Semigalitariansim, undercover enemy and "feminist air"

Semigalitariansim, undercover enemy and "feminist air"

fight-7-cheryl-schatz

 

Semigalitarianism, Undercover Enemy and “feminist air”

When does explaining God’s Word make one an enemy of the church?  According to Mike Seaver, a woman who is allowed to teach the Word of God to men, even if she is under the authority of her husband and even if she has received authority from her pastor to teach the Bible (and assuming her pastor is monitoring her teaching), is like a drunken adulterer ministering to God’s people.  [Mike Seaver has written a blog post at CBMW identifying the issue of women teaching the bible to men as the undercover enemy of the church.  Mike is a pastor at CrossWay Community Church in Charlotte, North Carolina and regularly posts at Role Calling see his original article here.]

According to Seaver the church has been breathing “feminist air” and this has caused many churches to become “semigalitarian”.  [According to Seaver, semigalitarianism is defined as those people (both men and women) who say that a woman should not be allowed to preach in a church on her own authority, but if she claims to be under the authority of her senior pastor (who is a man) and under the authority of her husband (who is obviously a man) then it is okay for her to teach men in the church.]  But while Seaver is complaining of “feminist air”, he has unwittingly become infected with a “disease” that allows Christians to see passages of scripture as “clear” (1 Timothy 2:12-13) instead of as a complex passage in its complete context (1 Timothy 2:11-15).

The attitude of identifying godly women as enemies of the church is clearly an aggressive stand equating a woman explaining the meaning of the scriptures with a drunken adulterer.  It reminds me of the prejudiced view of the Orthodox Jews who believe that only men are allowed to touch the Torah.

torah7-Cheryl-Schatz on Women in Ministry

 

Apparently touching the Bible by giving an explanation of the meaning of a passage now makes one an “undercover enemy.”  How far has the church fallen that some feel free to attack our sisters in Christ identifying them as enemies?  Notice that Seaver says nothing about whether the woman’s teaching is correct or not.  He is lumping true Bible teaching in with error because it is the vessel which is the enemy, not the words that she speaks.  It is the mere fact that she would touch the Word of God in public that makes her an enemy.  This is the same tradition of the Pharisees who added a restriction on the teaching of God’s Word.

Seavers goes on to say:

Semigalitarianism (Semi-Egalitarianism) is taking place all over the United States in churches that claim to believe in the Inerrancy of Scripture, but they seem to make an assumption that they can declare who has authority in the church to teach.

It is the Word of God that has given the body of Christ authority to operate in our gifts.  Who dares to claim to have the authority to deny gifted members of the body of Christ who are living in union with Christ, the permission to teach?  Seavers appears to be one of the elite group of males who can deny permission:

There is one major problem to this position. It is 1 Timothy 2:12-13where the Apostle Paul says, “I do not permit a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first and then Eve.” You see, this verse is in the Bible and to neglect this verse is to disobey the Bible and to disobey the Bible is to disobey the God of the Bible. The church is never given the right to say someone has authority to teach when the Bible says the exact opposite.

Let’s test Mike Seaver’s words and see if they match up with the Bible.

1.  Mr. Seaver has taken two verses out of their context and added a meaning that is not there.  Where does the Bible say that women, in general, are not given permission to teach the Bible?

2.  How is it possible in the male patriarchial view for women to teach other women without a male supervising these women teachers thus there must be at least some men who are required to listen to women teach?  How does this fit in with 1 Timothy 2:12?

3.  Where is the idea that a woman is not allowed to teach the Bible given a second or third witness in the scripture?  Why is every general prohibition repeated in the scriptures but the prohibition of women teaching the bible has no second witness?

4.  Doesn’t the direct permission given by Paul allowing every member to prophesy (so that all may learn from them), contradict an assumed and unconfirmed prohibition against godly Christian women’s permission to explain the Bible?  Doesn’t ignoring Paul’s authority to allow women to teach in the assembly mean that one is disobeying the Bible and disobeying the God of the Bible?

1 Corinthians 14:31  For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all may be exhorted;

5.  Doesn’t Paul’s permission for all to speak and prophesy in the convicting power of the Holy Spirit override any man-made rule that prohibits women from explaining God’s Words from the Bible?

1 Corinthians 14:23  Therefore if the whole church assembles together and all speak in tongues, and ungifted men or unbelievers enter, will they not say that you are mad?

1 Corinthians 14:24  But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an ungifted man enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all;

Mike Seaver goes on to give his opinion about the clearness of the prohibition:

If we start trying to reinterpret one passage of Scripture, what stops us from reinterpreting the rest of it? The problem with Semigalitarianism is not just that it has females teaching men in a Sunday School class or from the pulpit, it is that it is ignoring a clear biblical passage.

Is this passage really “clear”?  If it is so clear to Mike Seaver, then I wonder why he stopped with verse 13?   The passage is connected by the words “for” “and” “but” and “if”, so that the thought doesn’t end until verse 15.  Why would Mike Seaver state that this passage is so “clear” when verse 15 is considered to be one of the hardest passages of scripture to understand?  Why would he state so confidently that this passage is “clear” yet ignore the completion of the passage in verse 15 that the church at large has grappled with for several thousand years not able to come to a consensus on what it means without the interpretations contradicting other “clear” bible passages?  If Mike Seaver thinks that this bible passage is so “clear” then perhaps he should present his interpretation of verse 15 which is written as the conclusion of the prohibition.  The fact that he must remove verse 15 before he declares the passage to be “clear.” This is a “clear” sign that he is twisting the passage himself removing the result that Paul expects from his prohibition in verse 12.  If Mr. Seaver is reading this, I challenge him to show me his “clear” interpretation of verse 15 and explain to all of us how verse 15 fits neatly into Paul’s prohibition.

I know many women who are excellent teachers (my wife being one of them) and they are to use their gifts to teach other women (Titus 2) and to care for their children, but there is a distinct absence in the Bible of a man promoting something opposite from what Paul says in 1 Timothy 2:12-13.

Mr. Seaver has interpreted 1 Timothy 2:12-13 out of its complete context in order to assert that men are not allowed to listen to women teaching the Bible.  If that is the case, then there can be no male overseers for the entire congregation (incuding women) since no man would be allowed to listen and judge what a woman is teaching in order to correct her.  Is he really saying that no overseer is allowed to listen to the insights from Scripture that a woman brings?  Then no male overseer can manage the household of God since they are restricted from listening to women teach.  We are left with a hopeless contradiction when we apply Mr. Seaver “undercover enemy” teaching.

Mr. Seaver sums up his article:

So here are some questions we must ask…because I think a lot of my conservative friends have not even thought through this issue.

