of you will interact with this unique venue so that it is a successful venture for Pastor Dave and the Presbyterian church in Australia.

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

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

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

Responses to question #4

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

Cheryl Schatz responds:

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

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

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

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

#4 Question by Cheryl Schatz:

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John Piper: "What should a wife's submission to her husband look like if he's an abuser?"

John Piper: "What should a wife's submission to her husband look like if he's an abuser?"

 

john-piper-womens-abuse

On August 19, 2009 John Piper tackles a question on an abusive husband and Piper’s answer directs women on how they should take abuse from their husbands.  The answer is typical of a complementarian who sees the husband as king and priest and the wife as the follower of her priest-king.

My comments will be below the transcript.  I recommend you listen carefully to what Piper says.  I think there is a lot to discuss especially his freudian slip calling the husband “lord”.  An edited transcript of the audio is below.

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

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

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

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

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Cheryl’s response:

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Round 8 Interview with the Apostle Paul on women pastors

Round 8 Interview with the Apostle Paul on women pastors

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

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

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

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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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Reaching unity in the faith without authoritarian control

Reaching unity in the faith without authoritarian control

Misty Bedwell bride restricted

The picture above represents not only the “bride” of Christ held back and controlled, but women in the “bride” of Christ held back and controlled.  It is a great concern to me that there are many in the body who think that authoritarian control is needed to keep people in line and to keep the unity of the faith.  But is the removal of the ability to question those in leadership or to question secondary doctrine a necessary thing to keep the unity of the faith?  Some apparently believe that questionable tactics are allowed if the end result is unity but I would like to propose that unity based on an abuse of authority produces artificial unity.


Wade Burleson
has been doing a series of posts on authoritarian control in the church and within non-profit groups and I believe that this issue is a major problem in the church today.  Those who use intimidation tactics to prevent people from asking legitimate questions have risen up in our churches at an alarming rate.  Where is this all coming from?  There appears to be an emphases in many seminaries that sways impressionable young graduates to the belief that pastoral authority must be defended at all costs.  Wade Burleson comments on the results of such teaching that creates an elite group of “the Lord’s anointed”.  While Wade’s comments are specifically about the Southern Baptist Convention, the application can be made throughout all denominations.

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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.

Did the serpent have more knowledge than man?

Did the serpent have more knowledge than man?

serpent2 on Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood has published a book called Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood and on page 73, John Piper and Wayne Grudem write that Adam was ordained as the one responsible for the life of the garden.  The reference is in response to a quote from 1 Timothy 2:14 where Adam is said to have not been deceived. Some take this as a proof that women are more gullible than men and easier to deceive, but Grudem and Piper say that this is not so.  Instead, CBMW brings a new meaning to “not deceived”.  They say “not deceived” means that Adam was not approached by the deceiver.  They write:

If this is the proper understanding, then what Paul meant in 1 Timothy 2:14 was this:  “Adam was not deceived (that is, Adam was not approached by the deceiver and did not carry on direct dealings with the deceiver), but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor (that is, she was the one who took up dealings with the deceiver and was led through her direct interaction with him into deception and transgression).”

Since when does “not deceived” mean that you must have a direct interaction with the deceiver? 

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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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"They are sinning through questioning"

"They are sinning through questioning"

mark_driscoll on Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

The issue of women in ministry allows us to the opportunity to ask questions about the hard passages of scripture and to work through these passages to discover God’s intended meaning through the inspired context.  But in many quarters, questioning is a “sin” that will get a reprimand from a strong authoritarian leader.  Is it really a sin to ask questions?  The New York Times has produced an article by Molly Worthen called Who Would Jesus Smack Down? In a surprising view of “the cussing pastor”, Mark Driscoll is not only against women pastors and what is called the feminization of the church, but he also refuses to tolerate any opposition to his views.  In The New York Times article Molly Worthen writes:

Nowhere is the connection between Driscoll’s hypermasculinity and his Calvinist theology clearer than in his refusal to tolerate opposition at Mars Hill. The Reformed tradition’s resistance to compromise and emphasis on the purity of the worshipping community has always contained the seeds of authoritarianism: John Calvin had heretics burned at the stake and made a man who casually criticized him at a dinner party march through the streets of Geneva, kneeling at every intersection to beg forgiveness. Mars Hill is not 16th-century Geneva, but Driscoll has little patience for dissent. In 2007, two elders protested a plan to reorganize the church that, according to critics, consolidated power in the hands of Driscoll and his closest aides. Driscoll told the congregation that he asked advice on how to handle stubborn subordinates from a “mixed martial artist and Ultimate Fighter, good guy” who attends Mars Hill. “His answer was brilliant,” Driscoll reported. “He said, ‘I break their nose.’ ” When one of the renegade elders refused to repent, the church leadership ordered members to shun him. One member complained on an online message board and instantly found his membership privileges suspended. “They are sinning through questioning,” Driscoll preached. John Calvin couldn’t have said it better himself.

