Below is a snippet of my new blog post on my new Women in Ministry blog address. For direct access to the new blog site and the entire article, go to http://www.mmoutreach.org/wim/2016/09/17/context-is-key/ Make sure that you subscribe to the new blog address to receive any new posts.
CONTEXT is Key
Recently, I listened to a pastor describe the context of 1 Corinthians 14:34-35. I was very interested to hear what he had to say since I had never heard anyone explain the context of 1 Corinthians to show how there is support for the silencing of women. I was quite surprised when he claimed the context of 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 was 1 Timothy 2. I had heard him emphasize the importance of context, context, context many times. However, his explanation of what qualifies as context was always the same as mine. The context of a disputed verse are the verses and chapters that surround it. It is never a passage in another book. While another passage in another book can be related, it isn’t the context. So I asked him again. Could he please give the direct context from the book of 1 Corinthians that supports the silencing of women. I have not yet heard back from him, but I thought it would be a good idea to go back through the entire book of 1 Corinthians to gather all of the evidence that Paul documents for why the two verses of 1 Cor. 14:34-35 were added to his letter. I found so much more than I expected from looking at a wider context! There is way more material than I could put into one article, so I am going to try to distil the evidence into categories and then I will give a conclusion of Paul’s reasoning. I will challenge anyone who thinks I have not considered the entire context. I welcome you to bring me correction and show me the supporting context from the book of First Corinthians that defines and upholds the silencing of women in the church.
CONTEXT: The Corinthian’s Letter to Paul – Questions and Claims
1 Cor. 1:11 Paul reveals there are quarrels among the Corinthians – information passed on to him from Cloe’s people. The key purpose of the book is to deal with these conflicts and quarrels. Watch carefully throughout the book of 1 Corinthians how Paul ties in his correction with the source of the conflicts.
1 Cor. 7:1 Paul mentions a letter that the Corinthians had written to Paul. The letter from the Corinthians to Paul plus the report from Cloe’s people bring to Paul information about the quarrels.
1 Cor. 7:25 Paul moves on to another area of concern; “Now concerning” virgins.
1 Cor. 8:1 “Now concerning” things sacrificed to idols.
1 Cor 16:1 “Now concerning” the collection for the saints. All of the “now concerning” references are Paul answering what had been sent to him in writing.
Other comments that Paul makes do not directly reference the letter from the Corinthians, but they appear to answer challenges, claims or arguments. For example, 1 Cor. 6:12 says:
1 Corinthians 6:12 (NASB) All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything.
Are “all things” lawful for Paul? The negation that follows appears to be Paul’s answer to the writer of the letter who claims not to be under any law. “All things are lawful for me,” the letter says, but Paul answers “BUT NOT all things are profitable.” Again, “All things are lawful for me,” the writer concludes, but Paul answers, “BUT I will NOT be mastered by anything.” Paul’s testimony in all the churches is that we are under the “law of Christ.” We can fulfill the duty to Christ through love and service to our brother (Gal. 6:2.) Anytime a statement is made in 1 Corinthians that appears contradictory to Paul’s known position we can suspect that Paul is dealing with issues that were presented to him, for Paul does not contradict himself. The fact that Paul consistently speaks about setting aside what is good for oneself and aiming for what is helpful for others as the “common good” should tip us off that the arrogant claim that “all things are lawful” is part of the quarrel among the Corinthians.
In 2006 my DVD Women in Ministry Silenced or Set Free came out and since that time I have seen my share of scarecrows who are intent on destroying the message of women in ministry. One such scarecrow refuses to go away and it is time to create a blog post where others who have been hurt by the issue of women in ministry can share their pain. If you are a woman in ministry or a woman teacher and you have been hurt, abused or silenced and you would like to share a short story, this is the post for you to share with us. I will moderate the comments so that any scarecrow/troll who would like to sound off against women in ministry will either have their comments moderated or removed. This is a safe place where those who are like-minded can encourage you as there are many who come to this community of loving Christians who value the worth and ministry of women.
The reason I named this post Stubble, Straw and Scarecrows is because those who are vehemently opposed to women’s gifts used for the common good are planting chaff and their words are nothing more than stubble and straw. Stubble, straw and scarecrows are not God’s tools nor are they things to be afraid of. We are to fear God and allow Him to decide what gifts we receive for the fact is that the gift we receive from God comes with His permission to use His gift for God’s glory and the common good (1 Peter 4:11). No man can give us spiritual gifts and no man may kill God’s gifts within us. We are accountable to God and we must be faithful with what God has given us rather than holding back because of the fear of man.