Can a woman be a senior pastor in a church?
Can a woman teach in a church?
Can a woman teach men in a church?
Can a woman teach in the church if she is under the authority of the senior pastor and her husband?

When we step outside of the feminist air that we breathe everyday and into an honest look at what God’s Word says, I don’t think the answer is really that hard.

Notice that Mike Seaver says that there is an “answer” (singular) to these questions.  Apparently, his answer to these questions is a “clear” no.  But the questions have been skewed since “church” is never defined as a building in the scriptures and the term “senior pastor” is not a biblical term.  Instead of the questions Mr. Seavers asks, let’s see how these questions should be asked from a biblical perspective.

1.  Can a woman be an overseer protecting the body of Christ? (In 1 Timothy 3:1 the term is “anyone” not “any male” aspires or seeks)

2.  Can a woman teach the body of Christ?  (1 Corinthians 14:23, 31 in the assembly “all” may provide for the learning of the assembly)

3.  Can a woman teach men in the body of Christ?  (Acts 18:26 Priscilla not only taught the teacher Apollos but she corrected his errors implying that in this instance Priscilla did the work of an overseer instructing and correcting)

4.  Can a woman teach in the body of Christ if she is under the authority of an overseer and in the presence of her husband?  (There is no such prohibition in the scriptures that would disallow a woman presenting correct biblical understanding and if so Priscilla would have been chastized for disobeying God and scripture.  In addition, overseers are there to protect the body from error.  They are not to stop gifted individuals from using their gifts.)

I believe that the charge that godly Christian women who explain the Scriptures to the general assembly is an act of an “undercover enemy” is both divisive and is in direct contradiction to God’s Word that gives permission for all to prophesy from God’s word so that all may learn.

I also believe that Mr. Seaver has been influenced to be prejudiced against his sisters in Christ and that he hasn’t thoroughly thought through these issues.  The church has worked through their prejudice against Gentiles and slaves.  It took a long time to set aside the pride that some thought that they were more equal than others.  I believe that the Holy Spirit is working in the church today to bring the bride of Christ together without spot and wrinkle.  The teaching that women cannot teach the full body of Christ must be laid aside as it fails the scriptural test of truth.  The sooner that these men embrace their sisters in Christ, the sooner we can become one body without divisions.

cooties on Women in Ministry by Cheryl Schatz

103 thoughts on “Semigalitariansim, undercover enemy and "feminist air"

  1. It seems that some little boys still think girls have cooties. Only now, you can catch them even by breathing instead of just touching.

    Wow.

  2. Paula,
    That is what I thought of first and why my graphic seems to have “cooties”. But the term “uncover enemy” seems to place Seaver’s comments into a more sinister light. I wonder how he can worship the Lord Jesus while at the same time attack part of the Lord’s body as if these women are a disease? I am hoping that men and women who read these very unkind words towards women will finally have their eyes opened to the “fruit” of this movement. These men have become very nasty in their attacks on Christian women.

  3. I wonder if Mr. Seaver can explain to us why there is a new prohibition on women teaching men in the NT since there was not one in the OT. That just does not make sense.

  4. I looked up Mr. Seavers profile and found this:

    I completed the Pastors College for Sovereign Grace Ministries in Gaithersburg, Maryland

    Which explains it all. If you are not familiar with SGM churches, I would encourage you all to visit http://www.sgmsurvivors.com/ and read through the many blog posts there from SGM survivors of their patriarchal and legalistic teaching. There are some very sad blog posts of about sexual peversion being swept under the rug by the leaders (they call their leaders “Apostles”)

    Do some research on the root of SGM churches. It is descended from the Shepherding Movement and “People of Destiny”.

    It is a cult, folks. Just ask the survivors who got out.

    Mr. Seavers looks to be about 20.

  5. Lin, thanks for the info.

    I too thought that Mr. Seavers looks around 20ish. He doesn’t look old enough to speak so confidently about women teachers. Perhaps he has just been breathing out CBMW “air” to use his own term.

  6. Once again Cheryl, it would appear that your blog (and others too) is beginning to cause questions to be asked in churches far and wide.

    Why else would Seavers and others who hold to patriarchal doctrine step up their vehemence in support of it?

  7. Mike has been very open to dialogue in the past. I think it is best to include people in dialogue if at all possible. Some turn down dialogue of course, but I am not sure that Mike would.

  8. Greg,
    I have been shocked to see the aggressive stand taken in the last few years of comps toward egalitarians. I cannot account for the vitriol except that it appears that they are just living out their stand. This stand separates believers and identifies those who do not agree with them as “enemies”.

    Sue,
    I have posted on Mike’s blog post and it is under moderation right now. I have offered for him to come here and dialog. His public statements certainly speak for themselves, but I would welcome him as a brother in Christ should he stop by my blog. Thanks for the suggestion.

  9. This stand separates believers and identifies those who do not agree with them as “enemies”.

    There is a little more subtle but equally disturbing trend in less aggressive churches. That is to call anyone who disagrees with the pastor or the leadership “divisive”. As you might easily guess, that label has been used against me and I have been marginalized within my own church. What is inexplicable is that my wife gets labelled on a par with me. If you knew her, you would be shocked because she is anything but divisive. But she has taken the unfortunate step of agreeing with me, and so she is pushed out as well.

    In a sense I pity these misguided friends. When you make your brothers and sisters your enemies, who do you have left? Of course, they would claim “God is on our side”. Somehow, the angst they are going through is not exactly the “peace which passes all understanding” that I believe God’s followers are supposed to experience.

  10. I grew up in a community with a similar view. Only I was told I was under the influence of Satan rather than that I was like a drunken adulterer.

    It is impossible to go through life without being influenced by the lives of other people and by their attitudes. And this is certainly ‘teaching’ in its most profound form. Therefore all men have been ‘taught’ by women in some form or other.

    For most people, it is our mother’s teaching by word, deed and example that will stick with us most tenaciously into adulthood. Christian mothers teach their sons to pray, to read the bible and right from wrong. These teachings are certainly with them in adulthood and therefore these Christian men have been taught by women, even if they think that they have not.

    Christian men will be most certainly taught by their wives, even if all these male-headship principles are applied. The only way for a man to stay ‘pure’ from the teachings of women would be to be whisked off to an all-male environment at birth and live there for the rest of his life in a highly censored environment.

  11. Seaver’s comment that “they seem to make an assumption that they can declare who has the authority in the church to teach…” truly makes me laugh! Is he not doing the very same thing-assuming he can declare-based on his interpretation of scripture-who has the authority in the church to teach?????