Sinning through questioning – this attitude of leadership has become an epidemic in the hypermasculinity movement.  See Cynthia Kunsman’s articles on surviving the Sheperding Movement and All about Authority: the Popularity of Submission Doctrine

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Modern myths about the Titus 2 woman

Modern myths about the Titus 2 woman

clean21-Women-In-Ministry-blog-by-Cheryl-Schatz

When the issue of women in ministry is brought up, one of the scripture passages that is used as a slam-dunk women-must-stay-in-the-home passage is Titus 2:3-5.  Is this passage really about women restricted to the area of the home with cooking, cleaning and raising children, or are women allowed by God to use their spiritual gifts outside the home as well?  Let’s have a close look at the passage to see if we have been influenced by modern myths.

Titus 2:3-5  Older women (literally women elders) likewise are to be reverent (literally meaning such as becomes sacred persons, venerable) in their behavior (literally meaning to make or ordain, position or state), not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine (same qualifications as to the venerable, reverend, reputable, dignified women from 1 Timothy 3:11), teaching what is good, so that they may encourage (literally meaning to disciple, admonish, exhort earnestly) the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home (literally meaning watchers or watchmen of the home taking oversight of household affairs), kind, being subject to their own husbands (literally to subject oneself to one’s admonition or advice – doing good for the other and putting their good first place), so that the word of God will not be dishonored.

Myth #1 The woman is not the head of the home so she does not have authority but is under authority in her home.

Scripture tells us that the woman has a great deal of authority in how she rules her home and she is indeed a ruler.  In 1 Timothy 5:14 Paul says:

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Pulpit authority scriptural or not?

Pulpit authority scriptural or not?

In my last post called 1 Timothy 2, authority and the magical pulpit, I was waiting for someone to bring up Hebrew 13:17.  Since no one brought up this verse in the comments, but I did receive an email that asked me to respond to how this scripture fits in with my last post, I thought my response should make a separate post of its own.

Let’s first take a look at Hebrews 13:17 in the NIV, the version which was quoted to me:

Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.

Does this passage teach that the Christian leaders have authority over the sheep?  Let’s have a look at this passage in a more literal translation:

Hebrews 13:17 (LITV)  Yield to those taking the lead of you, and submit, for they watch for your souls, giving an account, that they may do this with joy, and not with grieving; for this would be unprofitable to you.

The first thing that we can notice about a literal reading of the passage is that the word “authority” is missing in the Greek.  Now let’s go through this passage piece by piece to pull out the intended meaning.

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1 Timothy 2, authority and the magical pulpit

1 Timothy 2, authority and the magical pulpit

Many people feel that the pulpit is a place for authoritative proclamation.  However many people also believe that the pulpit gives a man that authority and allowing someone into the “pulpit” who isn’t allowed to exercise authority over the sheep, an authority that the pulpit gives them, is seen as a great sin.

There are several problems with this view.  The first problem is an obvious one, in that there is no such thing as a pulpit in the Scriptures.  Christianity Today says this about the pulpit:

Pulpits, which are associated with traditional churches today, haven’t always been included in churches. In the earliest days of the church, Christians met in homes. In the Middle Ages, pulpits were installed in churches, but sermons rarely were preached out of them…The pulpit became more prominent during the Protestant Reformation, when the preaching of God’s Word became the primary ingredient of worship. The pulpit became more than a place to stand or a structure on which to place notes and a Bible. It became a symbol of the authority of the Bible, the church, and the preacher.

So the pulpit as a symbol of authority is a modern invention not found in the Bible at all.  Many years into the church age what originally was just a piece of furniture convenient to hold one’s notes, has become the symbol of the authority of the speaker.  Somewhere along the way, it appears that the authority of the Word of God which held preeminence during the Protestant Reformation, has been transferred to the messenger.  In our day the word “pulpit” is synonymous for church authority:

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Anne Graham Lotz and 800 pastors' shame

Anne Graham Lotz and 800 pastors' shame

CBMW relates a story told by Anne Graham Lotz in the Washington Post where Mrs Lotz writes:

What legitimate, Biblical role do women have within the church? That question demanded an answer early in my ministry when I accepted an invitation to address a large convention of pastors.

When I stood in the lectern at the convention center, many of the 800 church leaders present turned their chairs around and put their backs to me. When I concluded my message, I was shaking. I was hurt and surprised that godly men would find what I was doing so offensive that they would stage such a demonstration, especially when I was an invited guest. And I was confused. Had I stepped out of the Biblical role for a woman? While all agree that women are free to help in the kitchen, or in the nursery, or in a secretary’s chair, is it unacceptable for a woman to take a leadership or teaching position?

While CBMW writer Brent Nelson writes about the en masse action of many of the 800 pastors in a negative fashion…

Such a shameful event should have never happened.

…what action does he say should have happened?