Phil Johnson over at Pyromaniacshas struck up some heat on a post that he titles “The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of the Discernment Divas”. In this post and in his subsequent comments he makes his position plain that women are not allowed to publicly point out error of a “duly ordained pastor”. Phil classifies many “housewives and homeschool moms” as bad discerners who are discernment divas. These “divas” believe that God has called them into a ministry of discernment but their abilities are not in rational understanding of doctrinal truth but an ability “to use a really sharp tongue” which Phil says is counter productive and embarrassing. Phil doesn’t seem to mind that this may offend a lot of women as he tells Friel that he is a descendent of the John Knox clan. It was John Knox who offended more than a few when he wrote the book The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women in 1558. In this book, Knox wrote that women compared to men were blind, weak, sick, impotent, mad, frenetic and their counsel is foolish. …
In a recent blog post there has been some discussion on 1 Timothy 2:11, 12 in the comment section, and the question of whether “a woman” is generic woman or a specific woman. I always appreciate questions and challenges on my position as it continually pushes me to continue to do research in order to answer the questions that are posed to me.
The question that was posed to me was regarding “a woman” and whether there is any proof that she is a particular woman that Timothy was aware of. The reason the question was asked is because in 1 Timothy 2:14 “the woman” is referenced and it is clear from the grammar that this is not Eve because “the woman” is still in the after effects of her transgression and her deception and since Eve is dead, her transgression is not on-going. A similar situation is in 1 Timothy 2:15 where “she” will be saved…if… The grammar is future tense and again it is impossible for this to be Eve as Eve is dead and gone and her salvation cannot be in the future and conditional. …
In our continuing topic of common objections to women in ministry, the objection is raised that women cannot have authority in the church since wives are under their husband’s authority. The concern is that if women had leadership roles in the church, then their leadership role would be in submission to their own husbands. So instead of women making individual decisions, their husbands would be the ones making the decisions for them and the wives would be obligated to obey.
The objection comes from the theory that the husband is the ruler of the wife so that any decision she would make in a leadership role outside the home would come under his control. In essence it is believed that women’s leadership in the church would result in their own husbands leading through their wives and how would that look if he was an unbeliever? …
According to those who have been followed a trail left by our old friend Neopatriarch (who many of you may recall was the young complementarian who used to post challenges on this blog until he left in exasperation when his arguments didn’t make the grade), he has apparently been presently himself recently on several discussion boards as the one who has refuted my exegesis of 1 Timothy 2:11-15. How interesting that he has been refuted time and time again and is still claiming victory. Also how interesting that he has picked me as the one who has the exegesis that has to be refuted. Well, I am quite flattered by all of his attention, and even though he is undoubtedly a very intelligent young man, his attempts to refute my sound argument have only called attention to my argument. I guess I should say thanks. …
How is it that there are millions of Christians who all look to the same Genesis account yet find themselves with different and contradictory truth claims from the same account? While many conclude that man was designed in a special way that sets him above the woman with special God-given privileges, there are still many others who conclude that God created both man and woman as equal rulers over creation. We all need to be careful that we don’t just see what we want to see because there is a tendency for each one of us to read our own position into the account. But as Christians we should desire to value truth above all else for it is God’s design that we want to discover, not mankind’s aberration of God’s design.
As we search diligently in the creation account in Genesis, we look for how God conveyed His design differences to the attention of the first man and woman. Did the man know that he had been designed differently? Did he know that his design gave him special privileges that were withheld from his wife because she did not have the same design? And was it conveyed to Eve that she was not on the same level as Adam? According to Ray Ortlund, God gave the man a special mission and a special “call” to accomplish and the woman had a special mission to please him. …
This post is the second part in a “first” for Women in Ministry blog. I have never before taken the writing of a complementarian and posted it on my blog. However in order to facilitate dialog, I have agreed to post Mark’s articles so that we can have a jolly good discussion/debate with those who care to participate on the issue of what “head” means. The first part of Mark’s article dealing with the context of 1 Corinthians 11 is here. These posts are actually a carry forward from a previous postthat had a lot of good discussion regarding my youtube videos on the issue of women in ministry. If you would like to get a good idea of where this discussion comes from, I refer you back to the post called Women on Trial.