    I have breathed comp air long enough to know that when it is coming from them, it is ‘the biblical view’ but when it comes from others with whom they disagree, it is ‘their sinful view’. There ain’t no winnin’ for losin’ with that kind of thinking.

    I also know that comps-some-will explain away each and every verse that seems to contradict their own often by forcing it into a narrow time capsule. For example, the four daughters who prophesied…”Well, that was in the book of Acts and we know that was just the time period when the new church was being established, when sign miracles and such were being used to get the church off the ground, that isn’t for now.” On and on it goes. I know because I have heard it.

    One day, in complete ungodly exasperation, I blurted out that ‘THAT isn’t even logical!” to some cockamamie ‘biblical’ explanation I had just heard. To that I was told-get this-“Well God ISN’T logical. His ways are beyond our ways. The foolishness of God is greater than the wisdom of man.”

    If that isn’t the absolutely best ‘get out of jam free’ card that a comp could have in his pocket, I don’t know what is! I can hear it now, ‘Buy a hundred and give them to all your friends!” So now, there is no more rightly dividing the word of truth because how can we know anyway? So, how can comps know? If they think their thinking makes ‘sense’ in light of what the bible says, and yet out the other side of the mouth they can say that sometimes God is illogical, then how in the blight can THEY be sure that what THEY are claiming is biblical and true and right and swearworthy and apple pie and baseball and all-American and true blue and ??????????

    The Holy Spirit truly has to look for a hole in their armour and work the light of truth into their thinking through that opening, however tiny it may at first be. To that end I pray, and only occasionally open my mouth to let out deadly feminine vapors. Maybe now, it would be ok for women to preach and let out ‘airs’ if comp men covered their noses-not heads-with gas masks.

    Sorry, I had to get that out. None of this is truly funny because it is doing so MUCH harm to so many individuals and groups. The notion of ‘mild’ compism being any better than hard-core is a misnomer, too. Oppression is oppression, no matter how thin the slice. “Would you like a thick or a thin slice of poison with your ice cream, ma’am?” Just give me the ice cream.

  12. “The notion of ‘mild’ compism being any better than hard-core is a misnomer, too. Oppression is oppression, no matter how thin the slice. “Would you like a thick or a thin slice of poison with your ice cream, ma’am?” Just give me the ice cream.”

    Agreed.

    Like I will forever keep saying, “give me the facts and PROOFS”! Hehe, cause they have none.

  13. It’s just like someone (probably one of you here) said once: it’s to the point we will be required to shout “Unclean!” when we are near “Christian” men!

  14. Lin, woman vapors smell far better than man vapors any old day.

    And Paula, woman is a step removed from the dirt Adam was assembled from. So any shouts of “unclean!” really wouldn’t make all that much sense.

  15. Yer on a “role”, Greg! 😛

    But… in the land of Patriarchy, up is down and left is right, so dirty is clean. See?

  16. This reminds me of a guy I was reading the other day on another blog who was on a roll on this subject:

    He kept telling the hard core comp guys that they could not possibly allow their ‘easily deceived’ wives to be teaching their children! I mean, kids believe anything so that is not safe at all. And if the husband is at work, he won’t catch it until too late.

    And if the women teach other women ,who are also easily deceived, then it is the ‘deceived teaching the deceived’ which can only compound the deception and put error upon error . So, their prohibitions do not make sense.

    It would make MORE sense for women to teach men, who we all know are like Adam, and NOT easily deceived….. but wait! If we do that then they will lead the easily deceived woman into sin because ALL men, like Adam, are more prone to willfully sin with their eyes wide open.

    Oh dear.

  17. Paula, if we just start asking the hard questions from the other end, it becomes obvious. I mean seriously, if they think (like Driscoll teaches) that 1 Tim prohibits ALL women from teaching men for all time because they are easily deceived then why on earth would they want them NEAR the kids and other women? And that would mean that, likewise, men are more prone to willfully sin, like Adam, so that means they make horrible leaders for women who are easily deceived.

    The other question we need to ask is at what age do women have to stop teaching young men. If you think about, it in NT days, a boy became a young male at 12. So do we adapt that age or do we up the age because our culture is different?

    Cheryl asked:

    “Can a woman teach in the church if she is under the authority of the senior pastor and her husband?”

    I remember reading about one church that allowed a video tape of a woman teaching but she could not personally stand on the stage and teach. No, that would be sin.

    Hey, does anyone know if Lydia had a pulpit in her living room? :o)

    And who was the senior pastor at the church in Corinth? Inquiring minds want to know…

  18. You guys are all funny! Humor is a blessing in a land dark with curses! Paula, rue the day, though we may see it, when we have to shout unclean. Good point, though! I am surprised it hasn’t happened somewhere yet. Religious practice in so many places has truly taken on the likeness of Islamic practice, hasn’t it? All the hush-hushing of women and concern for their proper covering! I bet the lepers preferred to be outside the camp in their own community. I bet they didn’t rag on each other there! At least not for being lepers.

  19. Glad to brighten your day, Stickler!

    Lin, you know what response we’d get: “You just don’t understand. You’re deceived. You can’t grasp the deep things of God.” Etc. etc. etc.

  20. Lin, #22, I have asked those very questions of and posed the same scenarios for comps and all I am told is that God is the one who established roles and rules, so even if they don’t make sense, we abide by them because God said so. I agree, though. If women are such stupid contaminants, why let them loose with the children when they are in their putty stage? And why on earth have give the power to teach to the wolf-natured men?! Oh, howl me a cry of foul!!!!!!

  21. There once was a comp man named Howell
    Who, when challenged, would always cry “foul!”
    But hard truths never fazed him
    For which his friends praised him
    And Truth had to throw in the towel.

  22. Paula, that is great!!!! Oh, to be able to storm the comp camps and raise ‘howl’ in the name of truth to set the captives free!

  23. ” have asked those very questions of and posed the same scenarios for comps and all I am told is that God is the one who established roles and rules, so even if they don’t make sense, we abide by them because God said so.”

    Ok, this answer makes me nuts. Where oh where do I find the specific roles. I mean it is confusing. In Titus, I am told to stay home but I can’t. I HAVE to go to the grocery. But wait, If only I could have servants like the Proverbs 31 woman, I could send them UNLESS…they are women! But then, the proverbs 31 woman did not stay home, she was busy buying businesses and selling stuff.

    So what is my ‘role’? Business woman? Stay at home mom? I know! If you were in the OC, you could have a business. If you are in the NC, you gotta stay at home.

  24. See, Lin? You mixed up Titus and Timothy so you can’t talk about spiritual things. Except to us ignernt wimmin. And our kids. The boys of whom will transmorgify into undeceived emitters of the Magical Umbrella when they reach puberty.