I grieve that someone in a decision-making role, did not wisely preclude a woman from speaking to a large group of pastors who chose to express their biblically sound concerns in such a shameful fashion.  The commands to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15), are equally as important to obey as the command for a woman not take spiritual authority over men. (emphasis added by WIM)

While CBMW’s article says that women are not to be elders or pastors and this is apparently the “clear” prohibition that CBMW espouses, Anne Graham Lotz doesn’t appear to be either an elder or a pastor.  What Mrs. Lotz does in her ministry is preach the good news to whoever the Lord Jesus brings in her pathway.  She writes:

Mary Magdalene was actually the very first evangelist! Since Jesus had obviously been present when Peter and John were there, why did He withhold Himself from them, but reveal Himself to Mary? He could so easily have given the task of announcing His resurrection to Peter and John, but instead He had given it to Mary. I believe He was making an undeniable, obvious statement that reverberates through the centuries, right up until our own day. Women are commanded and commissioned to serve Jesus Christ in whatever capacity He calls them, within or without the organized church, in word or in deed.

CBMW writer Brent Nelson agrees that Mary was commissioned to preach the gospel of the resurrection to the Lord’s disciples, but this doesn’t support Anne Graham Lotz.

Mary seeing Jesus and being commissioned to tell the disciples of his rising is indeed an honor, but certainly does not qualify her to take the role of an Elder or Pastor to men.

While I will not be discussing women elders or pastors in this article, CBMW’s article appears to be a sleight of hand bringing confusion regarding official positions of ordination with the call to preach and teach outside of ordination.  This confusion is precisely what CBMW itself seeks to avoid when they state that women can minister but not have a “pastorate”.

Imprecision is the handmaid of confusion, and confusion the prelude to bondage (John 8:32). We would do well to make a distinction between women in ministry (which the Bible affirms) and women in the pastorate (which the Bible forbids – 1 Timothy 2:12).

Is Anne Graham Lotz called by God to ordination?  She says no:

This space is not long enough to address the issue of ordination which carries with it the right to marry, bury, baptize, and have authority over church members. I do not believe God has called me to be ordained, but I know many women who believe He has called them. Some of these women pastor in countries where the male leadership has been decimated by persecution and imprisonment, and out of necessity they have stepped up to fill the void. (emphasis added by WIM)

What is Anne Graham Lotz called to do?  She writes about what the Lord’s commission means to her:

For me, it means going wherever God sends and giving out His Word to whomever He puts in front of me.

So if Anne Graham Lotz is not called to be ordained as a pastor and she is not ordained as an elder, then why would 800 pastors have “biblical sound concerns” to have her speak to them as an invited guest speaker?  Again CBMW’s Brent Nelson writes:

I grieve that someone in a decision-making role, did not wisely preclude a woman from speaking to a large group of pastors who chose to express their biblically sound concerns in such a shameful fashion.  The commands to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15), are equally as important to obey as the command for a woman not take spiritual authority over men. (emphasis added by WIM)

The mindset of CBMW is that women are not allowed to preach the gospel to Christian men because this constitutes taking “spiritual authority” over men.  It is only a smokescreen in this case when they say that the Bible forbids women to be pastors and elders, because this has nothing to do with Mrs. Lotz.  Anne Graham Lotz is an evangelist not a pastor or an elder, yet she is forbidden according to CBMW, to preach the good news to pastors while they can at the very same time agree that Mary was commissioned by Jesus to preach the good news to the disciples.  CBMW affirms that Jesus’ commission for Mary was a godly thing for a woman to obey.  This sleight of hand and confusing talk brings great harm to the body of Christ when women are hindered from speaking the truth of God’s word to the body of Christ.

CBMW’s answer to a woman’s preaching the gospel to Christian men is that she should be hindered, stopped and forbidden from speaking in the first place.  According to this CBMW article it would be a wise male leader who should have stood in the way of Anne Graham Lotz and prevented her from speaking the gospel to these Christian men.  CBMW lifts up the pastors who turned their backs on Mrs. Lotz as godly men who showed their biblical concern in the wrong way.  By turning their backs on Mrs. Lotz, these pastors were not preventing her from speaking to them, they were only showing a shameful action of contempt.  Would CBMW’s counsel to these pastors have them walk out en masse instead of merely turning their backs?

Apparently CBMW believes that there were two shameful actions that happened the day Anne Graham Lotz spoke to those 800 pastors.  The first shameful action was the men who turned their backs toward a godly sister in Christ.  The other “shameful” action was apparently the mere fact that Mrs. Lotz would dare to speak the gospel in the presence of Christian men and that a Christian leader would dare to allow her to speak.  CMBW’s Brent Nelson writes:

At the end of the day, it is the role of pastors and men to lead their congregations and families in understanding God’s design for the home and the church. When this kind of biblical leadership is lacking, sadly shameful things can happen. (emphasis is added by WIM)

CBMW through sleight of hand has now added to the scriptures that only men may lead Christians in the church and in the family towards understanding God’s design.  Shame on CBMW for spiritually turning their back on God’s gifted women, and thus God himself by adding to God’s word things that God never said.

Listen to what CBMW believes Christian men shouldn’t be able to hear Anne Graham Lotz preach and apparently use their CBMW-based conscience to walk out:

Anne Graham Lotz Just Give me Jesus

Pursuing More of Jesus with Anne Graham Lotz

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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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