I am creating a new post to continue the great discussion that we have been having on a previous post while I am out of the country. The original discussion is on this post http://mmoutreach.org/wim/2009/07/05/wayne-grudem-part-2/ and since we have grown to over 240 comments, I would ask that we continue our discussions with Mark the complementarian here.
Neopatriarch has taken a second stab at trying to refute my teaching on 1 Timothy 2:11-15 as he has rewritten his article. Once again he has failed to poke a hole in my argument but this time he has dropped the charge that I am exasperating. Good for Neopatriarch for taking a much kinder tone in his introduction! He nows calls it his “canned response”. From reading the comments, it appears that Neopatriarch has come to the understanding that brothers and sisters in Christ can argue their position passionately without attacking the other person’s character and their motives. This is certainly a change in his approach and I commend him for that. …
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. …
In the last blog post Cheryl Schatz posed her fifth 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 #5 and Mike’s rejoinder. Mike’s matching blog post is here. …
This is question #5 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.
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.
This is question #2 of a 10 question discussion/debate between Mike Seaver and 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.
Last post Mike Seaver and Cheryl Schatz started a discussion/debate on women in ministry. Here is a link to Cheryl’s Question #1given to Mike. This post will be Cheryl’s response to Mike’s answers and Mike’s response to Cheryl’s response. Mike’s corresponding post on his Role Calling blog is here.
Today is the first post of a discussion between Mike Seaver and 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. The format will be as follows: …
This is the part 6 of answering Wayne Grudem’s “Open letter to Egalitarians” and his “Six Questions That Have Never Been Satisfactorily Answered”. Today I am posting his sixth question, Suzanne McCarthy’s answer and my own questions below that.
This is the part 5 of answering Wayne Grudem’s “Open letter to Egalitarians” and his “Six Questions That Have Never Been Satisfactorily Answered”. Today I am posting his fifth question, Suzanne McCarthy’s answer from the Greek and my own questions below that. My blog does not yet have the ability for me to use the Greek fonts so I have included a link to Suzanne’s article that has the Greek.
This is the part 4 of answering Wayne Grudem’s “Open letter to Egalitarians” and his “Six Questions That Have Never Been Satisfactorily Answered”. Today I am posting his fourth question, Suzanne McCarthy’s answer from the Greek and my own questions below that. My blog does not yet have the ability for me to use the Greek fonts so I have included a link to Suzanne’s article that has the Greek.
In 1998 Wayne Grudem wrote “An Open Letter to Egalitarians” and in the letter he gave six questions that he said have never been satisfactorily answered.
This is the first in a six part set of posts addressing Mr. Grudem’s questions.
First of all I will reprint the “Open Letter” that is found on Mike Seaver’s Role Calling blog. Right after that comes the refutation of Mr. Grudem’s question #1 by Suzanne McCarthy and after that I pose my own question to Complementarians on the error of their teaching that there is an eternal subordination in the nature of the Trinity. …
Some have wondered why “Chris” the complementarian stopped posting here. Apparently, he could not get his refutation of my work to stand in an interactive forum so he moved it over to a place where he could have the floor to himself. He has posted a claim that he has refuted me in his post called A Refutation of Cheryl Schatz on 1 Timothy 2:12.
Chris is now posting under the name Neopatriarch, and he describes his post as filling a need for those who are exasperated with me and my “associates.” (Paula I think he is referring to your excellent refutation of his logical fallacies.) This gives me an opportunity to examine Chris’ (aka Neopatriarch) claims that he has “refuted” me. Let’s have a look to see if what he has to say is worthy of his lofty claims.…
The charge is often laid that egalitarians twist the scriptures. I would like to apply a saying that I read recently. Here it is:
(Complementarians) are quick to accuse of foul play but there are no rules that they have to follow.
What egalitarians are trying so hard to do is interpret scripture with scripture and take the full context instead of isolating scriptures from their context. Let’s see if complementarians play by the same rules or if they hold themselves as exempt from their own rules.
1. 1 Timothy 2:11-15 is used as a general principle that forbids godly Christian women from using their God-given gifts for the benefit of their Christian brothers. If this is true as complementarians assert it is, can you please tell me why Paul uses singular and a plural grammar in verse 15? Who is the “she” who will be saved in the future if “they” continue on in faith, love, holiness and self control? Isn’t it a twist to ignore the specific grammar of verse 15 which is the conclusion to the prohibition? How can we know who Paul is prohibiting in verse 12 if we do not know who the “she” and “they” are in verse 15? …