  25. “See, Lin? You mixed up Titus and Timothy so you can’t talk about spiritual things.”

    Dagnabit! I had my one big chance and ruined it.

    BTW: Ya’ll think if we make a list of ‘roles’ for women from the CBMW site they would contradict one another at any point?

    For example: Piper says we CAN give men driving directions IF we do not presume to teach them. But he never states how this is done exactly.

    Example: This is only a suggestion but if you WANT, you could turn right at the next light and find the wal mart.

    He also states that we can supervise men in the workplace IF we do not order them around. We are to make ‘suggestions’. BUT, they also said it was OK for Sarah Palin to be VP. So, should we have a VP that can ONLY make suggestions to her male staff?

    Um, excuse me, Joe. But would you mind terribly resigning? I am afraid I am not allowed to fire you.

  26. Interesting. I wonder how that would work with males who teach falsehood?

    “Oh, Mr. Denominational Bigwig, I never taught that we can be saved by painting the pastor’s house and mowing his lawn. I only suggested those things.”

  27. Tee Hee…

    We are having way too much fun. But these ARE important questions for the great theologians of our time. :o)

  28. Lin and Paula, I had to be gone for a few hours and it looks like I missed your fun!! LOL #s 30-34!!! Lin, those answers make me nuts, too. Yes, we are having much-needed fun, but it is precisely these glaring inconsistencies that are at the heart of the impossibility of the practical working out of what comps teach. Comps don’t even agree on what is included in roles and prohibitions so if that doesn’t prove that the basis for their teaching is as clear as mud, I don’t know what does!

    What I think is that there is a prime opportunity here for a DVD spoof, albeit with as much respectful humor as is feasible, that reveals the utter impossibility of ever implementing comp teaching.

    Isn’t it an absolute Howell to try to imagine how one would influence a husband to drive correctly without teaching them?! What do we do, stage an incident wherein we experience a timely and strategic sway or fall upon the targeted arm of said errant husband thus importuning him to turn in the correct direction?!!!! Or, perhaps it would be allowable if we adopted a deep voice for the above-mentioned instructional-yet-non-instructional goal.

    It is just insane. A case of the Emperor’s new clothes.

  29. I would like to dialouge with Mike if he does decide to show. Hopefully he will.

    While waiting, if anyone is interested, Denny Burke is making “alphabet soup” on his post, “Scot McKnight’s Question about Headship” at his blog.

  30. Paula #27 – Thumbs Up!!! Cheryl, you should have an all limeric thread for comic relief.

    Of course, you ladies are having maybe a pinch too much fun at the expense of us men. I’m feeling very intimidated :O. (I hope that smiley came out right)

    I’m curious what people have experienced more of from comp adherants in terms of roles – what women’s roles are or what men’s roles are (which of course would, by default, also define women’s roles). My experience has been mostly male focused – “a true ‘head’ of the house makes the money”, etc. The passage which male focused “role” delegation often turns to, especially regarding “providing”, is 1 Timothy 5:8 – “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” (KJV). I don’t know if Cheryl has ever addressed that one – again, it is a little off topic for this blog – but it is one of the grossest cases of cherry picking and context abandonment I have ever seen.

    More to my question, do y’all experience more people trying to put women “in their place” or elevate men to their thrones?

  31. truthseeker,

    On your “clear as mud”… hehe

    What’s the basis for their teachings in church and in home?
    What IS the fundamental, very bottom? The bottome is that “Adam was created first then Eve.” It (creation order) is the very reason why Paul meant “women” when he wrote the singular “woman” in 1 Tim 2. This is because “Adam was created first in Eden, then Eve” means that only males are to teach, and have authority (be leaders) in church buildings. It is also the very reason why Paul meant “authority over” when he wrote that the husband is the “head of” the wife. See how easy it is to see that creation order means those two things?

    Male dominance in the church and home, like when wearing wearing 3d glasses, appear out of those words we read on creation order. No, it’s not secret knowledge at all not with mud in the eye!

  32. “More to my question, do y’all experience more people trying to put women “in their place” or elevate men to their thrones?”

    Excellent question. In my experience marketing a zillion comp seminars, etc, I found that the focus was mainly on women. The reason could be because women are the market for comp products..they buy the conf tickets, books, DVD’s, etc., as women are the biggest consumer of all products including Christian. But the effect is to elevate men and they don’t seem to have a problem with that.

    They usually say they do not know why God made it like that but that is the way it is and pretend like it is a cross they have to bear.

  33. http://42.blogs.warnock.me.uk/2009/06/are-women-the-enemy.html

    “Are women the enemy?
    When I wrote 42: There are no ladies in our Church some people were unhappy about my standing against Mike Seaver of Role “Calling” see for example this comment by Tom.

    But now I have found a much older post by Mike: Role Calling: Semigalitariansim: The Church’s Undercover Enemy it dates from September 2007…”

  34. gengwall, #38, in my short time in a comp church, and still married to one, I saw in the church more teaching from the pulpit (read ‘pulpit’ here with a Forrest Gump accent. It does the word justice.) about men being good leaders. I think women get their instruction more from a swift kick to the shins under the table. One woman, a lady in her early seventies, and part of the senior group, shared with me that she had written a piece about the function and purpose that the elderly can fulfill in the church. She had hoped to share (not preach) it at their next gathering. An official male elder to whom she innocently revealed her plan, asked her to have her husband share it. Though she told me she didn’t want at all to be divisive, she was nonetheless puzzled since God had given her the idea, not her husband. I understand it was never read, BTW.

    At this particular church, women-only classes focused on teaching women their proper place. Dutiful wives of elders were the only women allowed to teach these classes.

  35. Paula, that’s it! 🙂 I did go read what Dave wrote on his site (per #42-thanks Stickler!) and he makes very good points. Your point about the fact that what one believes on the issue of patriarchy is not something to just give a passing nod to is right on. Comps often do say that we should be happy they are bringing new converts into the kingdom, etc., so why all the fuss about what they teach about compism. I have heard that first hand from church members. Yet, as you and Dave pointed out, this particular teaching, if false, has huge ramifications, and as you pointed out, if one is choosing or teaching the kind of submission that comps teach, is it not promoting the sin of wrongful allegiance to a lord other than Christ? Our spouses and church elders are not to be our lords. Therefore, if it is actual false teaching and sinful, it DOES need to be addressed and is NO light matter. After all, we certainly see Paul in the N.T. getting serious about false teaching.

    What people are being converted to is a serious matter. And may well include ‘lesser doctrines’ such as patriarchy that may be tucked in the saddle bags. If they are so unimportant, then why does it become a big deal when someone chooses to question the patriarchal belief or practices within a comp church? It’s like stomping on the ground next to an ant hill. The little ants don’t just stay underground, calmly knitting sweaters or whatever they do under there. No, they come RUNNING!

  36. Lin, #40, that is amazing, isn’t it? The women are the biggest consumers of comp goods. That is like frogs adding firewood to the fire under their own kettle. This begs the question: why do women do it?

  37. Dave Warnock raises another hot button question which I have wondered about, and that is how much influence does comp teaching have on the fact that so many men within their congregations struggle with sexual sins. I have know a good number of secular men who have no problem maintaining purity within their marriages. Yep, that’s right. Downright ‘pagans’ who aren’t flooded with ill passions. Is it, as Dave suggested, because they aren’t trying to force their women into such disrespectful ‘roles’ or positions as semi-mindless beings?

  38. Cheryl, somewhere recently on your site, you mentioned you might need to address the issue of ‘head’ within marriages in more depth. I think that would be extremely valuable since I have encountered-in my church search-a number of pastors who espouse egalitarian views of women in ministry but still cling to ‘man as king’ or leader-head within the marriage. They more typically have a definition of ‘man as head at home’ that can be summed up as ‘chief rubber stamper of big decisions’ but it is still oppression and still, I believe, from examining things, unbiblical. It still forces women to be spiritual and relational thumbsuckers-albeit the biggest and oldest thumbsuckers-in their marriage/family.

  39. does comp teaching have on the fact that so many men within their congregations struggle with sexual sins.

    I’m not necessarily sure this is true. What I mean is that sexual sins including adultary and pornography but even lesser sins of oggling and immodest behavior are rampant throughout the entire church body. I do not believe either the comp or egal camps are immune. And of course, although there are certainly virtuous men in all circles of life, the statistics show amazing (and distrubing) uniformity of sexual sins across all demographic sectors.

    1 Corinthians 7 is another great passage which may enjoy some play here in the future. I don’t know if there any other place in scripture where equality within marriage is more stressed than in the bedroom. Now, that doesn’t mean everyone in every kind of congregation studies 1 Cor 7. But it is there.

    I know many feminists have long argued either that Christians en mass are sexually repressed (hardly true!) or that Christian men hold their wives as sex slaves. I suppose there could be a tendancy for the latter in comp marriages, but I have no evidence that that is true. As far as I know, comp men are just as likely or not to have good sexual relationships with their wives, even if the rest of the relationship sucks. But I don’t know. Again, I would be interested if someone has a study which looked at this issue.

    One thing I do think that is fairly widespread is the unhealthy view of sexuality within more conservative or traditional families and churches. That is a shame. Again, if those types of churches are predominantly comp, there may be problems with withholding of sex and the subsequent sinful acting out on the part of the men. Again – no evidence, just speculating.

  40. #51-quite true, gengwall, and I should not have been so hasty to suggest painting with a broad brush. I, too, had in mind more the subset of strict, conservative, patriarchal marriages and churches. And admit, as well, that I have no stats to back up anything.

  41. Truthseeker,
    my Dear Hubby doesnt think he believes in male rule, but its pretty engrained in his thinking. The pastor (DH’s brother in-law) that married us was at our house playing cards with us, and when my bid was different than my DH, our brother in-law quickly reproved me with “wives submit to your husbands” o_o. My DH didnt even notice that I was basically being told by a [[[guest]]] to shut up and obey. I knew I was going to have to prepare myself if there is another visit from our brother in-law and prepare myself with prayer in response to my DH’s not even understanding why that is extremely degrading.

  42. Rejoice, I believe you and I understand! How do you explain the feeling of degradation such male rule teaching-even in its ‘mildest’ form-produces? I am told by some comps-even a woman once-that it is incredible that a woman wouldn’t love the position of being treated like a queen-protected and honored (though in a limited role-my addition).

  43. My wife and I just had meals with both sets of parents for Father’s day – lunch with hers and supper with my. It was wonderful as always to get three generations of family together. With my wife’s family, the conversation just happened to turn to men, masculinity, and what it means to be a proper, biblical husband and father (I swear I had nothing to do with it). It was refreshing again to hear my father-in-law outline his view on what a proper male “head” should look and act like. It is significant that my wife’s family is a very conservative, very “traditional” family. Yet, somehow they have gleaned the proper context out of the scriptures.

    He began by saying that the husband’s “job” is simply to “love his wife as himself” (Ephesians 5). He said, infact, that if a husband loves anything more than his wife except God, that is work, children, parents or other family, or recreational activities, he may not receive any respect from his wife. He also said that the husband has no right to “demand” anything of his wife, including submission, respect, or adherance to any decisions. In fact, he emphasized how important it is for husband and wife to arive at decisions together. He said specifically that it was sinful for a husband to “lord it over” his wife and that God’s purpose for marriage is so that the husband had someone who “completed” him. Implied in that* was the idea that all of the “things” that went into a marriage – raising children, activities of daily living, decision making, and everything else – was the result of this partnership, not some unilateral “headship”.

    We did not talk about church ministry per se, but my wife tells me that in their conservative, male led congregation, there were discussions at least about females in deaconess positions. Although they never got to an egalitarian culture within that church, my suspicion knowing him and his study of scripture leads me to believe that he would turn to scripture if confronted with the comp/egal controversies. As my wife puts it, “he wasn’t going to support authoritarian male rule just because he was a man.” Most importantly, he would always discuss controversial topics with his wife and valued greatly her counsel. If she pointed out things from scripture that had not been covered by all the “macho men”, he was not afraid to go and stand against convention.

    I tell you this simply to encourage you. Even in households and congregations that, from the outside, would look to be text-book complimentarian, there are individuals, and yes, very often individual men, who look into the scripture for themselves and have grave concerns and even outward rejections of complimentarian teaching. Sometimes it takes years to get there, but it is possible. Be encouraged – even the Cleavers sometimes get it right.

    *The discussion ranged far and wide and covered a good deal of ground before we got into the nitty gritty of “love your wife…” You will have to trust me that this was the just of his meaning.

  44. We have gone through this exercise before but it bears repeating to help make the entire passage “clear”, if for no one else, then for Mike Seaver. Instead of paraphrasing as we have done in the past, I have cherry picked (hahaha) translations that get closest to the “clear” Greek meaning and then cobbled them together to make a paraphrase that does not technically fall outside of conventional translation. Highlighted text is that which differs from the majority of the translations (and often from all other translations) yet is far closer to the original Greek meaning as understood and interpreted by egalitarians. It also is much more “clear”. Here goes.

    Selected Tranlsations Verse by Verse
    1Ti 2:11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. (Good old KJV)

    1Ti 2:12 and a woman I do not suffer to teach, nor to rule a husband, but to be in quietness. (Youngs Literal Translation (YNG))

    1Ti 2:13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve. (many, some with variation “formed first”)

    1Ti 2:14 Adam wasn’t deceived, but the woman, being deceived, has fallen into disobedience; (Hebrew Names Version)

    1Ti 2:15a Yet she will be saved…(many with variation: “But…she shal[l/t] be”. NIV has “restored” as a footnote for “saved”)

    1Ti 2:15b …through the child-bearing (YNG)

    1Ti 2:15c …if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control. (ESV and others with variations for “holiness” (sancti[ty/fication]) and “self-control” (modesty, propriety, sobriety))

    The Paraphrase

    Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. And a woman I do not suffer to teach, nor to rule a husband, but to be in quietness[1]. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. [And] Adam wasn’t deceived, but the woman, being decieved, has fallen into disobedience. Yet she will be restored[2] through the child-bearing if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control[3].

    Specifics
    Verse 11 – “the woman”. A particular woman is in view.
    Verse 12 – “a husband”. The situation being dealt with is specifically intermarital and relates to how the woman and her husband are interacting.
    Verse 14 – “has fallen”. The verb tense indicates past action with a ongoing result.
    Verse 15a – “the child-bearing”. A particular birth (that of Jesus) is in view. Also note that the restoration is in the future.

    Ironically, all of the translations when considered alone contain various degrees of “unclearness”. But if one focuses on the areas where individual translations get part of the translation right, it becomes quite clear.

    Notes
    1. The word does not mean absense of sound but instead, conveys a state of peacefulness.
    2. “Restored” is a legitimate and probably better translation. It is strange that it only occurs in the footnote in the NIV and in no other translation. The idea is that this is a decieved and wayward Christian who needs to be brought back into communion with the congregation, not a heathen who needs salvation.
    3. This ties all the way back to the general instructions for the congregation on how to conduct themsleves found in verses 8-10.

  45. I just had one of those epiphanies that sometimes come over me. Maybe this has all been said before and I am just dense and missed it, but it occurs to me that 1 Tim 2:11-12 remain completely within the marital realm, and specifically within the dynamics of the marriage being addressed, and have absolutely nothing to do with women’s conduct IN CHURCH. In verse 12 in particular, is it not just the husband who is the object of both the “exercising authority over” and the “teaching”? Moreover, verses 11 and 12 are bookended by this idea of the specific woman being in a state of peacfulness. And the “all subjection” referenced in vs. 11 harkens back to Paul’s instruction for wives in Ephesians 5 to “submit…in all things” to their husbands. Call me looney (or forgetful) but I don’t see how verses 11-12 (or thru 15 for that matter) have one bit of relevance to the congregational setting. How can people claim these verses are meant to keep women silent IN CHURCH and teaching only other women and children IN CHURCH when they seem to only be dealing with what is going on between a particular husband and wife IN MARRIAGE?

  46. You might be interested in my rebuttal to a male supremacist on this passage: Snake Oil Theology. Even they admit that vs. 11-15 are set off from the context of the whole congregation, yet they still try to pull plurals from the preceding section anyway. Also, my NT Letters (of course you’ll want to go to p. 178-179) has a rendering very similar to yours.

  47. It just goes to show how even fence straddling theology (the kind I am most exposed to) can suck you into a paradigm which throws you completely off the trail. We have been talking about this intensely for, what, over a month now, and I still had stuck in my head that 11-15 was somehow about ministry because the debate is always initiated with that viewpoint as the basis. I have been seeing things from the POV that 11-15 is not a universal, permanent instruction about women in church, but that it is just a local, temporal instruction about women in church. The reality is that it isn’t about women in church at all. Any talk of universal vs. local, permanent vs. temporal, is all one big red herring! I think I need an advil.

  48. Greek and Hebrew suck. Why couldn’t they have had specific words for husband and wife separate from those for man and woman? It would have made things so much easier.

  49. On the other hand, maybe Paul had to write vaguely whenever the social order was the topic, since it could get him executed. But I agree, it would have been nice to have more precision

  50. I agree about the potential need for vagueness. Even though this was a personal letter to Timothy, I doubt they enjoyed much mail privacy in those days. Even the way Paul leads into the section in vs. 11 seems to be kind of *wink, wink, nudge, nudge* “you know who I’m talking about here Timothy”. But there simply is no other way to logically and accurately view the grammer of vs. 14 than to see that a specific woman is in view and it can not possibly be Eve. And there is no way to separate vss. 11 and 12 from 13-15. Of course, that doesn’t stop people from pulling “pink and blue” plurals (yes – I read your article and enjoyed it very much) from singular thin air.

  51. Yes, and Paula, the explanation or translation you give for ‘she shall be saved through the childbearing if they continue….’ makes more sense than anything I have ever read. She cannot logically be Eve, the ‘saved’ cannot mean original salvation, so childbirth taking the meaning of ‘being raised up in the faith’ makes the most sense. This woman needs to be trained up in the faith and teachings of Christ. I am surprised that so many scholars, even egal. ones, see this as referring to salvation in Christ, and oftentimes referring to Eve, who at the time of the writing couldn’t still be waiting for her salvation connected to Christ’s birth.

  52. Tanx gengwall!

    But we both know that the comeback for what is obvious from the grammar is along the lines of “His Royal Infallibleness Dr. Manlyman says “she” really means “they” and “a woman” really means “Eve”, so who are you to disagree?”

    And I know Cheryl holds that it does refer to salvation from eternal wrath, but for “the woman”, and so she believes “the childbearing” must therefore refer to the birth of Christ. However, I know of no other instance (second witness– wink wink) where salvation from eternal wrath was referred to in terms of “the Childbirth”.

  53. Oops… I carelessly thought the post after gengwall’s was an afterthought because it started with “and”.

    So, thanks TS!

  54. I think we need a new term to describe the mushy middle fence sitters who I often deal with. They aren’t hard core male supremicists but they certainly also aren’t sold on equality. So, we have “complimentarian” and “egalitarian”. I guess it should be something ending in “…arian”. I don’t think “compromisarian” or “equivacatarian” are words. Any thoughts?

  55. ooohhh “concilatarian” still isn’t a word but it sounds good. Or should it be “conciliatorian”. That’s a mouth full. How about “placatarian”. Better yet – “arbitrarian”. (I love a thesaurus). “Pacificarian”. Oh Paula – do get started! Maybe Cheryl can have a contest or poll here in the blog. What fun. My headache is going away.

  56. ROTFL – “conciliatorian” is not a word but “conciliatoriness” is. So I guess a conciliatorian’s modus operandi would be conciliatoriness.

  57. Comp-silly-contrarian? Works for me. 😛

    Let’s see…

    Fencitarian?
    PushMe–PullYouWhereian?
    WishWasharian?
    ToTauItarian? (you know, the yin/yang thing… sorry)

  58. Opps. Sorry. I can’t resist.

    To Paula’s response in 73 to my #72, I should have written:

    Those unicals are tough, aren’t they. Here it is in Hebrew: ‘dntwntn’nmd’tm’r’n

  59. Looks like you guys are having way too much fun 😉

    I am working on a DVD project so I will be “in and out” of my blog periodically as I try to balance different areas of my ministry with only one brain. I have on my “to do” list another blog article on 1 Peter 3 and God-willing I will be working on that later today. Once that is completed I will pop back into this comment stream.

    Okay kids, go back to your fun 🙂

  60. Ooohh! 1 Peter 3 – I can’t wait. I have lots of thoughts on Sarah calling Abraham “lord”. I am sure that is part of what you will be covering.

  61. Yes Paula! Let me just say this – context, context, context.

    Now for a song:

    Bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna do,
    whatcha gonna do when they marry you….

  62. “Ooohh! 1 Peter 3 – I can’t wait. I have lots of thoughts on Sarah calling Abraham “lord”. I am sure that is part of what you will be covering.”

    Ooohh! Hahaha! Can’t wait to hear em, gengwall! lol

  63. I am still working on my next blog post. However I just thought I would pop in for a minute to let you all know that Mike Seaver emailed me that he is willing to dialog on the issues that were offensive in his article. Thanks to Rachel of http://hrht-revisingreform.blogspot.com/ who supported my request to Mike requesting a dialog. I am not sure if he will be willing to do a public dialog, but I will be encouraging that as I think it would be very healing for women who have been very hurt by the strong complementarian words on women in ministry. I may set up a post where Mike and I can dialog and if he agrees I will be requesting that people keep very respectful to him and we should be to every brother in Christ. More later.

  64. Wow gengwall, you have a very blessed family!! Unfortunately, my B-I-L was serious. His wife used to have a beautiful smile when they took family pics, now she looks miserable.

    I totally agree Truthseeker @55,

    now back to reading the back and forth you Paula and gengwall 🙂

  65. gengwall #11,

    There is a little more subtle but equally disturbing trend in less aggressive churches. That is to call anyone who disagrees with the pastor or the leadership “divisive”. As you might easily guess, that label has been used against me and I have been marginalized within my own church. What is inexplicable is that my wife gets labelled on a par with me. If you knew her, you would be shocked because she is anything but divisive. But she has taken the unfortunate step of agreeing with me, and so she is pushed out as well.

    The issue of authoratarian leaders is a big one in this day and age. I have seen godly men and women removed from their churches merely for disagreeing with a secondary doctrine. Today some pastors and other leaders think that the bride of Christ belongs to them.

  66. PamBG,

    It is impossible to go through life without being influenced by the lives of other people and by their attitudes. And this is certainly ‘teaching’ in its most profound form. Therefore all men have been ‘taught’ by women in some form or other.

    Good point!

    The only way for a man to stay ‘pure’ from the teachings of women would be to be whisked off to an all-male environment at birth and live there for the rest of his life in a highly censored environment.

    This reminds me of the sect of the Jews in bible times who didn’t want to look at any women for fear that they would fall into lust. They kept their eyes closed and did a lot of bumping into things. I can’t remember the name that they were called but I think it had something to do with bleeding something-or-others because they were always bleeding from walking into one thing or another. I don’t think today’s hierarchists have really thought this through. Jesus didn’t isolate himself from women and the fact that he picked women as the first ones to give out the good news of the resurrection was exceptional.

  67. #13 truthseeker,

    One day, in complete ungodly exasperation, I blurted out that ‘THAT isn’t even logical!” to some cockamamie ‘biblical’ explanation I had just heard. To that I was told-get this-”Well God ISN’T logical. His ways are beyond our ways. The foolishness of God is greater than the wisdom of man.”

    Well if God isn’t logical, then we are all in a great deal of trouble because we would have no hope of understanding anything. It reminds me of the apologist who tried to get out problem of the “she” and “they” of 1 Timothy 2:15 and he said that it was a grammar error and God could inspired grammar errors if he wants to! If God didn’t communicate with us in a logical format, we may as well stop studying grammar and the meanings of Greek and Hebrew words because it would do no good trying to study to show ourselves approved unto God when God follows no grammar rules at all. And WE would be greater than God since WE are logical.

  68. Truthseeker,

    You guys are all funny! Humor is a blessing in a land dark with curses!

    That is what I like about this blog. I have so many people show up who have a great sense of humor. In my work with the cults I found that if I couldn’t laugh, I would not have been able to keep up with the work. It would have been too depressing.

  69. #34 Truthseeker,

    What I think is that there is a prime opportunity here for a DVD spoof, albeit with as much respectful humor as is feasible, that reveals the utter impossibility of ever implementing comp teaching.

    Oh man, I am really tempted to do a DVD with a section of out-takes and put some of this stuff in it. It might be more eye-opening than the main event 😉

  70. #44 Truthseeker,

    One woman, a lady in her early seventies, and part of the senior group, shared with me that she had written a piece about the function and purpose that the elderly can fulfill in the church. She had hoped to share (not preach) it at their next gathering. An official male elder to whom she innocently revealed her plan, asked her to have her husband share it. Though she told me she didn’t want at all to be divisive, she was nonetheless puzzled since God had given her the idea, not her husband. I understand it was never read, BTW.

    Well you have to understand that if this 70ish year old lady gave her paper in front of the church some may have lustful thoughts so of course she isn’t eligible to speak to the church 😉

  71. #46 Truthseeker,

    Our spouses and church elders are not to be our lords. Therefore, if it is actual false teaching and sinful, it DOES need to be addressed and is NO light matter. After all, we certainly see Paul in the N.T. getting serious about false teaching.

    This brings up a very interesting point. If a woman’s spouse and her elder are teaching false teaching what is she supposed to do about it? Is she allowed to correct them? Would they believe her correction? There are so man “what if’s” in the whole comp situation that it makes one’s head spin. We really do need a Christian Talmud to have a place to write down all the answers so we know where to look when the bible is silent on a matter.

  72. #57 gengwall,

    2. “Restored” is a legitimate and probably better translation. It is strange that it only occurs in the footnote in the NIV and in no other translation. The idea is that this is a decieved and wayward Christian who needs to be brought back into communion with the congregation, not a heathen who needs salvation.

    The problem with this translation is that the salvation (or as you say restoration) is *through* THE childbearing. This is a connection to Jesus and that would indicate a relationship is needed with him. If Paul had meant that there was to be a restoration with the congregation, then he should have said so. Nothing in the context says congregation or body of Christ. Secondly if she had to have her doctrine fixed up BEFORE she is restored into the body of Christ, then she would be in the same position as Hymenaeus and Alexander who were removed from the congregation. It appears clear to me that those who are deceived are to be welcomed into the congregation to receive teaching and correction.

    3. This ties all the way back to the general instructions for the congregation on how to conduct themsleves found in verses 8-10.

    But 9 – 10 is about women’s outward appearance. It isn’t about general congregation conduct. I don’t think this has anything to do with bringing a disfellowshipped (disenfranchised?) woman back into fellowship.

  73. gengwall #58,

    Maybe this has all been said before and I am just dense and missed it, but it occurs to me that 1 Tim 2:11-12 remain completely within the marital realm, and specifically within the dynamics of the marriage being addressed, and have absolutely nothing to do with women’s conduct IN CHURCH.

    I believe that you are right. There is nothing in these verses that appear that she is teaching and/or influencing anyone else. It is an issue with one man alone. I believe that he is one of the leaders of the church although I cannot prove that for sure. He is not deceived and he knows the truth as the situation is compared to the first married couple in the garden.

    And the “all subjection” referenced in vs. 11 harkens back to Paul’s instruction for wives in Ephesians 5 to “submit…in all things” to their husbands. Call me looney (or forgetful) but I don’t see how verses 11-12 (or thru 15 for that matter) have one bit of relevance to the congregational setting.

    You are not looney. You are correct. There is nothing in there about teaching a congregation.

    How can people claim these verses are meant to keep women silent IN CHURCH and teaching only other women and children IN CHURCH when they seem to only be dealing with what is going on between a particular husband and wife IN MARRIAGE?

    This is something that I have been asking since 2006 and I have yet to have anyone give me a clear answer.

  74. #61 gengwall,

    Greek and Hebrew suck. Why couldn’t they have had specific words for husband and wife separate from those for man and woman? It would have made things so much easier.

    The general rule has been that whenever you say aner and gune together where they are in relationship, then they are husband and wife. 1 Timothy 2:12 has been the one verse that translators did not do this to. Why? Cause I think they assumed that Paul followed male privilege in bible teaching.

  75. #62 Paula,

    On the other hand, maybe Paul had to write vaguely whenever the social order was the topic, since it could get him executed.

    Maybe it is too late at night but I am not sure if you are kidding or not. Whatever the case, I don’t think the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to not use her name because it would get Paul executed. He used Alexander’s name and he still was living. And Alexander caused Paul a great deal of trouble.

  76. #63 gengwall,

    Even though this was a personal letter to Timothy, I doubt they enjoyed much mail privacy in those days.

    I don’t think the Holy Spirit worried about mail privacy in this one since it was meant to be scripture. Although it was written personally to Timothy, the Holy Spirit meant for all of us to read it and be edified by it.

    Even the way Paul leads into the section in vs. 11 seems to be kind of *wink, wink, nudge, nudge* “you know who I’m talking about here Timothy”.

    I believe that either Paul knew that he was writing scripture or else the Holy Spirit kept Paul from writing her name. It was Paul’s habit never to identify those who were in the deceived group. He did identify the deliberate deceivers.

    But there simply is no other way to logically and accurately view the grammer of vs. 14 than to see that a specific woman is in view and it can not possibly be Eve. And there is no way to separate vss. 11 and 12 from 13-15.

    Absolutely! And good job gengwall!

  77. #64 truthseeker,

    She cannot logically be Eve, the ’saved’ cannot mean original salvation, so childbirth taking the meaning of ‘being raised up in the faith’ makes the most sense.

    In Paul’s epistles he uses the Greek word for “saved” always to mean spiritual salvation. In the case of 1 Timothy 2:15 we would need to have good reason not to have Paul follow this consistent usage. Paul creates a term “the childbirth” which is completely unique in the entire new testament. It is a noun instead of a verb and it is definite because it has “the” before the noun.

    When we look at a hard passage like this one we go from what we can know for sure to the unknown. We know that it is a particular birth that Paul is talking about. We know that it has something to do with the end result of stopping the woman from teaching. We know that the prohibition has something to do with Eve and her being deceived.

    What works in this passage is the fact that Paul never stopped the teaching of the truth even if it was by unfaithful teachers.

    Php 1:15 Some, to be sure, are preaching Christ even from envy and strife, but some also from good will;
    Php 1:16 the latter do it out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel;
    Php 1:17 the former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition rather than from pure motives, thinking to cause me distress in my imprisonment.
    Php 1:18 What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed; and in this I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice,

    And because the reason the prohibition was given was due to the deception of Eve (and her being created second), we can know that the woman was also deceived.

    So we have two deceived women. One is being stopped from teaching. Paul likens her to the very first deceived woman, but Paul has hope for her salvation because the very first woman received mercy from God after being thoroughly deceived by Satan. Yet through her God promised the Messiah. THE childbearing was to come by way of the very first deceived woman. Through the deceived came the conqueror who would destroy the destroyer. Paul was also confident that this other deceived woman would also receive mercy and she would come out of her deception. She is like the prodical son who has gone away from the Father and is lost in the pigbarn of deception. But Paul is confident that through sound teaching she will come to her senses and she will have saving faith in the Messiah. Two women – two deceptions (but the same deceiver) – one childbirth Savior – two acts of mercy. Paul draws a scarlet line of saving blood from the first deceived woman through to the deceived woman that Timothy had to deal with. It is an ending of hope and faith in Christ that started with a prohibition. Indeed, Paul says, she WILL be saved….IF…

    I hope this helps a little.

  78. #65 Paula,

    However, I know of no other instance (second witness– wink wink) where salvation from eternal wrath was referred to in terms of “the Childbirth”.

    Gen 3:15 And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.”

    God’s promised Seed through the woman = THE childbirth, “bruise him on the head” = Jesus did this on the cross as He paid for our sin.

  79. Yippee, I think I got through them all. Bet you all are tired of seeing my name on so many posts, eh? It’s these late nights of answering the comments that has me with no competition 🙂

  80. all I have to say about this semiegalitarian perspective is this: you have got to be kidding….

    Telling isn’t it. sounds like women are so unclean, they cannot even speak without corrupting the church.

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